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Cuzco to La Paz

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. This comprehensive in-depth trip will take you through many of the highlights and hidden gems of one of our favourite South American countries - Bolivia! As well as visiting the must-see destinations of the stunning Lake Titicaca, the hectic city of La Paz, and of course the phenomenal salt plains of Salar de Uyuni, we will also head to some lesser-visited areas such as the charming colonial town of Sucre, the mysterious pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku, and an exciting 3-night adventure into the Bolivian Amazon near Rurrenabaque! We then head into Peru and to the phenomenal traveller's paradise of Cuzco. Cuzco is our base for one of South America's best highlights, embarking on Dragoman's flagship project of the Community Inca Trail and a visit to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu. Join us for this unforgettable South American adventure!

Latin America

Duration: 26 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Community Project Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158394
Starts: Cuzco, Peru Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Cuzco
  • Zurite
  • Amaruwatana
  • Ancascocha
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Puno
  • Copacabana
  • Isla Del Sol
  • Tiwanaku
  • Potosí
  • Sucre
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Livichuco
  • La Paz
  • Rurrenabaque
  • Bolivian Amazon

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cuzco

Border information: Welcome to Cuzco, capital of the Inca Empire.  If you are starting at Cuzco, enter Peru at Cuzco Airport.

There will be a group meeting at 18:00 hrs to plan for next day's trek. Tonight we are staying in a good quality colonial hotel in Cuzco.

02

Day 2: Zurite

Leaving Cuzco early in the morning, we proceed to Sascayhuaman for a 1 hour tour of the archeological ruins. From there we will go to Pisac to visit the ruins, before continuing on to Chincheros, a small village in the Sacred Pampa where the locals speak mostly Quechua, the language of the Incas. There you will see a weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years and you will tour the archaeological ruins there for another hour and a half. From Chincheros we will drive an area with great views to have an energizing picnic lunch. We will then drive to Quillarumiyoc, also known as the Temple of the Moon. Then we will hike to Zurite where you will have a picturesque home stay in a house that is full of history from the Colonial period. In the house we will enjoy a nice dinner of traditional or contemporary food and you can experience the lifestyle of the locals.

03

Day 3: Amaruwatana

After a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the hummingbird temple), where we can visit and admire this archaeological Inca site. Following the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,400 meters, where we will have a dramatic view of both mountain ranges, Vilcabamba and Vilcanota. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor valley where we will spend the night.

04

Day 4: Ancascocha

Early in the morning after breakfast we trek for 2 hours to get to our second pass; from there we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us. Sometimes it s possible to see Andean ivis, herons, torrent ducks, caracaras, eagles and foxes. After 2 hours we arrive to a nice highland valley, a place named Kenqo Mayu, or zig-zag River, where glacier water flows through the valley. Our lunch will be at the end of the river, and after lunch we will continue downhill and follow the ancient trail, which goes on a little uphill section which leads us to our campsite in a community called Ancascocha. We will arrive to our campsite near to a large glacier mount and glacier stream. If we arrive on time there is an optional hike to the lake that is just a one hour round trip.

05

Day 5: Ollantaytambo

After eating breakfast and breaking camp we start hiking down the Silque Canyon, we will descend by way of the narrow canyon, following a stream that will gradually get bigger. We can observe tall granite walls on the sides of the canyon, populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the community of Camicancha, where we stop in a nice volcanic rock area, with magnificent views of mount Veronica, a snow capped mountain. From here we are very close to the Chilca community where we finish our trek. A vehicle will transfer us to Ollantaytambo and our hotel. After we have had showers and a little rest, we get ready for the cultural tour of this incredible archaeological site, which is very well known as the Temple of the Sun.

06

Day 6: Cuzco

Today is an early start to catch the train to Aguas Calientes. From there we take the bus to the Lost City of Machu Picchu - one of the world's most iconic sights. We'll have a guided tour with our local guide and plenty of time to explore this magical place. We will then head back to Ollyantaytambo and on to Cuzco for the night.

07

Day 7: Cuzco

Border Information: If you are finishing in Cuzco, exit Peru at Cuzco Airport.

The trip ends this morning. No accommodation is provided for tonight.

08

Day 8: Cuzco

Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The rest of today will be free to explore the wonderful city of Cuzco, discover its many historical gems, or to take part in number of optional activities near the city.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cuzco before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cuzco.

A note on altitude: If you are joining in Cuzco we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

09

Day 9: Cuzco

Today we will leave Cuzco and head through the highlands of Peru to the town of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We will have an included visit to the Inca site of Tipón en route.

In Puno we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

10

Day 10: Isla Del Sol

Border information: Exit Peru at Yunguyo, enter Bolivia at Kasani.

This morning we will cross into Bolivia and head to the lakeside town of Copacabana, before boarding a boat to the stunning island of Isla del Sol.

In Isla del Sol we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

11

Day 11: Isla Del Sol

Today we will take an included day trip across Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, one of the holiest sites in ancient Inca mythology and supposedly the birthplace of the Sun God Inti. We will take a 14km walk across the length of the island, taking in the incredible and serene scenery and soaking up the calm atmosphere of the island (this walk can be skipped by anybody who does not want to do it). 

We will return to Copacabana for the evening.

In Copacabana we will stay in a basic local hotel.

12

Day 12: Tiwanaku

Today we will drive to the mysterious ancient city of Tiwanaku, where we will have an included guided tour.

In Tiwanaku we will stay in a basic local hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

13

Day 13-14: Potosí

Today we will leave Tiwanaku and head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

The following day will be free to explore Potosí, and there will be a chance to visit the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.

In Potosí we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

14

Day 15-16: Sucre

Today we will continue to the beautiful colonial town of Sucre.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

The following day will be free to explore the city and its beautiful surroundings, and to visit some of its fascinating museums.

In Sucre we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

15

Day 17: Uyuni

Today we will drive to the town of Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

16

Day 18: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!

17

Day 19: Salinas de Garci Mendoza

This morning we will head to the small community of Salinas de Garci Mendoza for an overnight stay in this small Andean village - an amazing opportunity to experience an area of Bolivia that few tourists ever will.

In Salinas de Garci Mendoza we will stay in very basic shared accommodation.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

18

Day 20-21: La Paz

Today we will drive north to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! We will have a free afternoon to explore the fascinating city on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

19

Day 22: Rurrenabaque

This morning we will transfer to El Alto airport to take an included flight to the remote city of Rurrenabaque, the gateway to the rarely-visited Bolivian Amazon.

In Rurrenabaque we will stay in a basic local hotel.

20

Day 23-25: Bolivian Amazon

Over the next three days we will head deep into the Bolivian Amazon to explore the incredible jungles and pampas of this remote area of the country. 

During our time here we will take walks into the jungle and boat trips on the local rivers, and learn all about the incredible untouched eco-systems of the region. We will hope to spot an abundance of wildlife, such as caiman, monkeys, and birdlife.

In the Bolivian Amazon we will stay in a basic jungle lodge.

21

Day 26: La Paz

Today we will return to the airport at Rurrenabaque and fly back to La Paz, where we will have free time to relax and explore on arrival.

In La Paz we will return to our colonial hotel in the historic centre of the city.

22

Day 27: La Paz

Border information: if you are finishing in La Paz, you will most likely exit Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in La Paz. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit some of the fascinating museums in Cuzco, including the Textiles Museum, the Chocolate Museum, the Casa Concha, and the Museo Inka
    • Visit the incredible Inca site of Tipón, once an agricultural centre and a park for the Inca elite
    • Take a boat trip to Lake Titicaca's Isla del Sol, and head on a guided walk across the length of the stunning island
    • Take a guided tour to explore the amazing pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku, once the centre of one of the most important cultures in South America
    • Take a full day tour out in jeeps to the dazzling Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats - the spectacular, perfectly-flat salt plains that are one of South America's most incredible sights
    • Visit a local archaeological site and museum run by some of the local community, to gain an understanding into the customs and ways of life of the ancient Tiwanaku culture
    • Take a return flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque, the gateway to the pampas and jungles of the Bolivian Amazon
    • Head deep into the jungles of the Bolivian Amazon to discover the rich wildlife and fascinating eco-systems of this remote region, largely untouched by tourism 
    Accomodation
    • 10% Camping - 90% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Community Project