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Southern Cross & Amazon

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2012 - December 31st, 2012 Last Updated: August 28, 2012
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Introduction

Experience two coasts, three countries and the best of South America on an epic adventure through the heart of the continent. This 45-day long tour provides limitless opportunities for adventure—from Lake Titicaca to the streets of Rio, you’ll encounter history, culture and local interaction. Explore the continent's diverse wilderness: the Pantanal, the Salar de Uyuni, Iguassu Falls and the Amazon—and hike the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With local transportation and authentic accommodation, this trip offers an intense blend of included activities and free time to explore on your own and is a must-do for any traveller looking to experience South America at the grassroots level.

  • Spotting condors at Colca Canyon
  • Conquering the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Searching for wildlife in the Amazon Jungle
  • Experiencing traditional life on Lake Titicaca
  • Spending 3 days exploring the salt flats of Uyuni and high mountain wilderness by 4x4
  • Searching for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal
  • Being awed by Iguassu Falls.
Duration: 45 days
Start/Finish City: Lima 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: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
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 Southern Cross & Amazon (SJMR)

Day 1 Arrive Lima

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

Known as the City of Kings, Peru’s capital city Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535. The Plaza de Armas is the heart of old Lima, and it is here you find the Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The Cathedral dates back to the 1700s and houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city. An optional city tour visits many of the city’s highlights.

There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which houses an equally impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles from the Paracas and Nazca cultures. The more affluent coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer good nightlife and cafés all within walking distance. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.

Day 2 Pisco

Take the morning to explore more of Lima before hopping on a bus for our short trip down the coast to Pisco. Walk the town’s lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chilli cheese sauce).

An important port town, Pisco gives its name to the white grape brandy produced in the region. If you haven’t tried the national drink, don’t pass up this chance to sip a tasty and frothy Pisco Sour in the heart of Pisco country. While the town itself is of considerable historical and archaeological interest, we also use it as a starting point for an optional visit to the Ballestas Islands, where you can see sea lion colonies, Humbodlt penguins and a variety of other birds.

Day 3-4 Nazca

Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines, made famous by German mathematician Maria Reiche, consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground and crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. Some of the lines measure up to 10 km (32 miles) in length, and yet remain perfectly straight. The depictions of birds, insects and animals are only recognizable from the air. Who drew the lines, and why, is something modern archaeologists can only theorize about, but current beliefs suggest that they may be part of complex agricultural calendar. As from the ground we can make out very little, the best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.

The entire desert area was also once the home for the ancient Paracas and the Nazca cultures, which preceded the Incas by more than half a millennium. Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500 year-old mummies, bones and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan’s workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.

Night bus to Arequipa.

Day 5-7 Arequipa /Colca Canyon

Peru’s second most important city after Lima, Arequipa maintains a traditional colonial style and more laid back pace in comparison with the capital. Sitting at 2325 m (7626 ft) above sea level and surrounded by the Andes mountains, this delightful colonial town is well worth a visit. Arequipa was built from a very light coloured volcanic rock called sillar, so older buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname, “the White City.” The main plaza with its cafés and nearby cathedral is a top draw for visitors.

Those with an interest in history and architecture may want to take an optional visit to the Convent of Santa Catalina, a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Spectacular mountains surround Arequipa, the most famous of which is El Misti Volcano, at 5822 m (19096 ft) with its beautiful snow-capped peak. Also looming nearby are the volcanoes Chachani and Pichu Pichu.

Next travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon—one of the deepest canyons in the world. We spend one night in the town of Chivay, a picturesque village near the canyon, where we can take a dip in the local hot thermal baths, watch live Andean music at a peña or go for a llama steak. Take a tour around the canyon, stopping in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where with a little luck we see Andean Condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals we may see in the Andean landscape include 3 different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña. Return to Arequipa on Day 7.

Day 8 Cuzco

A short flight takes us to Cusco. Spend the next day relaxing or exploring this fascinating city.

Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and the hub of the South American travel network. The city attracts travellers who come not just to visit a unique destination but also to experience an age-old culture very different from their 20th century way of life; one could easily spend a week just in and around the area. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and you don't have to go far to see other major Inca ruins. It is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend.

Every year Cusco attracts thousands of travellers who come to delve into its noble but tragic past. It is the perfect base for optional explorations around the city and area as well as a range of outdoor activities. Relax and explore this fascinating city, and take time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Cusco’s numerous colonial churches are one of the city’s most common sights. The Cathedral was started in 1559 and took 100 years to build; it is also one of the city’s greatest repositories of colonial art. Immediately in front of the entrance is a vault containing the remains of the famous Inca historian, Garcilaso de la Vega. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.

While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. Today the ruin forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. During Inca times this temple was literally covered with gold, but within months of the arrival of the first conquistadors this incredible wealth had all been melted down. It is left to the individual imagination to envision the magnificence of the original structure.

There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum and the Religious Art Museum. Our best advice for exploring Cusco is to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, arm yourself with a city map and set off to explore!

Day 9 Ollantaytambo

Travel with our local guide through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. An important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the colourful artisan market (market days only). The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of another large Inca ruin. Here we catch our breath and prepare for the hike ahead.

Ollantaytambo is your first taste of what lies ahead on the Inca Trail. The town and fortress of Ollantaytambo are strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. This major ruin site is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. It is admired for its huge steep terraces guarding the Inca Fortress and for being one of the few places where the Spanish lost a major battle during the conquest. We spend the night in this small town before heading out for the start of the hike the next morning.

Day 10-13 Inca Trail (3B, 3L, 3D)

The 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is physically challenging but worthwhile, and the excursion is within the ability of most reasonably fit. It is a 44-km (27 mile) hike, with 3 high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4200m (13776 ft). The trail is often steep, and it may rain even during the dry season. The temperatures at night may fall below zero, so it is important to come prepared.

Depart Ollantaytambo for km 82 where we begin our walk in the footsteps of the Incas. Our local crew of porters, cook and guide look after us well for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear for the hike, so those passengers doing the hike only carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc. As you walk the trail that linked this ancient empire, admire breathtaking views at every step as we move from high plateau areas to dense cloud forest. Depending on the season, you may see a great variety of flora, including miniature and large orchids, and fiery rhododendron bushes.

You pass several smaller ruin sites, the first of which is Llactapata. The second day climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman’s Pass. At 4198 m (13769 ft) above sea level, this pass is the highest point of the trek. The second pass of the hike is at 3998 m (13113 ft) where on clear days, we enjoy superb views of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. The trail goes through some beautiful cloud forest on the gentle climb to the third pass, where you will walk through a causeway and a tunnel, both original Inca constructions. The highest point of the third pass is at 3700m (12136 ft). On clear days you are rewarded for all this work with beautiful views of the Urubamba Valley below. Soon you reach the serene ruins of Phuyupatamarca, or the 'Town above the Clouds', at about 3650 m (11972 ft) above sea level. We will camp either here or an hour and a half further along close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) ruins, a grandiose terraced hillside site, with panoramic views of the valley below and just a short hike from Machu Picchu.

On the final day of the hike we climb the steps to the Sun Gate overlooking the peaks that surround Machu Picchu. When the morning is clear, there is no way to describe the feeling of the first views of Machu Picchu, as the mist rises off the mountains early in the morning and the famous site appears in front of you.

Machu Picchu is both the best and the least known of the Inca ruins. It is not mentioned in any of the chronicles of the Spanish conquistadors and archaeologists today can do no more than speculate on its function. The local Quechua farmers in the area knew of Machu Picchu for centuries, but it was not until an 11-year-old boy led the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in search of Vilcabamba) to the site on July 24, 1911, that the rest of the world became aware of its existence. At that time the site was covered in thick vegetation, and Bingham and his team returned in 1912 and 1915 to clear the growth. Over the years, much work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.

NOTE: Those passengers not able or interested in the hike spend 2 days in Cusco, then travel by train to Aguas Calientes, where they overnight. Next morning they take the bus to the Machu Picchu entrance and rendezvous with the hikers at the ruins. If you decide not to do the hike we need to know prior to your departure in order to obtain train tickets. There is an additional fee for any changes made once Inca Trail permits are confirmed. This fee may vary depending on the changes that are made to your itinerary. Please advise your agent or G Adventures.

Also note that portions of the Inca Trail will be closed for general maintenance during the month of February each year. Also, closures may occur at various times throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods, any tour affected will hike the Lares Trek.

Distances of the Inca trail:
Day 1 Km 82 to Wayllambama
Approximate distance: 11 km
Estimated hiking time: 5-6 hrs

Day 2 Wayllabamba to Paqaymayo
Approximate distance: 12 km
Estimated hiking time: 6-7 hrs

Day 3 Paqaymayo to Wiñaywayna
Approximate distance: 16 km
Estimated hiking time: 8 hrs

Day 4
Wiñaywayna to Intipunku (Sun Gate)
Approximate distance: 4 km
Estimated hiking time: 1.5 hrs

Intipunku to Machu Picchu
Approximate distance: 1.5 km
Estimated hiking time: 45 min

Day 14-15 Cuzco / Amazon Jungle (2B, 2L, 2D)

Fly from Cusco, high in the Andes, to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle. Travel by motorized canoe to our lodge in the Tambopata Rainforest Area, which holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area. Explore the jungle with expert local guides for the next two days.

About half of Peru is located within the Amazon Basin, however, due to its isolation, not a lot of it is available to the casual traveller. Puerto Maldonado is the region’s principal city and is serviced by air from the capital and from Cusco. The town is situated at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers, and is a bustling, booming tropical frontier town. Its principal activities are gold mining, Brazil nut collecting, timber extraction, agriculture and ecotourism. After a brief stop in the town we depart on an afternoon boat trip by motorized canoe to our jungle lodge. Depending on flight arrival times we have either a boxed lunch aboard the boat or lunch upon arrival at the lodge. During our voyage you will have the chance to see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped Herons, Jabiru Storks, Roadside Hawks and several species of kingfishers, swallows, and flycatchers. The Tambopata area includes habitats ranging from the Andean highlands around the rivers' headwaters through some of the last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of the Amazon basin. The area is renowned for its diverse plant and animal populations and include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot species - 10% of the world’s total), 200 mammal species including 4 species of primates, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants—all protected within the reserve. Some of the more famous residents are the Harpy Eagle, the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters who live in the area’s oxbow lakes.

The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (no hot water), and kerosene lamps for lighting (no electricity). Local community members make up the majority the lodge staff, including multilingual Naturalist Guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.

Day 16 Cuzco

Fly back to Cusco in the morning. The afternoon is free to explore Cusco. Optional City Tour.

Day 17 Puno

Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on this full day of travel from Cusco to Puno, through the high Altiplano region.

Located at 3830 m above sea level, Puno is the highest altitude of any place we sleep on the tour. As a result the weather can be extreme with very cold nights and a strong sun during the day (don’t worry, if you get cold, buy an alpaca sweater from the market —they are inexpensive). Puno is also known for its wealth of traditional dances: there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in the street processions celebrating Catholic feast days. If you are fortunate enough to be visiting at the right time you may even catch one of these celebrations. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site.
Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from both Amantaní and Taquile Islands are stunning.

Day 18-19 Lake Titicaca (B, L, D)

This morning we board a boat and head to Taquile Island for lunch in a local restaurant and the chance for some shopping in the local weaving cooperatives. From there we head to Amantani where overnight with a local family and enjoy typical music of the area. The following morning we will visit the floating islands of Uros en route to Puno.

Titicaca is the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from both Amantaní and Taquile Islands are stunning. On our way to Taquile Island we pass the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from the Colla and Inca tribes. Sadly, the Uros language has died out, and today they speak Aymara due to intermarriage with Aymara-speakers. Today about 300 families live on the islands, however their numbers are slowly declining.

The Totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the model boats that the islanders sell. The islands are made up of layers upon layers of reeds; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top. The reeds are also used to build their boats, which if constructed well will last up to 6 months.

The people of Taquile Island's unique culture, style of dress and lifestyle make for a memorable visit. The men of the community do all the knitting, as this is strictly a male domain, while the women do the spinning. High quality, locally knitted goods are available for purchase at various cooperatives on the island. Despite the short distance that separates the two islands, Amantaní is quite distinct. Its soil is a rich terra cotta red, due to the high iron deposits, and the colour contrasts brightly with the deep azure blue of the lake and sky and the greenery of the local crops. For the night we split into smaller groups and billet into family homes to experience their style of living first-hand.

The following morning we visit the Uros Islands on our way back to Puno.

Day 20-21 La Paz

The day begins with an impressive journey along the shores of Titicaca, to La Paz, Bolivia. 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 22 Uyuni

Travel by train and bus to the town of Uyuni.

Day 23-25 Uyuni / Salt Lakes Excursion (2B, 3L, 2D)

Travel to Uyuni by bus/train. Next spend three days exploring the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and Chile’s Atacama Desert by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Piercing blue skies contrast with blinding white salt as you drive across the flat lakebed. The area’s unusual landscape of mountains, active volcanoes, and geysers is like nowhere on earth.

Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia’s Favourite Daughter). Most of its hardy residents are either public sector workers or salt miners in the dried out lakebeds, with tour operators a close third. The main attraction in town is the Train Cemetery, a collection of rusting railway relics just southwest of the present train station.

Uyuni is the starting point for our 3-day 4X4 excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni. Twice submerged by a large high-altitude lake, the salt flats now cover a total area of over 12000 square km (7440 square miles) and today serve as one of the country’s main salt mining centres. The last large lake dried up about 8000 years ago, leaving the small lakes of Poopó and Ururu, as well as the salt flats of Uyuni. Absorb stunning views of the salt-encrusted lakebed surrounded by golden-hued mountains, snow-capped peaks and an endless azure horizon that will forever engrave itself in your memory. The tour takes us through Laguna Colorada (4278 m/14,031 ft), a large red lagoon whose colour is the result of algae & plankton growth in the mineral-rich waters, and Laguna Verde (5000 m/16400 ft), a lake that owes its striking blue-green colour to high concentrations of lead, sulphur, copper and other minerals. The numerous geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal baths and Licancabúr volcano (5960 m/19549 ft), which looms just behind the lagoon, are clear evidence of the region’s volcanic activity. Surprisingly, both wildlife and flora manage to survive and even thrive in the desolate landscape, including vizcachas (of the rodent family), flamingos (3 varieties), and assorted varieties of cacti.

Day 26 Potosí

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.

Day 27-29 Sucre

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 30-31 Santa Cruz / Puerto Suarez

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.

Day 32-33 Corumbá / Pantanal (2B, 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 and anteaters.

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 34-36 Bonito

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 37-39 Iguassu Falls

At Iguassu there are 275 individual falls in all, spread over a 3-km (almost 2 mile) area. Some are over 80m (2642 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 37 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 and a free morning before our overnight bus ride to Paraty.

Note: If you have booked the Iguassu Falls Boat Ride Theme Pack, you will do it on day 38 or 39 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 40-41 Paraty

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 42-43 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 44 Rio de Janeiro

Back on the mainland, a dramatic road 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.

"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 45 Depart Rio

Note: This trip is also available without the 2-day Amazon Jungle excursion, spending more time in Cusco. More information on our Southern Cross (SXMR) tour can be found on our website.

What's Included

Day tour Nazca Cemetery and potter's workshop , Guided tour of Colca Canyon (overnight), Guided tour of the Sacred Valley, 4-day hike on the Inca Trail with local guide, cook and porters, Guided tour of Machu Picchu, Amazon Jungle Excursion (2 nights), Guided tour of Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca, 3-day 4WD excursion to the Salar de Uyuni, 2-day wildlife excursion to the Pantanal, Visit to Iguassu Falls.

Highlights

Spotting condors at Colca Canyon, conquering the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, searching for wildlife in the Amazon Jungle, experiencing traditional life on Lake Titicaca, spending 3 days exploring the salt flats of Uyuni and high mountain wilderness by 4x4, searching for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal, being awed by 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. The rules and regulations controlling the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are continually changing. Before embarking on your adventure to Peru it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the Inca Trail booking policies and guidelines as described in a document available on our website, at the following URL address:

http://www.gadventures.com/inca-advisory.php

2. Please advise at time of booking if you do not wish to hike the Inca Trail. Instead, you will have 2 nights in Cusco, travel by train for a night in Aguas Calientes, and join the hikers for the tour of Machu Picchu.

3. Portions of the Inca Trail will be closed for general maintenance during the month of February each year. Also, closures may occur at various times throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods, any tour affected will hike the Lares Trek.

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

5. Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.

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 10

Meals Included

11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. 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 group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the expedition ship Explorer or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD570-750 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, local flight, train, boat, canoe, hiking, 4WD truck.

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 (30 nts), night buses (3 nts), train (1 nt), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), homestay (1 nt), very basic hostels on Salar de Uyuni excursion (multi-share) (2 nts), multi-share tented room with hammocks in the Pantanal (2 nts).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 4: overnight bus, Night 6: Colca Canyon, Nights 10-12: Inca Trail, Nights 14-15: Amazon Jungle, Night 18: Lake Titicaca, Nights 23-25: Uyuni/Salt Flats, Night 31: overnight train, Nights 36 and 39: overnight buses.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Britania Miraflores
Calle Independencia 211 esq. 2 de Mayo
Miraflores, Lima
T/ +51 1 203-3900

Please note that the 17th September departure will commence at the following hotel:

Hotel Antigua Miraflores
Avenida Grau 350
Miraflores, Lima
Peru
Tel : +51 1 241 6116

Joining Instructions

Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao Lima, is approximately a 45-minute drive from the Miraflores district, 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 an official taxi stand. You can pay for the car at set (approximately $27 USD) rates 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. There are exchange facilities in the Arrivals area open 24 hours.

If you are arriving from abroad and have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, someone will be at the airport to meet you. Upon leaving the baggage claim area you will see a large open area with sign boards all around. Look for a G Adventures sign board with your name. As there are many people and signs in this area it may be difficult for you to spot the sign immediately. Please take your time in doing so and if at that stage you do not see a G Adventures sign board with your name go to the customer service area to wait. In the event that your driver does not arrive within 20 minutes please ask the information desk to arrange an official taxi for you which should cost approximately $27 USD and this money will be reimbursed by your tour leader or G Adventures representative.

FINDING YOUR TRANSFER - As you walk out of the airport there will be many drivers holding signs with agency or passenger names as well as taxi drivers asking you if you require their services. These are NOT our drivers and you should not accept their services. Please wait for our designated transfer person with a G Adventures sign board.

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 trip leader (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 us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712,

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America however the weather varies greatly. Be prepared for rain and thunder storms in the wet season (from December to March), especially in the Amazon. 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. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A large daypack is also essential.

All other camping equipment for the Inca Trail hike is provided and included in the cost of the excursion. Porters carry the gear, so you will only be responsible for carrying your daypack. Please be aware there are weight limits on what the porters can carry, thus every passenger is limited to 7 kg, including sleeping bags.

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and travellers cheques
- 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
- Pocketknife
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- 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
- Flashlight
- Money belt
- 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).

RECOMMENDED FOR THE INCA TRAIL
- Inner sheet (for sleeping bag)
- Wool hat, mitts or gloves (preferably waterproof)
- Rain poncho
- Strong plastic bags to help keep gear dry
- Sleeping bag (this can be hired locally for approximately $10 USD). Please make sure your sleeping bag is suitable for subzero temperatures as it can get cold on the Salt Flats section of your tour in Bolivia (sleeping bags can also be hired in Bolivia for around 5-10 USD)
- Mattress (a foam mattress is included as part of the hike; self inflating type mattresses are available for hire)
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
- Thermal underwear

All other camping equipment is provided for the Inca Trail excursion. Porters carry the camping gear, food, and a portion of your personal belongings. All you will need to carry is a day-pack, containing waterproof jacket, fleece top, camera, water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and hat during the hike.

In our continued effort to support the rights of the porters on the Inca Trail we would like ensure that they never exceed the weight limit for their packs as set out by the Peruvian authorities. Porters are allowed to carry no more than 6Kg of personal belongings per hiker. That means that including your sleeping bag, toiletries, clothing, etc... you are allowed a total weight of 6KG for the hike which will be carried in a duffle bag provided by our local office. Any additional weight must then be carried by you in your day pack. To help achieve this goal we recommend that you carry travel sized toiletries, eg. contact lens solution, that you bring sport sandals that can be worn with socks (which are lighter than running/walking shoes) and that you limit electronics such as MP3 players to those that you are willing to carry. Please note, the remainder of your luggage will be stored for you at one of our hotels in Cusco. It is advised that you bring anything of value (eg. money, passport, credit cards, camera, etc) with you on the trek.

If at the end of your trek, you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline we suggest each hiker contributes the following to a collective pool. We suggest a tipping amount of $40 per person for the Inca Trail and $35 per person for the Lares Trek.

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.

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

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, travellers cheques and cards is best, although you will usually be charged a commission or given a less-favourable exchange rate for travellers cheques. 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 in the case of Argentina, 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.

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 tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader 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

CUSTOMIZE YOUR ADVENTURE
Our trip designers work very hard to assemble the life-altering experiences that fill this brochure. That said, our travellers are a diverse group driven by all sorts of different tastes, motivations and interests. What’s a trip designer to do? The solution? 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.

Theme Packs 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.



Lima:
City tour $25
San Francisco Church and catacombs $1.80
Museo de la Nation $3.6 entrance
Museum of the Inquisition FREE entrance

Lima:
All prices are in USD.

Pisco:
Ballestas Island tour $12.5

Nazca:
Flight over the Nazca Lines $90-$100, depending on the airline available.

Arequipa:
Convento Santa Catalina entrance $10.5
Juanita Museum $5.4

Cusco:
Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) $25 (half ticket) $46 (full ticket)
City tour $15-20
Sacred Valley $20
Horseback riding around ruins (with guide) $40
Horseback riding around ruins (without guide) $15
Whitewater rafting $55
Mountain biking $55
Museo Inka $3.5 entrance
Museo de Historia Regional entrance with Boleto Turistico

Huayna Picchu: Whilst we appreciate that this hike may be may be promoted by others, at this time we cannot verify that this hike meets G Adventures minimum safety standards. For this reason, we do not include the Huayna Picchu hike in any of our itineraries, and our CEO's and support staff are prohibited from providing advice or assistance with booking this activity.

Puno:
Sillustani archaeological site $12

La Paz:
Chacaltaya tour $18
City tour $20
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 90BOL
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 150BRL
Baineario Do Sol 35BRL
Gruta Azul 50BRL
Blue Lagoon Cave entrance fee $12-15
Waterfalls tour $25-30
Rafting $40
Abismo (rappel and snorkel) $150-170

Iguaçu Falls:
Entrance Argentinean Falls 60ARG
Entrance Brazilian side of falls 40BRL
Helicopter Tour 100USD
Aventuras boat tour 150ARG
Rapelling 60BRL
Rafting 90BRL
Rafain Show 75BRL
Paraguai 20BRL
Itaipu Dam 28BRL
Bird park 25BRL
Jungle & Falls excursion $40
Boat ride, various tours $20 -$50


Rio de Janeiro:

Rio City Tour 120BRL
Favella Tour 65BRL
Favella Funk Party 65BRL
Hang gliding 250BRL
Football game 70BRL
Samba show $50+
Corcovado $20
Sugar loaf $20

All prices are per person in local currency except where noted
(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

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 group leader 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/

Trip Specific Safety

Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in central Lima, as some areas can be dangerous and pickpockets are daring.

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.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

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

The Problem
Peru's tap water is not potable; therefore most visitors and locals alike consume purified water, often from disposable plastic bottles. This results in a large amount of small plastic water bottles being used, most of which are not reused or recycled.

Just taking the example of 15 travellers on one G Adventures trip, if one person consumes 2 bottles a day, and there are 15 people on a 10 day trip, that's 300 water bottles – just for one group of travellers! As such, there are millions of water bottles used in a year in Peru, and plastic recycling is not an option in most places.

Our Solution
Water dispensers in hotels. Planeterra is working with our partner hotels throughout Peru to provide purified water, by means of a large water dispenser, to their guests, and this of course includes our travellers. Each individual staying at the participating hotels can refill their own bottles from the large water dispenser. This eliminates the need for the daily use and consumption of multiple single-use plastic water bottles.

Planeterra provides the start-up funds to each participating hotel for the purchase of two large water dispensers, and travellers are collaborating by paying about US$2.50, or just under the cost of one large bottle, per day, for access to an unlimited amount of purified water from the dispenser.

Thanks Paula
Paula Quiros, Planeterra Ambassador for Peru, is leading this initiative. As a CEO who has been leading G Adventures trips in Peru for several years, and a passionate naturalist and environmentalist, this has been a personal mission of hers, as well as a Planeterra initiative, to try to eliminate the need for, and use of, single-use plastic water bottles. Thanks to Paula and all of our participating hotels for helping to decrease our impact on Peru’s environment.

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 projects:

HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE SUN
Inti Runakunaq Wasin (IRW) is Quechua for “House of the People of the Sun”. It is a non-profit organization based in Cusco that acts as a haven for children and adolescents who live in extreme poverty. The home is open during the day and is run by a staff of volunteer teachers and social workers. Children are given the opportunity to voluntarily drop-in to receive help with homework, a warm meal and participate in a variety of classes and workshops that teach them valuable skills including jewelry making, leather working, cooking, music and English. IRW currently supports 50 children through their programs. However, there are still many more children working and living on the streets of Cusco.

After fundraising for 5 years, a dream was made into a reality in 2009 when Planeterra purchased a permanent home for IRW. Planeterra continues to support the children's training workshops and support programs.

It is possible to visit this project on most tours that pass through Cusco. To arrange a visit please speak to your G Adventures CEO.

How You Can Help? All donations to this project are being matched by G Adventures, please go to www.planterra.org to learn more or make a donation.

WOMEN'S WEAVING PROJECT – Ccaccaccollo Community
In January and March 2005, G Adventures developed and offered training courses to 123 people from four local communities just outside of Cusco to work as Porters and Cooks on the Inca Trail. The women and wives of our cooks and porters from the Ccaccaccollo Community saw how G Adventures was working to provide jobs on the Inca Trail and approached us to ask us for support to develop a women's weaving project.

Three women from the Ccaccaccollo Community took part in a three month training course held by a local organization in which they learned ancient weaving techniques of the Incas including how to dye the wool using native flowers and plants. Each of the three women continued on to teach the rest of the women what they had learned and today 60 women have joined together to create the Ccaccaccollo Women's Weaving Project.

Beginning in April 2005, G Adventures groups began to visit this community as part of the Sacred Valley Tour where they have the opportunity to meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process; from spinning the sheep wool, to dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration. Travellers are also given the opportunity to purchase high quality textiles directly from the women who made them.

By working directly with the Ccaccaccollo community G Adventures and the Planeterra Foundation are encouraging men and women to be proud of their cultural heritage, and enabling them to benefit from tourism in a way that avoids negative social and cultural impacts while providing economic benefits.

How You Can Help
You can help support this project by purchasing these high quality weavings during your visit to the Ccaccaccollo community. All proceeds go directly to the woman who made the weaving.

Donations made through the Planeterra Foundation are based on the needs of the community. In the past our donation has been used to purchase needed construction material to build a place for the women to weave indoors on rainy days and showcase their work. We have also used donation to purchase alpacas for the community so that they do not have to purchase the wool but instead will have their own animals provide a steady supply.

For more information about these projects and/or to make a donation please visit our website at 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

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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.