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La Paz to Rio De Janeiro

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. Our adventure starts in the thriving Bolivian city of La Paz, from where we head south to visit our local community stay in Livichuco and the famous mining town of Potosí, before arriving in one of the continent's most spectacular natural wonders - the phenomenal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni. From here we will overland across the other-worldly scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano into the incredible Atacama Deserts of Chile, and then cross the Andes into the beautiful arid regions of Argentina and the wonderful town of Salta. We will make our way south through the wine regions and highlands of northwest Argentina before arriving at a very special highlight of this trip - our unique estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. From here we make our way to the cosmopolitan Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, then head north along the classic route to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro - there is so much to see through this region, such as the two iconic cities themselves including the latter's incredible Christ the Redeemer statue, the phenomenal paradise of the Emerald Coast, the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, and of course the mighty Iguazu Falls! On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, it's time for the greatest party on Earth - the world-famous Rio Carnival! During this week the city bursts to life with music, dancing, street parties, colour, and fun - and Dragoman will get you right into the heart of the action! Join us for this unforgettable South American adventure!

Latin America
  • Duration: 44 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: LZAR1/158311
  • Starts: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Finishes: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You will Visit
  • La Paz
  • Livichuco
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Purmamarca
  • Salta
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Recreo
  • Rio Ceballos
  • Buenos Aires
  • Yapeyú
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Bonito
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Campo Grande
  • Brotas
  • Paraty
  • Rio De Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1: La Paz

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

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! 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.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in La Paz 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 La Paz.

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

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

02

Day 2: La Paz

Today we have a free day to enjoy La Paz

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

03

Day 3: Potosí

Today we will leave La Paz behind 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!

Tomorrow morning 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 530km / 9 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!).

04

Day 4: Uyuni

Today we will spend the morning in the village community stay of Salinas de Garci Mendoza before continuing our drive to 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 - 2-3 hours.

05

Day 5: 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!

06

Day 6: Bolivian Altiplano

Today we will head off across the wilds of the Bolivian altiplano, a surreal and desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the Chilean border. We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde en route.

In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

07

Day 7-8: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Bolivia at Uyuni, enter Chile at San Pedro de Atacama.

Today we set off early from our altiplano refuge, cross the remainder of the Bolivian Altiplano, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.

08

Day 9: Purmamarca

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Jama, enter Argentina at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Argentina, and reach the beautiful village of Purmamarca next to the aptly-named 'Hill of Seven Colours'

In Purmamarca we will camp in a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

09

Day 10: Salta

Today we will drive to the beautiful colonial city of Salta, where we will have time to freely explore on arrival.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

10

Day 11: Salta

Today we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, taking in some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.

11

Day 12: Salta

Today we will have a short morning drive to a campsite in Cabra Corral, a small village south of Salta where we have the opportunity to go rafting or zip-lining!

Tonight we will continue our drive a short distance to wild camp in the stunning mountains nearby, or camp at the rafting base in Cabra Corral if preferred.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

12

Day 13-14: Cafayate

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the serene town of Cafayate.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! Over the next two days we will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

13

Day 15: Recreo

Today we will drive south over some more spectacular mountains and arrive in the lush flat pampas that Argentina is famous for. We will visit the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route. 

Tonight we will aim to wild camp en route or stay in a basic campsite in the town of Recreo.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

14

Day 16-18: Rio Ceballos

Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.

15

Day 19: Buenos Aires

Today we will have a full day drive to the wonderful city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

16

Day 20: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

17

Day 21: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! 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.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires 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 Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

18

Day 22-23: Buenos Aires

The next two days will be a free to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

19

Day 24: Yapeyú

Today we have a full day drive north though the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, aiming to reach the beautiful village of Yapeyú on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapeyú is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.

In Yapeyú we will stay in a municipal campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 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!).

20

Day 25: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: Exit Argentina at Tancredo Neves, enter Brazil at Tancredo Neves.

Today we cross the border into Brazil and drive to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

21

Day 26: Iguazu Falls

Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

22

Day 27: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

23

Day 28: Bonito

Today we have a full drive day north to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

24

Day 29-30: Bonito

We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

25

Day 31-32: Southern Pantanal

Today we have a short drive to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

26

Day 33: Campo Grande

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal. We will start driving east towards Sao Paulo state, and wild camp towards the end of the day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

27

Day 34: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

28

Day 35: Brotas

Today is free to take part in optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or canyoning, or to simply relax by the pool!

29

Day 36-38: Paraty

Today we have a full day drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast. 

On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

In Paraty we wil camp at a hostel.

30

Day 39: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

There will be a joining meeting in the afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

31

Day 40: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will go on an introductory walking tour with our local guide to get to know the local area and orientate ourselves. We will then head to one of the local 'blocos' (street parades) with the guide, who will show us the ropes!

In the afternoon there's the option to go for a guided visit to the Morrinho Project, a favela community project supported by Dragoman. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel to and from the project by air conditioned minibus.

32

Day 41: Rio De Janeiro

Early this morning we have the option to head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is also a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We normally charter a private tram to the top of Corcovado mountain which means that we are the first ones to arrive and have the statue to ourselves for a short time - a fantastic privilege at any time of year but particularly during the busy carnival time. We will aim for the same arrangements this year but please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a private tram.

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in sector 13, the most lively of the sectors where local Cariocas are supporting their favourite Samba schools by singing and dancing. The sector is at the very end of the runway and you have the chance of collecting parts of the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by English speaking guides who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. As people wish to leave at different times, there will be pre-determined times when you will be able to go back to the hotel with a guide. 

Please note that sector 13 is set back a bit from the actual runway so does not offer the best close up views of the parade - if you should wish, there is the option to upgrade to sector 11 for a much closer view of the parade, which is highly recommended if you're interested in photography and would like the best pictures of the costumes and floats. The same guide and travel arrangements as for sector 13 will apply.

33

Day 42: Rio De Janeiro

This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in.

In the afternoon we have the chance to go on an optional guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain. 

In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. The seats tonight are in Sector 5, situated at the start of the runway and offering close up views of the parade. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide.

There is also the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience! You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide who will also accompany you during the parade.

34

Day 43: Rio De Janeiro

Today is another free day to explore Rio de Janeiro further, and perhaps to find one of the blocos (street parades) that take place during the Carnival and continue the party.

In the evening we have the chance to put on our most outrageous outfits and head to the Gay Ball! The ticket to the Gay Ball includes the entrance, open bar and assorted finger food.

35

Day 44: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 12 noon, and you can depart at any time or spend the day exploring further or relaxing.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 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 jeeps out onto the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats
    • Explore the dramatic landscape of the Moon Valley
    • Visit the Quilmes ruins
    • Spend 3 unique days at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia to experience the gaucho way of living
    • 2 night wildlife safari into the Pantanal
    • Orientation walk
    • Party all night to the fantastic sounds and sights of the Samba schools parade
    Accomodation
    • 55% Camping - 45% Hotels
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