Overland tour to South America, Andes to the Amazon

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
11 Nov 2016
£ 1785
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Nov 2016 departure
17 Sep 2017
£ 1785
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Sep 2017 departure
27 Oct 2017
£ 1785
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Oct 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Overland

If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!

You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.

This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Overland tour to South America, Andes to the Amazon

On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites or hostels and buy our food locally, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions. They, in turn, employ local drivers and guides-supporting the local economy.

Before the trip commences clients are sent detailed pre-departure information which includes advice on responsible travel. This information is re-emphasised by the tour leader at the start of the trip. Clients, for example, are advised about respecting local customs, conservation of natural habitats and wildlife, litter disposal etc.

Clients are also given the opportunity, before the trip commences to attend a Spanish language school in Quito. This involves staying with a local family for a week, sharing their home and meals and one-to-one language tuition. The school also organises a programme of cultural activities. This project helps provide local families with an additional source of income and is a fantastic opportunity for our clients to experience life in Ecuador at first hand. It also obviously enables them to get more out of their entire trip as they are, hopefully, more able to communicate with the Spanish speaking South American people they meet en route. (All of our crew attend this language school before they run their first trip with us).

We try to select campsites or hostels that share our environmental concerns-although this is not always possible. In Ecuador we stay at the Arajuno Jungle Lodge and Forest Reserve. This project not only runs its accommodation on sustainable principles but supports the local community in a variety of ways (including the development of small-scale fishponds in remote indigenous villages partly to stop villagers from fishing with dynamite in the rivers. They have also trained local people to become licensed guides). The forest reserve has a native species reproduction project for guatusas and capybara and are currently involved in trying to re-introduce turtles to the Arajuno River.

We spend one night of the trip as guests in the homes of a community of Uros Indian families on the islands of Amantani or Taquile. This gives our clients an opportunity to learn more about their hosts traditional lifestyles and also provides the families with an additional source of income.

One of the highlights of this trip is obviously trekking the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu. This trek offers opportunities of employment to large numbers of the local community. Porters, cooks and guides are required. However, much of this employment is poorly paid and working conditions are not good. The local company we use to organise our trails has a commitment to the welfare of their porters providing them with a professional wage and health insurance. They are also in the process of completing a house for the porters so that they have somewhere comfortable to stay the night before they start the trail, as many of them travel in from rural areas.

The numbers of clients we take on this tour are limited, to a maximum of twenty four, thus reducing the environmental and cultural impact of a large group.

On this trip we support a small, Peruvian charity called Pachamamas Children, based twenty minutes outside of Cusco, in the community of Tika-Tika. The charity is in the process of reconstructing a derelict school in an impoverished community. The children of the community currently have no access to formal education. Once completed the school will not only provide education to the children of the community but the plan is also to provide adult education and a basic Medical Centre. We make a regular monthly, financial contribution to this project and once the building work has been completed we hope that our clients will be able to visit the school and that we will be able to offer volunteering opportunities there.

Reviews of Overland tour to South America, Andes to the Amazon

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Apr 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hiking on a glacier, coming face to face with penguins in Punta Tomba, canyoning down a 40 metre waterfall, meeting all my new friends

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We had a great time, and made 21 new friends... but it is quite intense being with other people for such a long time... bring earplugs and ipod and a very very warm sleeping bag.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we always took our rubbish with us, and were careful not to make a mess.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Had an amazing time, my boyf and me both have food allergies and the crew were amazing finding us alternatives so we never went hungry and always had great food. We covered a lot of areas that would have been really difficult to access (and impossible to carry tent, cooking equipment food etc by ourselves) and got a good overview of many of the places and things that people want to see and do. Much cheaper than the other overland trucks that often stayed at the same campsites we did!

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