Real Bolivia to Brazil


Immerse yourself in the natural wonders and bustling cities of South America on this 25-day adventure from La Paz to Rio de Janeiro. Tour the charming city of Colonia del Sacramento, discover why Salta is nicknamed ‘La Linda’ (‘the beautiful’) and experience the might of Buenos Aires. Mix in stops at the magic of the Iguazu Falls, the untamed desert scenery of San Pedro de Atacama and the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni salt flats. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore at each location, so why not pull out all the stops on this South American experience?

25 days, from

$4,037

per person

GROUP SIZE

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: GGYRC
Style: Basix
Theme: 18 to 35s

Details

Countries Visited:  Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Uruguay
Accommodation: Dormitory (2 nights), Hotel (18 nights), Overnight bus (2 nights), Estancia (multi-share) (2 nights)
Transportation: 4x4 , Local Bus , Overnight bus , Plane , Taxi , Van , Boat
Included Meals:

  • 22 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 4 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • The mighty Iguazu Falls straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil, and you’ll cross the border to see its incredible cascades from both sides.

  • Spend two nights at a working estancia (farm) in Uruguay, where you can spend your time getting involved in farm work, learning about gauchos, riding horses or simply relaxing in the sun.

  • Embark on a three-day adventure by 4WD across the rocky Atacama Desert in Salar de Uyuni and the largest salt lakes in the world. Pass cactus islands, train cemeteries and mineral lakes teeming with birdlife.

  • Explore Bolivian culture in La Paz, from the city’s booming industry to the traditionally dressed residents selling ancient potions at the Witches’ Market.

  • Get under the skin of Buenos Aires – with its eclectic neighbourhoods, thriving nightlife, food and wine culture and huge theatre scene, this is the perfect way to end your adventure!

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: La Paz

Bienvenidos! Welcome to La Paz. The highest capital city in the world, this Bolivian hub rests on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau, 3500 m above sea level. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. After, why not head out to find the perfect dinner spot (your leader will have lots of recommendations) or explore the nightlife with your fellow travellers.

Day 2: La Paz

Today, you’ll head out on a brief guided walk with your leader. La Paz is a city renowned for its markets, especially the Mercado de Hechiceria (the Witches' Market), which sells potions, incantations, stones and artefacts. Ask a local about their significance – most people are happy to explain. Then you’ll have some free time to explore. Maybe visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district. Late this afternoon, leave La Paz on an overnight bus to Uyuni. There are comfortable recliner seats on the bus, but it can be cold on board, so it’s important to bring warm clothing and wear base layers. There’s usually a toilet on the bus, and the driver will make a couple of stops along the way.

Day 3: Salar de Uyuni

This morning you’ll arrive in Uyuni Town. This remote town sits on the edge of the high Altiplano – a wilderness area extending for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. Over the next three days, you’ll explore Bolivia’s highlights and fascinating landscapes in a 4WD – an experience of a lifetime! The first stop will be an eerie Train Cemetery (a super unique Instagram spot), then, you’ll continue to Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt flats. This is one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world and definitely a trip highlight, so make sure you take some amazing photos, explore on foot and take it all in. Make the most of your time on the salt flats before exploring Inka Wasi Isla – a rocky island covered in cacti and coral-like structures.

Day 4: Bolivian Altiplano

Today will be spent driving through the spectacular landscape of the Andean (Atacama) Desert, sprinkled with volcanoes and lakes. Stop by the red lake of Laguna Colorada, where you’ll be able to spot wildlife like llamas, flamingos, viscachas and foxes feasting in the nutrient-rich waters.

Day 5: Bolivia/Chile Border- San Pedro de Atacama

This morning, rise and shine early to embrace the cold and stop by the desert’s natural thermal baths for an optional soak. Then head to the Bolivia and Chile border, where the Bolivian part of your trip comes to an end. Pass by geysers, salt flats and snow-capped volcanoes on your way to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. As a small oasis town, San Pedro is surrounded by extraordinary scenery. Arriving around 6 pm, your night is free to find a delicious local dinner with your group.

Day 6-7: San Pedro de Atacama

Over the next two days, get under the skin of San Pedro. The local cafe and restaurant scene has grown considerably over the last couple of years, with a mix of Chilean, French and Italian influences, so you’ll definitely find a great spot for lunch and dinner. Bike rental is popular here, so maybe opt to grab a set of wheels and explore on your own or with your group, seeing the city in the best way. If you’d prefer something else active, you can also go sandboarding in the dunes. Maybe head out on an optional tour to the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna) or join an astronomical tour once the stars come out – just chat to your leader for details.

Day 8: Chile/Argentina border - Salta

Today will be a long day of travel as you leave San Pedro and head for Salta, Argentina. Salta's rich history, colonial architecture, friendly locals and natural surroundings make it one of Argentina's main attractions. Grab a window seat or a good book and watch the scenery pass you by. Tonight, you’re free to rest or head out for a late dinner when you arrive.

Day 9: Salta

After breakfast, today is a free day to explore Salta and its many attractions. If you’re after something active, hike up the 1070 steps to the summit of Cerro San Bernardo, the mountain that looms over Salta. If you'd prefer, you can also take a gondola (cable car) to the top to take in the views of the mountainous city below. Either way, the view from the top is magnificent!

Day 10: Salta - Buenos Aires

After breakfast and a free morning in Salta, you’ll take an included flight to Buenos Aires – Argentina's capital. When you arrive, you might like to head to a local tango show or a football match. Maybe grab a steak and glass of Malbec – the steak and wine combo is what Argentina is known for – in one of the city’s fashionable restaurants for dinner.

Day 11: Buenos Aires

Today is free to explore Buenos Aires. Join the tourists and walk among the tombs at the La Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron. There are also some great museums to check out in the Recoleta district. Visit the neighbourhood of La Boca, home to the colourful Caminito artists’ street and world-renowned soccer team, Boca Juniors. If you need to rest your feet, settle down at one of the many streetside cafes to watch the world go by with the locals. Tonight, why not head out to a couple of bars with your group for some classic Argentinian nightlife?

Day 12: Buenos Aires

Spend your morning how you please, then join your new travel companions for an orientation walk around Buenos Aires’ Microcentrodistrict at 1 pm. Your leader will be waiting in the lobby of your hotel. Get your bearings around your accommodation and see a couple of sights along the way, like the historic buildings along the Avenida de Mayo, the Casa Rosada (Argentina's government house) and the famed Obelisk. In the evening, you’ll have another meeting at 6 pm. For dinner, why not try some famed Argentinian BBQ? Your leader will be happy to provide restaurant recommendations.

Day 13: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day in Buenos Aires. You can spend the day how you like and tick off all the best photo ops or talk to your leader for some fun ideas. If you love art, maybe hang out in La Boca, home to the colourful Caminito artists’ street, or wander the Teatro Colon on a guided tour. If you’re a bit of a foodie, you’ll want to kick back and take the time to sip a nice Malbec while enjoying a bife de chorizo (beef tenderloin) in the Palermo neighbourhood. If in doubt, settle down at one of the cafes and people-watch.

Day 14: Colonia / Montevideo

Today cross the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) to Colonia del Sacramento by ferry. Enjoy free time to explore this charming colonial city, known as the oldest in Uruguay. The World Heritage-listed Barrio Historico (Old Quarter) is a great place to start. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and rub shoulders with locals as they sip their yerba mate (tea). Listen to the noisy parakeets in the Plaza Mayor, or comb Colonia’s small museums. For great views over the city, climb to the top of a 19th-century lighthouse that’s still in operation. In the afternoon, hop on a bus to Montevideo, then the evening is free for you to explore Uruguay’s capital city.

Day 15: Montevideo

Enjoy a free day to wander through Montevideo. Your leader will be on hand to provide suggestions for how to spend your day, or feel free to set out on your own adventure. You might go for a wander along the Rambla and soak in the fresh coastal air, brush up on your Uruguayan history at the Museo del Gaucho or rummage through the flea market at Feria de Tristán Narvaja. For food, it’ll be tough to top the offerings of Mercado del Puerto. If a day at the beach is more your thing, the soft sand of Playa de Los Pocitos will be for you.

Day 16: Estancia Stay

Leaving Montevideo behind, take a bus journey to Tacuarembo. The bus has reclining seats and you'll be provided with a typical Uruguayan snack, but as the bus doesn’t stop it's also recommended that you bring some extra snacks at your own expense. From Tacuarembo, take a transfer to the estancia (ranch), where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. Settle in, get to know your hosts over a group dinner and then rest up for a day on the farm tomorrow.

Day 17: Estancia Stay

Spend a day experiencing life on a working Uruguayan farm! Although you’re welcome to relax and explore your surroundings at your leisure, you can also get involved with day-to-day jobs around the ranch. As a working farm, the digs aren’t fancy, but the incredible surroundings and hospitality are something special. Enjoy home-cooked meals and the chance to ride horses, in true gaucho (cowboy) style.

Day 18: Estancia Stay / Overnight Bus

Spend a final morning taking in the gorgeous views across the estancia. Enjoy your final home-cooked meal together and say goodbye to your hosts, sharing the memories of your stay over lunch. This afternoon, you'll depart for a long travel day, so make sure you have some road trip games or your favourite playlists ready for the drive. Or simply watch the scenery pass by from the window seat as you reapproach Argentina, crossing the border to Concordia. Tonight, you’ll transfer to an overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina’s northeast, so maybe take the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers a little better on the drive.

Day 19: Iguazu Falls

Arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station this morning, then take a minivan across the border into Brazil. Depending on traffic, this should take about an hour. Your destination is Iguazu National Park, home of the majestic Foz do Iguacu/Iguazu Falls. This UNESCO World Heritage Site makes up the largest waterfall system in the world, with the Iguazu River also forming the border between Argentina and Brazil. If hotel rooms are ready when you arrive, you’ll be able to check in before heading out to explore the Brazilian side of the falls. From here, you’ll have panoramic views and the chance to get a great Insta pic. Take an optional helicopter flight over the falls (at your own expense) for an unforgettable bird’s eye view. Depending on time, you can also spot the colourful birdlife of Parque das Aves. After some time spent admiring this force of nature, head to your hotel in Foz do Iguacu. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day – you might want to visit the Three Borders Landmark or go for a ride on the Yup Star Foz Ferris wheel.

Day 20: Iguazu Falls

Return to Argentina today to see Iguazu Falls from a different angle. Following a series of boardwalks, it’s possible to get so close to the thundering waters that you can almost touch them. At over two kilometres long, Iguazu Falls are made up of over 270 separate cascades, with some reaching up to 80 metres in height. For a more exhilarating experience, take an optional Zodiac boat ride to the base of the falls! In the afternoon return to your accommodation in Foz do Iguacu in Brazil.

Day 21: Paraty

Take an included flight to Sao Paulo, then board a transfer to Paraty. After arriving, take the rest of the day to explore your new surroundings. Admire the architecture as you wander along the town’s cobbled, pedestrian-only streets, which become partly covered in seawater at high tide. You might prefer to explore the rainforest trails in the surrounding national park, which is rich in wildlife and waterfalls. Otherwise, a boat trip on the island-studded bay for scenic views along the coast could be on the cards, or join an excursion to the nearby village of Trindade, which boasts some of Brazil’s best beaches. The best thing is you get to decide.

Day 22: Paraty / Ilha Grande

Today, you’ll head to Angra, then take a ferry to the island getaway of Ilha Grande – a paradise of pristine beaches and rainforest that has been largely untouched by development. Once a pirate's lair, a leper colony and a prison for violent criminals, this island has plenty of history to uncover during your stay. Even the ruins of the prison can still be seen! When you arrive, maybe head to the beach if it’s calling your name.

Day 23: Ilha Grande

Rise and shine for a morning in paradise – you have a free day in Ilha Grande today. Maybe wander along rainforest trails to some remote beaches – Lopes Mendes and Aventureiro Beach are two of the best. You could book yourself in on an optional boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon, beach-hopping through Ilha Grande Bay. There are plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel in the clear water, then you can feast on fresh seafood when you’ve worked up an appetite. Or, maybe just plonk yourself on the beach with a good book and laze the day away. Tonight, why not meet up with some of your travel pals and relax with a caipirinha at a restaurant or bar in Vila do Abraao – the island’s main town.

Day 24: Rio de Janeiro

Bid farewell to Ilha Grande as you board a boat to the small port of Mangaratiba, before travelling to Rio de Janeiro. Home to one of the seven wonders, Rio has lots of day trip opportunities if you have the time. Settle into your accommodation, then head out with your leader for an orientation walk. Take in the sights of the Lapa Aqueduct, Ruins Park, Selaron Stairs, and Cinelandia, and then make an optional stop for a hot drink at a local café. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or simply hit up Copacabana and relax. Tonight, get together with your new friends for a final night of food, drinks and some samba – speak to your local leader who’ll have some great recommendations for what to do tonight.

Day 25: Rio de Janeiro

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to continue soaking up the sun in Rio, just speak to your booking agent. If you have the time, today you can explore Tijuca National Park and its lush rainforest, visit the botanical gardens for a relaxing walk, take in the sweeping views over Rio from the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue, or tour Guanabara Bay in a yacht!