This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2012 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Overview & Itinerary


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
Santiago, Chile
Countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland
Code
GDOC
Travellers rating
4
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 22
Validity
01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2016

Physical rating

In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.

Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.

Joining point

Estrella Andina Hostal
Avenido Illampu #716 (cnr Calle Aroma)
La Paz
BOLIVIA
Phone: +591 22451401

Joining point instructions

Taxis from El Alto International Airport are inexpensive and reliable. You will find official taxis lined up outside the airport’s main exit. While you will have to negotiate the rate beforehand, you should expect to pay US$6-8 for a ride to your hotel.

Problems and emergency contact information

Dragoman have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left home and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.

Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

For further contact details please use the following page:

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

Dragoman: +44 (0) 1728 86222

Itinerary

Border information:
if you are joining
in La Paz, you will most likely enter
Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport.
Welcome to
La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest
administrative
capital in the world! There will be an important
group meeting
at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a
note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.
On the following day
we will have a free day to explore the city or take part in
optional activities.
In La Paz we will stay in a
good hotel in the historical centre.
Hotel for the night: Estrella Andina
Estrella Andina
Avenida Illampu 716
Zona El Rosario
La Paz
Bolivia
Tel - +591 2245 6421
About La Paz:
Bolivia's largest city, La Paz lies huddled in a canyon basin, hiding from the
harsh conditions of the surrounding altiplano. It is a fascinating city; the old
town and more expensive neightbourhoods at the bottom of the canyon in the
centre, surrounded by sprawling shantytowns which extend up the slopes of the
bowl, merging into "El Alto" back on the plains, a suburb of La Paz that has
grown to be a city in it's own right.
The city skyline is dominated by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Illimani, a
staggeringly beautiful back-drop that leaves many visitors stunned when then
catch their first glimpse of the city as they descend into the canyon. 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 flower, and
also things you've probably never seen before - check out the dried llama
foetuses on sale in the witches market (Bolivian's believe that burying one of
these in the foundations of your home will ensure prosperity and good fortune)
There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, from playing a round at the
highest golf course in the Americas, skiing at an absurdly high height, or
trekking and gravity assisted bike rides through the Yungas. You can also
arrange excursuibs ti Mount Chacaltaya and Moon Valley where you can take in
the superlative mountain views. Another option is to visit the Tihuanacu Ruins
which are a short journey away close to the Peruvian border. The city is also
full of impressive churches and museums, including one dedicated to the
history of the Coca plant. Please be aware that you may not be able to do all these activities during the
time you will have in La Paz at the start or finish of your trip with Dragoman, so
you may want to consider allowing some extra time here.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Round of golf - USD100
  • Mountain Biking on La Paz to Coroico Road, La Paz - USD55
  • La Paz - Chacaltaya & Moon Valley Tour - USD16
  • La Paz - Tiawanaku tour - USD25
  • Coca Museum - BOB8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will leave La Paz and head to Ojo del Inca, the eye of an
extinct volcano and a natural hot spring. In Ojo del Inca we will camp by the hot springs.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 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!).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cerro Rico Mine Tour - BOB100
  • Casa de la Moneda - BOB40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will head to the colonial mining town of Potosi, the highest town in
the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver! We will have
free time to explore Potosi, and there will be a chance to visit the infamous
silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.
In Potosi we will
stay in a friendly local
hotel. which is a great place to learn more about Potosi's history and the story of the
mines
Estimated Drive Time - 30
minutes.
About Potosi:
Potosi is a colonial mining town, founded in the sixteenth century after the
Spanish discovered huge silver deposits in the nearby Cerro Rico mountain.
Situated at over 4000m altitude, high up on the Bolivian altiplano the city can
claim to be one of the highest in the world.
Whilst in Potosi you can arrange to visit a mine that is still being worked, which
offers a challenging and yet 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 1800's 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's become a custom to take the
miners gifts of dynamite, fuses and cocoa leaves in exchange for their stories of
how their working conditions have not changed in centuries. Life is harsh for all
who work here but the mines have now all been organised into co-operatives
and so at least today the men have a say in their own future. You should note
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.
Back in the city of Potosi itself, the winding streets are worth a wander. The
town has a bit of an air of fading grandeur, many of it's beautiful colonial
buildings and plazas having seen better days, but it's a fascinating place to
explore nevertheless. You can also visit the "Casa de la Moneda", the old mint,
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will drive south to Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of
the Salar de Uyuni.
In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in
the world!
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

About Uyuni:
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 can have
a bit of a wild-west feel about it.
Affectionately nicknamed 'La Huja Predilecta de Bolivia', which means "Bolivia's
favourite daughter",
Uyuni is perhaps best known for its proximity to the
Bolivian salt flats known locally as the "Salar de Uyuni". Also in the area and
definitely worth a visit is the Cementario de Trenes, a graveyard for the
carcasses of old steam engines that have been left here to rust, an unwordly
and eerie sight set in the bright altiplano sunshine, set against the background
of the distant Salar.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jeep tour of Uyuni Salt Flats
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will
venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a
full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot.
En route we
will explore the nearby train graveyard and
the cactus-filled 'Fish Island',
and
take all the time we need to get plenty of
perspective-bending photographs!
About Salar De Uyuni :
The Bolivian Salt Flats are a truly unforgettable sight, this is a landscape quite
unlike anything you're likely to ever have seen before. The Salar de Uyuni is a
dry lake of over 12,000 sq kms made of blinding white interlocking salt crystals.
It is Bolivia'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. The effect is positively eerie. When dry, the
Salar becomes a blinding white expanse that stretches for miles and miles, as
far as the eye can see.
On the edge of the flats, local workers carve blocks of salt by hand for
processing in nearby antiquated factories, covered head to toe in old rags to
keep their bodies protected from the harsh conditions. Then when you head out
onto the Salar proper, you'll experience this unique "nothingness" of this
unusual landscape. Miles and miles of bright white salt. Bizarrely there is a
hotel situated out on the flats, where everything is made completely of salt
from the walls to the furniture.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will head off across the wilds of the Bolivian
altiplano, a surreal
and
desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the Chilean border.
We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of
Laguna
Colorado
and Laguna
Verde en route.
In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.
Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.
bout Bolivian Altiplano:
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're
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's rough travelling and the trip from Uyuni to the border normally
takes a couple of days - but it's without a doubt one of the most unforgettable
journeys you'll ever make, because the landscape here is out of this world.
Wild and remote, the high altiplano is barren semi desert, but impressive
nonetheless. The open plains are dotted by streams and lakes, many of which
appear vividly coloured, due to the mineral deposits in the water. In the
background the lakes are flanked by the impressive volcanic peaks of the high
Bolivian Andes, awe-inspiringly beautiful and undoubtedly some of the most
spectacular mountain scenery you'll have ever seen. You'll also pass a few
remote villages, Quechua farmers who try their best to eke out a living up here
from the rough pasture, grazing a few llamas and alpacas.
The altitude here is considerable and it n be very cold and windy. When
travelling here you should be prepared for the cold temperatures and it is
worth making sure you have a really good quality sleeping bag.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Estimated 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.
About San Pedro De Atacama:
San Pedro is a small oasis town in the Atacama desert. It's a quirky little place,
low-lying adobe buildings line the narrow streets, leading to a sleepy tree-lined
plaza that's home to a pretty white-washed church and a fascinating small
museum, home to some interesting mummies and various other Indian artifacts.
Pleasant though the town is, the real attraction here is the surrounding
landscape. This part of the Atacama has become well-known as a tourist
destination because of the spectacular scenery. Perhaps most well known is the
unusual desert landscape of "Moon Valley", just a short distance outside San
Pedro, where other-worldly rock formations, unsual layer-cake landscapes and
huge dunes combine to create some incredible views. The sunsets here can be
amazing, the changing light turning the stone and sand a kaleidescope of
different colours, so the end of the day is definitely the best time of day to
visit.
There are also a whole host of other activities on offer here, from star-gazing
to horse-riding and mountain-biking in the surrounding countryside. The town
itself is also a pleasant place just to kick-back and relax, with some good bars
and restaurants thanks to the developing tourist-trade.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Observatory - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Border information:
Exit Chile at Paso Jama, enter Argentina at Paso Jama.
Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes,
cross the border
into Argentina, and reach the beautiful town of Salta.
In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.
Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.
About Salta:
Salta is an attractive town in the north west of Argentina. Nicknamed "Salta la
Linda" (or "Salta the fair") the city is well known as a handsome town in a
beautiful area. Home to some fantastic colonial architecture, the old town
centres around the main plaza which is lined with cafes and restaurants, a
great place to while away a couple of hours people-watching over a traditional
morning snack of a cafe con medialunas (coffee and small croissant like
pastries). It is an elegant and relaxed city, with a nice relaxed atmosphere, a
perfect place to wander the streets and explore. To get a better view of the
city and surrounding area you can take a cablecar from Parque San Martín up to
the Cerro San Bernardo view point, and the many churches and the cathedral
are also worth a visit. Salta is also home to some fantastic museums, making it
a good place to learn a bit more about Argentinian history and culture.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rafting - ARS275
  • Cable Car - USD6
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many
museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or
by mountain
bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on
San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds'
through some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada
de las Conchas, and reach the serene town of Cafayate. This small unassuming
town
is the
centre of one of
Argentina
's principal wine producing regions,
famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the
opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is
made, and of course to try them!
In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.
About Cafayate:
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 sleepy laid-back
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, also offers red and white
wine ice-cream! If wine is not your thing, the area is also popular for walking
and mountain-biking, as the gently undulating terrain makes for pleasant hiking
and cycling.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vineyard Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will drive south over some more spectacular mountains and arrive in
the lush flat pampas that Argentina is famous for. We will visit the ancient ruins
of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route.
Tonight we will aim to wild camp en route.
Estimated Drive Time - 11
hours.
About Quilmes Ruins:
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 1000AD, resisting Inca invasions in the 15th and 16th centuries and even
holding out against the Spanish for over one hundred years, before finally
succombing to a siege led by the colonial powers in 1667. After the siege
Spanish took the area over, deporting the few surviving indigenous people to a
"reservation" close to Buenos Aires. The 2000 remaining Quilmes Indians were
forced to make this 1500 km journey on foot, which meant that many died
along the way, never reaching their final destination. At it's height, the city we
see the ruins of here would have housed nearly 5000 people, today there are
only a handful of Quilmes descendents left in Tucaman. It is interesting to
wander among the ruins here today and imagine the city that would once have
been.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Quilmes Ruins
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine
Estancia, where we will stay for
3
nights.
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out
horseback riding, taste the
excellent
wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local
musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos,
and enjoy
a traditional asado
(Argentine
BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric
location, and many people's highlight of the trip!
Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather
conditions.
Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15
stone
(210lbs) or
95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than
this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate
in the horseback
riding.
In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the
main house.
About Rio Ceballos:
To the east of the Andes in the centre of Argentina is the country's second
major city, Cordoba. Nearby are the beautiful hills of the Sierra de Cordoba
where we will spend three nights at a unique Anglo-Argentinian estancia. 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 the traditional hospitality of the Anglo-Argentinian ranching
community, with great food straight from the farm. An asado or Argentinian
BBQ will be enjoyed on one of our nights here, as well as an evening of
traditional music, a chance to try lassoing and fantastic wine tasting featuring
some of the local produce. Daily horse riding excursions
will also be arranged to
ride through the hills on the fabulous horses and even completely
inexperienced riders will feel like gauchos in a short time. Please note that
these activities are subject to weather conditions.
Please also note that there is a strict weight limit for all riders of 15 stone /
95 kg to ensure the horses' well-being. If you are heavier than this weight
you will unfortunately be unable to ride.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (3 nights)
Optional Activities
  • National Jesuit Museum - ARS5
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will have a very early start for
a full day's drive to
the stunning town
of Mendoza, nestled in the dry flats underneath the shadows of the largest
mountains of the Andes. Mendoza is the centre of Argentine wine production,
and one of the nine 'Wine Capitals of the World' - it is especially famous for its
Malbec, grown at some of the highest-altitude vineyards to be found in the
world.
Estimated Drive Time - 13 hours.
The
following two days will be free time
to explore the incredible region, head
out on various adventure activities, or of course take a tasting tour of the
incredible wineries in the region.
In Mendoza we we stay in a centrally located hostel in dorm accommodation.
About Mendoza:
Mendoza is a vibrant city full of pleasant leafy boulevards and leafy plazas
where the locals catch up over coffee in the many street cafes and bars. A
university town and an important economic centre, the city has a bustling
cosmpolitan feel and has all the amenities you would expect from great
restaurants to lively nightlife, interesting museums and galleries and great shopping. On summer weekends, open air concerts and markets often take
place in the beautiful plazas.
The city is perhaps most famous for it's wine. Whilst technically Mendoza is a
desert town, extensive artificial irrigation have made it possible to grow grapes
and olives here, both of which benefit from the long, hot, sunny summers. The
wine made here is world class and tours of local vineyards and wineries are
easily arranged.
Mendoza is also used by many people as a base from which to explore the
mountains in this area. America's highest peak Aconcagua is nearby and skiing is
popular in the winter months.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Mendoza - Winery tour - ARS105
  • Mountain Biking, Mendoza - USD20
  • Rafting, Mendoza - ARS145
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Border information:
Exit Argentina at Los Libertadores, enter Chile at Paso
Cristo Redentor.
Today we will drive over the stunning Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes,
passing Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and
heading to the Chilean capital of Santiago.
In Santiago we will stay in a centrally located hostel.
Estimated Drive Time - 10
hours.
Hotel for the night: Happy House Hostel
Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Santiago
Chile
Tel - +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 are
plenty of interesting museums 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cerro San Cristobal cable car - CLP1800
  • Miguel Torres Winery Tour and Tasting - CLP5000
  • Condor Trip (half day), Santiago - CLP19000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Border information:
if you are finishing in Santiago, you will most likely exit
Chile
at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport.
Today is a free day to explore the cosmopolitan Chilean capital.
Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight, so
please
contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange
some
extra nights of
accommodation here after your trip.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Finishing point

Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Barrio Brasil
Santiago
CHILE
Phone: +56 (2)26884849

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip.

Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

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Essential Trip Information

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.

Passport and visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

BOLIVIA VISA:

Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.

This visa has a validity of 30 days from first day of entry.

In order to apply for this visa, you will need to provide the following documentation:

A – Original passport valid for a minimum of 6 months.
B – One passport photo (color, 4cm x 4cm)
C - Evidence of a hotel reservation in Spanish (Intrepid can provide this upon request)
D - A copy of the voucher and trip notes that you receive after purchasing this trip.
E- Proof of economic solvency (credit card, cash, or a current bank statement)
F- International Vaccination Certificate for yellow fever

This Visa can be obtained in Peru (Lima or Cuzco) and is usually processed withing the day, providing all paper work as mentioned above is in order annd payment has been made. We only recommend this option if you simply dont have enough time to get the visa prior to leaving the U.S.

For more information please visit the following website:
http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/information-on-bolivian-visas.html

ARGENTINA:
Australians, Americans, British, Canadians and New Zealanders, do not currently require a visa for Argentina. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

Please note that when entering Argentine Territory, the following citizens must pay a "reciprocity fee": Australians - US$100, Canadians - US$92, and Americans - US$160. The fee will be valid for multiple re-entries within a set period from the date of first entry. Payment must be made entirely ONLINE and fees can no longer be paid on arrival at any airport. This fee also needs to be paid online if you are crossing the border into Argentina by land. This price is subject to change and the price on the below website will have the up-to-date costs.

How to pay the reciprocity fee online:

- Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.com.ar and register to start the process
- Fill out the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information
- Print the payment receipt
- Present the printed receipt at Immigration Control on arrival in Argentina. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and entry to the country will be registered

ARGENTINA RECIPROCITY TAX:
The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows:
Australians - US$100 (multiple entry for up to 1 year from date of issue)
Canadians - US$92 (multiple entry for up to 5 years from date of issue)

Please use this link:http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles/?reciprocidad

- Select "Tasa de reciprocidad - Reciprocity fee"
- Read the information in the pop up box
- Select "Continuar/Continue"
- Sign up & register your details (The link is in the blue box below the Login button)- Click "Tourism Fee"
- Then follow the prompts 
- Please save a copy & print your receipt

A receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

For instructions on how to process this payment, please visit:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_ins...

Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information with the appropriate consular.

CHILE RECIPROCITY TAX:
Australians, Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders or British do not currently require a visa for Chile. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$117). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.

CHILE RECIPROCITY TAX:
If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$117 payable is USD$ or credit card only). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders or British do not currently require a visa for Chile. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

Medical and health information

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

WHO REPORTS:
The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies and malaria.

DENGUE FEVER:
Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

YELLOW FEVER:
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger - you're part of the crew. You are expected to pitch in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. As part of your trip you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting water and firewood, sweeping out the truck, loading the back locker, etc. You will be divided into smaller units of 3-4 people and take it in turns to cook for the whole group according to a rota system. When it is your turn to cook you will have to plan the meal, shop for the ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and then prepare the meal for the whole group. The secret to cooking for 20+ people in a basic camping kitchen is to keep it simple!

If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting. An example of a typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, fruit and cereal as well as tea and coffee. When time allows it will also be possible to serve something hot such as eggs or pancakes. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some local cooking. Generally our passengers find the more they put into a trip, the more they benefit from it.

Accommodation

Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Hostel (4 nights), Hotel (9 nights)

The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hostels or hotels. Where it's not practical to camp (ie: in towns and cities), we use hostel or hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants. The frequency and regularity of hostel and hotel stops depends on the route and area.

Campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. On some of our trips we are able to stay in villages or local homestays, which allows us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.

Please note that camping is participatory, which means you will be expected to set-up and pack down your own tent.

Transport

Overland vehicle

Money matters

On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and all included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases.This Kitty price indicated on the trip notes below is indicative only. Please refer to the 'Check availability' page on the website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.

Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.

You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.

If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.

Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.

Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.

KITTY CHANGES:
We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.

Bolivia currency information:
The official currency of Bolivia is the Boliviano (BOB).

Argentina currency information:
The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinian peso (ARS). 

Chile currency information:
The official currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).

With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.

Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars is the most readily changeable currency.

VERY IMPORTANT:
USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

SPENDING MONEY:
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest USD2-USD4 per passenger per day.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, we recommend you budget approx USD5-USD10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

DEPARTURE TAX
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

EMERGENCY FUNDS:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

Packing

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

ARGENTINA & BOLIVIA:
During the winter months in Argentina and Bolivia we will spend a higher proportion of nights in hotels and less time camping. Kitty may be higher than expected and you should allow extra funds for this and personal funds for more meals out. There may well be snow and you should be aware that it can get very cold at night. Please ensure that you bring a decent sleeping bag and adequate clothes, including thermals.

CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
Sleeping Bag - Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months. One that zips down all one side is useful for warm nights and a sleeping bag liner for cold nights.
Mattress or compressed foam - Compressed foams are the lightest, most convenient but probably the least comfortable. Self inflating mattresses are convenient, comfortable, light and small when rolled up; they are more expensive and do puncture so bring a suitable repair kit.

WATER BOTTLE
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

In countries like Argentina, Uruguay and the Patagonia region of Chile, tap water is treated and safe to drink so please avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap.

Group Leader

On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman trips use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.

We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders

On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

The vehicle has fully lockable doors and windows, which is an obvious advantage, but it will probably be necessary to guard it at times and everyone should be prepared to share in this responsibility.

In most areas there is very little to fear from the point of view of violence. But in all areas 'tourists' are a tempting target for pickpockets and con-men. Always be aware of this and be especially careful when leaving banks or money-changers, in any crowded areas, etc. NEVER leave things lying around - they will almost certainly get stolen. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always be security conscious and to take all necessary precautions. Great inconvenience and distress can be caused by having your documents or possessions stolen.

A few of our past group members have had the unhappy experience of having their belongings stolen before the trip starts. Beware of carrying your passport and other valuables around with you in cities. We strongly suggest you deposit your valuables in your hotel safe on arrival.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

TRAVEL ADVISORY:
Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by...

A couple of rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travelling on a group trip

GROUP TRAVEL
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Responsible Travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

The Intrepid Foundation

Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/