From the Nazca Lines and the heights of Incan archaeology to the beach at Ipanema, this 45-day long tour provides limitless opportunities for adventure. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal, thundering Iguassu Falls, and the bizarre landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats. In the thin air of the Andes, trek the challenging Inca Trail to legendary Machu Picchu we run our own treks and ensure quality food and equipment, leaving you to focus on your next exhilarating step forward. With local transportation and authentic accommodation, this trip offers an intense blend of included activities and free time to explore on your own. This trip has it all!
Duration: 45 Days
Activities: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, History, Wildlife, Trekking
Guide (Language): english
Start City: Lima, Peru
Guaranteed Departure: No
Physical Demand: 4 - Demanding
Trip Rating: 80.0%
Trip ID: 126282
End City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Duration: 45 Days||Guaranteed Departure: Yes|
|For lovers of: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, History, Wildlife, Trekking||Physical rating: 4 - Demanding|
|Accommodation standard: Budget%||Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%|
|Your Guide: English speaking||Tour code: 126282|
|Starts: Lima, Peru||Finishes: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
Arrive at any time.
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town's lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).
Try your first Pisco Sour cocktail while staying in Paracas, the neighbouring town of Pisco.
Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of bird life.
Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located near the oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines, and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Huacachina Oasis visit
Huacachina Winery Visit
Local bus (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
Local bus (3.00 hour(s), 140km)
Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. It's difficult to make out the lines from the ground. The best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.
Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during the included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.
Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.
Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter's Studio Guided Tour
This comfortable double decker bus has toilet facilities on board.
Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 560km)
Explore Arequipa, the 'white city'. Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.
For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food — alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces, waiting for you to dig in.
Travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon — the deepest canyon in the world. Stop at villages and miradors (scenic lookouts), searching for the famous symbol of Peru, the condor.
Colca Canyon Guided Tour
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Start early to catch the condors in flight. Travel from Chivay to the condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see ancient terraces and different sections of Colca Canyon. Return to Arequipa in the afternoon for one final night in the 'white city'.
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Take the short flight to Cusco for an afternoon wandering this fascinating city.
Plane (0.50-1.50 hours, 324km)
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.
Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and the small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.
Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Take a guided tour of the large ruin site adjacent to the town. Ollayntaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.
Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women's Weaving Co-op visit
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley – the elevation descends the whole way.
Private Vehicle (95km)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Hike Inca Trail
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
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.
Hike 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).
Hike Inca Trail
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.
Hike Inca Trail
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.
Optional Amazon Jungle Excursion: Experience 3 days and 2 nights at our G Lodge Amazon. All meals and excursions with a local naturalist guide are included during your stay. If you are interested in this opportunity, please inquire at time of booking or add it to your experience online. If you pre-book this activity, you will travel to the Amazon Jungle on Day 14 and return to Cusco on Day 16.
Today, travel through the high Altiplano region from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is the largest lake in the world above 3800m, and the views from both Amantaní and the Taquile Islands are stunning. The trip takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route.
Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 389km)
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a local restaurant to enjoy a lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1
Lake Titicaca Homestay
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2
Uros Floating Islands Visit
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4000m (13,120ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.
Border Crossing (Peru - Bolivia)
Local bus (2.50 hour(s), 297km)
Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
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.
Travel by train and bus to the town of Uyuni, home base for salt flat exploration.
Local bus (4.00-5.00 hours)
Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride. If travelling on a day when the train is not operating, you will take an overnight bus from La Paz departing at 19:00 and arriving in Uyuni at 06:00 the next morning.
Local train (6.00 hour(s))
Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni. Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), the town of Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia's Favourite Daughter).
It is also the starting point for our three day excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.
We offer unique accommodation on the Uyuni Salt Flats. Instead of very basic refuges and homestays most operators use, we have upgraded to simple hotels that are equipped with solar panels to provide electricity and hot water. Rooms are multi-share and each has a private bathroom. Meals are made from local ingredients, most of which are grown on-site.
During the rainy season the locations visited may change due to some routes being covered by water.
Salt Flats Excursion
Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.
Salt Flats Excursion
Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before travelling the town of Uyuni for the night.
Salt Flats Excursion
Journey from Uyuni to Potosí. Opt to visit a working silver mine or explore the city.
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours)
Continue by bus to Sucre. Explore this beautiful colonial city or visit the nearby dinosaur tracks.
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours)
Spend two days exploring all Sucre has to offer.
Take a local flight from Sucre to Santa Cruz, located close to the Cordillera Oriental foothills.
Plane (0.50 hour(s))
Spend some time exploring Santa Cruz. Travel by overnight train to the Brazilian border at Puerto Suarez.
Overnight train (airplane seats) (14.00 hour(s))
Cross Bolivia's eastern border at the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, on the edge of the Pantanal, an immense wetland area famed for its profuse wildlife. Take a 2-day wildlife excursion to fully appreciate the area's beauty and bounty.
Border Crossing (Bolivia - Brazil)
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
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.
Pantanal Wildlife Excursion
Travel by van to Bonito. Spend time here snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring nearby caves.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Enjoy a full day in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Enjoy the day in Bonito before an overnight bus to Iguassu Falls.
Overnight bus (14.00 hour(s))
Visit the Brazilian side of the falls before a free afternoon to relax or visit the bird park, home to species such as the Hyacinth macaw and toucans.
Iguassu Falls Guided Tour
Cross the border to Argentina for a new perspective of the falls. With an extensive series of catwalks and optional boat rides to the base of the falls, there's plenty to do before returning to the Brazilian side for the night.
If you have booked the Iguassu Falls Boat Ride Theme Pack, you will do it today on the Argentine side of the falls.
Border Crossing (Brazil - Argentina)
Iguassu Falls Visit
Border Crossing (Argentina - Brazil)
On arrival in São Paulo, continue on by bus to the gorgeous coastal town of Paraty. Wander the cobblestoned streets, take a boat trip to the nearby islands in the bay, or visit one of the many white-sand beaches that make Brazil famous.
An early morning flight gets you Paraty with plenty of time to explore.
Plane (1.75 hour(s))
Enjoy the drive to São Paulo, stopping for lunch along the way.
Shared van (5.00-6.00 hours)
Enjoy free time to explore Paraty. Opt to visit the cachaça distilleries or take a boat into the bay to explore the nearby islands and beaches.
A short, scenic drive along the coast takes us to Angra dos Reis. Board the ferry to Ilha Grande—home to some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches.
Enjoy free time to soak up the sun, snorkel, hike, and cruise to various beaches, not to mention feast on fresh seafood and sip caipirinhas in the plaza in the evenings.
Local bus (2.00 hour(s), 100km)
Ferry (1.50 hour(s))
Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande. Opt to hike the island's remote beaches or enjoy free time to relax and explore.
Travel back to the mainland by ferry before continuing north along the coast. Enjoy the incredible scenery before rounding the cliffs at Vidigal. Get your first look at one of the most memorable cities in the world—Río de Janeiro.
Ferry (1.50 hour(s))
Local bus (3.50 hour(s), 87km)
Depart at any time.
Some departures running in the summer of 2016 will be affected by the Olympics in Rio. Please see the itinerary note on the overview page for specific dates. Due to accommodation availability in Rio we have adjusted the itinerary to have 1 additional night in Buenos Aires and 0 nights in Rio. The tour will end on arrival in the city centre of Rio around 2pm. Please book onward flights accordingly.
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It is a lot of country to see in the amount of time taken. However the spectacular sights, mix of cultures, friendly locals and great travelling companions made it all a rewarding experience.Overall Rating
On this tour I genuinely had the most amazing time of my life. I felt we managed to fit in everything there was to do in the places we went in half the time it would take you to do it alone. The leaders, including the local tour guides, were on the whole excellent and our tour leader Walter really made the trip for us. The highlights were definitely most of Peru, the Salt Flats in Bolivia and Sucre, and the whole of Brazil.I had such a great time and am so impressed with the organization and have made great friends. I would definitely use it again!Overall Rating
The tour was great! We had a great group and really explored South America.Overall Rating
Absolutely amazing trip. You see so many great sights and learn so much about the history and culture of the countries.Overall Rating
An unforgettable trip, and life experience. Being on the trip we experienced so much more than if we had traveled on our own. A perfect choice of locations visited. The Guides' local knowledge and experience was a major factor in the experience.Overall Rating
I really enjoyed the 45 day adventure. Although I didn't do the Inca Trail Machu Picchu was just incredible.Overall Rating
Transport, accommodation and quality of the guide/information were all better than anticipated.Overall Rating
Well organized,enjoyable,varied standard of accommodation & tours.Overall Rating
I loved it, I had been used to living in youth hostels around the world for 5 months before the trip started, so staying at a hotel was a luxury for me. Inca Trail was incredible and the guide, especially for the trail was incredible!Overall Rating
A brilliant way to see a large portion of South America. The group were great,the leaders kept the enthusiasm going and every day was a different experience. Machu Picchu and the Pantanal being my personal highlights. IOverall Rating
Overall a fantstic trip. It covered all the areas I wanted to see. Sarah was a fantastic leader, very organised and helpful!Overall Rating
It was an amazing trip - it was well organised and we saw some amazing places!Overall Rating
The tour was amazing! Our guides both said we were the smallest group they've had but I don't think that took anything away from the trip. We were able to see and do so many amazing things in such a short amount of time. I don't think I could have done nearly as much on my own and I was especially thankful to have Lucio when I fractured my shoulder. Even with an injury I had an incredible time and can't wait to travel again.Overall Rating
General overall impression was of a well run and organised tour.Overall Rating
I loved every minute of the trip. Lula was a great guide, caring and considerate.Overall Rating
The tour was fantastic a great itinerary, we managed to see everything but it didn't feel too rushed.Overall Rating
It was a very well run and organized trip. I had a great time! The big group size was really fun, and our leader was extremely helpful with all people wants and needs.Overall Rating
This was my first trip with them and I really didn't expect it to be so good! The tour leaders helped us with absolutely everything we wanted to do. And that they sorted out everything with hotels, transportation and so on was great. I'm sure I want to travel with them again! My overall impressions are only positive.Overall Rating
I thought the Lima - La Paz section was good value for money and well run.Overall Rating
I feel so lucky! I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I have so many great memories. My group was full of amazing funny people & I have made some life-long friends from this experience. Fernando & Javier were both fantastic guides. This tour is fast paced but it fits in a lot of the best parts South America has to offer. I would recommend it to anyone.Overall Rating
overall was thouroughly impressed with the tour,. it made travelling acroiss the severaL countries much easier and stress free with the trtansportation and accommodation arrangements, which too were comfortable.Overall Rating
The tour was very enjoyable, the places we visited were all spectacular and interesting.Overall Rating
Everything we saw on the trip was beyond expectations, had a great time.Overall Rating
Fantastic experience - the tour included so many of the "must sees" of South America.Overall Rating
What a great experience! My expectations were surpassed. The sights and activities were varied; so much so, I could never choose a highlight - it was all fantastic!Overall Rating
Seen and experienced loads. The trip is well organised but too much moving about not enough time to enjoy the places.Overall Rating
Better than i expected . Great experience .It covered everything we want to see .Overall Rating
The tour showed Peru in a informative and cultural way which was excellent.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Southern Cross Eastbound - Lima to Rio
Duration: 45 Days
From Price: 6149
Trip Code: 126282
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