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Patagonia & Andes between Cuzco and Santiago

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  • La Paz
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Rio Ceballos
  • Santiago
  • Salta
  • Cuzco
  • Mendoza
  • Puno
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Salar de Uyuni
  • Copacabana
  • Uyuni
  • Cafayate
  • Inca Trail
  • Machu Picchu
  • Sillustani Ruins
  • Potosí
  • Isla Del Sol
  • Sacred Valley

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 start this epic journey at the phenomenal city of Cuzco, 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. Heading south from La Paz, we visit our local community stay in Livichuco and the famous mining town of PotosA , 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 spectacular town of Mendoza, under the shadow of the Andes' highest mountains, before finally crossing the Andes again to arrive in the Chilean capital of Santiago. Join Dragoman for this wonderful and unforgettable trip!

  • Day 1 Cuzco

    Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ). 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 Wild Andes 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. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cuzco 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 Cuzco. A note on altitude: If you are joining in Cuzco, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise. In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

  • Day 2 Sacred Valley

    These four days will be spent either trekking in the Andes, on our pioneering Wild Andes Trek, on the Classic Inca Trek or for those not wishing to hike, free time to explore and a guided tour of the Sacred Valley on our Train package. Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek Leaving Cuzco early in the morning, we visit the ruined temples of Sacsayhuaman for a fascinating tour of the site. We then head on to Chinchero, a small Quechua-speaking village in the Sacred Valley. Here we will see a traditional weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years, and explore their beautiful archaeological ruins. We will drive to a stunning viewpoint for a picnic lunch, and then visit the Quillarumiyoc temple (the Temple of the Moon). We will start our trek from here in the afternoon, heading by foot to Zurite where we have a picturesque stay in a colonial house. Tonight we will enjoy a traditional dinner and get a taste of the local village lifestyle. Approximate walking distance: 8km, Estimated time: 4hrs, Meals provided: Lunch and Dinner  Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek This morning we go for a guided tour of the Sacred Valley, followed by a visit to the market town of Pisac, where we will have lunch.  We then head to Ollantaytambo, where we will explore this impressive archeological site. Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel.   There is no trekking today. Meals provided: Lunch, Dinner, Snacks Option 3 - Train Package You will leave Cuzco with your fellow passengers who will be trekking the Wild Andes Trek. You will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, followed by a beautiful scenic drive over mountains and through valleys, via the ancient city of Pisac and on to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After lunch you will head back to Cuzco where you will stay at our nice, centrally located hotel for a further 3 nights. Meals included: Lunch

    Activities(Included)
    Visit the incredible remains of the Inca temples of Sacsayhuaman and the Sacred Valley on a guided tour
    Take a guided tour of the fantastic Inca temples at Ollantaytambo
    Options for the treks from Cuzco (please see the bottom of the Trip Notes for more details): Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek Hike on unspoiled Inca Trails through the stunning remote Andean scenery away from other tourists, on our exclusive Wild Andes Inca Trek. If you choose this option you will get a small refund from kitty. Option 2 - Classic Trek Trek the Classic Inca Trail up the Royal Inca Road. Your kitty has been budgeted to accommodate for this option as it is the most costly of the 3 options. Option 3 - Train Package (non-trekking option) Relax in Cuzco and take the train to Machu Picchu without trekking. If you choose this option you will get a refund of the cost difference from kitty. Important note: You must advise us at the time of booking if you wish to book the Classic Inca Trail or the Train Package (non-trekking option), otherwise you will automatically be booked onto our Wild Andes Trek.

  • Day 3 Inca Trail

    Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek Zurite to Amaruwatana After a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the Hummingbird Temple), where we will visit and admire this Inca archaeological site. We will then follow the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,400m, where we will have a dramatic view of both the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor Valley where we will spend the night camping. Approximate walking time: 8hrs, Distance: 13kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek Ollantaytambo to Wayllabamba After breakfast, we catch a bus to Piscaycuscho and the start of the Classic Inca Trek - the railroad KM82 marker (at 2,700m altitude). Here we are joined by our crew of local porters and cooks. We will cross the bridge over the River Urubamba and following a trail along the left-hand shore of the river, enjoying stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Veronica (5,830m) and the Incan archaeological remains at Llactapata. Continuing through lush farmland and woodland, we gradually climb for approximately 5 hours to our first campsite at Wayllabamba (3,000m). Approximate trekking time: 5-6hrs, Distance: 12kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks Option 3 - Train Package Today is a free day to enjoy Cuzco, with its museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops, selling textiles and handicrafts.

  • Day 4 Inca Trail

    Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek Amaruwatana to Ancascocha We have an early start this morning, trekking for approximately 2 hours to reach the top of our second pass at 4,700m. From here we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us, and if we're lucky we may spot Andean ibises, caracaras, eagles or foxes up here! After descending for approximatley 2 hours, we arrive at a stunning highland valley with a glacial river named Kenqo Mayu (meaning "Zig-zag River") flowing down it - which makes an idyllic stop for lunch! After lunch we will continue trekking downhill following the ancient trail, which leads us to our campsite in the Ancascocha area. Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 10kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Option 2 - Classic Trek Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo This is the most challenging day of the trek as we ascend a long steep path (approximately 4 hours) through Andean cloud forest and highland puna to reach the highest point of our trek, Warmiwañusca (meaning "Dead Woman's Pass") at a height of 4,200m. During our ascent, we can appreciate the wide variety of plant, flower and bird species supported by this unique eco-climate. On reaching the pass, our challenge is rewarded by an astonishing panoramic view of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges. From here we descend for 2 hours into the Pacaymayo Valley (3,650m altitude) and to our second campsite. Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 11kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks Option 3 - Train Package Today is a free day for you to enjoy Cuzco, with its museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops selling textiles and handicrafts.

  • Day 5 Inca Trail

    Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek Ancascocha to Ollantaytambo Today we will descend the narrow Silque Canyon, allowing us to observe its tall granite walls which are populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the Camicancha area, where we stop at a magnificent volcanic viewpoint looking towards the snow-capped Mt. Veronica. From here it is only a short trek to Chilca, where our trail ends. We'll be picked up by our vehicle and head to Ollantaytambo, taking a well-earned shower and rest at our hotel. In the afternoon we will have an included guided tour around the incredible archaeological site of Ollantaytambo and its world-famous Temple of the Sun. Approximate trekking time: 5hrs, Distance: 12kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek Pacaymayo to Wiñay Wayna Today we follow ancient stone paths and steps to ascend the well-preserved Inca remains of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, and Phuyupatamarca (the "Town above the Clouds") where we can appreciate the Incas’ complex architectural style and reverence of natural geography and beauty. Heading down the Andean slope, we reach our final night's camp by the Wiñay Wayna (meaning "Forever Young") ruins, with panoramic views of the valley below. Approximate walking time: 8hrs, Distance: 16kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks Option 3 - Train Package After being picked up from your hotel in the morning you will be driven to the fortress city of Ollantaytambo and our hotel for the night, the Tunupa Lodge. Here you will rejoin the Wild Andes Trekkers and your tour leader who will be arriving from their trek this afternoon.

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Transport

Overland expedition vehicle, trekking

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