South America coast to coast tour

“This coast to coast odyssey across South America is a sprawling epic that takes you from Santiago to Rio de Janeiro, via Patagonia and the majestic Iguazu Falls.”

Highlights

Santiago | Chilean Lake District | Pucon | Bariloche | Camino Austral (Rio departures only) | Patagonia | Los Glaciares National Park | Torres del Paine National Park | Tierra del Fuego | Ushuaia | Beagle Channel | Atlantic marine sanctuary | Beagle Channel | Buenos Aires | Colonia del Sacramento | Iguazu Falls | Bonito | Pantanal | Parati | Rio de Janeiro | Rio Carnival / New Year |

Description of South America coast to coast tour

If any continent might have been designed for adventure travel, it’s South America. From the barren wilderness of Patagonia to lush rainforest, the wetlands of Pantanal to the vast marine sanctuaries of the Atlantic coast. This action-packed overland tour launches you coast to coast, departing from either Santiago or Rio de Janeiro, with a small group of like-minded travellers. Buckle up for the ride of a lifetime.

On this trip, it can feel as though every morning you wake up to one awe-inspiring landscape, and every evening you bed down in another. The immense wedges of ice, creaking and cracking, in Los Glaciares National Park. The rocky wilderness of Torres del Paine National Park. The breathtaking Iguazu Falls, largest waterfall system in the world. And the wild waters off Argentina’s Atlantic coast, where sea lions, penguins and the occasional whale can be seen as you tour a stunning marine sanctuary.

Over seven weeks, there is a vast number of experiences available to you when not on the road. You might be riding the range with gun-toting gaucho cowboys as they protect their cattle herds, swimming and snorkeling in some of the world’s clearest waters in Bonito, or learning the tango in Buenos Aires. Trek through mountainous rainforest in search of monkeys, anacondas and alligators, tackle rapids on an adrenaline-charged whitewater rafting trip, and, if you depart from Rio, expect to be glued to the windows on the Camino Austral, one of the world’s greatest driving roads.

This tour can be taken in either direction, beginning or ending in Rio de Janeiro. The itinerary is carefully timed so that you’ll be in this thrilling party city during either the New Year Celebrations or the legendary Carnival.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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Check dates

2018: 27 Jun, 10 Nov
2019: 9 Jan
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: South America coast to coast tour

On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites or family run hotels/ 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. We encourage our clients to eat out at local restaurants, shop for souvenirs at local markets and to try the local beers en route!

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 Santiago. 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 Chile 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).

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

In South America 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.

We also support a variety of other small charities across our area of operation. We support Childrens Homes in Egypt and Zimbabwe, schools in Egypt, and Uganda and a wildlife conservation project in Kenya.

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