Andes Mountains South

Andes Mountains South

From AUD 2,690.00 + LTP: US$ 900.00
Trip Length 35 Trip Code SA - OO - 10
Tour Group 10 - 24 Age Range 18 - 55+

Andes Mountains South: Tour Information

This tour encompasses the most intriguing part of the Andes Mountain Range as we experience a combination of the best South America has to offer adventure travellers: from Peru, travel to Bolivia and Argentina as well as Chile. Travel the South American Andes and you'll be brought closer to the mysterious ancient culture of the Incas. You'll wonder what life is like on the moon, while visiting the vast Salt Flats of Bolivia. A fascinating and off the beaten track experience!

Please note that our itineraries are not set in stone and can be subject to change.

Day 1 – 4 Lima, the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve, the Coastal Highway to The Nazca Lines, Puerto Inca, the ancient Inca port for Cusco.

Day 5 – 9 city of Arequipa, option to visit Colca Canyon accompanied by a local guide, overnight in the town of Chivay. Traversing some mountainous passes of nearly 5000 metres we are soon rewarded by our arrival in Cuzco.

Day 10 – 16 Cuzco, Peru’s outdoors capital, is our base for the next 6 days. This gives us enough time to hike a 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets. Next, Lake Titicaca.

Day 17 – 19 Lake Titicaca, the Uros Indians, floating reed islands. Puno, Isla Amantani or Taquile.

Day 20 – 24 Continuing south we arrive in La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, Potosi.

Day 25 – 30 Leaving the desolate Altiplano we reach the shimmering white Uyuni Salt Lake. It is possible to venture out into the salt lake on a 1 day excursion and the vastness of the salt flats is an unforgettable experience. Following in the steps of Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid through eroded sandstone cliffs and cacti, we reach Tupiza before the last stretch of our Bolivia travel leg. The colourful Humahuaca Canyon leads us to the attractive city of Salta in Argentina. Founded over 400 years ago Salta is a good place for live folk music venues and is also a great area for horse riding, mountain biking, mountain trekking and river rafting.

Day 31 – 35

APRIL TO OCTOBER TRIPS ONLY - The oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, Pan American Highway. Santiago, which is a very modern, well-run city and quite a change to what we have been used to.

OCTOBER TO APRIL ONLY - After exploring Salta, Cafayate - Argentina, to Mendoza, the biggest wine region in Argentina. From here we head for Chile as we cross the Andes past the Inca Bridge and San Martin’s pass and into the modern capital, Santiago.

Andes And Mountains South America Overland

Please note that our itineraries are not set in stone and can be subject to change.

South America tour Day 1 – 4 Leaving Lima, the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve is our first destination. Here we take a boat trip to view one of the most important marine reserves in the world with one of the highest concentrations of rare and exotic sea birds and sea mammals. Following the Coastal Highway we then travel to one of the world's great archaeological mysteries - The Nazca Lines.These huge figures and shapes, carved into the stony desert are best viewed from the air. Thought to have been made by three different groups of people going back more than 2000 years, there are many different theories and books about what they signify and why they are there. The next stop and an interesting place to camp on the beach and relax for a couple of days is Puerto Inca, the ancient Inca port for Cusco, where an ancient Inca trail leads all the way to Cusco. The last campsite at sea level, before we head into the Andes again.

South America tour Day 5 – 9 Surrounded by peaks and sleepy volcanoesour next two days are spent in the magnificent colonial city of Arequipanamed the white city, because of the volcanic rock that the buildings are constructed from. From here you have the option to visit Colca Canyon accompanied by a local guide. On your trip into the canyon you can overnight in the town of Chivay. Because it was isolated for so many years, customs and dress have changed relatively little, which gives a rare glimpse of what life in the andes would have been like during colonial times. Here too, condors can be seen circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor. Ahead lie some of the most arduous and punishing roads on the trip, however, after traversing some mountainous passes of nearly 5000 metres we are soon rewarded by our arrival in Cuzco.

South America tour Day 10 – 16 Cuzco, Peru’s outdoors capital, is our base for the next 6 days. This gives us enough time to hike a 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets. There is also the option to try an alternative trek to Machu Picchu such as the Salkantay, Lares or Vilcabamba for those who like to get off the tourist highway. Many believe that Machu Picchu itself cannot be understood without following the steps of the Incas on the Inca Trail and anyone with a medium level of fitness can master it. Next, we have to face some fairly arduous roads as we head towards Lake Titicaca.

South America tour Day 17 – 19 Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable lake at 3800m, it is also the original place of the Uros Indians who have made their homes on floating reed islands. Puno, is a tidy and tranquil town on the lake shore and is where we stop off to visit the islands by boat during the day and then we go that one step beyond the average and overnight with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands Isla Amantani or Taquile. Spending some time in these local communities will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs.

South America tour Day 20 – 24 Continuing south we arrive in La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, it is built on a steep slope that falls away from the Altiplano. The top of the city is about 2000ft above the bottom part. Unusually, all the rich suburbs are in the lower city area. This is because the air is thicker with oxygen lower down. La Paz is a great place to visit a 'pena' club, where live bands entertain us with Andean folk music. A tortuous drive across the Altiplano, where the Aymara and Quechua Indians scrape a living from their small plots of land in the harsh climate, brings us to Potosi.At over 4000m it is the highest city of its size in the world and 400 years ago it was the largest city in all the Americas. Vast amounts of silver were extracted from Potosi and shipped to Spain. There are tours to the mines and it is still clear to see that unfortunately, working conditions here have hardly improved over the centuries. The adventurous among us will appreciate the opportunity to go down one of these mines with a local guide. Visiting the ancient mint or having a tour around the Casa Nacional de Moneda (National Money House) also provides a good look into Potosi's and Bolivia's past. Its history and past colonial splendour make Potosi a fascinating place to visit.

South America tour Day 25 – 30 Continuing south and quite a contrast are the shimmering white Uyuni Salt Lakes which we visit and here there is the option of taking a trip out onto these salt flats – reputedly the largest in the world - and with no road, and only vague tracks to follow it makes for an unforgettable experience.We spend a few days here, exploring the fantastic surrounding landscapes of the Valley of the Moon, salt lakes, as well as stone age dwellings. From the desert our ascent through the Andean passes is spectacular, with dozens of volcanic peaks all over 5000m, leading us to the attractive colonial city of Salta, in Argentina. You will notice the difference in countries immediately as paved roads become non-existent and locals still follow tradition, wearing bright woollen clothes and bowler hats.

South America tour Day 31 – 35 Leaving the desolate Altiplano we reach the shimmering white Uyuni Salt Lake. It is possible to venture out into the salt lake on a 1 day excursion and the vastness of the salt flats is an unforgettable experience. Following in the steps of Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid through eroded sandstone cliffs and cacti, we reach Tupiza before the last stretch of our Bolivia travel leg. The colourful Humahuaca Canyon leads us to the attractive city of Salta in Argentina. Founded over 400 years ago Salta is a good place for live folk music venues and is also a great area for horse riding, mountain biking, mountain trekking and river rafting.

South America tour APRIL TO OCTOBER TRIPS ONLY - The oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama is our next destination. Surrounded by the Valley of the Moon, salt lakes, volcanoes, geysers as well as stone age dwellings, its a great place to explore. Continuing south we rejoin the Pacific Ocean and the Pan American Highway. We camp on deserted beaches for a couple of days before our drive to Chiles capital, Santiago, which is a very modern, well-run city and quite a change to what we have been used to.

South America tour OCTOBER TO APRIL ONLY - After exploring Salta, we head south winding around lakes and weaving through baked cliffs until we reach Cafayate, the first wine region of Argentina. Famous for its white wines, you can explore some of the wineries on foot or by bicycle. Continuing south we join the route 40, the longest route in Argentina, to Mendoza, the biggest wine region in Argentina. Here you can indulge in more wine and good steak, paraglide or try a host of other outdoor sports. From here we head for Chile as we cross the Andes past the Inca Bridge and San Martin’s pass and into the modern capital, Santiago.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.

DATES, PRICES & AVAILABILITY:

Availability Trip Date Price Local Payment Click to book
Availability Oct 05, 2017 - Nov 08, 2017 AUD 2,690.00 US$ 900.00 Book
Availability Nov 14, 2017 - Dec 18, 2017 AUD 2,690.00 US$ 900.00 Book
Prices: All prices Charged in Australian Dollars
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