Tucan South America

Tucan South America

From AUD 6,430.00 + LTP: US$ 1970.00
Trip Length 105 Trip Code SA - OO - 9
Tour Group 10 - 24 Age Range 18 - 55+

Tucan South America: Tour Information

This extensive overland trip offers an overview of the most amazing and fascinating highlights of the South American continent, combining adventure travel in Ecuador with the highlights you'll experience on tours in Peru and Bolivia and ending on a high with the best sights you can see in Brazil. The lush Amazon jungles of Ecuador, the majestic kingdoms of the Incas in Peru, the remote Altiplano and Salt Flats of Bolivia, the great outdoors in Patagonia and the largest party in the world at Rio's Carnival or New Years Eve celebrations - these are just some of the things you will experience during this incredible journey.

Our trip is a true Overland Expedition by nature of its long duration and some of the remote places we visit. You must expect a degree of hardship digging your truck out of mud and sand, some long drives on rough and dusty dirt roads, camping and cooking in extremes of climate, from freezing in the Andes, to the heat of the Atacama Desert and thundering tropical downpours.BUT ITS ALL WORTH IT!You will discover South America in a way most travellers only dream of, meet people you would never otherwise encounter and gain a unique insight into Latin American culture.This tour can be joined in either Quito, Lima or Rio. All our Kingdoms and Carnivals tours coincide with either Carnival or the spectacular New Years Eve event in Rio at the end or beginning of each trip. For those beginning in Rio de Janeiro the daily itinerary should be followed in reverse. Should you wish to arrive a few days before the tour starts, we can help you arrange accommodation in Quito, Lima or Rio. For trips departing from Rio we can organise pre-tour accommodation for you during Carnival and New Years Eve.
 

Days 1 to 8
Ecuador

Depart Quito, the capital. Otavalo - a small market town famous for its colourful arts & crafts. Papallacta - thermal pools and stunning volcanic scenery. Tena - jungle town and where we can go white water rafting on Upper Napo River. Rio Napo - gateway into the steamy Amazon Jungle - by motorised canoe we access our jungle camp where we spend two or three nights to view the exotic wildlife - our guide will show us examples of medicinal, edible and hallucinogenic plants.
Days 9 to 18

Banos - a spa town where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths and hike the various mountain trails by foot or horseback plus the opportunity to go canyoning!
Peru Punta Sal & Pacific Ocean coast - camp on sandy deserted beaches play volleyball and have a BBQ.  Chan Chan ruins - built by the pre-Inca Chimu kings, it's the largest mud brick city in the world. Lima - the capital city with many plazas and museums and great local seafood (Ceviche).
Days 19 to 26

Peru Lima - the capital city with many plazas and museums and great local seafood (Ceviche). Ballestas Islands - a boat trip takes us up close to the Islands which are bursting with exotic & rare marine wildlife. Ica Desert & Oasis of Huacachina - visit a local winery & taste Pisco, the national drink. Dune Buggies & Sandboarding on the giant dunes out in the desert. BBQ and camp overnight under the stars. Nazca Lines - huge figures and shapes carved into the stony desert, best viewed from the air. Ascend the Andes mountain range and drive past grazing Llama, Alpaca and Vicuna Arequipa - a magnificent colonial city with authentic Peruvian nightlife. Colca Canyon - accompanied by a local guide, you have the opportunity to view the majestic condors, which can be seen circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor.
Days 27 to 33

Traverse mountainous passes of nearly 5000m within sight of active volcanoes Cuzco (our base for the next week) Sacred Valley of the Incas Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu - 4 day hike on the Lares, Classic or Salkantay trail. Machu Picchu - finally on day 4 we reach the famous UNESCO World Heritage site - entrance and guide included.
Days 34 to 37

Puno - Lake Titicaca - the world's highest navigable lake at 3800m. Floating reed islands - home to the Uros Indians - explore Titicaca by boat & spend a night with one of the local families.
Bolivia La Paz - highest capital city in the world, visit the colourful witches market!
Days 38 to 45

Altiplano - drive across this wild and barren landscape. Potosi - Silver & Tin mines - the opportunity to enter a working mine where techniques have remained unchanged for centuries. Uyuni Salt Lake - take a 1 day excursion out onto the vast salt flats. Tupiza - follow in the steps of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. Argentina Humahuaca Canyon and Purmamarca Salta - founded over 400 years ago and a great place for live music, mountain biking, mountain trekking, horse riding and river rafting.
Days 46 to 52

Oct to April trips (via Argentina) Cafayate and Mendoza, - wine growing region visiting wineries by bicycle or tandem paragliding from the Andes. May to Sept trips (via Chile) Atacama Desert & San Pedro - experience this oasis town & beautiful barren moonscape & the option of astronomer guided stargazing. Valley of the Moon - salt lakes, volcanoes, as well as stone age dwellings. Pan American Highway and Pacific Ocean coastline with stunning beaches; and the famous 'Hand in the Sand' Sculpture.
Day 53

Pacific Ocean - towns and stunning beaches Santiago - Chile's capital, a modern, organised city with great food and nightlife.
Day 54

Free Day to explore Santiago.
Days 55 to 61

Chile Pucon - Chile's Lake District, our base for the next few days, from where it is possible to organise white water rafting, skiing, horse riding and hikes. Villarrica Volcano - there is the option to climb this active volcano. Andes mountain range Argentina Bariloche - popular holiday destination for Argentineans and a top ski resort with great hiking trails and nightlife.
Days 62 to 68

Camino Austral - (Open Jan & Feb) - incredible drive past spiralling volcanoes, glaciers & fjords. Los Glaciares Nat. Park - the largest glacier in the world and an option to take a guided glacier hike on one! Moreno Glacier - take a boat ride up close to this almost 200ft high glacier. Torres del Paine Nat. Park - another area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape.
Days 69 to 76

Tierra del Fuego - an island on the southern tip of the continent - spectacular scenery and seagoing boat trips. Ushuaia - most southerly town on earth you are ever likely to travel to. Patagonia - vast, sparsely populated treeless plateau. Atlantic Marine sanctuaries - spot penguins, sea lions, sea elephants, birds & whales (season dependent). Puerto Madryn - landing place over a century ago for the first group of Welsh settlers.
Days 77 to 85

Buenos Aires - a smart cosmopolitan city with plenty to do; museums, horse racing, football matches, shopping, tango dancing & restaurants that serve the best steaks in the world. Uruguay Optional 2 hr ferry across the River Plate for a 1 or 2 day visit to the buzzing capital Montevideo & the quieter town of Colonia.
Days 86 to 90

Iguazu Falls - optional activities include boat trips, helicopter flights and mountain biking - we visit the falls from both the Argentine & Brazilian sides.
Days 91 to 98

Brazil Bonito - swim & snorkel in crystal clear river and lakes as well as hike into lush forests to look for monkeys, alligators & anaconda. Pantanal - organise treks out into the vast wetlands, home to hundreds of species of birds & fish, including Piranha!
Days 99 to 105

Parati - laid back historic coastal village, explore the secluded islands by taking a sailing trip in a traditional schooner. Rio de Janeiro - where folk are raring to party out of their minds and live purely for the moment - Carnival & New Years Eve celebrations are always chaotic, crowded and great fun

Tucan South America

Tucan South America  from Quito

Week 1  Our overland journey starts just 25kms south of the Equator in the relaxed capital city of Quito. Ecuador's small market town of Otavalo is just a few hours drive away and is famous for its colourful crafts, where we have a free day and spend our first night of the trip. Next we head to the banks of the Rio Napo and our gateway into the steamy Amazon jungle. Accompanied by experienced guides we explore this unique environment. We spend two nights in the jungle in which time we also hike into the exuberant vegetation to view the exotic wildlife and our guide will show us examples of medicinal and hallucinatory plants. There is also the chance to try our hand at Whitewater rafting! Our next destination is Banos, a spa town where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths and hike the various mountain trails.

Week 2  After days filled with outdoor activities Ecuador is bid goodbye as we continue south to the border with Peru. En route, you will notice an amazing transition, from the good farming country of the tropical highland to the dry barren desert. Travelling along the Pacific Ocean coast we visit small coastal villages and camp on deserted sandy beaches. Further south we visit the imperial citadel of Chan Chan. Built by the pre-Inca Chimu kings, its the largest mud brick city in the world. We then stop off in Lima, the capital for a couple of days.

Week 3  Lima is a busy place, however, watching life go by on one of the many Plazas or visiting one of the Museums can be a relaxing and rewarding experience. Not far south is the marine reserve of Ballestas, a boat trip takes us close up to the Islands which are bursting with marine wildlife. Quite a contrast are the Nazca Lines. These huge figures and shapes, carved into the stony desert are best viewed from the air and are a great mystery to archaeologists. From here we start our ascent of the Andes.

Week 4  Our next two days are spent in the magnificent colonial city of Arequipa. From here you have the option to visit Colca Canyon accompanied by a local guide. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is an awesome place. 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.

Week 5  This outdoors capital of Peru is our base for the next 6 days, allowing enough time to explore this ancient city, the surrounding Sacred Valley and give the energetic amongst us enough time to hike the Inca Trail. The 2 or 4 day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience and anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can master it. The Inca Trail is highly recommended and a definite highlight of the Peru leg of our tour and for some, the entire South America tour. There is also the option to try an alternative trek to Machu Picchu such as the Salkantay, Multi Sport or Vilcabamba.

Week 6  Bordering Peru and Bolivia is Lake Titicaca. The world's highest navigable lake at 3800m it is also home to the Uros Indians who have made their homes on floating reed islands. Spending the night with one of the local families provides an opportunity to experience their lifestyle and hospitality. La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, is our next destination, which is a great place to visit a 'pena' club dedicated to live Andean folk music and to visit some of the extraordinary street markets. A long and dusty drive across the Altiplano takes us to Potosi where vast amounts of silver were extracted from mines and shipped to Spain in years gone by. The adventurous will appreciate the option to go down one of these mines where mining techniques have remained unchanged for centuries. A tour of the National Money House, also provides a good look into Potosi's and Bolivia's past.

Week 7 & 8  Leaving the bleak 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 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.

We have a few free days in Salta before crossing the mighty Andes again towards the Atacama Desert in Chile! The oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama is our next destination. Surrounded by the Valley of the Moon, salt lakes, volcanoes, as well as stone age dwellings, its a good place to spend a few days exploring. Continuing south we rejoin the Pacific Ocean and the Pan American Highway. We camp near to La Serena beach for a few 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.

Week 9  Ahead of us lie the southern areas with deep blue lakes and snow-capped mountains. Pucon, in the heart of the Lake District, is our base camp for the next few days from where it is possible to organise whitewater rafting, skiing, horse riding and hikes up nearby Villarrica Volcano. We ascend the Andes via some spectacular mountain passes before entering Argentina and arriving in Bariloche. This is a very popular holiday destination for Argentines and the top ski resort on the continent with great hiking trails and nightlife.

Week 10  Heading into the deep south on a good dirt road we enter the vast wilderness of Patagonia. Spectacular National Parks make this region a paradise for hiking enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Los Glaciares Nat. Park has the largest glacier in the world and here we have the option to take a boat ride close up to Moreno Glacier almost 200ft high. Torres del Paine Nat. Park is another area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape and hiking is a great way to explore the area.

Week 11  We continue south to Ushuaia on the wild and hauntingly beautiful island of Tierra del Fuego the most southerly point on earth you are ever likely to travel to. Next we cross to the Atlantic coast of Patagonia and visit one of the marine sanctuaries. Penguins, Sea Lions, Sea Elephants, Birds and sometimes Whales can be seen. Following the excellent paved roads north along the coast we pass through some quite affluent towns. One, Puerto Madryn, was the landing place over a century ago for the first group of Welsh settlers that subsequently colonised and now farm the surrounding area.

Week 12  A days drive north is the smart cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires where you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in Europe. There is plenty to do, museums, horse racing, football matches, shopping, tango dancing and restaurants that serve some of the best steaks in the world.

Week 13  Uruguay is our next destination and the quaint town of Colonia. With its lovely beach and calm and quiet atmosphere, it is a complete contrast to the previous days in Buenos Aires. We then travel northwards and cross back into Argentina and visit the Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio before continuing onto Iguazu Falls which forms the natural border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. We spend the next three days in the town while admiring the falls that are higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls. You can also undertake a number of optional activities such as boat trips, helicopter flights and mountain bike riding.

Week 14  Next we head into Brazil and travel to Bonito, also a popular place with Brazilian holidaymakers and where we can swim and snorkel in crystal clear rivers and lakes as well as hike into the lush forests. We then journey to the Pantanal region where we can organise treks out into the vast wetlands, home to hundreds of species of birds and fish, including Piranha, as well as an abundance of reptiles such as alligators and other animals.

Week 15  Our final destination before Rio de Janeiro is the coastal village of Parati. This unspoilt and picturesque town has remained fundamentally unaltered for three centuries. Cars have been banned from its cobbled streets that run down to the seashore, instead mountain bikes are used and are a good way to get around. Another great way to explore the secluded islands of this pristine coastline is taking a sailing trip in one of the traditional schooners. Our final drive takes us to the hedonistic playground of Rio de Janeiro, where folk are raring to party out of their minds and live purely for the moment. The Carnival and New Years Eve celebrations are always chaotic, crowded and great fun!

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 Sep 17, 2017 - Dec 30, 2017
Note : New Year in Rio
AUD 6,430.00 US$ 1970.00 Book
Availability Oct 26, 2017 - Feb 08, 2018 AUD 6,430.00 US$ 1970.00 Book
Prices: All prices Charged in Australian Dollars
Key: Availability Guaranteed Availability Available Availability Limited Availability Closed
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