The Great South American Journey - Quito to Rio Adventure

From$7399USD
65 days,Quito to Rio de Janeiro
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Mingle with the locals at a homestay in the Amazon, spot condors at Colca Canyon, conquer the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu, experience traditional life on Lake Titicaca, cross the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion, stand in awe at Iguassu Falls.

Sometimes the slow road is the way to go. Hit the road from Quito to Rio with other young travellers and experience pretty much everything you can imagine in between. Hike the Inca Trail and discover the thriving Inca culture, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia, dance the tango in Buenos Aires, and hit the beach in Brazil. This trip offers up lively cities, stunning scenery, and tons of adventure. 65 days, 7 countries, 3 nights in the Amazon and 1 adventure you’ll remember forever.

What's Included

  • Amazon Jungle excursion. Pachamanca ceremony (Nazca). Colca Canyon excursion. Guided tour of Machu Picchu. 4-day Inca Trail hike with a local guide and cook. Planeterra-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail. Lake Titicaca excursion. Uyuni Salt Flats excursion. Entrance and visit to Iguassu Falls (Argentina and Brazil sides). Transportation between destinations and included activities. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 29 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners. (Allow USD1425-1875 for meals not included.)
  • Simple hotels (46 nts, some multi-share), jungle homestay (3 nts), overnight buses (6 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt), basic hotel on Uyuni Salt Flat excursion (2 nts, multi-share), estancia/ranch (2 nts, multi-share), hostel (1 nt).
  • Local bus, boat, truck, motorized canoe, train, hiking, plane, 4x4 truck.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO), specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12.

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Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time.

Day 2-4 Amazon Jungle Homestay (3B,3L,3D)

Travel to the jungle city of Tena, then continue by truck and motorized canoe to a jungle community. Spot wildlife on nature walks and learn about local traditions while overnighting at a homestay.

Day 5-8 Baños/Cuenca (1B)

Time to get active with outdoor optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, or opt to soak in the nearby hot springs. Explore historic Cuenca, Visit Cajas NP or check out the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

Day 9-13 Mancora/Huanchaco (2B)

Head to the beach and enjoy optional activities like surfing or horseback riding. Continue by overnight bus to Huanchaco, where optional activities include visiting pre-Inca sites or the city of Trujillo—or enjoying more beach time. Overnight bus to Lima.

Day 14-18 Lima/Paracas/Nazca (2B,1D)

Explore Peru's capital. Don't miss its tasty ceviche and pisco sours. Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. Stop at a winery en route at the Oasis of Huacachina. Indulge in a traditional Pachamanca meal. Optional sandboarding and flight over the Nazca Lines before an overnight bus to Arequipa.

Day 19-22 Arequipa/Colca Canyon (2B)

Optional visit to the Catalina Convent or a local hot spring. Spot condors on a guided overnight excursion to Colca Canyon. Overnight bus to Cusco.

Day 23-30 Cusco/Ollantaytambo/Inca Trail (7B,3L,3D)

Free time to explore Cusco. Take an optional city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking. En route to Ollantaytambo, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour and visit a Planeterra-supported women's weaving co-op. Take in Inca culture, history and great views on a 4-day guided Inca Trail hike with a visit to Machu Picchu. Enjoy Planeterra-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail.

Day 31-33 Puno/Lake Titicaca (1B,1L,1D)

Visit the floating Islands of Uros, and take a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.

Day 34-36 La Paz (2B)

Explore the winding streets and lively markets of La Paz, and opt to visit the Valley of the Moon. Overnight bus to Sucre.

Day 37-40 Sucre/Potosí

Opt to take an excursion to nearby dinosaur tracks, explore the cities, go mountain biking or check out a working silver mine.

Day 41-43 Uyuni/Salt Flats (2B,2L,2D)

3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery. Stay in simple hotels upgraded with solar panels to provide electricity and hot water.

Day 44-47 San Pedro de Atacama/Salta

Free time in San Pedro to try sandboarding, go mountain biking, or visit the Valley of the Moon. In Salta, check out the scenic Quebrada de las Conchas to Cafayate, and enjoy local cuisine.

Day 48-50 Buenos Aires

Avoid the long bus journey with a quick flight to Buenos Aires. Free time to explore the many attractions here. Check out a football game, watch a tango show, or take in the city's famous nightlife.

Day 51-56 Colonia/Montevideo/Estancia (4B,2L,2D)

Free time to explore to get a flavour of Uruguay. Leave the city and lights behind in favour of rural life—get dirty at a working ranch. Go for a hike and be sure to indulge in a local barbecue with wine from the region. Overnight bus to Iguassu Falls.

Day 57-63 Iguassu Falls/Paraty/Ilha Grande (2B)

Explore both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls. Opt for a helicoptor flight over the natural wonder or take a boat near the base of the falls. Fly to the coast, and opt to go for a hike, relax on the beach, take a boat trip to nearby islands, or try the local libations on the Brazilian coast.

Day 64 Rio de Janeiro

Explore this world-famous city from a centrally located hotel in Copacabana.

Day 65 Rio de Janeiro (1B)

Depart at any time.

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