Andes to the Atlantic Experience

Valid for all trips departing February 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated:
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Introduction

From the heights of the Bolivian Andes to the sands of Ipanema, this incredible 25-day journey will introduce you to the diverse landscape and people of South America. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal, the bizarre landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats and revel in the mists of thundering Iguassu Falls. Gain greater insight into the culture on the region’s public buses and meet locals from the rural towns along the way for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know. Get off the beaten path and experience Bolivia and Brazil—a vibrant cross-section of South America.

  • Explore the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 3-day 4x4 excursion
  • Discover colonial cities and historic cultures in Bolivia
  • Search for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal
  • Marvel at the power of Iguassu Falls
Duration: 25 days
Start/Finish City: La Paz to Rio de Janeiro
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Andes to the Atlantic Experience (SXLR)

Day 1 La Paz

Arrive in La Paz at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

Founded by Alonso de Mendoza in 1548, La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (the City of Our Lady of Peace) is the highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital, La Paz is the Bolivian centre of commerce, finance and industry, and the de facto capital. This is a busy modern city, with its centre at the base of a canyon 5 km (3 miles) wide and sprawling impromptu housing all the way up the surrounding hillsides. The city is at nearly 4000 m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so visitors should be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

Explore the city’s many fine museums or its historic ecclesiastical structures, such as the Iglesia de San Francisco, whose architectural details reflect the indigenous and mestizo heritage of modern Bolivia. The city is also renowned for its many markets, including the Mercado de Hechicería (Witches’ Market), where Paceños and visitors may purchase potions and incantations made from all sorts of herbs, seeds, and secret ingredients to remedy any number of illnesses (real or imagined) and protect from evil spirits. With streets lined with market stalls and vendors, the pace on the street and the vibrant atmosphere is an incredible experience. There is also a thriving black market and a Carnaval market, where locals purchase carnival costumes. You’ll also find a wealth of shops selling all sorts of handicrafts, mainly alpaca wool products, silver jewellery, woven textiles and leather goods.

Optional activities in La Paz include museums or a visit to the world’s highest ski resort, Chacaltaya (5600 m/18,368 ft). To the south of the city is the Valley of the Moon, with crater-like formations made of sand.

Day 2-5 Uyuni/Salt Flats Excursion (4B,3L,2D)

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni. Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), the town of Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia’s Favourite Daughter). It is also the starting point for our 3-night excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.

Spend three days in the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and the Atacama Desert in Chile. The salt flats now cover a total area of over 12000 square km (7440 square miles) and is one of Bolivia's main salt mining centers. Driving across the salt flats is a fantastic experience, particularly for the contrast of piercing blue skies and blinding white salt on the flat lakebed. The area’s unusual landscape of mountains, active volcanoes and geysers is like nowhere on earth. Our groups like to get creative with photography, as the endless white of the salt flats creates some great depth illusions that are fun to play with in photos.

The tour takes us through the impressive large red lagoon of Laguna Colorada the striking blue-green Laguna Verde at 5000m. The region's volcanic activity is present as we pass by numerous geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal baths and Licancabúr Volcano. Surprisingly, both wildlife and flora manage to survive and even thrive in the desolate landscape; this includes vizcachas (of the rodent family), flamingos and assorted varieties of cacti.

We offer unique accommodation on the Uyuni Salt Flats. Instead of very basic refuges and homestays most operators use, we have upgraded to simple hotels that are equipped with solar panels to provide electricity and hot water. Rooms are multi-share and each with a private bathroom. Meals are made from local ingredients, most of which are grown on-site.

Note: During the rainy season the locations visited may change due to some routes being covered by water.

Day 6 Potosí (1B)

Sitting at 4070m (13,350 ft), Potosí is the highest city of its size on earth. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 in recognition of its tragic history as a silver mining centre during the time of Spanish colonization. Potosí provided a large share of the silver mined and shipped back to Spain until the early 1800s, when both the supply of silver and world market prices began to decline; it’s said the silver taken out of Cerro Rico (rich hill) propped up the Spanish empire for over 300 years.

Working conditions for miners were appalling, and the indigenous population was decimated. African slaves were brought in to replace the native workers, and it is estimated that as many as eight million indigenous people and Africans died in the mines during the first three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. Though sometimes distressing and uncomfortable because of the harsh working conditions, the optional trip underground into the mines of today is an experience that should not be missed. Afternoon bus to Sucre.

Day 7-9 Sucre (3B)

Often referred to as Bolivia’s White City, the country’s official capital, Sucre, is situated at nearly 2800m (9184 ft) above sea level, offering its visitors and inhabitants a more moderate, comfortable climate than many of Bolivia’s cities at higher elevations. Before the conquest, military, religious and political leaders of the local indigenous population made their homes on the present day city site. Later, the city became the headquarters for the Spanish Royal Court, which by the late 1700s ruled over colonial Paraguay, parts of Peru, Argentina, Chile, and most of Bolivia. In 1825, in the wake of the Latin American independence movement, the city was renamed Sucre after Simon Bolívar’s second-in-command, General Antonio Jose de Sucre. The city’s fine museums, colonial buildings and ties to the independence movement make it a city of great historical interest. Optional activities include a visit to dinosaur footprints, an old tin baron’s mansion, a textile cooperative, mountain biking and hiking.

Day 10-11 Santa Cruz/Puerto Suarez (2B)

A local flight takes us to Santa Cruz, located close to the Cordillera Oriental foothills. Once a backwater frontier town, it has now grown into Bolivia’s second largest city and is our gateway to an overnight train ride to Puerto Suarez, on the Brazilian border. Please note: train service is not available on Thursdays and Saturdays. Instead of the train, you will take an overnight bus.

Day 12-13 Corumbá/Pantanal (1B, 2L, 2D)

Puerto Suarez is Bolivia’s gateway into the Pantanal area and has great potential…but unfortunately not much to offer yet! We cross Bolivia’s eastern border at the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, on the edge of the Pantanal, an immense wetland area famed for its profuse wildlife.

Less well known outside of Brazil and South America, the Pantanal, a largely flat, wetland area about half the size of France, is still one of the best places in the continent for observing wildlife. This vast alluvial plain, seasonally flooded by the Paraguay River from October to March, is all that remains from an ancient inland sea which began to dry out 65 million years ago. Today it is an area rich in bird life such as macaws and Jabiru storks. With luck and appropriate weather you may spot capivara (capybara), howler monkeys, caiman, giant river otters, anacondas, anteaters and gauchos also known as the Brazilian cowboy.

The area is sparsely populated and what few roads exist are in poor condition. Most people use small airplanes, 4-wheel-drive vehicles and motorized canoes to get around, so expect some rough travel and more rustic accommodations while visiting the area. The area’s Transpanteneira, an elevated dirt road, which extends 145km’s (91 miles) from outside Pocone to Porto Jofre, becomes an island during the wet season. We take a two-day wildlife excursion to fully appreciate the area’s beauty and bounty.

Unfortunately, as in other areas, poachers continue to do damage, and official government resources to protect the zone are scarce. This, combined with corrupt officials and a lack of commitment on the part of the government, have resulted in widespread poaching; latest estimates indicate that anywhere from half a million to two million animals are killed annually in the Pantanal.

Day 14-16 Bonito (3B)

Bonito, as the name (“beautiful”) implies, is a great place for nature lovers. Just outside the Pantanal area, this is water and jungle country with abundant colourful fish in the area’s crystalline rivers. Explore nearby underwater caves and waterfalls, go rafting or snorkelling, or simply spend a lazy day by the river.

Next we ride a night bus through the vast cattle ranches of Mato Grosso do Sul en route to the magnificent Iguassu Falls.

Day 17-18 Iguassu Falls (2B)

**NOTE: Canadians, Australians and Americans are now required to pay a reciprocity fee in order to visit the Argentine side of the falls. This MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE. See Trip Details 'Visas' for a link.

At Iguassu there are 275 individual falls in all, spread over a 3-km (almost 2 mile) area. Some are over 80m (264 ft) in height, making these cataracts both wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara! UNESCO declared the region an International Heritage Area in 1986.

On Day 17 we will visit the Brazilian side of the falls and have a free afternoon to be able to rest after our long journey in or to visit the Bird Park home to species such as the Hyacinth macaw and tucans. The following day we cross the border to Argentina to visit the Argentine side of the falls. With an extensive series of catwalks and optional boat rides to the base of the falls we will easily have enough to fill a full day here before returning to the Brazilian side for the night.

Note: If you have booked the Iguassu Falls Boat Ride Theme Pack, you will do it on Day 18 when visiting the Argentine side of the falls.

The falls were originally “discovered” by the Spaniard Juan Alvar Nuñez in 1541, when he named the falls Saltos de Santa María; the name we use today means “great waters” in the Tupi-Guarani tongue.

Film buffs know Iguassu as the site of several scenes from “The Mission,” and not far from the falls, the ruins of the Jesuit missions of the era can still be visited on a day trip. Also of interest is Itaipú, the largest hydroelectric complex in the world. The best time of the year to view the falls is from August to November, as during rainy season flooding often prevents closer viewing from the catwalks.

Day 19-21 Paraty (3B)

Our next destination is Paraty, an architectural gem famous for its churches. Located on Brazil's Costa Verde or "Green Coast," UNESCO World Heritage Paraty is known equally for the cobblestone streets and cafés of its historical centre, the natural beauty of its surroundings and its excellent cachaça. A fun option during your time here is a “booze cruise” around the picturesque beaches and coves of the area.

125 miles from Rio de Janeiro, on the edge of picturesque Ilha Grande Bay, Paraty is a lovely colonial town. On the border between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo states, it is a favourite with those looking to ‘get away from it all’—Brazilians and visitors alike. Considered one of the world's most important examples of Portuguese colonial architecture by UNESCO, the historic centre is a well-preserved national historic monument, and today has been closed to vehicles to preserve its laid-back colonial ambience. During high tide the Portuguese cobblestone streets are partly flooded by seawater, adding to the fairy tale atmosphere.

Located between the lush green mountains and the sea, Paraty (sometimes spelled Parati) was once a place of significant economic importance due to its sugar cane mills. At its peak the city was home to over 250 distilleries, and the name Paraty was synonymous with world-class sugar cane rum.

Founded in 1531, the original settlement was on the opposite side of the river, where a church was erected to their patron "St. Roque." Around 1640 the Indians who used to live here were driven away and the town moved to where it stands now. The founders named it Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, with Our Lady of the Medicines as the patron saint, and they built the main church in her honour. Enlarged and remodelled over the years, the church is now the focal point of the annual Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios on September 8. The festival has been celebrated for over 300 years since a wealthy and reverent benefactor, Maria Jácome de Mello, donated the land to the town for the church, requesting only an annual mass in return. The mass has grown into a procession of the wooden effigy of the Virgen though the town, adorned with gold and silver jewellery.

In the 1700s when the mines of Minas Gerais were pouring out gold, the perfect bay of Paraty was a busy port, the second most important in Brazil during the ‘Golden Century.’ The best pinga or cachaça (sugar cane liquor) of Brazil was produced here and the name Paraty became synonymous with the liquor. Later, coffee was brought from the valley of Paraiba to be shipped to Portugal, sparking another economic boom. In 1888 with the abolition of the slavery, Paraty became almost forgotten in time, and a large exodus left only a population of around 600, a considerable difference from the 16 000 of the town’s prime. In 1954 a road was opened linking the town to the rest of the country through the valley of Paraiba, but it was not until 1973-75 with the opening of the highway BR-101 that Paraty’s rebirth as a tourist town began. Paraty was declared a national monument in 1966.

Paraty's bay is filled with over 65 tropical islands and dozens of beaches, each offering something different, and all covered with vegetation that remains lush and colourful year-round. The water of the bay is always the right temperature for swimming, diving and snorkelling. The national parks that encircle the town are filled with trails, wildlife and waterfalls. Hiking or horseback riding, for the sports minded, or a jeep or van tour are both excellent ways to appreciate this natural wilderness.

Day 22-23 Ihla Grande

After a visit to Paraty, head out to one of the picturesque, laid-back islands on the coast, llha Grande. Relax and walk the clean sand beaches or bathe in the warm waters of this island paradise. Options include hikes through the jungle to waterfalls, a nearby black sand beach, boats or hikes to other secluded beaches or just hanging out in the laid-back World Heritage town centre.

The local fauna and flora in Ilha Grande, a Nacional Patrimony protected area, are extremely diverse. The state park was created in 1971 and encompasses 4.500 hectares of wilderness. Mountain range, coastal, mangrove and prairie vegetation are all found here, along with an astonishing collection of bird life, including parrots, woodpeckers, Brazilian thrushes and saracuras. There are also different kinds of monkeys, squirrels, armadillos, pacas, hedgehogs and snakes, as well as endangered species such as the Alouatta Fusca, generally known as Bugio monkey.

Day 24 Rio de Janeiro (1B)

Back on the mainland, a dramatic road then takes us north along the coast through superb scenery before rounding the cliffs at Vidigal, where we get our first glimpse of one of the most memorable cities in the world Brazil’s ocean-side jewel, Río de Janeiro. Enjoy any free time by exploring the wonders that this city has to offer from our centrally-located hotel in Copacabana or take an optional city tour.

"God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio," so say the Cariocas, residents of this beautiful city. This is a densely packed city of over 9 million inhabitants, whose economic foundations lie in the cultivation of sugar cane and in gold mining. Referred to as a “cidade maravilhosa” (Marvellous City), few cities enjoy such a dramatic setting as Rio. Brilliant, white beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema, deep blue waters of the Atlantic, the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay, the bare blue slopes of the Sugar Loaf combine to make Rio unique. Standing over it all, atop Corcovado, is the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, the best place from which to appreciate the city. From the top of the Pao do Açucar (Sugar Loaf), reached by cable car, superb panoramic views of the city and area unfold. Head to some of the famous beaches, and prepare yourself for an experience unlike anything else on Earth.

Although the Portuguese first sailed and entered the bay, it was the French who first established a settlement in the area, logging Brazil wood along the coast. Their first permanent settlement lasted a brief five years, when they were attacked and driven from the area by the encroaching Portuguese. A series of skirmishes ensued, with the Tomaio people allied with the French against the Portuguese.

In 1567 the Portuguese began construction of a fortified town to repel any invaders, naming it Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro. Amassing wealth with the gold rush of Minas Gerais, in the early 18th century, Rio became Brazil’s most important city and a great temptation to the French who, in 1710, waged war against the Portuguese and held the city for a sizeable gold ransom. Again in the 19th century, under threat of Napoleon’s invasion, what remained of the Portuguese monarchy fled to Brazil where they set up court in grand style; many of today’s older structures date from this period.

The gold rush was followed by a coffee boom in the mid-1800s and the wealth generated led to the city’s initial modernization. Replacing Salvador de Bahia as the colonial capital in 1763, the city remained the capital until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia. Today, the city is a magnet for tourists who come to walk the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, and generally partake in the Carioca zest for life. Many ascend the Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao do Açucar), whose image is nearly synonymous with Rio and Carnival. But modern Rio is perhaps best known for the contrasting images offered by the favelhas (shanty towns), and the glitz and glamour preferred by the Samba schools and their Carnival celebrations.

Day 25 Rio de Janeiro (1B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats (3-day). Pantanal wildlife excursion (2-day). Bonito stay. Iguassu Falls visit (Brazil & Argentina). Beach time on Ilha Grande. Rio de Janeiro stay. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 3-day 4x4 excursion, discover colonial cities and historic cultures in Bolivia, search for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal, marvel at the power of Iguassu Falls

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that this tour is a combination of several G Adventures tours. As such, your group CEO, fellow passengers, or vehicle may change between the individual tour sections.

**Please note any SXLR departures running in January of 2013 will be under the 2012 itinerary due to the fact that this is a combination of other G Adventures tours starting in 2012.

2. Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

21 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD430-565 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, plane, ferry, train, van, hiking, 4x4 vehicle.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (18 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), overnight train (1 nt), basic hotels on Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (2 nts, multi-share), tented room with hammocks in the Pantanal (2 nts, multi-share).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 3-4: Salar de Uyuni, Night 11: overnight train, Nights 12-13: Pantanal, Night 16: overnight bus.

Joining Hotel

La Paz
Hotel Las Brisas
Calle Illampu 742
La Paz, Bolivia
T/ +591 2 246-3646

Joining Instructions

El Alto International Airport is approximately 45 minutes drive from the center of La Paz, where our joining hotel is located. The easiest way to get there is via taxi. Immediately after the customs and immigration area, as you head to the exits, you will find a taxi stand. You can pay for the car at set rates (approximately $10 USD) and won’t need to worry about sorting out a ride outside the airport facilities, where the situation tends to get more chaotic, with many drivers vying for few clients.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

FOR TRAVELLERS PLANNING ON VISITING IGUASSU FALLS IN ARGENTINA - PLEASE NOTE:

ARGENTINA'S "RECIPROCITY FEE":
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.

ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

INSTRUCTIONS:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions.pdf

COSTS:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 75USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months; OR 150USD for a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local contact in Buenos Aires. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

G Adventures Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day time phone from Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Tel: Int. Dialing Code: + 54 11 5252-3602
From within Argentina: (011) 5252-3602

Emergency phone for outside of office hours
Tel: Int. Dialing Code: + 54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina: 11 3425 0380


If you are unable for any reason to contact our local contact in Buenos Aires, we have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with our Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of our Operations department at the mobile number below:

Toll-free, North America only: 1 800 465 5600.
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

Most airlines allow two checked bags and one carry-on per person. To avoid any problems on check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. It can be very cold in the Andean highlands, temperatures of -10C and lower are frequent around Uyuni and the Altiplano (high plateau). It is best to layer clothes rather than wearing a heavy parka. This allows you to accommodate clothing to varying degrees of temperatures and wet/dry/windy weather conditions.

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Money belt
- Flashlight
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Warm hat, gloves and scarf (can be purchased locally)
- Warm sleeping bag for sub-zero temperatures to be used on Salt Flats in Bolivia (NOTE: possible to rent locally for USD5-10)
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Purification tablets or filter
- Pocketknife
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).


**Remember: It can be very cold in the Andean highlands. Temperatures of -10C and lower are frequent around Uyuni and the Altiplano (high plateau). It is best to layer clothes rather than wearing a heavy parka. This allows you to accommodate clothing to varying degrees of temperatures and wet/dry/windy weather conditions.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

BRAZIL VISA
Americans, Canadians, Australians and some other nationalities need a tourist visa in order to enter Brazil. Please contact your local Brazilian Embassy to find out if you need to apply for one and for further details. If you are required to have a visa you will need to get one before entering Brazil, otherwise you will be refused entry. Processing fees and time frames depend on each country, but can take 2 weeks or longer, so we advise you to apply for it as early as possible.

COSTS:
US citizens: 160 USD
Australian Citizens: 35 USD
Canadian Citizens: 65 USD

FOR TRAVELLERS PLANNING ON VISITING IGUASSU FALLS IN ARGENTINA - PLEASE NOTE:

ARGENTINA'S "RECIPROCITY FEE":
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.

ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

INSTRUCTIONS:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions.pdf

COSTS:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 75USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months; OR 150USD for a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years.

This trip crosses the border between Bolivia and Brazil on Day 12 of this tour. The border name is Puerto Quijaro and borders the cities of Puerto Quijaro and Corumba.
The second crossing is the border between Brazil and Argentina on Day 16 of this tour. The border name is Puerto Iguazu and borders the cities of Foz do Iguazu and Puerto Iguazu.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL) and in Bolivia the Boliviano (BOB).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.

You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD $36

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

PERSONALIZE MY TRIP
Extras are specially designed for travellers with unique interests, they are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.

Extras available on this trip:
IGUASSU FALLS BOAT RIDE
Feel the thunder of Iguassu Falls closer than you’ve ever imagined! Hop aboard a speedboat and prepare for an up-close-and-personal (and very, very wet) meet-and-greet with this incredible natural wonder.
All prices are per person and in local currency, except where noted.

*Please note: this boat ride is on the Argentine side of the falls, therefore US, Canadian and Australian will need to pay the reciprocity tax for Argentina to do this activity.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

La Paz:
Chacaltaya tour $18
City tour $20
City Tour and Moon Valley half-day $25
Mountain biking $60-100
Tiwanaku ruins 150BOL
Museo de Metales Preciosos Pre-Columbinos entrance $1 for ticket to four museums (Casa de Don Perdo Domingo Murillo entrance included in ticket above)

Potosí:
Silver Mine Tour $21
Casa de la Moneda $3

Sucre:
Dinosaur Footprints tour $5
Paragliding 400BOL
Tarabuco Village 150BOL
Mountain biking 140BOL
Hiking 200BOL
Horseback riding 279BOL
Motorbiking 200 to 400BOL
Climbing 299BOL

Bonito:
Snorkelling - Rio da Prata 180BRL
Balneario Do Sol 25BRL
Balneario Municipal 10 BRL
Gruta Azul 70BRL
Waterfalls tour $25-30
Rafting $40
Abismo (rappel and snorkel) $250

Iguassu Falls:
Helicopter Tour 110 USD
Aventuras boat tour 310 ARS
Rafain Show 90 BRL
Paraguay Visit 25 BRL
Itaipu Dam 45 BRL
Bird park 45 BRL
Rapelling 60 BRL
Rafting 90 BRL

Paraty:
Jeep Tour 70 BRL
Caipirinha Boat 60 BRL
City walking tour 20 BRL
Kayak Tours 70 BRL
Bike Rental 35 BRL/day
Famous Puppet show 40 BRL
Scuba Diving 195 BRL
Horseback Riding 90-120 BRL
Trindade Tour 50 BRL

Ilha Grande:
Boat to Lopes Mendes beach 20 BRL
Surf Board Rental at Lopes Mendes 50 BRL
Scuba Diving 180 BRL
Guided walk to Pico do Papagagio 50 BRL

Rio de Janeiro:
Rio City Tour 150 BRL
Favela Tour 65 BRL
Favela Funk Party 65 BRL
Football Game 90-110 BRL
Corcovado 44 BRL
Sugar loaf 53 BRL
Samba show 55+ USD

All prices are per person in local currency, except where noted, and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Please note that many optional activities will need to be paid in cash.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Specific Responsible Travel

Silver Mines in Potosí

Working conditions for miners were appalling, and a large portion of the indigenous population was decimated. African slaves were brought in to replace the native workers, and it is estimated that as many as eight million indigenous and African people died in the mines during the first three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. Unfortunately little has changed throughout time and working conditions have remained the same. Although this is not an excursion for everyone, we do recommend a visit as it is an eye-opening experience that gives you a chance to glimpse the realities of life in the Andes in general and more specifically in these mines however we do not condone the working conditions of the mine.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit the following Planeterra project:

HOGAR GRANJA SUCRE
Hogar Granja Sucre is a home that provides a positive environment for abandoned children in the city of Sucre. Thanks to a permanent staff and volunteers, the Hogar is home to more than 30 boys from 6 to 18 years old. Besides providing the basic needs of food, shelter, education and healthcare, they offer a safe nurturing environment and workshops that provide basic professional skills for future social integration into society.

The boys are given the opportunity to participate in workshops that provide them with valuable skills for the future including carpentry, metalworking, sewing, bread baking and how to care for flower and vegetable gardens and greenhouses. This enables the children to design their own products and grow their own food. Children attend the local school, but the Hogar also provides music, dance and theatre programs which are not offered as part of the national curriculum.

The ultimate goal of Hogar Granja Sucre is to become self-sufficient however at this point they are still in need of our support.

How You Can Help
Each year we work with the staff of Hogar Sucre to identify the needs of the project. With your support we can help meet these needs with an annual donation through the Planeterra Foundation. G Adventures pays all administration costs so that 100% of each donation goes to the projects we support.

For more information about this project and/or to make a donation please visit our website: www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.