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Peru and Bolivia: Machu Picchu to the Salt Flats
This trip has alternate itineraries available. Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.

South America is filled with awe-inspiring wonders, and on this journey through Bolivia and Peru, you’ll experience an introduction to some of its highlights. Learn about Peru’s storied past in the former Inca capital of Cusco before immersing yourself in the Amazon during a stay in the heart of the jungle. Hike the Inca Trail—or catch the scenic train—to the ancient and endlessly fascinating Machu Picchu; then travel to Bolivia to see striking sights like the Uyuni Salt Flats and colonial cities surrounded by soaring Andean peaks.

Latin America
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SPBNG.A/214570
  • Starts: Lima, Peru
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • Tambopata
  • Cusco
  • Urubamba
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Wayllabamba Camp
  • Paqaymayo Camp
  • Wiñaywayna
  • La Paz
  • Sucre
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

02

Day 2: Lima/Tambopata

Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized canoe to the comfortable, intimate, and exclusive G Lodge Amazon located in the lush Tambopata Rainforest.
After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge.

En route, spot bird species typical of the local river and forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.

Local community members make up the majority of lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Take the opportunity to learn about the area's rich flora and fauna and locals' extensive use of medicinal plants and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.

Enjoy a welcome drink and orientation. Before dinner, head out for a night walk around the lodge grounds.

03

Day 3: Tambopata

Enjoy guided jungle excursions led by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes, rivers, and clay licks.Take advantage of free time to relax or swim, and go on a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner.
Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe.

Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter, or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of birds, interesting plants, and other animals about.

04

Day 4: Tambopata/Cusco

Travel by boat out of the jungle to Puerto Maldonado for the flight over the Andes and into the heart of Inca territory, Cusco. This evening, look to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas' relationship with the cosmos. Visit the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars.
Afternoon arrival into the Inca capital. Time for strolling around the plazas and markets. Admire the cobblestones streets, and visit some museums and Cathedral.

05

Day 5: Cusco/Urubamba

Enjoy a full day exploring the Sacred Valley with a local guide. Tour the G Adventures-supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a network of rural agricultural communities working to preserve more than 700 species of potatoes. Learn about potato cultivation and traditional weaving, and the importance of each to Andean culture. Next, explore the Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in the village of Huchuy Qosqo.


06

Day 6: Inca Trail

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into things with a straight forward day of hiking, the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins will give you plenty to look at.
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

07

Day 7: Inca Trail

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.

08

Day 8: Inca Trail

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 another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

09

Day 9: Machu Picchu/Cusco

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. 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 until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

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

10

Day 10: Cusco/La Paz

Catch a flight to one of the loftiest cities in the world, La Paz, Bolivia. In the afternoon, take an immersive city tour on foot, van, and by cable car exploring the “highest” capital in the world, surrounded by the stunning snow-capped Andes. Explore vibrant squares, historical sites, and lively local markets, learning more about the balance of old and new of this fascinating city. This evening, enjoy an interactive culinary experience at a popular local restaurant with demonstrations of how traditional foods such as quinoa are integrated into modern fusion dishes. With our local chef, we sample a variety of dishes and discuss the growing popularity of La Paz as a foodie destination.

11

Day 11: La Paz/Sucre

Catch a flight to charming Sucre, then enjoy an orientation walk around the main square with your CEO. This afternoon, relax at a local café, explore on your own, or opt to take an immersive city tour with a local expert that focuses on the stunning colonial architecture and historic sites, best viewed from atop the city's ubiquitous rooftop terraces.

12

Day 12: Potosi Countryside

Enjoy free time this morning before traveling into the southern highlands to our historic hacienda. Surrounded by lush farmlands and rolling hills, this working farm offers unique opportunities for cultural exchange with the resident family. Get a glimpse into daily life here while taking part in demonstrations at the dairy and in the fields, and step back in time during visits to the property's private rooms, chapel, and museum. Cap off your experience with an authentic farm-to-table dinner featuring specialities local to the area.

13

Day 13: Potosí/Uyuni

Make the short drive to the center of Potosi and enjoy a guided tour of the Casa Nacional de la Moneda, the old silver mint and now a museum dedicated to Bolivian art and history. Take a scenic drive to Uyuni, gateway to the world's largest salt flat. Learn about the industrialization of salt and the geographical history of the region while driving across this mirror-like landscape. Enjoy a sunset picnic atop the flats before returning to our hotel.

14

Day 14: Uyuni

Journey deeper into the salt pans to explore their varied geographical features. Along the way, stop at the remote town of Agencha, a small Quechua community sponsored by G Adventures for Good. Here we enjoy a guided walk to learn about quinoa production and the cultural history of the area. Savor lunch prepared with local ingredients before continuing our exploration of the desert and its pans.

15

Day 15: Uyuni/La Paz

Catch a flight to La Paz and enjoy free time to explore before joining our CEO for an optional farewell dinner.

16

Day 16: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Cusco Planetarium, Cusco National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Traditional Andean Experience, Urubamba National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: La Paz Culinary Experience, La Paz National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Bolivian Hacienda Experience, Potosí G Adventures for Good: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Urubamba G Adventures for Good: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay G Adventures for Good: Jukil Community Experience & Lunch, Santiago de Agencha
    • Arrival transfer
    • Three-day (2 nts) excursion to the G Adventures exclusive rainforest lodge
    • Sacred Valley tour
    • Choice of four-day Inca Trail hike with local guide, cook, and porters or Cusco/Aguas Calientes stay with scenic train
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • La Paz city tour
    • Sucre orientation walk
    • Excursions to the Uyuni Salt Flats
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts), G Lodge Amazon (2 nts), Inca Trail camping or Cusco-stay hotel (3 nts), Hacienda/farm (1nt)
    • 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
    Transport
    • Private van, plane, train, boat, canoe, hiking, 4 x 4 vehicle, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Explore the iconic citadel of Machu Picchu on foot or by train
  • Get creative with photo ops on thestunning landscapes of Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats. Stay at an eco-lodge deep in the Amazon jungle
  • And spot wildlife with expert naturalists. Experience life at a traditional Bolivian hacienda high in the Andes.