Kingdoms & Carnivals Journey

From AUD 5,610.00 + LTP: US$ 1740.00
Trip Length 88 Trip Code SA - OO - 7
Tour Group 10 - 24 Age Range 18 - 55+

Kingdoms & Carnivals Journey: Tour Information

This tour of South America is an amazing and fascinating highlights packed adventure, combining Overland adventure travel in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The lush jungles, 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 adventure, maybe even having to dig 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 Lima or Rio. All our Kingdoms and Carnivals Overland 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 Lima or Rio. For trips departing from Rio we can organise pre-tour accommodation for you during Carnival and New Years Eve.

Brief Itinerary
Please note that our itineraries are not set in stone and can be subject to change.
Days 1 to 7
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
Parati - laid back historic coastal village, explore the secluded islands by taking a sailing trip in a traditional schooner.
Days 8 to 15
Pantanal - organise treks out into the vast wetlands, home to hundreds of species of birds & fish, including Piranha!
Bonito - swim & snorkel in crystal clear river and lakes as well as hike into lush forests to look for monkeys, alligators & anaconda.
Days 16 to 20
Iguazu Falls - optional activities include boat trips, helicopter flights and mountain biking - we visit the falls from both the Argentine & Brazilian sides.
Days 21 to 29
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.
San Ignacio - 400yr old Jesuit Missions.
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.
Days 30 to 37
Puerto Madryn - this Welsh settlement is the gateway to Valdes Peninsula, where Penguins, Sea Lions, Birds & Whales can be seen - Orca's have been known to beach themselves here to catch Sea Lions (season dependent).
Atlantic Marine sanctuaries - spot penguins, sea lions, sea elephants, birds & whales (season dependent).
Patagonia - vast, sparsely populated treeless plateau.
Ushuaia - most southerly town on earth you are ever likely to travel to.
Tierra del Fuego - an island on the southern tip of the continent - spectacular scenery and seagoing boat trips.
Days 38 to 44
Torres del Paine National Park - another area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape.
Moreno Glacier - take a boat ride up close to this almost 200ft high glacier.
Los Glaciares National Park - the largest glacier in the world and an option to take a guided glacier hike on one!
Camino Austral - (Open Jan & Feb) - incredible drive past spiralling volcanoes, glaciers & fjords.
Days 45 to 51
Bariloche - popular holiday destination for Argentineans and a top ski resort with great hiking trails and nightlife.
Andes mountain range
Villarrica Volcano - there is the option to climb this active volcano.
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.
Santiago - Chile's capital, a modern, organised city with great food and nightlife
Day 52
Free Day to explore Santiago.
Day 53
Pacific Ocean - towns and stunning beaches
Days 54 to 60
May to Sept (via Chile)
Atacama Desert & San Pedro - experience this oasis town & beautiful barren moonscape high in the Andes, plus 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.
Oct to April (via Argentina)
Cafayate and Mendoza, - wine growing region visiting wineries by bicycle in the Andes.
Days 61 to 68
Salta - founded over 400 years ago and a great place for live music, mountain biking, mountain trekking, horse riding and river rafting.
Humahuaca Canyon and Purmamarca
Tupiza - follow in the steps of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.
Uyuni Salt Lake - take a 1 day excursion out onto the vast salt flats.
Potosi - the opportunity to enter a working silver & tin mine where techniques have remained unchanged for centuries.
Altiplano - drive across this wild and barren landscape.
Days 69 to 71
La Paz - highest capital city in the world, visit the colourful witches market!
Floating reed islands - home to the Uros Indians - explore Titicaca by boat & spend a night with one of the local families.
Puno - Lake Titicaca - the world's highest navigable lake at 3800 metres.

Days 72 to 78
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 Salcantay trail.
Machu Picchu - finally on day 4 we reach the famous UNESCO World Heritage site - entrance and guide included.
Traverse mountainous passes of nearly 5000 mtrs within sight of active volcanoes
Days 79 to 87
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.
Arequipa - a magnificent colonial city with authentic Peruvian nightlife.
Ascend the Andes mountain range and drive past grazing Llama, Alpaca and Vicuna
Chauchilla Cemetry - ancient eerie tombs.
Nazca Lines - huge figures and shapes carved into the stony desert, best viewed from the air.
Dune Buggies & Sandboarding on the giant dunes out in the desert. BBQ and camp overnight under the stars.
Ica Desert & Oasis of Huacachina - visit a local winery & taste Pisco, the national drink.
Ballestas Islands - a boat trip takes us close to the Islands which are bursting with exotic & rare marine wildlife.
Lima - the capital city with many plazas and museums and great local seafood (Ceviche).


Kingdoms & Carnivals Journey

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

Days 1 to 5
Our trip begins in Rio after the chaotic, crowded, crazy celebrations of Carnival or New Year's Eve. On the first day we drive south along the coast to 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.

Days 6 to 13
We then journey onto the Pantanal region where we organise treks out into the vast wetlands which is home to over 600 species of birds and 350 kinds of fish, piranha being common, as well as an abundance of reptiles (such as caiman) and capyibaras, the world's largest rodent Next stop is Bonito where we can swim and snorkel in some of the clearest rivers and lakes in the world. Spectacular walks in the mountainous forests may reveal wildlife that includes monkeys, alligators & anaconda.

Days 14 to 19
We travel to the incredible Iguazu Falls which form the natural border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls, they are an awe-inspiring place to spend the next three days. The lush tropical forest surrounding the falls has many walking trails leading to smaller hidden falls, ideal to refresh from the steaming heat and abounding with parrots, toucans, woodpeckers and colourful plants. Here you can also undertake a number of optional activities such as whitewater rafting, helicopter flights and mountain bike riding.
Leaving Brazil we cross into Argentina. This area, close to the border with Paraguay, was home to many Jesuit Missions built in the 16th century to convert the Guarany Indians.

Days 20 to 27
Continuing south we arrive in Buenos Aires. A few days in this smart cosmopolitan city & you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in Europe. There is plenty to do, museums, horse racing, football matches, shopping, tango dancing for the confident, restaurants that serve some of the best steak in the world, & many plazas with cafes to sit & observe Argentinean life go by.
You also have the opportunity to travel across the Rio Plata by ferry to Montevideo & Colonia de Sacramento to visit Uruguay.

Days 28 to 37
From Buenos Aires we traverse the vast Pampas grasslands, South America's cowboy country, where gun-toting gauchos on horseback look after vast herds of cattle. Following the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, we stop in Puerto Madryn which was the landing place over a century ago for the first group of Welsh settlers that subsequently colonised and now farm the surrounding area. You have the option to visit Valdez Peninsula one of the marine sanctuaries in this region where we might see Penguins, Sea Lions, Sea Elephants, Sea Birds and maybe even Whales.
We continue south towards the wild and hauntingly beautiful land at worlds end, the island of Tierra del Fuego. We cross by ferry and visit the most southerly town in the world Ushuaia, from where we can view the green waters of the Beagle Channel and the surrounding snow clad peaks.

Days 38 to 45
Heading north we return to the mainland and enter Chile. Torres del Paine Nat. Park is an area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape. A good way to explore the area is either hiking or by horseback. Back over the border in Argentina we go to the stupendous El Chalten in Los Glaciares Nat. Park has the most spectacular views of Mt. Fitzroy. You can explore this area on foot or on horseback. Near El Calafate is 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 alternatively you can choose to get closer by trekking on one of the glaciers. For trips that depart Rio in January we are usually able to join the Camino Austral in Chile. Large parts of this road are only open in January and February. It is a breath taking spectacle as we pass tree lined fjords and penetrate deep in to a land of spiralling volcanoes and glaciers and camp next to rushing rivers and rainforest. For tours departing over the rest of the year we continue through the vast wilderness of Patagonia on Route 40, famous as the longest road in Argentina.

Days 46 to 51
Our long drive is soon rewarded as we arrive in Bariloche. This very popular holiday destination for Argentines is the top ski resort on the continent and also has several hiking trails and a great nightlife and Swiss influenced cuisine. Ascending the Andes via some spectacular mountain passes we cross the border again and arrive in Pucon, an outdoors centre in Chile's beautiful Lake District. This will be our base for the next few days from where we can organise whitewater rafting, skiing, water sports, horse riding and one day hikes up nearby Villarrica Volcano.
As our trip draws to a close we pass small villages and leave behind the deep blue lakes and towering mountains and arrive in Chile's modern capital, Santiago.

Day 52
We have a free day to explore Santiago, with famous Chilean Steak houses, Cassilero del Diablo winery, Skiing available in the winter, you will find it easy to pass the days away.

Days 53 to 56
April to October - Leaving Chile's capital, Santiago - a very modern, well-run city - we head for the Pacific coastline and relax at a beach campsite near to La Serena for a day. Then rejoining the Pan American highway, we enter the Atacama Desert and head for our next destination on our Andes to Amazon overland tour, the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama surrounded by the Valley of the Moon, salt lakes, volcanoes, geysers and 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, a hub for overland travel. Founded over 400 years ago, Salta is a good place to listen to live folk music, go horse riding, mountain biking, mountain trekking and river rafting.

October to April - Leaving Chile's capital, Santiago, we begin our Argentina overland travel towards the Andes - past the Inca Bridge and San Martin's pass. Continuing north, we join Route 40, the longest route in Argentina, to Mendoza. This is the biggest wine region in Argentina, and an overland stop of note, where you can indulge in wine and good steak! We then continue north winding around lakes and weaving through baked cliffs until we reach Cafayate, another renowned wine region of Argentina. You can explore some of the wineries on foot or by bicycle. Our Argentinean overland journey then takes us to the attractive colonial city of Salta where we have a couple of days to go horse riding, mountain biking, mountain trekking or river rafting.

Days 57 to 62
Heading overland from Argentina, we venture into Bolivia where you will notice the difference as paved roads become non-existent and locals still follow tradition, wearing bright woollen clothes and bowler hats.
Quite a contrast is the shimmering white Uyuni Salt Lake. It is possible to venture out into the salt lakes for a 1 day excursion. With no roads and only vague tracks to follow it makes for an unforgettable overland experience.

Days 63 to 68
Continuing north we arrive in Potosi which 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. The less adventurous can visit the ancient mint or take a tour around the Casa Nacional de Moneda (National Money House) which will provide a good look into Potosi's and Bolivia's past. The history and past colonial splendour make Potosi a fascinating place to visit on an overland trip to the Andes & Amazon.

A tortuous drive across the Altiplano, where Aymara and Quechua Indians scrape a sparse living from their small plots of land in this harsh climate, brings us to La Paz. It's the highest capital city in the world and is built on a steep slope that falls away from the Altiplano. La Paz is a great place to visit on an overland trip to the Amazon, be sure to stop in at a 'pena' club, where live bands entertain us with Andean folk music.

Days 69 to 71
Leaving La Paz we head to a Peru tour highlight - Puno. Nestling on the shores of Lake Titicaca it is a friendly, well-kept place and much calmer than the hustle and bustle of La Paz. A must visit attraction on any Peru tour, Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable lake at 3800m, it is also the original home of the Uros Indians who have made their dwellings on floating reed islands. By boat we visit the floating islands during the day and then we go that one step beyond the average and spend the night with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands Isla Amantani or Taquile. Spending some time in these local communities on a Peru tour will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs.

Days 72 to 78
Continuing on our Peru tour, from Lake Titicaca we drive on very good sealed roads through some spectacular scenery as we make our way to Cuzco, the outdoors capital of Peru and our base for the next 6 days. This gives us enough time to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets. There are several treks which you can take in Machu Picchu. When permits are still available, we will organise the Classic Trail trek, but great alternative Inca Trail treks such as the Salkantay or Lares can be arranged when the Classic is not available or by your choice (must be pre-arranged at time of booking). Tours to Machu Picchu are absolutely unbelievable; a trip to this City in the Clouds is an ancient and awe-inspiring part of our South America travel tour.

Days 79 to 83
From here, we continue west on our Peru tour, passing herds of llama, alpacas and unspoilt Andean villages as we head towards the world's deepest canyon. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is an awesome spectacle. Here you have the option, accompanied by a local guide, of a one day excursion to view Condors circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor. 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. From here we begin dropping down out of the Andes as we head to Arequipa, a beautiful colonial city set at the foot of the impressive El Misti Volcano.

Days 84 to 87
We then camp on the beach on our way to one of the world's great archaeological mysteries and a Peru tour highlight - The Nazca Lines. These huge figures and shapes, carved into the stony desert are best viewed from the air, we also visit Chauchilla Cemetry with its well-preserved mummies. Following the Coastal Highway, the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve is our next stop. 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.

Further up the coast is Peru's capital city, Lima. On this stop on your overland trip to the Amazon you'll encounter both abundant wealth and grinding poverty, modern skyscrapers next to some of the finest museums and historical monuments in Latin America.


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


Availability Trip Date Price Local Payment Click to book
Availability Jan 04, 2018 - Mar 31, 2018
Note : New Year Celebrations Rio
AUD 5,610.00 US$ 1740.00 Book
Availability Feb 15, 2018 - May 12, 2018
Note : Rio Carnival
AUD 5,610.00 US$ 1740.00 Book
Prices: All prices Charged in Australian Dollars
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