Take an in-depth look into Inca history, lush highlands and cosmopolitan cities
Catching the best of a whole continent is a hard task, but with this 43-day Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid, you’ll get the chance to hit all of South America’s hotspots without the hassle of organising all the logistics yourself. Instead, marvel at the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, Andean condors flying high over the Colca Canyon, floating communities on Lake Titicaca and the puzzling lines of Nazca. From Quito through Lima, Cusco, La Paz and to Buenos Aires, get to know a Latin way of life in more detail, with a local leader joining you to point out the best barrios and beverages you can find at each stop.
Click here to see Inca Trail permit availability.
Discover the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon as you take a boat to a community lodge deep in the rainforest. Your welcoming hosts will introduce you to their way of life as you get a true insight into local living.
Get out and about on a city tour of Lima, visiting Miraflores and downtown, and join the Peruvian nightlife in the neighbourhood of Barranco, perhaps sipping cervezas with your newfound travel pals.
Take an unforgettable 4WD adventure across the Salar de Uyuni – some of the largest salt lakes in the world. Pass cactus islands, train cemeteries and mineral lakes teeming with flamingos.
The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Head on a boat tour on the lake and spend the night with a local family in a traditional island community.
A trip through Peru wouldn't be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu. With three different travel options to choose from, how you experience this lost Inca citadel is up to you.
There are some long travel days and three 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, in the Amazon 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 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 multishare 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 adventure that makes Bolivia such a great place to visit.
This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation.
INCA TRAIL PERMITS
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.
This trip is a combination of three of our most popular departures. As such the make up of your group and your tour leader may change on Day 9 & 29
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 17,26,30,35,36 & 40
BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S AND SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States and South Africa need a visa to enter Bolivia and 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. Please see the 'Passport and Visa' section of the Essential Trip Information for details.
PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
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.
INCA TRAIL OR INCA QUARRY TRAIL
While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or the 3 Day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travellers.
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