Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima

From$4639USD
Was $5799  — Savings of 20% on select departures.
39 days,Rio de Janeiro to Lima
SZRM

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

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
  • 36 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners. (Allow USD550-650 for meals not included.)
  • 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
  • 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).

Add to Your Experience

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) encounter with this incredible natural wonder.

Peru Adrenaline Bundle

Experience an adrenaline rush in one of Peru's most vibrant cities, Cusco! Enjoy a full day rating Urubamba River Valley’s white-knuckle rapids or spend a half-day exploring the Andean foothills and Incan ruins on horseback.

Itinerary

Inca Trail

Day 1Rio de Janeiro

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande(1B)

Take a bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches.

Day 3Ilha Grande(1B)

Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande.

Day 4Ilha Grande/Paraty(1B)

Continue by bus to the colonial city of Paraty.

Days 5–6Paraty(1B)

Enjoy two free days to explore by choosing to go snorkelling or visit a typical fazenda (farm). Opt for a cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

Day 7Paraty/Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

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.

Day 8Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

Cross the border to explore the Argentine side of Iguassu. Opt for a boat ride at the base of the falls.

Day 9Foz do Iguaçu/Bonito(1B)

Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu. Continue by bus to Bonito.

Days 10–11Bonito(1B)

Enjoy two full days in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

Day 12Bonito/Pantanal(1B)

Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil.

Days 13–14Pantanal(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 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 abound.

Day 15Pantanal/Santa Cruz de la Sierra(1B)

Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight train to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Day 16Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Sucre

Fly to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city. Opt to visit the nearby dinosaur tracks.

Days 17–18Sucre(1B)

Spend two days exploring all Sucre has to offer.

Day 19Sucre/Potosí(1B)

Travel by bus to Potosí. Opt to visit a working silver mine or use some free time to explore the city.

Day 20Potosí/Uyuni(1B)

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni, the jumping off point for the 4-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Day 21Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery.

Day 22Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.

Day 23Salar de Uyuni/La Paz(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before travelling back to travel to Uyuni to catch an overnight train to La Paz.

Day 24La Paz

Enjoy free time in La Paz. Opt for a city tour or to explore the markets and winding streets.

Day 25La Paz(1B)

Use another free day to explore La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, Chacaltaya, the Valley of the Moon, or the Witches' Market.

Day 26La Paz(1B)

Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

Day 27La Paz/Puno(1B)

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

Day 28Puno/Isla Amantani(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.

Day 29Isla Amantani/Puno(1B, 1L)

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.

Day 30Puno/Cusco(1B)

Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.

Day 31Cusco(1B)

Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.

Day 32Cusco/Ollantaytambo(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco for lunch. Finish the day by exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Day 33Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.

Day 34Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Day 35Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna(1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "Town Above the Clouds." Camp here or go 1.5 hrs further along, near the Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Day 36Wiñaywayna/Cusco(1B)

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet the CEO and any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Day 37Cusco(1B)

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

Day 38Cusco/Lima(1B)

Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or just explore on your own.

Day 39Lima(1B)

Depart at any time.

Lares Trek

Day 1Rio de Janeiro

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande(1B)

Take a bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches.

Day 3Ilha Grande(1B)

Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande.

Day 4Ilha Grande/Paraty(1B)

Continue by bus to the colonial city of Paraty.

Days 5–6Paraty(1B)

Enjoy two free days to explore by choosing to go snorkelling or visit a typical fazenda (farm). Opt for a cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

Day 7Paraty/Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

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.

Day 8Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

Cross the border to explore the Argentine side of Iguassu. Opt for a boat ride at the base of the falls.

Day 9Foz do Iguaçu/Bonito(1B)

Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu. Continue by bus to Bonito.

Days 10–11Bonito(1B)

Enjoy two full days in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

Day 12Bonito/Pantanal(1B)

Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil.

Days 13–14Pantanal(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 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 abound.

Day 15Pantanal/Santa Cruz de la Sierra(1B)

Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight train to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Day 16Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Sucre

Fly to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city. Opt to visit the nearby dinosaur tracks.

Days 17–18Sucre(1B)

Spend two days exploring all Sucre has to offer.

Day 19Sucre/Potosí(1B)

Travel by bus to Potosí. Opt to visit a working silver mine or use some free time to explore the city.

Day 20Potosí/Uyuni(1B)

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni, the jumping off point for the 4-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Day 21Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery.

Day 22Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.

Day 23Salar de Uyuni/La Paz(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before travelling back to travel to Uyuni to catch an overnight train to La Paz.

Day 24La Paz

Enjoy free time in La Paz. Opt for a city tour or to explore the markets and winding streets.

Day 25La Paz(1B)

Use another free day to explore La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, Chacaltaya, the Valley of the Moon, or the Witches' Market.

Day 26La Paz(1B)

Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

Day 27La Paz/Puno(1B)

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

Day 28Puno/Isla Amantani(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.

Day 29Isla Amantani/Puno(1B, 1L)

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.

Day 30Puno/Cusco(1B)

Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.

Day 31Cusco(1B)

Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.

Day 32Cusco/Ollantaytambo(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco for lunch. Finish the day by exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Day 33Ollantaytambo/Cuncani(1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to Lares town where the hike begins. Spend the first night at a Planeterra-supported campsite in Cuncani.

Day 34Cuncani/Kuyoc(1B, 1L, 1D)

Start early to hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods. After the morning hike, stop to rest and take in the amazing view. Continue hiking downhill to our second campsite near the stream for the night.

Day 35Kuyoc/Aguas Calientes(1B, 1L)

Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes. Spend some time relaxing in town or visiting the nearby hot springs.

Day 36Aguas Calientes/Cusco(1B)

Enjoy a guided visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Use some free time to explore the ruins on your own. Later, travel back to Cusco.

Day 37Cusco(1B)

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

Day 38Cusco/Lima(1B)

Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or just explore on your own.

Day 39Lima(1B)

Depart at any time.

Cusco Stay

Day 1Rio de Janeiro

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande(1B)

Take a bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches.

Day 3Ilha Grande(1B)

Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande.

Day 4Ilha Grande/Paraty(1B)

Continue by bus to the colonial city of Paraty.

Days 5–6Paraty(1B)

Enjoy two free days to explore by choosing to go snorkelling or visit a typical fazenda (farm). Opt for a cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

Day 7Paraty/Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

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.

Day 8Foz do Iguaçu(1B)

Cross the border to explore the Argentine side of Iguassu. Opt for a boat ride at the base of the falls.

Day 9Foz do Iguaçu/Bonito(1B)

Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu. Continue by bus to Bonito.

Days 10–11Bonito(1B)

Enjoy two full days in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

Day 12Bonito/Pantanal(1B)

Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil.

Days 13–14Pantanal(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 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 abound.

Day 15Pantanal/Santa Cruz de la Sierra(1B)

Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight train to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Day 16Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Sucre

Fly to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city. Opt to visit the nearby dinosaur tracks.

Days 17–18Sucre(1B)

Spend two days exploring all Sucre has to offer.

Day 19Sucre/Potosí(1B)

Travel by bus to Potosí. Opt to visit a working silver mine or use some free time to explore the city.

Day 20Potosí/Uyuni(1B)

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni, the jumping off point for the 4-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Day 21Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery.

Day 22Salar de Uyuni(1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.

Day 23Salar de Uyuni/La Paz(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before travelling back to travel to Uyuni to catch an overnight train to La Paz.

Day 24La Paz

Enjoy free time in La Paz. Opt for a city tour or to explore the markets and winding streets.

Day 25La Paz(1B)

Use another free day to explore La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, Chacaltaya, the Valley of the Moon, or the Witches' Market.

Day 26La Paz(1B)

Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

Day 27La Paz/Puno(1B)

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

Day 28Puno/Isla Amantani(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.

Day 29Isla Amantani/Puno(1B, 1L)

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.

Day 30Puno/Cusco(1B)

Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.

Day 31Cusco(1B)

Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.

Day 32Cusco/Ollantaytambo(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Stop at the Planeterra-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco for lunch. Finish the day by exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Day 33Ollantaytambo/Cusco(1B)

Return to the Sacred Valley with the CEO to visit the sites of the Maras Salt Mines and Moray. Spend the evening in Cusco.

Day 34Cusco(1B)

Enjoy an included tour of the archaeological sites around Cusco, including Saqsaywaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.

Day 35Cusco/Aguas Calientes(1B)

Travel by van to Ollantaytambo to catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes.

Day 36Aguas Calientes/Cusco(1B)

Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco in the evening.

Day 37Cusco(1B)

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

Day 38Cusco/Lima(1B)

Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or just explore on your own.

Day 39Lima(1B)

Depart at any time.

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