Cross the Americas on an overland adventure from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina

As far as ultimate American adventures go, this trip from Anchorage to Ushuaia ticks all the boxes. Spanning the length of the entire spine of the Americas, all the way from Alaska down to the tip of Argentina, this 207-day adventure is nothing short of epic. Starting in Anchorage, Alaska, the tour ventures down through Canada, then the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and finally ends in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost city. Loaded with culture, history, architecture and bountiful nature, this incredible American adventure will leave you breathless. This exciting itinerary may be full of trekking up volcanoes, exploring vibrant cities, kayaking down emerald rivers, snorkelling over reefs and taking part in all manor of outdoor and cultural activities, but there is also a great balance of down time too, with beaches, forests and unspoilt nature to be enjoyed and relaxed in. So if you’re after a life-affirming, awe-inspiring and never-to-be-forgotten adventure, then this epic trip is it.

This trip requires an Inca Trail Permit. To view permit availability click here.

Start
Anchorage, United States
Finish
Ushuaia, Argentina
Countries
Argentina,
Belize,
Bolivia,
Canada,
Chile,
Colombia,
Costa Rica,
Ecuador,
El Salvador,
Guatemala,
Honduras,
Mexico,
Nicaragua,
Panama,
Peru,
United States
Themes
Overland
Code
SDOBC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4 Max 22
Carbon offset
5 973kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit the Athabasca Falls, the most magnificent in the Canadian Rockies
  • Uncover geysers in the USA’s Yellowstone National Park
  • Tour of a tequila distillery in Mexico - ole!
  • Be taken on a guided tour of Guatemalan ancient ruins
  • Bask on Belize’s tropical island of Caye Caulker
  • Venture deep into El Salvador’s El Imposible National Park
  • Bathe in the Caribbean waters of Honduras’s Roatan Island
  • Encounter the volcano at Masaya, Nicaragua
  • Discover the Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde in Costa Rica
  • Get acquainted with Panama City
  • Feel the rhythm during a night of live Colombian music
  • Experience the beauty of the Ecuadorian rainforest
  • Spot condors at Peru’s Colca Canyon
  • Call shotgun in a jeep and set off across the salt flats of Bolivia
  • Explore and trek Chile’s rugged Torres del Paine National Park
  • Sip local wine and go whitewater rafting in Argentina

Itinerary

Welcome to the USA!
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Located in south-central Alaska on the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is a unique urban environment situated in the heart of the wilderness. Established in 1914 as the construction headquarters for the Alaskan Railroad, it's the state's largest and most sophisticated city and home to more than half of its occupants.
As there's no time spent in Anchorage on this trip we recommend you arrive a few days early to see the sights. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.
Short drive to Seward where we will camp south of town for two nights. On your free day here you will have the opportunity to take a boat trip out into Kenai Fjords National Park.
A small fishing town on Resurrection Bay, Seward is our base from which to visit Kenai Fjords National Park. The town is quaint and lucky to still exist after almost being destroyed by fires and tidal waves during the 1964 earthquake.
Established in 1980, Kenai Fjords National Park covers an area of approximately 4,600 sq km on the Kenai Peninsula. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the icefield. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, including the Harding Ice Field and Bear Glacier. Taking a boat out into the fjords is a great way to see the area.
Driving back past Anchorage we head 480 km north to Denali National Park, where we camp for 3 nights. There is plenty of time for optional activities here as well as a guided tour of the national park. If you are lucky you may even spot a grizzly bear.
Surrounding Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in North America, Denali offers a vast refuge for a variety of wildlife. Wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep call Denali home, as does the mighty grizzly bear. Two scenic bus tours (included with park admission) take you through the pristine backcountry of the park, with opportunities to view these majestic animals in their natural habitat and enjoy incredible views of the unique landscape of tundra and taiga. A wide range of optional activities are available such as river rafting, dogsled demonstrations and hiking, for all fitness and adventure levels. For a real treat why not try an optional scenic flight to get a good view of Mount McKinley’s towering peak. You could even opt for a glacier landing!
We have a short and very scenic drive along the Denali Highway to our lodge. We will have one night camping by the lodge and another in a wild camp with good wildlife viewing opportunities.
Drive day to Wrangell-St Elias National Park where we camp for two nights. This is the largest national park in the USA and has an abundance of optional activities such as hiking, historic mine tours, glacier walks or ice climbing.
Wrangell-St Elias is the largest national park in the USA and is some six times the size of Yellowstone. The scale of everything here is enormous: four major mountain ranges meet here, and the park includes 9 of the 16 highest peaks in the USA including Mt Blackburn and Mt Sanford. There are also huge chains of glaciers within the park. The high country is covered with snow year round, resulting in extensive icefields and glaciers. Sheep and mountain goats patrol the craggy peaks, and the park is also home to caribou, moose, and brown and black bears.
A long but scenic drive brings us to our campsite outside Tok where we will stay for the night.
The small town of Tok was originally a camp for workers constructing the Alcan and Glenn Highways in the 1940s. Today it is best known for its association with dog sledding, breeding, training and mushing. The Tok Race of Champions Sled Dog Race, one of the oldest in Alaska, is held every March.
We travel 300 km today along the 'Top of the World Highway' and amidst incredible scenery to enter Canada's Klondike region. We stop for the night at Dawson City, once a hive of activity for gold prospectors. We camp here for two nights and visit the gold mining areas. In your free time you may want to visit Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino - a real outwest experience!
Taking us back to the times of the Klondike Gold Rush, it is easy to image the old pioneering spirit of Dawson City with its boardwalks and boat cruises on the Yukon River all adding to the experience. Pay a visit to Dredger Number 4 (one of the original mining rigs) and Diamond Tooth Gerties, a traditional cancan beer hall.
A drive of just over 500 km brings us to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon territory. En route we stop by one of the original mining rigs, Dredge No. 4. Tonight we camp outside of Whitehorse.
Located on the banks of the Yukon River, Whitehorse was once a gold-rush town but now its riches lie in the incredible wilderness at its doorstep.
Short drive from the Yukon into British Columbia where we camp for the night in Watson Lake. This afternoon there will be free time to visit the world famous Signpost Forest or maybe see the show at the Northern Lights Centre.
Full day's drive south to Stewart where we will camp for two nights. On our full day here we will drive into Alaska and the Hyder area. We will visit Fish Creek where we will hopefully spot Alaskan brown grizzlies and black bears eating salmon.
Hyder is home to one of the world's largest ice fields. Seasonally there is a large salmon migration, which brings grizzly bears to the area. At Fish Creek there may be an opportunity to view bears fishing for salmon.
Today we have a full day drive as we make our way towards the Rocky Mountains. We will find somewhere to camp for the night, and en route have the chance to stop off in Hazelton to visit the 'Ksan Indian Village.
We continue our drive in to the Canadian Rockies, arriving into Jasper where we camp for two nights, allowing plenty of time for hiking and optional activities.
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in Canada, covering an area of 18,878 square kilometres (4200 square miles). It is much less developed than other areas of western Canada and offers a true wilderness feel. Its setting deep inside Alberta's Rockies and surrounded by mountains makes this an incredibly beautiful place to visit.
Our third day here is a spare day which might be used anywhere on the itinerary depending on the local conditions on your trip.
Today we have a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway and visiting the Athabasca Falls en route to the town of Banff, where there is a plethora of stunning sights and activities to occupy our time. We camp here the first night, then move into a comfortable hostel for the next two nights.
The town of Banff offers quaint shops, bars and cafes, with a lively nightlife. The free Cascade Gardens depict the evolution of life and it's only a short hike up Tunnel Mountain for beautiful views of the town and its surrounds.
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park. Its valleys and mountain chains were formed 75 million years ago and its terrain consists of coniferous forests, alpine meadows, icefields and glaciers. It is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise with opportunities for canoeing, mountain biking, hiking or riding the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
Today we cross back into the USA and, after a drive of 400 km, we reach Glacier National Park. We camp here for 2 nights and there is a chance to go hiking. En route we will stop at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a Unesco World Heritage site which documents the buffalo hunting culture of the local area.
Glacier National Park features more than 400 glaciers and is one of the world's most active avalanche areas. The park also features old-growth cedar and hemlock areas and fauna such as caribou, mountain goats, and grizzly bears.
We have an all-day drive to Yellowstone National Park. There's a free day here to see the many geysers including the famous Old Faithful.
America's first national park and largest thermal basin, Yellowstone represents one of the earth's thinnest surfaces, which in turn has created a fantastic world of bubbling geysers ('Old Faithful'), sulphuric springs and colourful paintpots (boiling mud). The park is home to moose, bison, elk and grizzly and black bears.
Today's drive of 250 km takes us into Wyoming as we head to Jackson where we will camp. Along the way we will visit Grand Teton National Park to view the spectacular mountain range and do some hiking.
With its awe-inspiring mountain range, lakes and incredible wildlife, Grand Teton National Park is perfect for a hike to a picturesque picnic spot. Hire a ferry on the beautiful Jenny Lake or hike into the stunning Teton Range. Keep a lookout for wildlife in the area including Teton's most famous resident - the moose.
Home to rodeos and real country nightlife, Jackson Hole offers mountain biking, hiking and rafting trips on Snake River.
Leaving Wyoming behind we head into Utah and its capital, Salt Lake City, where we camp the night. While here we will take some time to explore the Mormon culture which began here.
Founded by the Mormons as a religious centre in 1847, Salt Lake City is today the centre of the Mormon State. Today, only about half the city's population are members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, however the city remains synonymous with the religion. If you are interested in the Mormon faith you can visit the historic Temple Square area among other city sights. The city itself is beautifully located, surrounded by mountains and the Great Salt Lake.
Continuing south through Utah, today we reach Moab, where we will camp for three nights. While here we will visit two incredible national parks - Canyonlands and Arches National Parks - plus there is plenty of time for your own exploration and optional activities.
Moab’s unique combination of beautiful red rock scenery, two national parks, and the cool waters of the Colorado River has made it one of the most sought after destinations in the southwest.
Canyonlands National Park preserves a colourful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado and Green Rivers and their tributaries. Walk along the rim and gaze over the endless maze of canyons.
Arches National Park contains the world's largest concentration of natural stone arches. It's a red, arid desert punctuated with spectacularly eroded sandstone forms such as fins, pinnacles, spires, balanced rocks and arches. Take a hike out to see famous sights such as Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch.
Today we drive 250 km to the iconic Monument Valley. We will have a guided jeep tour around Monument Valley Tribal Park, seeing some of the incredible formations and learning everything there is to know about the Navajo view of the buttes and mesas that will be surrounding us. We then drive to our camp where we spend the night in a traditional Navajo hogan, all sleeping together on the ground in a circle.
The backdrop for countless westerns, Monument Valley is part of the biggest Indian reservation in the US and home to more than 200,000 Indians of the Navajo Tribe. Monument Valley is so-named for the giant sandstone formations scattered across the desert. The angle of the sun means that the landscape is constantly changing colour and it's near impossible to take a bad photo.
Today we head 200 km into Arizona to Lake Powell where we camp by the lake. En route we will visit the Navajo National Monument.
Located on the border of Utah and Arizona and created by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, Lake Powell has a shoreline that stretches longer than the western coast of the USA. Many say that Glen Canyon was even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon before the dam was built. Now the lake is a haven for water sports or just relaxing in one of the many sandstone coves.
Today is a full day drive to our beautiful camping spot in Kodachrome Basin State Park.
A 250 km drive today brings us to Bryce Canyon where we will have time for some hiking before driving on to Zion National Park. We camp the night just outside of the park.
A natural amphitheatre formed by centuries of erosion, Bryce Canyon National Park is filled with hoodoos - dramatic rock spires that glow red, orange and white in the glaring sun.
Zion National Park has stunning desert terrain and huge sculpted rock formations that coexist with waterfalls and hanging gardens. Have a good look around, stretch your legs and perhaps even wade through the surprisingly chilly Virgin River.
Free time to enjoy Zion National Park this morning before an afternoon drive to the bright lights of Las Vegas. We have a break from camping for the next two nights and the chance to enjoy a bed - assuming of course that you can drag yourself out of the various all night entertainment options! The time here is free to explore.
Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world, but there's plenty to do along the Strip for gamblers and non-gamblers alike - there's the casinos and shows, of course, plus shops, amusement rides, dance clubs and great value 'all you can eat' buffets.
We hit the road again today and head over to one of the USA's icons; the Grand Canyon. We camp by the canyon for two nights and there is free time for optional treks and helicopter flights.
This national landmark is 18 miles wide, 277 miles long and over a mile deep, making it one of the largest canyon systems in the world. Stroll the meandering South Rim Trail, hike your way down to Plateau Point, opt for a scenic flight or simply relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one the world's natural wonders.
From the Grand Canyon we head south through Arizona and towards the Mexican border. Tonight we camp in the Phoenix area.
Head further south towards the Mexican border near the town of Nogales.
Today we farewell the USA and cross the border into Mexico on an all-day drive to the Pacific coast. We will most likely camp near Guaymas and Mazatlan
Today is a long drive day as we head further south into Mexico and to the Riviera Nayarit town of Sayulita. We spend two nights here camping near the beach.
Sayulita is a coastal town situated on the Riviera Nayurit which stretches from San Blas in the north to Nuevo Vallarta in the south. It is a laidback town with miles of sandy beaches, and is a wonderful spot to relax or get involved in the many watersports on offer. Sayulita is a surfing hotspot and there is the option to try your hand at the sport.
Today we drive 270 km to the town of Tequila where we stay the night in a hotel and have the option of a guided tour of the Cuerba Tequila Distillery.
You can almost smell the scent of tequila in the air as soon as we reach the town of Tequila and pass through fields of blue agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled. Due to the popularity of the drink, the town and surrounding area have been declared a Unesco World Heritage site. It would be only right to try a shot or two!
Today's drive takes us further south to the small town of Angahuan where we will camp for two nights. This quaint town is the gateway to the Paricutin volcano and there will be optional climbs around the volcano on offer.
The small village of Angahuan is situated around the Paricutin Volcano, which erupted in 1943 and continued to erupt until 1954 when it stopped as suddenly as it had started. During that time the volcano engulfed two entire villages and all that remains are the eerie church spires protruding from the lava.
We head into the capital of Mexico today, one of the world's busiest and most populated cities. We stay for the night in a centrally located hotel with plenty of time for optional activities or to enjoy Mexico City's vibrant nightlife.
Modern meets ancient in Mexico City, the world's fastest growing urban centre. Although crowded and smoggy, the former Aztec capital offers a great variety of impressive museums, galleries and architecture.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
You may like to extend your time here and allow yourself a day or two more to take in some of the many palaces, churches and temples, or to sit and watch life go by in the Alameda Central. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 10am.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Modern meets ancient in Mexico City, the world's fastest growing urban centre. Although crowded and smoggy, the former Aztec capital offers a great variety of impressive museums, galleries and architecture.
You may like to extend your time here and allow yourself a day or two more to take in some of the many palaces, churches and temples, or to sit and watch life go by in the Alameda Central. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.
We leave the hustle and bustle of the capital behind today and journey to Oaxaca where we stay for 2 nights in a posada. During our stay here we will have a guided tour of the Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban; a Unesco World Heritage site.
A beautiful old colonial town, Oaxaca is full of graceful arcades and colourful markets largely populated by descendents of the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians, who come here to sell their colourful woven blankets and shawls. Oaxaca is also known for its well-respected arts scene, including folk art, fine art and dance. Explore the markets and narrow, cobbled streets or simply sit in the square drinking the local mescal and watch life go by.
Today we have a full day's drive to the old colonial down of San Cristobal de las Casas, one of Mexico's most beautiful towns. Here we stay in a family run hotel for 3 nights. During our time here we will take a boat trip down the stunning Sumidero Canyon and there is plenty of free time for optional activities.
With winding cobblestone streets and colonial Spanish architecture, San Cristobal de las Casas maintains a lovely old-world feel mixed with strong indigenous roots. The surrounding villages are populated with Tzotzil and Tzeltal Indians who maintain their tribal origins through their varied traditional costumes and customs. There is time here to explore the villages, perhaps by horseback or mountain bike.
We have an early start today for a full day's drive to Frontera Corozal. We camp for the night in the grounds of a hotel.
This morning we have a guided visit to the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in the morning. We then have a short drive to Palenque where we camp for two nights in the grounds of a hotel located within the national park.
The following day we will visit the incredible ruins of Palenque, rising high from the jungle. A guide will show us around the ruins and there will also be free time to see if you can visit all 200 buildings that make up the city.
Palenque is situated on a hilltop in an area of hot jungle and is home to possibly the most impressive series of Mayan ruins, which date back at AD600. Whilst walking amongst the ruins it is often possible to hear the eerie calls of howler monkeys echoing from the jungle, giving an added dimension to this magnificent site. The temples are superb relics of Mayan culture and there are many ruins here still un-excavated and hidden in the surrounding forest.
Today we have a full day drive to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. We stay in a colonial hotel in the heart of this bustling city. Tonight is a good chance to get out and sample some of Mexico's nightlife.
Founded in 1542, Merida still retains much of its old-world charm with a well-preserved Old Town, wonderful museums and city streets alive with art and culture. Hang out in the green and shady Plaza Grande, with the twin-towered 16th century Cathedral on one side and City Hall, State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo on the others. For a taste of Merida's 19th century glory go for a walk along the mansion lined Paseo de Montejo. Mornings are the best time to visit the outdoor markets and you can stock up on hammocks and Maya replicas. It's a great place to try out the local food specialities, like cochinita pibil or the head-blowingly spicy El Yucateco hot sauce.
Early morning start to drive to Tulum where we stay for two nights in a hotel. We visit Chichen Itza en route for a guided tour around this spectacular Mayan site.
The following morning we visit the Tulum ruins, one of the last cities built by the Maya and one of the best preserved coastal Maya sites. The afternoon is free time.
Sitting on a cliff with views of an azure ocean, Tulum not only has spectacular Maya ruins to discover but some of Mexico's finest beaches to frolic on.
We have an early start for a full day's travelling south. We board a boat in Belize City that will take us to Caye Caulker where we will spend three nights in a hotel. You will have plenty of free time in this incredible Caribbean location to relax or enjoy the many water-based activities on offer.
The Belize Cayes are a group of islands a short boat ride away from the coast. There are a number of these islands to choose from, but we base ourselves on Caye Caulker as this is one of the more popular islands with travellers. From here it is possible to arrange day trips to other Cayes, to the best reefs for diving, or simply to take a local boat out to the reef of Caulker itself. Each island has its own particular character, but all of them have the unmistakeable Caribbean pace and charm.
Today we head to the Belize mainland, catching a boat over to Belize City, the country's former capital. We will spend a couple of hours looking around the city before heading on to San Ignacio, locally known as Cayo. We camp here for three nights and there are a variety of optional activities on offer.
A friendly place with a multicultural feel, San Ignacio is a wonderful base to explore the gorgeous countryside that surrounds the town.
Today we make the short drive across the Guatemalan border to the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal with its temples hiding in the tropical jungle. We camp near the ruins, and also have a guided tour.
Once a powerful Mayan city, Tikal was abandoned in the 10th century and sank into the surrounding jungle. It's now alive with jungle wildlife and awe-inspired visitors.
Today we have a short drive to the small town of Poptun, stopping in Flores en route. We camp for two nights outside of Poptun and have a free day here for outdoor activities.
We have a very short drive today to Rio Dulce where we stay for two nights in an eco lodge. We take a boat trip to Livingston on the Caribbean coast on our full day here.
From Puerto Barrios we will take a boat trip along the Rio Dulce. The river flows through dense forests, with the jungle coming right down to the water's edge. Tropical birds nest in the trees and fly overhead. At one part of the river hot water bubbles from a natural spring in the bank, creating a localised hot pool. For those wanting a hot bath or a swim, you can simply jump over the edge of the boat.
The small town of Livingston is located at the mouth of the Rio Dulce. It has no roads connecting it to the rest of the country and as a result has developed its own rather unique character. The town has something of a Caribbean feel and is a great place to spend the night.
Drive day to San Andres Itzapa, a small village located in the mountains around Antigua. Here we visit a community centre called Manos Amigas. We sleep at the centre in dormitory-style rooms.
This centre is run by the Italian NGO 'Mani Amiche' in support of local women who have been abandoned and abused, and who 'hide away' in the centre with their kids.
We spend the morning at Manos Amigas before a short drive to Panajachel situated on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan where we spend two nights in a hotel. There is the opportunity to take a boat out onto the lake or perhaps just enjoy some relaxation.
Panajachel, located on beautiful Lake Atitlan with distant volcanoes looming in the background, has a thriving market, good eateries and many water-based activities to enjoy. Go for a swim, hike or kayak on the lake. The surrounding area is dotted with villages which can be reached on foot or by boat. Watch women weaving at Santa Catarina Palopo or explore the colourful markets of Santiago Atitlan, In each village the local life has changed little over the last few hundred years. Each village has its own typical dress and make all the textiles themselves in designs passed down through generations.
If possible we will visit the Chichicastenango market during these days depending on the weekday. Please note that the market is only open on Thursdays and Saturdays so you may not be able to visit during your trip.
The town of Chichicastenango lies about 2,200 metres above sea level and features some of the best handicrafts from all over Guatemala. Home to perhaps the most colourful market in the country, on Thursdays and Sundays locals come from the surrounding villages to sell their wares and the streets are lined with stalls offering multi-coloured textiles and fresh produce.
Today we drive 200 km to Antigua where we stay in a colonial hotel.
The old colonial capital of Guatemala, Antigua remains the cultural centre of the country. Its cobbled streets, local markets, colonial buildings, and indigenous marimba music emanating from the many bars and restaurants create a fantastic atmosphere.
Today is a long drive day as we cross from Guatemala into El Salvador and head to the coast. We spend two nights in a hotel on the beach is Los Cobanos, a fishing village away from the tourist trail.
A short drive takes us to Cerro Verde National Park which offers some amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes and countryside. We camp in the park, which has basic facilities.
The highlight of Cerro Verde National Park is the Cerro Verde, an extinct volcano which last erupted around 2500 years ago. On the top of its crater there is one of the few cloud forests in the country, located at 2030 metres above sea level. The Cerro Verde, along with the volcanoes of Santa Ana and Izalco form one of the most impressive landscapes in El Salvador. These 2 other volcanoes can be viewed from lookout points inside Cerro Verde National Park. The park also offers some wonderful treks enabling fantastic views of northern El Salvador.
We take a short drive to the lovely town of Suchitoto with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. We camp with basic facilities by the lake.
Suchitoto is a reminder of El Salvador's past. A beautiful colonial town with painted houses and cobbled streets, it is a world away from modern El Salvador. The town overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande, also known as Lago Suchitlan, which is a haven for migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks.
Today we cross the border and enter Honduras. Once border formalities are dealt with, we continue to the spectacular ruins of Copan where we stay for two nights in a hotel.
The ancient ruins of Copan are the southernmost of the great Mayan sites for which Central America is famed. This particular site was listed as a World Heritage site in 1980 and is unique because of the 21 stelae or columns that have been found there. These are heavily carved with reliefs depicting the passage of time and the lives of the royal families. There are also a number of small pyramid-shaped temples and excavated vaults. Walk through the grassy plazas under the gaze of huge carved faces, staring out from ancient walls. As you walk past monuments, statues and staircases it's hard not to wonder at the mysterious disappearance of such a creative civilisation.
A short drive brings us to San Pedro Sula and we board our flight to Roatan, the largest of the Bay Islands. We stay for three nights in a lovely posada and have plenty of time for optional activities or just relaxing. Please remember that there is an airport tax not covered by kitty.
Roatan Island is one of the famous Bay Islands; an archipelago of coral islands set in the Caribbean known for its laid back atmosphere. The scuba diving around the reefs is said to be some of the best in the world. During your stay on Roatan Island you can snorkel, go sea kayaking, hire jeeps or even get your PADI license.
We start early today to catch our flight back to the mainland. Upon arrival back at La Ceiba we head 230 km to Lake Yojoa, halfway between San Pedro de Sula and Tegucigalpa where we camp for the night by the lake.
Please not there is a US$25 airport tax which is not covered by the kitty and will need to be paid separately.
We enter Nicaragua today and, after a long drive of 400 km, head to the university town of Leon, with its wonderful colonial architecture. We spend the night in a centrally located hotel.
The town of Leon is lined with derelict buildings and the walls are adorned with political murals and graffiti. Head to the market to find some of the friendliest people in the country.
We drive to Granada, visiting Masaya National Park en route. We go to the active Masaya volcano that lies in the middle of the park to view the crater and lava flows, and visit the market. We then continue to Granada where we spend two nights in a simple hotel allowing for time to explore this beautiful colonial town.
At the Masaya National Park, the twin volcano craters of Masaya and Santiago are an incredible sight. At the bottom of a vast crater, a glowing red fire, like a furnace, fills the air with pungent sulphurous fumes and rocks and volcanic ashes still cover the area surrounding the volcanoes. The park is inhabited by many different kinds of animals including coyotes, skunks, raccoons, opossums, deer, iguanas, and monkey. The park makes a wonderful place for trekking.
Oozing with colonial charm, Granada is the oldest city of the 'New World', having been founded in 1524. The city resides on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and its appearance is a mixture of Moorish and Andalusian. The surrounding countryside includes active volcanoes and lakes.
This morning we'll hop aboard a boat and cross Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake, to Isla Ometepe. On the island we'll stay in a small hotel for two nights, giving you the chance to explore all that the island has to offer.
Beautifully located within Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is formed by two volcanoes which rise from the lake. In fact 'Ometepe' literally means two volcanoes in the Nahuatl language. The island's hourglass shape is home to great beaches and a deep jungle. Wildlife abounds here and as well as monkeys and green parrots, and the lake itself is famous for the world's only species of freshwater shark. A great experience is sitting on the shore of the lake when the fishermen come back from their long day bringing in what they have caught.
Today we drive 240 km to La Fortuna in Costa Rica, near the shores of Laguna de Arenal, where we camp by the lake for a couple of nights, allowing time for optional activities and for soaking up the fantastic vistas of Arenal volcano.
La Fortuna is a small town situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's most famous volcano - the majestic Arenal. The views here are spectacular as the volcano is reflected on the lake for postcard perfect photos. Besides the panoramic views the town offers a range of other activities such as the 70 metre high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and watersports on the lake.
Today we leave our overland vehicle behind and transfer with taxi and boat up to the dense cloudforest and coffee plantations of Monteverde where we stay two nights in a hotel. This stunning area offers and incredible diversity of flora and fauna which hopefully you will be lucky enough to see during a guided visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Please remember to bring some warm clothes as it can get chilly at 1440 metres above sea level.
Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers; they cleared virgin forest to create verdant pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this precious habitat. Consequently they established a small privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown to become the internationally-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. These forests are similar to rainforests, but instead of relying on rain for essential moisture, adequate water comes from the semi-permanent cloud that covers the region. It is lush and full of wildlife. This is truly a nature lover's paradise. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.
Transfer from Monteverde to Tilaran where we meet up with our overland vehicle and drive to the Pacific coast where the Manuel Antonio National Park is located. We spend two nights in a basic hotel just outside the park. On our full day here we go for an easy guided walk in the national park and have the afternoon free for activities.
Spend your time here enjoying all the park has to offer. Head out for a hike along its many trails, keeping one eye on the great views and the other looking for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are among the species you maybe be able to spot. The park also boasts turquoise seas and white sand beaches, perfect for swimming, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing, fishing or surfing. It would be easy to spend your whole time here in, or by, the water.
We travel across the Panama border today to the Chiriqui highlands and the town of Boquete where we stay two nights in a hostel. The area is famous for outdoor activities and the nearby Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama. Please note that this border crossing is infamously slow.
We continue further into Panama today, driving 340 km before arriving by the beach at Santa Clara for a chance to relax and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. We'll camp for one final night in Panama by the beach.
A drive of about 3 hours takes us to Panama City today where we stay for the night in a centrally located hotel. We will visit the Panama Canal today and there is also time for you to explore the city's old and modern areas.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia.
The trip starts with a welcome meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Cartagena is one of the most historic cities in South America. It is legendary both for its history and beauty and tends to be a favourite of all travellers who visit it. Having been the centre of many battles, the city is heavily fortified and huge defensive walls surround its narrow cobbled streets and colonial buildings. The city is made up of various districts, the new town with its high rise hotels, apartments and nightspots; and the older colonial parts of the city. The old city is the main attraction particularly the inner walled town, packed with churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. Wandering through the streets you get a real feel of the sense of history of this amazing city.
On our second day in Cartagena we will have a walking tour of the city and then the rest of the time is free for you to enjoy the many optional activities on offer.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
Today is a drive day as we head to Mompos. We take a ferry across Rio Magdalena and stay two nights in a lovely hotel.
The second day here is free to explore this colonial town where Colombian independence was first achieved. Wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere of the architecture and maybe visit the ancient cemetery.
Today is an early morning start to head back across Rio Magdalena. Overnight in Sincelejo in a simple hotel.
A full day's drive today takes us to Colombia’s second city, Medellin, where we stay in dorm accommodation in a centrally located hostel allowing you to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
The rapid transformation that has taken place in Colombia's second largest city is one like no other. Having spent the 1980s and 90s with an international reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities thanks to Pablo Escobar's infamous drug cartel, Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most exciting cities in South America. And with some of the country's finest museums, parks and architecture as well as a much safer and comfortable atmosphere, it's easy to see why more and more travellers have flocked to the city in the past few years.
A great side trip from Medellin is Santa Fe de Antioquia. Set in a lush low lying hot and sultry valley on the banks of the Rio Cauca, Santa Fe de Antioquia is the oldest settlement in the region. Founded in 1541 it served as the capital of the department until 1826 when the state capital moved to Medellin. The town has kept much of its Colonial charm, the narrow streets and whitewashed colonial style buildings many of which with large central courtyard in which to relax away from the midday heat. The central plaza is dominated by the principal church of the town. The plaza is also home to a daily market where vendors sell various varieties of Tamarind product that grow locally, take a tour of the stalls and try a few samples of this local delicacy. There are several other churches and important colonial buildings to visit but the greatest pleasure is simply exploring the narrow streets infused with history of the region.
We make a short drive this morning of a couple of hours to the small town of Guatapé which is beautifully located aside a lake in rolling countryside. The town is famous for the towering El Peñón de Guatapé which will will visit before enjoying two days in dorm accommodation by the lake for various activities in the local area.
Guatapé is a picturesque town surrounded by the Embalse del Penon, an artificial lake built in the early 1960s and wonderful countryside yet with a colourful and historic centre. On weekends, the waterfront malecón (boardwalk) fills up with local vendors selling beautiful Paisa art, food, and souvenirs. The area is great for activities but one of the main reasons to visit is to see El Peñón de Guatapé, a 650 foot tall granite monolith that divides the countryside and offers amazing views from the top. El Peñón is very similar to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro and has 644 steps which you need to climb to get to the top, but it is well worth it.
We head 185 km to Manizales where we stay for 3 nights on a coffee plantation, camping in the grounds of a traditional finca. During the next 2 days we will enjoy a night of music and dancing, a city tour of Manizales and a coffee plantation tour.
Manizales is a relaxed and friendly city right in the heart of Colombia's coffee region with a comfortable climate and plenty to see and do. Although still opening up to international tourism, Manizales has a lot to offer in the way of outdoor activities and ecological attractions.

Venturing a little further, you will find coffee haciendas and plantations in the surrounding area as well as some beautiful country landscapes perfect for trekking or just taking a relaxing break in the great outdoors.
In Manizales we stay on one of these working coffee plantations covering approximately 480 acres which provides people from around the world a taste of the finest Manizales fair trade coffee. The plantation employs around 100 people all throughout the year and about 400 people during the peak picking season.
Today we head out early overlanding to Cali, Colombia’s most lively city. In the evening there may be the chance to head out for a tour of the city in a traditional chiva bus and there is the chance for optional salsa classes. During the day time there are lots of attractions to keep you entertained.
Cali is a big and bustling city with a warm climate and pleasant atmosphere, which has made its reputation in traveller circles thanks to its nightlife and social scene. The salsa capital of Colombia provides great opportunities to test out those dance moves in its many fashionable bars and restaurants.
For party seekers and those who enjoy the faster paced city life, Cali shouldn't disappoint. Avenida Sexta, is Cali's party street. With rows of bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, this is where to head for a night on the town. For others, after a slower pace, the old neighbourhood of San Antonio is a lovely spot with arty, Bohemian cafes, shops and restaurants lining picturesque Colonial streets. Alternatively why not head to Las Tres Cruces which is a great point from which to catch the best views over Cali. It’s quite a hike up there but it's a peaceful spot and a nice break from the rush of the city.
A short 140 km drive brings us to the beautiful town of Popayan where we stay the night in dorm accommodation in a hostel.
Nicknamed the White City, Popayan is a beautiful colonial town of whitewashed houses and grand churches encircled by rolling green hills. The cool and sunny climate of the lower Andes makes Popayan a very comfortable place to stay and as the main university town of the region, there's a young, sociable feel to the city. The friendly locals can often be found sipping coffee in one of the city's excellent cafes or relaxing in one of the shaded parks.
Today we drive 315 km to the border town of Ipiales. We stay the night in a local hotel.
Ipiales is the border town on the Colombian side of the Colombia/Ecuador frontier. The town has some pleasant plazas and the sight of locals using a horse and cart gives it a quaint, countryside feel.
The star attraction of Ipiales, 7 km outside of town, is the famous Santuario de Las Lajas, the site of many a miracle and apparition over the years. Set amid breathtaking scenery, El Santuario is a spectacular gothic style church straddling a dramatic gorge with rushing river below. It is one of the most impressive churches on the continent and its fantastic setting and quirky museum make it a highlight of any visit to Colombia.
We cross the border into Ecuador and head to the Indian market town of Otavalo where we stay in a friendly hotel.
Nestled in beautiful surroundings a short distance north of Quito, Otavalo is a small town famous for its market - one of the most important indigenous markets in Ecuador. Villagers from the surrounding countryside descend on the town once a week to sell everything from handmade goods to livestock, fruit and vegetables. Many of the local indigenous communities in this area still wear their traditional clothing made from intricately woven and decorated fabrics, and the men tend to wear their hair in long ponytails.
We drive 120 km to the capital, Quito, arriving in the afternoon. En route we will stop at the Equator for the must have photo ops. We stay in Quito in a local friendly hotel.
Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings - there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings - there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.
As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer. You may even wish to explore further beyond the city and visit Otavalo, Cotopaxi, the Cloud Forest or the Equatorial Monument. Please ask our local representative for more details.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
We have a very early start today followed by a 350 km drive into the heart of the Amazon to Coca, from where we set off tomorrow on our jungle expedition.
Coca is the more commonly known name for Puerto Francisco de Orellana. The city is located at the confluence of the Napo River and the Coca River, which gives the city its nickname. The city is named after Francisco de Orellana, the famous explorer. History says he set off from the current location of the city and made his way deep into the Amazon Jungle, eventually making it to the Atlantic. He later died on a second attempt to cross the jungle, not being able to find his way through.
From Coca we board a boat for a 2 hour journey along the Rio Napo, and deep into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest for a 3 night stay camping by a lodge run by the local Kichwa community.
The next 3 days will be spent sampling life in the jungle. We'll take trips out into the rainforest on foot and by boat to explore for wildlife as well as getting involved with the local community in this truly magical place.
On our last day here we will have a half day sail back up the river, returning to Coca for the night.
We spend the morning in the jungle and then drive 130 km to the beautiful town of Rio Verde. We stay at a campsite with great facilities.
Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs, the region around Rio Verde has year-round temperate weather, a small-town atmosphere and heaps of activities that can get you out and exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors.
Whilst staying here, you will have the opportunity to take part in optional adventure activities such as canyoning, mountain biking and rafting. We will also make the short trip into Banos where you can visit the thermal springs.
We drive for an hour to the town of Quilotoa to see the stunning Crater Lake, and begin one of Ecuador's best day hike back to Chugchilan.
We will trek with a local guide, and the mostly downhill trek takes 4-6 hours. A moderate level of fitness is required as the trek is at altitude, but the walking itself is not too strenuous.
An early morning the next day starts a 300 km drive on the northern section of the spectacular Quilotoa Loop to the town of Chugchilan where we stay in a hostel.
Quilotoa Loop is a name given to the winding circuit of spectacular dirt roads that connect Lake Quilotoa to Latacunga and the Pan-American Highway. The roads that lead away from Latacunga are unpaved, winding and have spectacular views of the mountains, rivers and verdant landscape. We will head to the town of Chugchilán on the northern section of the loop and after a 2 night stay head out on the southern section of the loop allowing you to see some of the more remote people and culture of the central Andes of Ecuador.
Today is a long drive day to the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca. We pass through El Cajas National Park en route and see some stunning scenery. We stay two nights in a centrally located hotel.
Possibly the most attractive city in Ecuador, Cuenca has managed to retain its Old World air, despite being the country's third largest city. The city has many 16th and 17th-century buildings, including its cathedral built in 1557, the year the city was founded by the Spanish. However, the city's history stretches back hundreds of years earlier. This was the site of a native Canari village that was later conquered by the Incas and called Tomebamba. The city was said to have rivalled Peru's Cuzco for its beauty, but the glory was short lived and the city was razed during the Inca civil war. The city's history is well preserved, earning Cuenca the honour of being listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
Today is a drive day south, crossing into Peru. We camp for three nights outside of Punta Sal, on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Situated on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in a long, curvy bay, Punta Sal is a haven for sun and sand. The warm and tranquil waters are a pleasure to swim in, and there is also the opportunity to set out on fishing trips and boat trips along the coast. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, horse riding along the beach, or salsa lessons can be arranged. Alternatively, just kick back in a hammock and laze the day away, enjoying the peace and quiet of this beautiful spot.
The following two days are free to just relax on the beach or join in some of the activities in and around Punta Sal.
Today we drive 610 km to Huanchaco, visiting Lambayeque and its Lord of Sipan Museum en route.
The small Peruvian town of Lambayeque is home to the impressive Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan, a world-class museum that showcases the finest artefacts from the archaeological finds at nearby Sipan. This area on the north west coast of Peru is well known for its rich historical heritage, and the name Lambayeque originates from the ancient pre-Inca civilisation of the Lambayeques. Amongst the most extraordinary discoveries made here is the famous 'Lord of the Sipan' - a Moche priest found buried amidst an array of gold, jewels and fabrics.
On arrival in Huanchaco we camp at a site with good facilities.
The resort town of Huanchaco is home to the surfing fishermen. Balancing on canoes constructed of buoyant reeds, the fishermen cruise through the surf with their catch.
The following day we visit numerous ruins in and around Huanchaco - the enormous ruins of Chan Chan, and the world famous pyramids of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna.
The vast mud city of Chan Chan has ten walled citadels, carved with intricate designs depicting birds, fish and mammals. Unlike many of Peru's archaeological sites, this was not an Inca city, but part of the Chimu and Moche civilisations, renowned for their pottery.
A full day's drive of 530 km brings us to Peru's capital, Lima, arriving late in the afternoon. We stay in a comfortable hotel in the city centre.
While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre.
While you are here there are many museums you can visit such as the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum, which showcase the finest artefacts from the country's many ancient civilisations. You can also visit the finely preserved catacombs at the Church of San Francisco, and take in a bit of local culture at an evening folklore show.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre.
If you arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other things to see and do include a tour to Pachacamac (approx 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
We have a very early start and head south and out of Lima to begin a 270 km drive to Paracas. There we board a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands to view wildlife before returning to Paracas to explore the national park. We will bush camp either in Paracas National Park or in Huacachina,
Spanning 335,000 hectares of land and sea, Paracas National Park is widely regarded as one of the most important marine reserves in the world. This coastal and marine national park is located on a peninsula in the Pacific Ocean and is home to one of the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. Providing a vital habitat for sea lions and dolphins, Paracas is without doubt one of the most biologically diverse coastal areas in the Americas.
The Ballestas Islands has weird and wonderful wildlife. From the boat trip you will be able to see Humboldt penguins, blackish oystercatchers, guano cormorants and Peruvian boobies living alongside vast colonies of sea lions nosily crowding the Ballestas coastline. The startlingly biodiversity around the Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Park is the result of two merging currents; the warm northern waters El Nino and the cooler waters of the Humboldt. The climatic conditions produced by the combination of these two currents create the perfect environment for a proliferation in the number of plankton and phytoplankton, the core constituents in the diet of fish. The Ballestas Islands are one of the most popular ecotourism points of view along the Peruvian coast.
In the morning we will have a chance to stock up on supplies before driving approximately 200 km to Nazca where we camp. En route we have the chance to glimpse the Nazca lines from a viewing platform.
The entire desert in the Nazca area was once home to the ancient Nazca and Paracas cultures which preceded the Incas by over 500 years. Remains of their cultures are still visible - Nazca is home to the famous and enigmatic Nazca lines, enormous designs inscribed in the desert on the arid high plateau.

The enormous lines have been etched into the ground by scraping away the top darker layer of gravel which then contrasts with the paler one underneath. Animals, insects and birds are depicted, and some of the simpler line formations are up to 10 km (32 miles) in length. Who drew them, how and why, can only be guessed at, but theories range from alien invaders to complex Nazca calendars.
This morning there is time for an optional flight over the mysterious Nazca lines.
These mysterious shapes are better seen from the air. Small four/six seater planes offer 30 minute flights that allow viewing all 26 figures scattered through the desert floor.

Warning! Planes turn sharply from one side to another to facilitate viewing from both sides of the plane. Plastic bags are provided on board but needless to say, this flight is not recommended for those with a weak stomach.

A safety note. A number of local operators offer flights over the Nazca lines. It should be noted that there have been numerous safety issues over Nazca in the past – as such Intrepid has used its best endeavors to assess the safety of the operation of some of these companies. While it is impossible to guarantee the safety of air operations, your leader can only assist you to book this activity through companies Intrepid assesses are safer to fly with. Your leader is specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting booking this activity through any other operators.
Later we visit the Chauchilla Cemetery.
Close to Nazca is the Chauchilla Indian Cemetery, where you can see the tombs of people of the ancient Nazca civilisation, dating from 100AD to 700AD. It is something of an eerie sight to see the skulls, bones and even hair of the dead, preserved in a remarkable state thanks to the dry desert air.
In the afternoon we drive 270 km to Puerto Inca for an overnight stay at a beach campsite.
Situated in a beautiful bay on the Peruvian coast, Puerto Inca was once the Inca port that supplied the city of Cusco with fish. There are a number of Inca ruins here - including a cemetery and a temple of reincarnation - and part of the road that set out from the coast to Cusco is still clearly visible.
A 380 km drive takes us to altitude and to the ‘white city’ of Arequipa where we overnight in a good quality hotel.
Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing the best of Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cuzco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname - the 'White City'. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day.
The following day is free to explore Arequipa.
No trip to Arequipa would be complete without paying a visit to Juanita, the "Ice Maiden." This mummy of a young Inca girl has been described as one of the 10 most important historical discoveries of recent times by Time Magazine. Because the body was frozen at such low temperatures and high altitude, a really extensive study into the physical health of ancient Peruvian civilisations has been possible, with fascinating results. You should also try to visit the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city within a city in the centre of the town. Not only are the buildings of the convent stunningly beautiful, with brightly painted walls and shady courtyards, it also has a fascinating history which you can learn about on a guided tour.
There is time this morning to further explore Arequipa, before driving 150 km to Chivay. Tonight perhaps pay an optional visit to the thermal springs.
Chivay is home to some natural hot springs that provide a welcome relief from the cold night air high up here in the Andes. The springs are known as "La Calera" and are located just a short distance outside the town.
The following day we drive the short distance to the spectacular Colca Canyon to view the condors.
The River Colca runs from high in the Andes right down to the Pacific, and between Chivay and Cabanaconde it flows through the bottom of a deep gorge, often claimed to be the deepest in the world. It is certainly spectacularly beautiful, the vast Andean terraces tower up over the canyon, dotted by tiny villages that haven't changed in centuries. The canyon is also renowned as a haven for condors and they can often be seen here at quite close range as they float on the rising thermals and scan for carrion far below. Catching a glimpse of these magnificent birds as they rise from their nests, gliding high above you is a truly magical experience and one you will never forget.
Drive day to Raqchi and stay overnight in local homestay. We stay in traditional family houses with clean but basic facilities. Whilst we are there we enjoy some of the ceremonial aspects of village life as well as much singing and dancing. This is a great local experience.
A small village situated a short distance outside of Cuzco, Raqchi is well known for its talented craftspeople and the beautiful handmade and intricately decorated pottery that is made here.
We stay in Raqchi as guests of the local families in their traditional houses, a fantastic way to get a real insight into how people live here and to learn about their culture and customs. If we are lucky there may be the chance to participate in some of the ceremonial and spiritual aspects of village life - and there is always plenty of singing and dancing as we get to know our new Peruvian families.
In the morning we visit the ruins at Raqchi and also a local artisan centre. In the afternoon we drive 160 km to Cuzco.
The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.

Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.
The following day is free to explore Cuzco. There will be a trekking briefing in the morning to plan the treks for the next few days.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 10am to meet your crew and your fellow travellers. Following the meeting, the rest of the day is free to explore Cuzco.

At 5pm, there will be a second meeting. This time specifically to discuss the plan for the hiking days ahead.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.

Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
The next 4 days are spent trekking in the Andes. We will begin with a tour of the Sacred Valley before beginning either the Community Trek or the Classic Inca Trail to the world heritage site of Machu Picchu. Please see below for the itineraries of each of these options.
We will typically leave Cuzco first thing in the morning and drive to Sacsayhuaman ruins which are just 15 minutess from our hotel. These ruins are best known for the gigantic blocks that make up the zigzag frontal of this fort like construction. There are many theories as to why Sacsayhuaman was originally built and what it was used for but the most likely is that it was a temple complex where offerings were made to appease the gods. Sacsayhuaman is an amazing place and the early morning light makes the great view of the Cuzco rooftops that we get here even more beautiful. We then head further on into the Sacred Valley proper, stopping high on the mountainside to explore the ruins of Pisac. We will walk downhill along small pathways, through ancient arches, storage buildings and houses, learning about the history of the site from our local guide. When we have finished exploring we head down to Pisac town where we have time for lunch and can do a bit of shopping in the extensive handicrafts market that the town is famous for.

Here our groups split, and those doing the Community Inca Trek drive up into the highlands of the Cordillera Urubamba. The drive itself is amazing with stunning views as we wind up towards the trailhead. On this trek you return to the Sacred Valley, arriving in Ollantaytambo at the end of your trek, where you are joined by any of your group who prefer not to trek at all for a guided tour of this Inca site, before leaving next morning on the early train for Machu Picchu. Those who choose to trek the Classic Inca Trail will head straight to Ollantaytambo from Pisac, exploring the ruins here that afternoon and camping overnight, heading to the Classic Inca Trail start point early the next morning.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO BOOK THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL THIS MUST BE ADVISED AT TIME OF BOOKING, OTHERWISE YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE BOOKED ON THE COMMUNITY TREK. Full details of the trekking options are below.
INCA TRAIL:
When people talk about "The Inca Trail", they are usually referring to a particular trekking route that follows a ancient pathway that leads to Machu Picchu. What many people don't realise is that there are a actually a huge number of Inca Trails that criss cross the Urubamba Valley and surrounding mountain ranges, many of which are genuinely remote, rarely used by western tourists, offering a chance to experience the real unspoilt Andes. On all Dragoman overland tours that travel via Cuzco we offer you the choice to trek either the "Classic" Inca Trail or our unique alternative, the Community Inca Trek, which is exclusive to Dragoman (and by the way, it's not the Lares trail that many other operators use!)
THE COMMUNITY INCA TREK:
Dragoman's Community Inca Trek is a unique trekking route where you'll hike through pristine unspoilt Andean scenery, walking ancient Inca Trails and staying as guests of the local communities as part of our pioneering community-based tourism project, Tarpuy Yachay. This trek is all about getting away from the overcrowded thoroughfares of the Classic Inca Trail and getting out into the real Andes - not to mention being part of a project with provides a genuine, direct benefit to the host communities we travel through, by supporting education, income generation and environmental sustainability projects. The trek itself is about the same as the Classic Inca Trail in terms of length and difficulty, taking three to three and a half days and ascending to about 4800m when you cross the highest pass. The scenery out here is truly magnificent, spectacular mountain peaks, verdant hillsides dotted by isolated villages and the odd llama and alpaca, you are unlikely to see another tourist here.

The itinerary:
Day 1: Cuzco - Zurite
We leave Cuzco first thing in the morning by bus and proceed to Sacsayhuaman for a tour of the ruins. These ruins are best remembered for the gigantic blocks that make up the zigzag frontal of this fort-like construction. There are many theories as to why Sacsayhuaman was originally built and what it was used for, but the most likely is as a temple complex for offerings to appease the gods. It is an amazing place and the early morning light makes the view of Cuzco rooftops even more beautiful as it helps to define the stonework detail.

From here we head to Chinchero, a small village in the Sacred Pampa where the locals speak mostly Quechua, the language of the Incas. We will observe a traditional weaving demonstration and tour the archaeological ruins. From here we drive to Waypu Lake where we have an energising picnic lunch. We will then drive to Quillarumpiqoc, the Moon Temple, from which we will hike to Zurite. Here we stay in a homestay with a local family, enjoying a traditional home-cooked meal and gaining an insight into the lifestyle of the locals.

Approximate walking time: 5 hours (8 km)

Day 2: Zurite to Amaruwatana
After breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through
Qenteqentiyoc (the hummingbird temple), where we can visit and admire this archaeological Inca site. Following the
ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,500 metres, where we will have a dramatic view of both
mountain ranges, Vilcabamba and Vilcanota. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the
Sambor valley where we will spend the night.

Approximate walking time: 8 hours (13 km)

Day 3: Amaruwatana to Ancascocha
Early in the morning after breakfast we trek for 2 hours to get to our second pass at 4,700 metres; from there we have
fantastic views of the rock formations below us. Sometimes it is possible to see Andean ibis, herons, torrent ducks,
caracaras, eagles and foxes. After another 2 hours we arrive to a nice highland valley, a place named Kenqo Mayu, or
zig-zag river, where glacier water flows through the valley. Our lunch will be at the end of the river, and after lunch we
will continue downhill and follow the ancient trail, which goes on a little uphill section which leads us to our campsite
in a community called Ancascocha. We will arrive to our campsite in the late afternoon near to a large glacier mountain
and glacier stream. If we arrive on time there is an optional hike to the lake, a one hour round trip.

Approximate walking time: 6.5 hours (10 km)

Day 4: Ancascocha to Ollantaytambo
After eating breakfast and breaking camp we start hiking down the Silque Canyon. We will descend by way of the
narrow canyon, following a stream that will gradually get bigger. We can observe tall granite walls on the sides of the
canyon, populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when
they bloom. We continue on the trail making zig-zags. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the community
of Camicancha, where we stop in a nice volcanic rock area, with magnificent views of mount Veronica, a snow capped
mountain. From here we are very close to the Chilca community where we finish our trek. A vehicle will transfer us
to Ollantaytambo and our hotel. After showers and a little rest, we get ready for the cultural tour of this incredible
archaeological site, which is very well known as the Temple of the Sun.

Approximate walking time: 5 hours (12 km)

Day 5: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu
After a great nights sleep in our beds we have another early start but this time to catch the train to Aguas Calientes. The early train allows us to get to Machu Picchu before the trains from Cusco arrive. At Aguas Calientes we jump straight on the bus and up to the citadel itself, where we meet the rest of the group.
THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL
The "Classic" Inca Trail route usually starts at Kilometre 82 of the Cusco –Machu Picchu railtrack, taking in Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's Pass, 4200m) and the ruins of Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna en route, eventually arriving at the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu early in the morning after 3 days of trekking. This route is still extremely popular as it is seen by many as the "original" Inca Trail. It's also probably the best trek to choose if you're really interested in history and archaeology, because of all the other Inca sites it passes along the way.

Unfortunately, in recent years the classic trail has almost become a bit of a victim of it's own popularity. It is important to realise that the trail is now very busy, with 500 people starting the trek every day. There are only a certain number of places where it is feasible to camp, so your group will be camped alongside others, and you will meet a lot of other trekkers along the through way. Nevertheless, it is still an awesome trek, passing some stunning scenery from snow-capped peaks to abundant cloud forest, and the sense of achievement you'll have when you catch your first sight of the Lost City of the Incas is something you'll never forget.

The itinerary:
Day 1
We join the community trekkers for a tour of the sacred valley and enjoy lunch at Pisac. We then head to Ollantaytambo to view more Inca ruins and camp the night. Meals provided:Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Day 2
The following morning after breakfast at the campsite, we catch a bus to the 82 km marker and are joined by a crew of local porters, cook, etc. As we hike from high plateau to dense forest, you will see some remains of ancient villages and temples, the first of which is Llactapata. The starting point of the trek (the 82 km marker) is located at 2,850m above sea level. The trek includes some uphill trekking to the campsite (over 3,000m above sea level). Take advantage during the 4 days of the trek to get to know your porters. You will realise they work the hardest on the team and are gentle people willing to share with you their culture, language and trek experiences.

Day 3
This is the most challenging of the trek as we ascend a long steep path (approx 4 hrs) to reach the highest point of our trek, Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman's Pass, at a height of 4,200 m (13,779 ft), before descending to the Pacaymayo Valley (3650m above sea level. This is 2 hrs downhill). Depending upon on local conditions, you might camp here today, or may need to continue further up and down. We might cross the first and second passes on this day. From the second pass, Runkuracay (3,980m above sea level - 90min uphill) we can enjoy views of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending to the ruins of Sayacmarca (2 hours downhill). From here it is only a few more minutes to the Chaquicocha campsite (3,620m above sea level).

Day 4
On day 3 of the trek, we continue over the third pass and soon reach the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the 'Town above the Clouds' (3,850m above sea level/90min uphill). Start descending real Inca Steps (2 hrs) to reach our final night's camp by the Wiñay Wayna, or 'Forever Young' ruins (2,750m above sea level), with panoramic views of the valley below.

Day 5
Machu Picchu – Cuzco. Today is only a short final hike (90 min) to Machu Picchu and we climb the steps to the Sun Gate to watch the ruins emerge from the mist below. As with the community trek our guide will show us the most important constructions as well as explain the history and the mythology of this magnificent place. There is some free time to explore the ruins further at your own pace or you can just chill out and watch the hummingbirds or vizcachua. Late afternoon we head back down to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cuzco for a well-deserved rest.
NON-TREKKING PACKAGE:
There is also a non trekking option. If you do not want to trek at all but want to take part in the Sacred Valley Tour and guided tour of Machu Picchu, this can be organised however you MUST inform us at time of booking.

You will leave Cuzco with your fellow passengers and your tour leader who will be trekking the Community or Classic Inca Trail. You will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, followed by a beautiful scenic drive over mountains and through valleys, via the ancient city of Pisac and on to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Continuing along the valley, you will pass through the village of Urubamba where you will have lunch with your fellow passengers before heading back to Cuzco. In Cuzco you will stay at our nice, centrally located hotel for a further 3 nights and this will be booked for you by your tour leader. There are no activities booked or organised for you during your time in Cuzco. You will re join some of your fellow travellers and your tour leader on the fourth day in Ollantaytambo, and stay in a hotel in Ollantaytambo overnight.

On the fifth day, after an early breakfast we walk to the train station for the 2-hour journey to Aguas Calientes, from where we take a local bus up to Machu Picchu. After a guided tour of the site, there is free time to explore before returning by bus to Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon we catch the train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy, and then a private transfer takes us back to Cuzco.

Please also note that there is a possibility that you may be the only person booked on to the non trekking package, however this package will offer you plenty of time in Cuzco to explore the town and surrounding sites (in total 4 or 5 nights depending on your trip).
WHICH TREK TO CHOOSE?
The Community trek goes through unspoilt mountain scenery and you are unlikely to see any other tourists. Along the way we camp as guests of the villages and get to meet local families and get involved in local community chores and activities. The staff and pack animals that we use on this trek are also all from the local villages so the communities directly benefit from your trekking. In addition, a financial donation is made from the kitty, and matched by Dragoman, for every person who does this trek.

It is important however to realise that whilst both treks finish at Machu Picchu on their final day, the Community Trek does not trek right through to the Sun Gate as you do on the Classic Inca Trail. You still arrive before the crowds however, and it is possible to walk up from Machu Picchu to the Sun Gate to take in the famous view. The Classic Inca Trail route is also much better preserved than the trails on the Community Trek. The Classic Inca Trail also sees more ruins along the way than the Community Trek.
The Community Trek option is automatically included as part of your trip unless you advise us otherwise. So if you want to take the Community Inca Trek, no further action is required. If you would prefer to trek the Classic Inca Trail, or choose not to trek at all, you must inform us at time of booking.

In order to secure Inca Trail permits, it is vital that you provide the correct and most up to date passport information at the time of booking (DOB, passport number, expiry date and name spelling exactly as it appears in the passport that you will be travel with) Any inconsistency between the information provided and the passport you travel with may result in you not being granted access to the Inca Trail.

Please note that permits for the Classic Inca Trail are limited and cannot be guaranteed. If they are unavailable you will be booked onto the Community Inca Trek instead.
Today the trekkers and non-trekkers will all meet up for a guided tour of Machu Picchu with a local expert. Following the tour there will be free time to explore the site before catching the train back to Cuzco.
Machu Picchu is one of those genuinely magical places, and catching your first glimpse of the lost city of the Incas through the early morning mist is definitely a moment you’ll never forget.

The ruins of this forgotten city are stunningly located, perched high in the Andes surrounded by verdant cloud forest, with the river Urambamba running through the gorge far below. Hidden away on a ridge between the mountains, Machu Picchu is invisible from below, so it's no surprise it's ruins remained a secret for so many years. Historians believe the city was probably completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed all it's inhabitants and watered by natural springs. It's thought that the city was the location of a royal palace and estate, home to the Inca emperors, or possibly a sacred religious and ceremonial sight.

Discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham, although the ruins were heavily covered by dense jungle foliage, many of the buildings were well preserved and in excellent condition. The city consists of more than 200 buildings, from houses to temples, storage buildings and public spaces. It's fascinating to be able to gaze down on the city from above and imagine how it would have looked during the height of the Inca empire.

WAYNA PICCHU: Please note, due to Intrepid's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
The following day is free for you to relax and rest weary legs in Cuzco. Or for those with energy left to burn, try some optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or mountain biking.
In the morning we have a 440 km drive to Puno.
Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
En route to Puno we will visit the Sillustani ruins and museum.
Tucked away in between the many small villages around Puno are the ruins of Sillustani . These ruined towers are set on a beautiful peninsula near Lake Umayo, built by a pre-Inca civilisation hundreds of years ago. The Sillustani Indians built several "Chullpas", funeral towers whose construction is far more complex than anything the Inca ever built. Each tower would have contained the remains of noble men, buried together with offerings to secure their comfortable passage into the next life.
We head out on a boat on Lake Titicaca to the floating reed islands of Uros before a 200 km drive takes us across the Bolivian border to the lakeside town of Copacabana where we overnight in a hotel.
A picturesque town on the shores of Lake Titicaca with an amazing Moorish-style cathedral, Copacabana is a great place to people watch especially if you're there over a weekend or on one of the many festivals. On Sundays the town fills with the faithful believers who walk up Cerro Calvario (the hill guarding the town) to make their dreams come true. At the top of the hill numerous stalls sell all manner of miniature material goods from cars and buses through to houses and graduation certificates. The selected items are taken to a small alter where they are blessed, decorated with flowers and petals, incense is burnt and finally beer is sprayed over the whole ensemble. A fascinating insight into local beliefs, as is the blessing of the vehicles in front of the cathedral.
The following day we head out by boat on a day trip to Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca.
Take a local boat to Isla del Sol and spend a day exploring this historic island, famous for being the birthplace of the whole Inca civilisation. The modern day Aymara and Quechua peoples of Bolivia and Peru still accept the legend of the sun being born on this island as their creation story even today. There are a host of ancient ruins to discover, tiny traditional villages and beautiful walking routes. You can wander through the stone ruins, exploring the islands dry slopes covered with sweet smelling incense brush, or hike over the ancient pampas which are still cultivated by the island families.
A 160 km drive brings us to La Paz, Bolivia’s capital where we have time to explore the city and do optional activities. Overnight good quality colonial hotel in central La Paz.
At around 3,600 m, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It's not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.
The old town is full of markets and winding cobbled streets full of people selling anything and everything you could ever think of. Different areas of the city have established markets selling things you'd expect like food and flowers, and also things you've probably never seen before - check out the dried llama foetuses on sale in the Witches' Market!

There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, from playing a round of golf at the highest golf course in the Americas or trekking through the Yungas. You can also arrange excursions to Mount Chacaltaya and Moon Valley to take in the superlative mountain views. Another option is to visit the Tihuanacu ruins which are a short journey away. The city is also full of impressive churches and museums, including one dedicated to the history of the coca plant.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Kamisaki! Welcome to Bolivia.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
At around 3,600 metres, La Paz is one of the highest cities in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.
The old town is full of markets and winding cobbled streets full of people selling anything and everything you could ever think of. Different areas of the city have established markets selling things you'd expect like food and flowers, and also things you've probably never seen before - check out the dried llama foetuses on sale in the Witches' Market!

There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, from playing a round of golf at the highest golf course in the Americas or trekking through the Yungas. You can also arrange excursions to Mount Chacaltaya and Moon Valley to take in the superlative mountain views. Another option is to visit the Tihuanacu ruins which are a short journey away. The city is also full of impressive churches and museums, including one dedicated to the history of the coca plant.
Today we will leave La Paz very early after breakfast and head to to the colonial mining town of Potosi, the highest town in the world. Here we stay in a friendly, local hotel.
The highest city of its kind in the world, Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. During the Spanish colonial days, the extensive mining of Potosi's silver rich Cerro Rico was said to have kept Spain running for 300 years. During this time, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. In the 1800s, the supply of silver declined as did the market price and the city started to suffer. Working conditions in the mines were appalling and huge numbers of indigenous people died. African slaves were brought in to replace them and it's said that as many as 8 million people died in the mines during the Spanish era.
While in Potosi you can arrange to visit a mine that is still being worked, which offers a challenging and fascinating insight into how mining has shaped the history and culture of this town. Entering a dark maze of tunnels, you will descend to four levels below, down to the work face where miners use hammers, chisels and dynamite, more reminiscent of the 1800s than the 21st century, to dig out the remaining metal. Most of the silver here is long gone - it's tin the miners are looking for now.

If you do choose to head down into the mines it has become a custom to take the miners gifts of dynamite, fuses and coca leaves in exchange for their stories. Life is harsh for all who work here but the mines have now all been organised into a cooperative so at least today the men have a say in their own future. You should be aware that visiting these primitive mines is not for everybody as it is pretty tiring, you will be in enclosed spaces, and it can be dangerous.

If you would rather stay above ground, Potosi has a wealth of colonial art and architecture to explore. You can also visit the Casa de la Moneda (the mint) which is a great place to learn more about Potosi's history and the mines.
This morning there is time for optional activities in Potosi before we journey 190 km to Uyuni, gateway to the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni. We overnight in a friendly hotel serving the highest pizzas in the world!
Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. So it's hardly surprising that the town has a bit of a wild west feel about it. Uyuni is best known for its proximity to the Bolivian salt flats known locally as the Salar de Uyuni.
The following day we spend out in jeeps exploring the salt flats.
The Bolivian salt flats are a truly unforgettable sight. This is a landscape unlike anything you're likely to have ever seen before. The Salar de Uyuni is a dry lake of over 12,000 sq km, made of blinding white interlocking salt crystals. It is Bolviia's largest salt pan and when there's a little water on the flats, it reflects the bright blue sky of the altiplano perfectly, acting like a mirror and making the horizon disappear. When dry, the Salar becomes a blinding white expanse that stretches for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see. Great for all those perspective-bending photographs.
Today we cross the altiplano on a spectacular 320 km drive towards the Chilean border via Laguyna Colorado and Laguna Verde. We stay the night in a basic hostel.
The high Bolivian altiplano stretches hundreds of kilometres from the small town of Uyuni out across to the borders with Argentina and Chile. This is real wilderness, there are no roads up here, just a few tracks to follow, and you are more likely to see a flamingo or llama than another human being. The only way to cross the altiplano is by travelling in a specialist expedition vehicle like one of our trucks, or local jeeps. The crossing is an adventurous one, with no roads to speak of. It is rough travelling and the trip from Uyuni to the border normally takes a couple of days, but it is without a doubt one of the most unforgettable journeys you'll ever make.

The altitude here is considerable and it can be very cold and windy. When travelling here you should be prepared for very cold temperatures and it is worth making sure you have a really good quality sleeping bag.
Border information: Exit Bolivia at Uyuni, enter Chile at San Pedro de Atacama.Today we set off early from our altiplano refuge, cross the remainder of the Bolivian Altiplano, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.Drive time - 8 hours

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.
A full day's drive takes us to the fine Spanish colonial city of Salta. We stay in a simple hotel in the centre of the city.
Salta's rich history, colonial architecture, surrounding natural attractions and friendly locals make this town of half a million people one of Argentina's main attractions. The central square, Plaza 9 de Julio, has been called the nicest plaza in all of Argentina, with its lush gardens, fountains, statues and beautiful white buildings including the Cabildo, Cathedral and Casa del Gobierno (Government House).
The following day is free to explore Salta.
Today we drive 150 km to Cafayate, at the centre of Argentina's principal wine producing region. We stay at a campsite with good facilities.
Cafayate is a small town in north west Argentina, and an important wine growing area. The surrounding vineyards produce some of the best quality wine in South America, and you should look out for the torrontes in particular - a distinctive white wine that is typically Argentinian and similar in style to a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. Cafayate itself is small with a sleep laidback feel, although it can become busy during Argentinian holiday periods. Many of the local bodegas offer tastings and tours of their wine cellars and this is easily organised while you are here. Also worth seeking out is the local ice cream parlour which, together with the more usual flavours, offers red and white wine ice cream. If wine is not your thing, the area's gently undulating terrain makes for pleasant hiking and cycling.
We cover approximately 400 km as we head south through beautiful scenery, visiting the Quilmes ruins en route. We camp tonight.
The ruins of Quilmes are located in Tucaman province in north west Argentina. The people of Quilmes were an indigenous tribe who inhabited this area as far back as AD 1000, resisting Inca invasions in the 15th and 16th centuries, and even holding out against the Spanish for over one hundred years before finally succumbing to a siege in 1667. After the siege the Spanish took the area over, deporting the few surviving indigenous people to a reservation near Buenos Aires. The 2000 remaining Quilmes people were forced to make this 1500 km journey on foot, which meant that many died along the way. At its height, the city we see the ruins of here would have housed nearly 5000 people. Today there are only a handful of Quilmes descendants left in Tucaman. It is interesting to wander among the ruins here today and imagine the city that once would have been.
A 270 km drive brings us to a unique 3 night stay at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia. We camp within the grounds of the estancia and spend time with the gauchos learning their skills, hiking and having a traditional asado or Argentinian barbecue.
The estancia has been in the same family for four generations, and is a working cattle ranch, farming the prized Argentinian Aberdeen Angus cattle. Here we will sample traditional hospitality, with great food straight from the farm. An asado or Argentinian barbecue with local wines will also be enjoyed on one of our nights here.

The visit to the estancia is based on horse riding excursions and daily expeditions will be arranged to ride through the hills to neighbouring estancias. The horses are fabulous and even the most horse-fearing will feel like gauchos in a short time. For those who do not wish to ride, alternative hikes or perhaps cycling trips can be arranged.

Please note that the estancia impose a weight restriction of 95kg for the horse riding activities. If you weigh more than this you may not be able to participate in this activity.
We leave the estancia today and make our way towards Mendoza, covering around 300 km. We will find somewhere to camp for the night en route.
A further 300 km the next day brings us to the beautiful town of Mendoza where we stay in a hostel for 2 nights. Here you have the chance to take part in various optional activities from wine tasting to mountain biking.
Mendoza is Argentina's most important grape growing region, producing 70% of the country's wine. Malbec is the region's signature variety.

The city centre is beautifully landscaped and full of trees, squares and parks. During the day Peatonal Sarmiento (Sarmiento pedestrian street) is the place to be. This coffee shop-lined street joins the busy San Martin St with Plaza Independencia making it a must destination for all mendocinos coming to the city. Near Plaza Independencia is Mercado Central (Central Market) a great destination to try the regional specialities such as empanadas (meat pastries), cheese, ham, marinated olives and local wines. Most commercial activity in Mendoza breaks from 1pm to 4pm to allow for the traditional siesta.

At night, attentions shifts to Av. Aristides Villanueva. The many restaurants, bars and pubs make this area the epicentre of Mendoza's night life. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of the most popular drinks in town: Fernet with Coke - an acquired taste and not for the faint-hearted!
A 340 km drive takes us across the border and into Chile and its capital, Santiago. We spend the night in a centrally located hotel.
Although Santiago covers a large area, the city centre is quite compact and easy to get around. The city's centre is roughly triangular in shape with the Plaza de Armas, the main plaza and home to the Cathedral, sitting in the centre. Panning out from here are wall-to-wall shops, restaurants and parks. For a more serene look at Chilean life, head out to Barrio Bella Vista, Santiago's 'Paris Quarter'.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Border information:
If you are starting in Santiago, enter Chile at Santiago Airport.
Today there will be a trip meeting at 18:00 hrs. There are no activities planned so you can arrive at any time before the meeting. The trip will leave Santiago tomorrow morning, so you might wish to arrive to Santiago a day earlier if you want to visit any sites in the city. In Santiago we stay in a good quality hostel in the centre. Hotel for the night: Happy House Hostel

Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Santiago
+56 2 2688 4849

About Santiago:
Bisected by the Mapocho River, Chile's capital is a large, modern city with a very European atmosphere. In the centre of the city wide tree-lined boulevards lead to pleasant plazas and leafy parks and on a clear day the snow-capped peaks of the Andes provide a magnificent backdrop to the Santiago skyline. Much of the centre is pedestrianised, which together with the wide streets and
efficient metro system make Santiago an easy city to explore on foot. There areplenty of interesting useums where you can learn more about Chilean history and culture, from the City of Santiago Museum which chronicles the city’s history to the Natural History Museum and Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. The city's many wonderful parks are also worth a visit, particularly O'Higgins and San Cristobal which offers great views of the city from Cerro San Lucia.
As you would expect from a capital city of this size, Santiago is full of busy bars and restaurants and has some lively nightlife to offer. For cheap eats, full of local flavour, head to the Mercado Central (central market) which is packed full of food stalls and simple cafes and restaurants. For a real treat, you might want to head out to one of the more upmarket neighbourhoods like Bellavista or
Providencia, home to some really world-class restaurants and great bars. Barrio Brasil is also worth a look; this old neighbourhood attracts an arty and bohemian crowd and there are often interesting events going on here. If you have the time, there's also plenty to do in the area surrounding the city.
Santiago is right in the middle of Chile's wine producing region, so it is relatively straightforward to arrange full day or half day tours out to the local wineries. You may also be interested in visiting the seaside town of Valapariso, which can be visited as a day trip from Santiago.
Today we leave Santiago for a full day's drive south to Pucon and the Lake District of Chile.
In Pucon we stay in dorm accommodation in a hostel. Drive time - 11-12 hours

(please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road
conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
About Pucon:
Southern Chile's lake district boasts some lake and mountain scenery comparable with what the Swiss Alos or New Zealand have to offer. Beautiful deep blue lakes are flanked by majestic forest-clad mountains with snowy peaks to provide picture-postcard views and a perfect spot for walking and
camping. The attractive small town of Pucon is located at the heart of the northern Chilean lakes, a great place to stop for a few days so you can explore the area and get involved in some of the many adventure activities on offer here. At certain times of year it's even possible to do a day climb of the nearby Villarrica volcano, a challenging trek, but one that anyone who is reasonably fit
should be able to manage - and you're rewarded with some fantastic views of the surrounding area from the summit. In fact the whole area is great for trekking and there are plenty of options to do some great self-guided walks. Alternatively Pucon offers great horse riding, white-water rafting and
mountain-biking opportunities. And if all this talk of activity just sounds a little too much, there are also some great thermal springs to relax in nearby, the natural pools at Pozones have a beautiful setting and is a great place to go and soak your weary limbs in the evening
We have two free days in Pucon, with a range of activities available from hiking to hot springs.

Activity

Discover the Chilean Lake District Included in Kitty

Trek up the snowcapped volcano Mt Villarica USD 100

Horseriding, white-water rafting or hikes around Pucon USD 50
Border information:
Exit Chile at Mamuil Malal, enter Argentina at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Argentina and continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Bariloche we stay in dorm beds in a hostel outside of town. Drive time - 10 hours.

Activity
Overland through the stunning Argentinian Lake District Included in Kitty

About Bariloche:
The Argentinian resort town of Bariloche has a picture perfect setting on the shores of Nahuel Hapi Lake, flanked by the peaks of the surrounding andean mountains. The scenery here is truly stunning, so it's a must to get out and explore and take in all the amazing views. In winter, the town is a popular
centre for skiing and in summer the focus shifts to walking, mountain-biking, horse-riding and kayaking and canoeing on the lakes - and if all that sounds too much like hard work, you can sit back and enjoy the view on a leisurely boat trip across to Victoria Island. Bariloche itself is also an interesting place to wander around. The town is famous for it's handmade chocolates and there are some really spectacular
displays in the local chocolate shops. Because of it's popularity with Argentinians as well as international tourists, the town has a lively bar and restaurant scene, with some great places to choose from. This is a particularly good place to sample some world class Argentinian steak, and wild boar and
Patagonian lamb is also worth a try here too.
Day: 6

Today is a free day to enjoy this beautiful mountain town. Perhaps explore on a mountain bike, take a trip along the river in a kayak or enjoy the delights on a chocolate factory tour!
Activity

Horse riding and mountain biking around Bariloche USD 80
Border Information:
Exit Argentina at Rio Futaleufu, enter Chile at Rio Futaleufu.

Today we cross back into Chile and drive to Futaleufu. From this point we will join the famous Carretera Austral, probably one of the most stunning roads in South America.
Please note that the road from here to El Chalten is rough and mostly unpaved meaning that the going is slow.

In Futaleufu we stay in a local campsite.

Drive time - 7 hours.
Today we leave Futalefu and drive through the Chilean Fjords to Queluat National Park. If time allows there is an optional walk to see the hanging Colgante Glacier. Tonight we camp near Puyuhuapi.
Drive time - 5 hours.

Activity
Visit Quelat National Park Included in Kitty

About Carretera Austral:
The Carretera Austral or Southern Highway is a fantastic route that passes between Puerto Monte and Coyhaique, through vast tracts of untouched wilderness, past soaring snow capped mountains, glaciers, glass-green fjords and staggering, beautiful valleys. This is Chile at its best and is a perfect area to explore by overland vehicle. You need to have a flexible itinerary and to be able to camp in the wild, as settlements are few and far between. The attraction of this are are the wide-open spaces and the national parks. We spend our time driving through magnificent scenery, hiking, visiting glaciers and
generally exploring this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Today is another drive day through magnificient scenery.
In Cerro Castillo NR we stay the night in a lovely family run campsite.
Drive time - 7 hours.
Border Information: Exit Chile at Huemules, enter Argentina at Huemules. Today we cross into Argentina and continue our journey south on the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40)

Tonight we bush camp.
Drive time - 8 hours.

Activity
Journey across the wild plains of Patagonia Included in Kitty

About Argentinian Patagonia:
Patagonia is the name of the region in the far south of South America, the southernmost stretch of the Andes and the surrounding plains and plateau. The area is split down the middle, with Chilean Patagonia on the east, and Argentinian Patagonia on the west. Renowned for its desolate landscape,
unrelenting winds and magnificent lake, mountain and glacial scenery, the name Patagonia comes from the word "Patagon", used by the explorer Magellan to describe the local people who he believed to be giants. Today historians believe that the Patagons were actually Teheulches, with an average height of about 1.8m (or 5' 11) as oppose to 1.55m (5' 1) which was the average height of a Spaniard at the time. Argentinian Patagonia includes the spectacular national parks of Los Glaciares, Nahuel Huapi and Tierra del Fuego, home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Argentinian Lake District and the Fitzroy Range.
Drive day to El Chalten, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its world class trekking opportunities. In El Chalten we stay in dorm accommodation in a hostel.
Drive time - 6 hours.

About El Chalten:
The clouds that form around the summit of the surrounding mountains were mistaken for smoke, which gave the name "Chalten" which means volcano. The picturesque landscape is a perfect place for hiking, as there is so much to explore and the rewards of constant beautiful sights gives a perfect reason to hike.
Two days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and Fitzroy National Park where lots of treks are available. There is also a wide range of activities available from horse riding to glacier trekking and a boat trip on Viedma Lake.

Activity
Glacier trek, hikes and horseriding in Los Glaciares National Park USD 50

About Los Glaciares National Park:
Los Glaciares National Park is probably home to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Argentina, if not South America. This is classic picture-book Patagonia, wherever you turn you're surrounded by wide open skies, magnificent mountains, incredible glaciers, glistening lakes and thick verdant forest. By far the best way to explore is to get out on foot. There are plenty of well established trails through the park and maps can be picked up locally, so you can plan a short walk that will just take you a couple of hours, or the more adventurous might choose to hike out for a whole day or even overnight. Los Glaciares covers a massive area and there are two main gateways to the park;
to the south, El Calafate provides access to Lago Argentino and the Perito Moreno Glacier and surrounding area, then in the North, the small town of El Chalten can be used as a base to explore the Fitzroy Mountains and Lake Viedma and it's glacier.
In the morning we drive through incredible scenery to El Calafate. In El Calafate we stay in dorm accommodation in a lovely hostel. Drive time - 4 hours.

About El Calafate:
El Calafate is a small town on the southern shore of Lago Argentino in Patagonia. Originally a sheep station and trading outpost, today the town has developed a bustling small town atmosphere thanks to a growing tourist trade. Most people base themselves here whilst visiting the nearby Perito Moreno
Glacier, located a short distance away at the southern reaches of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Interestingly the town takes its name from the Calafate berry, and locals claim that if you eat one of these and make a wish, you are guaranteed to return to Patagonia.
Today we go on a full day's guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the more pectacular sights in Patagonia.

Activity
Guided full day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier Included in Kitty

Boat trip beneath the Perito Moreno Glacier ARS 180

About Perito Moreno Glacier:
If Patagonia is synonymous with jaw-droppingly beautiful mountain scenery, then the Perito Moreno Glacier certainly doesn't disappoint. This incredible glacier is the highlight of the southern region of Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park, a spectacular wall of ice over 60m tall above the water and 5km wide. One of only three Patagonian glaciers that are not retreating, you can stand on one of the many catwalks and marvel at the glacier, listening to it creak and watching as enormous chunks crash into the water. It's also possible to take a short boat trip out onto the lake in order to get up even closer to the face of the glacier itself.
Border information:

Exit Argentina at Cerro Castillo and enter Chile at Cerro Castillo. Today we drive across the border and into Chile to Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of beauty in hile and the highlight of the trip for many passengers. We stop en route in Puerto Natales to pick up ur local guides and cook as all meals will be catered for while in Torres del Paine NP. Tonight we camp or the night at a stunning lakeside campsite with facilities. Drive time - 9 hours.
Activity

4 days to explore and trek the rugged Torres del Paine National Park Included in Kitty

About Torres Del Paine National Park:
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is home to what is undoubtedly some of the most spectacular cenery in all of Patagonia, if not all of South America. Rising up high above the Patagonian steppe re the 3 impressive granite towers that give the park it's name, surrounded by towering mountain peaks, the most famous of which are Los Cuernos and Paine Grande. The park is a magical natural wonderland full of deep lakes, sparkling glaciers and cascading waterfalls, and it's also an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including the Patagonian rhea and guanaco, as well as lamingoes, condors and other birds. The best way to explore is definitely to get out there on foot or perhaps on horse-back. The park is criss-crossed by a good network of trails, making it possible for you to see all the main sights either by doing a series of day hikes, or by doing a circular hike like the W-walk, taking a few days and stopping off at the parks refugios or camping along the way. Horse-riding and kayaking can also be arranged locally, and boats and catamarans offer trips across Lago Grey and Lago Pehoe in season.
During the next few days you will get to walk part of the famous W-walk circuit with a local guide. You can also complete the full trek if you have pre-booked this option.
Today we take the catamaran across Lake Pehoe to the Paine Grande Campsite.
From here the group splits into 2 groups (base package group and W-walk extension group) and we walk with our respective local guides to view Glacier Grey. We then walk back down to Paine Grande where we will spend the night camping. Approximate distance: 22 km, estimated duration: 8 hrs.
Base package group: If you have not opted for the optional 2 day W-walk extension package, this orning will be free time around Paine Grande. You Dragoman, Camp Green, Debenham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6LA, United Kingdom UK Reg. Number: 2732524, VAT number 571 4356 40

Activity

Base package
Guided base package to trek part of the famous W-walk. Included in Kitty
The package includes camping with facilities in Paine Grande, food during the trekking days and the service of an expert English speaking local guide.

W-walk extension - 2 days
The package includes 2 nights camping with facilities, food for the duration of the trek and the service of an expert English speaking local guide. GBP 140

Please note that
this package must be pre booked through your sales agent. Please book as early as possible to ensure availability. For further information on the W-walk please refer to the trip notes. then board the atamaran back to Pudeto, where the truck will meet you and drive you to our campsite for the night.
W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional 2 day W-walk extension, you will leave Paine Grande and trek up the French Valley with your local guide. From here you will continue trekking to Campsite Cuernos where you will spend the night camping. Approximate distance: 27 km, estimated duration: 11 hrs.
Base package group: Today is free for those that have not booked the W-walk optional 2 day extension package. There are many other optional activities available near our campsite, or maybe take a day to relax and just enjoy the spectacular views from the campsite.
W-walk extension group: For those of you that continue on the W-walk, your local guide will direct you along Lago Nordenskjold to Las Torres Campsite where you will spend the night camping. Approximate distance: 11 km, estimated time: 5 hrs.

Activity

Zodiac boat trips, horse rides and trekking in Torres del USD 90
Paine National Park
Today is our last full day in this beautiful National Park.

Base package group: The truck will take us to the base of the famous three peaks which give the name to the park. From there we will walk up the Torres with our local guide before we make our way back to the truck and onto our campsite for the night.
Approximate distance: 20 km, estimated time: 8 hrs.

W-walk extension group: This morning we will hike up to see the Torres and come back down to Las Torres Campsite where the Dragoman truck will be Dragoman, Camp Green, Debenham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6LA, United Kingdom UK Reg. Number: 2732524, VAT number 571 4356 40 waiting to return the whole group to the campsite for the night. Approximate distance: 20 km, estimated time: 8 hrs.
Today is a full day's drive including a ferry crossing of the infamous Magellan Straits to the island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we bush camp for the night.

Drive time - 10 hours.

Activity

Follow in Darwin's footsteps across the Strait of Magellan Included in Kitty

About Strait of Magellan:
Separatyng Tierra del Fuego from mainland Argeninta are the infamous Strait of Magellan. This reacherous stretch of water is about 500km long and takes it's name from the explorer Magellan who first navigated these waters in 1520. It was the only ship out of a total of 17 attempting the passage that sucessfully managed to reach the Pacific. Before the Panama Canal was built, the Strait provided a useful route between Chile, Peru and Europe, and though they are less important as a major shipping route today, they still see a fair amount of traffic.

About Tierra Del Fuego:
Tierra del Fuego ("Land of Fire") is a large island separated from mainland South America by the Magellan Straits. Most of the island belongs to Chile, but 30% of the archipelago is in Argentina, including Argentina's southernmost town, Ushuaia. This is Patagonia at its most remote,with a landscape of windswept plains, forests and swamplands, home to Rheas, Condors, Buzzard Eagles, Seals and Sea Lions, all of which thrive in these conditions. Originally the home of the Yamana and Ona Indians, sadly there are not any indigenous communities left here. The people who inhabit Tierra del Fuego today are the descendants of the colonial settlers who came here from Europe in nineteenth and twentieth centuries, mostly from Britain, Spain and Yugoslavia.
Today we drive to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world.
In Ushuaia we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.
Drive time - 10 hours.

Activity

Overland to the end of the world Included in Kitty

About Ushuaia:
Ushuaia lies at the southernmost tip of the Americas, the most southerly city on the island of Tierra del Fuego and often referred to as "the city at the end of the world". The town itself is low-lying and unassuming, centred around one main street and a waterfront that overlooks the Beagle Channel. Originally Ushuaia was little more than a remote outpost, first colonised by a British- funded
mission in the late 1800's and subsequently used by the Argentinian government as a penal colony. What was once a sleepy small town has grown rapidly in recent years, much of which is due to tourist development and particularly to the increasing number of Antarctica trips calling to port here.
There's plenty to do in Ushuaia and the surrounding area. The town itself is home to an interesting museum where you can learn more about the history of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego and the indigenous people who originally lived here. The surrounding scenery is also impressive, so it's worth getting out on a boat- trip into the Beagle Channel, which will give you some great views of town with
the Martial range in the background. You can also explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, another beautiful spot with some spectacular lake and mountain scenery.
The area is famous for its biting winds, so remember to pack your thermal undies if you're heading here, whatever time of year you're going to be visiting!
The trip ends this morning. No accommodation is provided for tonight.
Border information:

If you are leaving in Ushuaia, exit Argentina at Ushuaia Airport.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Boat, Ferry, Overland vehicle, Plane, Train
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (8 nights), Cabin (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with facilities) (94 nights), Guesthouse (9 nights), Hogan (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hostel (25 nights), Hotel (60 nights), Lodge (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Kenai Fjords scenic cruise
  • Guided tour of Denali National Park
  • Guided tour around Dawson City
  • Tour of Misty Fjords National Park
  • 'Ksan Historical Village
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins (entrance fee)
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Sumidero Canyon (inc. transport)
  • Palenque - Entrance to Palenque Ruins
  • Palenque - Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls
  • Yaxchilan Ruins
  • Tulum - Entrance to ruins
  • Guided tour of Chichen Itza ruins
  • Tikal National Park - Entrance
  • Visit to Manos Amigas
  • Chichicastenango Market
  • Guided tour of ruins
  • Honduras airport tax
  • Turtle watching, Playa La Flor
  • Panama City - Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks)
  • Guided tour of Cartagena
  • Coffee Plantation Tour, Manizales
  • City tour
  • Visit to Santuario la Lajas
  • Village Tour Otavalo
  • Mitad del Mundo
  • 3 night/3 day Amazon Adventure
  • Visit to Banos
  • Trek from Quilotoa to Chugchilan
  • Chan Chan Archaeological Site
  • Pyramids of Sun and Moon
  • Lord of Sipan Museum
  • Ballestas Island - Guided tour
  • Paracas National Park
  • Chauchilla cemetery
  • Colca Canyon Tour
  • Raqchi Artisan Centre and ruins
  • Alternative Inca Trail and Quechua Community trek
  • Tour of the Sacred Valley, Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Sillustani Ruins and Museum w/Guide
  • Uros Island boat trip on Lake Titicaca
  • Isla del Sol boat trip
  • Jeep tour of Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Vineyard Tour
  • Quilmes Ruins

Dates

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This trip requires an Inca Trail Permit. To view permit availability click here.

For information about altitude sickness click here


Important notes

1. This trip is run by our experienced overland partner Dragoman.
2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.
3. You need to choose whether you wish to hike the Classic Inca Trail or the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) at the time of booking. If you do not indicate a preference, the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) will be confirmed automatically.

Classic Inca Trail permits are sold on a request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you. If Classic Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you will be booked on the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) instead.

The Classic Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf).

Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes