Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima

Was $5399  — Savings of 20% on Sep. 30, 2014
39 days,Rio de Janeiro to Lima

Stare in awe at Iguassu Falls, search for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal, spend three days exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats and high mountain wilderness by 4x4, settle in with the locals at a homestay on Lake Titicaca, conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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From the sands of Ipanema to the heights of the Bolivian Andes, this incredible 39-day journey will introduce you to the diverse landscape and people of South America. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal and 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 Peru, Brazil and Bolivia —a vibrant cross-section of South America.

What's Included

  • Beach time on Ilha Grande. Iguassu Falls visit (Brazil and Argentina). Bonito stay. Pantanal wildlife excursion (2-day). 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats (3-day). Floating islands of Uros visit. Lake Titicaca guided tour. Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour with visit to a Planeterra-supported women's weaving project (full-day). Lunch at the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village. Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4-day). Planeterra-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail. Machu Picchu guided tour. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 35 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners. (Allow USD550-650 for meals not included.)
  • Hotels (26 nts), overnight buses (2 nts), overnight trains (2 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt), basic hotels on Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (2 nts, multi-share), tented room with hammocks in the Pantanal (2 nts, multi-share).
  • Public bus, plane, 4x4 vehicle, train, walking, hiking.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12
Day 1 Rio de Janeiro

Arrive at any time.

Days 2-6 Ilha Grande/Paraty (3B)

Transfer to Ilha Grande by van and ferry. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches. Continue by van to the colonial city of Paraty. Optional cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

Days 7-11 Iguassu Falls/Bonito (5B)

Transfer to São Paulo and then fly to the Iguassu Falls area. Explore both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls with an optional boat ride near the base of the falls. Continue by overnight bus to Bonito for optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

Days 12-15 Pantanal/Corumbá/Santa Cruz (4B,2L,2D)

2-day excursion into the wetlands of the Pantanal with a local guide. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, giant otters and caiman. Continue by overnight train into Bolivia to Santa Cruz.

Days 16-18 Sucre (2B)

Fly to Sucre. Optional visit to the nearby dinosaur tracks, or explore the beautiful colonial city.

Day 19 Potosí (1B)

Travel by bus to Potosí. Optional excursion to a working silver mine or free time to explore the city.

Days 20-23 Uyuni/Salt Flats Excursion (4B,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. On Day 23, travel to La Paz by overnight train.

Days 24-25 La Paz (2B)

Arrive in La Paz. Optional city tour and free time to explore the markets and winding streets.

Day 26 La Paz/Tiahuanaco (1B)

Included visit of the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

Day 27 Puno (1B)

Travel by bus through the altiplano, crossing the border to the Peruvian city of Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

Days 28-29 Lake Titicaca/Taquile Island (2B,1L,1D)

Visit the floating islands of Uros. Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village. Optional visit to Sillustani burial site.

Days 30-31 Cusco (2B)

Travel to Cusco. The next day is free to enjoy the city's museums and local markets. Optional city tour.

Day 32 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo (1B,1L)

Full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins along with a visit to a Planeterra weaving project in a local community. Enjoy lunch at the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village. Shopping opportunities at a local market.

Days 33-36 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu (4B,3L,3D)

4-day guided Inca Trail hike with visit to Machu Picchu. Optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco.

Day 37 Cusco (1B)

Free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Day 38 Lima (1B)

Fly to Lima. Optional city tour or free time to explore.

Day 39 Lima (1B)

Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking pre- and post-accommodation to fully experience these lively cities.

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