Andes and Amazon Overland

Andes and Amazon Overland

From AUD 2,580.00 + LTP: US$ 920.00
Trip Length 37 Trip Code SA - OO - 5
Tour Group 10 - 24 Age Range 18 - 55+

Andes and Amazon Overland: Tour Information

This action packed South America tour takes us through some of the most diverse landscapes on the continent. In Ecuador we explore the dense Amazon Jungle and can mountain-bike down spectacular volcanoes, through Peru we follow the footsteps of the Incas on the Inca Trail as we hike to the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu view the deepest canyon in the world with the graceful condor gliding on its updrafts and take a boat trip onto Lake Titicaca, before finishing in La Paz Bolivia.

Our Andes & Amazon South American tours can be joined in Quito or La Paz. For those beginning in La Paz the daily itinerary below should be followed in reverse. Should you wish to arrive a few days before this South American travel experience starts we can help you arrange accommodation.

Days 1 - 6 (or days 32 - 37) Starting our South America tour in Quito, we first visit the town of Otavalo famous for its colourful craft market. Heading east on narrow, tortuous roads to the steamy edge of the Amazon basin the town of Tena is our gateway into the Amazon jungle. Here accompanied by experienced guides, we explore on foot this exotic environment.

Days 7 - 11 (27 - 31) Further south, perched high in the mountains of Ecuador, lies the outdoors mecca of Banos. This spa town, where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths is ideal to hike or mountain bike the various trails to one of the surrounding waterfalls or the impressive nearby rocky canyon, is a favourite amongst those who have undertaken South America travel. We hit the road again and drive south along the spine of the Andes towards Peru.

Days 12 - 15 (23 - 26) A days drive on the Pan-American highway brings us to the border with Peru. You will notice an amazing transition in one day, from the good farming country of highland Ecuador, through sub-tropical forest and immense banana plantations, to dry barren desert in Peru. We are rewarded with a couple of days camping on the beach. Our next stops on our South America travel experience are the Chan Chan ruins, imperial citadel of the pre-Inca Chimu kings which the Incas later conquered. It claims to be the largest mud brick city in the world.

Days 16 - 21 (17 - 22) Continuing with the Andes close to our left and the sea on our right, the capital city of Lima will be our next stop on the Andes & Amazon South America tour. After a couple of days in this busy metropolis our next stop is the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve. By boat we visit the rare and exotic sea birds and mammals that inhabit these islands. We now make our way to one of the world's great archaeological mysteries The Nazca Lines. These huge figures and shapes, carved into the desert floor are best viewed from the air - South America travel is not complete until you have seen these unbelievable ancient mysteries.

Days 22 - 26 (12 - 16) Still heading south we visit Puerto Inca, at this ancient Inca harbour we camp at the beach and enjoy our last night at sea level before beginning our climb back into the towering Andes. The next two nights are spent in Arequipa at 2325m, giving us time to acclimatise, and enjoy this beautiful colonial city with its impressive El Misti Volcano in the background. Arequipa is also the gateway to one of the deepest canyons in the world. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is an awesome sight. Here, if you get up early, Condors can be seen circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor.

Days 27 - 33 (5 - 11) We now have to face one of the most arduous and punishing dirt roads on the tour, although we soon arrive at Cuzco. Widely considered to be the most interesting city for South America travel, Cuzco is surrounded by the Sacred Valley of the Incas and offers a wide range of activities to explore the region. We will base ourselves here for 6 days giving us enough time for the 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trip, which is regarded by many to be the highlight of their South America tour. If you want to try a different route to Machu Picchu, we can organise alternative treks such as the Salkantay, Multi Sport or Vilcabamba. Tours to Machu Picchu are absolutely unbelievable, a trip to this City in the Clouds is an ancient and awe-inspiring part of out South America travel tour. Besides amazing tours to Machu Picchu, you're able to enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets.

Days 34 - 37 (1 - 4) Bordering Peru and Bolivia at 3800m lies Lake Titicaca, the original place of the Uros Indians who have made their homes on floating reed islands. By boat we visit the floating islands during the day and then we go that one step beyond the average tourist and spend the night with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands Isla Amantani or Taquile. Spending some time during South America travel in these local communities will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs. From here it is a days drive to the capital of Bolivia - La Paz. This is a great place to visit a 'pena' club, dedicated to Andean folk music, and perhaps buy some souvenirs in one of the authentic markets such as the witches market.

Andes and Amazon Overland South American Overland

Days 1 - 6 Our journey starts just 25kms south of the Equator in the relaxed capital city of Quito. Here you have the opportunity to visit the equator, and discover how Quito got it’s name.  Ecuador’s small market town of Otavalo is just a few hours drive north and is famous for its colourful crafts. Here we have a free day and spend our first night of the trip. Next we head to the banks of the Rio Tena 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 hallucinogenic plants. There is also the chance to try our hand at  white water rafting!

Days 7 - 11 Our next destination, taking us through the Pastaza Valley, is Bańos, a spa town where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths and hike the various mountain trails to view magnificent waterfalls, including El Pailon del Diablo. For the more adventurous there is the option to go canyoning down one of the many rivers in the area. We hit the road again and drive south along the spine of the Andes towards Peru.

Days 12 - 15 A days drive on the Pan-American highway brings us to the border with Peru. You will notice an amazing transition in one day, from the good farming country of highland Ecuador, through sub-tropical forest and immense banana plantations, to dry barren rocky desert in Peru. We are rewarded with a couple of days camping at the beach village of Huanchaco. Our next stop is the Chan Chan ruins, the imperial citadel of the pre-Inca Chimu kings which the Incas later conquered. You can also match your surfing skills against the locals who surf on reed canoes.It claims to be the largest mud brick city in the world.

Days 16 - 21 Continuing with the Andes close to our left and the sea on our right, the capital city of Lima will be our next stop. After a couple of days in this busy metropolis, we then visit 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.

Days 22 - 26 Still heading south we camp at the beach and enjoy our last night at sea level before beginning our climb back into the towering Andes. The next two nights are spent in Arequipa at 2325m, giving us time to acclimatise, and enjoy this beautiful colonial city with its impressive El Misti Volcano in the background. Arequipa is also the gateway to one of the deepest canyons in the world. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is an awesome sight. 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.

Days 27 - 33
We now drive on some very good sealed roads through some amazing scenery as we head to Cuzco. Widely considered to be the most interesting city in South America, Cuzco is surrounded by the Sacred Valley of the Incas and offers a wide range of activities to explore the region. We will base ourselves here for 6 days giving us enough time for the 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trek, which is regarded by many to be the highlight of their South America tour. If you want to try a different route to Machu Picchu, we can organise alternative treks such as the Salkantay, Lares or Vilcabamba for those who like to get off the tourist highway. As well as the tours to Machu Picchu, you're able to enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets.

Days 34 - 37 Bordering Peru and Bolivia at 3800m lies Lake Titicaca, the original place of the Uros Indians who have made their homes on floating reed islands. By boat we visit the floating islands during the day and then we go that one step beyond the average tourist 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 will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs. From here it's a days drive to the capital of Bolivia - La Paz. This is a great place to visit a 'pena' club, dedicated to Andean folk music, and perhaps buy some souvenirs in one of the authentic markets such as the witches market. 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 because the air is thicker with oxygen lower down.

ITINERARY NOTES

Adventure travel is not an exact science. The very unpredictability, which makes it such a rewarding experience, means occasionally we must amend our itineraries to take into account changing local circumstances. In such situations we'll always try to minimise any disruption, but you need to bear in mind that from time to time events occur outside our control. While our crew are experienced and knowledgeable of the countries through which we travel they are not tour guides as such. In some places we visit, experienced local guides will be available.

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 - Oct 23, 2017 AUD 2,580.00 US$ 920.00 Book
Availability Oct 27, 2017 - Dec 02, 2017 AUD 2,580.00 US$ 920.00 Book
Prices: All prices Charged in Australian Dollars
Key: Availability Guaranteed Availability Available Availability Limited Availability Closed
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