Andes & Amazon

Andes & Amazon

37 / 53 Days

Experience the following places:
Ecuador
Peru
Bolivia
Argentina
Chile
Tour Information

This action packed South America tour takes us through some of the most diverse landscapes on the continent. In Ecuador we explore the dense Amazon Jungle and can mountain-bike down spectacular volcanoes, through Peru we follow the footsteps of the Incas on the Inca Trail as we hike to the mysterious ruins of Macchu Picchu, while Bolivia provides us with the opportunity to overnight with local Indians and experience the vastness of the uninhabited Salt Flats of Uyuni, before our journey culminates in the cosmopolitan capital of Santiago de Chile.

Our Andes & Amazon South American tours can be joined in either Quito, La Paz or Santiago. For those beginning in Santiago the daily itinerary below should be followed in reverse. Should you wish to arrive a few days before the tour starts we can help you arrange accommodation.

Day 1 - 6 (or days 48 - 53)
Starting our South America tour journey in Quito, we first visit the town of Otavalo famous for its colourful craft market. Heading east on narrow, tortuous roads to the steamy edge of the Amazon basin the town of Tena is our gateway into the Amazon jungle. Here accompanied by experienced guides, we explore on foot this exotic environment.

Day 7 - 11 (43 - 47)
Further south, perched high in the mountains of Ecuador, lies the outdoors mecca of Banos. This spa town where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths is ideal to bike or mountain bike the various trails to one of the surrounding waterfalls or the impressive nearby rocky canyon. We hit the road again and drive south along the spine of the Andes towards Peru.

Day 12 - 15 (39 - 42)
A days drive on the Pan-American highway brings us to the border with Peru. You will notice an amazing transition in one day, from the good farming country of highland Ecuador, through sub-tropical forest and immense banana plantations, to dry barren desert in Peru. We are rewarded with a couple of days camping on the beach. Our next stop are the Chan Chan ruins, imperial citadel of the pre-Inca Chimu kings which the Incas later conquered. It claims to be the largest mud brick city in the world.

Day 16 - 21 (33 - 38)
Continuing with the Andes close to our left and the sea on our right, the capital city of Lima will be our next stop on the Andes & Amazon South America tour. After a couple of days in this busy metropolis our next stop is the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve. By boat we visit the rare and exotic sea birds and mammals that inhabit these islands. We now make our way to one of the world's great archaeological mysteries The Nazca Lines. These huge figures and shapes, carved into the desert floor are best viewed from the air.

Day 22 - 26 (28 - 32)
Still heading south we visit Puerto Inca, at this ancient Inca harbour we camp at the beach and enjoy our last night at sea level before beginning our climb back into the towering Andes. The next two nights are spent in Arequipa at 2325m, giving us time to acclimatise, and enjoy this beautiful colonial city with its impressive El Misti Volcano in the background. Arequipa is also the gateway to one of the deepest canyons in the world. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is an awesome sight. Here, if you get up early, Condors can be seen circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor.

Day 27 - 33 (21 - 27)
We now have to face one of the most arduous and punishing dirt roads on the tour, although we soon arrive at Cuzco. Widely considered to be the most interesting city in South America, Cuzco is surrounded by the Sacred Valley of the Incas and offers a wide range of activities to explore the region. We will base ourselves here for 6 days giving us enough time for the 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trip, which is regarded by many to be the highlight of their South America tour. As well as the tours to Machu Picchu, you’re able to enjoy the architectural uniqueness of Cuzco and explore some of the colourful surrounding markets.

Day 34 - 37 (17 - 20)
Bordering Peru and Bolivia at 3800m lies Lake Titicaca, the original place of the Uros Indians who have made their homes on floating reed islands. By boat we visit the floating islands during the day and then we go that one step beyond the average tourist and spend the night with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands Isla Amantani or Taquile. Spending some time in these local communities will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs. From here it's a days drive to the capital of Bolivia - La Paz. This is a great place to visit a 'pena' club, dedicated to Andean folk music, and perhaps buy some souvenirs in one of the authentic markets such as the witches market.

For those on our 37 Day trip, La Paz is the final destination. Those on our 53 Day trip continue on towards Santiago.

Day 38 - 43 (11 - 16)
Leaving La Paz we enter real Bolivia, where the Aymara and Quechua Indians scrape a living from their small plots of land in the harsh climate and paved roads are virtually non-existent. A days drive brings us to Potosi. At over 4000m it is the highest city of its size in the world and 400 years ago it was the largest city in all the Americas. Vast amounts of silver were extracted from Potosi and shipped to Spain in years gone by. The adventurous will appreciate the opportunity to go down one of these mines where mining techniques have remained unchanged for centuries. Visiting the ancient mint or having a tour around the Casa Nacional de Moneda (National Money House) also provides a good look into Potosi's and Bolivia's past. Leaving the bleak Altiplano we arrive at the shimmering white Salt Flats of Uyuni.

Day 44 - 47 (7 - 10)
It is possible to venture out into the salt lakes for a 1 day excursion. With no roads and only vague tracks to follow it makes for an unforgettable experience. Our descent through the Andean passes is spectacular as we cross into Argentina towards the colonial city of Salta where we have a couple of free days.

Day 48 - 53 (1 - 6)
Another border crossing brings us into Chile and to the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. This small but exciting place offers many activities and excursions into the surrounding regions. From here we can also visit the fantastic landscapes of the Valley of the Moon as well as Stone Age dwellings.

After a week of desert scenery we rejoin the Pacific Ocean and the Pan American Highway. Near to La Serena we stay on a beach campsite and relax for a few days before our final drive into Chile's capital, Santiago. Our arrival here marks the end of our South American tour.

Booking Information What's Included?
  • 2 Days 2 Nights Jungle Excursion
  • Chan Chan Ruins
  • Puerto Inca
  • Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu (4 days trek including all meals on Inca Trail)
  • Boat Tour on Lake Titicaca
  • Overnight stay with local family on Lake Titicaca
  • Uyuni Salt Flat
  • Valley of the Moon Atacama Desert
  • All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
  • All accommodation fees
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • Meals prepared by group - 50 approx
  • Services of 2 Oasis Crew
What's Not Included?
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes and Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Meals taken while in hotels/hostels
  • Drinks
  • Tips and Optional excursions as listed in dossiers.