Group - Discovery

Jacana: Crossing the continent

19 days from £3,423pp

Peru / Lake Titicaca / Bolivia / Paraguay / Iguazu Falls

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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 hours), 2 train journeys (longest 3.5 hours), 4 road journeys (longest 7 hours).

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: Hotel Augusto’s

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.

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.

Optional Excursions

There are optional excursions available throughout this tour, 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 $200USD 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: 

• Machu Picchu: re-entry to the ruins
• 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.
• Sacred Valley: Moras and Moray
• Cusco: Horse riding or white water rafting
• La Paz: Pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku

Budget

Based on feedback from other passengers who have done this tour we currently recommend a budget of around US$35 per day. This would cover the cost of meals not included in the itinerary, soft drinks and the odd souvenir. This is an average but prices vary greatly between countries with Brazil being more expensive then Bolivia for example.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN number 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. Your tour leader is on hand to advise the best time to get out or change money along the way. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors 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).

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol, in Bolivia the boliviano, in Paraguay the guaraní and in Brazil the real.

Tipping

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

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

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 and $6USD 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 on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

International and domestic departure tax is currently included within the price of tickets.

Journey Grade

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

In the mountains, rain can be expected at anytime October-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 Iguaçu and Paraguay it will be hot and humid, with frequent showers.

December- March are the hottest months in Brazil, but also the most humid. Rain is possible at any time. In the southern hemisphere the seasons are the reverse of our own. Summer on the Peruvian coast (November-April) is hot, temperatures rise above 30°C.

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 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 essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses. You should take swimwear for visits to thermal baths.
At the Iguazú Falls you can get very wet from the spray. Some visitors like to take dry clothes in a bag and simply wear swimwear and flip flops. 

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). 

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. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.

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.

For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

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 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 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.

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

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Real Latin America Experts

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made 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.

Meet the team