South America Highlights

44 Days | A cultural fiesta to remember, from Lima to Rio

5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews submitted.
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GBP £5,180
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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. 

Trip overview

Map of South America Highlights including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay
Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGBZC
This trip generates 48.22 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?
  • 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.
  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
  • 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.
  • Travellers who choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), will not follow the same routes within Machu Picchu. This means that you may not be able to have photos together, overlooking Machu Picchu. This applies to travellers on the same booking or separate bookings.

Itinerary

Map of South America Highlights including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay

Inclusions

Meals

38 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

4x4, Bus, Coach, Ferry, Minibus, Overnight bus, Plane, Taxi, Van

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Dormitory (2 nights), Estancia (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (31 nights), Overnight bus (3 nights)

Activities
  • Lima - Leader-led walking tour
  • Colca Canyon - Guided tour
  • Colca Canyon Condor Visit
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail) guided hike(s) with porters' support. Or guided Cusco stay (Machu Picchu by train)
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance & Guided visit
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Uyuni - Colchani Salt Factory Visit
  • Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada
  • Buenos Aires - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tacuarembo - 3-Night Stay on a Working Estancia
  • Iguazu Falls - Tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Iguazu Falls - Tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Add on activities
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum - PEN15
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Banco Central de Reserva Museum - PEN5
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition - Free
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventure (Price based on 2 participants) - USD52
  • Lima - Private: Home Cooked Tour Ceviche experience Urban Adventure (Based on 2 Participants) - USD85
  • Lima - Lima Water Show (Based on 4 participants) - USD40
  • Lima - Lima Pisco Making (Based on 4 participants) - USD35
  • Lima - Private Larco Museum (Based on 4 participants) - USD50
  • Lima - Bohemian Barranco (Based on 4 participants) - USD75
  • Lima - Lima Eat Street (Based on 4 participants) - USD75
  • Lima - Lima Discovery + San Francisco and Pisco Sour - Urban Adventures (Price based on 2 participants) - USD39
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs - PEN20
  • Paracas - National Reserve guided tour - PEN97
  • Ballestas Islands - Guided tour - PEN97
  • Nazca - Scenic flight over the Nazca Lines - USD100
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery - PEN45
  • Colca Canyon - La Calera hot springs - PEN15
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN40
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Cusco - Half Boleto Turistico Pass (access to selected archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN75
  • Cusco - City tour and 4 Ruins - USD15
  • Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20
  • Cusco - Inca Museum (entrance fee) - PEN10
  • Cusco - Pisco Making Urban Adventure (Based on 2 participants) - USD57
  • Cusco - Cusco Cooking Class - USD70
  • Ollantaytambo - Archaeological site - PEN70
  • Cusco - Full Day Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD105
  • Cusco - Full Day Stand Up Paddle Boarding (Based on 4 participants) - USD85
  • Cusco - Humantay Lake Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD130
  • Cusco - Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 paticipants) - USD100
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking (Price Based on 2 Participants) - USD170
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market' - Free
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB15
  • La Paz - Tiawanaku Tour - BOB250
  • La Paz City Tour & Moon Valley - BOB15
  • Museo de la Recoleta - BOB15
  • Sucre - Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko - BOB70
  • Sucre - Casa de la Libertad - BOB28
  • Potosi - Santa Teresa Convent Museum - BOB33
  • Potosi - National Mint of Bolivia - BOB60
  • Potosi - Cerro Rico mine tour - BOB150
  • Quebrada de Humahuaca - Free
  • Purmamarca Town - Free
  • Garganta del diablo (Devil's Throat Waterfall) - Free
  • Quebrada de las Señoritas & Hornocal Hill - USD2
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD185
  • Buenos Aires - Ateneo Bookshop - Free
  • Buenos Aires - Tango Show and Dinner - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Recoleta Cemetry - USD5
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (subject to availability) from - USD120
  • Colonia - Lighthouse visit - UYU70
  • Estancia - Horse riding - Free
  • Iguazu Falls - Bird Park - BRL70
  • Iguazu Falls - Helicopter ride - BRL610
  • Iguazu Falls - Zodiac ride up to the falls - USD70
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugarloaf Mountain 3 - BRL150
  • Rio de Janeiro - Maracana football game (schedule dependent) - BRL400
  • Rio de Janeiro - Botanical Gardens - BRL67
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL20
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer - BRL118

Dates and availability

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Important notes

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. As you can choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), there is a small chance you may be the only traveller on your selected option.

10. Fees may apply if you choose to change from the Inca Trail to the Train or Quarry Trail after your booking has been made.

Essential Trip Information

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Timothy · Traveled August 2022
Review submitted 25 Sep 2022
South America Highlights
From
GBP £5,180