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Cartagena to Rio De Janeiro

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting at the incredible colonial town of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, we explore some of Colombia's best highlights, such as the beautiful beaches of Tayrona National Park, the adventure capital of San Gil and the stunning historic town of Villa de Leyva, before crossing into Ecuador and arriving at its buzzing capital of Quito. From Quito we explore the stunning jungles, hills and towns of Ecuador and then head down to the coast and the idyllic beaches of Punta Sal in northern Peru. We then head south through Peru's deserts to the ruined Moche city of Chan Chan, then climb up to the spectacular Andean town of Huaraz, before heading to the chaotic capital of Lima. From Lima we continue down the coast to the magical dunes of Huacachina, and then overland to the mysterious Nazca Lines. We'll then climb up into the highlands to visit the colonial city of Arequipa and the breathtaking Colca Canyon, before staying at a local Quechua village stay on our way to the phenomenal city of Cuzco. Cuzco is our base for one of South America's best highlights, the Inca Trails and a visit to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu. After Cuzco, we will head south to the serene shores of Lake Titicaca and its sacred Inca island of Isla del Sol, and then move on to the thriving Bolivian city of La Paz. Heading south from La Paz, we visit our local community stay in Livichuco and the famous mining town of Potosí, before arriving in one of the continent's most spectacular natural wonders - the phenomenal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni. From here we will overland across the other-worldly scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano into the incredible Atacama Deserts of Chile, and then cross the Andes into the beautiful arid regions of Argentina and the wonderful town of Salta. We will make our way south through the wine regions and highlands of northwest Argentina before arriving at a very special highlight of this trip - our unique estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. From here we make our way to the cosmopolitan Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, then head north along the classic route to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro - there is so much to see through this region, such as the two iconic cities themselves including the latter's incredible Christ the Redeemer statue, the phenomenal paradise of the Emerald Coast, the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, and of course the mighty Iguazu Falls! On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, it's time for the greatest party on Earth - the world-famous Rio Carnival! During this week the city bursts to life with music, dancing, street parties, colour, and fun - and Dragoman will get you right into the heart of the action! Join Dragoman for this wonderful and unforgettable trip!

Latin America

Duration: 102 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Community Project Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158321
Starts: Cartagena, Colombia Finishes: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
You will visit
  • Cartagena
  • Tayrona National Park
  • Mompós
  • Aguachica
  • San Gil
  • Villa de Leyva
  • Honda
  • Manizales
  • Salento
  • Popayán
  • Ipiales
  • Otavalo
  • Quito
  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Rio Verde
  • Baños
  • Chugchilan
  • Lake Quilotoa
  • Cuenca
  • Punta Sal
  • Huanchaco
  • Lambayeque
  • Huaraz
  • Lima
  • Huacachina
  • Ballestas Islands
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Puerto Inca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Raqchi
  • Cuzco
  • Sacred Valley
  • Inca Trail
  • Machu Picchu
  • Puno
  • Copacabana
  • Isla Del Sol
  • La Paz
  • Livichuco
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Purmamarca
  • Salta
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Recreo
  • Rio Ceballos
  • Buenos Aires
  • Yapeyú
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Bonito
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Campo Grande
  • Brotas
  • Paraty
  • Rio De Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1-1: Cartagena

Border Information: if joining in Cartagena, you will most likely enter Colombia at Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cartagena before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cartagena.

In Cartagena we stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre.

If you are continuing on from Panama, then your leader will have assisted you with airport transfers for your included flight to arrive in time for the joining meeting.

02

Day 2-2: Cartagena

Today we will have a full day in the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena.

In the morning we will have an included walking tour of the city, and then the afternoon will be free to explore the city further, enjoy the many optional activities on offer, or simply relax on the beach.

03

Day 3-4: Tayrona National Park

Today we have a short drive to Tayrona, one of the most popular national parks in Colombia. Leaving our main luggage stored on the truck, we take a day-pack/night-bag and go on a moderate walk in to the park to where we will stay. Mules to carry your luggage can be hired at an extra cost.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

The following day is a free day to explore this stunning coastal park. We have the opportunity to trek to El Pueblito, a pre-Hispanic settlement of the Tayrona people, do some snorkelling, or just relax on the beautiful beaches.  

In Tayrona National Park we will stay in rented hammocks. The hammocks are equipped with mosquito nets but please note that the nets are not treated with Permethrin or similar pesticides.

There is also an option to bring tents if you prefer to stay in a tent rather than a hammock, but please note that mules will have to ber hired to carry your tent, at an extra cost.

04

Day 5-6: Mompós

Today we will have an early morning start to walk back to the park entrance, rejoin our truck, and drive to the peaceful and rarely-visited colonial town of Mompós, where we will stay 2 nights. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

The following day we go on an included short boat trip down Rio Magdalena to observe the riverside life and do some wildlife spotting. There will also be plenty of free time to explore this historical colonial town, the first town in Colombia to declare independence from Spain, wander the beautiful streets and soak up the atmosphere of the architecture.

In Mompós we stay in a lovely local hotel.

05

Day 7-7: Aguachica

Today we will drive south, stopping for the night in the town of Aguachica.

In Aguachica we stay in a hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

06

Day 8-9: San Gil

Today we will drive to San Gil, the outdoor capital of Colombia and a mecca for extreme-sports enthusiasts! Tonight we will enjoy a vegetarian Indian buffet from the campsite's in-house restaurant.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

The following day is free to enjoy some of the myriad of adrenaline activities on offer in the area, or to spend the day relaxing on the farm.

In San Gil we camp in a coffee and cattle farm outside town.

07

Day 10-10: Villa de Leyva

This morning we will continue our journey with a drive to Villa de Leyva, one of the country's most beautiful colonial villages. Nestled high in the arid semi-desert away from any trade routes, the town has escaped development and modernisation for centuries and is one of the most authentic old-towns in South America. We will take an included walking tour of the main sights of the city in the afternoon.

In Villa de Leyva we will camp in the grounds of a hacienda.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

08

Day 11-11: Honda

Today we will drive south to Honda, a historic river town where we meet the Rio Magdalena again.

In Honda we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

09

Day 12-13: Manizales

Today we will head to the town of Manizales, where we stay for 2 nights on a coffee plantation.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

During our time in Manizales we will enjoy a night of traditional music and dancing, take a fascinating tour of the coffee plantations, and visit the Sagrada Familia charity - a local Dragoman-supported charity that provides education, nutrition, and psychological support to poor children in the area.

In Manizales we will camp with facilities within the grounds of the finca.

10

Day 14-14: Salento

This morning we have a short drive to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora. In the afternoon we will have an included guided trek through the Cocora Valley to see the Quindio wax palm trees, the largest palms in the world and the national tree of Colombia.

In Salento we will camp in a well-equipped campsite, 15 minutes drive out of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

11

Day 15-15: Popayán

Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popayán.

In Popayán we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

12

Day 16-16: Ipiales

Today we will have a full day drive to the border town of Ipiales.

In Ipiales we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

13

Day 17-17: Otavalo

Border information: Exit Colombia at Ipiales, enter Ecuador at Ipiales.

Today we will have an early start to visit the famous Santuario de las Lajas church outside of Ipiales. We will then head south and cross the border into Ecuador and to the market town of Otavalo.

In Otavalo we will camp in the grounds of a rural guesthouse overlooking the town.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

14

Day 18-18: Quito

Today we will stop quickly at the markets of Otavalo (if time allows) before driving to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator. After this we will complete our drive to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

15

Day 19-19: Quito

Border Information: if joining in Quito, you will most likely enter Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

16

Day 20-20: Ecuadorian Amazon

Today our journey begins with a drive to the edge of the Amazon basin near the town of Tena, where we head to our jungle lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.

In the Amazon Jungle we will stay in a comfortable rainforest lodge with meals included.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours

17

Day 21-22: Ecuadorian Amazon

Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community. 

18

Day 23-23: Rio Verde

Today we will drive back into the highlands of Ecuador, arriving in Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.

In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours

19

Day 24-25: Rio Verde

We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportuinty to visit the nearby town of Banos and its popular volcanic thermal springs.

20

Day 26-26: Chugchilan

Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilán, via the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.

In Chugchilán we will stay in a fantastic local hostel where breakfast and dinner are included, giving you a chance to enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

21

Day 27-27: Lake Quilotoa

Today we will transfer to the village of Quilotoa to see its stunning crater lake, and take an included day trek back to Chugchilán through the local villages, canyons, and beautiful scenery. This walk is widely considered one of the best day treks in Ecuador! 

The mostly-downhill usually takes between 4-6 hours, but please be aware that there is a section towards the end of the trek with a steep incline which you will need to be physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer.

22

Day 28-28: Cuenca

Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and then head south to the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca. We will pass through the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route.

In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

23

Day 29-29: Cuenca

Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process.

24

Day 30-30: Punta Sal

Border information: Exit Ecuador at Huaquillas, enter Peru at Tumbes.

Today we will have a long drive day south, crossing the border into northern Peru.

We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

25

Day 31-31: Punta Sal

Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal.

26

Day 32-32: Huanchaco

Today we will have a full day's drive to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo. We will have an included visit to the phenomenal Lord of Sipan museum in Lambayeque, home of an incredible collection of Chimu-era treasures (please note that this museum is closed on Mondays, so we will be unable to visit if your trip passes through on a Monday).

In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (including approximately 1 hour 30 minutes at the Lord of Sipan museum). 

27

Day 33-33: Huanchaco

Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).

28

Day 34-34: Huaraz

Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Casma Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.

In Huaraz we will stay in a local hostel in either dorm accommodation or private rooms depending on availability.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

29

Day 35-36: Huaraz

We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huantar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers.

30

Day 37-37: Lima

Today we will have another full day's drive back to the coast via the 'Paramonga Route' and then on to the enormous Peruvian capital of Lima.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.

31

Day 38-38: Lima

Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

32

Day 39-39: Huacachina

Today we will have a very early start to leave Lima before the rush hour, and drive 270kms south to Paracas. There we will board one of the local boats for an included trip to the Ballestas Islands to view its incredible array of resident wildlife and birds.

After lunch, we will continue south to arrive at the stunning desert oasis town of Huacachina, where we have the option to head out for an evening of sand boarding and dune buggying and the further option to camp out under the stars in the deserts.

For those that do not wish to participate in the optional camping in the desert, in Huacachina we will stay in dorm accommodation in the village itself.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours, not including the time taken for the trip to the Ballestas Islands (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

33

Day 40-40: Nazca

Today we continue south to the world-famous village of Nazca, the location of the mysterious Nazca Lines. On the drive, we will stop at a viewing platform to get a glimpse of some of these lines. The Nazca Lines are a series of figures, lines, and geometric shapes that were etched into the ground of the desert plateau over a thousand years ago by the ancient Nazca culture, and their purpose is still unknown to this day.

In the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to take an optional 30-minute flight over the Nazca Lines in a small aircraft - this is by far the best way of seeing the figures, and we use a local operator with an excellent safety record.

In Nazca we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

34

Day 41-41: Puerto Inca

This morning we head south of Nazca, and have an included visit to the nearby ancient sites of the Chauchilla Cemetery and the Cahuachi Pyramid, thought to have once been the religious centre of the Nazca civilisation.

In the afternoon we will continue our drive to the coastal resort of Puerto Inca, where we camp at a well-equiped campsite on the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

35

Day 42-42: Arequipa

Today we will start our drive inland, and head uphill to the beautiful ‘White City’ of Arequipa.

In Arequipa we will stay in a good local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

36

Day 43-43: Arequipa

Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Arequipa, or for some optional activities in and around the city.

37

Day 44-44: Chivay

We will have some more free time to explore Arequipa this morning, before continuing our drive to the highland town of Chivay after lunch.

In Chivay we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

38

Day 45-45: Chivay

This morning we will head out on a short drive to some of the best viewpoints along the spectacular Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world! The canyon is famous for its resident condors, and we will spend a good amount of time at the viewpoints to give ourselves the best chance of spotting them. We will also visit a couple of local communities on the way back to Chivay.

We will have a free afternoon to explore Chivay, and possibly take an optional trip to the nearby hot springs and zip-lining course.

39

Day 46-46: Raqchi

Today we will drive through the stunning landscapes of the Peruvian highlands to the small village of Raqchi. Here we will stay at a homestay as guests of the local villagers in their traditional family homes. The houses are very clean and have basic facilities. This evening the villagers will invite us to take part in a traditional Quechua religious ceremony, and we'll have some lively music from some of the village's musicians.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

40

Day 47-47: Cuzco

This morning we will visit the Inca ruins of the Temple of Wiracocha at Raqchi, and then see a pottery demonstration at a local artisan centre.

In the afternoon we will drive to the incredible historical city of Cuzco, the former Inca capital. 

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

41

Day 48-48: Cuzco

Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. There will be a further meeting this evening for our Community and Classic Inca Trails, where we will have a full detailed briefing from our local trekking guides about the next few days!

The rest of today will be free to explore the wonderful city of Cuzco, discover its many historical gems, or to take part in number of optional activities near the city.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cuzco before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cuzco.

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

42

Day 49-52: Sacred Valley

These four days will be spent trekking in the Andes, either on our pioneering Community Trek or on the Classic Inca Trail. We will have a tour of the Sacred Valley, embark on our various treks, and end up at the phenomenal Inca site of Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World!

Please see the Inca Trails section at the bottom of the detailed trip notes for each departure for details of the Community Trek and the Classic Inca Trail, as well as our non-trekking MAPI alternative.

We will camp during these nights (except for the first night of the Classic Trail and the last night of the Community Trek, which are both in a local hotel in Ollantaytambo). 

43

Day 53-53: Machu Picchu

This morning we will arrive at Machu Picchu, one of the world's most incredible and iconic historical sites. We'll have a guided tour with a local expert, and then have plenty of time to freely explore the area before catching the train back to Cuzco.

44

Day 54-54: Cuzco

Today is a free day to relax after the treks, further explore the historical city of Cuzco, and take part in some optional activities around the city.

45

Day 55-55: Puno

Today we will leave Cuzco and head through the highlands of Peru to the town of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titcaca. We will have an included visit to the Inca site of Tipon en route.

In Puno we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

46

Day 56-56: Copacabana

Border information: Exit Peru at Yunguyo, enter Bolivia at Kasani.

This morning we will cross into Bolivia and head to the lakeside town of Copacabana, before boarding a boat to the stunning island of Isla del Sol.

In Isla del Sol we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

47

Day 57-57: Isla Del Sol

Today we will take an included day trip across Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, one of the holiest sites in ancient Inca mythology and supposedly the birthplace of the Sun God Inti. We will take a 14km walk across the length of the island, taking in the incredible and serene scenery and soaking up the calm atmosphere of the island (this walk can be skipped by anybody who does not want to do it). 

We will return to Copacabana for the evening.

In Copacabana we will stay in a basic local hotel.

48

Day 58-58: La Paz

Today we will drive to the famous city of La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! On arrival we will have free time to explore the city.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

49

Day 59-60: La Paz

Border information: if you are joining in La Paz, you will most likely enter Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in La Paz before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring La Paz.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

50

Day 61-61: Livichuco

This morning we will head to the small community of Livichuco for an overnight stay in this small Andean village - an amazing opportunity to experience an area of Bolivia that few tourists ever will.

In Livichuco we will stay in very basic shared accommodation.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

51

Day 62-62: Potosí

Today we will leave Livichuco and head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

The following day will be free to explore Potosí, possible visiting the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.

In Potosí we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

52

Day 63-63: Uyuni

Today we will drive south to Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

53

Day 64-64: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!

54

Day 65-65: Bolivian Altiplano

Today we will head off across the wilds of the Bolivian altiplano, a surreal and desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the Chilean border. We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde en route.

In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

55

Day 66-67: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Bolivia at Uyuni, enter Chile at San Pedro de Atacama.

Today we set off early from our altiplano refuge, cross the remainder of the Bolivian Altiplano, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.

56

Day 68-68: Purmamarca

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Jama, enter Argentina at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Argentina, and reach the beautiful village of Purmamarca next to the aptly-named 'Hill of Seven Colours'

In Purmamarca we will camp in a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

57

Day 69-69: Salta

Today we will drive to the beautiful colonial city of Salta, where we will have time to freely explore on arrival

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

58

Day 70-70: Salta

Today we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.

59

Day 71-71: Salta

Today we will have a short morning drive to a campsite in Cabra Corral, a small village south of Salta where we have the opportunity to go rafting or zip-lining!

Tonight we will continue our drive a short distance to wild camp in the stunning mountains nearby, or camp at the rafting base in Cabra Corral if preferred.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

60

Day 72-72: Cafayate

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the serene town of Cafayate. This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

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Day 73-73: Quilmes Ruins

Today we will drive south over some more spectacular mountains and arrive in the lush flat pampas that Argentina is famous for. We will visit the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route. 

Tonight we will aim to wild camp en route or stay in a basic campsite in the town of Recreo.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

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Day 74-76: Rio Ceballos

Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.

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Day 77-77: Buenos Aires

Today we will have a full day drive to the wonderful city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.

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Day 78-78: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

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Day 79-81: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport (also known as Ezeiza Airport).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The following two days are free explore the incredible city, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

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Day 82-82: Yapeyú

Today we have a full day drive north though the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, aiming to reach the beautiful village of Yapeyú on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapeyú is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.

In Yapeyú we will stay in a municipal campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

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Day 83-83: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: Exit Argentina at Tancredo Neves, enter Brazil at Tancredo Neves.

Today we cross the border into Brazil and drive to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

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Day 84-84: Iguazu Falls

Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

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Day 85-85: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

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Day 86-86: Bonito

Today we have a full drive day north to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.

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Day 87-88: Bonito

We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

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Day 89-90: Southern Pantanal

Today we have a short drive to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

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Day 91-91: Campo Grande

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal. We will start driving east towards Sao Paulo state, and wild camp towards the end of the day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

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Day 92-92: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

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Day 93-93: Brotas

Today is free to take part in optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or canyoning, or to simply relax by the pool!

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Day 94-96: Paraty

Today we have a full day drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast. 

On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

In Paraty we wil camp at a well equipped hostel.

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Day 97-97: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

There will be a joining meeting in the afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

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Day 98-98: Rio De Janeiro

Today is free time for you to explore the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro.

In the morning there's the option to go for a guided visit to the Morrinho Project, a favela community project supported by Dragoman. 

In the afternoon there is the option to go and see a football game in the world-famous Maracana stadium.

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Day 99-99: Rio De Janeiro

Early this morning we have the option to head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). 

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in sector 13, the most lively of the sectors where local Cariocas are supporting their favourite Samba schools by singing and dancing. The sector is at the very end of the runway and you have the chance of collecting parts of the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand.

Please note that sector 13 is set back a bit from the actual runway so does not offer the best close up views of the parade - if you should wish, there is the option to upgrade to sector 11 for a much closer view of the parade, which is highly recommended if you're interested in photography and would like the best pictures of the costumes and floats.

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Day 100-100: Rio De Janeiro

This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in!

In the afternoon we have the chance to go on an optional guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana beach. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain. 

In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. You even have the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience!

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Day 101-101: Rio De Janeiro

Today is another free day to explore Rio de Janeiro further, and perhaps to find one of the blocos (street parades) that take place during the Carnival and continue the party.

In the evening we have the chance to put on our most outrageous outfits and head to the Gay Ball!

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Day 102-102: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 11:00am, and you can depart at any time or spend the day exploring further or relaxing.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Freely explore the fascinating colonial city of Cartagena or learn all about its incredible history on a guided walking tour
    • Explore the area of Mompós by boat, on a beautiful short trip out on the Magdelena River
    • Discover the delightful Spanish colonial town of Villa de Leyva on a guided walking tour, and explore its cobblestoned streets, huge original plaza, and 16th-Century buildings
    • Enjoy a night of traditional live Colombian music with a delicious BBQ dinner at our coffee finca nea Manizales
    • Stay for 2 nights on a coffee finca near Manizales, and learn all about coffee production on an informative tour of the plantations
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported Sagrada Familia project in Manizales, who work to provide education, nutrition, and psychological support to young children from poor backgrounds in the area
    • Head out on a half-day guided trek through the spectacular Cocora Valley, and see the incredible 50m-tall Quindio wax palms, the tallest plam trees in the world!
    • Visit the jaw-dropping church of Santuario de las Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales, built on a bridge spanning a 45m-deep river gorge
    • Visit the monument to mark the Equator at Mitad del Mundo
    • Visit the incredible remains of the Inca temples of Sacsaywaman and the Sacred Valley on a guided tour
    • Take a guided tour of the fantastic Inca temples at Ollantaytambo
    • Options for the treks from Cuzco (please see the bottom of the Trip Notes for more details): Option 1 - Community Trek Hike on unspoiled Inca Trails through the stunning remote Andean scenery away from other tourists and through local communities, on our exclusive Community Inca Trek. If you choose this option you will get a small refund from kitty. Option 2 - Classic Trek Trek the Classic Inca Trail up the Royal Inca Road. Your kitty has been budgeted to accommodate for this option as it is the most costly of the 3 options. Option 3 - MAPI non-trekking option Relax in Cuzco and take the train to Machu Picchu without trekking. If you choose this option you will get a substantial refund from kitty. Important note: You must advise us at the time of booking if you wish to book the Classic Inca Trail or the MAPI non-trekking option, otherwise you will automatically be booked onto our Community Trek.
    • Explore the phenomenal and iconic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World - take a guided tour and have plenty of time to freely explore before returning to Cuzco
    • Visit the incredible Inca site of Tipón, once an agricultural centre and a park for the Inca elite
    • Take a boat trip to Lake Titicaca's Isla del Sol, and head on a guided walk across the length of the stunning island
    • Stay as guests of the local Andean community of Livichuco, and get an insight into the life of rural Bolivians in an area largely untouched by other tourists
    • Take a full day tour out in jeeps to the dazzling Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats - the spectacular, perfectly-flat salt plains that are one of South America's most incredible sights
    • Take the epic journey across the southern Bolivian altiplano - an incredible high-altitude, off-road adventure through a surreal desert landscape, taking in bizarre rock formations, hot springs, and the phenomenal coloured lakes of Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
    • Explore the dramatic, other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley, and take in an incredible sunset from one of its high viewpoints
    • Visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo' en route through the primaeval landscape of the Quebrada de las Conchas
    • Explore the atmospheric ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes in north west Argentina
    • Spend 3 special days at a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, to experience the gaucho way of living and see the beautiful countryside by horseback
    • Party all night to the fantastic and eclectic sounds and sights of the Samba parade at Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome
    Accomodation
    • 35% Camping - 65% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Community Project
  • Adventure Activities