The Great South American Journey–Quito to Rio Adventure
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The Great South American Journey–Quito to Rio Adventure

Starting at $7,749


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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Sometimes the slow road is the way to go. Hit the road from Quito to Rio with other young travellers and experience pretty much everything you can imagine in between. Hike the Inca Trail and discover the thriving Inca culture, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia, dance the tango in Buenos Aires, and hit the beach in Brazil. This trip offers up lively cities, stunning scenery, and tons of adventure. 65 days, seven countries, three nights in the Amazon, and one adventure you’ll remember forever.

Note: There may be multiple variations of this itinerary available. Please inquire when booking.

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Map for The Great South American Journey–Quito to Rio Adventure


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Quito
Arrive at any time.

Quito/Tena
Travel overland to the jungle city of Tena, located on the edge of the Amazon. From there, transfer by truck to the local community of Pimpilala. Stay in rustic wooden huts in the community of a Quichua family, enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle first-hand.

Tena
Head out on nature walks and learn about uses of traditional plants, their cultural beliefs, and local traditions in the Amazon jungle.

Tena
In the morning, cycle to the nearby community of Shandia and discover the beauty of the Amazon with a member of the community as your guide. Learn about traditional uses of cacao by watching a chocolate-making demonstration, eat meals made of fresh local ingredients, and stay at the G Adventures-supported community lodge.

Tena/Baños
Travel to Baños, the perfect setting to get your adrenaline pumping, try out horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, or rafting in the surrounding mountains.

Baños
Enjoy a free day in Baños, opt to check out the swing at the end of the world or soak in nearby hot springs.

Baños/Cuenca
Enjoy the scenery on the way to the charming town of Cuenca.

Cuenca
Enjoy a free day in beautiful Cuenca. Explore the city’s sights including cobbled streets, red-tiled roofs, art galleries, flower markets, shady plazas, and museums or opt to visit nearby Cajas National Park or the Inca ruins of Ingapirca. Later, catch an overnight bus to Mancora.

Máncora
Arrive early into the seaside town of Mancora, a village populated by fishermen and surfers from around Peru and the world. Chill out and breathe in the salty air.

Máncora
Opt to relax on the beach, discover Mancora, go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson.

Máncora/Huanchaco
Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

Huanchaco
Enjoy more beach time or opt to visit pre-Inca sites or the city of Trujillo.

Huanchaco/Lima
Full day in Huanchaco before boarding a night bus to Lima.

Lima
Explore Peru's capital on an optional city tour or simply relax. Be sure to try the tasty ceviche and pisco sours.

Lima
Enjoy the day exploring the city. Opt to pre-book the Lima Cooking Class and learn how to cook some classic Peruvian dishes using ingredients from the local market.

Lima/Paracas
Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.

Paracas/Nazca
Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.

Nazca/Arequipa
Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before an overnight bus to Arequipa.

Arequipa
Opt to explore the Arequipa on a city tour or soak in a local hot spring.

Arequipa/Colca Canyon
Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.

Colca Canyon/Arequipa
Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.

Arequipa/Cusco
Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.

Cusco
Free time to explore Cusco. Choose to pre-book the optional Cusco Cooking Class. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

Cusco
Enjoy another free day in Cusco. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class.

Cusco/Ollantaytambo
Learn about the Sacred Valley en route to Ollantaytambo. Opt to take a Sacred Valley tour with a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

Inca Trail
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.

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.

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).

Machu Picchu/Cusco
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 any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Cusco
Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

Cusco/Puno
Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

Puno/Lake Titicaca
Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.

Lake Titicaca/Puno
Visit the floating islands of Uros. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.

Puno/La Paz
Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?

La Paz
Free day in La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, the Valley of the Moon, the Witches' Market, or the nearby Tiahuanaco Ruins.

La Paz/Sucre
Enjoy a free day to explore the vibrant markets and winding streets of the city before boarding a night bus to Sucre.

Sucre
Free time to explore the beautiful colonial city of Sucre. For more active options opt to go hiking in the surrounding area or mountain biking.

Sucre
Enjoy another free day to explore Sucre and surroundings.

Sucre/Potosí
Travel south to the one of the world's highest cities.

Potosí
Get out and explore Potosí, learn about the history of the city while wandering the streets. Stop at the market and interact with the locals.

Potosí/Uyuni
Travel to Uyuni and get ready for an excursion to the Salar de Uyuni.

Uyuni/Salt Flats and Desert Crossing
Enjoy a three-day 4x4 excursion to the Salar de Uyuni and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery. Today you will be heading into the Salar de Uyuni. Our groups like to get creative with photography, as the endless white of the salt flats creates some great depth illusions that are fun to play with in photos. Last stop for the evening is a G Adventures-supported community lodge in a traditional agricultural village in the heart of a desert oasis.

Salt Flats and Desert Crossing
Explore the desert altiplano on a 4x4 excursion. Admire the spectacular scenery while passing red and blue lagoons and interesting rock formations along the route. Spot wild llamas, alpacas and even flamingos deep within the desert.

Salt Flats and Desert Crossing /San Pedro de Atacama
Rise early to cover more ground of the unique landscape of the Salar de Uyuni. Continue to see incredible scenery, including volcanoes, and salt lakes. Travel to the border and descend by bus to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. It's a long but scenic drive.

San Pedro de Atacama
Opt to go sandboarding or mountain biking, or visit the Valley of the Moon.

San Pedro de Atacama/Salta
Cross the border into Argentina.

Salta
Explore the city and enjoy the local cuisine. Opt to take a trip through the scenic Quebrada de las Conchas to Cafayate, or visit the High Mountain Archaeological Museum.

Salta/Buenos Aires
Skip a long bus journey with a quick flight to Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires
Enjoy a free day to explore beautiful Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires
Explore the "Paris of the Americas," from the hidden patios of trendy Palermo to bohemian vibes in San Telmo this city has something for everyone.

Buenos Aires/Colonia
Cross the Río de la Plata by ferry to Colonia, Uruguay. Explore on an orientation walk, then enjoy free time to explore the area and relax at a streetside café.

Colonia/Montevideo
Travel from Colonia to Montevideo in the morning. Explore Montevideo in the afternoon; opt to grab a snack at the Port Market, wander around the colourful old town, or visit Estadio Centenario where the first World Cup was played.

Montevideo
Enjoy another day to get to know Montevideo. Opt to take a day trip to glamorous Punta del Este or chill in the park like a local.

Montevideo/Estancia Stay
Travel by day through picturesque settlements and pastures finishing in the last Uruguayan stop—a local ranch, known in the region as an estancia.

Estancia Stay
Spend a day in the life on an Uruguayan ranch, go for a walk in the countryside, learn how to make empanadas, and experience a local barbecue.

Estancia Stay/Iguassu Falls
In the morning cross the border into Gualeguaychu in Argentina, then begin the long overnight journey to Iguassu Falls.

Iguassu Falls
In the afternoon opt to visit the Brazilian side of the falls and get an incredible panoramic view. Opt to take a helicopter ride over the falls, visit a bird park or see the Itaipu Dam.

Iguassu Falls
Today enjoy a full day excursion to the Argentine side of the falls. Wander along the walk paths that connect different viewpoints of the falls. Opt to take a boat tour to see the cascading falls from below.

Iguaçu Falls/Paraty
Skip an overnight bus ride and fly to São Paulo, heading straight to the coast. Explore colonial Paraty, then hit the beach.

Paraty
Free time to explore Paraty's beaches, a national park and surroundings. Opt to visit a cachaça distillery or take a boat tour to nearby islands.

Paraty/Ilha Grande
Continue by van up the coast, and take a ferry to Ilha Grande.

Ilha Grande
Free time to explore the beaches of Ilha Grande. Opt to hike the remote trails, take a boat trip around the island, play in the waves or go snorkelling.

Ilha Grande/Rio de Janeiro
Travel to Rio de Janeiro. Take a city tour to experience sights like Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, or take a leisurely stroll along Copacabana beach as the waves lap at your feet.

Rio de Janeiro
In the morning, explore the favela with a local resident on a G Adventures-supported tour to watch a drumming demonstration, get a Capoeira lesson, and sample craft beers with a new perspective of the city. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover all that Rio has to offer.

Rio de Janeiro
Depart at any time.

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