Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Andes to Rio tour

Andes to Rio

Tucan Travel
4.4 . Great
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
28 days
From: $ 1,770 $ 63 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Uyuni Salt Flats day trip
  • Drive through Argentina's wine region
  • Iguazú Falls from Brazil & Argentina

Short Description

From the peaks of the Andes to the world's most famous beach city; from one of the poorest nations to one of the richest in South America, this is an adventure to get your teeth into! Travel through the windswept Altiplano, across the Chaco of northern Argentina and Iguazú Falls, culminating on the coast of Brazil for the world's best party. From the Andes to the Atlantic, you'll be smitten by the Latino way of life every step of the way.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City La Paz
End City Rio de Janeiro

Destinations

Brazil Argentina Bolivia

Cities & Attractions

La Paz Rio de Janeiro

Good for Singles
No Single Supplement
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Trip Includes

  • 21 Breakfast(s), 17 Lunch(es), 12 Dinner(s)
  • Overland Truck

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Itinerary

Day 1 to 1 Arrive La Paz

La Paz is built in the basin of a spectacular ancient crater caused by a meteorite, with the snow-capped Illimani in the background. At an altitude of 3,660 metres, the city is said to host the highest football stadium in the world.

The city has colourful indigenous street markets including the ‘witches market' where women in flared skirts sell, amongst other things, dead cats and llama foetuses which are placed under new buildings in a bid to keep evil spirits away. The main square, Plaza Murillo, is where many years ago a president of the republic was lynched from a lamppost. La Paz is one of the best places to see a traditional peña show of Andean music and dance where local musicians play their time-honoured instruments such as zampoñas (pipes) and charangos (ukulele).

There are plenty of excursions available in La Paz. Check out the Moon Valley with its strange rock formations shaped by the weather. Another fantastic excursion is to Coroico, the gateway to the Bolivian jungle region and a great place to see sub-tropical vegetation and plants. En-route you will cross a 5,000 metre high pass before descending to 1,300 metres on narrow mountain roads bordered by sheer drops. The excursion to Coroico can also be done by mountain bike, as it is downhill nearly all the way and very exhilarating, but beware, colloquially known as ‘Death Road’, it is not at all for the fainthearted and great care must be taken!

Please note: On arrival in Bolivia you will be required to pay an entry fee of US$10.

Day 2 to 3 Uyuni

Travelling on we head to the desolate town of Uyuní in the south of Bolivia, to visit what is claimed to be the largest salt flat in the world, the brilliantly white and vast Salar de Uyuní. We will stay two nights here and you can enjoy an included excursion onto the salar in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Explore places such as Fish Island, where there are great views of the surrounding lake and giant cacti. The fantastic contrast of the brilliant blue sky (weather permitting of course) and the pure white of the salt flats is surreal. This area proves to be a very popular place for some creative photo opportunities.

Approximate Driving Time: Nine Hour Drive

Day 4 to 4 Potosí

We now travel to Potosí, the highest city of its size on Earth at 4,070 metres, with a population of 110,000 people. The history of Potosí, its fame and splendour, as well as its tragedy and horror, is closely linked to silver. The city was founded in 1545 soon after the discovery of silver in a nearby hill, the Cerro Rico (or Rich Hill). The veins proved to be so prolific that they quickly became known as the world’s richest source of the precious metal. Silver from Potosí underwrote the Spanish economy, particularly its monarchy's extravagance, for over two centuries. Millions of indigenous people, and later, African slaves, were made to work in the mines where conditions were so appalling and dangerous that miners died in horrific numbers, either in accidents or from silicosis pneumonia. During the three centuries of colonial rule, it is estimated that eight million Africans and locals died in the Potosí mines. Reminders of the grand colonial city are still evident in the narrow streets, formal balconied mansions and ornate churches. We offer you the opportunity to visit one of the mines (optional) where you will learn from first-hand experience some of the hardship that miners still suffer. You soon realise that the mines are worked today in much the same way as they were under Spanish rule.

Approximate Driving Time: Five Hour Drive

Day 5 to 5 Tupiza

Winding our way along the dusty roads of Bolivia, which are some of the most rugged in South America, we head towards the Argentine border amidst the vividly coloured rock formations and giant cacti. We arrive at Tupiza where we will take respite from the arid surrounds and dusty road. Legend has it that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid met their end at the hands of the Bolivian army near Tupiza, concluding their notorious string of bank raids.

Approximate Driving Time: Five Hour Drive

Day 6 to 7 Salta

Crossing into Argentina we drive past stunning multi-coloured sedimentary rock formations that offer beautiful photo opportunities. We arrive in the striking city of Salta in the Lerma Valley at the foothills of the Andes, established in 1582. Salta has many old colonial buildings, a cathedral with ancient statues of the Cristo del Milagro (Miracle of Christ) and the Virgin Mary, which were brought over from Spain in 1592. For an adrenaline rush you can hire mountain bikes for a couple of hours of thrilling descents or take a quad bike tour to explore less challenging terrain. For a more peaceful excursion you can stretch your legs on a trek, taking in beautiful local flora and fauna, as well as an impressive series of cascadas (waterfalls).

Approximate Driving Time: Full Day Drive

Day 8 to 10 Cafayate

Leaving Salta we drive past lush farmlands where you may catch a glimpse of traditional subsistence farmers at work. We travel to Cafayate past scenic vineyards.

Approximate Driving Time: Four Hour Drive

Day 11 to 12 Cordoba

Cordoba is a busy modern industrial city near the geographical centre of Argentina in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas mountains. Established in 1573, Córdoba boasts the country's oldest university and a young, dynamic student population. During the day you can visit an array of richly decorated churches, including Argentina's oldest cathedral and the Manzana Jesuitica (Jesuit Block) which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From Cordoba we have the chance to visit a traditional estancia, home to real-life cowboys.

Approximate Driving Time: Full Day Drive

Day 13 to 16 Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with lovely green parks, plazas and wide boulevards. Our hostel is an excellent location, within walking distance to many of the city's highlights and close to transport links to the rest of the city. The balcony of the presidential palace the Casa Rosada (Pink Palace) is where Eva Perón made many of her speeches and is also the place where Madonna sang, “Don't cry for me Argentina” in the film Evita. Across the Plaza de Mayo you will also find the Cabildo (the old town hall) the Palacio Municipal (City Hall) and the cathedral. Every Thursday afternoon in this plaza the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" march in remembrance of their family members who disappeared in the 1970s when the country was under military rule. There are many excellent restaurants in the Puerto Madera area and it is well worth a visit to the port of La Boca for its colourful buildings and cultural history. In nearby San Telmo, the bohemian area, there is a fascinating antique market every Sunday. The Recoleta Cemetery, almost like an enclosed city of its own, is where Eva Peron and many other rich and famous Argentines are buried - well worth a visit. The reputation of Buenos Aires' nightlife is not overstated as there are many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and cinemas open until all hours. For a great evening out, you may want to see a tango show in the city where the dance originated, and you shouldn't leave Buenos Aires before trying one of the best steaks you’ll find in the world!

Why not get another country under your belt and catch a ferry over to Uruguay for a day trip to the fascinating town Colonia del Sacramento. Visit the historical old quarter-a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site

Day 17 to 17 Yapeyu

Today we hit the road as we spend the day driving from Buenos Aires towards Puerto Iguazú. We will stop for the night to set up our tents at Yapeyu. This historic town was founded in 1626 by the Jesuit Pedro Romero and was one of the 30 missions established at the beginning of the 17th Century that were destroyed in 1817 by the Portuguese army.

Approximate Driving Time: Full Day Drive

Day 18 to 18 Puerto Iguazú

Continuing on we arrive in Puerto Iguazú. Tonight, visit some of the town's bars and clubs close to our hostel before visiting the falls tomorrow.

Approximate Driving Time: Six Hour Drive

Day 19 to 20 Foz do Iguaçu

This morning you will visit the Argentinian side of Iguazú Falls. Walk through rainforest and along catwalks directly above the falls and you will also find the famous Garganta del Diablo, Spanish for "Devil's Throat", where fourteen waterfalls drop with such force that there is always a massive cloud of spray overhead. If you feel like cooling down, take a zodiac boat ride up the river and under the falls – a fun way to get a different perspective of these impressive falls.

Next we reach the little Brazilian town of Foz do Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls), where some 275 separate waterfalls cascade over a two-and-a-half-kilometre-wide cliff face. We first visit the stunning falls from the Brazilian side which offers panoramic views of the numerous waterfalls on the Argentine side.

For a bird's eye view over the entire falls you can take an optional scenic helicopter ride. There is also an excellent bird park nearby and you can visit the world's largest hydroelectric dam at Itaipu where videos show the environmental planning behind the dam project. If you’re keeping a keen eye on your country tally you can pop into neighbouring Paraguay by public bus (you don't even have to get your passport stamped) for a bit of shopping in Ciudad del Esté.

Day 21 to 22 Vila Velha

We have a scenic drive to Vila Velha National Park where we will set up camp for two nights.

Vila Velha National Park itself is famous for its spectacular sinkholes and sandstone formations where lovers of the great outdoors can enjoy a variety of optional adventure-filled activities, including a visit to the Mariguinha waterfall, cascading from 30 metres high. There is also a delightful sandy river beach which is walking distance from the campsite.

Approximate Driving Time: Full Day Drive

Day 23 to 23 Bertioga

Today we continue on our way through the coast and stop on the laid back beach town of Bertioga. In 1532, Portuguese settlers founded the oldest fortress of Brazil here – Forte Sao Joao de Bertioga. These days Bertioga has become a popular beach destination for sunbathers and surfers escaping the hustle and bustle of Sao Paulo.

Approximate Driving Time: Full Day Drive

Day 24 to 26 Parati

Getting to the Costa Verde we arrive at Parati which is a preserved Portuguese colonial town (1500-1822). The town is renowned for its historic town centre, the coast and mountains in the region. Parati was also a major port for the exportation of gold and coffee during the 17th and 19th centuries respectively and recommended excursions include a sailing schooner cruise around the bays, rainforest treks and walking the gold trail.

Approximate Driving Time: Eight Hour Drive

Day 27 to 27 Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, or more commonly known as Rio, is the second largest city in Brazil and arguably one of the most beautiful cities of the world. In the late 17th century the Portuguese found gold and diamonds in the nearby state of Minas Gerais and thus Rio became the main port for exporting the new found wealth. During the colonial Portuguese period of 1763-1815, Rio was the capital of Brazil.

The city has so much to offer from its natural sites to its famous landmarks including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and Corcovado with its famous ‘Cristo Redentor’ (Christ the Redeemer statue) - both of which offer great views over the city. You of course have to visit the famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. And of course, if you are in Rio around February/March time, get ready for the world's biggest party, the Rio Carnival!

Day 28 to 28 Depart Rio de Janeiro

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Availability

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Price From $ 1,770
Price Per Day: $ 63 per day
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1,385 Tucan Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 817
Great 393
Average 104
Disappointing 36
Terrible 33
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Activities
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Transportation
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Andes to Rio

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What an amazing trip. So many highlights

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What an amazing trip. So many highlights and new memories made. Even though I joined half way through a much longer trip, everyone immediately tried hard to make me feel part of the group. Can't wait until my next trip with Tucan.
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Had a fantastic trip!!!

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Had a fantastic trip.
Our guide Vacilliey ( spelt wrong ) had so much knowledge on Russian History, the food, people, views,buildings......amazing!!!
Thank you so much - Jenny Arnold.....

Excellent tour around the Balkans

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Excellent tour around the Balkans, the guide we had Heidi was truly exception. If this is an area you are interested in this area, this tour gives a really good highlight of the 7 countries.

Tucan Travel 6 nights/ 7 days Russian Highlights Tourl

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Really We wanted to visit Russia during the FIFA World Cup 2018, does not matter our native country Chile did not qualified, then We went to visit a son living in Germany. but it was impossible to get official FIFA tickets because it were sold out and also no airplane tickets & hotel reservation were available at this time, therefore we watched the World Cup by TV. So following to our son recommendation, that it was not the right time to travel Russia, too risky, therefore just we watched the games TV. After the tournament was done, the hotel and plane tickets rates came down and our son was looking for a serious and respectable travel company like Tucan Travel. The option were multiples but we took the 6 nights/ 7 days Russian Highlights Tour that was wonderful with the amount (14) tourists adults and seniors came from different countries. The most important point was the Tour Leader Vasily Novilkow and Mrs. Hellen, both russian natives of St. Petersburg and Moscu. 100 % professionals, very nice speak english, well educated, deep knowlodge of the millenial culture & history of his Mother Russia. Hotel rooms were very clean and the breakfast include very good. During lunch and dinner we can go to differents nice russian restaurants. Besides this we travel by bus, metro, taxis, train and boat, this means that we have a real interaction with the russian people. Thanks Tucan Travel for the great vacation and now We have a different impression about Russia.

With my Best Regards, Emilio and Norma.
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Tailor Made South American Adventure.

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My husband and I booked a tailor made trip to Sth America with Tucan Travel after looking closely at the competition in terms of pricing and the type of travel and tours on offer by the companies. We eventually decided to go with Tucan as they seemed to cater more for our style of travel, not just focus on "ticking things off lists" and the pricing was competitive.

We spent some time working through by email and phone with the local Tucan representative before finalising our 75 night trip taking in 5 countries. At all times during the organisation of the trip Tucan were available and responsive to talk things through before we settled on our chosen itinerary.

Our trip to Sth America started in mid-April and finished in early July 2018 commencing in the Galapagos and working our way through mainland Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. Tucan organised all our transfers, local guides and tours and we were extremely impressed with the professionalism and punctuality of all but a few of our pickups. For those that didn't quite work as seamlessly as we had come to expect, our Sth American Tucan representative was readily available and very quick to sort the problem out.

During our trip we were impressed with the standard of guides (both private and group tours) who were all local to the country and as well as having a good knowledge of the areas, all had a good rapport with the local operators and were able to show us more of the local culture and foods. The guides themselves were very happy to work for Tucan and more than one told us that Tucan ensured that they only used local operators and therefore better supported the local economy.

All up we had an amazing and wonderful adventure in Sth America and thanks to Tucan it was essentially worry free. We would highly recommend the company and are already beginning to think about our next adventure, which we plan to book with Tucan.
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very well organized Tucan has a very…

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very well organized Tucan has a very good way to make tours and always good tourleaders, where we f.ex.go to local restaurants where I ever never would go alone. I like the form.

Details

Accomodations

5 night(s) in hotels, 10 night(s) in hostels, 12 night(s) camping

Trip ID#:

tucan-BXAR

Trip Excludes

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Array
  • Array
  • Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Sleeping bag & sleeping mat

Meals Included:

21 Breakfast(s), 17 Lunch(es), 12 Dinner(s)

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