Group - Discovery

Jacana: Crossing the continent

19 days from £4,226pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Peru / Lake Titicaca / Bolivia / Paraguay / Iguazu Falls / Brazil

Maras

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.

Summary Of Nights

19 days, 18 nights: Lima 1; Cusco 2; Sacred Valley 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 2; Puno 1; Copacabana 1; La Paz 3; Asunción 1; Puerto Iguazu 2; Rio de Janeiro 3.

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 the Hummingbird Tour which follows a very similar route.

Examples of hotels include:
Lima: Hotel El Tambo
Cusco: Hotel Ruinas
Sacred Valley: Tunupa Lodge
Machu Picchu: Hatun Inti Classic
Puno: Hotel Intiqa
Copacabana (Lake Titicaca): Rosario del Lago
La Paz: Hotel Rosario
Asunción: Asunción Palace
Puerto Iguazu: Mercure
Rio de Janeiro: Americas Benidorm Hotel

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.

Transport

3 flights, 2 train journeys (2 and 3.5 hours), 4 road journeys (longest 7 hours). The only journeys using public vehicles are Puno to Cusco and Asuncion to Puerto Iguazu (although this may be done privately). The rest will be done using private vehicles for the group.

Meals

Breakfast daily.

Optional Excursions

On this tour the price includes excursions in all the places you visit as per the itinerary. There will however likely be some free time when you may choose to take part in an optional excursion. These are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America, however we are more than happy to advise you of what is on offer in advance of your holiday so you can best plan the excursions that suit you.

On all tours that visit Cusco we offer the chance to hike the mini Inca Trail as well as revisit Machu Picchu on the morning after the first visit. Time permitting, we may also be able to offer the climb up Huayna Picchu. If you are interested in any of these optional excursions, please speak to your travel expert in advance to arrange.

Travelling Alone

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

Trip Suitability

The pace of this trip is fast; there are some early mornings and long days spent travelling (albeit with frequent stops and fantastic scenery). The streets in Cusco and La Paz are cobbled and steep and you must be cautious at altitude. You should consult your tour leader to make sure your chosen optional excursions are suitable for you.

Climate

The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and April when there are showers most afternoons. At altitude the sun can be strong in the day but temperature can drop significantly at night. As a broad overview Brazil and Argentina have the opposite seasons to the UK, meaning November to February tend to be the warmest summer months and it can be especially warm in tropical Iguazú. We run this tour year round.

A comprehensive overview of the weather in all the regions you are visiting can be found in our Destination pages. Our Travel Experts can answer your questions on climate and further details will be sent with your confirmation documents.

Altitude

Some of the excursions in and around La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Cusco and the Sacred Valley 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, Equipment and Luggage

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 essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses.

Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, you will leave the bulk of your baggage in the Cusco hotel, which will be waiting for you on your return. You can take up to 5kgs per person on the train. An overnight holdall/rucksack is recommended to separate your luggage for the time spent away.

Money

Please see the Country Info tab on this holiday for our latest currency information and advice about how to take your spending money. Tipping in Latin America is almost always done using cash. It is customary to tip tour leaders, local guides, drivers, boat crews and other service providers such as restaurant staff and porters. Full tipping guidelines are sent with your confirmation documents as is advice on local costs.

Health, Entry Requirements and Insurance

For health information on travelling to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil including recommended vaccinations, please see https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

All Latin American countries have specific entry regulations related to Covid 19. Please also check our Travel Hub for further information.

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports should be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire with us or check with the consulates.

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on the Travel insurance website.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Peru?

The best time to visit the Andes is April to October, the dry season but at this time it is misty and chilly in Lima. The jungle is an all-year destination, as is Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.

What is Peru's official language?

The official language spoken in Peru is Spanish.

What is Peru's official currency?

The official currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchange offices exchange US dollar cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).

What is the time difference between Peru and the UK?

The time difference between the UK and Peru is GMT-5 hours.

Which other countries combine well with Peru?

The Galapagos Islands combine well with Peru, as there are flights from Lima connecting through Guayaquil, Ecuador.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Peru?

Semana Santa (Easter): Many places throughout the country, Mar-Apr variable. Religious processions.
Inti Raymi, Cusco (24 Jun) Theatre and re-enactments of Inca history in the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, the temple fortress overlooking Cusco.

 

How do I adapt to the altitude in Peru?

Peru's high Andean spine is bookended by the Pacific coast and Amazon Rainforest, with Cuzco at 3,300m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude.  If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

Country info

When's the best time to visit Bolivia?

The weather can be a critical factor:  the altiplano highlands look their best in the sunlight Apr-Oct, in Dec-Jan it can be dull and chilly at this altitude (3,500-3,800m). The lowlands of the east are hot and humid all year around. 

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What's the official language of Bolivia?

Spanish is the official language of Bolivia.

What is the national currency of Bolivia?

Peso Boliviano is the national currency of Bolivia. Notes in local currency (and in some cases US dollars), can be withdrawn from ubiquitous ATMs in principal cities and some smaller towns; there are many money exchanges (casas de cambio) and banks which exchange US dollars (a few accept euros or sterling but the rate may be poor).

When withdrawing money from an ATM using a debit card, you are offered a choice of account type from which to make your withdrawal: select 'Credit Card' (ie NOT Current account or Savings Account options).

What's the time difference between Bolivia and UK?

The time difference between Bolivia and the UK is GMT -4 hrs.

What countries combine well with Bolivia?

If you’re planning a trip to South America there are some perfect destinations to combine with a holiday in Bolivia. Try a visit to Peru via Lake Titicaca, 122 km and a couple of hours' drive from La Paz; or even a holiday in Chile, entering the country via the dazzling salt lakes of Uyuni.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Bolivia?

The key festivals and cultural events in Bolivia are:

Gran Poder: La Paz, Late May/early Jun annually: processions of groups of indigenous dancers in costume, with historical and cultural themes.
Carnival: Oruro, La Diablada, Feb-Mar: One of the most eye-catching on the continent, with parades of people in elaborate costumes.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Bolivia?

Much of Bolivia is occupied by stunning high Andean terrain, with La Paz at 3,500m.
Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air.

You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.

We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude. If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.
If you still have questions, please contact us and one of our Travel Experts will be happy to help.

Country info

When is the best time to go to Paraguay?

The climate of this low-lying country is sub-tropical. Summer is extremely hot and humid, with average temperatures in Feb reaching 35°C. In winter temperatures are variable and it can be very cold at night. Most precipitation falls Oct- Apr but it can rain at any time of the year.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Paraguay?

The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guaraní.

What is the official currency of Paraguay?

The official currency of Paraguay is Guaraní. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in Asunción using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many exchange houses in the capital and on the border where you can exchange US dollars and South American currencies cash.

What is the time difference between Paraguay and the UK?

The time difference between the UK and Paraguay is GMT-4 hours.

Which countries combine well with Paraguay?

Argentina combines well with Paraguay, accessing Puerto Iguazú (close to the Falls) by road via the frontier at Ciudad del Este; Iguazú Falls, Brazil, crossing over the frontier via the Friendship Bridge from Ciudad del Este.

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.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What's the official language of Brazil?

The official language of Brazil is Brazilian Portuguese; a more languid and musical version of Portugal's mother tongue. You will also find indigenous languages spoken in Amazonia.

How do I get local currency in Brazil?

The local currency in Brazil is the 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 is also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What is the time difference between Brazil and UK?

The time difference between the UK and Brazil is 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 offers 5 days of celebration in Feb/Mar. Live bands, costume balls, over-indulgence and general frivolity will take place in towns and cities all over the country. The best parades are in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.

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 tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Lima: walking tour of colonial centre
  • Machu Picchu: guided tour of the ruins
  • Sacred Valley: guided tour
  • Cusco: guided city tour
  • Lake Titicaca: Uros Islands
  • Lake Titicaca: boat trip to Sun Island
  • La Paz: city tour
  • Iguazú: Iguazú Falls (Brazilian and Argentine sides)
  • Rio: city tour, Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountain

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • 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

  • Lima: walking tour of colonial centre
  • Machu Picchu: guided tour of the ruins
  • Sacred Valley: guided tour
  • Cusco: guided city tour
  • Lake Titicaca: Uros Islands
  • Lake Titicaca: boat trip to Sun Island
  • La Paz: city tour
  • Iguazú: Iguazú Falls (Brazilian and Argentine sides)
  • Rio: city tour, Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountain

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • 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
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    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 a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

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

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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