Company : Oasis Overland
Activities: Adventure Holidays / Tours
Countries: Bolivia / Peru
Duration: 4 weeks to 6 weeks
Approx Costs: 1500 to 2000 £ Pound (UK)
Places you will visit include Lima, Ballestras Islands, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and La Paz.
Places you will visit include Lima, Ballestras Islands, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and La Paz.
An intoxicating amalgam of Peru & Bolivia; view the mysterious Nazca lines, gaze in awe at majestic Condors, and hike the imperious Inca Trail. Overnight on floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca, visit an old silver mine and the amazing Salar de Uyuni and finish off in the vibrant Bolivian capital, La Paz.
The capital of Peru, Lima is a city of contrasts. Here you'll encounter both abundant wealth and grinding poverty, modern skyscrapers next to some of the finest museums and historical monuments in Latin America. You will have a free day to explore its many museums, markets and colonial plazas. Visit the Old Town as well as the Miraflores district before watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean at the end of the day.
Our first stop, south of Lima, is the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve. Here we take a boat trip to view one of the most important marine reserves in the world with the highest concentration of rare and exotic sea birds and sea mammals. This will provide our first glimpse of the wonderful and varied South American wildlife so cameras at the ready! Breakfast
An hours drive inland in the heart of the Ica Desert is Peru's main wine centre. Here we visit the Tacama winery, originally a Jesuit run Bodega it now produces export quality wines as well as Peru's national drink, Pisco. After our own tasting session we continue a few kilometres to the nearby Oasis of Huacachina. A palm fringed lake surrounded by impressive sand dunes, you can relax on the beach, go for a swim & then if its an adrenaline rush you're after head out with your Tour Leader on a custom made dune buggy & roar across the desert sands to the top of enormous dunes & then sand board down them - imagine snowboarding but on sand instead! Tonight, after an unforgettable desert sunset, we sit around the campfire while our guides cook up a storm, followed by a night sleeping out under the stars. Breakfast
Travel to Peru is not complete without a trip to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries - the Nazca Lines. Only discovered 80 years ago from the air, these huge figures carved into the desert floor are best viewed by light aircraft. Thought to have been made by three different civilisations going back more than 2000 years, there are many contrasting theories about what they signify and why they are there, it is worthwhile asking local opinion - you may well be surprised with the replies! Also memorable is a visit to Chauchilla Cemetery with its well-preserved mummies. Leaving the Atacama Desert we begin to climb into the Andes mountain range on our overnight coach journey towards Arequipa. Breakfast
Days 5 to 8
Arequipa - Four days are dedicated to exploring this beautiful colonial city and the spectacular surrounding area. Continuing as always with our theme of adventure travel, Peru offers many options to go white water rafting, cycling, trekking, horse riding as well as an included visit to the Colca Canyon, which at 900m is not only one of the deepest in the world but also the home of the majestic Condors. Here you can view the condors circling lazily in the thermals rising from the canyon floor. Breakfast x 4
Our overnight coach journey across the Andes takes us to Cuzco, the outdoors capital of Peru and our base for the next 7 days. A mecca for adventure travel, Peru's famous Inca Trail begins near this city. Although Cuzco is today a colonial city most of its churches and museums are built on top of original Inca stonewalls which are clearly visible. We arrive early morning, giving you the option of doing a day tour of the beautiful Urubamba or Sacred Valley of the Incas where you'll find temples, terraces, local communities and markets before returning to Cuzco for a good night's sleep before your Inca Trail! Breakfast x 1
Days 10 to 13
We head out early from Cuzco to the Urubamba Valley from where we begin our 4 day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This moderate to strenuous hike is a once in a lifetime experience and anyone with a good level of fitness will enjoy it. A stunning combination of awesome views, Inca ruins, magnificent mountains and exotic adventure. There are also alternatives to this trek available, for when the Classic Trail is unavailable, or by your choice. Please see the section on Inca Trails for details, and ensure that you contact Oasis at the time of booking to arrange any alternatives. Please also note that tickets are now being sold seperately to climb Huanapichu, the summit next to Machu Picchu, and it is imperative that those wishing to do this select this as an add-on at the time of booking to avoid disappointment. See the add-ons section of our website for more details. Our route back to Cuzco for all options is by train. Breakfast x 4, Lunch & Dinner x 3
Days 14 to 15
We have 2 free days in Cuzco to relax and recover as well as explore more of the city and its museums and churches or look for local crafts from Alpaca woollen jumpers to Andean musical instruments and local jewellery. The adventurous can go white water rafting on the Urubamba or Apurimac River. Breakfast x 2
Days 16 to 18
Bordering Peru and Bolivia at 3800m lies Lake Titicaca which will be one of the most memorable stops on your tour. Lake Titicaca is 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 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 is a definite highlight of travel to Peru and is almost like stepping back in time. This experience will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people and their customs as well as supporting these families with some extra income. On return from the Islands, you have the rest of the day to relax in Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and experience the rich Andean culture. Breakfast x 3, Lunch & Dinner x 1
Days 19 to 20
Our tour of Peru draws to a close this morning, as we leave for Bolivia. Just after crossing the border, is the picturesque lakeside village of Copacabana. From here we continue onto the impressive city of La Paz, where the rest of the day is yours to explore. Bolivia is considered the most indigenous of all South American countries and this is clearly visible in La Paz. The capital is a hilly city full of markets and traditionally dressed people. Breakfast x 2
We take a tour of the city (approx. 4 hours). La Paz is like no other city you will have visited, with its stunning setting in a valley, surrounded by 6000mtr peaks! The streets are narrow and winding, full of brightly dressed Andeans selling their wares! Our tour takes in the atmosphere and we'll learn a lot about Andean Culture, passing through interesting neighborhoods we visit the main sights such as Murillo Square & Cathedral, Congress and Government Palace (built in 1800's), The Incan Gold Museum, Valley of the Moon and the famous Witches Market. Finally we drive to Killi Killi lookout point to enjoy a 360 degree view of the city! We have the rest of the day at leisure to wander or find a Huari (local beer). In June it's possible to be in La Paz for 'El Gran Poder' (the Parade of the Great Power). The streets are filled with a Carnival atmosphere (some say it has a vibe equal to Rio!) as locals dress up and party the day away! (Check our website for dates when our tour is in La Paz for El Gran Poder). Breakfast
Depending on the departure time of our train (these do vary!) we should have a free morning to browse the local markets, find a café and watch street life go by or visit one of the museums. We take a bus (3 hours) to the mining town of Oruro, followed by a high altitude train ride (7 hours) to our final destination of Uyuni - home to the vast Salar (Salt flats). As our arrival in to Uyuni is likely to be quite late in the evening, we will transfer straight to our hotel. Breakfast
Today marks the start of our 3 day expedition to explore the Salt Flats and stunning lakes, deserts and volcanoes. After breakfast we board our 4x4 Land Cruisers and drive to the eerie but evocative Train Cemetery. Here lie old steam locomotives, pristinely preserved in the dry climate, dating back to Bolivia's booming gold and tin mining days. Next we visit Colchani village and look at the traditional Salt bagging process - you can even buy yourself a small ornament made of salt gathered from the Salar! Once we get out on to the Salar, you realise quite how vast the area is, and our guide will explain some of the weird and wonderful geological facts as we head out in to the heart of the flats to visit Inca Huasi Island. We have time to walk to the top of the island, passing giant cactus, and enjoy the spectacular view of the beautiful Tunupa Volcano (5300 mtrs) and the 10,000 square kms of Salt Flats that now surround you! After lunch we head for San Juan Village, where we visit a Pre Inca Cemetery, a small museum and we stay overnight in basic accommodation. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We continue driving south on our way to the little Chiguana Salt Flat. Huge volcanoes (Ollague 5850mtrs) surround us as we take our time, stopping for photos at a lookout point and finally reaching Canapa Lagoon at a height of 4130mtrs! From here we can see pink Flamingoes and many other species of bird. Hedionda (Stinky!) Lagoon is our next stop, although we may make it a quick one as it certainly lives up to its name, due to the high sulphur content! Passing scenic lagoons, we drive up towards the amazing Siloli Desert, crossing altitudes of almost 4600mtrs, to see the incredible natural rock formations eroded by the powerful winds. We end our day at the Red Lagoon, a breathtaking 40 square kilometer area which has been declared a Wildlife Sanctuary and is home to 3 endemic species of Andean Flamingo. We stay close to the shores of the lagoon in Wayllajara Village in basic accommodation. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we need an early start to catch the first rays of sun on the Sol de Manana Volcano Crater. The route takes us to almost 5000mtrs at one point! Beautiful steam geysers and colourful boiling volcanic mud pools await us at the top and you'll be staggered by the extraordinary power of the earth which has been partially harnessed to generate electricity! We breakfast on the banks of Challviri Lagoon where those of us that want to can enjoy a hot spring! Passing through the barren volcanic environment of Dali's Desert, we are presented with fantastic photo opportunities as we approach the southwest tip of Bolivia and at the foot of Licancabur Volcano (5900mtrs), we see the breathtaking Green Lagoon. From here we head back to Red Lagoon and take another route back to Uyuni via Rock Valley, stopping off in some small villages along the way. We complete our day by visiting the highest pizza restaurant in the world! (Optional). Breakfast, Lunch
We leave behind Uyuni and its spectacular Salt Flats, and take the road to Potosi, enjoying the beautiful mountain views and bouncy gravel roads along the way! After checking in to our hotel, there is the option to visit the once famous Silver Mines in Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) and step back in time to experience life as a miner in these harsh conditions. The tour is not for the faint hearted, and at times in the mine you can get extremely hot, dirty and feel very claustrophobic! For those not visiting the mines, there are several other attractions worth visiting in Potosi, such as the ancient Mint, which tells the history of the silver mined here and shipped to Spain in Colonial times. There is almost a church on every block, some with very impressive interiors, but one to check out is San Francisco where you can view the city from the roof! If you are lucky enough to be in Potosi in August, the Chutillos Festival with its evocative costumes and crazy masks, is definitely worth a look! (Check website for dates when our tour is in Potosi for the Festival). Breakfast
We have a morning of leisure to do some last minute exploring of Potosi, before we head to one of Bolivia's most beautiful cities, Sucre, via bus. Sucre is known as 'The 4 Names City' because of its long and varied history - Charkas (its Indian name), La plata (The Silver), Ciudad Blanca (White City) and Sucre (Sugar in French). The afternoon is free to wander the charming streets and possibly visit Liberty's House where Bolivia was created a new free Republic in 1825. Breakfast
After breakfast we visit The Cretaceous Park, where we can see thousands of dinosaur footprints, including the world's biggest! There is more free time to explore in the afternoon, and if colour and culture are your thing, why not visit Asur, Bolivia's best Textile Museum, where some of the most precious and colourful pre Incan textiles are kept (some are at least 1500 years old!) In the late afternoon we transfer to the bus station and join our Bus Cama (bed bus) which will be our ride and accommodation to La Paz! Breakfast There is an option to fly from Sucre to La Paz, subject to availability.
On arrival in La Paz we transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day is yours to recuperate from your Bolivian travels and maybe pick up some souvenirs, such as Andean blankets, ponchos and jewellery from the hilly market streets. Breakfast
La Paz is like no other city you will have visited, set in a stunning valley, surrounded by 6000mtr peaks! The streets are narrow and winding, full of brightly dressed Andeans selling their wares! You may chose to visit the main sights such as Murillo Square & Cathedral, Congress and Government Palace (built in 1800's), The Incan Gold Museum, Valley of the Moon and the famous Witches Market. Alternatively you could make your way out to the Killi Killi lookout point to enjoy a 360 degree view of the city! A great place to spend a few extra days at the end of your overland travel adventure as the city is renowned for sightseeing, local markets, its museums and several other excursions. For the adventurous it may be worth extending your stay for some gravity Assisted Mountain Biking down the Worlds Most Dangerous Road, or visit the worlds highest ski resort at over 5000mtrs! We can assist with arranging post tour accommodation for you. The tour ends after breakfast.
Trip Price From: £1995.00 + Local Payment From:US$740.00
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