Andes and Amazon North
|Trip Length||37||Trip Code||SA - OO - 4|
|Tour Group||10 - 24||Age Range||18 - 55+|
Andes and Amazon North: 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 North - South America
Day 1 – 3 Leaving La Paz we head to Puno in Peru. 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. 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. 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 will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs.
Day 4 – 10 From Lake Titicaca we now 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 2 or 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets. Many believe that Machu Picchu itself cannot be understood without following the steps of the Incas on the Inca Trail. 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.
Day 11 – 15 From Cuzco we head west, 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.
Day 16 – 26 We then camp on the beach on our way 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. 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 where we spend a few days. Continuing north along the coast we reach the Chan Chan ruins, the 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. Nearing the border with Ecuador we have a couple of relaxing days camping on the beach at Punta Sal before leaving Peru.
Day 27 – 31 You will see an almost immediate change from the dry, barren desert of Peru through sub-tropical forest to the fertile farming country of highland Ecuador. We reach the outdoors mecca of Banos, a spa town nestled at the foot of a volcano, where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths and where you can hike, mountain bike or horse-ride to one of the surrounding 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.
Day 32 – 37 Descending to the lowlands and the steamy edge of the Amazon basin, we arrive in the town of Tena, gateway to the Amazon jungle. Here, accompanied by experienced guides, we explore on foot this exotic environment for two days and you also have the chance to go whitewater rafting on the rapids of the Rio Napo.
Returning to higher altitudes and mountain scenery, we visit the town of Otavalo, famous for its colourful crafts market. Finally we cross the Equator, just 25km’s south of Quito and discover how Quito got its name before ending our journey in the capital of Ecuador, Quito.
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.
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|
|Mar 13, 2018 - Apr 18, 2018||AUD 2,580.00||US$ 920.00||Book|
|Prices:||All prices Charged in Australian Dollars|
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