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Lima to Buenos Aires
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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 chaotic Peruvian capital of Lima, we journey 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 Potos, 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. Join Dragoman for this wonderful and unforgettable trip!

Latin America

Duration: 42 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Community Project Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158037
Starts: Lima, Peru Finishes: Buenos Aires, Argentina
You will visit
  • 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

Itinerary

01

Day 1: 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.

02

Day 2: 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!).

03

Day 3: 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.

04

Day 4: 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.

05

Day 5: 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.

06

Day 6: 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.

07

Day 7: 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.

08

Day 8: 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.

09

Day 9: 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.

10

Day 10: 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.

11

Day 11: 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.

12

Days 12-15: 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). 

13

Day 16: 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.

14

Day 17: 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.

15

Day 18: 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!).

16

Day 19: 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.

17

Day 20: 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.

18

Day 21: 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.

19

Days 22-23: 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.

20

Day 24: 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!).

21

Day 25: 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.

22

Day 26: 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.

23

Day 27: 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!

24

Day 28: 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.

25

Days 29-30: 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.

26

Day 31: 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.

27

Day 32: 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.

28

Day 33: 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.

29

Day 34: 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.

30

Day 35: 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.

31

Day 36: 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.

32

Days 37-39: 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.

33

Day 40: 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.

34

Day 41: 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.

35

Day 42: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Buenos Aires. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 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
    Accomodation
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Community Project


Reviews (2)
Joanna B Posted on: 

Great Trip! Great Team - Lynsey and Seb.

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Christine W Posted on: 

Awesome trip, great company.

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