Visit South America and travel through Peru and Bolivia's highlights.

Travel from Lima to La Paz and explore the best of Peru and Bolivia on this adventure through ancient ruins, breathtaking scenery and colourful market towns. From the mysterious Inca ruins of the highlands and the lush jungles and exotic wildlife of the Amazon to the vast expanses of Lake Titicaca and the Salar de Uyuni, discover the highlights of this fascinating part of South America.

This trip requires Inca Trail Permits. View permit availability here.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Destinations
Bolivia, Peru
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
GGSUC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the untouched world of the Amazon rainforest. Wander along jungle trails on the lookout for monkeys, parrots, otters and caymans, and sleep in a nature lodge lit by candles and kerosene lamps

  • Marvel at the mother of all Incan cities, magical Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins and free time to explore on your own

  • The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the world's highest navigable lake and stay with a local family there

  • See the many different sides to Bolivia in La Paz and let the city’s weird and wacky Witches Market cast a spell over you

  • Discover the heart of Bolivia in the elegant colonial architecture and immaculately landscaped gardens of historical Sucre

  • Empty, haunting and spectacular, the laws of earthly physics bend on the surreal Salar de Uyuni saltpan – experience it on a three-day 4WD adventure across the rocky Atacama Desert

Is this trip right for you?

  • - 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 ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this

  • - There's a lot of walking involved, and if you do the Inca trail the hiking can be strenuous. This trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness; however, there are also a few different trail options to suit different interests and physical capabilities.

  • - Those who walk the Inca Trail will be camping with basic facilities. It's not exactly the Hilton, but the rewards of the trek are many!

  • - The Amazon jungle can be very hot and humid, so it's important to drink plenty of water and wear light cotton clothing. Be sure to bring tropical-strength insect repellant.

  • - You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni, and is all part of the adventure.

  • - In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn't happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility.

  • - Making your way across the Andean Desert and salt flats isn’t exactly luxurious. 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.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2018 itinerary
Bienvenidos! Your journey into the Sacred Land of the Inca begins today. With indigenous cultures dating back millennia, Peru is an indomitable land of Amazonian rainforests teeming with wildlife and soaring mountains harbouring secret cities. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm at your hotel in Lima, where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. Please have your insurance and other details on hand to pass on. It's very important you attend this meeting, so please organise a flight that will get you to Lima on time. After the formalities are out of the way, dive in to life in Lima. Jump on public transport and head downtown for a guided walking tour of the city's historical centre and take in the ornate spectacle of the colonial mansions, palaces and churches that line the streets. Following the tour, you have the rest of the afternoon and evening to do as you please. You might want to visit the Museum of the Inquisition, where you can learn more about the brutal reality of Spanish colonialism in Peru to get some context for your trip. Or take a lighter approach and maybe do some wandering until night falls, then embark on an optional Lima Bites and Sights Tour. This guided exploration of the bohemian Barranco district will see you sampling the best local street food and Pisco cocktails. Ask your leader about the full range of optional activities available in Lima. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lima - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum - PEN15
  • Lima Home Cooked - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD45
  • Lima Discovery - Urban Adventures - USD34
  • Lima - Night Bites & Sights - Urban Adventures - USD45
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs - PEN20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
WELCOME MEETiNG:
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Keep in mind that some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 9 days ago in Ecuador on trip Galapagos & Peru Adventure (GGSYC).

HEALTH:
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 ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

Rise and shine for your journey into the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon. Take an early morning transfer to Lima airport, then board a three-hour flight to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado. Upon your arrival, lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Pack a small duffle bag with clothing and other items needed for two days in the jungle, stow the rest of your luggage and then travel by private vehicle to the water. Here, board a motorised canoe and cruise deep into the jungle. The journey to your eco-lodge in the Madre de Dios region will take around three hours, and you'll be given a packed lunch on the way. Arrive and settle in to your thatched-roof lodge before a short orientation walk of the immediate area and a briefing. Spend the evening getting aquainted with the sights and smells of the jungle and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Amazon Jungle - Jungle activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Special Information
ACCOMMODATION:
We stay at two different lodges in the same area. The activities may vary slightly according to which lodge you are at. Depending on which lodge you are staying at, the included night excursion may be on the night of Day 1 or Day 2. As both of our lodges are in the same area of the jungle, you will see the same wildlife and your overall jungle experience will be the same in either lodge.

HEALTH/PHYSICAL:
On Day 3 there is an 11-km jungle walk. At times the paths can get quite muddy and some people can find the trek a little exhausting, but the adventure is well worth it! Along the way there will be regular stops and you'll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat.
Leave behind the natural wonders of the Amazon for the man-made wonders of Cusco today. Return to Puerto Maldonado to collect your luggage, then take a short 35-minute flight to the lofty city. If Lima is Peru's head, then Cusco is definitely the country's heart. Once you've spent some time acclimatising to the altitude of 3450 metres, head out on an orientation walk with your leader. See wonders of the ancient, colonial and contemporary variety on this stroll, including the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), the San Pedro Market, the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. This tour will also include the most significant temple in the ancient Inca empire – Qoricancha. Despite being covered with a Baroque facade in the 17th century by the Spanish, the original Inca masonry has been uncovered in some areas. Wrap up your tour at the ChocoMuseo where you can sample hot chocolate made from local beans. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy as you wish. Maybe head out for dinner with your fellow travellers – your leader can recommend some good places to grab a meal. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try one of the many establishments serving up cuy, which you might know by the English name of guinea pig. Or perhaps head to Cafe Daria, a central pizzeria which also provides vocational training for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Hop on a private bus in the morning and travel through the lush terraces of the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, one of the few places where the Inca defeated the Spanish. On the way, stop at a village and enjoy lunch and conversation in a community that still practices many Inca traditions. Why not head to the archaeological park that lies to the left side of the main square? If you're feeling energetic you can climb to the top of the squared terraces and gaze down over the valley. Just remember, if you have chosen to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu you will begin your trek tomorrow, so don't push yourself. Tonight, perhaps enjoy a quinoa and alpaca stew at one of the many local restaurants. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
Optional Activities
  • Ollantaytambo - Archeological site - PEN70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in during the trek (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Inca worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3700 metres above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Inca.

Route 3 Train:
After spending the night in the Ollantaytambo, leave around 9.30 am and take a short drive to the town of Pisac. Pisac is well known for its market. Here you’ll have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and perhaps try some local empanadas. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your leader will take you to San Pedro Market in order to buy some things for a picnic tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
HEALTH:
Classic: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Quarry: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4450 metres above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters wil
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4200 metres above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3650 metres.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4370 metres high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site the Inca called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
Today, take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site just outside of Cusco. From here you’ll take a short downhill walk (between one and three hours) back to Cusco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites, including Puka Pukara, Qinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in Cusco in the afternoon and enjoy some free time to go shopping, or perhaps visit Merida, Mendivil and Olave art galleries and workshops. Your tour leader will be able to give you some suggestions or point you in the right direction.

Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
MEALS:
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Inca were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
After a drive to Ollantaytambo (about one-and-a-half hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (another one-and-a-half hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour tomorrow. Otherwise, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs at Aguas Calientes.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
MEALS:
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Route 1 Inca Trail:
This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking by 4.30 am. Once the final checkpoint opens at 5 am, begin the final leg of the trek. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Inca’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5.30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular views over the ancient city from Intipunku (the Sun Gate), before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3 Train:
Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around AD1440 as a country retreat for Inca nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Inca site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco.

For all trails:
After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and a Pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
REGULATIONS:
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.

SAFETY:
Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cusco's sights. Perhaps rest your weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas or head to the San Pedro Market where you can find vegetables, meats, local cheeses, chocolates, herbal medicines and many local handicrafts. It’s a great place to purchase some souvenirs or pick up ingredients for a picnic lunch. The market is also a place where many locals (and daring travellers) go to eat ‘mystery soups’. Some may be just chicken; however, the most popular among the locals usually contain frog or offal. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cusco? If you've fallen in love with the Peru's national beverage, the Pisco sour, consider joining an Urban Adventure where you will learn to craft your own, a souvenir you can impress people with for years to come. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/cusco-tour-cusco-pisco-making, or ask your leader for details.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - City tour - USD15
  • Cusco - Half Tourist Ticket Pass, which gives you access to selected archaeological sites in/around Cusco (transport & guides are not included) - PEN75
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee - PEN15
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN25
  • Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - PEN265
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking - USD120
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD36
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD75
  • Cusco - Art Trail workshop - USD59
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to Cusco and travel by public transport through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano to Puno. Located on the shores of vast and serene Lake Titicaca. At an altitude of 3800 metres, Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable lake. Along the way there will be stops to drop off and pick up passengers, which may affect travel times slightly, but the journey should take around six hours. The long drive is worth it for the first glimpse of immense Lake Titicaca, whose seemingly endless waters stretch into the horizon. Puno is a melting pot of indigenous Aymara and Quechuan culture and traditional Andean customs, and it wears its traditions on its sleeve. If you're lucky, your trip will coincide with one of the many cultural festivals here. Perhaps ask your leader where you can get the best grilled trout tonight, a local specialty.   
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Puno - Sillustani archaeological site - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embark on a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping at the floating Uros Islands. Built by the Uros people to protect themselves from encroaching Inca forces hundreds of years ago, the islands are constructed from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. Feel the bizarre sponginess of the island underfoot and learn a little about the history of the communities that called them home. Then, get a closer look at contemporary life on the shores of the lake with a homestay in a local community. 
Help your host family with their daily activities, try out a few words in Quechua (most importantly 'solpayki' or thank you!) and perhaps join a local soccer game and make some friends on the makeshift pitch. 
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
ACCOMMODATION:
Your homestay tonight is a mud brick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, and there are shared drop-toilets but no showers.
This morning after breakfast you'll board the motor boat again and cruise to Taquile Island (approximately 1 hour), which is known for the intricate, hand-knitted textiles the locals produce. Here, knitting is strictly a male domain, and women do the spinning. It's a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. An approximately one-hour uphill trek brings you to the main area of the island, where you can shop for handicrafts and observe the symbolic clothing items worn by the local folk. After the visit, descend about 500 steps to the boat. Return to Puno, a journey that will take around three hours. Once back in Puno, perhaps gather a crew and find a local watering hole to enjoy a drink or two. By now you've probably had your fair share of Pisco sours, so maybe try a chilcano. While it also features a Pisco base, the cocktail is completed with ginger beer instead of egg whites.  
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world.

Check out this short video to learn more about the project: vimeo.com/154422813
Visit The Intrepid Foundation's website if you'd like to learn more about how you can support this cause: theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo
At around 3,600 metres, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world in La Paz! Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of industry – the country’s brain. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. After a 6 pm welcome meeting, enjoy an orientation walk with your leader and get to know the winding streets and pokey alleys. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
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 ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. After the meeting, maybe head out into the city, situated in the middle of a vast volcanic crater. Breathe the ‘thin’ air, marvel at the vistas of buildings clinging to the canyonsides, and explore the lively streets like Calle Jaen.

Death Road Biking To Coroico - Please note that our leaders are not able to organize this activity for you due to safety concerns. Injuries are very common and there have been a number of fatal accidents.
Today you’re free to explore the nooks and side-streets of La Paz or, alternatively, venture out of the city in search of crisp mountain air. Perhaps hop on a local bus out to the extraordinary landscape of Moon Valley. Actually a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires, these rugged oddities make for staggering views. If you’d prefer to see some man-made oddities, why not take a cable car to the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches’ Market)? Though we can’t guarantee the potions, incantations and voodoo dolls will work their magic, the experience is reliably fantastic. This trip is part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip in Lima, 15 days ago on Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB8
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market' - Free
  • La Paz City Tour & Moon Valley - USD40
  • La Paz - Tiwanaku Archeological site (Shared service) - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
This trip is part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip in Lima, 15 days ago on Peru and Bolivia Uncovered (GGSUC).
Say goodbye for now to chaotic La Paz and begin your 8 am journey into the Bolivian wilderness. At around 9 hours, the drive will take most of the day and fittingly, Uyuni feels a bit like the edge of the world. This remote town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wild and rugged terrain that stretches of hundreds of kilometres towards Argentina and Chile. After a brief orientation walk of this quaint town you might want to get some rest – tomorrow you’ll be hitting the salt flats. Make sure you have a hot shower, as you may not have the opportunity over the next few days!
Accommodation
  • Basic Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The area is notorious for being extremely cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers.
Uyuni is the starting point of your three-day 4WD excursion into Salar de Uyuni and the Andean desert. This morning we will stop by the Train Cemetery three kilometres outside of Uyuni Town, connected to it by the old train tracks, and see where families of geriatric locomotives rust slowly in the sun. The remainder of the day is spent mostly on the salt lake itself. Heaving with around ten billion tonnes of salt, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt plain. Endless blue skies meet endless white plains, and it's a pretty hypnotic sight - don't forget to snap loads of photos! We will arrive at the Salt Flats dorm at around 6:30 pm. Settle in and enjoy an included dinner.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
December to March departures:
Please be aware that from December to March, there’s a risk of the salt lake being flooded. If this is the case, the itinerary will be adapted to accommodate this.

Accommodation:
Our accommodation tonight is very basic. Toilet facilities are basic, showers can be cold and the multi-share accommodation is dormitory-style.
Continue to trip through this mindboggling locale, reaching an island of cacti in its centre that rises like a jagged reef in the desert. Known as Inca Wasi, or Fish Island, this fossil-strewn outcrop was once the top of an ancient volcano. Visit Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde, lakes where algae and minerals have turned the waters a vivid red and green, respectively. One of the strangest sights in such arid and inhospitable land is the abundant wildlife, It's truly a photographers paradise. Look out for llamas, flamingos, vicunas, and foxes. Despite all the delights, this trip can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation in the desert is very basic. Shower facilities if any can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Electricity is generated by solar panels and generators, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. The Desert is at high altitude and can experience extremely cold weather, particularly at night.



Despite a sunrise wake-up call, you might still feel like your dreaming when you arrive at Sol de Manana geysers. Mud bubbles and geysers spurt like kettles giving off steam across this geothermal field. Descend to Polques and stop by the desert’s natural thermal baths for an optional – though highly recommended – soak. Continue through the Southern desert, making stops at the surreal landscape of suitably named Salvador Dali Valley and Volcano Licancabur. Back in Uyuni town wander around the streets of this outback settlement and chill out after a long day of sights and sulfur.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Catch a local bus for about 4 hours along the scenic route to Potosi, where you’ll arrive in the early afternoon. Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. Once the predominant supplier of silver to colonial-era Spain, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. Explore the architectural remnants of this period of industry in an orientation walk, then the afternoon and evening are yours. Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls or the National Mint Museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Potosi - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Potosi - National Mint of Bolivia - BOB48
  • Potosi - Santa Teresa Convent Museum - BOB33
  • Potosi - Cerro Rico mine tour - BOB150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Potosi Mine Tours:
Visiting the mines in Potosi can be a thrilling yet a dangerous experience. We at Intrepid have partnered with a local operator to offer travellers what we have assessed to be a safer and rewarding option for this visit. This tour involves visiting the miner’s market, a minerals distillery as well as entering the first 150-200 meters into the Grito de Piedra mine. We believe this experience offers a great understanding of the socio, cultural and economic importance of the mine to Potosi and the region while avoiding the risks associated with entering deeper sections of the mine. This activity is not for the faint hearted or those that suffer claustrophobia. Your Tour Leader is strictly prohibited from recommending or assisting travellers book other mine tours.
Arrive in Sucre with the locals after 4 hour bus ride, disembarking in the temperate valley city. Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991 and has retained the flavour of its colonial heritage in its churches, museums and ancient mansions. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning it the nickname the 'White City'. On arrival, you'll have plenty of free time to explore the city and get your bearings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a few days to explore Bolivia’s capital. After an orientation walk, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 68 million-year-old footprints have been discovered. This is the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, over 12,000 of them! Then, you might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta, a 400-year-old convent on top of the hill that provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. Or maybe head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to rub shoulders with Sucre's affluent residents and investigate the extravagant interior of the Senora de la Merced.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today set out for an included hike along the ancient Pre-Incan path known as the Chataquila trek. The trek is relatively easy being that it is mostly downhill. On the way down enjoy the stunning views of the Andes and the valleys.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sucre - Casa de la Libertad - BOB21
  • Sucre - Bolivian Dance Show - BOB100
  • Sucre - Museum of Textiles - BOB22
  • Sucre - Church of San Felipe Neri - BOB15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A 40-minute flight delivers you back to La Paz, where you can do as you please. Maybe head to the Mirador Killi Killi Lookout, located on top of a steep hill in the neighbourhood of Villa Pabon, and one of La Paz’s most impressive viewing points. Nearby is the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, which exhibits a wide collection of stunning works that takes you through Bolivian history. Perhaps visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district. If there’s time, you might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure tours. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, gather together you travel buddies and join the locals in seeking warmth in a bar or restaurant, and celebrate the end of your Bolivian adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Departure Tax: Please note you will be required to pay an airport departure taxt today which is approximately BOB11.
Your exploration of Bolivia's highlights comes to an end this morning. As there are no more activities planned, you're free to book your departure flights when you like and you can leave the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

22 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Plane, Canoe, Boat, 4X4, Private Vehicle, Taxi, Public Bus

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Dormitory (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (16 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Lima - Leader-led walking tour
  • Amazon Jungle - Jungle activities
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
  • Potosi - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Orientation Walk
  • Sucre - Dinosaur Footprints
  • Sucre - Chataquila Pre-Inca trek

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Important notes

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.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 2 & 3 (Amazon Jungle), 12 (Late Titicaca, Homestay), 17 & 18 (Salar de Uyuni & The desert) where you will be in shared accommodation.

SHARED SERVICES
The excursion to Uyuni salt lake is on shared basis and your group size may be larger than12 travellers.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
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.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information."

COMBINATION TRIP:
This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make-up of your group and your tour leader may change on day 14.

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.

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.

On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st

The main points impacting our visits are:

1. Tickets are now only valid only for one entry, that means that passengers cannot leave the site and re-enter as we have in the past.
2. Once the passengers begin on a chosen circuit (there are 3 different ones) they cannot walk backwards and once they finish the circuit they must leave the site. They cannot explore afterwards.
3. The two allotted times to visit are 6am-12pm/ 12-4.30pm
4. It will be mandatory to have a guide (Machu Picchu guide, not our Leaders) to visit the site. However, this rule can’t be applied as there are not enough official guides to cover the large amount of people visiting so authorities are being flexible.

These new regulations are affecting how much time our passengers can spend in Machu Picchu, in the past, after a 1-2.5 hour tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site unguided, this is not possible anymore.

Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.

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.

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