Group - Discovery

Pato Andino: Panorama of the Andes

20 days from £3,976pp

Argentina / Chile / Bolivia / Lake Titicaca / Peru

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Essentials

About Our Group Tours

To find out more about how our group tours including group sizes, solo travellers and why to choose us. Please click here.

Tour Leader

On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.

Transport

3 flights (longest 2 hrs), 2 train journeys ( 2 and 3.5 hrs), 6 road journeys (longest 10 hrs including stops).

Accommodation

For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation, in a mix of larger more modern and smaller family run hotels. All the properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom with hot water.

The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore a few hotels may not have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see our range of classic tours.

During the crossing from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni accommodation is more basic, in simple lodges with en suite rooms.

Examples of hotels include:

• Buenos Aires: Hotel Kenton Palace
• Salta: Design Suites
• San Pedro de Atacama: Hotel Iorana Tulace
• La Paz: Hotel Rosario
• Copacabana: Hotel Rosario del Lago
• Puno: Hotel Intiqa
• Cusco: Hotel Ruinas
• Sacred Valley: Tunupa Lodge
• Machu Picchu: Hatun Inti Classic
• Lima: Hotel El Tambo

On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch day 9, full board days 7 and 8.

Summary Of Nights

20 days, 19 nights: Buenos Aires 2; Salta 2; San Pedro de Atacama 2; Uyuni salt flats 2; La Paz 3; Copacabana 1; Puno 1; Cusco 2; Sacred Valley 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 1; Lima 1.

Optional Excursions

There is a range of optional excursions available throughout this holiday which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $280 USD should cover participation in the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences. The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:

• Buenos Aires: tango show
• Salta: cable-car up the Cerro San Bernardo for views over the city 
• San Pedro: excursion to the El Tatio geysers 
• San Pedro: star gazing or sand boarding 
• La Paz: pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku 
• La Paz: Moon Valley
• Copacabana: visit Sun Island
• re-entry to see the ruins of Machu Picchu 
• Machu Picchu: climb Huayna Picchu (this excursion must be pre-booked due to availability issues so please let the office know before travel). Please note that this is a vigorous climb, involving very steep steps and uneven terrain. It would not be recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo. For more information, please contact your travel consultant

Budget

A budget of around $35-45 USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir for most of the tour. In Argentina this might be more like $50-60 USD. Although economic instability in Argentina means that prices can change frequently.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by travellers who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).

For our latest currency advice for Argentina please see our FAQs section.

Currency

The unit of currency, in Argentina is the peso Argentino, in Chile the peso chileno, in Bolivia the boliviano and in Peru is the sol.

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3 USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.

If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 USD and $6 USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found at Travel Insurance.

Airport Taxes

International departure tax from Lima is normally included in the price of your ticket. There may be small internal taxes to pay for flights but these will be no more than $10 USD each.

Journey Grade

The pace of this trip is brisk; there are early mornings and long days spent travelling (albeit with frequent stops and fantastic scenery). The San Pedro – Uyuni crossing involves 2.5 full days’ travel across often bumpy terrain. Consult your tour leader to make sure you undertake optional excursions that are best suited to you.

Climate

In Buenos Aires, October to November and March to April see temperatures between 15 and 25°C and a good deal of sunshine, although in Buenos Aires rain is not uncommon. January to February are hot, around 30°C.

Salta enjoys something of a micro climate, and is temperate throughout the year, the dry season lasts from April to October.

The rainy seasons in the Andes runs between November and April when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night temperatures drop dramatically (to below freezing). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.
During the San Pedro to Uyuni crossing, temperatures at night can drop well below freezing. 

Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year, although the sun does break through between November and March. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate.

Altitude

Many of the excursions are spent at high altitude, over 3,500m. Symptoms of altitude sickness vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms. Please refer to out Briefing Dossier for further information.

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a Gore-Tex outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials also work well. It can get very cold at altitude, particularly after sundown and so warm clothes are essential as is a good waterproof jacket. 

Strong, comfortable footwear is also essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses. You should take swimwear for visits to thermal baths. A torch can also be useful during your time on the salt flats. Temperatures can drop well below freezing at night, so thermal underwear is advisable, as well as thick socks and gloves and a hat that will cover your ears. 

If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).

Owing to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, most of your luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 5kg per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended so that you can separate your luggage for the nights spent away from Cusco. 

A separate bag is also useful if you are planning an extension from Lima, usually your main luggage can be left in the hotel.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. A yellow fever certificate may be a compulsory requirement for onward travel and immigration purposes. The rules are complex and subject to change. We advise you check the most up to date information at www.iatatravelcentre.com

Please consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Travelling Alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Buenos Aires: guided city tour
  • Salta countryside excursion
  • San Pedro de Atacama: Moon Valley
  • Uyuni Salt Flats: Laguna Colorada and other excursions
  • La Paz: city tour
  • Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Cusco: guided city tour with Sacsayhuamán
  • Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Lima: walking tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Buenos Aires: guided city tour
  • Salta countryside excursion
  • San Pedro de Atacama: Moon Valley
  • Uyuni Salt Flats: Laguna Colorada and other excursions
  • La Paz: city tour
  • Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Cusco: guided city tour with Sacsayhuamán
  • Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Lima: walking tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

Meet the team