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. We begin in the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, from where we set off on this unique and pioneering trip from Dragoman, which cuts through the interior of the vast country of Brazil and continues into Peru. Our first stop is the old mining district of Minas Gerais, full of colonial history and grand churches telling of the local gold rush, slavery, and the InconfidÃªncia Mineira, an important early attempt to break free from colonial rule. We then then head to the staggeringly-beautiful Chapada dos GuimarÃ£es National Park and explore its stunning scenery, table-top mountains, ravines, caves, streams and waterfalls - it's a paradise for walkers and nature lovers. Next we head to the northern Pantanal, one of the world's largest tropical wetland areas, nurturing an astonishing biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping to support a dense array of animal species. Even more famous than the Pantanal is of course the Amazon, and we will head overland into south-eastern Peru exploring one of the most untouched stretches of the beautiful Amazon rainforest. Finally we climb up into the high Andes and to the traveller's paradise of Cuzco, once the capital of the Inca Empire. Cuzco is our base for one of South America's best highlights, the Inca Trails and a visit to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu. After Cuzco, we will head south to the serene shores of Lake Titicaca and its sacred Inca island of Isla del Sol, and then move on to the thriving Bolivian city of La Paz. A fantastic and pioneering itinerary along a route that very few tourists ever get to see - join us on this truly unforgettable South American journey!
Duration: 36 Days
Guide (Language): english
Start City: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Guaranteed Departure: No
Physical Demand: Demanding
Trip Rating: 0%
Trip ID: 158358
End City: La Paz, Bolivia
|Duration: 36 Days||Guaranteed Departure: Yes|
|For lovers of: Boating||Physical rating: Demanding|
|Accommodation standard: Budget%||Traveller Tour Rating: 0%|
|Your Guide: English speaking||Tour code: 158358|
|Starts: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil||Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia|
Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.
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 the trip will leave Rio de Janeiro tomorrow morning, so we suggest you might fly to Rio de Janeiro at least a day earlier if you want to visit any sites in the city.
In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the Flamengo region of the city.
Today we have a full day's drive inland to the beautiful old colonial mining town of Ouro Preto. En route we will stop at the village of Congonhas to see the famous 'Twelve Prophets' statues built by the local sculptor Aleijandinho.
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
On the following day we will have free time to explore the town, and discover its cobblestone streets and stunning Baroque churches. We can also make an optional trip to one of the fascinating mines in and around town.
In Ouro Preto we will stay in dorm accommodation in a hostel.
Today we will have an early start for a full day's drive to Brasilia, the country's capital.
Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.
On the following day, we will explore the city's fascinating architecture on a guided tour. Designed by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s, the city was a landmark in the history of city planning - it is a very bizarre and interesting place to explore, quite unlike anywhere else in South America.
Today we set off west towards Chapada dos Guimarães, anstunning overland journey of almost 1000km in total.
Tonight we will wild camp en route, probably without facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
Today we complete our drive to Chapada dos Guimarães, and meet with our local guide who will be with us for the next 10 days!
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
We will then have 2 full days of hiking around the stunning landscapes of Chapada dos Guimarães. We will follow the popular waterfall trail, visiting natural pools and incredible viewpoints along the way - the highlight is the Véu de Noivas ('Bridal Veil') waterfall, one of the postcard views of the Chapada. We will also hike around the Rio Claro valley and visit the Cidade de Pedra look-out point.
In Chapada dos Guimarães, we will camp in a well equipped campsite.
Today we will have an early start from Chapada dos Guimarães and drive to Poconé, the gateway to the northern Pantanal region. From here we will start our trip along the Transpantaneira road, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife along the way.
Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.
Over the next 2 days in the Pantanal, we will explore the flora and fauna of these vast wetlands on foot and horseback, as well as in boats and our overland vehicle. We will be in search of the area's incredible array of wildlife on a flexible itinerary with our expert local guides.
In the Pantanal, we will stay in lodges with all the food included.
After breakfast we will leave the Pantanal and have a full day's drive to the village of Vila Bela da Santíssima Trinidade.
Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.
On the following day we will go a boat trip on the Guaporé River in search of wildlife and bird-life including capybara, anacondas, and most impressive of all the pink dolphins in the river. We will also explore the beautiful colonial town of Vila Bela, and learn how the local Marroon community came about from the local tribes and fugitive slaves. We then take a boat down the river visiting a number of small-hold farms to learn about the livestock, crops, fruit trees, and vegetables that they grow.
In Vila Bela da Santíssima Trinidade we will camp in a well equipped campsite.
Today we will say goodbye to our local guide, and embark on 2 days of driving the 1800kms north towards the Peruvian border.
We will wild camp en route, probably without facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours each day.
Today is our final full day in Brazil, as we drive to the far western border town of Xapuri.
In Xapuri we stay the night in a local pousada (traveller's guesthouse).
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Border information: exit Brazil at Assis, enter Peru at Iñapari.
Today we cross from Brazil over the Rio Acre and enter Peru. Once through border formalities, we drive on to Puerto Maldonado, the base of our upcoming expedition into the Peruvian Amazon.
Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours, including the border crossing.
The following day we will have free time to explore the interesting town of Puerto Maldonado.
In Puerto Maldonado we will stay in a small locally-run hotel.
Today we will head 20kms from Puerto Maldonado to the Tambopata River port, where we will take a 45-minute boat transfer to our jungle lodge at Posada Amazonas where we will stay for the next 3 nights.
During our time here, we will enjoy a full schedule of activities to explore the phenomenal Amazon region of Peru. This will include a walk to the scaffolding canopy tower where you can enjoy spectacular views of the forest and the Tambopata River, a visit to the Tres Chimbadas Lake to look for the resident family of giant river otters and other lakeside wildlife, and an ethnobotanical tour to learn about the traditional ways of using plants as medicines. At night there's also an option of going for a hike in the forest, a time when most mammals are active but rarely seen so expect to use your ears more than your eyes! One of the mornings we will visit a 'Parrot Clay Lick', where if it's a clear morning you have the chance to see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend to ingest the clay on a river bank. We will also go on a guided hike in the forest, learning about the natural history of the rainforest, and visit one of the farms in the community of Infierno and learn about the different Amazonian crops grown here.
In Posada Amazonas we will stay in a jungle lodge, with all meals included.
This morning we depart Posada Amazonas and drive onwards towards the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. We will break the journey in the town of Quince Mil, just before we head up into the mighty Andes.
In Quince Mil we will stay in a simple local farmstead guesthouse.
Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.
Today we will complete our drive to the amazing town of Cuzco, once the centre of the Inca Empire.
In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel in the historical centre.
Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.
Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.
There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. There will be a further meeting this evening for our Community and Classic Inca Trails, where we will have a full detailed briefing from our local trekking guides about the next few days!
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.
In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.
These four days will be spent trekking in the Andes, either on our pioneering Community Trek or on the Classic Inca Trail. We will have a tour of the Sacred Valley, embark on our various treks, and end up at the phenomenal Inca site of Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World!
Please see the Inca Trails section at the bottom of the detailed trip notes for each departure for details of the Community Trek and the Classic Inca Trail, as well as our non-trekking MAPI alternative.
We will camp during these nights (except for the first night of the Classic Trail and the last night of the Community Trek, which are both in a local hotel in Ollantaytambo).
This morning we will arrive at Machu Picchu, one of the world's most incredible and iconic historical sites. We'll have a guided tour with a local expert, and then have plenty of time to freely explore the area before catching the train back to Cuzco.
Today is a free day to relax after the treks, further explore the historical city of Cuzco, and take part in some optional activities around the city.
Today we will leave Cuzco and head through the highlands of Peru to the town of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titcaca. We will have an included visit to the Inca site of Tipon en route.
In Puno we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
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 - 4 hours.
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.
Today we will drive to the famous city of La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! On arrival we will have free time to explore the city.
In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.
Border information: if you are finishing in La Paz, you will most likely exit Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in La Paz, and a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight.
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Trip Name: Rio De Janeiro to La Paz
Duration: 36 Days
From Price: 3460
Trip Code: 158358
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