Southern Cross Eastbound - Lima to Rio

Southern Cross Eastbound - Lima to Rio information and booking

from
$5991
$7049
  • Duration
    45
    Days
  • Service
    Standard
  • Difficulty
    Easy

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Highlights

Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, settle in with the locals at a homestay on Lake Titicaca, explore the Uyuni Salt Flats and Andean wilderness, spot wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal, stand in awe of Iguassu Falls

Tour description provided by G Adventures

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!

Itinerary

Day 1 Lima
Arrive at any time. Additional Notes: 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. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Lima/Paracas (1B)
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. Transport: Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 3 Paracas/Nazca
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. Included Activities: Huacachina Oasis visit Huacachina Winery Visit Transport: Local bus (1.00 hour(s), 60km) Local bus (3.00 hour(s), 140km)
Day 4 Nazca/Arequipa (1B)
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. Included Activities: Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter's Studio Guided Tour Transport: This comfortable double decker bus has toilet facilities on board. Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 560km)
Day 5 Arequipa
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.
Day 6 Arequipa/Chivay (1B)
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. Included Activities: Colca Canyon Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Day 7 Chivay/Arequipa (1B)
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'. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Day 8 Arequipa/Cusco (1B)
Take the short flight to Cusco for an afternoon wandering this fascinating city. Transport: Plane (0.50-1.50 hours, 324km)
Day 9 Cusco/Ollantaytambo (1B, 1L)
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. Included Activities: 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 Transport: Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley – the elevation descends the whole way. Private Vehicle (95km)
Day 10 Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. Additional Notes: 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. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 11 Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
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. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail
Day 12 Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna (1B, 1L, 1D)
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). Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail
Day 13 Wiñaywayna/Cusco (1B)
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. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail Machu Picchu Guided Tour Transport: Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Days 14-16 Cusco
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions. Additional Notes: 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.
Day 17 Cusco/Puno (1B)
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. Transport: Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 389km)
Day 18 Puno/Isla Amantani (1B, 1D)
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. Included Activities: Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1 Lake Titicaca Homestay
Day 19 Isla Amantani/Puno (1B, 1L)
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. Included Activities: Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2 Uros Floating Islands Visit
Day 20 Puno/La Paz (1B)
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. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Peru - Bolivia) Transport: Local bus (2.50 hour(s), 297km) Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
Day 21 La Paz (1B)
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.
Day 22 La Paz/Uyuni (1B)
Travel by train and bus to the town of Uyuni, home base for salt flat exploration. Transport: 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))
Day 23 Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni (1B, 1D)
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. Additional Notes: 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. Included Activities: Salt Flats Excursion
Day 24 Salar de Uyuni (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion. Admire the spectacular scenery while passing red and blue lagoons along the route. Spot wild llamas, alpacas and even flamingos deep within the desert. Included Activities: Salt Flats Excursion
Day 25 Salar de Uyuni/Uyuni (1B, 1L)
Rise early to cover more ground of the unique landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats. Continue to see incredible scenery, including volcanoes, salt lakes and geysers. Included Activities: Salt Flats Excursion
Day 26 Uyuni/Potosí (1B)
Journey from Uyuni to Potosí and get a view of the mountain Cerro Rico looming over the city. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 27 Potosí/Sucre (1B)
Continue by bus to Sucre and explore the beautiful colonial city. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours)
Days 28-29 Sucre
Free time to explore the city, the former capital of Bolivia. For more active options opt to go hiking in the surrounding area or mountain biking.
Day 30 Santa Cruz de la Sierra (1B)
Take a local flight from Sucre to Santa Cruz, located close to the Cordillera Oriental foothills. Transport: Plane (0.50 hour(s))
Day 31 Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Puerto Suárez (1B)
Spend some time exploring Santa Cruz before travelling by overnight train to the Brazilian border. Transport: Overnight train (airplane seats) (14.00 hour(s))
Day 32 Puerto Suárez/Pantanal (1L, 1D)
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. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Bolivia - Brazil) Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 33 Pantanal (1B, 1L, 1D)
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. Included Activities: Pantanal Wildlife Excursion
Day 34 Pantanal/Bonito (1B)
Travel to Bonito and spend time here snorkelling in the rivers or exploring nearby caves. Transport: Shared van (5.00 hour(s))
Day 35 Bonito (1B)
Enjoy a full day in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Day 36 Bonito/Foz do Iguaçu (1B)
Enjoy the day in Bonito before an overnight bus to Iguassu Falls. Transport: Overnight bus (14.00 hour(s))
Day 37 Foz do Iguaçu
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. Included Activities: Iguassu Falls Guided Tour
Day 38 Foz do Iguaçu (1B)
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. Additional Notes: If you have booked the Iguassu Falls Boat Ride Theme Pack, you will do it today on the Argentine side of the falls. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Brazil - Argentina) Iguassu Falls Visit Border Crossing (Argentina - Brazil)
Day 39 Foz do Iguaçu/Paraty (1B)
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. Transport: 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)
Day 40 Paraty (1B)
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.
Day 42 Paraty/Ilha Grande (1B)
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. Transport: Local bus (2.00 hour(s), 100km) Ferry (1.50 hour(s))
Day 43 Ilha Grande (1B)
Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande. Opt to hike the island's remote beaches or enjoy free time to relax and explore.
Day 44 Ilha Grande/Rio de Janeiro (1B)
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. Transport: Ferry (1.50 hour(s)) Local bus (3.50 hour(s), 87km)
Day 45 Rio de Janeiro (1B)
Depart at any time. Additional Notes: 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.