A cultural fiesta to remember, from Lima to Rio
There’s times when it’s appropriate to dip a toe in, and there’s times when it’s best to dive in head first. Get ready to jump straight into the action on this trip from Lima to Rio, with plenty of time for independent exploring and taking things at your own pace. This trip takes in the very best of the centre of South America – from trekking the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu to partying in Rio de Janiero. Visit Iguaza Falls, stroll the barrios of Buenos Aires, snap pictures at the incredible Uyuni Salt Flats, look out over the Nazca Lines and explore the histories and cultures of this incredible part of the world at a pace that allows you to do as much as you want.
Whether you trek the classic Inca Trail, the Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a majestic destination, no matter how you get there.
The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the lake and spend the night with a local family in a traditional island community.
Salar de Uyuni's desert landscapes are so unique they’re almost extra-terrestrial. Embark on a three-day adventure via 4WD passing cactus islands, train cemeteries and mineral lakes teeming with flamingos.
Harness your inner gaucho during a three-day stay at a working estancia in Uruguay. Whether it’s getting involved in daily farm chores, working with livestock or simply relaxing, experience a unique way of life and Uruguayan hospitality at its best.
The mighty Iguazu Falls straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil, and you’ll be able to see it from both sides with your small group.
There are some long travel days and five overnight bus journeys on this trip. Although the buses feature comfortable reclining seats, they are not beds. There’s also usually a toilet on-board, and some of the buses make toilet stops. These trips can be tiresome, but an adventure trip around South America wouldn’t be complete without an overnight bus journey.
You’ll be staying in some very basic group accommodation with shared facilities, especially along the Inca Trail and on Lake Titicaca (where there are drop toilets and no showers). This is all part of the adventure of being among nature.
There will be a lot of hiking and walking on this trip (especially on the Inca Trail which can be quite challenging), so this requires a moderate level of fitness. There are a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.
We’ll be experiencing a mix of hot and cold climates, so pack accordingly and bring layers.
Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive into Quito a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. The sun is also unusually strong and it’s easy to get burnt, especially when out on the water in Lake Titicaca. It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water. Please see the important ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.
Please note that our leaders are not able to organise a trip to the ‘Death Road’ to Coroico for you, due to safety concerns. Injuries are common along the road and there have been a number of fatal accidents. Our leaders are also unable to organise tours to the Potosi Mines for safety reasons.
Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. There will be long travel days spent in 4WDs on dusty and bumpy tracks. Temperatures in the area can be very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothes with you. Meals are simple, toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style. This is all part of the adventure. Without a doubt, this amazing experience will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America.
Bolivia is the least developed and most challenging country you’ll travel around during this trip. Facilities are basic and food might be simpler than what you’re used to. Transportation between different locations can be slow and isn’t as easy as it might be in developed countries. Yet this is all part of the ‘off-the-beaten-track’ charm and adventure that makes Bolivia such a great place to visit.
While at the estancia in Uruguay, you can choose to participate in the day-to-day activities of the farm as much or as little as you like. If you do choose to get involved, prepare for some early morning starts and to get your hands dirty when working directly with animals. The accommodation is multi-share and meals are served family style. Please inform your booking agent if you have any dietary requirements.
1. Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you.
If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead https://www.intrepidtravel.com/machu-picchu-peru/quarry-trail
The 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 Inca Quarry Trail.
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.
2. 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! Please read further about altitude sickness on the link provided in the Essential Trip Information.
3. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation.
4. There are no activities on the final day and you are free to depart anytime.
5. This trip is a combination of three of our most popular departures. As such the make up of the group and the tour leader may change on Days 21 & 34
6. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 9, 22, 40 (Overnight bus), Days 11, 12, 13 (Camping), Days 18 (Homestay), Days 27, 28 (Dormitory) and Days 37, 38, 39 (Estancia) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
7. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
8. Please be aware that while hiking the Inca trek or the Quarry trek that you may be joined by passengers from other Intrepid groups.
9. This trip includes one visit to Machu Picchu. According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only, and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted. Please refer to the itinerary for details.
10. Starting from 23rd Jan, the Peruvian government has enforced new regulations around movements in the country and access to public indoor venues by requiring anybody over 40 to show evidence of a booster shot. This includes catching domestic flights, trains, and going to restaurants, museums, banks, shops etc. We strongly advise you to book and complete your booster dose if you haven’t got it before your trip so that this new regulation won’t impact your experience and enjoyment in travelling in Peru.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information