Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima
39 days from Rio de Janeiro to Lima
From $ 6199
Duration39 days

From the sands of Copacabana to the heights of the Bolivian Andes, this incredible 39-day journey will introduce you to the diverse landscape and people of South America. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal and the bizarre landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats, and revel in the mists of thundering Iguassu Falls. Gain greater insight into the culture on the region’s public buses and meet locals from the rural towns along the way for an immersive experience that few travellers have. Get off the beaten path and experience Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia — a vibrant cross-section of South America.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 39 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Starts in: Rio de Janeiro
    Physical Grading: Demanding
  • Ends in: Lima
    Ages: 12+
Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima - Tour Map

Itinerary

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Day 1: Rio de Janeiro

Start place: Rio de Janeiro

There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.
Arrive at any time. Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to allow time for activities and to fully experience this vibrant city.

End place: Rio de Janeiro

Day 2: Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande

Start place: Rio de Janeiro

From Rio, head south along the Atlantic coast to one of the most picturesque, laid-back islands on the coast, llha Grande. Relax and walk the sandy beaches, or bathe in the warm waters of this island paradise.
Take a bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. Enjoy free time to explore this picturesque, laid-back island, opt to go on a hike to a nearby swimming hole or explore the many beaches.

End place: Ilha Grande

Meals: B
Day 3: Ilha Grande

Start place: Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is a car-free island surrounded by beautiful nature. Opt to go for a hike, swim, or sit at one of the beach bars.

End place: Ilha Grande

Meals: B
Day 4: Ilha Grande/Paraty

Start place: Ilha Grande

Travel up the coast to Paraty and wander the cobblestoned streets of this beautiful colonial town.

End place: Paraty

Meals: B
Day 5: Paraty

Start place: Paraty

Enjoy a free day to explore Paraty. Optional activities include a Caipirinha boat trip, kayaking and horseback riding.

End place: Paraty

Meals: B
Day 6: Paraty

Start place: Paraty

Continue to enjoy the slow pace of Paraty, a colonial town with fantastic architecture, or opt to take a day trip to Trindade to surf and relax on the beach.

End place: Paraty

Day 7: Paraty/Foz do Iguaçu

Start place: Paraty

Skip the 19 hour journey by land and hop a flight to Iguassu from São Paulo, maximizing your time to enjoy the falls.
Take a flight to the famous Iguassu Falls. Visit the Brazilian side of the falls to get the best panoramic view. Opt to visit the bird park filled with beautifully coloured local wildlife or enjoy an optional helicopter ride for a birds-eye view of the falls.

End place: Foz do Iguacu

Day 8: Foz do Iguaçu

Start place: Foz do Iguacu

Explore trails that will bring you directly over the falls of the Devil's Throat—the highest and deepest of the falls. Other trails allow access to the stretch of falls across the forest on the Argentine side. Opt to take an inflatable boat to the base of the thundering falls.
Experience Iguassu in Argentina by exploring trails and catwalks. Opt to take a boat tour to view the falls from below.

End place: Foz do Iguacu

Meals: B
Day 9: Foz do Iguaçu/Bonito

Start place: Foz do Iguacu

Leave early for a full travel day to Bonito.

End place: Bonito

Meals: B
Day 10: Bonito

Start place: Bonito

Spend time in Bonito with optional activities available like snorkelling in the rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

End place: Bonito

Day 11: Bonito

Start place: Bonito

Enjoy another free day to explore Bonito.

End place: Bonito

Meals: B
Day 12: Bonito/Pantanal

Start place: Bonito

Experience the Pantanal, an immense wetland area famed for its profuse wildlife. A 2-day excursion allows visitors to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil. Enjoy a 2-day excursion into the wetlands with a local guide. Please note, while on the rustic excursion in Pantanal the nights will be spent in hammocks.

End place: Pantanal

Meals: B, L, D
Day 13: Pantanal

Start place: Pantanal

Full day of exploring the Pantanal. Try piranha fishing or horseback riding. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, giant otters and caiman.

End place: Pantanal

Meals: B, L, D
Day 14: Pantanal/Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Start place: Pantanal

From the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, cross into Bolivia. From here, an overnight bus heads to Santa Cruz.
Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight bus to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

End place: Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Meals: B
Day 15: Santa Cruz de la Sierra/La Paz

Start place: Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Hop on a flight and get to the capital city of Bolivia. Wander the streets and visit the famous Witches' Market.

End place: La Paz

Day 16: La Paz/Sucre

Start place: La Paz

Spend the morning exploring the city before boarding an afternoon flight to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city or opt to go hiking in the surrounding area.

End place: Sucre

Meals: B
Day 17-18: Sucre

Start place: Sucre

Spend two days exploring all that Sucre has to offer.

End place: Sucre

Meals: B
Day 19: Sucre/Potosí

Start place: Sucre

Journey from Sucre to Potosí. Spend the afternoon exploring the city.
Meals: B
Day 20: Potosí/Uyuni
Head south to Uyuni, the starting point for the salt flats excursion.

End place: Uyuni

Meals: B
Day 21: Uyuni/Salt Flats

Start place: Uyuni

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni. Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), the town of Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia’s Favourite Daughter).

It is also the starting point for our 2-night excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.

Settle in to your G Adventures-supported community salt-brick bungalow, complete with salt floors and furniture, after a guided walking tour up to the sacred Jukil mountaintop for sweeping valley views and a dinner of local ingredients prepared by ladies from the community.
Enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano, with spectacular scenery. Last stop for the evening is a G Adventures-supported community lodge in a traditional agricultural village in the heart of a desert oasis. During the rainy season the locations visited may change due to some routes being covered by water.
Meals: B, D
Day 22: Salt Flats
Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 23: Salt Flats/Uyuni
Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before boarding an overnight bus back to La Paz .

End place: Uyuni

Meals: B, L
Day 24: La Paz

Start place: La Paz

Spend the day exploring and shopping in the many markets of the city -- it is an especially good place to buy textiles and leatherwork. Visit the Witches' Market or take one of the several optional excursions available.
Enjoy a free day in the capital, walk along the winding streets, shop in the markets and enjoy the nightlife. For the thrill seekers opt to bike the famous "death road".

End place: La Paz

Meals: B
Day 25: La Paz

Start place: La Paz

Arrive at any time. Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

End place: La Paz

Day 26: La Paz

Start place: La Paz

Little is known about the Tiahuanaco people who constructed the great ceremonial centre on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca over 1000 years ago. Spend most of the day visiting these mysterious ruins—a cradle of Incan civilization—before returning to La Paz.
Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

End place: La Paz

Meals: B
Day 27: La Paz/Puno

Start place: La Paz

Peru is made up of three main geographical areas: the Andes, the Amazon, and the desert coastal area.

Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on a full day of travel from La Paz, around Lake Titicaca, and on to Puno.
Travel by bus through the altiplano, crossing the border to the Peruvian city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

End place: Puno

Meals: B
Day 28: Puno/Lago Titicaca

Start place: Puno

Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a restaurant and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, pick up some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.
Meals: B, D
Day 29: Lago Titicaca/Puno
Leave the homestay families late in the morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.

End place: Puno

Meals: B, L
Day 30: Puno/Cusco

Start place: Puno

The bus trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 31: Cusco

Start place: Cusco

While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. It forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum, and the Religious Art Museum.
Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Choose to pre-book the optional Cusco Cooking Class. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 32: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Start place: Cusco

Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.

Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar). Enjoy buffet-style lunch at Parwa Community Restaurant in the Sacred Valley.

End place: Ollantaytambo

Meals: B, L
Day 33: Inca Trail

Start place: Ollantaytambo

Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins. A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 34: Inca Trail
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 35: Inca Trail
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Meals: B, L, D
Day 36: Machu Picchu/Cusco
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the site and enjoy free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 37: Cusco

Start place: Cusco

Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 38: Cusco/Lima

Start place: Cusco

Take a short flight to the coast and the capital city of Lima. This vibrant city has a fantastic main square, tons of shopping, and incredible eating. Opt to join the group for one final evening out.
Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or wander the neighbourhood of Miraflores.

End place: Lima

Meals: B
Day 39: Lima

Start place: Lima

Depart at any time.

End place: Lima

Meals: B

Inclusions

Included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Jukil Community Experience & Lodge, Santiago de Agencha Your G for Good Moment: Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit, Ccaccaccollo Your G for Good Moment: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay Your Discover Moment: Ilha Grande Your Discover Moment: Paraty Your Discover Moment: Bonito Your Discover Moment: Sucre Your Local Living Moment: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lake Titicaca Your Discover Moment: Cusco
  • Iguassu Falls visit (Brazil and Argentina)
  • Pantanal wildlife excursion (2 days)
  • 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats (3 days)
  • Floating islands of Uros visit
  • Lake Titicaca guided tour
  • Sacred Valley guided tour
  • Pottery making demonstration
  • Ollantaytambo storehouse ruins and hike
  • Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days)
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Public bus, Plane, 4x4 vehicle, Train, Walking, Hiking
  • Accommodation

    Hotels (26 nts), Overnight buses (4 nts), Camping (3 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Basic hotels on Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (2 nts, multi-share), Tented room with hammocks in the Pantanal (2 nts, multi-share)
  • Meals

    33 breakfasts,
    10 lunches,
    8 dinners

Dates & availability: Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Fri, 06/28/2019 Finishing Mon, 08/05/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 12 Book
Departing Fri, 07/12/2019 Finishing Mon, 08/19/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 12 Book
Departing Fri, 07/26/2019 Finishing Mon, 09/02/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 16 Book
Departing Fri, 08/02/2019 Finishing Mon, 09/09/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 14 Book
Departing Fri, 08/16/2019 Finishing Mon, 09/23/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 14 Book
Departing Fri, 08/23/2019 Finishing Mon, 09/30/2019 Catalog Price $ 6199 Sale Price $ 6199 16 Book
Departing Fri, 09/13/2019 Finishing Mon, 10/21/2019 Catalog Price $ 6099 Sale Price $ 6099 14 Book
Departing Fri, 09/20/2019 Finishing Mon, 10/28/2019 Catalog Price $ 6099 Sale Price $ 6099 14 Book
Departing Fri, 10/04/2019 Finishing Mon, 11/11/2019 Catalog Price $ 6099 Sale Price $ 6099 15 Book
Departing Fri, 10/18/2019 Finishing Mon, 11/25/2019 Catalog Price $ 6099 Sale Price $ 6099 15 Book

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