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Foz do IguaA§u to Cuzco

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 waterfalls of Iguazu, we drive south into the often-overlooked but fantastic country of Uruguay, where we will stay at a traditional estancia, see the rugged coastline of Santa Teresa, visit the buzzing capital of Montevideo and wander the cobbled streets of the sleepy colonial town of Colonia. We then make our way back into Argentina, and arrive in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires. Heading north from Buenos Aires, we arrive at a very special highlight of this trip - our unique estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. After this we head north across the pampas and into the wine regions and highlands of northwest Argentina, arriving at the wonderful town of Salta. From here we cross the mighty Andes to the incredible Atacama Deserts of Chile, then overland across the other-worldly scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano to the town of Uyuni. Uyuni is our base for our visit to one of the continent's most spectacular natural wonders - the phenomenal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni. From here we will drive north via the famous mining town of Potos to the hectic Bolivian city of La Paz. From La Paz we will continue to the serene shores of Lake Titicaca and its sacred Inca island of Isla del Sol, and then move on to the traveller's paradise 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. Join us for this unforgettable South American adventure!


Duration: 10 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158402
Starts: San Francisco, United States Finishes: Zion Lodge, United States
You will visit
  • Okavango Delta
  • Xakanaxa
  • Khwai
  • Savuti
  • Serondella
  • Chobe National Park
  • Zambia

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Join tour in San Francisco

Join tour San Francisco and check-in at the hotel. Hugging the shores of San Francisco Bay, America's second most populous city is a fascinating mix of culture, commerce and character that cannot fail to charm.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

02

Day 2: Sightseeing tour including the Golden Gate Bridge, free afternoon

We have the day to explore some of San Francisco's famous sights. On a morning's orientation tour of the city we take in the colonial architecture of Alamo Square and the colourful eccentricity of Haight Ashbury, San Francisco's once thriving 'hippie district' of the 1960s. Driving up to Twin Peaks we then enjoy some great views across the city and the bay (weather dependant), before moving on to Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. This afternoon is free to perhaps take in Lombard Street and Coit Tower, returning by the city's famous cable cars back down to Union Square and Market Street.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

03

Day 3: Transfer to Yosemite National Park, walk to the base of Yosemite Falls

This morning we leave San Francisco behind and drive northward, heading through Stanislaus County towards Yosemite National Park. Passing numerous orchards and vineyards we head up into the Sierra Nevada, towards the rugged beauty of Yosemite. A mere 20 kilometres long, the central valley is dominated by the vast granite bulks of Half Dome and El Capitan (twice the size of the Rock of Gibraltar). We aim to take a walk up to the base of Yosemite Falls (the highest waterfall in the States), before continuing along to our hotel in Mariposa.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

04

Day 4: Explore Yosemite National Park on foot

More than 90% of Yosemite is designated as a wilderness area and over the next two days we have ample chance to explore. We can hike up to Glacier Point and then follow the Panorama and Mist Trail back down into the valley (an additional 5-7 hours), a challenging walk that takes us past Nevada and Vernal Falls and offers some stunning views of Half Dome and El Capitan. Other less demanding options include bike hire, a walk up to the top of Yosemite Falls (3 hours walk to the top) or a relaxing day along the riverbanks. The park is filled with a variety of wildlife too, including hummingbirds, deer and even black bears.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

05

Day 5: Walks in Yosemite National Park

Today we continue exploring Yosemite National Park.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

06

Day 6: Travel to Bishop via Tenaya and Mono Lakes

Leaving the park this morning we plan to drive across the scenic Tioga Pass (3032m) en route to Tenaya Lake. After lunch we continue on to the surreal landscapes of Mono Lake, at the base of the High Sierras. This incredible body of water is two and a half times as salty and eighty times as alkaline as sea-water and whilst it can sustain no fish life, it does abound in brine shrimp and flies, providing food for millions of migratory birds. From here we drive to Bishop, where we spend the evening. On early spring departures, if the passes over the Sierra Nevada are closed we may have to amend our itinerary and re-route the tour.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

07

Day 7: Journey through Death Valley to Las Vegas

Starting early to avoid the heat, we descend into Death Valley today, one of the lowest and hottest places on earth. After taking breakfast in Stove Pipe Wells (at own expense), we then journey into the heart of one of the most remarkable settings on earth, where the marbled rocks, salt pans and black mountains provide us with an incredible backdrop. In marked contrast we end our day in Las Vegas, America's extraordinary desert playground, where pirate ships and exploding volcanoes share centre stage with Venetian canals and ancient pyramids. This evening we have some free time to explore this unique city.

Accommodation: 
  • Comfortable Hotel  
Optional:
  • Swimming Pool Available
  • Single Room Available

08

Day 8: Head to Zion National Park, walk to the Emerald Pools

Leaving the bright lights of Vegas behind us this morning we head next into the wilderness of south-western Utah and the stunning beauty of Zion National Park. Zion Canyon is an incredible natural landscape that sits at the meeting point of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin and the Mohave Desert. Home to golden eagles, elk and black bear, Zion boasts an incredible diversity of flora, from Ponderosa pine to desert bush. On arrival in the park this afternoon we take a walk to Emerald Pools before overnighting in nearby Springdale.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

09

Day 9: In Zion National Park, walks include Angel's Landing or the Narrows

Today we have a chance to hike up to Angel's Landing, to enjoy a spectacular viewpoint down across the valley (approximately 4 hours). Other option for today includes The Narrows, the latter of which takes us along the river bed and (depending on the season) may require us to negotiate waist-high water (approximately 3 hours). Those looking for a more arduous trek might like to try the hike up to Observation Point (about 5 hours). Later, we drive to Bryce Canyon, travelling via Buffalo and Mt Carmel Junction.

Accommodation: 
  • Standard Hotel 
Optional:
  • Single Room Available

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit the phenomenal Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side, where you can get the closest views of Garganta del Diablo and explore the web of nature trails around the area's forests and waterfalls
    • See the mighty Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, enjoying the incredble panorama of waterfalls and exploring the beauty of the area
    • Enjoy an incredible 2-night stay at a traditional Uruguayan farm to gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the gauchos, take part in a cooking demonstration, and go to an evening of traditional local music
    • Take a day trip across the phenomenal sand dunes to the remote settlement of Cabo Polonio, and explore its dramatic coastlines and beaches
    • Take a fantastic tour around some of Uruguay's oldest vineyards, and taste some of the delicious wines produced here
    • Learn all about the fascinating history of the once-world-famous Fray Bentos meat factory on a guided tour, at one time the pride of Uruguayan industry which fell into decline after nationalisation and the formation of the European Common Market
    • Spend 3 special days at a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, to experience the gaucho way of living and see the beautiful countryside by horseback
    • Explore the atmospheric ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes in north west Argentina
    • 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 dramatic, other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley, and take in an incredible sunset from one of its high viewpoints
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 boat trip to Lake Titicaca's Isla del Sol, and head on a guided walk across the length of the stunning island
    • Visit the incredible Inca site of Tipón, once an agricultural centre and a park for the Inca elite
    • 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
    Accomodation
    • 40% Camping - 60% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Overland Journey
  • Adventure Activities