Private Journeys

Our ultimate journey to Latin America

40 days from £21,200pp

Brazil / Argentina / Bolivia / Chile / Iguazu Falls / Lake Titicaca / Mexico / Peru / Patagonia

CHI_Atacama_LicanburVolcano_Shutterstock_1165284973 (2)

Essentials

Transport

5 flights (longest 6 hours with connection), 3 road journeys (longest 3 hours), 3 rail journeys (longest 10 hours).

Accommodation

This is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday so we want you spend your nights in accommodation which is really special, and a part of the magical experience. So Sophie has chosen top quality upper mid-range or first class properties, often with innovative features and a good range of facilities, always service orientated, whether hotel,, lodge or countryside hacienda.  

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch on most full day excursions, all meals at hotels/lodges/on excursions in the Pantanal, Torres del Paine, Uyuni salt flats, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu. 

Summary Of Nights

40 days, 39 nights: Rio 3 nights; Pantanal 4; Iguazú 2; Buenos Aires 2; El Calafate 2; Torres del Paine 3; Santiago 1; Atacama desert 2; Uyuni salt flats 2; Cusco 2; Sacred Valley 2; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 1; Lake Titicaca 2; Lima 1; Mexico City 3; Oaxaca 3; Huatulco 3. 

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a gratuity so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common practice to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

See the Journey Latin America briefing dossier for further details.

Insurance

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

Climate

 In the southern hemisphere the seasons are the reverse of our own.

December- March are the hottest months in Brazil, and at Iguazú, but also the most humid. Rain is possible at any time.

Buenos Aires is at its hottest Jan-Mar (very humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40C during the day). It can be cold and cloudy Jul-Aug,  

In Santiago October and November and March and April see temperatures of 15-25°C and a good deal of sunshine. January and February are hot, around 30°C. The Atacama desert is warm and sunny all year round during the day time but temperatures drop dramatically at night. In Jan-Mar the region can be susceptible to heavy rains coming from the Bolivian Andes.

In the south of Chile and Argentina (Patagonia) the weather is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year. During the southern hemisphere summer (October to March) be prepared for everything from a blizzard to a heat wave. Strong winds and rain are possible at any time and it can get extremely cold when the wind blows off the ice cap. On the other hand, hot days are not unknown in summer.

In the Andean mountains of Bolivia and Peru, rain can be expected at any time from October to April, although January and February are historically the wettest months. The thinness of the air and the strength of the sun mean you can expect warm if invigorating days (up to 25°C), but once the sun sets the temperature drops dramatically (below freezing, depending on altitude).

In Mexico City and Oaxaca the climate is temperate all year round.  The wet/rainy season lasts through June to August, which usually means a couple of hours of rain in the afternoon. Don’t be discouraged from visiting the mountains during rainy season – you’ll see a lush, green landscape (as opposed to the dry season’s parched, brown landscape) and it often only rains in the late afternoons and evenings. During the rest of the year there is little or no rain.

On the Pacific coast it’s hot, sunny and humid all the year round. Most rain falls Jun-Sep when the vegetation wakes up in a carpet of lush verdure. The landscape is pretty parched by March. The high season for tourism is mid-Dec to mid-Jan and Jul-Aug.

Altitude

Some of the excursions in and around the Atacama desert, Uyuni, Cusco and the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca, are at high altitude (over 3,000m). 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 our 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 sun down and so warm clothes are essential as is a good waterproof jacket. Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses. Swim wear is essential for the beach pools and spas. 

Latin America is an informal continent, dress-wise. If you plan to eat in upmarket restaurants you might want to bring something smart (although formal attire will not be required). 

Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, most of your luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 5kgs 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 the rest of your luggage can be left in the hotel. 

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A and yellow fever. A yellow fever certificate may also 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.

As of 2018, visitors to Brazil travelling on our holidays should be protected with a vaccination against yellow fever, and carry the corresponding certificate. In April 2013, the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation concluded that a single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against yellow fever disease, and that a booster dose is not needed.

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 via the USA you will need to fill in an ESTA (visa waiver) application online.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Brazil?

Brazil is an all-year destination, but it’s a vast country: when you go will depend on your chosen itinerary and interests. Late Dec-Mar are the hottest months – very hot (over 40°C) from Rio northwards – and the local holiday season, so attractions can be very busy. During the Amazon’s wet season (Jan - Jun) it’s easier to get round by boat, the dry season is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting but very hot. The Pantanal may be best avoided during the wettest months (Nov - Mar) when there are many mosquitoes. However this is the best time to visit the beaches of the south where it’s cool outside this period.

What's the official language of Brazil?

Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue; indigenous languages in Amazonia.

How do I get local currency in Brazil?

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs at airports and in larger towns and cities. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Banco do Brasil, HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards allowing daily withdrawals of 1,000reais. Bradesco allows a lower limit. Other banks eg Banco 24horas do not accept foreign cards. Most towns have a Banco do Brasil. ATMs close at 10pm. Currency also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What's the time difference between Brazil and UK?

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazil?

Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable.  Live bands, costume balls, over -indulgence and general frivolity in towns and cities all over the country: the best parades are in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.

Olympic Games: 5 - 21 Aug 2016. Rio de Janeiro.

Which countries combine well with Brazil?

Argentina: The crossing at Iguazú Falls is convenient for many visitors.  

Peru: There is a direct flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro (5 hours) and to São Paulo (4-5 hours with many connections to other cities).

What's included in the price

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

Included Excursions

  • Rio de Janeiro: Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado Mountain
  • Iguazú Falls: Brazilian and Argentina sides with helicopter ride and boat tour
  • Pantanal: excursions from the lodge
  • Buenos Aires: night excursion with milonga show
  • Buenos Aires: walking city tour
  • El Calafate Patagonia: Excursion to Estancia Nibepo Aike
  • El Calafate Patagonia: Boat trip to the glaciers
  • Torres del Paine Patagonia: choice of activities at the lodge
  • Atacama desert: Tocanao village and Atacama salt flats
  • Uyuni salt flats: excursions en route
  • Cusco: city tour and San Pedro market
  • Sacred Valley: tour of valley with Pisac and Ollantaytambo Inca sites
  • Machu Picchu: guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca: choice of activities from the lodge
  • Mexico City: cycle, tacos and beer tour
  • Mexico City: lucho libre wrestling match
  • Oaxaca: Night time excursion (on 31 October only) for Day of the Dead
  • Oaxaca: Day of the Dead (Nov 1 only) Night time excursion
  • Oaxaca: Cookery class
  • Huatulco: some activities at the hotel

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

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

Included Excursions

  • Rio de Janeiro: Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado Mountain
  • Iguazú Falls: Brazilian and Argentina sides with helicopter ride and boat tour
  • Pantanal: excursions from the lodge
  • Buenos Aires: night excursion with milonga show
  • Buenos Aires: walking city tour
  • El Calafate Patagonia: Excursion to Estancia Nibepo Aike
  • El Calafate Patagonia: Boat trip to the glaciers
  • Torres del Paine Patagonia: choice of activities at the lodge
  • Atacama desert: Tocanao village and Atacama salt flats
  • Uyuni salt flats: excursions en route
  • Cusco: city tour and San Pedro market
  • Sacred Valley: tour of valley with Pisac and Ollantaytambo Inca sites
  • Machu Picchu: guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca: choice of activities from the lodge
  • Mexico City: cycle, tacos and beer tour
  • Mexico City: lucho libre wrestling match
  • Oaxaca: Night time excursion (on 31 October only) for Day of the Dead
  • Oaxaca: Day of the Dead (Nov 1 only) Night time excursion
  • Oaxaca: Cookery class
  • Huatulco: some activities at the hotel

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • 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
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Real Latin America Experts

  • 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.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Jamie Swan
    Jamie Swan - Travel Consultant

    Jamie backpacked across Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before joining us; he has a degree in politics and is also a keen sportsman..

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Meet the team