South America tour, coast to coast

“An incredibly fast paced tour that takes you from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the highlights of Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Rio, Iguazu and the Andes - in under 3 weeks”


Rio de Janeiro | Copacabana | Corcovado Mountain | Iguazu Falls | Asuncion, Paraguay | La Paz, Bolivia | Lake Titicaca | Isla del Sol excursion | Puno, Peru | Floating Uros Islands | Cuzco | Sacred Valley | Machu Picchu by train | Lima | Optional: Tiwanaku, Maracanã stadium, white water rafting, horse riding

Description of South America tour, coast to coast

South America is a huge and diverse continent – and this South America coast to coast tour introduces you to its incredible variety of landscapes, cultures and experiences in just three weeks. Travelling from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, you’ll start out on laid-back, white-sand beaches and pass through dense forests before ascending into the Andes, where the bleakness of the Altiplano is breathtaking. The contrast between the tropical coast and the ice-capped Andean peaks is matched only by the contrast in cultures: cosmopolitan Rio, quaint colonial architecture, ancient Inca temples and modern Aymara markets spanning influences from Africa, Europe and the Andes.

This South America coast to coast tour starts in one of the world’s most dramatically situated cities: Rio de Janeiro, which faces onto Atlantic bays with a backdrop of steep, forested mountains. Ramshackle favelas cling to the hillsides; the beautiful people hang out on Copacabana Beach to see and be seen, and Christ the Redeemer surveys it all from on high. From Rio, you’ll fly up to Iguazu Falls, where 275 cataracts crash through the tropical vegetation of the surrounding wildlife-filled national park.

Crossing into the South American time warp that is Paraguay, you’ll visit the nostalgic and tranquil capital, Asuncion, before flying up to La Paz. At 3,500m above sea level (and the airport is even higher…) La Paz is literally breathtaking. Travel across the Andes to Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru – you’ll explore both sides of the lake, including the charming town of Copacabana, and the floating Uros Islands, made of totora reeds. Cusco is a day’s bus ride away and this ancient city, with its Inca-built stone walls, is the jumping-off point for one of the tour’s highlights: Machu Picchu, which we will reach by train and minibus. Your South America coast to coast tour ends on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, in Lima.

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

22 Sep 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Sep 2021 departure
20 Oct 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Oct 2021 departure
15 Dec 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Dec 2021 departure
Our top tip:
You will be living out of a suitcase - pack light, and for all weather!
Trip type:
Small group tour, 4-20 people.
Activity level:
Standard hotels and guesthouses with private bathrooms, hot water.
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Accomm., tour leader, internal flights, transport, transfers, listed activities.
Breakfasts only.
Holiday type

Small group adventure holiday

This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America holidays. Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip and how many others are booked on it) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places, whilst being led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

One of the major attractions of the tour is the visit to the Iguazú Falls. The falls lie in both Brazil and Argentina. UNESCO, in association with the WWF works to coordinate both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the National Park, and make sure that all the money raised from entrance fees is properly distributed to the protection and development of the area.

The Impacts of this Trip

The trip covers some of the main tourist sites of South America, but additionally we try and visit places more off the beaten track to give an insight into other aspects of this fascinating continent, and provide much needed tourism to countries such as Paraguay that lie off the normal routes.

The tour visits indigenous markets, such as in La Paz and the Sacred Valley, where local ‘Campesinos’ bring their goods to market. Here the local populations benefit greatly from the much needed economic boost that tourism brings to their towns. Local arts and crafts can be purchased, putting money back into the communities.

On this tour we work with small privately owned ground agents who live in the area, have established RT policies in place, and employ local guides and staff. A number of journeys on this tour use public transport, the hotels are small, individual properties often run by the owners and their families, we eat in local restaurants serving locally grown produce – our style of travel ensures that as many local people as possible benefit by our being there. This tour runs with a maximum of 16 people which helps to minimise the impact on delicate environments.


8 Reviews of South America tour, coast to coast

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2018 by

Most memorable: Visiting the Iguazi Falls absolutely stunning from both the Brazilian and Argentina sides. The ferry crossing on Lake Titicaca and of course Machu Picchu... Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jul 2018 by

I have travelled quite extensively over the years, as a couple, in small and in larger groups and I would rate this trip as one of the best ever. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2018 by

We saw some amazing places and scenery. We enjoyed the idiosyncrasies of South America -just everything really. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2016 by

La Paz was very exotic and unexpected but its hard to compare the wonder of Iguazu Falls with Machu Picchu or Rio. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2015 by

Brilliant, amazing and so informative and well organised by our guide Etienne Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Feb 2014 by

For me it was a life long goal to see Machu Picchu, which no picture or video can replace the memories logged in my head of the sheer size and awe of this place. But also whilst travelling through other countries, the beautiful landscapes just amaze you. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2012 by

Every day was a wonderful experience during our stay in Brazil and Ecuador but I guess the Galapagos will be the most memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Feb 2012 by

There were so many memorable parts! - Rio, Cusco, Iguacu falls, Machu Picchu, the rainforest, etc. Overall a brilliant cross section of South American sights and culture. Read full review

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