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Epic South America

39 Days | See the highlights, then delve a bit deeper, on this immersive journey across South America

18 to 35s
From
USD $6,152
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This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

Experience the full spectrum of South America on this epic 39-day adventure. Follow in the footsteps of ancient people on the Inca Trail in Peru, drive past volcanoes, lakes, llamas and flamingos in the Atacama Desert and marvel at the might of Iguazu Falls. Spend nights on a working estancia (farm) in Uruguay and at a homestay on Lake Titicaca, sample Argentinian barbecue in Buenos Aires and roam through the Amazon jungle. With like-minded travel companions and a local leader providing recommendations at every stop, this’ll be a South American expedition like no other.

Trip overview

Map of Epic South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay
Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Theme
18 to 35s
Destinations
Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina
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 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGYPC
This trip generates 55 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
  • Head to a local community and rub shoulders with the inhabitants of the Sacred Valley – if you’re lucky, your travel day might even fall on market day where you can pick up some hand-painted beads or a warm poncho.
  • Roam the Amazon Jungle by boat at night (with an expert local) and float down the river, keeping an eye out for the glaring eyes of jaguars, anacondas and caimans.
  • Embark on a three-day adventure by 4WD across the rocky Atacama Desert in Salar de Uyuni and the largest salt lakes in the world. Pass cactus islands, train cemeteries and mineral lakes teeming with birdlife.
  • Spend two nights at a working estancia (farm) in Uruguay, where you can spend your time getting involved in farm work, learning about gauchos, riding horses or simply relaxing in the sun.
  • The mighty Iguazu Falls straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil, and you’ll cross the border to see its incredible cascades from both sides.

Is this trip right for you?
  • On this trip, you’ll be camping along the Inca Trail and spending the night in a homestay on Lake Titicaca. Bolivia is also the least developed and most challenging country you’ll travel around during this trip. Transportation can be slow and isn’t as easy as it might be in developed countries. Additionally, making your way across the Andean Desert involves 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. 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.
  • The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid. Light cotton clothing is the best way to tackle this. Also, don't forget tropical-strength insect repellent! It’s also important to wear sunscreen and always drink plenty of water.
  • This trip involves a lot of hiking and walking, so it does require a moderate level of fitness. There are a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.
  • Due to the high altitude of many places, 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 a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important information about altitude sickness.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Itinerary

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

Inclusions

Meals

35 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

4x4, Bus, Overnight bus, Plane, Taxi, Van, Boat

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Dormitory (2 nights), Amazon Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (26 nights), Overnight bus (2 nights), Estancia (multi-share) (2 nights)

Activities
  • Lima - Leader Led orientation walk of Miraflores
  • Amazon Jungle - Jungle Lodge Stay and Activities
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
  • 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 - Guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market'
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Salt flats tour
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Colchani Salt Factory Visit
  • Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada
  • Salta - Orientation walk
  • Buenos Aires - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tacuarembo - 2-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
  • Rio de Janeiro - Cinelandia
  • Rio de Janeiro - Selaron Stairs
  • Rio de Janeiro - Ruins Park
  • Rio de Janeiro - Orientation Walk of Santa Teresa via the Lapa Aqueduct
Add on activities
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs Admission Fee - PEN20
  • 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 - 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
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN40
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Cusco - Cusco Cooking Class - USD70
  • Cusco - Pisco Making Urban Adventure (Based on 2 participants) - USD57
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding (minimum 4 people) - USD85
  • Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD105
  • 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
  • Cusco - Full Day Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Full Day Stand Up Paddle Boarding (Based on 4 participants) - USD85
  • La Paz - Guided City Tour - USD40
  • La Paz - Tiawanaku tour (min. 2 participants) - USD50
  • La Paz - City Tour & Moon Valley (min. 2 participants) - USD40
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - USD3
  • Bolivian Altiplano – Polques Thermal Baths - USD1
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Bike Rental - CLP10000
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Astronomic Tour - USD35
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Sandboarding - USD60
  • Salta - Archaeological Museum - USD2
  • Salta - Cerro San Bernardo Chairlift - USD3
  • Buenos Aires - Tango Show and Dinner - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (subject to availability) from - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD185
  • Buenos Aires - Recoleta Cemetery - USD7
  • Buenos Aires - Ateneo Bookshop - Free
  • Buenos Aires - Caminito Street - Free
  • Buenos Aires - Recoleta Cemetry - USD5
  • Colonia - Lighthouse visit - UYU35
  • Iguazu Falls - Helicopter ride - BRL610
  • Iguazu Falls - Bird Park Entrance - BRL80
  • Iguazu Falls - Guarani community visit - USD15
  • Iguazu Falls - Zodiac ride up to the falls - USD90
  • Paraty – Bike Hire (3 hours) - BRL85
  • Paraty - Camino del Oro Trek (min. 4 participants) - BRL290
  • Ilha Grande - Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon - BRL220
  • Rio de Janeiro - Maracana football game (schedule dependent) - BRL400
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car (entrance) - BRL160
  • Rio de Janeiro - Botanical Gardens admission fee - BRL67
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer (entrance) - BRL82
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL20

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. In order to obtain the necessary permit to trek the Inca Trail, we must be provided with accurate details of the passport to be used whilst travelling in Peru. If the name, passport number, nationality or date of birth shown on the permit are different from the passport, park authorities will refuse entry. If passport details have not been supplied, the permit cannot be issued. When we are unable to secure the "Classic Trail", our groups take the "Inca Quarry Trek". This also applies during February each year, when the Classic Trail is closed for restoration.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2 & 3 (Amazon Jungle), Days 6, 7 & 8 (Camping), Day 12 (Lake Titicaca Homestay), Days 16 & 32 (Overnight bus), Days 17 & 18 (Dormitory) and Days 30 & 31 (Estancia Stay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or 3 Day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by some non-Intrepid travelers, who might be over the age of 35 years old.
4. 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.
5. You may require a Brazilian Visa for this trip. Processing can take around 2-5 weeks at the discretion of the embassy or consulate. Please speak with your travel agent well in advance for further advice.
6. 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.
7. In addition to a Traveler’s Affidavit, and health insurance, entry into Chile currently requires submitting proof of vaccination in advance of travel or proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure. As this validation process can take a while, it is recommended that you submit your electronic validation request 30 days in advance of Travel. The link to submit and more information is available here: https://www.chile.travel/en/traveltochileplan/
8. We highly recommend you take US Dollars with you to Argentina and change it locally. While ATMs are widely available, there is a daily limit for withdrawals and the exchange rate does fluctuate.
9. The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion starts in February, you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail.

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

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Epic South America
From
USD $6,152