The Great South American Journey: Quito to Rio Adventure

Resort: The Great South American Journey: Quito to Rio Adventure
Operator: G Adventures
Destination: Ecuador
Price From: £4249.15

Over View

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 youll remember forever.

Itineraries

Day 1
Quito

Arrive at any time. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers over a few drinks at a downtown bar. Say cheers with a local craft beer and get excited for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2
QuitoTena

Travel overland to the jungle city of Tena, located on the edge of the Amazon. Hop into the back of a pickup truck and head to the local community of Pimpilala where you will stay in rustic wooden huts. Enjoy the hospitality of a Quichua family and experience life in the jungle first-hand.

Day 3
Tena

Venture out on nature walks and become immersed in the jungle around you. Learn about uses of traditional plants, and the cultural beliefs and local traditions in the Amazon jungle. You can also choose to go whitewater rafting, or take a tour of an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre.

Day 4
Tena

Wake up and 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.

Day 5
TenaBaos

Travel to Baos and get your adrenaline pumping. Try out horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, or rafting in the surrounding mountains.

Day 6
Baos

The day is yours to explore what Baos has to offer. Check out the swing at the end of the world or relax in nearby hot springs.

Day 7
BaosCuenca

Soak up the scenic views en route to the town of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest town. Explore art galleries, museums, and admire its colonial architecture. Visit national parks, take walks in the breathtaking countryside, or check out the country’s only Inca ruin site.

Day 8
Cuenca

Choose your own adventure today. Wander through charming cobbled streets to discover the sights and sounds of Cuenca. From colourful homes with red-tiled roofs, to flower markets and picturesque plazas, the photo ops are endless in this town. (Prepare to have your camera roll filled with Cuenca!) Later, catch some z’s on an overnight bus to Mancora.

Day 9
Mncora

Wake up in the seaside town of Mancora, a village populated by fishermen and surfers. Chill out and breathe in the salty air.

Day 10
Mncora

A lazy beach day is just what the doctor ordered. Unless you want to go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson. Totally up to you as you enjoy a free day in Mancora.

Day 11
MncoraTrujillo

Didn’t get to do everything you wanted yesterday? No worries more time in Mancora today. Later, relax and get some sleep on an overnight bus to Trujillo.

Day 12
Trujillo

Bienvenidos a Trujillo! You can visit the impressive Chan Chan sandstone archaeological site today, snap a photo at the yellow colonial church, or head to Huanchaco for some more beach time.

Day 13
TrujilloLima

Enjoy another full day in Trujillo before boarding a night bus to Lima.

Day 14
Lima

Day 15
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.

Day 16
LimaHuacachina

Travel along Peru’s breathtaking coast to the oasis of Huacachina where you can sandboard on the desert dunes while watching the sun go down.

Day 17
HuacachinaNazca

Wake up and make the most of your time in Huacachina before your adventure continues on to Nazca. There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the Ballestas Islands, home to a lively colony of sea lions, pelicans, and other varieties of birds. Later, catch a bus to Nazca. Stop along the way at a Pisco winery and try the country’s national drink!

Day 18
NazcaArequipa

Choose to soar over the iconic Nazca Lines today with a pre-bookable flight, or take a tour of the Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter’s Studio. Tonight, catch some z’s on an overnight bus to Arequipa.

Day 19
Arequipa

Welcome to Arequipa! Take the day to explore what is known as the ‘white city.’ If you’re into history and architecture, visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, where you’ll get a unique glimpse into a bygone way of life. For spicy food lovers, visiting one of the ‘picanteras’ is a must. Satisfy your craving with a variety of local regional foods: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.

Day 20
ArequipaColca Canyon

Enjoy a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley and venture to the impressive Colca Canyon one of the deepest canyons in the world on an overnight excursion. With a little luck, you’ll spot Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Keep a lookout for other unusual animals! Give your body some much needed relaxation by taking a dip in the the hot springs.

Day 21
Colca CanyonArequipa

Get an early start to be on the look out for condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to get a glimpse of these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop in local villages, and see old terraces. Later, head out for a drink in the Calle Zela area restaurant, bar, or club, there’s something for everyone!

Day 22
ArequipaCusco

Explore Arequipa take a city tour if you want or check out a monastery or museum. Later, sit back and relax on an overnight bus to Cusco.

Day 23
Cusco

Explore the city on your own today or choose from a variety of activities that will help you discover the magic of Cusco. You can go horseback riding or whitewater rafting, or choose to take a half-day tour of the city. Or, pre-book the Cusco cooking class if you want to learn to prepare local specialties!

Day 24
Cusco

Today is another free day to explore all that Cusco has to offer. Go horseback riding, mountain biking, or whitewater rafting. Too wiped out from the trek? Take it easy with a visit to the Inka Museum.

Day 25
CuscoOllantaytambo

Head into the Sacred Valley today to visit the G-Adventures supported women’s weaving co-op in the Ccaccaccollo community. Learn about weaving, and meet the adorable resident llamas. If you see a knitted item you like, buy it a perfect keepsake from your journey. Stop and sample some craft beer at a brewery on your way to Ollantaytambo.

Day 26
Inca Trail

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where your trek begins. Hike through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons. You’ll see several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

Day 27
Inca Trail

Get an early start today to climb the long steep path to Warmiwausca, 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 some much needed R&R.

Day 28
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, you 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 Wiay Wayna ruins (forever young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Day 29
Machu PicchuCusco

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 enjoy free time to explore. If there’s enough time, you can choose to visit the Inca Bridge.

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. Tonight, dance the night away at a popular night club.

Day 30
Cusco

Today is another free day to explore all that Cusco has to offer. Go horseback riding, mountain biking, or whitewater rafting. Too wiped out from the trek? Take it easy with a visit to the Inka Museum.

Day 31
CuscoPuno

Sit back, relax, and soak in the impressive views as you travel by bus through the Altiplano on your way to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

Day 32
PunoLake Titicaca

This morning, you will board a boat on Lake Titicaca and head to Taquile Island for lunch in a local restaurant. Shop in the afternoon at the local weaving cooperatives. Later, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay to live like a local on the shores of the lake. Learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and create unforgettable memories with the family and fellow travellers.

Day 33
Lake TiticacaPuno

Say goodbye to your homestay family and stop at the Uros Islands on your way back to Puno. If you want, you can check out the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site. Or kayak on Lake Titicaca.

Day 34
PunoLa Paz

Today, enjoy a full-day drive around the picturesque lake and through thee Altiplano to La Paz. Cross over into Bolivia and catch your breath before a night out in the highest city of the trip. Check out the area of Sopocachi for cool bohemian vibes.

Day 35
La Paz

If you didn’t have time yesterday to do everything you wanted in La Paz no worries! Today is another day to explore the city as you wish. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, make sure to experience the Death Road Biking Adventure.

Day 36
La PazSucre

Get to know La Paz with a free day to wander through the city’s winding streets and vibrant markets before boarding a night bus to Sucre.

Day 37
Sucre

Discover the beauty of Sucre, known as Bolivia’s White City at your own pace with a free day to explore. Set in a valley surrounded by mountains, you can choose to go hiking or mountain biking to admire this city from a different point of view.

Day 38
Sucre

One day in Sucre isn’t enough, so take another free day to explore! Try optional activities such as hiking, mountain biking, a visit to the Textile Cooperative, or get up close and personal with real dinosaur tracks.

Day 39
SucrePotos

Venture south to Potos, the highest city of its size in the world.

Day 40
Potos

Wake up, get out, and explore Potos. Meander the streets, stop at the market and meet some locals!

Day 41
PotosUyuni

It’s off to Uyuni today. Breathe in the beautiful scenery while relaxing in a private vehicle. Take it easy today because your next adventure is right around the corner!

Day 42
UyuniSalt Flats and Desert Crossing

Embark on a three-day 4×4 excursion to the Salar de Uyuni. Get your camera ready because the endless white of the salt flats creates the perfect backdrop for mindbending photo ops. Take a guided walking tour to the top of the sacred Jukil mountaintop for sweeping valley views and a dinner prepared with local ingredients by local ladies. Settle in to your G Adventures-supported community salt-brick bungalow complete with salt floors and salt furniture.

Day 43
Salt Flats and Desert Crossing

Continue crossing the desert today, admiring the scenery while passing red and blue lagoons and intriguing rock formations along the route. Keep an eye out and you might spot wild llamas, alpacas, and even flamingos deep within the desert.

Day 44
Salt Flats and Desert Crossing San Pedro de Atacama

Get a head start on your day by rising early to cover more ground on your journey through the unique landscape of the Salar de Uyuni. Soak in the views of unimaginable scenery including volcanoes and salt lakes. Travel to the border then kick back and relax on your descent by bus to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Day 45
San Pedro de Atacama

Today is full of possibilities. Explore San Pedro de Atacama on a mountain bike, cruise down the dunes on a sandboard, or chill out in the hot springs. Or visit the Valley of the Moon, an area on Earth that resembles the moon’s surface. (How cool is that?)

Day 46
San Pedro de AtacamaSalta

Say Adios! to Chile because you’re heading to Argentina today. Relax on the bus en route to Salta, home to empanadas salteasand no visit to the town is complete without trying them! Unwind at the hotel or liven it up with a visit to a Pea Folklore show to dance the night away and sip delicious Argentine red wine.

Day 47
Salta

Tantalize your tastebuds with the local cuisine today as you explore freely. Choose to saddle up and admire the scenery on horseback. Or, if you’d prefer, take a visit to the town of Cafayate to roam vineyards and sample some of the white wine produced at insanely high altitudes.

Day 48
SaltaBuenos Aires

Skip the long bus journey with a quick flight to Buenos Aires. Spend the afternoon exploring the city. Cruise around on a bike with a local or dine on a traditional Argentine meal while experiencing the art of the tango.

Day 49
Buenos Aires

Discover why this city is known as the Paris of the Americas. From the hidden patios of trendy Palermo to bohemian vibes in San Telmo, it is impossible not to fall in love with Buenos Aires.

Dont miss out! Today is your last chance to experience a guided tour of the city and to immerse yourself in the passion of the tango.

Day 50
Buenos Aires

Discover why this city is known as the Paris of the Americas. From the hidden patios of trendy Palermo to bohemian vibes in San Telmo, it is impossible not to fall in love with Buenos Aires.

Dont miss out! Today is your last chance to experience a guided tour of the city and to immerse yourself in the passion of the tango.

Day 51
Buenos AiresColonia

Hop aboard a ferry and cruise across the Ro de la Plata to Colonia, Uruguay. Wander through the colourful streets of this quaint seaside retreat on an orientation walk before free time to explore (and relax!) at your own speed.

Day 52
ColoniaMontevideo

Your journey continues in the morning as you travel from Colonia to Montevideo. The afternoon is yours for the taking so explore as you wish! You can wander through the vibrant streets of old town searching for street art or visit an iconic soccer stadium that was host to the first World Cup. Hungry? Bring your appetite to Port Market where you will find an endless bounty of delicious meats. (And fruits and veggies, too.)

Day 53
Montevideo

Wake up ready to take on another day in Montevideo. Hop on a bike and cruise down the Rambla, soaking up sun and gorgeous views from this coastline avenue. Take a day trip to glamorous Punta del Este to admire the upscale neighbourhoods and gardens. Or if you prefer to relax today, kick back and chill in the park like a local.

Day 54
MontevideoEstancia Stay

Today, let the scenery of picturesque settlements and pastures guide you to Mercedes, your last Uruguayan stop at a local ranch, known in this region as an estancia.

Day 55
Estancia Stay

Live like a local today as you experience life on an Uruguayan ranch. Walk through the serene countryside, learn how to make empanadas, and fish in the nearby river. End your estancia stay in the best way possible with a local barbecue.

Day 56
Estancia StayIguassu Falls

Cross the border into Gualeguaychu in Argentina today. Unwind, relax and reflect on your travels as you begin your overnight journey to Iguassu Falls.

Day 57
Iguassu Falls

Welcome to Iguassu Falls where your next adventure awaits. Choose to visit the Brazilian side of the falls and experience unforgettable panoramic views. Reach new heights with the option to take a helicopter ride over the falls, or check out a bird park.

Day 58
Iguassu Falls

Enjoy a full day excursion to the breathtaking Argentine side of the falls. Don’t forget to take pictures as you wander along paths to experience the falls from each exhilarating vantage point. You can also take a boat tour to see the cascading falls from below.

Day 59
Iguau FallsParaty

Wheels up! Take a quick flight to So Paulo today then head straight to the coast. Take some time to explore the colonial town of Paraty, then hit the beach.

Day 60
Paraty

Do as much or as little as you want today. Go swimming, snorkelling, or explore the islands on a boat tour. Or, simply recharge your batteries by immersing yourself in the laidback vibes of Paraty.

Day 61
ParatyIlha Grande

Continue up the coast today and hop aboard a ferry to where your island paradise awaits.

Day 62
Ilha Grande

The day is yours to explore Ilha Grande. Break a sweat hiking remote trails to experience jaw dropping views, or choose to relax on a boat tour through turquoise waters to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches to swim and snorkel.

Day 63
Ilha GrandeRio de Janeiro

Say goodbye to island life and head north along a dramatic coastal road with sweeping views. Round the cliffs at Vidigal to catch a first glimpse of your next destination and one of the most memorable cities in the world Rio de Janeiro.

Take a city tour to experience the sights of Rio, like the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, or take a stroll along Copacabana beach.

Day 64
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.

Day 65
Rio de Janeiro

Depart at any time.

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