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face to face with

LatiN aMeRica
2

Open up your mind to those dreams


and desires that abound within the
confines of your imagination. Go and
live out your ideals and aspirations
on the distant shores of a different
country or continent. Come face
to face with the world and all its
beautiful diversity.

This brochure features some of our most popular


accommodation, activities and adventure trips all
hand picked for you.

WHY CHOOSE Let us plan your


STA TRAVEL? perfect trip!
Now if this is the first time you’ve heard of us Visit statravel.com.au and get inspired.
then where have you been living? We could
say in a cave but that would be too cliché and SPECIALISTS
we revolt against all things cliché, so much so We’ve been selling trips over to this part of the
that we’ve made our mark specialising in all the world for donkey’s years. The majority of our
impossibilities that used to seem just a little advisers have travelled to the destinations in
out of reach. We have a wild and wonderful this brochure, and all of them have been expertly
enthusiasm for all the experiences both diverse trained to give you the best advice.
and magnificent that travel provides.
TRAVEL BLOGS
We’ve been providing these kinds of adventures Keep your family and friends up to date – build
for over 30 years, so you should have heard of your own travel journal! You can also find out
us by now! We’ve made it our mission to open about other people’s travel experiences and
up the world to eager, enthusiastic, adventurous see blogs, photos and videos of people on their
travellers and are the world’s largest bona fide travels at statravel.com.au/blogs
travel company for students and young adults –
but whatever your age we enthusiastically await FACEBOOK
your call, email or visit as we’re more than happy to We ❤ Facebook. It really excites us. We’re always
show you our unique perspective of planet Earth. posting new updates, pics and vids on our wall!
It’s all about keeping you in-the-know. You can
No matter where you are in the world, the ask us any burning travel questions, even hook
incredibly knowledgeable and friendly people up with other travellers along the way. Click to
that work for STA Travel are never far away. be-fan us at facebook.com.au/statravel.au
We’ve got over 400 STA Travel branches in 85
countries worldwide and 24/7 global travel help TWITTER
- an essential backup for all travellers on the Festival giveaways, new comps, flight sales…
move. If you’ve lost your tickets, want to change *tweet*! We won’t bore you with tweets about
your dates or just need some local advice our what we’re eating or what the dog’s doing. But
help is always at hand. we will tell you about new deals and the exciting
stuff first - as soon as it happens. Come follow
We’ve got thousands of exclusive offers on us at twitter.com/statravelau
flights, accommodation, adventure trips and all
the essential extras to help you plan your dream
trip to Latin America. This brochure showcases
the best of them, so enjoy!

Come and talk to us by dropping into one of


our branches around Australia, calling us on
134 STA or visiting statravel.com.au

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3

contents
4 Planning your trip
5 travel essentials
8 getting there
9 travel insurance
10 where to stay
11 your adventure
130 booking conditions

12 explore south america

24 Peru, bolivia, ecuador & colombia


34 peru
57 bolivia
61 ecuador & galapagos
69 colombia

72 brazil, argentina & chile


81 brazil
88 argentina
95 chile

100 central america


106 costa rica
115 mexico, guatemala & belize
126 cuba
4

planning
your trip
where should I go?
Think carefully about the places you’d like to
money
Most countries in Latin America have their own
how can i book?
pick up the phone or VISIT A BRANCH and
visit, what you want to see and experience. individual currency, but you'll usually be able to make a free appointment with one of
Wherever you go, prepare to be struck by the get by with American dollars, so it's definitely our advisers.
unbridled passion and vivacious idealism of the worth taking some for emergencies. Indeed some
Latin American people. The sheer geographical countries (Ecudaor in particular) have reverted Call: 134 STA
and ecological diversity of this huge land mass entirely to using the US Dollar. Click: statravel.com.au
makes every single destination a completely Find your closest branch at:
different experience. Choose the alpine peaks, Every major town and city in Latin America will statravel.com.au/branches
enormous glaciers and icy cold waters of the have ATMs, so you'll have quick and easy access
South, choose verdant Amazonian Jungle or to your funds with your credit, debit or Travelex
razor dry deserts and breathless mountain trails. Cash Card (see page 5).
Mingle with the beautiful people in the bars and
clubs of a lively Latino City or just lie back on an We’ll help you work out a budget when you
immaculate beach, sip on a cocktail and let the book your trip, but think about where you’ll be
sun regenerate every inch of your body. Whoever going, how long you’ll be away for and what
you are, whatever you want from Latin America - you’ll be doing whilst you are there. Many of
we know that we’ll be able to deliver it. our adventure trips include nearly everything
you need to survive, so you’ll only need a small
So once you’ve flicked through this brochure and amount of money per day to get by. This amount
drawn up a rough plan, visit your nearest STA is normally calculated by establishing how many
Travel branch and chat to one of our friendly additional activities you want to enjoy and how
advisers. All of our staff are seasoned travellers, much shopping, drinking and eating you intend
so they’re full of helpful advice, tips and tales to do whilst you're away.
about the places that you’re planning to visit.
Make sure you book at least your first few nights
getting around accommodation before you leave. You'll find that
We feature a huge range of ways to get around it's quite a bit cheaper, so you'll save yourself
this vast continent. Many Latin American lots of cash. You certainly don’t want to find
countries, especially the more developed yourself scraping together a few dollars for a
ones like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico boast hotel bed after a long flight.
long, scenic, well-maintained roads and loads
of well-connected airports. STA Travel take
full advantage of this to make sure you get
around the continent as safely, comfortably
and efficiently as possible. Our adventure trips
utilise a variety of transportation methods; one
day you'll be bumping along an exciting off road
track, the next you'll be cruising along a scenic
river - or you might simply be using your own
two feet, as you trek a timeless trail.

If you’re keen to get yourself on one of our


adventure trips, then please don’t be put off if
it starts in one place and finishes up in another.
We sell ‘open jaw’ tickets - which quite simply
allow you to fly in and out of different locations.
(see page 8)

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5

travel
essentials
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Whether you’re planning on following the Inca
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CASH
TRAVELEX CASH CARD
student (ISIC) AND YOUTH (IYTC) CARDS
If you want to get access to over 41,000
trail to the peaks of Machu Picchu, soaking What the!?! We’re talking Cash Passports - discounts worldwide then you’ll want to pick
up the sun in Rio or exploring the Amazon same size as a credit card but with no debt & up a student (ISIC) or youth (IYTC) card. These
Jungle, you’d be crazy to leave home without better services. You never know what’s in store puppies are available to you if you’re a full time
travel insurance. STA Travel offers a range when you’re travelling overseas. So make sure student or lucky enough to still be under 26
of travel insurance policies that cover you you’re armed with a Cash Passport, the only years old. They’re only $25 each and you’ll save
for the benefits you need, such as cover for prepaid travel money card that prepares you more than that along the way, so are well worth
medical, cancellation, emergency transport for the unexpected. With a free backup card, the spend! Not only that but they can also be
and accommodation and new for old luggage Travelex’s own 24/7 Emergency Assistance used for discounts here in Australia:
(subject to the policy wording). This way should Services and access to VISA’s global network,
anything go wrong, you’ll be able to avoid Cash Passports are the most convenient way to • Jeans West
the dreaded phone call home and get on with access funds abroad. 5% off
enjoying your holiday. Don’t risk it, ask your STA
Travel adviser about travel insurance. There are two types of cards available: • Wagamama
Note: Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read the PDS available
from STA Travel in considering this product.
10% off meal (up to $30)
Cash Passport Card - Can be used at any VISA
HEALTH ATM Worldwide and it can be reloaded whilst • Krispy Kreme
It’s your responsibility to obtain proper and overseas or better still, back at home by a family Free glazed doughnut with any drink purchase
detailed medical advice in good time before member. It’s available in AUD, NZD, GBP, USD and
your departure. We suggest that you visit EUR offering you the ability to lock in your value • Hoyts
the Department of Health website at www. no matter what happens to the exchange rate. Free combo upgrade & student rates
health.gov.au for up to date information.
Your local Doctor can also give advice on which Cash Passport Debit - The latest in cards, • Mountain Designs
vaccinations you’ll need for particular countries. not only can you access your money at any 10% off all full priced items
VISA ATM around the world. You can now make
VISAS purchases at any merchant that accepts VISA • Lonely Planet
Your trip of a lifetime will quickly grind to a cards (Gucci, Prada anyone!). The VISA ATM card 15% off all online purchases
screeching halt if you forget to sort out your is now available in AUD, NZD, GBP, USD and EUR.
entrance visas. Please don’t forget to check with • Hard Rock Cafe
one of our friendly advisers for visa requirements Features common to both cards: 20% off menu price
for the countries that you are planning to visit. If
you do require visas, we should be able to help you • Convenient – issued instantly, no need • STA Travel
get one – so you can sit back and relax. to carry ID or wait until the bank is open Up to 40% off international trips
to get money out
tefl
Make the best use of your time away, immerse • Prepaid – no unexpected credit card bill
yourself in a new culture, add to your resume upon your return
and gain a skill for life. Millions of people are
learning English worldwide in the most far flung • Toll-free access to Travelex’s 24/7
of places. Why don't you teach English abroad? Emergency Assistance Services
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is
a recognised qualification. Anyone can do it and • Second backup card (connected to the
there is no need for prior teaching experience same pool of funds) provided for FREE.
- just enthusiasm. Learn to teach English as a This means no inconvenience or delay if
foreign language either on-line or as part of a your original card is stolen or misplaced
weekend course with our Premier TEFL course.
Once certified you can then take advantage of • Ability to reload via BPAY anywhere in
one of the many paid teaching opportunities the world
available around the world. Fund your travels and
never run out of cash. statravel.i-to-i.com/tefl • View balances, change PIN and find VISA
ATMs online
Online courses Fr $340
Weekend courses Fr $492 • Flat $3.75 ATM withdrawal fee applies
6

Santa Marta •
Cartagena •
• Coro
• Caracas • Puerto la Cruz
south
America
panama
venezuela • Ciudad Bolivar

• Canaima N.P.
guyana
Santa Elena • suriname french
guiana
Boa Vista •
colombia

Otavalo •
Quito • • Cayambe
• Baños
equador • Belém
• Cuenca • Santaém
Manaus • • São Luis
• Tumbes • Jericoacoara

• Fortaleza
• Manorca peru
Praia de Pipa •

• Huanchaco
• Trujilo Recife •
brazil

• Lima
• Amazon Jungle

Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo • Salvador


Pisco • • Cuzco
Ica • bolivia
Nazca • Puno •
Colca Canyon • • Lake Titicaca
• La Paz
Arequipa • • Cochabamba
• Sucre

• Potosí

Uyuni •
Salt Lakes •
• San Pedro de Atacama paraguay • Rio de Janeiro
Paraty • • Ilha Grande
chile São Paulo •

Iguassu Falls •

argentina

Córdoba •
La Serena • • Salto
Rosario •
• Mendoza Uruguay
Santiago • Buenos Aires •
• Colonia
• Montevideo

Pucón • • Bahia Blanca

• San Carlos de Bariloche


Puerto Montt •
Ca Vi

La

Ha
yo ña

Pa s •

va
lm •
Ju les • P

na
lia •

a S
• or

• El Calafate
•L a
as

cuba
o

Te
rr
in

az
ar

as
de

• Cancún
lR

• Playa del Carmen


io

Torres del Paine • mexico Chichén Itzá •


Mérida • • Cozumel
Uxmal • • Tulum

• Mexico City
• Puebla
• Belize City
Ushuaia • San Ignacio • • Caye Caulker
Palenque • belize
• Oaxaca • Utila Bay Islands
Monte Albán • • Flores
• San Cristobal • La Ceiba
• Rio Dulce
guatemala honduras
Panajachel • • Tegucigalpa
• Copán
Antigua • • Guatemala

el salvador nicaragua

central
• Granada

Monte Verde • • La Fortuna / Arenal

America
San José • • Puerto Viejo • Panama City
costa rica
panama • Santa Clara

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7

YOUR ITINERARY
FLIGHTS HOTELS & HOSTELS

ADVENTURE TRIPS EXTRAS

INSURANCE

TOTAL
8

getting there
WHY FLY WITH STA TRAVEL? ROUND THE WORLD
Aside from our great prices, many of our airfares are unique & exclusive. This is something we specialise in. We practically invented the concept of
We offer a wide range of products negotiated just for you. We can book flying Round the World, so we’ve got a huge range of choices and plenty of
just about anything you desire, from simple return tickets to tailor-made suggestions for you.
complex round-the-world itineraries. Here are some of the things that  
make us stand out from the crowd. There are loads of ways to include Latin America in your Round the World trip.
To kick start your imagination, we’ve picked out one of our favourite itineraries.
• Lowest fares with leading airlines when you book in advance
for students holding an ISIC card / youths under 26 (see page 5) Get your Latino on, per favor! Start your Round the World trip in sultry
or teachers holding an ITIC card. South America when you fly straight into Buenos Aires; lap up the capital
before tangoing your way to the beaches of Rio for one saucy Copacabana
• Flexibility to change your travel dates before and of a time. Next head to the big smoke (Amsterdam) where everything
after departure. feels strangely higher than usual, before embracing your inner shopaholic
in Milan and landing in lovely-jubbly London. Now we’re talking - pubs,
• Flexibility to change your route before and after departure. pints and Primark - pukka! Catch your breath then rock onto Bangkok
where boys are ladies and markets float. Take your time in Thailand before
• The option to build your own itinerary using our exclusive sector heading to Hong Kong; take one final shot at maxing out your credit card
fares. Don’t compromise when creating your perfect trip. before boarding your flight back to the land of Oz. Phew!

• Fares available from all Australian departure airports. Australia – Buenos Aires – overland – Rio de Janeiro – Amsterdam –
overland – Milan – London – Bangkok – overland – Hong Kong – Australia
• Open Jaw tickets - fly into one airport and out of another.

• 24 hour travel help, so wherever you are in the world, there is


always an expert available to handle your queries.

• Over 400 STA Travel branches worldwide, giving you personal


service as you travel the globe.

• Airfares that last up to 18 months.

• Sign up to our weekly newsletter by visiting statravel.com.au


to make sure you don’t miss out on our best exclusives and the
chance to win free flights! If there’s a particular destination that you simply have to visit, then
challenge one of our advisers to help get you there.
GET THE BEST PRICE
We’ve been helping folks get the best air-deals since before the dawn of ADD ON’s
time…..OK, so we exaggerate a little, but we have been doing this for ages! Add-ons are the best, kinda like fries with your burger or a lemon in your
Our advisers know exactly where to look and what to check. So talk to one Vodka! They let you get to pretty much anywhere in the world you want
of our travel gurus, or have a look at our great website and find yourself a to go.
deal that won’t break the bank. To get you started, here are a few insider  
tips that’ll help you get the very cheapest price. So to make your Latin America trip even better, just add-on one of our
many unique sector fares (a one-way or return flight added onto your
• Buy an ISIC Card to be eligible for our exclusive negotiated international flight). Doing this means more zip-zapping beyond the arrival
student fares (See page 5). city of your international flight!  If we really need to convince you, just
think; you can hop over to Lima and start looking for that lost city of
• If you can help it, don’t leave it to the last minute. Many of our theirs, pop into Brazil and play Tarzan in the Amazon or experience the Day
best prices are only available if you book in advance. of the Dead in Mexico!

• Try and be a little flexible with your dates and check out flying
on a weekday instead of the weekend.

• Think about flying outside of peak times e.g. if you are flying to
Latin America the best deals are usually available for travel
between Feb & Nov.

• Keep it local and consider flying from your nearest airport.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
9

travel insurance
WITH YOU NO MATTER HOW WILD THE RIDE
We hope you have an awesome trip, but to put it bluntly, if something does THE COVER YOU CAN EXPECT
happen (and it happens all the time), you’ll want travel insurance, not a No complicated plans to choose from, just great cover you can rely on.
$50,000+ medical bill! Here’s some of the inclusions you can expect with your international policy:
• $Unlimited overseas medical and dental cover
We know how important it is for you to have an amazing journey and travel • $Unlimited additional expenses
insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, our experience • $Unlimited amendment or cancellation costs
tells us travelling without cover is simply not a risk worth taking.
Imagine getting sick in a foreign country and being refused treatment until Plus, cover for:
you can guarantee payment of medical bills. Even worse, imagine getting • Luggage and travel documents (including sporting equipment
the wrong treatment! while in use)
• Delayed luggage allowance
It’s a scary thought, but these kinds of things happen all too often, all over • Money
the world. Having an emergency assistance team of experienced doctors, • Rental car insurance excess
nurses and case managers on call to help you when you’re in trouble is why • Travel delay
having the right travel insurance is so important. • Resumption of journey
• Special events
STA Travel Insurance gives you much more than medical cover. It also covers • Hospital incidentals
emergency transport and accommodation costs, includes cover for cancellation • Hijacking
and for your belongings should they be lost, damaged, stolen or delayed. • Loss of income
• Disability
You wouldn’t go camping without a tent – you shouldn’t book your • Accidental death
holiday without travel insurance! • Personal liability

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT? CHOOSE EXTRAS THAT SUIT YOU


No two travellers are the same, that’s why we’ve made a policy that lets Just like making your own mix-tape, you can customise your STA Travel
you do more... policy to suit your trip...

• 24 hour emergency assistance • The annual multi-trip option


Access to our 24 hour emergency assistance team for medical If you plan on getting away a few times over the next 12 months,
emergencies and evacuations, help with hospital bills and assistance taking out an annual policy for multiple trips may be the cheaper option
should you lose your passport and travel documents
• Choose an excess
• New for old replacement The higher the excess the cheaper the premium. You can choose
Replacement of lost, stolen or damaged items less than 2 years old between a $nil or $250 excess
included
• Increase your rental car insurance excess cover
• Not sure when you’ll be back? Hiring a car and don’t want to pay a massive excess if you have an
No worries, you can see the four corners of the globe on the one accident? Some policies automatically cover rental car insurance
policy and if you decide to stay longer you can extend your policy for excess of up to $4,000. If that’s not enough cover, you can buy
up to 18 months additional cover

• For the adventurers • Add cover for snow skiing or snowboarding


We automatically cover loads of adrenalin pumping activities which Plan on going for a board or ski? Take this option if you want to be
means you can experience more and still keep your mum happy covered if you come unstuck. We don’t cover skiing or boarding
outside resort boundaries
• Working holiday / studying abroad
Planning on working or studying whilst overseas? No problem, we • Add cover for motorcycle/moped riding
cover working holidays and overseas study Plan on hiring a scooter while away? Take this option if you want to
be covered
• Cover for existing medical conditions
We automatically cover many existing medical conditions and if your MORE INFO...
condition falls outside the auto cover criteria, cover can be applied Talk to your STA Travel adviser or go to www.statravel.com.au/insurance
for by completing a medical assessment form, and if accepted, paying
an additional premium

DON’T RISK IT. GET TRAVEL INSURANCE. ASK US HOW!


The issuer of the insurance is Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC ARBN 127 740 532, ABN 18 964 580 576, AFSL No. 318 603, trading as Great Lakes Australia. Limits, exclusions and conditions apply.
This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances or needs. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement (available from us) when considering this insurance product.
10

where
to stay?
Star ratings are often not the best way to categorise hotels. Depending on what country you’re
travelling through, perceptions of each standard can vary quite dramatically. To make things much
easier for you, we’re giving you our own, very educated opinion on each property that we feature. We
have three very straightforward accommodation categories to choose from: STAysimple, STAysmart
and STAystylish. Read below for a description of each.

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish


For those who want the travelling dollar to Perfect for those who demand a little comfort These are a little bit special. Adjectives such as
go further… Clean, comfortable, secure and when they travel - and they definitely won't unique, funky and intimate are definitely very apt.
perfectly adequate, these are budget options. All break the bank! All of our STAysmart hotels Ordinary they ain’t! Most will boast something
of our hostels and some of our more basic hotels have been handpicked by us to ensure you get really indulgent such as a spas, saunas, whirlpool
come under this category. that extra bit of deserved relaxtion. baths and private terraces.

The majority of our STAysimple properties These are modern, international standard These hotels are relatively small in size, which
have great locations – in the heart of all the hotels, so expect a plethora of great facilities. means close and personal attention. Superlative
action, and many of them boast popular bars All rooms will have private bathrooms, air-con service and an unforgettable experience are
and vibrant social scenes. Facilities are generally and a host of modern amenities. You can also more or less guaranteed. After a fantastically
limited, but this is compensated for by the expect loads of great facilities – most will have hectic adventure trip or an early morning flight,
friendly and helpful staff. Many of these options a pool, gymnasium and a couple of restaurants. it definitely pays to splash a little cash and book
will have shared bathrooms. STAysmart hotels are ideal for city stopovers. yourself into one of these wonderful hotels.

Some of our favourite STAysimple properties Some of our favourite STAysmart properties Some of our favourite STAystylish properties
include El Misti Hostel in Rio, Millhouse Hostel in include Castelar Hotel in Buenos Aires, Inglaterra include the Duo Boutique in Lima, Hotel del Patio
Buenos Aires and the Point Hostel in Cuzco. in Havana and the Cancún Caribe International. in Santiago and the Pousada Corsário in Búzios.

All accommodation prices - Dorm: per person per night. Single/Twin/Double: per room per night.

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

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11

your
adventure
STA Travel partner with leading tour companies
who provide fantastic adventures across the
globe to give you a variety of styles of travel and
experiences to choose from when planning your
big trip. They are our ‘perfect partners’ as they
share the same passion for travel as we do and
we guarantee you will get the cheapest price on
their trips through us. Our perfect partner for
Latin America is Gap Adventures.

expect the unexpected


That’s the most important advice we can provide
about the Gap Adventures style of travel. For
the most part, you will be travelling in developing
countries in areas very different from home – so
the best approach is to keep an open mind. This
is the beauty of adventure travel! international groups 18 to 35's Adventures
These adventures are sold all over the world. They feature several
transportation - mix it up You’re likely to be travelling with a range of unforgettable trips for only 18 to 35 yr
You’ll get the best cross-section of culture. One nationalities, exploring new countries and olds. With accommodation, transport, most
day you might find yourself squeezing onto the experiencing different cultures with a like-minded meals and sightseeing all included, it’s the
local chicken bus in Guatemala, the next you but diverse group. perfect way to explore a new part of the
could be sitting in an air-conditioned private world without breaking the bank. And since
van driving along the coast. Many tours feature your trip leaders everyone’s in the same age bracket, there’s
flights, and these are all included in the price. Each and every adventure is led by either a group always someone ready to get in on the action
Whatever the method, you can be sure it will be leader or a Gap Adventures representative. or share an adventure – whether exploring
more than just a way to get from A to B. They enrich your journey, providing practical tips the lush jungles of the Yucatan, getting glitzy
on the regions you are travelling to, while giving on the Mexican Riviera, or stepping back into
unique accommodation - capturing the you the inside scoop on the culture. They’ll offer time-warped colonial towns, you can be sure
local essence handy language tips, make suggestions for things that a Contiki Mexico trip will keep it spicy!
Often you’ll spend the night in a hotel, other to see and do, recommend great local eateries,
nights camping at high altitude, or on the water and introduce you to their local friends. In a lot 13 days Mexico Grande (see page 116)
aboard a yacht. Perhaps you’ll be staying with a of instances the leaders are locals themselves, 9 days Mexico Fiesta (see page 117)
local family in a Peruvian home-stay or sleeping and if they’re not true locals, chances are they 6 days Yucatan Explorer (see page 117)
on a stunning boat in the Galapagos. Whatever will have travelled through the region countless
and wherever it is, your accommodation will times and know it like the back of their hand.
reflect the local flavour. Rooms are usually based
on same-sex twin-share, and solo travellers don’t travel responsibility
have to pay extra! Gap Adventures are involved in the Planet
Positive Project, which includes planting one
diverse food - a big part of the million trees in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
travelling experience To make this possible, they have partnered with
One of the great thrills of travel is sampling Trees for the Future. This organisation helps
the local cuisine and discovering new tastes and people improve their rural livelihoods through the
flavours. Your trip will give you plenty of chances introduction of environmentally sustainable land
to feast on the delicacies of the region, whether management projects focused on tree planting.
that’s with the meals included in the tour or when
you branch out and discover your own culinary no local payments!
gems. However, when in remote regions such as Unlike many other tour companies, Gap
on an expedition or cruise, most include meals. Adventures do not charge any local payments.
The food is hearty and fresh and you’ll be amazed The price you pay your STA Travel adviser is the
at what the cooks and chefs can achieve. See trip full cost of the tour. You may choose to tip, but
details for meal inclusions. that is entirely your decision.
Please note: For all trips that visit the Galapagos Islands a USD100 Galapagos park
entry fee and USD10 tourist card are payable on arrival to the islands.
12

explore
south
america

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13

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
argentina bolivia brazil
Given the sheer size of Argentina it's no wonder Bolivia will have you saying OMG! more than ever Think of South America and think of Rio de
the gauchos (cowboys) roam free for weeks on before. This off-the-beaten-track amusement Janeiro, with its colourful Carnival, Copacabana
end. Aside from the pampas there's a wealth of park is definitely making its mark on travellers’ Beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer
diverse landscape and experiences to be had. radars. With the world's highest capital city watching over all that lies below. Think of
Marvel at the breathtaking elegance of the (La Paz), the world's largest salt flat (the Salar beautiful people, football, the Amazon Jungle,
Iguassu Falls, ski the snow-capped mountains in de Uyuni), South America's largest lake (Lake the magnificent Iguassu Falls, miles and miles of
Bariloche, try top quality wines from Salta, eat Titicaca) and a very explorable mix of mountains, white sandy coastline and stunning destinations
steaks as large as your head in Buenos Aires and Amazonian jungle and colourful local markets like Ilha Grande and Salvador. Brazil is home
journey all the way to Patagonia for further stark - you'll soon fall in love with everything about to all of this and much more - prepare to
contrasts. You'll never want to go home. Bolivia. Especially the very friendly people! experience everything you've ever dreamed of.

chile colombia ecuador


With a perfect climate - it rarely suffers The word "Colombia" comes from the name Discover Ecuador and you'll unearth a whole
from rain and instead experiences warm Christopher Columbus, who as a Spanish colonist lot more than you ever imagined. Famed for the
Mediterranean conditions- it's not hard to see helps account for its wide ethical diversity. sensational Galapagos islands, you can sail the
why people flock to Chile. Find your way to Ecologically it is classified as one of the world's crystal clear waters and meet a great variety
the attractive beaches north of Santiago, step 18 megadiverse countries. Landscapes range of species, many of them endemic. Its capital
out onto impressive moon-like terrain in the from Andes mountains, Amazon rainforest, city Quito was declared a World Heritage Site
Atacama desert and head down the southern tropical grassland and both Caribbean and by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best
coast to a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, Pacific coasts. Even a short trip here will quickly preserved and least altered historic centre in
twisting peninsulas and islands. Touch Antarctica banish the stereotypes of drugs and violence Latin America. Party on people-filled streets and
and get your head around the chileño Spanish. that often sadly dominate the world's press. sample some of the delicious local cuisine.

peru uruguay venezuela


Peru fuses countless cultures from all over the A short hop across the river from Buenos Aires Tropical Venezuela is a country better known in
world and from all across time. Lima serves up a takes you over to Montevideo, the ever intriguing recent times for its President Hugo Chávez, oil
multicultural mix of welcoming hospitality, while capital of Uruguay. This elegant city boasts the and the continual winning of the Miss Universe
a trek across the Inca Trail will give you a big highest quality of life in South America, and contest! But you'll want to visit to check out the
breathtaking glimpse of the past - especially a few nights checking out the cafes, bars and buzzing capital of Caracas and Angel Falls - the
when you set your disbelieving eyes on the restaurants will soon show you why it's such a world's highest. Salsa in the cities and bathe
amazing Machu Picchu. Deep, mysterious and pleasant place to live. Dominated by four large on the beautiful beaches. Venezuela's colourful
downright fascinating history is everywhere from river deltas, the rest of the country boasts attitude is emphasised in its flag; yellow
the prehistoric Nazca Lines to the colonial art beautiful swathes of fertile lowlands and a large represents land wealth, blue -courage and red-
and architecture of Cuzco. splattering of lovely beachside resorts. independence from Spain.
14

discover
south america
these trips are built back to back, so segment 4: in search of iguassu segment 7: above the equator
you CAN choose to travel one segment 17 days, buenos aires to rio de janeiro 23 DAYS, caracas to quito
or piece several together to create fr $2,129 see page 74 Tour Code: GAJRB fr $3,069 Tour Code: GAJCQ
your perfect south american journey Take 17 days to explore Buenos Aires to Rio Explore cosmopolitan Caracas before heading
from anywhere you like! and everything in between! Cross into Uruguay west along the coast to Choroni, the gateway
and travel to the nation’s capital where you'll to Henri Pittier National Park. Discover the
segment 1: andean discovery get a true feel for Uruguayan culture. Relax in captivating fishing town of Chichiriviche and
16 days, lima to la paz the thermal baths of Salto before heading off to visit Moroccoy National Park. Journey into the
Fr $2,189 see page 28 Tour Code: GAJML Iguassu Falls, which sits on the borders of Brazil, colonial town of Coro, before crossing into
Begin your trip in Lima before heading to Pisco. Paraguay and Argentina. Explore Paraty, known Colombia. Wander around the country’s oldest
Fly over the Nazca Lines before reaching colonial for it’s colonial architecture and beaches, and town, Santa Marta, then visit Tayrona National
Arequipa for excursions to the Colca Canyon. move on to Ilha Grande to relax on the beach Park. Travelling along the coast, your next stop
Cuzco and the Inca Trail are next on the list! while sipping caipirinhas. Mmm the perfect end is Cartagena before heading to Quito.
Watching dawn break over Machu Picchu at the to a perfect trip!
end of a four day trek is the experience of a segment 8: ecuador & peru experience
lifetime. Travel to the shores of Lake Titicaca, segment 5: northern brazil highlights 16 DAYS, quito to lima
sail over to the floating Uros islands and stay 29 days, rio de janeiro to manaus fr $1,539 Tour Code: GAJQM
overnight with a local family. The trip ends in the fr $3,249 Tour Code: GASZRN From the Equator to the jungle to the coastal
cultural centre of Bolivia, La Paz. From Afro-Brazilian Bahia to the mighty Amazon desert. From Quito, head to the edge of the
and all the beaches and dunes in between, Amazon to a small town named Coca, your home
segment 2: the atacama crossing this trip highlights the best of Northern Brazil. in the Amazon for the next three days. After all
20 days, la paz to santiago Explore Rio with its world famous beaches and the bird watching, jungle walks and wildlife you
fr $1,709 see page 96 Tour Code: GAJLS nightlife. Visit Bahia, heart of Afro-Brazilian can handle, head to Baños, famous for its volcano
Travel for three weeks through Bolivia and Chile culture, and follow the coast past historic and thermal springs. Explore Cuenca before
and experience the diversity of each stop. The cities and remote beaches to the mouth of the continuing to the other side of the border; Peru!
cultural centre of Bolivia and also the highest Amazon. Follow the river to its heart at Manaus, End your trip in the “City of Kings”.
capital in the world, La Paz won't disappoint. an important trading city of the northern
Continue on to Cochabamba and Sucre before Amazon region and the largest jungle city in the
heading to Potosi. Spend the next three days world. In 29 days this trip does it all! our favourites
in 4WD vehicles exploring the mountains and
blinding white salt flats between Uyuni and the segment 6: caribbean amazon connect santiago - rio
Atacama Desert in Chile. Travel to beachside La 14 days, manaus to caracas Segment 3 & 4 or vice versa
fr $3,009 Tour Code: GAJSR
Serena before ending the tour in Santiago. fr $4,069 Tour Code: GASZNC
From the mighty Amazon to the world’s tallest
lima - santiago
segment 3: southern sojourn waterfall and the Caribbean coast, this trip has Segment 1 & 2 or vice versa
13 days, santiago to buenos aires your unspoilt beaches, spectacular scenery fr $3,659 Tour Code: GAJMS

fr $1,419 see page 80 Tour Code: GAJSB and still manages to keep off the beaten path.
From Santiago, journey through the Andes. Climb Starting in Manaus and ending in Caracas, you'll rio de janeiro - quito
a volcano, hike in the mountains or go rafting witness the tallest waterfall in the world, loads Segment 5, 6 & 7 or vice versa
fr $7,969 Tour Code: GAJRQ
in Pucon before heading to the gateway of of uber-interesting wildlife and there'll be time
Patagonia in Puerto Montt and Varas. Arrive in to lie back and relax on a Caribbean beach. lima - rio de janeiro
stunning Bariloche, known for it’s hiking and bike Segment 1, 2, 3 & 4 or vice versa
trails. Travel to vibrant Buenos Aires and catch a fr $6,489 Tour Code: GAJMR

tango show or sample the legendary nightlife.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
15

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
Santa Marta • • Coro
Cartagena • • Caracas • Puerto la Cruz

panama
venezuela • Ciudad Bolivar

• Canaima N.P.
guyana
Santa Elena • suriname french
guiana
Boa Vista •
colombia

Otavalo •
Quito • • Cayambe
• Baños
equador • Belém
• Cuenca • Santaém
Manaus • • São Luis
• Tumbes • Jericoacoara

• Fortaleza
• Manorca peru
Praia de Pipa •

• Huanchaco
• Trujilo Recife •
brazil

• Lima
• Amazon Jungle

Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo • Salvador


Pisco • • Cuzco
Ica • bolivia
Nazca • Puno •
Colca Canyon • • Lake Titicaca
• La Paz
Arequipa • • Cochabamba
• Sucre

• Potosí

Uyuni •
Salt Lakes •
• San Pedro de Atacama paraguay • Rio de Janeiro
Paraty • • Ilha Grande
chile Iguassu Falls • São Paulo •

argentina

La Serena • • Salto

Uruguay
Santiago •
• Colonia
Buenos Aires •
• Montevideo

Pucón •

• San Carlos de Bariloche


Puerto Montt •

Lima - La Paz Andean Discovery


La Paz - Santiago The Atacama crossing
Santiago - Buenos Aires southern sojourn
Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro in search of iguassu
Rio de Janeiro - Manaus northern brazil highlights
Manaus - Caracas caribbean amazon connection
Caracus - Quito above the equator
Quito - Lima ecuador & peru experience
16

southern
cross
45 DAYS, $5,199 fr

Lima - rio de janeiro

So, you like llamas? Learn to love these fluffy


tykes on a whirlwind jaunt that takes in some
of this continent’s brightest bits. You’ll be
under the South American spell in no time!
From lively Lima to rambunctious Rio this
trip has it all. Trek along the Inca Trail for Day 1: ARRIVE LIMA DayS 10-13: INCA TRAIL to MACHU PICCHU
views that’ll leave you breathless - or is that Arrive, relax and explore at your own leisure. Starting at Km 82 the hike of your life begins.
just the altitude? Absorb some of the world’s With seriously speedy local porters who’ll give
most spectacular scenery, get out and about Day 2: PISCO you a run for your money, the trek from start to
on mountain bikes, river rafts, or ride-em-up Roam round Lima freely this morning before finish will be worry-free, inspiring and a whole
cowboy - we’ve got horses too. You’ll sail the boarding the bus to Pisco, famed for classic lot of pure, clean fun. Feeling on top of the world
highest navigable lake with expert tour guides Pisco Sour cocktails and the wildlife infested you’ll reach Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’ just in time
and you'll get involved with the locals at a Ballestas Islands. for sunrise over Machu Picchu. Make sure that
homestay and be bleating ‘agua sin gas’ before camera's charged! A combination of train and
you know it. Don’t speak Spanish? Try Cetchua DayS 3-4: Nazca van will whip your weary feet back to Cuzco on
instead, the local Peruvian lingo - much more Arise early for your chance to take an optional Day13. (3B, 3L, 3D)
fun as hilarious mistakes are quite simply visit to the Ballestas Islands, before you jump
inevitable. Bright colours are essential-wear for on the bus to Nazca. Why not hop on a teeny DAYS 14-16: CuZCO
the local people here; they’re miles away from tiny plane over the inexplicable desert-imprinted Tired from the Inca Trail? No excuses! Get on
our favourite blacks and blues. So get with the Nazca lines. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its out there with optional rafting, horse riding and
program, don your new stripy trousers and roll a giant monkey (supposedly a fertility symbol). mountain biking. An activity seeker’s dream.
on through the spectacular Bolivan landscape Tour a Pre-Inca cemetery, complete with pottery,
on to bopping Brazil where you can shake your parched bones and 1500 year old mummies. DAY 17: PUNO
booty right on through til sunrise. And not Lots of sights to be seen on the bus today as
forgetting a bunch of beautiful tropical islands DayS 5-7: Arequipa / Chivay / you pull into Puno. Play spot the traditional clay
(suntan guaranteed), the epic Iguassu Falls and colca canyon bull, seen on rooftops – used for protection and
the prehistoric Nazca Lines - you'll indulge in From Peru’s second-largest city, you’ll spy the prosperity. Drink more lovely coca tea.
some incredible sightseeing. Learn, experience, shadow of El Misti Volcano creeping over the
explore and before you know it, you’ll be right city’s skyline. Chill out and people-watch before DAYS 18-19: Lake Titicaca
on course for the time of your life. heading to the Colca Canyon on Day six. Twice as Sail off into the sunset with a trip out to
deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA, it is also see Taquile, Amantani and Uros Islands. Stay
home to the mighty Andean Condors whose wing overnight with mamma and papa Peru in a typical
highlights spans reach an impressive10ft. rural homestay village. Marvel at the engineering
• Go potty for Pisco Sours of the floating islands and spoil yourself on the
• Get mystified over El Misti Volcano Day 8: Cuzco water-lapping, removal-from-reality silence.
• Watch Condors’ mighty wingspans Touch down in Cuzco and get under the skin Bliss. (B, L, D)
• Explore culture rich Cuzco of this beautiful colonial city. Check out the
• Journey the vast Colca Canyon nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman (pronounced Sexy DAYS 20-21: La PAZ
• Soak up the spirit of the Sacred Valley Woman!) for cobblestone streets (don’t slip over Wind along the shores of Lake Titicaca until
• Hike the Inca Trail and ramble over ruins now!) and interesting museums. you reach La Paz, Bolivia – the world’s highest
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake capital. A great stop for cheap souvenirs, exotic
• Live the dream on floating islands Day 9: OLLANTAYTAMBO fruit smoothies and other additional weird and
• Explore dramatic moon-like terrain Head down the picturesque Sacred Valley with wonderful kit.
• Stand awe-struck on the Salar de Uyuni your local guide and check out some of the
• Befriend wacky wetlands wildlife fascinating Inca empire sites. Spend the evening day 22: uyuni
• Snorkel crystal clear rivers winding down in the tongue-twister town of A good old fashioned wheels-on-the-bus ride to
• Samba in the sun on Copacabana beach Ollantaytambo, tonight’s hat-laying spot. Uyuni. Meet your soulmate on the next seat.

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17

DayS 40-41: Paraty

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
Head over to Paraty, located on Brazil’s ‘Costa
Verde (Green Coast). Cobblestones, cafés and
cachaça is coupled with a pretty historical centre
and the natural beauty of its surroundings. An
optional cruise around the beaches and coves
will help you appreciate all those cachaça based
cocktails a little better.

DayS 42- 43: Iiha Grande


One of the 65 islands that make up this part of
Brazil’s coastline, this’ll be a welcome piece of
heaven on earth as you draw near to the end of
your trip. Hike through the jungle to waterfalls,
soak up the sun on a nearby black sandy beach,
hire a boat to secluded coves and swim in the
beautifully warm water. Or just hang back with a
cold beer in the World Hertiage town centre.
DayS 30-31: Santa Cruz / Puerto Suarez
Fly into Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s second biggest city, Day 44: RIO DE JAnEIRO
located at the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental. The Cariocas, residents of this glorious city claim
Then overnight train it along to Puerto Suarez, “God made the world in six days, the seventh he
one step closer to brilliant Brazil. devoted to Rio”. Highlights include the fantastic
views from Cristo el Redentor (Christ the
DayS 23-25: Uyuni / DayS 32-33: CorumbA / Pantanal Redeemer), Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf), Santa
Salt Lakes Excursion Eat your heart out wildlife lovers - here, you Teresa’s coloured steps and the bright high-on-
Hop into a 4WD jeep and begin your explorations won’t be disappointed. On a two day exploration life atmoshpere.
of the unforgettable Salar de Uyuni, a vast open in jeep and motorised canoe you’ll get back to
white space that makes a perfect location for all nature amid the immense Pantanal wetlands. Day 45: Depart RIO DE JAnEIRO
you creative photographers. Roam this epic and Special guests include macaws, Jabiru storks, This life defining adventure sadly finishes.
incredible landscape uninterrupted, stepping out giant otters and cracking caimans. Support the
on the moon-like terrain and ‘wowing’ over the anti-poaching efforts. (2B, 2L, 2D)
coloured lagoons. This is once in a life time stuff! Do it your way
(2B, 3L, 2D) DayS 34-36: Bonito
In a word: beautiful. Snorkel in crystal clear go in reverse
Day 26: POTOSÌ rivers and visit underwater caves and waterfalls. rio de janeiro - lima
fr $5,199 Tour Code: GASXRM
Explosive UNESCO World Heritage Potosí has Look out for colourful fish or opt for a bit of
had a tumultuous history as a silver mining raucous rafting if you can handle it. A great Start or finish in lA pAZ
centre during colonial times. Be daring and place for nature lovers and outdoor extremists. rIO DE JANEIRO - lA pAZ
opt to descend down into a working mine for a 25 days fr $3,069 Tour Code: GASXLR
close-up look at how its all done. Unchanged in DayS 37-39: Iguassu falls
decades, if not centuries. Spot a cow or two crossing through the vast LA PAZ - RIO DE JANEIRO
25 days fr $3,069 Tour Code: GASXRL
cattle ranches of Mato Grosso do Sul overnight
DayS 27-29: Sucre en route to the magnificent Iguassu Falls. Sit add on the amazon
Pretty Sucre is home to the Bolivian Government back and stare, soak in the beauty and sheer jungle adventure on days 14-16
and a winner for self-confessed history geeks. power of nature unadulterated, or go and get fr $6,019 Tour Code: GASJRM

Get lost in some dinosaur tracks on an optional soaked on a high speed boat tour under the
trip out of the city. spray of the falls. You have been warned!

DEPARTURES - FEB: FRI, MAR - OCT: TUE & FRI, NOV & DEC: FRI
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 9 MAY 23 JUN 4 JUL 18 JUL30 SEP 12
FEB 5 MAR 21 APR 13 MAY 27 JUN 8 JUL 22 AUG 3 SEP 16
peru
FEB 12 MAR 28 APR 16 MAY 30 JUN 11 JUL 25 AUG 6 SEP 19
FEB 19 APR 4 ARP 20 JUN 3 JUN 15 JUL 29 AUG 10 SEP 23 • Lima
FEB 26 ARP 11 APR 23 JUN 6 JUN 18 AUG 1 AUG 13 SEP 26 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
MAR 2 APR 15 APR 27 JUN 10 JUN 22 AUG 5 AUG 17 SEP 30 Pisco •
• Nazca • Cuzco
MAR 5 APR 18 APR 30 JUN 13 JUN 25 AUG 8 AUG 20 OCT 3 brazil
MAR 9 APR 22 MAY 4 JUN 17 JUN 29 AUG 12 AUG 24 OCT 7
• Puno bolivia
Colca Canyon •
MAR 12 APR 25 MAY 7 JUN 20 JUL 2 AUG 15 AUG 27 OCT 10 Arequipa • La Paz •
MAR 16 APR 29 MAY 11 JUN 24 JUL 6 AUG 19 AUG 31 OCT 14 • Santa Cruz
MAR 19 MAY 2 MAY 14 JUN 27 JUL 9 AUG 22 SEP 3 OCT 17
MAR 23 MAY 6 MAY 18 JUL 1 JUL 13 AUG 26 SEP 7 OCT 21
• Sucre
Potosí • • Pantanal
MAR 26 MAY 9 MAY 21 JUL 4 JUL 16 AUG 29 SEP 10 OCT 24
MAR 30 MAY 13 MAY 25 JUL 8 JUL 20 SEP 2 SEP14 OCT 28
Uyuni • • Bonito
APR 2 MAY 16 MAY 28 JUL 11 JUL 23 SEP 5 SEP 17 OCT 31
APR 6 MAY 20 JUN 1 JUL 15 JUL 27 SEP 9 SEP 21 NOV 4 Salt Lakes •
Ilha Grande / Paraty • • Rio de Janeiro
Accommodation: Hotels (34 nts), night buses (3 nts), train (1nt), camping (3 nts), Iguassu Falls •
homestay (1 nt), multi-share tented room with hammocks (2 nts) Transport: Public
bus, local flight, ferry, train, boat, hiking, 4WD truck Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides
Meals: All meals on the Inca Trail, during homestay, visiting Uyuni Salt Flats and in
the Pantanal Budget: Allow USD600 for meals not included Tour Code: GASXMR

stay longer in lima


Check out page pages 52-53.
18

Bolivia
crossing
26 DAYS, $3,899 fr

Buenos Aires - Lima

From Buenos Aires to Lima you’ll be enthralled Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires
every step of the way. Covering amazing terrain, Where to begin? This vibrant metropolis of
travelling by boat, bus and plane, this tour is never-ending European influences could fill your
guaranteed to blow your mind. Prepare to be days forever with its great bars and restaurants
inspired by truly exceptional landscapes and alone. Head to the colourful neighbourhoods of
some serious southern soul, warmly radiating La Boca and San Telmo (great for the Sunday
from each corner you turn. Start those toes- markets) and pop your head into the huge Day 9: Potosí
a-tapping in the tanguerias of Buenos Aires, french-style cemetry in high-class Recoleta. Join A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a tumultous
a cosmopolite’s dream. Take in the expansive in at one of the tanguerias, even learn to dance history as a silver mining centre during colonial
vast green Pampas and cross the border into with a lesson or two. And don’t forget the Bife times. Be daring and decide to descend into a
beautiful Bolivia - before you set off on an de Chorizo – Argentinean steak at its absolute modern-day working mine for a close up look at
epic adventure over the Atacama desert and best. Mmm. methods that have hardly changed in decades, if
the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Sail away on the not centuries. Explosive stuff!
highest navigable lake in the world, boggle at Days 2-3: Salta
brightly coloured natural lagoons and cave-in From B.A, fly up to Salta in northern Argentina Day 10: Night Bus to la paz
over moon-like territory. Trek the trail of worldy for some impressive scenery that’ll sufficiently Staying in the Bolivian highlands, travel north to
wonder and arrive into Peru’s magnificent whet your appetite for even better things to the city of La Paz. Time to snuggle up kids.
Machu Picchu, amidst the breathtaking Andean come. Banish your fear of heights on a trip
mountains. Finish up in Lima for a last long- across the mountains following the ‘Train of the Days 11-12: La paz
awaited Pisco Sour. Clouds’ route. Once you get back into town tuck Have a wander round the world’s highest capital
your hungry chops into a couple of Empanadas - get lost in the vast array of shops and markets
Salteñas – a tasty speciality. Sit back, relax and and if you’re not afraid of being cast under a bad
enjoy a guitar filled evening at a “Peña” folklore spell venture into the Witches’ market - where
highlights show with a good glass of local Argie vino. you can pick up some really wacky, weird and
• Tango in Buenos Aires wonderful stuff. The liveliness and bustle of
• Take up the Argentinean appetite Days 4-5: San Pedro de Atacama more than a million Bolivians makes this city
• Walk on moon-like terrain Take a bus a little further north this morning, pretty unforgettable, as does the altitude!
• Marvel at fantastic coloured lagoons pogo-sticking over the Chilean border to the
• Stand awe-struck on the Salar de Uyuni small desert oasis of San Pedro de Atacama. It’s Day 13: La paz / tiahuanaco
• Crack hilarious jokes on Fish Island located on the edge of one of the driest places Go westward hitting Lake Titicaca and wind your
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake in the world - perfect for trying out your best way along the shores to Tiahuanaco where you’ll
• Stay with Peruvian padres jokes on your new found friends. They’ll love it... spend most of the day visiting some fantastic
• Float on magical islands maybe. Opt for action packed activites - biking, ruins - bringing ancient mysteries to life. The
• Discover hidden ancient ruins horse-riding, and moonboots. You can also head remarkable Tiahuanaco people constructed this
• Catch sunrise over Machu Picchu out to the Valley of the Moon. great ceremonial centre on the southern shore of
• Get colonial in Cuzco Lake Titicaca over1000 years ago.Clever eh?
• Go potty for Pisco Sours Days 6-8: 4wd Atacama Desert / Uyuni
• Live it up in Lima Embark on an journey of epic proportions (ok Day 14: PUNO
so you’re not quite the next Indiana Jones, but Pull into Puno by bus, travelling through the
you’ll soon be pretty close). Get comfy in your Altiplano region of Peru, 3830m above sea level.
4WD jeep as you drive through some of the Arrive and explore. Time to write your granny a
most isolated and dramatic geography in South postcard and knit an alpaca jumper.
America and the impressive Salar de Uyuni salt
flats. A perfect opportunity for photo taking
fiends - you won’t believe the contrast of
blinding white salt flats, piercing blue skies, and
brightly coloured lagoons. Silly poses essential.
Brilliant. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
19

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
Days 15-16: Lake titicaca / taquile Day 19: ollantaytambo
Embark on a boat trip to visit the floating Head into the Sacred Valley, stopping in the town
islands of Uros. Visit Amantani and Taquile of Pisac, and then onto pretty Ollantaytambo
islands and immerse yourself in Peruvian rural where you’ll be greeted with some impressive
life with a homestay in a small local village. Try Inca ruins. Spectacular sunsets are frequent
out your local lingo skills and boogie into the against the the looming Andes backdrop. Settle
night with a traditional dance. The costumes in for the night at a local restaurant with, if
are a real winner. Great potential for fun times you’re lucky, pan-pipe players a plenty. More Day 24: Cuzco
and hopefully an awesome sunset or two. Don’t Pisco Sours for those less fortunate. Relax, take it easy. Buy another alpaca hat or
forget your torch. (B, L, D) get active with some white-water rafting or
Days 20-23: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu mountain biking. A free day for fun times and
Days 17-18: Cuzco Km 82 marks your once in a lifetime journey maybe a bit of washing - come on, it's been 24
A full day’s bus trip to Cuzco, it's time for happy launch pad. Over the next few days you’ll cover days now. We can smell you from here!
snappers to get out their cameras. Dump your spectacular scenery, learn brilliant facts-of-the-
clobber at the hotel and set off for a wander day and bring the Incas to life. You’ll be 100% Day 25: lima
about town - markets, cobbles and churches mesmerised not only by the views but by your A quick flight returns you to the coast and Peru’s
galore. Stop for one of your favourite cups of a team of local porters who’ll race ahead, ready to capital, Lima. Celebrate your final evening with
coca tea to help that acclimatisation at a café greet you later with a cup of coca tea and full-on one last Pisco Sour.
overlooking the main square. Nights can get three course meal as you trudge your weary feet
pretty chilly here so use the bus ride to hatch a into camp. Arrive astounded into Machu Picchu Day 26: depart lima
cosy plan with fellow groupies. from Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’ at sunrise on your Say adios amigos and put the blueprints in place
last day before heading back to Cuzco by train to for your next trip together.
celebrate. (3B, 3L, 3D)

DEPARTURES
peru

Do it your way
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 19 MAY 14 SEP 13 OCT 08 2011
JAN 04 JAN 29 MAY 31 JUN 25 OCT 04 OCT 29 JAN 17 FEB 11
• Lima
JAN 25 FEB 19 JUN 21 JUL 16 NOV 15 DEC 10 FEB 07 MAR 04 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
FEB 15 MAR 12 JUL 12 AUG 06 DEC 06 DEC 31 FEB 28 MAR 25
• Cuzco
MAR 15 APR 09 AUG 02 AUG 27 DEC 27 JAN 21 MAR 21 APR 15
• Puno bolivia
go in reverse
MAR 29 APR 23 AUG 23 SEP 19 La Paz •
Potosí •
LIMA - BUENOS AIRES
Accommodation: Hotels (18 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt), night bus (1 nt), Uyuni • fr $3,899 Tour Code: GASXMB
very basic hostels (multi-share) (2 nts). Transport: Public bus, local flight, train, Salt Lakes • paraguay
boat, hiking, 4WD truck. Group Size: Max 16 , Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader San Pedro de Atacama •
throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides. Meals: All meals while hiking
the Inca Trail, during homestay & while crossing the Atacama desert Budget: Allow chile
• Salta Start or finish in LA PAZ
USD370 for meals not included Tour Code: GASXBM BUENOS AIRES - La paz
argentina
12 days fr $1,889 Tour Code: GASXBL
stay longer in lima
Check out pages 52-53. • Buenos Aires La Paz - buenos aires
12 days fr $1,889 Tour Code: GASXLB
stay longer in buenos aires
Check out pages 90-91.
20

southern
divide
22 DAYS, $3,309 fr

lima - santiago

Peru, Bolivia, Chile. Three different countries,


three different cultures. Join us on this trip of a
lifetime in a flurry of famous fun as we hop skip
and jump our way from one place to another.
Absorb the inspirational Inca culture, twist your
tongue around the terrific town names, munch
on crazily creative cuisine and snap your way Day 1: arrive Lima DayS 6-7: cuzco
to happy photo heaven. Add all this to some of Arrive, relax, explore. Sample ceviche - a citrus Choo choo back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy, and
South America’s most impressive geography and marinated seafood dish and essential Pisco then back to Cuzco by van. Go grab some typical
it’s a trip that’ll tick as many boxes as you’ve got Sours, made from locally produced grape brandy Peruvian grub – roast guinea pig (go on, give it
of smelly socks. You’re on to a definite winner and egg whites. Tastes good! A great start for a try) and potato - around 3,000 varieties are
with this trip, all in the excellent company of getting to know your Southern Divide soulmates. grown just in and around the Andes alone. Yep,
your fellow groupies and grinning guides. You’ll you read it here first. Why not check out another
pander to the Peruvians, become beloved by the DayS 2-3: Cuzco Inca site or two – you only live once after all.
Bolivians and chat chirpily with Chileans. We’ve Head to the airport for an early morning Cuzco Try nearby spiritual sites such as Sacsayhuaman
got it all, so come on thrill seekers, get out there flight. Arrive and explore the city - markets, (pronounced Sexy Woman) and Tambo Machay.
and play! cobbled streets and churches galore. Acclimatise
with a coca tea at one of the cafés overlooking DayS 8-9: PUNo
Highlights the main square. Get out of town and on to Cameras at the ready for a full day’s travel (and
• Live it up in Lima other forms of transport for hair-raising horse probably a snooze) to Puno, making your way
• Sip Pisco Sours til dawn riding, mountain biking, rafting and other through the Altiplano region. Join your touring
• Jaunt along the Inca Trail optional activities. buddies on a boat trip across Lake Titicaca – the
• Marvel at Machu Picchu world’s highest and most navigable water mass.
• Get colonial in Cuzco Day 4: ollantaytambo Visit Taquile island to meet the local people,
• Sail stunning Lake Titicaca Forget your fear of furry friends on your way then head on to the incredible floating islands
• Meet like-minded fun-junkies through the Sacred Valley – you’ll meet llamas, of Uros. Boat back to town for another night of
• Befriend a baby alpaca alpacas and vicuñas a plenty. Discover other Punonian fun.
• Boggle at Bolivian salt flats hidden gems as you weave along the river,
• Lap up La Paz’s atmosphere at altitude arriving into the pretty picturesque town of DayS 10-11: La paz
• Go walking in the valley of the moon Ollantaytambo. You’ll stop at interesting Inca Road trip! Climb up to the world’s highest
• Roam the sweet city of Santiago sites, whetting your appetite for 'The Trail'. capital of La Paz, snaking around the shores of
Marvel at just how clever these people were as Lake Titicaca and on through some pretty high
your guide talks you through the steep terrace mountains. Arrive into the city and check out the
system and the impressive fortress before vast array of shops and markets. A great chance
heading out for dinner. Fascinating and a hide to pick up those last minute souvenirs at some
and seek fan’s dream. great prices. The hustle and bustle of the city is
pretty special. And you won't forget the altitude
Day 5: machu picchu / aguas calientes in a hurry either.
Take the early morning train up to Aguas
Calientes, the colourful town at the foot of DayS 12-13: sucre
Machu Picchu’s legendary site. Walk around at Fly into Sucre, Bolivia’s official seat of Parliament
leisure with your guide, checking out all the and home to colonial style Spanish history. This
nooks and crannies. Climb up the mighty Huayna UNESCO World Heritage Site has been popular
Picchu before heading back into town, pretty for years with some of its earliest inhabitants
darn chuffed at having visited one of the new – check out the 60 million year old dinosaur
seven worldly wonders. Check out the thermal tracks. Go get lost in them and feel teeny tiny!
baths if time permits.

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21

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
Day 14: Potosí DayS 16-17: Salar de Uyuni Excursion
Explosive Potosí is home to silver mines. Roll up Cosy into your 4WD and travel through unique
your sleeves and head down underground on an lakes, geysers, mud pools and thermal baths.
optional mine visit where you’ll see modern-day Gaffa tape proves particularly useful for taping
techniques that have barely changed in over a up your gob-smacked expressions (all that
century. Intruiging to the max. oohing, ahhing and smiling can get quite tiring).
When covered with water the Salar de Uyuni
Day 15: uyuni reflects the sky, creating truly spectacular photo
Venture down towards Uyuni - in the very opportunities. Sense of perspective is strangely
south of Bolivia's expansive landscape. Arrive distorted and you can pick up some equally
into this small town that clings to the edge wonderful salt-themed souvenirs. An experience
of immense salt flats (the world’s biggest and like no other. (2B, 2L, 2D)
once a giant prehistoric lake) and serves as a DayS 20-21: Santiago
well-located spring board to jump off into some DayS 18-19: San Pedro de Atacama Fly from Calama to Santiago – Chile’s capital
phenomenal scenery. Visit the abandonded trains Descend almost 3000 metres to the Chilean and one of Latin America’s most modern,
from yesteryear at the Train Cemetery before border and the tiny town of San Pedro de metropolitan areas - spectacularly surrounded
picking up props from the market and gaining Atacama. Visit the Atacama Desert, one of the by snowcapped Andes. Head out of town to a
photographic inspiration at one of the town’s driest places on earth. Its interesting terrain winery, take a look around the museums or go
traveller-friendly bars. is rugged and brilliant which comes as a stark for dinner in the trendy area of Bellavista.
contrast to the salt flats. Enjoy a tour of the
remote Valley of the Moon - astronaut suits and Day 22: depart Santiago
Buzz Aldrin impressions compulsory! Say goodbye to your mates, then make like a
donkey. Time to hit the road.

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH peru
2010 MAY 08 MAY 29 SEP 25 OCT 16 2011
JAN 16 FEB 06 JUN 12 JUL 03 OCT 16 NOV 06 JAN 08 JAN 29
• Lima
FEB 06 FEB 27 JUL 03 JUL 24 NOV 06 NOV 27 JAN 29 FEB 19 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
FEB 20 MAR 13 JUL 24 AUG 14 NOV 27 DEC 18 FEB 19 MAR 12
• Cuzco
• Puno bolivia
MAR 20 APR 10 AUG 14 SEP 04 DEC 18 JAN 08 MAR 12 APR 02
APR 17 MAY 08 SEP 04 SEP 25 La Paz • • Sucre
Potosí •
Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (21 nts) (may be multi-share) Uyuni •
Transport: Local flights, train, boat, bus, 4WD vehicles, hiking Group Size: Max Salt Lakes •
15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals Included: San Pedro de Atacama •
All meals on the Salar de Uyuni excursion Budget: Allow USD400 for meals not Calama •
included Tour Code: GASMS chile

STAY LONGER IN LIMA


Check out pages 52-53. • Santiago

STAY LONGER IN SANTIAGO


Check out page 97.
22

southern
american
overland
47 DAYS, $5,079 fr

RIo de janeiro - lima

With beat-bopping Brazil, bargainous Bolivia Days 2-6: Paraty / Curitiba Day 15: Corumbá
and perfect Peru we’ve coupled together some Cruise down the coastal road to Paraty – a A bit of well-earned rest and relaxation in the
of the absolute to-die-for sights that this colonial gem nestled in the foothills of lush agricultural region of Mato Grosso do Sul. Time
cracking continent has to offer. We’ve also green mountains with a distinct tropical feel. As to write your bestie a postcard and bid Brazil a
enlisted some of the best talent around to a designated UNESCO World Heritage site it’s fond farewell. (B)
share your epic moments - silly poses a plenty great to just wander around but you can also
and a whole lot of good clean fun. Kick off with boat out into the bay for a peruse of Paraty’s Days 16-17: Chochís
a great night out in Rio that’ll be the spring glorious beaches and islands - yeah, it’s a hard Camp overnight near to the small time town of
board for hilarious and outrageous adventure life sometimes. On to Curitiba, a University San José de Chiquitos. On the way up to Santa
tales. It's gonna' be thrills every step of the way town with a coffee addiction and real sense of Cruz this is a popular travel stop better known
as you take in some of the most spectacular vibrancy. It’s also a thoroughfare for Gauchos for its Jesuit Mission and its status as gateway
scenery you’ll probably ever feast your eyes (cowboys) and their cattle. Yee-hah! (5B, 3L, 3D) to the National Parks. (2B, L, 2D)
on. Prepare for canyons deeper than the Grand
Canyon, Lake Titicaca - the world’s highest Days 7-9: Iguassu Falls Days 18-19: Santa Cruz
navigable water mass, Machu Picchu - one Soak up the spray of some of the world’s most Buen día Bolivia! New country, new culture. Head
of the seven Wonders of the World, the Inca spectacular waterfalls hopping between the out and explore the second country's biggest
Trail - hike of a lifetime, Salar de Uyuni salt Brazilian and Argentinean borders. Watch each city, taking in the chance to down some budget-
flats, not to mention the awesome Andes and others' jaws drop as you absorb the sheer power friendly Bolivian beers. (2B)
the attention grabbing wildlife. All this will be of Mother Nature – vast torrents of water
explored and enjoyed in an all-singing, all- bolting into the canyon below. Hop on a boat Days 20-22: Sucre
dancing, all-purpose overland truck. Expect a ride under the spray if you dare! (3B, 3L, 3D) Get out your history hats and wander round this
real hands-on adventure! important political post. Meet fellow travellers
Days 10-11: Bonito from years gone by in the shape of some death-
As pretty as its name suggests, this town is defying (or not as the case may be) dinosaur
firmly on the map of an outdoor activist’s route tracks. Interesante. (3B)
Highlights to heaven. Cosy up in camp for a couple of
• Ramble round Rio de Janeiro nights and head out into the wilderness. Snorkel Day 23: Potosí
• Party in Paraty tropical style and raft down river, swim in beautiful crystal- Arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage site of
• Ignite your imagination at Iguassu clear lagoons, spot spectacularly colourful fish Potosí, the highest city of its size in the world
• Witness wacky wildlife on the Wetlands and spy out some amazing macaws (parrots to and a silver mining centre during colonial times.
• Bop your way around Bolivia you and me). (2B, 2L, 2D) Daredevils descend! Drop down into the working
• Go camera crazy on the Salar de Uyuni mines for an eye-opening optional extravaganza,
• Hunt out the Witches’ Market in La Paz Days 12-14: Pantanal showing off methods barely changed in years. (B)
• Stay with a Peruvian family Wildlife wackos unite! Little-known outside of
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake South America, this epic wetland region is one Days 24-27: Uyuni / Salt flats
• Cruise the Colca Canyon of the continent’s best places for spotting life The moment you’ve been waiting for. Spectacular
• Hike the epic Inca Trail that’s as wicked as it is wild. Special guests scenery and more sensational sights - you’re jaw
• Get colonial in Cuzco may include: cabybaras (giant guinea pigs), will be sick of dropping! Head out in a 4WD over
• Go potty for Pisco Sours Howler monkeys, caimans, Giant River otters, the outrageously impressive Salar de Uyini salt
• Live it up in Lima anacondas, anteaters and Great Jabiru storks. flats, moon-like terrain of the Atacama Desert
Ingenious impressionists will have a field day. (astronaut suits optional; funny impersonations
Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro (3B, 2L, 2D) compulsory), and fantastic coloured lagoons.
Roll into Rio and rock out raving on your first Perfect for posers and keen photographers. (4B,
night of freedom, fun and frolics. Bond with your 3L, 2D)
new buddies and samba your way around the city
in a splurge of superb sightseeing.

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23

SOUTH AMERICA
EXPLORE
Do it your way
go in reverse
LIMA - RIO DE JANEIRO
fr $5,079 Tour Code: GASLMR

OTHER OPTIONS
QUITO - RIO DE JANEIRO or vice versa
60 days fr $6,489 Tour Code: GASLQR & GASLRQ

quito - La paz or vice versa


32 days fr $3,539 Tour Code: GASLQL & GASLLQ

LIMA - La paz or vice versa


19 days fr $2,249 Tour Code: GASLML & GASLLM

Days 28-29: La Paz Days 33-39: Cuzco / Inca Trail Day 43: Puerto Inca
Get out and about in this busy, bustling city. Crawl into captivating colonial-come-Inca- This beautiful sea shore location is home to
Hopscotch over cobblestone streets and take it inspired Cuzco. Top up your coca tea levels great sunsets, a small but rare coastal Inca
slow - the altitude hogs the limelight and really and explore the markets, or get out and about archeological site and some fab fauna. (B, L, D)
shows itself off. There's plenty of marvellous mountain biking, horse-riding or river rafting.
markets to keep your eyes transfixed. Buy those Meander down the Sacred Valley before Days 44-45: Nazca / Huacachina
all-important alpaca accessories and boggle at embarking on the once-in-a-lifetime, tell the A weird and wonderful collection of unexplained
the Bolivian’s bizarre bits and bobs. Beware of grandkids, phenomenal Inca Trail. You’ll be well lines etched into the ground causes the Nazca
the witches’ market – or you might come back looked after with your own guides and powered Lines to remain one of the world’s greatest
with more than you bargained for. Dried llama porters zooming up to camp to pitch your archaeological mysteries. There are a number of
foetus anyone?! Nice. (2B) tents - legends, just like the Incas themselves. theories as to why they exist - but who knows,
Cross over Dead Woman’s Pass on Day two of maybe some giant child from aeons ago just
Days 30-32: Lluquina / Puno the trail at a whopping 4000m above sea level decided to get creative one day. It’s an afternoon
Welcome to Peru! Let the perky Punonians show and arrive exhilarated at the Sun Gate to watch of fun starting off in a teeny tiny (optional)
you a thing or two. Prepare for creative crafts sunrise over Machu Picchu on Day four. An plane, and then on to Huacachina for some
from riverbed reeds, men that know how to experience like no other, head back to Cuzco for super-fun sandboarding. Huzzah! (B, 2L, 2D)
knit, and an interesting system of dating with celebrations and sleep. (3B, 4L, 3D)
a difference - men and women wear different Day 46: Lima
colours according to their marital status - crafty Day 40: Colca Canyon Leap around Lima, catch the colonial centre’s
or just plain cruel?! Step on board a boat for Heads up. Andean Condors with wingspans that changing of the guard and cracking cathedral
spectacular views over Lake Titicaca, the highest reach 10ft prey over this vast canyon. Beautiful catacombs, then scoff some grub in Miraflores.
navigable lake in the world. Stay overnight with and arid; it’s deeper than its USA rival. Try Ceviche - a lime marinated seafood dish and
your very own adopted parents - just don’t get emotional over a last Pisco Sour or three.
tell your Mum, she’ll think you're never coming Days 41-42: Arequipa
home…but then she might be on to something - Spot El Misti volcano creeping over the skyline Day 47: Depart Lima
they’re pretty chilled out people here. (B, 3L, 2D) and kick back with a cerveza as the stars come Wow, what a cracker. Get planning which
out for the night. (B, L) continent you want to conquer next!

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 FEB 26 APR 15 SEP 04 OCT 22 2011
JAN 23 MAR 12 JUL 03 AUG 20 NOV 07 DEC 25 JAN 09 FEB 26
peru
Accommodation: Simple hotels (30 nts), camping (20 nts), basic multi-share or • Lima
hammocks (5 nts), amazon jungle lodge (2 nts), homestay (2 nts) Transport: Overland Machu Picchu •
truck, train, boat, hiking Group Size: Max 20, Avg 16 Group Leader: Tour leader and Pisco •
driver throughout, local guide Meals: All meals as indicated throughout itinerary • Nazca • Cuzco
brazil
Budget: Allow USD700 for meals not included Tour Code: GASLRM Puerto Inca • Puno • • Amantani / Taquile Islands
Colca Canyon • bolivia
Arequipa • La Paz •
stay longer in rio • Santa Cruz
• Sucre Corumba •
Check out pages 84-85. Potosí • • Pantanal

Uyuni • • Bonito
STAY LONGER IN LIMA Salt Lakes •
Check out pages 52-53. Paraty • • Rio de Janeiro
Iguassu Falls • Curitiba •
24

peru, bolivia,
Ecuador & Colombia

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25

top 6

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Amazing
Experiences

1 Trek the inca trail


Many of our featured adventure trips
2 sunrise over machu Picchu
The fabled finishing point of the Inca
3 live the high life in la paz
Spectacularly situated in a large valley
include the four day Inca Trail, but we've also Trail - 'The Lost City' of the Incas. All the Inca and surrounded by snow capped peaks at an
dedicated a section to it - pages 36-39. The Trail treks that we feature will take you to these altitude of 3,660 metres, La Paz is the world's
starting point for those wishing to experience beautiful ruins just as the sun is rising. If you highest capital city. Wander the lively streets,
the trek is the historic city of Cuzco, deep in the don't fancy the walk - you can always catch a mingle with the ever friendly people and explore
Andean highlands - see page 54. train - see page 38. the markets. See page 60.

4 cruise the galapagos islands


Situated off the coast of Ecuador, this
5 drive across amazing salt lakes
The Salar de Uyuni is the biggest salt lake
6 laze on cartagena's beaches
Cartagena drips with Caribbean charm -
isolated island group was the inspiration for in the world. The piercing blue skies and brilliant everything is drenched in sunshine and everyone
Darwin's theory of evolution and is famous for white salt combine to create one of world's most is chilled-out. With an omnipresent soothing sea
spectacular wildlife. The Islands feature in some impressive visual spectacles Most of our Bolivia breeze, the colonial architecture is sublimely set
of our adventure trips, but we've also dedicated trips will take you there - allowing you to camp against the paradisiacal blue waters. Our trip on
a section to them - see pages 62-65. out amongst this stunning landscape. page 71 takes you there!

6 Average High TempERATURE (ºC)


City J F M A M J J A S O N D
4 Lima 26 26 26 24 22 20 19 18 19 20 22 24
Cuzco 17 17 18 18 19 18 18 18 19 20 19 18
Arequipa 20 20 20 21 21 20 20 20 21 21 21 21
1 2
Puerto Maldonado 30 30 31 30 30 30 30 33 33 32 32 30
3
La Paz 12 13 13 13 13 12 12 13 13 14 15 14
5 Sucre 19 18 19 19 19 18 18 19 20 20 21 20
Quito 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 20 19 19 18
Galapagos Islands 27 28 30 30 27 25 24 24 23 24 25 25
Guayaquil 31 30 31 31 30 29 28 28 30 29 30 31
Bogota 18 18 19 18 18 17 17 17 18 18 18 18
26

inca
heartland
& amazon
21 DAYS, $3,189 fr

Lima - LA paz

You'll won't stop smiling from start to finish


on this fantastical 21 day forage through
some of South America’s most scintillating star Days 3-4: Nazca Days 10-13: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
attractions. Uncover the mystifying and magical Arise early on Day three and head out for an Its time to make (personal) history as you head
city of Machu Picchu, explore the Inca city of optional jaunt to the Ballestas Islands for a peek up to Km 82 and start the hike of dreams. You’ll
Cuzco, float away on the utopian floating islands at some of the wacky wildlife. Then step it up to cover around 42kms, and three high passes.
of Uros and drift into the never-ending sunset Nazca, host to bizarre but fascinating geoglyphs The big cheese is known as Dead Woman’s Pass,
on Lake Titicaca - you aren't dreaming, this is drawn into the desert. Fertility symbols, giant standing at a height of 4200m (oh yes, over 4km
reality! Who’d have thought you’d ever set foot astronomical calendars and spaceship landing up into the sky). There’s a lot of fun to be had
on Bolivia’s salt flats? Well we did; yep, we knew. areas are just a few of the varied explanations on the way, and you’ll be merrily singing ‘she’ll
That’s why we came up with this amazing trip for for their existence. Hop on the optional flight to be coming round the mountain’ in no time at all.
you. Spread your wings like an Andean condor, see what you think, then settle in for the night On the final day head up in the dark to the ‘Sun
inhale the fabulous foreign fumes and wake-up on a bus to Arequipa late on Day four. Gate’ to catch the sunrise over the Machu Picchu
in dreamland, switched on and tuned in to new site: enchanting and epic. Wander around with
cultures of whizzy wonderment. Days 5-7: Arequipa / Chivay / your guide before heading back to Cuzco for the
Colca Canyon night to rest, shower and celebrate. (3B, 3L, 3D)
Arrive into Arequipa - known as ‘the White City’
for all its light coloured volcanic rock. Marvel at El Days 14-15: Amazon Jungle
highlights Misti volcano then set off for the Colca Canyon. Amazin’ adventure time. Fly up to Puerto
• Live it up in Lima Fingers crossed you’ll spy some amazing Andean Maldonado in the Amazon Basin and head out
• Get hooked on Pisco Sours Condors floating through the deep ravines. with your guide to explore. Travel to the lodge
• Fly over mysterious Nazca lines in the Tambopata Rainforest and witness a
• Glimpse soaring Andean condors Day 8: Cuzco feathered friend or two in this area famed for
• Explore the Colca Canyon Fly into Cuzco, one of Peru’s most attractive the most bird sightings ever. Not bad eh? Strip
• Hike the Inca Trail cities. Ask about river rafting, mountain biking nature down to its most naked form. (2B, 2L,
• Check out colonial Cuzco and horse-riding, or stick to the city and check 2D)
• Amble the Amazon Jungle out museums, churches and Inca sites. Head up
• Sail Lake Titicaca the hill to Sacasayhuaman (pronounced Sexy Day 16: Cuzco
• Lose yourself in La Paz’s mad markets Woman) or mill around the markets. Canoe out of the jungle and fly back to Cuzco.

Day1: Arrive Lima Day 9: Ollantaytambo Day 17: Puno


Arrive, relax and explore. Repeat if desired. Bounce through the Sacred Valley towards Cameras and soul-searching novels at the ready
Ollantaytambo – a major Inca ruin site that’ll for a full day’s travel through the epic Altiplano.
Day 2: Pisco sufficiently whet your appetite for the Inca Trail.
You'll be a pisco fan in no time at the home of Its impressive terraces are ideal for getting lost Days 18-19: Lake Titicaca
the Pisco Sour cocktail – one of Peru's claims to in, either physically or deep in thought as you try From Puno you’ll boat out on to the vast
fame and best-known exports. Mmm, zingy! to fathom how they got there in the first place… expanse of water that is Lake Titicaca – stopping
first at Taquile Island for lunch in a local
restaurant before heading over to Amantani
for a spectacular sunset (fingers crossed) and
DEPARTURES
2010
homestay with your Peruvian panpipe-playing
JAN - MAY MOST TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS
JUN - DEC TUE, FRI
parents (don't worry some of them play the
peru
drums instead). Catch some rays on the boat the
2011 • Lima Amazon Jungle •
JAN MOST FRIDAYS following morning before arriving at the floating
FEB - MAR FRI Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
Pisco • • Cuzco Uros Islands, where the locals will make you look
Nazca • • Puno and feel quite at home. (B, L, D)
Accommodation: Hotels (13 nts), bus (1 nt), jungle lodge (2 nts), camping (3 nts), bolivia
homestay (1 nt) Transport: Public bus, local flight, canoe, train, boat, hiking Group Colca Canyon •
Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except in the jungle and Arequipa • La Paz •
on the Inca Trail), local guides Meals: All meals while in the jungle, during homestay
and on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow USD300 for meals not included Day 20: La Paz
Tour Code: GAPJML
Cross into Bolivia and climb to La Paz. These
cut out the jungle days La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (The
Relax in Cuzco on days 14-15 City of Our Lady of Peace) is more hustle and
21 days fr $2,399 Tour Code: GAPXML bustle than the quiet town it once was. Try the
Witches’ markets for unanticiapted bargains.
GO IN REVERSE
La Paz - Lima fr $3,189 Tour Code: GABJLM
Day 21: Depart La Paz
That’s all folks. For this time around anyway…

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27

highlands

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
& amazon
adventure
15 DAYS, $2,579 fr

Lima - LA paz

Stimulate every happy hormone in your body


and lose yourself in awe struck wonder as you
experience some of Latin America’s most thrilling Day 1: Arrive Lima Days 6-9: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
highlights. Amazonian expeditions, ancient Inca Arrive into Peru’s capital. Get out and about on Travel this morning to Km 82 and begin a once
treks and a cruise through a mystical world of the colourful, colonial streets. in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the
floating islands – all pored in a big bubbling Incas. Local porters and guides ensure that
pot and spiced with a dash of tongue tingling Days 2-3: Amazon Jungle the trip is worry-free. Fascinating ruins and
South American sex appeal. No longer will your Fly from the high Andes to Puerto Maldonado, spectacular mountain scenery fill every day of
bar-room anecdotes revolve around what you deep in the Amazon lowlands. Travel by the hike as you move from high plateau areas to
watched on telly the night before – or how motorized canoe to a lodge in the Tambopata dense cloud forest. On the final day, climb the
many chipolata sausages you can eat in under Rainforest, which holds the world record for steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, to watch the
a minute while standing on your head. Beguile the most bird sightings in one area. Explore sunrise over Machu Picchu. (4B, 3L, 3D)
your close friends, family and prospective lovers the jungle with the expert local guides and
with stories that’ll have them denouncing you as learn about the area’s rich flora and fauna. Day 10: Cuzco
a downright liar – encounters with jungle tribes Keep your eyes peeled for Harpy eagles, tapirs, A free day to relax, shop and explore the sights
and amazing wildlife, epiphinal sunrises and jaguars, ocelots and other weird and wonderful and sounds of Cuzco.
sunsets over ethereal landscapes and a constant indigenous animals. (2B, 2L, 2D)
barrage of the world’s finest scenery. Over 15 Days 11-12: Puno / Lake Titicaca
days you’ll journey from Peru into Bolivia, the Day 4: Cuzco Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on a
home of Paddington Bear to the home of the Steeped in history, tradition and legend, Cuzco full day of travel from Cuzco to Puno. The next
highest capital city in the world, La Paz. Make is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited morning float by boat across Lake Titicaca for
the clever decision to jump on this trip, and you’ll city and the hub of the South American travel a visit to the floating reed islands. You’ll stop
truly never be the same again. network. The city attracts travellers who come at various islands to enjoy the lake’s scenic
not just to visit a unique destination but also to splendour and meet the friendly local people.
highlights experience an age-old culture. Inca-built stone
• Experience the Sacred Valley walls line most of the streets and you don’t have Day 13: Puno / La Paz
• Explore the Amazon Jungle to go far to see other major Inca ruins. Journey along the shores of Lake Titicaca and
• Trek the Inca Trail through mountains on the scenic trip to the
• Witness a sunrise over Machu Picchu Day 5: Ollantaytambo highest capital city in the world - La Paz, Bolivia.
• Cruise across Lake Titicaca Travel with your local guide through the Sacred
• Inhale the dizzying air of La Paz Valley of the Incas - a lush agricultural region Day 14: Tiahuanaco / La Paz
• Check out the ancient sights of Cuzco that continues to supply Cuzco with much of its Spend most of the day visiting the mysterious
• Visit the ruins of Tiahuanaco produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the ruins of the Tiahuanaco people - a cradle of Inca
colourful artisan market. The day trip finishes in civilization. Return to La Paz in the evening.
the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of
another large Inca ruin. Catch your breath and Day 15: Depart La Paz
prepare for the hike ahead. Your adventure finishes - leave at any time.

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
peru
2010 APR 17 MAY 01 AUG 21 SEP 04 DEC 25 JAN 08
JAN 02 JAN 16 MAY 08 MAY 22 SEP 11 SEP 25 2011
JAN 23 FEB 06 MAY 29 JUN 12 OCT 02 OCT 16 JAN 15 JAN 29
FEB 13 FEB 27 JUN 19 JUL 03 OCT 23 NOV 16 FEB 05 FEB 19 • Lima Amazon Jungle •
MAR 06 MAR 20 JUL 10 JUL 24 NOV 13 NOV 27 FEB 26 MAR 12
MAR 27 APR 04 JUL 31 AUG 14 DEC 04 DEC 18 MAR 19 APR 02 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
• Cuzco
Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts) Transport:
Public bus, local flight, train, boat, canoe Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 • Puno
bolivia
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides
Meals: All meals while in the jungle and on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow USD200 for La Paz •
meals not included Tour Code: GAPHML

Go in reverse
La Paz - Lima fr $2,579 Tour Code: GABHLM

stay longer in lima


Check out pages 52-53.

stay longer in la paz


Check out page 60.
28

andean
discovery
21 DAYS, $2,189 fr

Lima - La Paz

Active, awe-inspiring and absolutely amazing


pretty much sums up the Andean discovery. You’ll
be hopping on all forms of transport, trekking up
hills and checking out some truly breath-taking
scenery during 21 stupendous days. Get back to Days 9-11: Cuzco / Ollantaytambo Days 17-19: puno / lake titicaca
nature on the once-in-a-lifetime Inca Trail hike, Journey up to Cuzco, one of Peru’s most A jam-packed few days of fun up in the Altiplano
witness some wacky wildlife, hang out with the attractive cities - yep, we take you to all the region of Peru. Boat out from Puno onto the
locals and make some life-long bonds with your best places! Optional wild activities around vast expanse of water that is Lake Titicaca,
new hiking buddies. Maria style ‘the hills are town include river rafting, mountain biking stopping first at Taquile Island for lunch in a
alive’ singing purely optional. This is also your and horse-riding. There are also some great local restaurant. Take in the extensive blue
chance to look ravishing in the season’s must- museums, churches and Inca sites to check out. views before heading over to the island of
have item(s) – Alpaca woolly hats/jumpers/socks/ Head up the hill to Sacasayhuaman - pronounced Amantani where you'll be greeted by your new
knitted finger puppets/gloves/scarves…you get sexy woman, or mill around the markets. Stay and improved panpipe-playing Peruvian parents.
the idea. A truly-do-something-different tour, overnight in Ollantaytambo, a major Inca ruin Witness a spectacular sunset, marvel at the
this has to be way up there (about 4000m in site that’ll sufficiently whet your appetite for starry sky and enjoy a traditional evening of
parts) on the ultimate list of destinations. the Inca Trail. Its impressive steep terraces are dinner and dancing. The next morning catch
ideal for getting lost in, either physically or deep some rays on the boat before arriving at the
highlights in thought as you try to fathom just how it all enthralling floating Uros Islands where the locals
• Live it up in Lima managed to get there in the first place…hmm. will make you look and feel quite at home. Sail
• Stay with a Peruvian family Optional tours through the Sacred Valley are back to Puno for a last night of lip-smacking fun.
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake also available.
• Get colonial in Cuzco Day 20: La paz
• Discover hidden ancient Inca ruins Days 12-16: INCA TRAIL Cross the border to Bolivia and climb up to La
• Catch sunrise over Machu Picchu It's time to make (personal) history as you head Paz – the highest city in the world. These days,
• Watch condors in the Colca Canyon up to Km 82 and begin your once-in-a-lifetime La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (The City
• Grow your love for llamas journey. Over the next few days you’ll cover of Our Lady of Peace) is more hustle and bustle
• Float on magical Uros Islands around 42kms, crossing no less than three than the quiet town it once was. Check out the
• People watch in La Paz high passes. The big cheese is known as Dead Witches’ markets and you might get more than
Woman’s Pass, standing at 4200m - oh yes, you bargained for.
Day 1: Lima over 4km up into the sky. But there’s a lot of
Arrive, relax and explore. fun to be had on the way. With a whole team Day 21: Depart La paz
of dedicated porters plus a cheery guide, you’ll Depart anytime you want. We like it like that.
Days 2-4: Pisco / nazca be merrily singing ‘she’ll be coming round the
Nazca is home to some rather bizarre but mountain’ in no time. On the final day you’d
fascinating lines or geoglyphs drawn into better hope you've still got camera battery as
the desert on vast scales. Some resemble you head up to the ‘Sun Gate’ for sunrise over
animals – ranging amongst other things from Machu Picchu - enchanting and epic! Wander
hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys and fish (time around with your guide before heading back to
to turn on your creative imagination). Fertility Cuzco to rest, shower and celebrate. (3B, 3L, 3D)
symbols, giant astronomical calendars and
spaceship landing areas are just some of the
varied explanations for their existence. Hop on
DEPARTURES
the optional flight to see what you think and START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 12 JUN 01 SEP 15 OCT 05 2011
then unwind with a perfect Pisco Sour in Pisco. JAN 11 JAN 31 MAY 22 JUN 11 SEP 20 OCT 10 JAN 03 JAN 23
Head out to the Ballestas Islands the next day JAN 28
FEB 08
FEB 17
FEB 28
MAY 29
JUN 06
JUN 18
JUN 26
OCT 04
OCT 18
OCT 24
NOV 07
JAN 09
JAN 20
JAN 29
FEB 09
for an optional tour to see some crazy wildlife, FEB 25 MAR 17 JUN 13 JUL 03 OCT 23 NOV 12 JAN 28 FEB 17
peru
MAR 06 MAR 26 JUN 22 JUL 12 NOV 01 NOV 21 FEB 07 FEB 27
then settle in for the night on a bus to Arequipa. MAR 15 APR 04 JUL 06 JUL 26 NOV 14 DEC 04 FEB 19 MAR 11
• Lima
MAR 25 APR 14 JUL 20 AUG 09 NOV 25 DEC 15 FEB 26 MAR 18
APR 05 APR 25 AUG 03 AUG 23 DEC 04 DEC 24 MAR 12 APR 01
Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
APR 12 MAY 02 AUG 10 AUG 30 DEC 12 JAN 01 MAR 19 APR 08
Days 5-8: Arequipa / colca canyon APR 20 MAY 10 AUG 16 SEP 05 DEC 19 JAN 08 MAR 26 APR 15
• Cuzco
APR 27 MAY 17 AUG 28 SEP 17 DEC 26 JAN 15 Nazca • • Puno
Arequipa is also known as ‘the White City’ due to APR 30 MAY 20 SEP 11 OCT 01 bolivia

the light coloured volcanic rock that it’s built on. Accommodation: Simple hotels (15 nts), buses (1 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1
Arequipa •
• La Paz
Marvel at El Misti volcano before setting off to nt) Transport: Public bus, train, local flight, hiking Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: All meals while hiking
the Colca Canyon the next day. Stay overnight in the Inca Trail and homestay Budget: Allow USD300 for meals not included
Tour Code: GAJML
Chivay and see how many llamas you can count
along the way. Look out for awesome Andean GO IN REVERSE
Condors floating through the canyon - amazing! La Paz to Lima fr $2,189 Tour Code: GAJLM

see more of bolivia & chile


'The Atacama Crossing' - check out page 96.

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29

inca empire

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
15 DAYS, $2,009 fr

Lima - LA paz

So who were these Inca dudes anyway? Pretty


clever chaps as it turns out - evidently peppering
their prowess all over Peru, just like a well-
seasoned pizza. In a flurry of epic engineering,
monstrous mathematical genius and dynamic
management skills, they’d blow any modern
graduate applicant right out of the water. Day 4: Ollantaytambo Day 10: Puno
Question: 'List one major personal achievement Forget your fear of furry friends on your way Cameras at the ready for a full day’s travel (and
and describe how you did it.' Inca response: through the Sacred Valley – you’ll meet llamas, probably a few zzz's) to Puno, up through the
'Hmm…formed part of the greatest empire known alpacas and vicuñas a plenty. Discover other Altiplano region.
on the whole continent and from 1438 to 1533 hidden gems too as you weave along the river,
used a variety of methods, from conquest to arriving into the pretty picturesque town of Days 11-12: Lake Titicaca /
peaceful assimilation, to incorporate a large Ollantaytambo. You’ll stop at interesting Inca Taquile Island
portion of western South America.' Not bad eh? sites, whetting your appetite for 'The Trail', and Join your touring buddies on a boat trip across
It kinda says it all. But, whatever: roll up and marvelling at just how darn clever these people Lake Titicaca – the world’s highest navigable
have some fun, gain some inspiration, and rock really were. Your guide will talk you through the water mass. Visit Taquile island to meet and
on home feeling enlivened and invincible. Get to steep terrace system and the impressive fortress eat with the local people while floating on the
know these old-time legends and some modern- before you head out for dinner. Fascinating, and magnificent islands of Uros. Cosy in for the night
day ones too on your own bit of conquered a hide and seek fan’s dream. with your new Peruvian family at a homestay.
South American perfection. Look, feel and live the part. (B, L, D)
Days 5-8: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
highlights At Km 82 ‘we have lift off’. But although the Day 13: La Paz
• Live it up in Lima porters have quasi-supersonic powers for Road trip! Climb to the world’s highest capital,
• Get colonial in corking Cuzco speeding on ahead of you with their superhuman La Paz. Snake around the shores of Lake Titicaca
• Trek the iconic Inca Trail strength, you'll will take it slow, soaking up the and up on through steep mountains. Arrive in
• Explore ancient ruins atmosphere and pausing to check out the Inca La Paz and check out the hustle and bustle of
• Marvel at Machu Picchu's majesty sites along the way. Rolling into camp each the markets - great for last minute souvenirs,
• Sail atop Lake Titicaca night you’ll be greeted by some truly exceptional people-watching and realising how unfit you are:
• Relax on floating Uros Islands grub, considering you’re almost 4km up into the altitude overload!
• Lap up La Paz’s atmosphere at altitude sky! Arrive chins-on-ground at the Sun Gate on
your last day for a (fingers crossed) spectacular Day 14: Tiahuanaco / La Paz
Day 1: Arrive Lima sunrise over magical Machu Picchu as the The mysterious Tiahuanaco people constructed a
Land into Lima and lap up some Limeño lifestyle. morning mist fades. (3B, 3L, 3D) great ceremonial centre on the southern shore of
Lake Titicaca over 1000 years ago. Spend most
Days 2-3: Cuzco Day 9: Cuzco of the day visiting these fantastic ruins and
Fly over the soaring Andes into pretty Cuzco. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central play detective as you try to unravel the ancient
Wander the well-worn cobblestone streets, poke streets so you don't have to go far to check out mysteries for yourselves. Oo-er.
your nose into the churches and marvel at the more ruins. It’s a real mans world - proven by
magnificent museums and markets. Get into the aptly named 'Sexy Woman' – go, scuttle, flee: Day 15: Depart La Paz
Inca spirit with some roast guinea pig, potatoes have a look. Or if she's too hot to handle, head Get on down from up high Say ciao for now, see
and your new favourite beverage - coca tea. out on a biking, horseriding or rafting trip. ya later and ba-bye.

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 08 MAY 22 OCT 02 OCT 16 2011
JAN 02 JAN 16 MAY 29 JUN 12 OCT 23 NOV 06 JAN 15 JAN 29
JAN 23 FEB 06 JUN 19 JUL 03 NOV 13 NOV 27 FEB 05 FEB 19
FEB 13 FEB 27 JUL 10 JUL 24 NOV 27 DEC 11 FEB 26 MAR 12
MAR 06 MAR 20 JUL 31 AUG 14 DEC 04 DEC 18 MAR 19 APR 02
MAR 27 APR 10 AUG 21 SEP 04 DEC 25 JAN 08 peru
APR 17 MAY 01 SEP 11 SEP 25
• Lima
Accommodation: Hotels (10 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt) Transport: Public
bus, local flight, train, boat, ferry, hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides • Cuzco
Meals: All meals while hiking the Inca Trail and during homestay • Puno
Budget: Allow USD220 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPIML bolivia

• La Paz
go In reverse
La Paz - Lima fr $2,009 Tour Code: GABILM

stay longer in lima


Check out pages 52-53.
30

andean
empire
36 DAYS, $3,369 fr

La Paz - Quito

Five fantastic weeks, the potential for an Day 1: arrive La Paz Days 13-17: Arequipa / Colca Canyon
infinite number of epic adventures and not a Arrive into La Paz at any time. Chillax to the max Travel through the desert-like terrain playing "I
moment wasted. Hop, skip and jump your way as you acclimatise and ponder over whether a spy with my little eye, something beginning with
to enlightened South American bliss and unravel welcome beverage combined with altitude will V..icuña" - Larry the llama’s distant cousin. Arrive
the inner Andean spirit that is so intrinsic to hinder rather than help your quest to become into Chivay for a hot soak in the thermal baths
the people that live here. From boggling Bolivian more of a breath-taking Bolivian babe. Take an and a jolly bit of Peruvian music. Acclimatise
landscapes through magnificent Peru on a trail optional trip to Tiahuanaco ruins or the Valley of and take a short hike around one of the deepest
of Inca embellishment you’ll find your way up to the Moon. canyons in the world. Look out for the amazing
quirky Quito and equator-straddling Amazonic soaring condors whose wingspans reach up to
Ecuador. The Andes form the world’s longest Days 2-4: Puno 10ft. Not the best time to wear your dead cattle
exposed mountain range, and the highest Travel through the Altiplano and pull into Puno. or deer costume then…erm, no. Nightbus it to
mountain range outside of Asia, so be prepared Embark on a float-your-boat type trip to Uros, Nazca on Day 17.
for getting high and mighty as you top heights Amantani and Taquile islands. Immerse yourself
of up to 4000m on the Inca Trail alone. Views in Peruvian rural life with a small local village Days 18-19: Nazca / Pisco
are quite literally breath-taking with the added homestay. Great potential for fun times a plenty Nazca is home to some rather bizarre but
altitude that’ll set even the fittest (granted, and hopefully an awesome sunset or two. fascinating lines or geoglyphs drawn in to
you’re all beautiful, but we mean physically fit) Deliberately forget your torch for added hilarity. the desert on vast scales. Some resemble
huffing and puffing. Nothing a good cup of coca animals – ranging amongst other things from
tea won’t sort out though. Phew. Get tropical Days 5-12: Cuzco / Ollantaytambo / hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys and fish - time
in the jungle and be prepared for some serious Inca Trail to turn on that creative brain! Fertility symbols,
jaw-dropping, camera lens-smashing, rip- Head up, over and out on 'Operation Andean giant astronomical calendars and spaceship
roaring landscape as you scuttle up, over and Alpaca' through dramatic landscapes and into landing areas are just some of the varied
around the dizzy heights. Let’s face it, if you’re Cuzco - the capital of the Inca Empire. Check explanations for their existence. Hop on the
not living on the edge you’re taking up waaay out the markets, poke your nose into the optional flight to see what you think and then
too much room. Hop to it hombre! museums and grab dinner a la roast guinea pig unwind with a perfectly Peruvian Pisco Sour
(yes really) before you reach the tongue twister in Pisco. Head out to the Ballestas Islands the
town of Ollantaytambo and leap off into the next day for an optional tour to see some crazy
Highlights sunset on your first day of the Inca Trail. Chortle wildlife, then settle in for the night on a bus as
• People-watch in La Paz with your fellow campers on a trek to rival all you make your way up the coast to Lima.
• Take to the water on Lake Titicaca others – hiking magnificent mountains, crossing
• Stay with a Peruvian family Dead Woman’s Pass on Day two, skipping (well, Days 20-22: Lima
• Float on majestic Uros Islands perhaps not quite) along the trail and taking Lap up Lima’s Limeño (the name given to locals
• Hike the unforgettable Inca Trail in Inca ruins as you go. Make sure you charge from Lima) lifestyle, chic café culture and nutty
• Marvel at magnificent Machu Picchu your camera batteries for the last day and an nightlife. Check out the changing of the guards
• Explore the depths of the Colca Canyon epic (fingers crossed) sunrise to end all sunrises and the cathedral's corking catacombs. Dine like
• Fly over the Nazca lines over the enchanting and mystical Machu Picchu. royalty in a metropolis otherwise known as the
• Go potty for Pisco Sours Watch the morning mists subside - you've 'City of Kings' - try ceviche - a yummy citrus
• Eat seafood and ceviche in Lima made it! Head back to Cuzco for some deserved marinated seafood dish. Paraglide over the coast
• Catch some rays on Peru’s Pacific coast revellry and head out river rafting, canoeing, and get mushy under the huge snogging statue
• Cruise colonial Cuenca horse-riding or other adrenaline-packed in the Parque del Amor (Love Park) – not for the
• Amble around the Amazon activities. Think you can handle it? (3B, 3L, 3D) faint hearted…no pun intended!
• Kick back in quirky Quito

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31

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Days 23-26: Huanchaco / Mancora Days 31-33: Amazon Jungle Homestay Days 34-35: Quito
Hit the city of Trujillo as you head north from In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the [insert new Wander this exciting capital city - explore the
Lima along the coast. The city is known for the favourite South American animal here] sleeps countryside in and around this urban jungle. In
nearby Chan-Chan ruins and the beach resort toniiiight. Yep, you’ll have this song in your head 1978 UNESCO declared Quito a World Heritage
town of Huanchaco – your hat resting spot for for more than a few days, or alternatively Baloo site, giving it a gorgeous colonial vibe, rich in
the evening. Enjoy a deserved day of chilled out Bear’s ‘I’m the king of the jungle’ well-known history and aesthetically easy on the eye. Honk
sun worshipping with your inflatable baby alpaca tune. Motor up the edge of the Amazon in a with the horns and breathe in the sights from
(just kidding) in Mancora before heading north canoe to a local homestay and get out and up on El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf' - a
across the border. about witnessing amazing wildlife - armadillos, prime viewing spot for surrounding mountains
honey bears, sloths, 60 varieties of bats, tapirs, and volcano peaks if you’re geographically so
Days 27-28: Cuenca peccaries, jaguars, monkeys, manatees and oh inclined. End the trip of all trips with a brilliant
Enter Ecuador! And cruise into Cuenca - a laid- so much more. There’s basically a whole darn night out crammed to exploding point with fun
back colonial and cultural gem brimming with Noah’s Ark out there for you to go crazy over. in the salsotecas, dance clubs and bars that
gripping galleries and mesmerising museums. Amazing! Not forgetting the 1000+ species of spill out onto the streets. Lick your lips over the
Jaunt to the Cajas National Park and the ruins of birds and 500 species of tree native to this vast local dishes and toast the past five weeks with a
Ingapirca on optional day trips outta town. area. Monkey around to your heart's content but celebratory cocktail or two. Wahooo!
remember - kidnapping is strictly prohibited, no
Days 29-30: Baños matter how cute they all are! (3B, 3L, 3D) Day 36: Depart Quito
Happy hikers heaven! And a great place for It’s been emotional. Armed with hilarious stories
other hair-raising activities like mountain biking, a plenty and many a random souvenir, leave town
horseriding and rafting thanks to its good smiling, insightlful and inspired - you’ve just
climate. Enjoy a heavenly dip in the hot springs had the indisputable pleasure of visiting a truly
and relax in anticipation of your imminent beautiful part of the world. Hooray.
jungle-tastic adventure over the next few days.

DEPARTURES

Do it your way
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH Quito • • Amazon
2010 MAY 12 JUN 16 OCT 04 NOV 08 2011 • Baños
JAN 11 FEB 15 JUN 06 JUL 11 OCT 18 NOV 22 JAN 09 FEB 13
JAN 28 MAR 04 JUN 13 JUL 18 NOV 01 DEC 06 JAN 20 FEB 24 • Cuenca
FEB 08 MAR 15 JUN 22 JUL 27 NOV 14 DEC 19 JAN 28 MAR 04
FEB 25 APR 01 JUL 20 AUG 24 NOV 25 DEC 30 FEB 07 MAR 14
• Tumbes
go in reverse
MAR 15 APR 19 AUG 03 SEP 07 DEC 12 JAN 16 FEB 26 APR 02
APR 05 MAY 10 AUG 10 SEP 14 DEC 26 JAN 30 MAR 12 APR 16
QUITO - LA PAZ
peru
APR 20 MAY 25 AUG 28 OCT 02 MAR 26 APR 30 • Mancora fr $3,369 Tour Code: GAJQL

Accommodation: Simple hotels (25 nts), buses (3 nts), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge
(3 nts), homestay (1 nt) Note: Accommodation can be quite basic/multi-share at start or finish in lima
times Transport: Public bus, train, local flight, hiking Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: All meals while at the
lima - quito
jungle lodge, hiking the Inca Trail and homestay Budget: Allow USD650 for meals • Trujillo 16 days fr $3,369 Tour Code: GAJMQ
not included Tour Code: GAJLQ

stay longer in LA PAZ QUITO - LIMA


Check out page 60. bolivia 16 days fr $1,539 Tour Code: GAJQM
• Lima

stay longer in quito Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo


• Pisco • Cuzco
Check out page 68. Nazca • • Puno
Calca Canyon •
Arequipa • La Paz •
32

altiplano
& amazon
31 DAYS, $4,329 fr

lima - La Paz

As diverse as an oversized kilt-wearing chiwawa


strolling across the Great Ocean Road during Day 1: Arrive Lima Days 6-7: Colca Canyon / Arequipa
rush hour while listening to punk music on his Arrive at any time - meet your new mates and Enroute to Colca Canyon, you’ll stop at the
ipod – this fantastic 31 day adventure mixes up get out and about on the manic streets of Lima. picturesque village of Chivay, where you can
geographical, ecological and cultural diversity take a dip in the hot thermal baths, watch live
in a huge multi-coloured cement mixer. Kicking Day 2: Pisco Andean music at a peña or go for a llama steak.
off amongst the elegant architecture of Lima Take the morning to explore more of Lima before Upon arrival at Colca Canyon, acclimatise to
and finishing up on the high altitude streets hopping on a bus for a short trip down the the altitude by taking a short hike through the
of La Paz - you’ll experience the mesmerising coast to Pisco. Walk the town’s lively peatonal stunning landscapes. Take a tour; check out
mysticism of the Nazca Lines, the energy (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample fascinating villages and stop at “miradors”
sapping, stress busting wonderment of the some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la (scenic lookouts), where you can spot Andean
Inca Trail, the surreal ambience and peaceful huancaina (potatoes with a chilli cheese sauce). condors soaring over the majestic mountains.
communities of Lake Titicaca and the absurdly You’ll return to Arequipa Day seven.
beautiful and eerily isolated salt flats of Salar Days 3-4: Nazca
Uyuni. Be warned – those who expect to return Arise early if you fancy an optional boat trip to Day 8: Cuzco
home ready to throw away their rucksack, work the wildlife abundant Ballestas Islands. Later on Fly to Cuzco, the hub of the South American
9-to-5, give birth to two kids, start reading you’ll catch a bus, stopping at the huge sand travel network and a city steeped in history,
the Australian and begin planning their annual dunes around the colonial town of Ica on your tradition and legend.
holidays to Noosa – think again! This adventure way to one of the world’s greatest archaeological
will inspire an insatiable desire to further mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The amazing Day 9: Ollantaytambo
explore, discover and experience this wonderful depictions of birds, insects and animals are only Travel with the local guide through the Sacred
world of ours. truly recognisable from the air - an optional Valley and visit ancient Incan sites, including the
light aircraft trip is easily arranged. On Day five picturesque town and ruins of Ollantaytambo.
highlights you’ll take a tour of the ancient pre-Inca desert
• Sip on a Pisco Sour cemetery of Chachiia - with 1500 year old Days 10-13: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
• Explore Nazca and a pre-Incan cemetery mummies and bones! That evening you’ll jump on Travel this morning to Km 82 and begin a once
• Check out the condors of Colca Canyon the night bus to Arequipa. in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the
• Explore the Sacred Valley Incas. Local porters and guides ensure that
• Trek the Inca Trail and ramble over ruins Day 5: Arequipa the trip is worry-free. Fascinating ruins and
• Witness a sunrise over Machu Picchu 2325m above sea level, Peru’s second-largest spectacular mountain scenery fill every day of
• Explore the Amazon Jungle city is surrounded by the Andes mountains and the hike as you move from high plateau areas to
• Cruise across Lake Titicaca lies in the shadow of El Misti Volcano. Sit back dense cloud forest. On the final day, climb the
• Inhale the dizzying air of La Paz in one of the many cafes and enjoy the laid back steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, to watch the
• Stand awe-struck on the Salar de Uyuni atmosphere and colonial charms. sunrise over Machu Picchu. Return by train to
• Learn about Potosi’s mining traditions Ollantaytambo or Poroy, before transferring by
• Absorb the intoxicating history of Sucre van to Cuzco on Day 13. (3B, 3L, 3D)

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33

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Days 14-15: Amazon Jungle Days 20-21: La Paz day 26: Potosí
Fly from the high Andes to Puerto Maldonado, Journey along the shores of Lake Titicaca to The highest city of its size in the world, Potsoi
deep in the Amazon lowlands. Travel by La Paz, Bolivia. Relax and take some free time was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in
motorised canoe to a lodge in the Tambopata to explore the highest capital city in the world. 1987 in recognition of its tragic history as a
Rainforest area, which holds the world record Highlights include museums and local markets. silver mining centre during the time of Spanish
for the most bird sightings. Explore the jungle Check out the Tiahuanaco ruins, the Valley of colonization. Take an option to descend into a
with the expert local guides and learn about the Moon or Chacaltaya, the highest ski resort working mine for a close-up look at methods
the area’s rich flora and fauna. Keep your eyes in the world. unchanged in decades, if not centuries.
peeled for Harpy eagles, tapirs, jaguars, ocelots
and other weird and wonderful indigenous Day 22: Uyuni Days 27-29: Sucre
animals. (2B, 2L, 2D) Take a bus/train trip to Uyuni. Check out the Bolivia’s official captial, Sucre, oozes historical
town’s major attraction - The Train Cemetery. fascination. Spend your time exploring the
Day 16: Cuzco fine museums and colonial buildings. Optional
Return to Puerto Maldonado and fly to Cuzco. Day 23-25: Uyuni / Salt Lakes Excursion activities include a visit to dinosaur footprints,
Take advantage of outdoor activities such as The next three days are spent exploring the an old tin baron’s mansion, a textile cooperative,
rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking. stunning, isolated landscapes between the mountain biking and hiking.
Salar de Uyuni and Chile’s Atacama Desert by
Day 17: Puno 4WD. Piercing blue skies contrast with blinding Day 30: La Paz
Enjoy spectacular views as you travel from Cuzco white salt as you drive across the flats. Absorb Transfer to the airport for the flight to La Paz.
to Puno through the high Altiplano region. stunning views of the salt-encrusted lakebed Soak up the bustling street life one last time.
surrounded by golden-hued mountains, snow-
Days 18-19: Lake Titicaca capped peaks and an endless azure horizon. The Day 31: Depart La Paz
Take a boat trip to the Taquile, Amantani and numerous geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal Your adventure finishes up in La Paz. Say
Uros Islands, followed by an overnight stay in baths and Licancabúr volcano, which looms just farewell to all your travelling buddies.
a small village with a local family. Interact and behind the lagoon, stunningly showcases the
learn about some amazing cultures. (B, L, D) region’s volcanic activity. (2B, 3L, 2D)

DEPARTURES

Do it your way
2010
JAN - DEC TUE, FRI
2011
JAN - MAR FRI
peru
Accommodation: Hotels (may be multi-share) (22 nts), night buses (2 nts), homestay • Lima • Amazon go in reverse
(1 nt), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts) Transport: Local flights, 4WD vehicles,
hiking, public bus, train, boat Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo LA PAZ - LIMA fr $4,329
Tour Code: GASJLM
day 1-30, local rep in La Paz (except in the jungle), local guides Meals: All meals Pisco • • Cuzco
while on the Uyuni Salt Flats excursion, on the Inca Trail, in jungle, and during • Nazca
Puno • bolivia
homestay Budget: Allow USD360 for meals not included Tour Code: GASJML
Colca Canyon • cut out the jungle
• La Paz
STAY LONGER IN LIMA Arequipa • Relax in cuzco on days 14-15
Check out pages 52-53. fr $3,509 Tour Code: GASXML
• Sucre
STAY LONGER IN LA PAZ Potosí •
Check out page 60. Uyuni •
Salt Lakes •
34

Iquitos / Amazon •

Tarapoto •

peru

• Lima • Puerto Maldonado / Amazon

Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo


Pisco • • Cuzco
• Nazca
Puno • Currency: Nuevo sole
Colca Canyon • Population: 28 MILLION
Arequipa • Price of a beer: $1.60

peru
My favourite The Weather
The best time to visit is between
Useful Info
Spanish is the first language of

experience
"Nothing stopped me in my tracks more than the incredible beauty and
April and September when the
sunshine hours last longer and the
rain stays away. Temperatures drop
83.9% of Peruvians age 5 and
older. Several other indigenous
languages coexist, the most
tranquillity of the floating Uros Islands. I couldn’t believe it. The stillest, overnight during these months important which is Quechua,
most awe-inspiring island populated by locals who go about their daily however, particularly up around spoken by 13.2% of the population
lives surprisingly complete with internet and solar panels - yet without the Cuzco. You'll also be more than
horrible stress of city life. A floating oasis of perfect serenity in the middle aware of the altitude effects once Useless Info
of the biggest lake you’ve ever seen. Amazing!" Sophie you pass 3000m or 10000ft so The origin of the name Titicaca is
leave a day or so to acclimatise. unknown. It has been translated as
"Rock Puma", allegedly because of
Local Grub its resemblance to the shape of a
Weird and wonderful bites are puma hunting a rabbit, combining
everywhere. Be sure to try a couple words from the local languages
of the 4000 potato varieties that Quechua and Aymara. It is also
are grown here alone and tuck translated as "Crag of Lead."
into tasty roast Cuy - or Guinea
Pig as it's more commonly known. try before you fly
Savour delicious Ceviche - a citrus 'Eight feet in the Andes: Travels
marinated seafood dish - great with a Mule in Unknown Peru' by
for dipping tortilla chips into. And Dervla Murphy follows herself, her
don't forget about luscious llama 9yr old daughter and a mule who
steaks, cusqueña beer, Inca kola (it clamber the length of Peru. Their
tastes like bubblegum), unavoidable appreciation for scenery, people
coca tea and refreshing Pisco Sour and the sheer enjoyment of the
cocktails - made for great times. journey will inspire you.
35

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
absolute
peru
21 DAYS, $2,889 fr

start and finish: lima

A little like the vodka without the Swedish Day 5: arequipa Days 13-16: inca trail
parentage, Absolute Peru is just the ticket if Peru’s second largest colonial city. Surrounded Km 82 marks your once in a lifetime journey
you’re heading for absolute perfection when by Andean mountains and El Misti Volcano launch pad. Over the next few days you’ll cover
visiting this great country. Seize the chance completing a backdrop close to perfection. some spectacular scenery, learn some great
to trek the Inca Trail for one of those truly Beautiful at sunset. Culture vultures will enjoy facts-of-the-day and bring the Incas to life.
"unmissable", "must-do", "tell-the-grandkids" the brightly coloured Santa Catalina Monastery. You’ll be 100% mesmerised not only by the views
style of adventures. Meet some great like- but by your team of local porters, who’ll race on
minded, highly attractive (those walking boots Days 6-7: colca canyon one step ahead, ready to greet you later with a
are a winner), fellow camping buds on the Travel through the desert-like terrain playing "I cup of coca tea and full-on meal as you trudge
various exciting activities we have in store for spy with my little eye, something beginning with your weary feet into camp - legends. Arrive
you. Get involved in the local lifestyle at a family V..icuña" (a relative of the llama). Arrive into astounded into Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate
homestay, pet an alpaca, paraglide over Lima and Chivay for a hot soak in the thermal baths and at dawn on your last day before heading back to
sing your Baloo-bear heart out up in the jungle. a bit of jolly Peruvian music. Look out for the Cuzco to celebrate. (3B, 3L, 3D)
Overall an awesome trip, taking in the brightest amazing soaring Condors in one of the deepest
and best bits that Peru has to offer. In fact, canyons in the world. Day 17: cuzco
you’d be raving bonkers to miss out. So what are Rest, repose and relax. Oh yes.
you waiting for? Days 8-10: puno / lake titicaca
Hop on a bus to Puno, gateway to Lake Titicaca, Days 18-20: amazon jungle
• Trek the Inca Trail the highest navigable lake in the world. Visit Fly up up and away to Puerto Maldonado, deep
• Boggle over epic Andean views Uros, Amantani and Taquile Islands before into the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle. A
• Spot condors deep in the Colca Canyon settling in for the night with your new Peruvian motorised canoe will whisk you along the river
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake family. Watch the starlit sky. (B, L, D) to the Tambopata Rainforest. It holds the world
• Watch wildlife on the Ballestas Islands record for the most bird sightings in one area.
• Stay with your very own Peruvian family Days: 11-12: cuzco Jolly around in the jungle with local guides then
• Get jungle fever in the amazin’ Amazon Chug up to Cuzco through the pretty Peruvian fly back to Lima. (2B, 2L, 2D)
• Float away on Uros Islands landscape. Visit the impressive churches, wander
• Try local Peruvian cuisine round the pretty cobbled streets and hit the Day 21: depart lima
• Soak away stress in hot thermal baths authentic market – just don’t go crazy now! Recover from your last night and say hooroo.

Day 1: Arrive lima


Arrive, relax, explore and explore some more.
DEPARTURES
2010
Day 2: pisco JAN - APR
MAY - SEP
WED, SAT
MON, WED, SAT
Roam round Lima before catching a bus to Pisco, OCT - DEC WED, SAT
2011
home of ingenious invention the Pisco Sour. JAN - MAR WED, SAT peru

Accommodation: Hotels (4 nts), camping (3 nts) Transport: Local flight, train, van, • Lima • Amazon
hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on
Days 3-4: nazca the Inca Trail), local guides Meals: All meals while on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
USD100 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPHPT
Wildlife wackos will love boating out to the Pisco • • Cuzco
• Nazca
Ballestas Islands for a chance to check out CUT OUT THE HIKE Puno •
Colca Canyon •
sea lions, penguins and bird-life galore. Then 'Highlights of Peru'
21 days fr $2,889 Tour Code: GAPHP Arequipa •
get your fun-hat on for an optional bit of
sandboarding on the Huacachina sand dunes.
stay longer in lima
Zoom up into the sky on a plane over the Check out pages 52-53.
mysterious Nazca lines (optional). You’ll also visit
a fascinating Pre-Inca cemetery in the Nazca STAY LONGER iN cuzco
desert with 1500 year-old mummies, bones and Check out page 54.
pottery. Spooky!
36

trek peru
Peru is one of the best places in the world to
seek out some serious trekking experiences. We
lares trek
Get off the well worn trail and get trekking in
What you need to book..
• Full name (exactly as on your passport)
feature the awesome Inca Trail and three other some very remote areas. This three day option • Date of birth
outstanding ways to get out about in the Andes. takes you through the Sacred Valley with views • Passport number
of the snow-capped Cordillera - finishing with a • Nationality
inca trail spectacular train ride and tour of Machu Picchu. • Date of passport expiry
Like a long line of crumbs that lead hungry eyes • A smile and set of pearly whites
to the cookie jar, the Inca Trail is an epic once- choquequirao • A love of the great outdoors, hurrah!
in-a-lifetime adventure that culminates in the Follow the Apurimac Canyon and hike through
enchanting Lost City of the Incas: Machu Picchu. seldom-visited wilderness in the shadow of book early!
It’s a destination featuring on most "do before I awe-inspiring mountains. This challenging yet As a way to preserve the ancient trail
die" lists and it’s not difficult to see why. In its extremely rewarding five day pilgrimage takes and site of Machu Picchu, the Peruvian
42kms, it manages to combine jaw-dropping you to the Inca fortress of Choquequirao. government has strict regulations governing
mountain scenery, lush cloud forest, subtropical the flow of travellers, so its best to book
jungle, a stunning mix of Inca ruins, and some don't fancy the hike? take a train! early - we recommend at least three months
beautiful flora and fauna. You won’t rush to Sail through the stunning Sacred Valley on a in advance. Reservations cannot be held on
the finish line either. We let you take your time, comfortable train ride on your way to Aguas the trail and all permits must be bought as
inhale the awesome views and tread each step Calientes, gateway to Machu Picchu. far as possible in advance with complete and
with a reinforced appreciation of nature, the correct passport info. Modifications cannot
world and life. See page 38 for more details on these trips. be made.

Chancachaca
3,400m

Wacawasi
3,800m

Sondor
a
anch

4,220m

Aguas Wacawasi Pass


c

Wayruruyoc
Pata

Calientes • Pass
Rio

4,520m
mba Hatunwayqo
ruba
Bus to Rio U
Ruins Inti Punku Pumamarca
Sun Gate Chilca 3,450m
Marcacocha
Machu 2,700m KM82 3,400m
Picchu 2,600m
2,400m
yo
ma

Chachabamba Llactapata Ollantaytambo


a
Pac

2,850m
Winay Wayna
Rio

2,700m Rio
Uru
Inca Steps bam
ca

ba
a
tch
Cus

Phuyupatamarca
3,600m
Rio

Inca Tunnel
3,700m Pacamayo Llullchapampa
Runkurakay 3,600m
Sayacmarca 3,800m
3,600m Wayllabamba
Warmiwanusca 3,000m a
amb
 Choquequirao Dead Woman’s Pass Urub
4,200m Rio

Inca Trail: Chilca - Machu Piccu


Lares Trek: Chancachaca - Ollantaytambo
Camp Site • Cuzco
3,535m
Inca Ruins
Railway Line
Railway Station
Rivers

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37

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Inca
discovery
8 DAYS, $1,169 fr

lima - Cuzco

The Inca Trail is much more than a 42kms stroll Day 2: Cuzco Days 4-7: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
through the Andes. Get yourself ready for an Fly from Lima to Cuzco over the Andes and take Launch yourself off onto this once in a lifetime
astonishing four day trek through ancient ruins in the spectacular views. Acclimatise with a journey. Cover some spectacular scenery, learn
and mind blowing scenery. Prepare for many coca tea overlooking the beautiful colonial main brilliant facts-of-the-day and bring the Incas to
a spine tingling moment as you walk towards square. Head to the markets - pick up that sexy life. You’ll be 100% mesmerised not only by the
the revered Machu Picchu. Inspiration and life Peruvian jumper you've always wanted and as views but by your team of local porters who’ll
affirmation is around every corner and over many alpaca woolly hats as you have friends race on one step ahead, ready to greet you later
each hill. Cameras and journals are all well back home. Poke your noses into the museums with a cup of coca tea and full-on three course
and good, but these are the kind of indelible and churches and try some proper Peruvian meal as you trudge your weary feet into camp -
memories that will never leave you. You'll spend grub - guinea pig and one of the 4000 varieties legends. Arrive chin-on-the-ground into Machu
a day enjoying a guided tour of the Sacred of potato that are grown in and around the Picchu from the Sun Gate on your last day before
Valley, before you head to Ollantaytambo to Peruvian Andes. And if time permits, head out heading back to Cuzco by train. (3B, 3L 3D)
start your hike. All your food on the Inca Trail of town on a biking, horse-riding or river rafting
is taken care of and local porters will help make trip. Action packed. Day 8: Depart Cuzco
the trek hassle free. On the final day, climb Say your fond farewells and hit the road, Jack.
the steps to Intipinku to watch the sunrise Day 3: Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo
over Machu Picchu and enjoy a guided tour, Get out with the team and explore the Sacred
before you head back to Cuzco inspired and Valley with a local guide. Uncover hidden
invigorated. mysteries at ancient Inca sites - whetting
your appetite suitably for the day ahead,
highlights journey along the Urubamba river amid the lush
• Live it up in Lima agricultural backdrop, potter around the Pisac
• Fly over the Andes market and wind up in pretty Ollantaytambo.
• Get colonial in Cuzco Spend the evening relaxing ahead of tomorrow's
• Trek the Inca Trail epic adventure.
• Discover ancient ruins
• Marvel at majestic Machu Picchu
• Try local Peruvian cuisine
• Get active: raft, hike, bike
DEPARTURES
Day 1: Arrive lima Departs Daily
Arrive into Lima at anytime. Explore the colonial Accommodation: Hotels (4 nts), camping (3 nts) Transport: Local flight, train, van,
centre and enjoy optional activities - why not hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on
the Inca Trail), local guides Meals: All meals while on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow
paraglide to infinity and beyond? USD100 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPID

peru
• Lima
Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
• Cuzco

START AND FINISH IN LIMA


'Inca Discovery Plus'
9 days fr $1,539 Tour Code: GAPIM

stay longer in lima


Check out pages 52-53.

STAY LONGER iN cuzco


Check out page 54.
38

INDEPENDENT INCA INDEPENDENT


DISCOVERY LARES TREK
7 DAYS, $1,179 fr 7 DAYS, $1,179 fr

start and finish: cuzco start and finish: cuzco

Delve into the heart of Peru's Inca world: colonial Cuzco and the Inca Trail Avoid the crowds and head off the beaten track! An excellent alternative
to Machu Picchu. Explore the museums, markets, restaurants and ruins of to the Inca Trail if it's all booked up or if you just fancy escaping the norm.
fascinating Cuzco before strapping on those sexy hiking boots to tackle the The challenging Lares trek still has all the well-worn features of the Inca
famous trail. A rite of passage for many visitors to Peru, the Inca Trail is Trail - incredible Andean vistas, clean mountain air, indigenous culture and
a challenging four day trek from the Sacred Valley floor, up through cloud ancient ruins; but follows a different route and lacks all the snap-happy
forest and jungle. Traverse high mountain passes and finish at the magical people. Sandwich it between the fascinating, colonial city of Cuzco and
'lost' city of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the site before heading magical Machu Picchu and you'll probably morph into an actual Inca. Pretty
back to Cuzco by train. A once in a lifetime adventure! GATSPIDN legendary really. GATSPILN

CHOQUEQUIRAO MACHU PICCHU


TREK BY TRAIN
9 DAYS, $1,179 fr 4 DAYS, $639 fr

lima - cuzco start and finish: cuzco

Do something different and avoid the crowds out on this active adventure Since it's probably the most famous of all pre-Columbian ruins, magnificent
that includes a five day trek to the lost Inca fortress of Choquequirao. Machu Picchu is pretty much on every traveller's lifetime must-see list.
Arrive into Lima for a bit of limeño-loving lifestyle (a limeño is a resident of So get up there and check it out. Start your adventure in colonial Cuzco,
Lima), munch on some top notch seafood (ceviche) and sip an all essential once the epicentre of the Inca Empire and spend a day exploring the super
Pisco Sour. Fly up to Cuzco to explore this stunning colonial capital, poking Spanish, itchingly-interesting wild aspects of the area. The next day hop
your nose into museums, churches and Inca sites, then roam free through on board a train and choo choo through the spectacular Urubamba Valley
the Sacred Valley making new furry friends along the way. Set out on foot to Machu Picchu, perched on a mountain ridge 600m above the river below.
following the Apurimac Canyon and hike through seldom-visited remote Hang out with a local guide for a detailed site exploration and some free
wilderness in the shadow of awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains. GAPIC time before heading back to Cuzco. GATSPMTN

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39

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
the Inca Trail the Inca journey
7 DAYS, $889 fr 9 DAYS, $2,009 fr

start and finish: Cuzco START AND FINISH: LIMA

• Charm the Cuzqueñan locals in colonial Cuzco • Get colonial in Cuzco and discover ancient ruins
• Unravel ancient mysteries in and around the Inca sites • See spectacular flora, fauna and wildlife
• Befriend alpacas, llamas and vicuñas • Trek the Inca Trail and absorb the amazing views
• Trek the Inca Trail and marvel at Machu Picchu • Marvel at majestic Machu Picchu over sunrise
• Drink coca tea overlooking city vistas • Soak in hot springs in Aguas Calientes

Day 1: Arrive cuzco Day 1: Arrive Lima


Arrive into colonial Cuzco, a travellers' hub of activity and the contintent's Arrive into Lima at any time. Mill around Miraflores - a chic neighbourhood
oldest continously inhabited city - steeped in history, tradition and legend. where ocean views, Pisco Sours, seafood and coffee abound.
Shuffle over the cobblestones lapping up the atmosphere and altitude.
Day 2: Cuzco
Day 2: sacred valley / ollantaytambo Arrive on an early morning flight. Head into town and admire the colonial
Head out and along the Sacred Valley, exploring Inca ruins on the way architecture. Poke your head into the museums, churches and markets.
and taking in the stunning scenery. Meet a llama or two, then check out
the markets in Pisac before arriving into pretty Ollantaytambo ahead of Day 3: Aguas calientes
tomorrows adventure. Very exciting! Hop on board a local train and wind your way through impressive scenery
to Aguas Calientes. Soak in the atmosphere and slide into the hot springs.
Days 3-6: inca trail to machu picchu
At Km 82 you'll begin your epic once-in-a-lifetime journey. Through ups Day 4: machu picchu / cuzco
and downs of all sorts (4km at the highest) you'll witness great flora and Catch the early morning light that bathes the Machu Picchu site and hang
fauna, chortle with your comrades and exhaust all your best jokes. Tape out with your guide as you wander round exploring. Head back to Cuzco.
your gob-smacked mouth shut (unless you like to munch on flies) as you
marvel at the views and look sexy and sweaty in your good looking walking Day 5: cuzco
shoes. Optional singing of a Maria style 'the hills are alive' is welcomed Spend another fab day in Cuzco - get out rafting, biking or horse riding.
but you'll be stunned into silence on your last day as you catch sunrise
creeping over Machu Picchu. Words are simply not enough... Forget the Days 6-7: Amazon jungle
camera, just stand and absorb. (3B, 3L, 3D) Get into the amazin' Amazon and witness some wacky wildlife. Stay the
night in a jungle lodge and get up to some monkey business. (2B 2L, 2D).
Day 7: depart Cuzco
Check out other corking Cuzco options - horse riding, mountain biking and Days 8-9: Lima
river rafting. Buy another alpaca jumper and then say hasta la vista, baby. Enjoy a few days in Lima visiting the corking catacombs and colonial centre.

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
Departs Daily 2010
JAN - DEC THU
Accommodation: Hotels (3 nts), camping (3 nts) Transport: 2011
Train, van, hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: JAN - MAR THU
Local representative in Cuzco, local guide on the Inca Trail peru
Meals: All meals while on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts)
USD100 for meals not included Tour Code: GASPIT Transport: Local flights, train, motorized canoe
Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Local guide in
Cuzco and at Machu Picchu, local rep in Lima, local guide at
• Lima Amazon Jungle •
• Cuzco jungle lodge Meals: All meals while in the jungle
Budget: Allow USD100 for meals not inc. Tour Code: GAPIJ
Machu Picchu •
• Cuzco
add on the inca trail
'Amazon to Andes'
cut out the hiking 12 days, fr $2,479 Tour Code: GAPAA
'Taste of Peru'
10 days fr $2,249 Tour Code: GAPET
40

amazon to
the andes
12 DAYS, $2,479 fr

start and finish: lima

Like every good soccer match, this 12 day trip


is a game of two halves. Taking in both head
and tail of this stunning country, you’ll liken it
to a well shaken cocktail with a subtle twist of
lime, which coincidentally enough is the literal Day 3: Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo Day 8: Cuzco
(though far from figurative) translation of your I spy with my little eye something beginning with Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back
start and finish destination - Lima. Funny and A…lpaca. Yeah. Get to know these furry little and celebrate the fact you’ve made it to one
clever, just like your guides. So roll your socks fellas as you storm the Sacred Valley whetting of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Take
up for some superb trekking adventures that’ll your insatiable Inca appetite at ruins along inspiration from your activities and push your
rival any other. Ascend the Andes on the Inca the way. You’ll probably also meet a guinea pig adrenaline to the max with an optional biking
Trail, marvel at the mathematical genius of the or two – but don’t fall in love too much – your bonanza or horse riding trip. Or you might just
Incas and turn up the heat in the Amazonian new best friend might end up being on your want to sleep off the hangover.
Jungle - where you’ll spend the last few nights plate for dinner. Potatoes are also popular for
of your exotic expedition cosying in with some those less adventurous. Onwards onto pretty Days 9-10: Amazon Jungle
2.5 million insect species. Inhale the atmosphere Ollantaytambo to crash for the night. Amazin’ adventure time. Fly to Puerto Maldonado
and breathe out your newly acquired love for all in the Amazon Basin and out into the jungle with
things green and furry. You’ll come home feeling Days 4-7: Inca Trail your guide. Hop onto a motorised canoe that’ll
refreshed and inspired. This trip will blow your At Km 82 ‘we have lift off’. But although the transfer you up to the Tambopata Rainforest
mind and memories in more ways than you can porters have quasi-supersonic powers for Area lodge. And as an area famed for the most
possibly imagine. speeding on ahead with their superhuman bird sightings ever, impress your friends back
strength, you'll take it slow, soaking up the home with just how many wild beauties you can
• Enjoy the colonial pleasures of Cuzco atmosphere and pausing to check out Inca sites get to know in only a day or two. (2B, 2L, 2D)
• Explore the Sacred Valley along the way. Dine luxuriously at camp before
• Discover ancient ruins on the Inca Trail arriving chin-on-ground at the Sun Gate on your Days 11-12: Lima
• Trek along mystical tracks last day for sunrise over mystical Machu Picchu Hop on a flight to Lima for a final night out with
• Watch sunrise over Machu Picchu as the morning mist fades. (3B, 3L, 3D) your comrades. Bop, boogie and say bye-bye.
• Take a canoe ride up the Amazon
• Live the wild wonder of the Rainforest
• Lap up the Limeño lifestyle
DEPARTURES
Departs Daily
Day 1: Arrive Lima Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (6 nts), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts)
Land into Lima. Lap up some Limeño lifestyle and Transport: Public bus, local flight, train, boat, canoe, hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg
12 Group Leader: Local guide in Cuzco and at Machu Piccu, local representative in
set foot in chic Miraflores or Barrancas for a Lima, local guide in the jungle Meals: All meals while in the jungle and on the Inca
Trail Budget: Allow USD120 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPAA
peru
tasty meal and priceless pitcher of Pisco.
• Lima Amazon •

Day 2: Cuzco Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo


Take an early morning flight up up and away • Cuzco
over the soaring Andes and into the picturesque
HIKE THE LARES INSTEAD OF THE INCA
city of Cuzco. Check into your heavenly hotel
On days 4-7 choose to trek the Lares Trail.
and meet your guide. Wander the well-worn 12 Days fr $2,479 Tour Code: GAPAL
cobblestone streets, poking your nose into the
churches and marvelling at the magnificent STAY LONGER IN LIMA
museums and markets. Acclimatise to the Check out pages 52-53.
altitude with your new favourite drink - coca tea.
Also available in a hard candy version.

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41

peru

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
panorama
15 DAYS, $2,839 fr

start and finish: Lima

No Ray Martin in sight but true to form this


all-encompassing investigative adventure proves
interactive, interesting and inspirational. Get
under Peru’s cultural skin as you wind your way
from one end of the country to another. Full of
contrasts - you’ll find out what makes a puro
Peruvian tick, practice a Spanish palabra (word)
or two, learn to love like a limeño and pickup (or
put down) a panpipe. The epic sounds and sights Day 6: ollantaytambo Day 11: cuzco
of the Inca Trail, the Amazon and Lake Titicaca Grow your love for llamas and make a furry Wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised before
will truly leave you breathless - or is that just friend or two on your way through the Sacred heading off on some of the optional trips Cuzco
the altitude?! As imagined, this Peruvian picnic Valley. Discover other hidden gems as you has available. Ride raucous rapids down the
also does what it says on the tin so its time to weave along the river, arriving into the pretty Urubamba River, bog off on a bike or saddle up
figure out what all those whizzy bits on your picturesque town of Ollantaytambo. You’ll stop on horseback. 'Sexy Woman' is also only a hillside
camera are actually for and get committing your at interesting Inca sites, whetting your appetite stroll away - but you might just want to simply
magical moments to memory. for 'The Trail', and marveling at just how darn sit back, relax and swear you’ll never combine
clever these people really were. Your guide will alcohol with altitude again. Ouch.
highlights talk you through the steep terrace system and
• Go potty for Pisco Sours the impressive fortress before you head out for Days 12-14: amazon jungle
• Lap up the Limeño lifestyle dinner. Fascinating stuff and a hide and seek Fly up up and away to Puerto Maldonado, deep
• Sail the world’s highest navigable lake fan’s dream. into the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle. A
• Float on Uros Islands motorised canoe will greet you, whisking you
• Stay with Peruvian padres Days 7-10: Inca Trail / Machu Picchu along the river to arrive jungle-style at the
• Inhale Inca influences on the Inca Trail Time to make (personal) history as you head up Tambopata Rainforest Area. It holds the world
• Marvel in masterful Machu Picchu to Km 82 and begin your trek. Over the next few record for the most bird sightings. Get tropical
• Enter the amazin’ Amazon days you’ll cover around 42kms, with no less with the abundant flora and fauna, wriggle and
than three high passes to cross. The mother of giggle with the creepy crawlies, and hug just one
Day 1: lima all steep bits is known as Dead Woman’s Pass, of the 75,000 types of tree that a typical 1km²
Arrive at any time. Explore the city and lap up standing at a height of 4200m (oh yes, an contains. Have fun in the jungle with the local
the local limeño lifestyle. Treat yourself to an impressive 4km up into the sky). But there’s a lot guides before flying back to Lima for a last night
opening night’s Pisco Sour and make friendships of fun to be had on the way, and with a whole of freedom. (2B, 2L, 2D)
of a lifetime with your fellow travelling posse. team of dedicated stuff-carting porters plus a
cheery guide, you’ll be merrily singing "she’ll be Day 15: depart lima
Days 2-4: puno / lake titicaca coming round the mountain" in no time. When Wave bye-bye to your new best buds and journey
Take an early morning flight to Juliaca and you've finished gasping and sighing around the off into the sweet sunset. Shed a tear for your
then wiggle your way into Puno, nestled on the dream-like site of Machu Picchu you can choo loss of those panpipe players, we know you’ll
shores of Lake Titicaca. As the highest navigable choo back to Cuzco to celebrate your triumphs miss them sorely.
lake in the world this vast water mass is a and rest your weary legs. (3B, 3L, 3D)
prime location for some truly perfect pictures.
Beautiful blue as far as the eye can see with
impressive glacial spears poking though the
clouds in the distance. Visit Taquile and the
DEPARTURES
floating Islands of Uros before the temperatures 2010
JAN - APR MON, FRI
drop and you cosy in for the night with your new MAY - OCT MON, WED, FRI, SUN
Peruvian padres. (B, L, D) NOV - DEC MON, FRI
2011
JAN MON, FRI
FEB MON
peru
Day 5: cuzco MAR MON,FRI

Hit the road a running and head up snap-happy • Lima Amazon •


Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), homestay (1
nt) Transport: Public bus, local flight, train, boat, canoe, hiking Group Size: Max 16,
to Cuzco, one of Peru’s most attractive cities. A Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides
Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
Meals: All meals while in the jungle, on the Inca Trail and during the homestay
marriage made in heaven (well, almost) between Budget: Allow USD200 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPPP • Cuzco
the Incas and Spanish colonists makes this Puno •
city architecturally interesting and very pretty. ADD ON THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
'Inca & Darwin Experience'
Shuffle over the cobblestone streets to the 24 days fr $5,659 Tour Code: GAPP10A
markets, step inside the churches and eat your
way to potato paradise (there are over 3000 spend more time in the jungle
varieties in Peru alone), making this your base Add on an extra 3 days in the Amazon
for the next few days. 18 days fr $3,659 Tour Code: GAPPB
42

peru on a
shoestring
15 DAYS, $1,539 fr

lima - cuzco

Panpipes, potatoes and pisco are not the only Days 4-6: arequipa Days 9-12: inca-trail to machu picchu
all-essential items on a budget friendly potter Arrive with the sunshine into Arequipa, a Climb ev'ry mountain, Ford ev'ry stream, Follow
around Peru. Add into the mix a jaunt up to beautifully white city that's surrounded by the ev'ry rainbow,'Till you find your dream... and at the
Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail and you'll Andes and set in the shadow of El Misti Volcano. risk of putting you off cheese sandwiches for life,
take home memories that won't ever escape Spread your wings like the Colca Canyon's dreams really will come alive on this epic once-
you. A perfect way to meet some playful pals, resident Andean condors and get out on a trip in-a-lifetime trek along one of the most revered
this little trip is palpable proof that you can that explores its dark deceptive depths; hop on trails in the world. With your duracell sponsored
'do Peru' in two weeks without zooming past a mountain bike for a wild ride to oblivion or raft bunnies/porters taking care of all the hard work,
it so quick that you miss out on all the magic down raucous rapids. your attentions can be focused on enjoying the
moments that come part and parcel along the ride, absorbing the atmosphere and inhaling the
way. Inhale the Andean air, acclimatise to the Day 7: cuzco insanity of the superb views with your fellow
altitude and set off on an unforgettable journey A city that'll impress you to the max with its companions. Pogo-stick over high passes, skip
that the Inca's themselves would be proud of. pretty combination of colonial and Inca-inspired along streams and arrive astounded at sunrise on
architecture that'll leave footprints on your soul. your last day to greet the ancient Inca world at
Check out the markets, artisan-style shops and the gateway to Machu Picchu. (3B, 3L, 3D)
highlights tuck into some local grub - try roast Guinea
• Live it up in Lima Pig or go crazy for one of Peru's 3000 potato Days 13-14: cuzco
• Check out the mysterious Nazca lines varieties. A chance to chill-out and party hard on into the
• Gaze at the condors of Colca Canyon aftermath of the Inca Trail. Book on to a biking
• Get Colonial in Cuzco Day 8: ollantaytambo bonanza, head out onto the Urubamba River for
• Trek the amazing Inca Trail Trace your fingers and toes along the Sacred some rapid rafting or hop off horse-riding for
• Camp out on mystical mountain passes Valley to the quaint tongue-twister town of more excellent adventures.
• Explore ancient ruins Ollantaytambo. On the way you'll befriend an
• Marvel at sunrise over Machu Picchu alpaca or two, explore some fascinating Inca Day 15: depart cuzco
empire ruins and wind up contented and relaxed It's time to say so long, farewell as you head off
Day 1: Arrive lima ready for your imminent Inca adventure. into the sunset. It's been emotional.
Roll up, check in, get out and explore. Wander
down town to catch the colonial-style changing
of the guard and check out the capitvating
DEPARTURES
catacombs at the cathedral. Stroll along the sea START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 22 JUN 05 SEP 18 OCT 02 2011
front or jump off a cliff on a tandem paraglide JAN 02 JAN 16 MAY 29 JUN 12 SEP 25 OCT 09 JAN 01 JAN 15
for an ariel view with a difference. Amazing! JAN 09
JAN 16
JAN 23
JAN 30
JUN 05
JUN 12
JUN 19
JUN 26
OCT 02
OCT 09
OCT 16
OCT 23
JAN 08
JAN 15
JAN 22
JAN 29
peru
JAN 23 FEB 06 JUN 19 JUL 03 OCT 16 OCT 30 JAN 22 FEB 05 • Lima
JAN 30 FEB 13 JUN 26 JUL 10 OCT 23 NOV 06 JAN 29 FEB 12
Days 2-3: nazca / night bus FEB 06 FEB 20 JUL 03 JUL 17 OCT 30 NOV 13 FEB 05 FEB 19 Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
FEB 13 FEB 27 JUL 10 JUL 24 NOV 06 NOV 20 FEB 12 FEB 26
Cruise towards the coast for a sneaky peek • Nazca • Cuzco
FEB 20 MAR 06 JUL 17 JUL 31 NOV 13 NOV 27 FEB 19 MAR 05
FEB 27 MAR 13 JUL 24 AUG 07 NOV 20 DEC 04 FEB 26 MAR 12
at the mysterious Nazca lines - etched into APR 03 APR 17 JUL 31 AUG 14 NOV 27 DEC 11 MAR 05 MAR 19
the side of the landscape. Some resemble APR 10 APR 24 AUG 07 AUG 21 DEC 04 DEC 18 MAR 12 MAR 26 Arequipa •
APR 17 MAY 01 AUG 14 AUG 28 DEC 11 DEC 25 MAR 19 APR 02
APR 24 MAY 08 AUG 21 SEP 04 DEC 18 JAN 01 MAR 26 APR 09
animals – ranging from hummingbirds, spiders, MAY 01 MAY 15 AUG 28 SEP 11 DEC 25 JAN 08
monkeys and fish (time to turn those creative MAY 08 MAY 22 SEP 04 SEP 18
MAY 15 MAY 29 SEP 11 SEP 25
imaginations on). Fertility symbols, giant
Accommodation: Simple hotels (may be multi-share) (10 nts), night bus (1 nt),
astronomical calendars and spaceship landing camping (3 nts) Transport: Hiking, public bus, train Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10
Group Leader: Tour leader on days 1-9, local guides while on Inca Trail and local
areas are just some of the varied explanations representative on days 13-15 Meals: All meals while on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow
USD200 for meals not included Tour Code: GASPPS
for their existence. Why not hop on an optional
teeny tiny plane and see for yourself? just A LITTLE MORE COMFORT
'Inca Explorer' 15 days fr $2,639 Tour Code: GAPEI

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
43

in the shadow of classic peru

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Machu Picchu 12 DAYS, $1,889 fr

10 DAYS, $2,249 fr lima - cuzco

lima - cuzco • Sail Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world
• Float on the magical Uros islands and meet the locals
• Live it up in Lima and learn to love like a Limeño • Stay with a Peruvian family and take part in local life
• Amble in the Amazon and witness some wicked wildlife • Discover the Sacred Valley’s hidden gems
• Trek the incredible Inca Trail and gasp at the views • Trek the Inca Trail and arrive enchanted at Machu Picchu
• Discover mysterious Machu Picchu and other Inca ruins
• Cover colonial Cuzco and get out rafting, riding or biking Day 1: Arrive Lima
Rock up and explore. Check out chic Miraflores for paragliding and Pisco.
Day 1: arrive Lima
Arrive into Lima. Wander the city and live the Limeño life. Cocktail anyone? Days 2-4: Puno / Lake Titicaca
Become an Island Girl (or Boy) on a trip over the incredible blue waters of
Days 2-3: Amazon rainforest Lake Titicaca. Befriend locals as you settle in for a typical night with your
Hop on a plane to Puerto Maldonado. Whizz up the Tambopata River by new family and drift off to paradise on the floating Uros islands. (B, L, D)
motorised canoe to the rainforest lodge. Amble outdoors with your guide
exploring the rich wildlife, flora and fauna. Tarzan impressions optional. Day 5: Cuzco
Head to Cuzco through the Altiplano. Shuffle over well-worn cobblestone
Days 4-5: cuzco streets on a quest to seek out all that is good and Inca. Bargain hunters
Boat your way out of the jungle before taking to the skies on a local flight beware – there are more markets than you have heads to put hats on – all
to Cuzco. Settle in for the night with a cup of coca tea or for all you wild friends included! And copious cafés with views over the square and beyond.
thangs, a Pisco Sour - and wander round the city with your guide. Fact of
the day: Cuzco is the longest continually inhabited city on the continent. Day 6: Ollantaytambo
Poke your nose into more enchanting Inca ruins as you travel through the
Days 6-9: inca trail Sacred Valley and on to the tongue-twisting town of Ollantaytambo.
Embark on the once-in-a-lifetime, tell the grandkids one day, epic Inca
Trail. Cross Dead Woman’s Pass on Day two at a whopping 4000m Days 7-10: Inca Trail
above sea level and arrive exhilarated at the Sun Gate to watch sunrise Km 82 marks your once-in-a-lifetime journey launch pad. You’ll be 100%
over Machu Picchu on Day four. You’ll be well looked after by a team of mesmerised not only by the views but by your team of local porters who’ll
gregarious guides and powered porters, zooming on ahead of you to pitch race on, ready to greet you with sustinence as you trudge your weary feet
your tents at camp - legends like the Incas themselves. An experience like into camp – yay! Arrive astounded into Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate on
no other, head back to Cuzco for celebrations and sleep. (3B, 4L, 3D) your last day before choo chooing back to Cuzco. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 10: depart cuzco Days 11-12: CUZCO


As Arnie puts it, 'Hasta la vista, baby. I'll be back.' Celebrate, escape on exciting extravaganzas and bid your buddies farewell.

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
2010 2010
JAN - APR TUE, FRI JAN - APR MON, FRI
MAY - SEP TUE, FRI, SUN peru MAY - OCT MON, WED, FRI, SUN peru
OCT - DEC TUE, FRI NOV - DEC MON, FRI
2011
• Lima Amazon • 2011
• Lima
JAN - MAR TUE, FRI Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo JAN MON, FRI Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
FEB MON
Accommodation: Comfort hotels (4 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), • Cuzco MAR MON, FRI • Cuzco
camping (3 nts) Transport: Private van, local flight, train, boat, Puno •
canoe Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader
Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (7 nts), camping (3
throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides
nts), homestay (1 nt) Transport: Public buses, local flight,
Meals: Continental breakfast daily, all meals while in the
train, boat, hiking Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10
jungle and on the Inca Trail Budget: Allow USD200 for meals
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca
not included Tour Code: GAPSM
Trail), local guides Meals: All meals on the Inca Trail and
during the homestay Budget: Allow USD170 for meals not
cut out the HIKing included Tour Code: GAPPC

'Taste of Peru'
stay longer in lima
10 days fr $2,249 Tour Code: GAPET
Check out page 52.
44

Quest of
the gods
14 DAYS, $3,009 fr

start and finish: lima

Now, we don’t want to get all deep and Days 4-5: cuzco Day 10: Cuzco
meaningful on you, but let's just say that if Head back out of the jungle by canoe before Chillax to the max with some Cuzco free time.
there is a God and he wanted to set up camp hopping on a plane to Cuzco, right up high in Do your Christmas shopping or check out
somewhere on this little planet of ours, he just the Andes. Wander round the city on Day five another ruin - Sexy Woman is always a bit
might choose Peru. Why? Simple. This fantastic - a cultural epicentre and home to some pretty of fun, if not for the name alone. Adrenaline
country has it all - mountains, beaches, epic awesome history. Imagine colonial vs. Inca and junkies can opt for other hair-raising activities
landscapes, lovely locals, earthy vibes, bright you’re bang on the money. (2B) like mountain biking, white water rafting or
colours and a heavenly atmosphere. Not to horseriding. Ah gowan, you know you want to.
mention angelic alpacas and priestly Pisco! That Days 6-9: inca trail
along with the fact that the whole darn place is At Km 82 it’s history in the making as you start Days 11-12: puno / lake titicaca
steeped in amazing Inca history makes it easy your once-in-a-lifetime trek along the Inca Pull into Puno and head out onto the lake. Meet
to see why it rolls into Numero Uno on many Trail. You’ll be accompanied by a saintly team the celestial islanders (the men on this island
people’s destination charts. And let's be honest, of porters and guides who’ll be one step ahead know how to knit - they must be seriously
those Incas had to be pretty godly themselves of you on their rocket powered feet. Camp with sacrosanct) and learn how to flirt Peruvian style.
to build those uber intelligent structures with stunning views of the Andes, get to know your Here, hat and skirt colours are used to clearly
all that heavy stone in the first place. You might trek team and bring your gaffa tape to help you indicate marital status. Who needs internet
want to take a leaf, or laurel out of their book keep your wide eyed disbelieving gawks to a dating when you can stand out in all your
then. And the best thing?! Not a toga in sight. minimum. On the final day you’ll complete the colourful glory as a spinster. Obvious at least.
final stages of the trail in the dark, arriving just Genius? Maybe not.
highlights in time for sunrise at Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’,
• Canoe up river in the Amazon Rainforest breathing life into the Machu Picchu world. Day 13: Lima
• Witness wacky jungle wildlife Pretty incredible. Uncover the Inca’s mysterious Lap it up in Lima. Tuck into seafood and ceviche,
• Hike the Inca Trail and camp in the Andes realm and learn all the who's, what's, where's, popular Peruvian potato and down a cold bevvie.
• Watch a sunrise over Machu Picchu how's and why's. Make like a tree and leave on
• Get active: trek, bike, horseride or raft a train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy before Day 14: Depart Lima
• Discover ancient civilizations chugging back to Cuzco. Fun times. (4B, 3L, 3D) It’s ciao for now, see ya later. Over and out.
• Laugh on Lake Titicaca with the locals
• Buy crazy South American clobber
DEPARTURES
Day 1: lima 2010
JAN - APR TUE, FRI peru
Arrive into Lima. Check out the changing of the MAY - SEP TUE, FRI, SUN
guards and the cathedral’s corking catacombs. OCT - DEC TUE, FRI
2011
JAN - MAR TUE, FRI • Lima • Amazon Jungle
Days 2-3: amazon Rainforest Accommodation: Comfort hotels (8 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), camping (3 nts) Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
Transport: Private van, local flight, train, boat, canoe Group Size: Max 16, Avg • Cuzco
Me: Tarzan, you: Jane. Get jungle fever as you 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout (except on the Inca Trail), local guides
Meals: Continental breakfast daily, all meals while in the jungle and on the Inca • Puno
touch down into Puerto Maldonado at the edge Trail Budget: Allow USD200 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPQG

of the Amazon. Jump on a motorised canoe up


ADD ON THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
the Tambopata River to the remote rainforest
19 days fr $5,429 Tour Code: GAPQ06G
lodge and unearth your guides' knowledge as
you trundle about exploring. It’s a great chance cut out the hiking
to see some amazing wildlife - guests include 14 days fr $3,009 Tour Code: GAPEE
monkeys, giant armadillos, capybaras (think giant stay longer in lima
guinea pigs) and birds galore. (2B, 2L, 2D) Check out pages 52-53.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
45

peru hike,

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
bike & raft
16 DAYS, $3,009 fr

start and finish: Lima

Calling all thrill seekers! Join us over the next


16 days on a gallavanting gamble around some
spectacular South American scenery. About
as action-packed and mental as an overtly
outrageous orangutan running along in the
wild, this trip will leave you buzzing from here
to Timbuktu on an adventure like no other. It’s
time to get sweaty as you boomerang your way
a complete 360° starting and finishing up in
Lima. You’ll ride raucous rapids, hike your way
to happy heaven, buzz off on biking bonanzas
through epic movie-quality Peruvian landscape
and jeronimo into the Manu Cloud Forest for
some jungle-tastic, rainforest mountain biking.
Fun on a stick.

highlights Days 7-10: Inca Trail / Cuzco Days 12-14: Manu Cloud Forest Biking
• Live it up in Lima At Km 82 it’s ready, steady, go! You’ll certainly Soak in the sweet views and humid air standing
• Get colonial in Cuzco feel that adrenaline pump as you take your speechless as all of Amazonia unfurls beneath
• Ride your way through river rapids time to climb the trail, gasping quite literally at you. From the Ajanacu Pass drop 3550m down
• Hike the Inca Trail the epic views and awesome Andean altitude. into the Manu Cloud Forest, descending the
• See sunrise over Machu Picchu Hang out with your fellow hiking buddies as you lush slopes of the Andes and arriving into the
• Rave and roam through rainforest head up to the highest point of the trail - Dead San Pedro lodge for the night. Pedal past some
• Witness wacky wildlife Woman’s Pass. Push on up as your legendary incredible wildlife and snap some sensational
• Mobilise on mountain bikes porters speed past you ready to greet your surroundings. Head to ‘Cock of the Rock Lek’ - a
gobsmacked chops with delicious dishes and mating ground for birds, allowing you to get up
Day 1: arrive lima brilliant banter at the campsite. (3B, 3L, 3D) close and personal to this wonderful wildlife
Let the wild times begin. Arrive and explore; be in their natural habitats. A job no zoo can do
yourself once more. Let Lima’s urban jungle pick Day 11: Cuzco justice to. (2B, 3L, 2D)
you up and toss you around in a whirlwind of Chillax in colonial Cuzco at the markets and
underestimated excitement. museums. Give horse riding a go or pop off Day 15: lima
and paraglide if you just can’t get enough of all Take advantage of your last morning in Cuzco.
Day 2: cuzco the gawd-damn breathtaking local landscape. Stock up on souvenirs before returning to Lima
Jet over to Cuzco on an early morning flight. Get Buy another alpaca hat and shuffle over the for a final night of fun in the capital. Rock on.
involved and get out there. Seek out the sites cobblestone streets dreaming of times gone by
and drink up the atmosphere. Wander up to Sexy and adventures still to come. Day 16: depart lima
Woman (she’s a real hottie) and Tambo Machay - Say adios amigos and skip off into the sunset
another impressive Inca site. with your new mates.

Days 3-5: Apurimac Rafting Trip / cuzco


Cast off on this three day splash fest down
DEPARTURES
the Apurimac river and through the Apurimac START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 JUN 27 JUL 12 AUG 29 SEP 13
canyon - one of the deepest depressions on the MAY 16 MAY 31 JUL 18 AUG 02 SEP 19 OCT 04
whole continent. Thrash your way through rapids JUN 06 JUN 21 AUG 08 AUG 23 OCT 10 OCT 25
peru
and wade your way into wicked wonderment, Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (8 nts), camping (5 nts), lodge (may be multi-
share) (2 nts) Transport: Public buses, local flight, train, bike, rafts, hiking
eyeing up spectacular views on your way. Sleep Group Size: Max 12, Avg 8 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides
Meals: All meals on the Inca Trail, and on the biking and rafting excursions
on the sandy shores of the river on your last Budget: Allow USD200 for meals not included Tour Code: GAPHB • Lima • Manu Biological Reserve
night before navigating the appropriately named Machu Picchu • • Ollantaytambo
stay longer in lima Apurimac River • • Cuzco
‘Tooth Ache’ and ‘Last Laugh’ - then hit the road Check out pages 52-53.
back to Cuzco. (2B, 3L, 2D).

Day 6: Ollantaytambo
Sashay through the Sacred Valley today until you
hit the tongue-twisting town of Ollantaytambo.
Check out some must-see Inca sites and chill out
with the locals before heading out on the Inca
Trail tomorrow. Control your excitement!
46

Galapagos
& peru
encompasseD
26 DAYS, $4,959 fr

Quito - lima

At some point during this 26 day travelling Day 1: Arrive Quito Day 5: Black Turtle Cove / quito
fantasy you’ll realise there is no turning back. Arrive at any time and feel free to explore. Sail to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the
Those black and white ideologies you once most populated island within the archipelago. In
blindly followed will mutate into translucent Day 2: Puerto Ayora the morning you’ll visit Black Turtle Cove before
grey. That fixed itinerary through life that many Jump on an early flight to the Galapagos Islands. you sail to Baltra Island for your return flight to
expected you to follow will weave and wind its Upon arrival you are transferred by ferry and bus Quito. After checking into your hotel, enjoy one
way into a million possibilities. Any poisoned to Puerto Ayora - where you’ll board your boat last night out in this historic city.
cynicism that’s hardened itself around your and meet your naturalist guide for a visit to the
personality will dissolve and swiftly fade away. Charles Darwin Research Station. Day 6: Quito / Lima
This is the personification of life-changing Fly to Lima. This flight is not included - our
travel. Encounters with the gaily coloured blue- Day 3: Floreana island advisers will happily organise it for you.
prints of existence on the Galapagos Islands. Reach Floreana Island in the morning, learn
Breath sapping treks across ancient lands to about the legends and visit Champion Islet. Day 7: Pisco
a mystical ruined city. Amazonian exploration Later in the afternoon you’ll make your way Catch a bus to Pisco. Spend a night on the town
amongst a cacophony of animal sounds. Simple towards Punta Cormorant on the northern part enjoying the famous local drink, the Pisco Sour.
but beautiful local life on the floating islands of of Floreana. The landing is on a beach of green
Lake Titicaca... This adventure is crammed full of sand, coloured by olivine crystals. The trail leads Days 8-9: Nazca
revelatory moments - and as you journey from to a lake normally inhabited by flamingos and Arise early if you fancy an optional boat trip to
Ecuador deep into Peru your heart and mind will other shore birds and continues to a beach of the wildlife abundant Ballestas Islands. Later on
fuse with this stunning swath of Latin America. fine white sand particles known as “Flour Beach”, you’ll catch a bus, stopping at the huge sand
an important nesting site for turtles. Head dunes around Ica on your way to one of the
highlights around the point to Devil’s Crown - this is the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries, the
• Discover the wildlife of the Galapagos perfect spot to go snorkelling from the boat, as Nazca Lines. The amazing depictions of birds,
• Visit the Darwin Research Station the waters are home to a multitude of colourful insects and animals are only truly recognisable
• Swim & snorkel with amazing marine life fish and sea lions. from the air - an optional light aircraft trip is
• Sip on a Pisco Sour easily arranged. On Day nine you’ll take a tour of
• Explore Nazca and a pre-Incan cemetery Day 4: Española island the ancient pre-Inca desert cemetery of Chachiia
• Check out the condors of Colca Canyon Sail to Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez, on - with 1500 year old mummies and bones! That
• Cruise across Lake Titicaca Española Island. This is the southernmost island evening you’ll jump on the night bus to Arequipa.
• Stay with a local Peruvian family in the Galapagos archipelago and home to
• Wander the beautiful streets of Cuzco several wildlife species, including masked and DAY 10: AREQUIPA
• Trek the Inca Trail and ramble over ruins Blue-footed boobies. Take an optional hike to 2325m above sea level, Peru’s second-largest
• Witness a sunrise over Machu Picchu the top of a cliff for spectacular views. city is surrounded by the Andes mountains and
• Explore the Amazon Jungle lies in the shadow of El Misti Volcano.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
47

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Day 22: Cuzco
A free day in Cuzco. Optional activities include
horseback riding, mountain biking and white
water rafting - or you might simply want to relax
and rest your weary legs.

Days 11-12: Colca Canyon Days 16-17: Cuzco Days 23-25: Amazon Jungle
Enroute to Colca Canyon, you’ll stop at the Enjoy spectacular views of the high Altiplano Fly from the high Andes to Puerto Maldonado,
picturesque village of Chivay, where you can travelling from Puno to Cuzco. Cuzco is the deep in the Amazon lowlands. Travel by
take a dip in the hot thermal baths, watch live continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, motorised canoe to a lodge in the Tambopata
Andean music at a peña or go for a llama steak. and the hub of the South American travel Rainforest Area, which holds the world record
Upon arrival at Colca Canyon - acclimatise to network. Strap on a comfortable pair of shoes, for the most bird sightings. Explore the jungle
the altitude by taking a short hike through the arm yourself with a city map and set off to with the expert local guides and learn about
stunning landscapes. Take a tour; check out explore the cobblestone streets, museums, the area’s rich flora and fauna. Keep your eyes
fascinating villages and stop at “miradors” markets and churches. peeled for Harpy eagles, tapirs, jaguars, ocelots
(scenic lookouts), where you can spot Andean and other weird and wonderful indigenous
condors soaring over the majestic mountains. Days 18-21: Inca Trail animals. Later on Day 25 you’ll fly back to Lima
Begin a once in a lifetime journey on the for one last Pisco Sour. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Days 13-15: Puno / Lake Titicaca ancient trail of the Incas. Local porters and
Travel to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. guides ensure that the trip is worry-free, and Day 26: Depart Lima
At 3830m above sea level, Puno is the highest fascinating ruins and spectacular mountain This amazing trip comes to an end on Day 26.
altitude of any place you sleep on the tour. On scenery fill every day of the hike as you move Start planning your next adventure!
the morning of Day 14 you’ll head out by boat from high plateau areas to dense cloud forest.
across Lake Titicaca. You’ll cruise to Taquile On the final day of the hike you’ll climb the steps
Island via the floating reed islands of the to the Sun Gate overlooking the peaks that Do it your way
Uros people - before a lovely lunch in a local surround Machu Picchu. When the morning is
restaurant and some shopping opportunities in clear the first views of Machu Picchu are nothing stay longer
the local weaving cooperatives. You’ll stay that short of startling - as the mist rises off the Galapagos & Absolute Peru
30 days fr $5,939 Tour Code: GAEA10A
night with a local family - listen to the local mountains early in the morning and the famous
music and learn about the ancient traditions. site appears in front of you. Return by train to
You’ll head back to Puno on Day 15 where you’ll Ollantaytambo or Poroy, before transferring by
spend another night. (B, L, D) van to Cuzco on Day 21. (3B, 3L, 3D)

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
• Quito
2010 APR 26 MAY 21 AUG 23 SEP 17 DEC 20 JAN 14
JAN 04 JAN 29 MAY 03 MAY 28 AUG 30 SEP 24 DEC 27 JAN 21  • Galapagos Islands
JAN 11 FEB 05 MAY 10 JUN 04 SEP 06 OCT 01 2011
JAN 18 FEB 12 MAY 17 JUN 11 SEP 13 OCT 08 JAN 03 JAN 28
JAN 25 FEB 19 MAY 24 JUN 18 SEP 20 OCT 15 JAN 10 FEB 04
FEB 01 FEB 26 MAY 31 JUN 25 SEP 27 OCT 22 JAN 17 FEB 11
FEB 08 MAR 05 JUN 07 JUL 02 OCT 04 OCT 29 JAN 24 FEB 18
FEB 15 MAR 12 JUN 14 JUL 09 OCT 11 NOV 05 JAN 31 FEB 25
FEB 22 MAR 19 JUN 21 JUL 16 OCT 18 NOV 12 FEB 07 MAR 04
MAR 01 MAR 26 JUN 28 JUL 23 OCT 25 NOV 19 FEB 14 MAR 11
MAR 08 APR 2 JUL 05 JUL 30 NOV 01 NOV 26 FEB 21 MAR 18
MAR 15 APR 09 JUL 12 AUG 06 NOV 08 DEC 03 FEB 28 MAR 25
MAR 22 APR 16 JUL 19 AUG 13 NOV 15 DEC 10 MAR 07 APR 01
MAR 29 APR 23 JUL 26 AUG 20 NOV 22 DEC 17 MAR 14 APR 08
APR 05 APR 30 AUG 02 AUG 27 NOV 29 DEC 24 MAR 21 APR 15
APR 12 MAY 07 AUG 09 SEP 03 DEC 06 DEC 31 MAR 28 APR 22
APR 19 MAY 14 AUG 16 SEP 10 DEC 13 JAN 07
peru
Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (15 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), bus (1 nt), • Lima • Amazon
homestay (1 nt), camping (3 nts), motorised yacht (twin share) (3 nts) Transport:
Local flights, motorised yacht, van, train, public bus, boat, canoe, zodiacs, taxis. Machu Picchu •
Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Group Leader: Local naturalist guides (certified by the
• Ollantaytambo
Galapagos National Park) while in the islands Tour leader from Lima onwards, local Pisco • • Cuzco
guides Meals: All meals while in the Galapagos, during the homestay, on the Inca • Nazca
Trail and in the jungle Budget: Allow USD255 for meals not included Puno •
Please Note: Flight from Quito to Lima must be purchased at time of booking to
arrive into Lima on Day 6 Local Payment: USD100 Galapagos park entry fee and
Colca Canyon •
USD10 tourist card payable on arrival to the islands Tour Code: GAEA06A Arequipa •
48

galapagos
& inca
discovery
14 DAYS, $3,709 fr

quito - cuzco

The vicissitudes of everyday life – all that


perceived injustice, all that unfairness, it means
nothing now. As you trek your last steps on
the Inca Trail to be welcomed by a soothing
sunrise over an ancient, lost city – you’ll smile
at the triviality you once thought important. As
you walk with iguanas and swim with sea lions
around the islands that gave birth to the theory
of evolution, you’ll slowly start to understand
who you really want to be. From the capital
of Ecuador to the highlands of Peru – this
adventure focuses on two of the world’s major Day 4: espaÑola island Day 8: Cuzco
must-dos; The Galapagos Islands and the Inca Sail to Punta Suarez, on Española Island - home Jump on an early flight to Cuzco, the continent’s
Trail. No amount of hyperbole can do justice to to several wildlife species, including masked and oldest continuously inhabited city and the hub of
the feelings, thoughts and sensations that this Blue-footed boobies. Take an optional hike to the South American travel network. Wander the
14 day trip inspires. the top of a cliff for spectacular views. Sail in wonderful cobbled streets.
the afternoon to Garner Bay, another excellent
swimming and snorkelling site. (B, L, D) Day 9: Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo
highlights Travel with your local guide through the Sacred
• Discover the wildlife of the Galapagos Day 5: Santa Fé / Plaza Sur Valley of the Incas. Visit the impressive Pisac
• Visit the Darwin Research Station Set sail and reach Santa Fé Island early in the ruins and the colourful artisan market. The
• Swim & snorkel with amazing marine life morning. Learn about the prehistoric-looking day trip finishes in the picturesque village of
• Absorb the rich history of Quito land iguanas as well as how mangrove trees Ollantaytambo, site of another large Inca ruin.
• Wander the beautiful streets of Cuzco survive in this harsh environment. In the
• Marvel at the inspiring Sacred Valley afternoon visit Plaza Sur - home of a colony of Days 10-13: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
• Trek the Inca Trail and ramble over ruins sea lion bachelors. (B, L, D) Travel this morning to Km 82 and begin a once
• Witness a sunrise over Machu Picchu in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the
Day 6: Seymour / Quito Incas. Local porters and guides ensure that the
Day 1: Arrive Quito Arrive at North Seymour for one last look at trip is worry-free and fascinating ruins and
Arrive at any time - get out and explore! frigate birds, Blue-footed boobies and sea lions spectacular mountain scenery fill every day of
- this is a photographers dream. You’ll then fly the hike as you move from high plateau areas to
Day 2: santa cruz Island back to Quito - with time to explore. (B) dense cloud forest. On the final day, climb the
Catch an early flight to the Galapagos Islands, steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, to watch the
meet your naturalist guide and transfer to your Day 7: quito / Lima sunrise over Machu Picchu. (3B, 3L, 3D)
boat before visiting the Charles Darwin Research Fly to Lima (not included). Explore the many fine
Station - see giant tortoises and learn about museums of the Peruvian Capital and prepare for Day 14: Depart Cuzco
Darwin’s studies. There’ll also be time to do the second half of your epic adventure. Your amazing adventure sadly finishes.
some shopping and exploring. (B, L, D)

Day 3: floreana island


DEPARTURES
Reach Floreana Island in the morning and stop START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
• Quito
2010 APR 27 MAY 10 AUG 24 SEP 06 DEC 21 JAN 03
at Post Office Bay. In the afternoon you’ll head JAN 05 JAN 18 MAY 04 MAY 17 AUG 31 SEP 13 DEC 28 JAN 10  • Galapagos Islands
to Punta Cormorant on the northern part of JAN 12
JAN 19
JAN 25
FEB 01
MAY 11
MAY 18
MAY 24
MAY 31
SEP 07
SEP 14
SEP 20
SEP 27
2011
JAN 04 JAN 17
the island. Check out the volcanic beaches and JAN 26 FEB 08 MAY 25 JUN 07 SEP 21 OCT 04 JAN 11 JAN 24
FEB 02 FEB 15 JUN 01 JUN 14 SEP 28 OCT 11 JAN 18 JAN 31
colourful flamingos. Around the point, Devil’s FEB 09 FEB 22 JUN 08 JUN 21 OCT 05 OCT 18 JAN 25 FEB 07
FEB 16 MAR 01 JUN 15 JUN 28 OCT 12 OCT 25 FEB 01 FEB 14
Crown is a perfect snorkelling spot. (B, L, D) FEB 23 MAR 08 JUN 22 JUL 05 OCT 19 NOV 01 FEB 08 FEB 21
MAR 02 MAR 15 JUN 29 JUL 12 OCT 26 NOV 08 FEB 15 FEB 28
MAR 09 MAR 22 JUL 06 JUL 19 NOV 02 NOV 15 FEB 22 MAR 07
MAR 16 MAR 29 JUL 13 JUL 26 NOV 09 NOV 22 MAR 01 MAR 14
MAR 23 APR 05 JUL 20 AUG 02 NOV 16 NOV 29 MAR 08 MAR 21
MAR 30 APR 12 JUL 27 AUG 09 NOV 23 DEC 06 MAR 15 MAR 28
APR 06 APR 19 AUG 03 AUG 16 NOV 30 DEC 13 MAR 22 APR 04
APR 13 APR 26 AUG 10 AUG 23 DEC 07 DEC 20 MAR 29 APR 11
APR 20 MAY 03 AUG 17 AUG 30 DEC 14 DEC 27
peru
Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), twin-share cabins on board motorised yacht (4 nts), • Lima
camping (3 nts) Transport: Local flight, motorized yacht, van, train, hiking, public
bus, zodiacs Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Local Naturalist guide Machu Picchu •
(certified by the Galapagos National Park) while in the islands, tour representative, Ollantaytambo •
local guides Meals: All meals while in the Galapagos and on the Inca Trail Budget:
Allow USD200 for meals not included Please Note: Flight from Quito to Lima must be Cuzco •
purchased at time of booking to arrive into Lima on Day 7 Local Payment: USD100
Galapagos park entry fee and USD10 tourist card payable on arrival to the islands
Tour Code: GAED07P

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49

amazon to

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
the andes &
galapagos
18 DAYS, $4,349 fr

Lima - quito

Presenting the three most amazing wonders of


Latin America; the Inca Trail, the Amazon jungle
and the Galapagos Islands. The Inca Trail is so
inspirational that after just a few footsteps you’ll
want to abandon all your worldly possessions,
live on a mountaintop and eat roasted guinea pig
all day. Trek across ancient trails to the lost city Days 4-7: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Day 11: Lima
of Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise to end all Travel this morning to Km 82 and begin a once Fly to Lima via Cuzco for a final night in Peru.
sunrises. The Amazon Jungle is so extraordinarily in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the Down some Pisco Sours and enjoy the city.
verdant and fertile that it’s estimated that just Incas. Local porters and guides ensure that the
one square kilometre typically contains over trip is worry-free, and fascinating ruins and Day 12: Lima / Quito
75,000 types of tree and 150,000 species of spectacular mountain scenery fill every day of Your flight to Ecuador's capital; Quito isn't
higher plants. Add to that about 2.5 million the hike as you move from high plateau areas to included in your tour price. Ask your adviser
insect species, one in five of all the world’s birds dense cloud forest. On the final day, climb the who'll happily book this for you.
and hundreds of mammals, amphibians and steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, to watch the
reptile species. Explore this seething mass of sunrise over Machu Picchu and gaze in awe as Days 13-16: Galapagos
creation with an expert guide. The Galapagos the early morning mist swirls over the beautiful Catch an early flight to Baltra - hook up with
Islands are so shockingly amazing that some mountains. (3B, 3L, 3D) you naturalist guide and jump aboard your lovely
bloke called Charles Darwin went there for a boat. Over the next five days visit the islands of
little while and left with the notion that we all Day 8: Cuzco Seymour, Rabida, Isla Santiago, Sombrero Chino,
used to be monkeys. Cast your disbelieving eyes Wander the quaint cobble-stoned streets, Bartolomé Island, South Plaza and Santa Fe.
on a host of weird and wonderful creatures explore the truly fascinating museums and Travel from the boat to the islands via a small,
including iguanas, turtles, sealions and Blue- absorb the friendly, colonial atmosphere or motorised launch. Explore while learning about
footed boobies. This 18 day adventure will simply rest your weary legs. For those still the natural history and unique wildlife from your
startle, surprise, astound and delight anyone feeling active options include rafting, horseback expert guide. Most days you can snorkel among
fortunate enough to join it. riding and mountain biking. sea lions or relax on deck. (4B, 4L, 4D)

highlights Days 9-10: Amazon Jungle Day 17: Santa Cruz / Quito
• Discover the wildlife of the Galapagos Fly from the Andes to Puerto Maldonado, in On your last morning in the Galapagos Islands
• Visit the Darwin Research Station the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle. Travel by you'll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station
• Swim & snorkel with amazing marine life motorised canoe to your lodge in the Tambopata where you can learn about his famed studies and
• Cruise through the jungle on a canoe Rainforest, which holds the world record for the explorations. You'll then fly back to Quito where
• Discover amazing Amazonian animals most bird sightings in one area - look out for you can enjoy one last night out. (B)
• Marvel at the inspiring Sacred Valley Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped herons
• Trek the Inca Trail and ramble over ruins and Jabiru storks. Once at your lodge explore the Day 18: depart Quito
• Witness a sunrise over Machu Picchu jungle with expert local guides and learn about Your magnificent adventure sadly comes to an
the area's rich flora and fauna. (2B, 2L, 2D) end on Day 18 - say your goodbyes.
Day 1: arrive Lima
Arrive at any time - and start exploring!
DEPARTURES
Day 2: Cuzco START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 25 MAY 12 AUG 22 SEP 08 DEC 19 JAN 05
• Quito
Jump on a very early flight to Cuzco, the JAN 03 JAN 20 MAY 02 MAY 19 AUG 29 SEP 15 DEC 26 JAN 12
continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, JAN 10
JAN 17
JAN 27
FEB 03
MAY 09
MAY 16
MAY 26
JUN 02
SEP 05
SEP 12
SEP 22
SEP 29
2011
JAN 02 JAN 19
 • Galapagos Islands
and the hub of the South American travel JAN 24 FEB 10 MAY 23 JUN 09 SEP 19 OCT 06 JAN 09 JAN 26
JAN31 FEB 17 MAY 30 JUN 16 SEP 26 OCT 13 JAN 16 FEB 02
network. Relax or explore the Inca spiritual sites FEB 07 FEB 24 JUN 06 JUN 23 OCT 03 OCT 20 JAN 23 FEB 09 peru
FEB 14 MAR 03 JUN 13 JUN 30 OCT 10 OCT 27 JAN 30 FEB 16
of Sacsayhuaman and Tambo Machay. FEB 21 MAR 10 JUN 20 JUL 07 OCT 17 NOV 03 FEB 02 FEB 23
FEB 28 MAR 17 JUN 27 JUL 14 OCT 24 NOV 11 FEB 13 MAR 02
MAR 07 MAR 24 JUL 04 JUL 21 OCT 31 NOV 17 FEB 20 MAR 09
MAR 14 MAR 31 JUL 11 JUL 28 NOV 07 NOV 24 FEB 27 MAR 16
Day 3: Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo MAR 21 APR 07 JUL 18 AUG 04 NOV 14 DEC 01 MAR 06 MAR 23
MAR 28 APR 14 JUL 25 AUG 11 NOV 21 DEC 08 MAR 13 MAR 30
Travel with your local guide through the Sacred APR 04 APR 21 AUG 01 AUG 18 NOV 28 DEC 15 MAR 20 APR 06
Valley of the Incas - a lush agricultural region APR 11 APR 28 AUG 08 AUG 25 DEC 05 DEC 22 MAR 27 APR 13
APR 18 MAY 5 AUG 15 SEP 01 DEC 12 DEC 29
that continues to supply Cuzco with much of its
Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (8 nts), camping (3 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts),
produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the twin-share cabin on board the motorised yacht (4 nts) Transport: Public bus, local
• Lima
flights, train, boat, canoe, hiking, motorized yacht, zodiacs, public bus Amazon Jungle •
colourful artisan market. The day trip finishes in Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Tour leader, local guides, local naturalist
Machu Picchu •
guide (certified by the Galapagos National Park) Meals: All meals while in the
the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of jungle, on the Inca Trail and while in the Galapagos Budget: Allow USD135 for Ollantaytambo •
meals not included Please Note: Flight from Lima to Quito must be purchased at Cuzco •
another large Inca ruin. Catch your breath and time of booking to arrive into Lima on Day 12 Tour Code: GAPA07A
prepare for the hike ahead.
50

hop-on hop-off
peru & bolivia
It has never been easier to explore Peru and • Experience the real Peru and Bolivia
Bolivia. Our fantastic hop-on hop-off bus pass and enjoy loads of included cultural,
allows you to travel independently in Peru, adventure and lifestyle activities.
Bolivia and Ecuador while enjoying a range of
outstanding adventure activities. Buy one travel • Travel on a variety of transport and
pass and create your own personalised itinerary experience the local way of life by
with the freedom to choose where to go, when travelling on safe local first class public
to depart and how many days you need to buses.
properly explore each unique destination. The
drivers and guides will be your local friends in a • Daily departures - flexible itineraries
foreign country, giving you local insider tips in with convenient departures everyday.
every town.
• Choose your starting point, ending point
Each and every pass includes some or all of the and everywhere in between.
below activities:
• Travel with lots of like minded travellers
Paracas: Ballestas Islands and make new friends.
Take a speedboat ride to the Ballestas Islands.
Check out hundreds of Peruvian bobbies, • Make unlimited changes to your itinerary
pelicans, cormorants and many other native as you are travelling - with no time limit
birds. Observe sea lions relaxing on the beach, to reach your final destination.
dolphins swimming playfully in the sea and
depending on the time of year, you may well • Accommodation is not included, but
encounter the famous Humboldt penguins. you'll be dropped off at the best hostels
and hotels in town.
Ica: Dune Buggy & Sandboarding
Head to the desert oasis of La Huacachine
and learn the art of sand boarding from an
experienced local tour guide in one of the
hottest and most amazing landscapes of Peru.

Puno: Home Stay Amantani Island peru


• Lima
Travel by boat for 3.5 hours to Amantani Island
where you'll live and learn with a local Quechua Cuzco •
family. Share your talents, knowledge or just a Paracas • • Inca Express
friendly conversation with local villagers. There • Ballestas Island
Ica / Huacachina •
is an approximate USD10 fee for your bed and Puno • Bolivia
Nazca • Copacabana •
three tasty meals. La Paz •
Arequipa •
Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya -
Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas
Check out the small mountain villages between First Class Public Bus
Tourist Bus
Puno and Cuzco. Pukara, an ancient ceremonial
centre oozes Andean culture. La Raya, at 3540m
boasts marvellous views of the snow-capped
mountains. Sicuani is a tiny indigenous mountain
town. Raqchi is famed for its ancient rituals and
finally, the quaint village of Andahuaylillas is
renowned for its fine historic art and its colonial
church, known as the 'Sistine Chapel'.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
51

Mystical Inca Way Peru to Bolivia Way

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
lima - cuzco fr $601 lima - la paz fr $692
recommended minimum TRIP TIME: 14 DAYS RECommended minimum TRIP TIME: 17 DAYS

included activities included activities


Paracas: Ballestas Island boat ride Paracas: Ballestas Island boat ride
Ica: Sandboarding Ica: Sandboarding
Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island) Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island)
Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas

peru peru
• Lima • Lima

Cuzco • Cuzco •
Andahuaylillas • Andahuaylillas •
• Raqchi Paracas • • Raqchi
Paracas •
• Ballestas Island Sicuani • • La Raya • Ballestas Island Sicuani • • La Raya
Pukara • Ica / Huacachina • Pukara •
Ica / Huacachina • Puno • Bolivia
Puno • Nazca •
Nazca • Copacabana •
La Paz •
Arequipa • Arequipa •
First Class Public Bus First Class Public Bus
Tourist Bus Tourist Bus

bolivia to peru way cuzco encounter way


la paz - lima fr $692 la paz - cuzco fr$314
Recommended minimum trip time: 17 days RECommended minimum TRIP TIME: 6 DAYS

included activities included activities


Paracas: Ballestas Island boat ride Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island)
Ica: Sandboarding Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas
Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island)
Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas

peru peru
• Lima

Cuzco • Cuzco •
Andahuaylillas • Andahuaylillas •
Paracas • • Raqchi • Raqchi
• Ballestas Island Sicuani • • La Raya Sicuani •
• La Raya
Ica / Huacachina • Pukara • Pukara •
Puno • Bolivia Puno • Bolivia
Nazca • Copacabana • Copacabana •
La Paz • La Paz •
Arequipa •
First Class Public Bus First Class Public Bus
Tourist Bus Tourist Bus

magical inca way into bolivia way


cuzco - lima fr $601 cuzco - la paz fr $314
Recommended minimum trip time: 14 days RECommended minimum TRIP TIME: 6 DAYS

included activities included activities


Paracas: Ballestas Island boat ride Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island)
Ica: Sandboarding Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas
Puno: Homestay (2 days, 1 night at Amatanti Island)
Inca Express: Pukara - La Raya - Sicuani - Raqchi - Andahuaylillas

peru peru
• Lima

Cuzco • Cuzco •
Andahuaylillas • Andahuaylillas •
• Raqchi • Raqchi
Paracas • Sicuani •
• Ballestas Island Sicuani • • La Raya • La Raya
Pukara • Pukara •
Ica / Huacachina • Puno • Bolivia
Puno •
Nazca • Copacabana •
La Paz •
Arequipa •
First Class Public Bus First Class Public Bus
Tourist Bus Tourist Bus
52

lima &
the coast

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

the point hostel, lima los girasoles, lima duo boutique hotel, lima
Set in a colonial house in boho Barranco, this fun An awesome home away from home affordable A small minimalist boutique hotel in chic
hostel has a well-stocked bar, great for drinks hotel with free WiFi, free use of barbecue, games Miraflores newly converted from a family home
before you hit the nightlife only 5 mins away. room and movie theatre. Inclusive breakfast is into a modern and stylish place to stay. There's
Hang out in the garden or the TV room. There's served until 11am (for all you late risers!). Some a gorgeous pool and large bright terrace area.
free wireless, ping pong and pool tables. STA500 rooms have a terrace or garden attached. STA501 Room service is an added bonus. STA502

fr $14 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $86 SINGLE , INC. bREAKFAST fr $108 SINGLE , INC. bREAKFAST
fr $96 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $171 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST

Spanish Language
School Lima
14 days fr $1,011

• 2, 3 or 4 weeks' study, 20 hours per week


• Maximum six students per group
• Start date every Monday, all year round
• Stay with a family or other students
• Weekly cultural and social events

Learn the lingo and enjoy the best that Lima has
to offer! When you're not working on your vocab
and verbs, explore the nightlife of Miraflores or
Barranco. Paraglide over the coast or head down
to the beach for some surf. Take part in weekly
cultural activities with your fellow classmates.
The school is located in one of the many
mansions in historic Miraflores.
Accommodation: Ranges from cosy home-stays to riotous student residences
Meals: 2 meals a day at homestays and self catering in student residences
Also Included: Enrolment fees, course materials, certificate of attendance
Tour Code: STA503

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
53

dates for your diary

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
january 18, 2010
Anniversary of the city of lima

february 1 - 15, 2010


Virgin of Candelaria Festival, Puno

February 1 - 28, 2010


carnival celebrations

april 1 - 30, 2010


Peruvian paso Horse Festival, Lima

June 24, 2010


Inti Raymi festival of the sun

July 28-29, 2010


Fiestas Patrias (Independence Days)

october 18-28, 2010


Lord of Miracles Procession in Lima

STAystylish STAysimple STAysmart

casa andina, lima the point hostel, Máncora casa andina, nazca
The most legendary 5-star hotel in Miraflores, A two hour flight from Lima, you'll love the white An airy, coastal-style hotel that’s modern with a
restyled for the 21st century. Spectacular suites sands and blue waters of Mancora Beach. Swing welcoming rustic touch. The long, open-air patio
with dazzling views, state-of-the-art technology in a hammock, play football on the beach or go is lined with balconies, tall palm trees and leafy
facilities, indoor pool, sauna, salon & gym. Only for a swim. Sun, surf, bikinis & beer is the motto green plants, giving the hotel a tropical feel. The
two blocks from the Parque Central. STA504 of this chilled out bamboo style hostel! STA505 restaurant overlooks the pool and patio bar. STA506

fr $273 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $14 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $91 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST
fr $273 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $32 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $93 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST

fly over the nazca lines


Full day fr $173

• Panoramic flight over the Nazca lines


• Hostel pick up and drop off

Hop on board a teeny tiny plane that'll take


you up into the skies for your own take on the
mysterious Nazca lines. Largely believed to have
been created by the Nazca culture between 200
BC and 700 AD, the Nazca Lines are a series of
geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert. Some
resemble Paracas motifs but there are hundreds
of figures, ranging in complexity from simple
lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys,
fish, sharks or orcas, llamas and lizards. The
reasons that lie behind their existence vary
from representations of ancient gods, landing
strips for returning aliens and a form of celestial
calendar. See what you think! Tour Code: STA507
54

cuzco

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

The Point Hostel casa andina koricancha Casa Andina private collection
Party 'till dawn at this fun hostel. The staff are Check out this awesome hotel. There's a great Warm, friendly and elegant, this gorgeous hotel
uber friendly and know where the best nights traditional Peruvian restaurant onsite, internet is a beautifully renovated old colonial mansion.
out are. There’s free internet, free breakfast and much more. The main square is only three It boasts three exclusive courtyards - perfect for
until 1pm, a pool table, DVD room, cable TV, and a half blocks away and the Koricancha spending the evenings sipping the hotel's tasty
restaurant, huge garden and very lively bar! STA508 temple is right on your doorstep. STA509 signature cocktail, Pisco Sours! STA510

fr $16 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $144 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $230 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST
fr $145 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $230 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST

Jungle Trail The Sacred Valley and


Machu Picchu
to Machu 2 days, fr $373

Picchu Day 3: Inca Trail


Feel like Adam and Eve on this exclusive section
of the Inca Trail - no other company takes you



Pick up and drop off in Cuzco
Buffet lunch & English tour guide
Entrance to Machu Picchu
4 days, fr $395 here. Spy stunning Machu Picchu from the top of • 1 night's hostel accommodation
Llactapata and train it to Aguas Calientes.
Start & Finish: cuzco Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas... and
Day 4: Machu Picchu to Cuzco all in two days! You'll have the opportunity to
Day 1: cuzco - santa maria Catch sunrise at Machu Picchu. Your guide wander the vibrant colourful artisan markets and
Drive along the Sacred Valley to Abra Malaga at will leave no stone unturned on Inca history a diverse array of archaeological Incan ruins.
4316m. Cycle down challenging roads, past Inca knowledge. Bus it back to Cuzco and celebrate! Early on the second day you'll be up in order to
sites and ice-capped mountains. check out the sunrise over Machu Picchu, a once
Departs: daily in a lifetime sight! If you're interested in quaint
Day 2: inca trail Accommodation: Homestays (with hot water)and hostel in Aguas Calientes (last Andean villages and enjoy local markets, then
night) Meals: Included - lunch on the first day through until final lunch in Aguas
Begin walking at dawn, stopping at a quaint Calientes on the last day Also included: All transport, bilingual guide, mountain bike this is the tour for you.
with front suspension, gloves and helmet Tour Code: STA511
restaurant on the way. Reach the Inca Trail Incudes: Aguas Calientes - Payacha hostel with private bathrooms and hot water
showers (1n), all transport, 1 lunch Tour code: STA512
walking by the river. Dip into Colcamayo springs.

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55

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
teach work with Tambopata
english in orphans in Jungle
cuzco lima Adventure
4 weeks, fr $1,945 4 weeks, fr $1,595 3 days, fr $383
extra weeks fr $230 extra weeks fr $230
Start & Finish: puerto
Start & Finish: cuzco Start & Finish: lima maldonada

Teach English in the heart of the old Incan empire. Experience life in Lima's suburbs and share your • 3 days in the Amazon Jungle
Choose between a state school or technical caring side with young Peruivians. This home • Lodge transfer by Amazonian boat
institute, both of which maintain the traditions of has been running for over 100 years and offers • Comfortable bungalow accommodation
the ancient Quechan way of life, while balancing much needed care and shelter to 270 young girls • Fees for National Parks included
it with the demands of the modern world. By who have been abandoned, abused or who have
learning the English language, students can lost their families. Female volunteers who are Day 1
broaden their personal horizons and gain access compassionate, patient and can speak a little Check out the town while your permits are
to better employment opportunities. You'll be Spanish are a precious resource. You'll join a being sorted. Head into the jungle on traditional
working in Cuzco, the archealogical capital of the friendly team of psychologists, teachers, doctors Amazonian boat. Enjoy lunch and relax by
Americas, and the ideal starting point for trips and nurses - teaching English, art, cooking, the pool before heading out on an afternoon
to Machu Picchu. Your Latin American adventure sports and more. ITXXXX trek. Check out the bird life, medicinal plants,
starts here! ITXXXX butterflies and other animals. Before dinner
activities you'll head out on a small river night safari with
activities Activities depend on volunteer skills. They could the hopes of spotting the elusive white Caiman.
Teaching English. include workshops for English, sewing, arts,
cosmetics, cooking...playing sports, assisting Day 2
accommodation with special needs children, or helping teenage Head out at dawn in search of the 'parrot clay-
Family-run guesthouse/homestay. mothers with their babies. lick'. There are five different species of parrot
that feed on the clay - it's reputed to assist
meals accommodation in their metabolism. Head back for breakfast
Breakfast and dinner provided daily. Homestay, shared room. and enjoy some free time hanging around the
lodge. You'll head out later again on the boat
working hours meals in the direction of "Monkey Island" where
Flexible; Monday to Friday, 5-6 hours per day, all Two meals a day. Squirrel monkeys, Howler monkeys and Capuchin
other time is free for you to enjoy Cuzco and its monkeys run wild! A 5km trek will follow - keep
various different activities. working hours an eye out for jaguars! Check out the Sandolva
Flexible; Monday to Friday 9am to 12:30pm and Lake where you’ll find giant river otters, black
also inculded 3pm to 5pm, all other time is free. Hours at the caimans, piranhas and even anacondas.
• TEFL certification boys home is Monday to Friday 8am to 1pm or
• Airport pickup 1pm to 6pm. Day 3
• Orientation After breakfast it's time to say goodbye to the
• 24/7 support from local staff also inculded lodge and national park. Leave your monkeys
• Airport pickup behind and depart with your guide back to the
• Orientation city and onto the airport, homeward-bound.
• 24/7 support from local staff
Accommodation: Bungalow at the Corto Maltes Amazonia has a private bathroom
with hot water 24 hours and a large terrace with hammocks where you can enjoy
the excellent view of Madre de Dios river and the jungle that surrounds the lodge.
You'll be sharing a twin-bed bungalow with another fellow traveller
Transport: Amazonian boat and airport pick up and drop off Guide: English
Speaking Guide Meals: All meals on the trip Also Includes: Entrance fees to sites
Please Note: Flights to Puerto Maldonado are not included Tour Code: STA513
56

southern peru
Lake Titicaca and Islands
2 days, fr $97
departs: daily

• Pick up and drop off in Puno


• Traditional food in local settings
• Boat trip over Lake Titicaca
• 1 night's homestay accommodation
STAysimple STAysmart

Sail to beautiful Taquile Island and the famous


The Point Hostel, Arequipa casa andina plaza, puno floating Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca, the
A friendly and relaxed hostel with pool, huge You'll be wowed by the excellent and really world's highest navigable lake. Check out the
garden and sunny roof-terrace with spectacular friendly service at this hotel, the superb location pre-Inca ruins and the locals' colourful textiles
volcano views. Make yourself at home in the TV only streets away from the main action and the whose culture has hardly changed. You'll
room, kitchen and hostel bar. You're just 5-10 yummy free breakfasts. A real find, you'll feel at probably feel the altitude play games with you
mins from the nightlife and museums. STA516 home in no time at all. STA517 as you climb the 533 steps to Taquile's village.
Spend the night star-gazing with a local family
fr $13 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $83 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST and share their customs, music and food.
fr $83 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST
Accommodation: homestay (1n) Transport: Pick up and drop off in Puno, transfer
to the port, boat transfers Meals: 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
Also Includes: Entrance fees to all sites Tour Code: STA518

colca
canyon
trek Day 2: Sangalle Valley
Walk to the villages of Coshñirhua and Malata
known for their fruit trees. Arrive into beautiful,
4 days, fr $166 fertile "Sangalle Valley" - close to the Colca river.
Lounge in the pools and prepare for a magical
Start & Finish: arequipa evening under the stars, complete with campfire.
departs: daily
Day 3: chivay / arequipa
Day 1: Arequipa / San Juan de Cchucho Enjoy a short walk and time in the local village.
Head out bright and early through the National Absorb the culture then bus it to Cruz del Condor
Reserve of Pampa Cañahua - a natural reserve for a truly remarkable sight - the magnificent
for llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. Arrive for lunch condors flying through the canyon. Have lunch in
in the town of Cabanaconde and begin your Chivay and soak away your stress in hot springs.
canyon trek. Spend the evening over dinner Head back to Arequipa late afternoon.
with the locals, and stay with one of the local
Accommodation: 2 nights accommodation in local cabins and under the stars
families. Transport: All transport Group Leader: Fluent in English & Spanish
Meals: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners Tour Code: STA519

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57

Currency: BOLIVIANO

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Population: 9.9 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1

bolivia
• Sorata
• La Paz
• Oruro • Santa Cruz
• Sucre

Uyuni •
Salt Lakes •

bolivia
My favourite The Weather
The Andean plateau has an extreme
Useful Info
Some 40,000 years ago, the area

experience
"When we got to Fish Island on the salt flats, no one could contain
type of tropical highland climate.
The most sunshine happens
between December and March but
that the impressive salt flats cover
was part of Lake Minchin, a giant
prehistoric lake. When the lake
themselves. We stood on top of this hill covered in cacti thousands of so does the most rainfall, even if it dried, it left behind two modern
years old and all we could see was white. It was completely surreal! Like is low overall. At altitude (La Paz) lakes, Poopó Lake and Uru Uru
skating over a vast ice-rink, except of course it’s all salt. Bizarre but very, temperatures massively drop and Lake - and two major salt deserts,
very cool. It's a moment that'll stay with me forever!!" Sinead don't change much the whole year Coipasa and Uyuni. Uyuni is roughly
round. The range of temperatures 25 times the size of the Bonneville
is vast however, so nights can get salt flats in the United States.
pretty chilly, particularly during the
dry winter or low-sun period - frost Useless Info
is almost a nightly occurrence. Alpacas are not only useful for their
wool, but also provide fuel from
Local Eats their dung. Interestingly, males
Try out the tasty Bolivian savoury have much tidier and fewer dung
salteñas - like smaller versions of piles than females who tend to
a pasty and humitas, a sweetened stand in a line and all go at once.
corn meal wrapped inside a corn One female approaches the dung
husk or banana leaf and then pile and begins to urinate and/or
boiled or steamed. Go coco for the defecate and the rest of the herd
naturally made smoothies - but ask often follows.
for them to be made with bottled
water to avoid them coming back to try before you fly
haunt you. Watch 'Che: Part 2' with Benicio Del
Toro for seriously stunning scenery.
58

bolivia on a
shoestring
21 DAYS, $2,069 fr

lima - la paz

Authentic, traditional and unspoilt, the Bolivian


landscape will take you to the highest of South
American highs. And we mean literally – it’s
the highest nation in the hemisphere! This
shoestring saunter takes in some of the world’s
most spectacular scenery over the course of a
mere three weeks. And with most time spent
between Peru and Bolivia, it’ll be easier on those
hard saved pennies which means more room Days 6-7: puno Day 13: Bus / train to uyuni
for those all important alpaca woolly jumpers, The highest destination on this trip, Puno, weighs Get on a beloved bus to Oruru and then head
hammocks and comedy Christmas presents. in at an impressive 3830m above sea level. It’ll on to Uyuni by train – stretch those legs! Small
Where else can you fit in visiting Machu Picchu take you a day to get there from Cuzco, followed and fairly isolated, Uyuni sits on the edge of the
- one of the new seven worldly wonders, sail by a free day to appreciate the sights, sounds astounding, amazing, awesome salt flats – think
one of the biggest and highest lakes on the and sexy sweaters of the good Punonian people. we’re exaggerating? Just you wait and see.
planet, get under the skin of the crazily colourful
local culture, tread some terrific terrain in the Days 8-9: isla del sol Days 14-16: uyuni / salt lakes
Atacama Desert and stand simply speechless on Welcome to Bolivia and lakeside town, Spend the next three days exploring the
the vast white salt flats in Bolivia? Right here, Copacabana. Board a boat to the Isla del Sol, the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni
yep that’s where. So jump to it! mythical birthplace of the first Inca and his wife. and Chile’s moon-like Atacama Desert in an all
Lap up the lake’s impressive views and giggle at singing, all dancing 4WD – actually no, that’s
highlights its name. ‘Titi’ is thought to mean puma. just the passengers. Carry on along the rugged
• Roam the ruins of Machu Picchu terrain, spotting flamingos and soaking in
• Get active: raft, ride, mountain bike Days 10-11: sorata thermal baths. (2B, 3L, 2D)
• Capture the essence of Inca legends Sorata is a hiker’s paradiso, since it's located half
• Hop your way up to hikers’ heaven way between the highlands and the jungle. Roll DAYs 17-19: sucre
• Explore the world’s highest capital up your socks for a full day’s hike or chill in the Sucre is fascinating and historic. It’s also home
• Walk like Buzz Aldrin on moon terrain colonial town while you enjoy the scenery. Very to a few fellow traveller footprints from years
• Crack hilarious jokes on Fish Island pleasant times for very pleasant people. That’s gone by – try 60 million years in fact. So go off,
• Marvel at fantastically coloured lagoons just how we roll. explore and jump around the dino tracks. On
• Stand awe-struck on the Salar de Uyuni Day 19 take an overnight bus from Sucre to La
• Get pint-sized in dinosaur tracks Day 12: la paz Paz, with some free time to finish your superb
Heading back from the semi-tropical region shoestring sightseeing.
Day 1: arrive LIMA of the Yungas, you’ll do a hop skip and a jump
Arrive. Have a wander. Chill out with a cold beer. to the highest capital in the world: La Paz. Try DAYs 20-21: La paz
skiing at the world’s highest ski resort. Grab Spend a full day enjoying the world’s highest
Day 2: Cuzco a fruit smoothie and check out the Witches’ capital. People-watch to your heart's content in
Nice to meet you. A marriage made in heaven Market for weird and wonderful purchases – this culture-rich city before departing on Day 21.
(almost) between the Incas and Spanish colonists dried llama foetus anyone?!
makes this city architecturally cool. Skip down
cobblestone streets to the markets, step inside
churches and eat your way to potato paradise.
DEPARTURES
Day 3: machu picchu / cuzco START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 JUN 07 JUN 27 OCT 25 NOV 14 2011
Choo choo to Aguas Calientes and head up to JAN 18 FEB 07 JUL 05 JUL 25 NOV 22 DEC 12 JAN 17 FEB 06
Machu Picchu. Explore all the nooks and crannies FEB 15
APR 12
MAR 07
MAY 02
AUG 02
AUG 30
AUG 22
SEP 19
DEC 20 JAN 09 FEB 14
MAR 14
MAR 06
APR 03 peru
with your guide and get under the skin of the MAY 10 MAY 30 SEP 27 OCT 17 • Lima
Incas. Climb steep Huayana Picchu for a different Accommodation: Simple hotels (may be multi-share) (20 nts) Transport: Local Flight,
4WD vehicles, hiking, public bus, train, boat Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 bolivia
view back to Cuzco to enjoy the nutty nightlife. Group Leader: Local rep, days 1-2, meet with tour leader on day 3 of tour, local
• Cuzco
guides Meals: All meals included during the Salt Flats excursion Budget: Allow Puno •
Isla del Sol • • Sorata
USD300 for meals not included Tour Code: GASBBS
• La Paz
Days 4-5: Cuzco • Oruro
want something longer?
Wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised before • Sucre
Peru & Bolivia Experience
heading off on some of the optional trips Cuzco 30 days fr $3,429 Tour Code: GASPPB
has to offer. Ride raucous rapids down the Uyuni •
Urubamba River, hop on a bike or saddle up stay longer in lima Salt Lakes •
on horseback. You can also head down to the Check out pages 52-53.
Sacred Valley, to see some more interesting Inca
stay longer in la paz
sites, or simply sit back, relax and swear you’ll Check out page 60.
never combine altitude with alcohol ever again.

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59

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
bolivia Day 5: Potosí
Potosí is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with
Day 9: Night Bus / Train to La Paz
Time to cosy up campers, it’s a long night of

discovery a tumultous history and reputation as a silver


mining centre during colonial times. Be daring
and take the chance to descend into a modern-
hilarious anecdotal storytelling ahead. Shuffle up
and meet your soulmate on the next seat.

11 DAYS, $1,179 fr day working mine for a close up look at methods Day 10: La Paz
that have hardly changed in decades, if not A last chance for wacky souvenir shopping and if
start and finish: LA PAZ centuries. Explosive stuff! that’s the order of the day be sure to check out
the Witches market for a whole host of weird
Still relatively untouched by tourism, Bolivia Days 6-8: Uyuni / Salt Lakes and wonderful stuff. Find potions a plenty for
offers some of the most dramatic scenery the Spend the next three days exploring the both real and imagined ailments, walk around the
continent has to offer, a tasty local lifestyle and stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni city centre and enjoy your final moments of this
cities rich in cultural and colonial history. And and Chile’s Atacama Desert in an all singing, all interesting, bizarre and often insane city.
because this marvellous little country remains dancing 4WD vehicle – actually no, that’s just the
relatively 'off the beaten track' - there is a passengers. Take your sunglasses; the already Day 11: Depart La Paz
whole lot still to be discovered - perfect for strong sun bouncing off the whiter than white It's not even a case of swapping numbers or email
curious lust-for-life types like you and your salt flats is pretty intense, and frazzled eyes addresses these days is it? Swap your name for
amigos. This 11 day experience is an all round ain’t a good look this coming season. The sights social networking. Say TTFN and upload all those
epic adventure of exciting and enthralling are quite simply astounding; particularly once shockingly silly and stupendous photos.
encounters - not to mention the altitude that’ll you hit Fish Island so make sure you’ve charged
leave an impression on your heart in more your camera - it's a photographer's dream come
ways than one. Phew! Gawp at the traditional true. Carry on along the rugged terrain, moon
dress, gaze at starlit skies, dance with Bolivian boots and astronaut suit optional. Stop at the
rhythm and enter into a culture just itching to be incredible coloured lagunas, home to beautiful
uncovered. It’s all ‘very naice’ – as Borat himself flamingos standing elegant and proud. Pass
would agree. So get with the program and join geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal baths and
the Boliviawahweewah magic. the whopping Licancabúr volcano (5960m) that
looms in the distance. Cacti lovers will also be in
highlights for their share of spiky treats. (2B, 3L, 2D)
• Live La Paz’s local lifestyle
• Visit historic Sucre's prehistoric friends
• Explore explosive Potosí
• Stand awe-struck on the Salar de Uyuni
• Crack hilarious jokes on Fish Island
DEPARTURES
• Walk on moon-like terrain zombie style 2010
• Marvel at fantastically coloured lagoons JAN - DEC
2011
SAT

• Bag a bargain at colourful markets JAN - FEB SAT

Accommodation: Hotels (may be multi-share) (9 nts), bus/train (1 nt)


Transport: Public bus, train, 4WD truck, local flight Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10
Day 1: Arrive La Paz Group Leader: Tour leader from Sucre onwards Meals: Meals while visiting Uyuni
Salt Flats Budget: Allow USD150 for meals not included Tour Code: GABBD
Arrive into La Paz. Soak in the spirit of the city bolivia
and wander up and down its bustling streets. go in reverse
• La Paz
fr $1,179 Tour Code: GABBDR
Days 2-4: Sucre • Sucre
add on peru
Fly me to the moon… or over to Sucre (the actual
'Altipnano Expedition' Potosí •
moon-like bit comes later on). Arrive and take 31 days fr $3,509 Tour Code: GASXML Uyuni •
time to explore the city and its often red-hot Salt Lakes •
political presence. Meet travellers from times
gone by – just a few 60 million years old and
revel in their footprints – quite literally.
60

La paz &
the salt flats
Downhill Biking YungAs:
La Paz to Coroico
full day fr $125

• Full-suspension bike, helmet and gloves


• Transport included
• Guide driver up-front
• Free T-shirt in memory of your adventure
STAysimple STAysmart
• Traditional lunch

hi hostel onkel inn, la paz hotel el dorado, LA PAZ If there's one thing better than cycling in a
A cool place for cool people. Bright, comfy and Well located and within easy walking distance foreign country, it's cycling downhill in a foreign
clean rooms, there's a roof terrace with a jacuzzi of most of the sights, this simple hotel is clean country. Your guided tour starts at "the Pass/
for some great views, TV room, kitchen, internet and comfortable with friendly staff. Tuck into Cumbre" (4680m) on an impressive 5-6 hours
access and bike rental. A top place to bunk down tasty breakfasts and enjoy great views of the downhill ride to Yolosa (800m). It's a controlled
for a few days. STA520 mountains from the front of the hotel. STA521 but exciting adventure. From the dry Altiplano
into the green Yungas, the scenic entry towards
fr $20 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $60 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST the lowlands of the Amazonia ends in the lovely
fr $67 SINGLE , INC. bREAKFAST fr $67 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST village-terrace of Coroico. Tour Code: STA522
fr $73 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST

Crossing
the Salt day 2: salar de uyuni

Flats Head south through rugged Andean terrain and


past spectacularly colourful lakes. Admire the
incredible flamingos and the Arbol de Piedra -
3 days $263 fr a stone tree that has been carved out of the
howling, sandy winds - and go Viscachas spotting.
Uyuni - San Pedro de atacama
departs: daily Day 3: pedro de atacama
Wake up to bubbling sulphur pools and a geyser.
Day 1: uyuni / salar de uyuni Jump into the hot springs – absolute bliss first
Check out the Train Cemetery on your way into thing in the morning. Check out the sensational
the Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt-flat in the Laguna Verde, you’ll never have seen anything
world. Visit the salt mining area and town of like it! The green colour of the water is caused
Colchani, Bloques de Sal whos residents survive by arsenic, lead, copper and other heavy metals.
solely from salt processing. Take a look around Head onto San Perdro de Atacama, Chile.
a salt hotel (yes, made entirely of salt!) and then
Accommodation: Simple lodge (2n) Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
onto Fish Island - 1000 year old cacti covered in Transport: 4WD Toyota-Landcruiser, 4 - 6 travellers Tour Code: STA523

fossilised coral in the middle of the Salar. Also available in reverse - Please enquire for details.

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61

galapagos

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
islands
Otavalo •

Quito •
• Tena
• Machalilla • Baños
Guayaquil • • Riobamba
• AlausÍ
ecuador

Ecuador
Currency: US DOLLAR
Population: 13.6 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.30

Ecuador & Galapagos

My favourite The Weather


Due to Ecuador's geographical
Useful Info
Beware of Ecuador's dizzying

experience
"I remember lying back on the deck of my boat as the sweet breeze of the
diversity local weather patterns
vary greatly. The mainland coastal
areas in the Galapagos Islands are
altitude. If you're flying straight
into Quito (2800m above sea level)
then you might be hit with altitude
Pacific cooled the delicious equatorial sunshine. The azzure skies above me hot and rainy between January and sickness. Drink lots of water and
were filled with the huge wingspans of at least 100 Frigate birds. These April, and cool and dryer the rest of take it easy for a few days.
magnificent creatures soared in pefect silence as they followed our boat the year. In the highlands, the dry
through the beautiful blue waters. All the natural wonder of the Galapagos season is from June to September Useless Info
Islands was in harmony and I felt as if I was in heaven..." Simon and around Christmas but there are Under Ecuadorian law a woman
rarely significant periods of rain. can be returned to her parents if
The central valley is spring-like year her husband finds out she is not a
round, with temperatures averaging virgin on their wedding night. Apply
at around 24°C. Over in the Orient this law to Australia - and no one
(Amazon) expect sticky heat and would ever get married!
plenty of rain throughout the year.
try before you fly
Local Eats The Galapagos Islands are
Ecuador does soup better than renowned for being the main
anyone else. Many eat it every inspiration for Charles Darwin and
single day. Our particular favourites his theory of Evolution. If you're
include Caldo de pata (bolied cow wanting to appear more learned
hooves), Locro (cheese, avocado and intelligent than just about
& potatoes) and yaguarlocro everybody else on your trip, make
(potatoes and blood sprinklings). All sure you read his seminal book
are much tastier than they sound. 'On the Origin of Species'. It's
mindblowingly fascinating.
62

galapagos islands
Snorkel with the sea lions or lie in the sun Floreana island (Charles) Bartolomé island (Bartholomew)
with the iguanas, it’s up to you. The Galapagos Site of the famous ‘post office barrel’, which was This small island perfectly depicts the geological
Islands are a haven for some of the world’s most placed there by whalers in the 18th century and history of the Galapagos. Impressive volcanic
interesting and unique creatures. The isolation of is still in use today. Visit Pt. Cormorant, which scenery can be viewed from the top of Bartolomé
these islands has created a wildlife playground has a jade green volcanic beach, a lagoon and (114m), where you will see lava formations,
where birds, sea and land animals are more occasional shore birds and flamingos. Snorkel at volcanic peaks and moon-like landscapes.
curious and approachable than anywhere else Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcanic cone.
on Earth. From the stark, lava fields of Rabida to north seymour island
the rich vegetation and white sand beaches of santa cruz island (Indefatigable) Perhaps the best island for photographers. Bird
Santa Cruz - the Islands are yours to explore... The economic centre of the Galapagos and the life is abundant and exceptionally close to the
most populated island of the archipelago. The trail. The largest colony of magnificent Frigate
santa Fé island (Barrington) Charles Darwin Research Station is a 10 minute birds is found here, as well as nesting blue-
Find an endemic species of land iguana and a walk from Puerto Ayora. Visit the adult and baby footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls.
forest of impressively tall opuntia cacti ‘trees’. Galapagos tortoises, which are raised at the
The Galapagos mockingbird, magnificent Frigate station. Check out Turtle Bay Beach, a 45 minute san cristobal (Chatham)
bird, brown pelican and several species of walk from Puerto Ayora along a lovely trail. The The easternmost island and one of the oldest.
Darwin’s Finches are also commonly sighted. pristine white-sand beach is absolutely stunning! The principal town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno,
which is the capital of the Galapagos.
española (Hood) rabida island (Jervis)
Prepare for a mighty array of stunning wildlife: This small island’s volcanic rock is covered by isabela (Albemarle)
Marine iguanas with copper red patches, sea Opuntia Cacti, Palo Santo trees and low scrubby Isabela is the largest and most volcanically active
lions, lava lizards and lots of bird life including bushes. Sea lions abound on the picturesque island in the archipelago. Mellow out in Puerto
finches, boobies and gulls. This is also the only dark red beach behind which is a flamingo Villamil, hang out in a hammock and watch
island where Waved Albatross can be seen lagoon. The shoreline serves as a resting site for the boobies fly by. Or hike to the tucked-away
during breeding season (Apr-Dec). several species of seabirds. lagoon that’s home to hundreds of flamingos.

pinta (abingdon is.)

marchena (bindloe is.) genovesa (tower is.)

san salvador
(santiago is.)
fernandina
(narborough is.)
Baltra
rÁbida
(Jervis is.) santa cruz
(indefatigable is.)
Santa Rosa • • Bellavista san cristÓbal
isabela (Chatham is.)
(albemarle is.) santa fÉ
(barrington is.)
Santo Tomás • Puerto Baquerizo Moreno • • El Progreso
• Puerto Villamil

santa maria
(floreana is.) • Puerto Velasco Ibarra espaÑola
(hood is.)

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63

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Voyage
Galapagos
Adventurer II
10 DAYS, $3,899 fr

start and finish: quito

If you're looking out for love with a capital L,


this may be the place you'll find it. With islands
steeped in romantic history and birds and Day 4: Floreana Day 7: Bartolomé- Black Turtle Cove
wildlife mating all over the place you'll certainly Check out Punta Cormorant on the northern part Arrive at Bartolomé Island early and hop
pick up a few wooing tips while you sail away of Floreana - the landing is on a beach of green off for a short hike. Discover the island's
(even if you don't meet the man or maiden of sand, coloured by volcanic crystals. The trail geological history and witness its dramatic
your dreams on board). Stranger things could leads to a lake normally inhabited by flamingos features, including the unusual splatter cones...
happen! Couples aside, you won't fail to be and other wild birds and continues to a beach interesting. Be lucky and spot the rare Galapagos
enchanted by the incredible beauty of these of fine white sand particles known as “Flour penguin - only 800 pairs exist. In the afternoon
islands with their dramatic landscape, rare and Beach”, an important nesting site for turtles. Go visit Black Turtle Cove and snorkel, watching out
stunning wildlife and glorious colours - it's stuff snorkelling at fish infested Devil's Crown before for sharks and marine turtles. (B, L, D)
that dreams are made of. heading to romantic Post Office Bay in the
afternoon. (B, L, D) Day 8: Plazas - Santa Fé
highlights Visit Plazas island in the morning, then set sail
• Cruise the Galapagos Islands Day 5: Santa Cruz for Santa Fé. Check out the mangroves that
• Sail on board a 75ft motor vessel Wake up in Puerto Ayora. Visit the Charles manage to survive in their harsh environments,
• Swim and snorkel every day Darwin Station and check out giant tortoises. and get cosy with the features and habits of
• Spy amazing wild and marine life Explore the highlands in the afternoon. (B, L, D) prehistoric-looking marine iguanas. (B, L, D)
• Make friends with giant tortoises
• Walk on wildy coloured beaches Day 6: North Seymour - Chinese Hat Day 9: San Cristóbal
• Hike to magnificent viewpoints Sail to North Seymour, north of Baltra. Snap Reach San Cristóbal and after a hearty breakfast
• Explore quirky Quito sea lions, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, disembark to visit the Interpretation Centre. Fly
magnificent frigate birds and Blue-footed back to Quito for a last night of revellry with
Day 1: arrive quito boobies. Work with their romance... during your fellow sea-farers. (B)
Arrive and soak in the Ecuadorian ambience. mating they offer each other gifts, whistle and
honk, stretch their necks towards the sky, spread Day 10: Depart Quito
Day 2: san Cristóbal their wings and dance showing off their bright Copy those photos and add your friends to
Get up early (if you've been to bed) for a morning blue feet - 'check me out, baby'. Visit excellently facebook. Head off with cheesy, toothy grin on
flight over to the Galapagos Islands. Your named Chinese Hat in the afternoon. (B, L, D) your face.
naturalist (that's naturalist not naturist) guide
will welcome you to paradise aka San Cristóbal,
helping you sort yourselves out and get onto the
DEPARTURES
boat. Hang on the beach with your new travelling
Do it your way
Departs Daily
buddies all afternoon. (B, L, D) Accommodation: Hotels (2 nts), twin-share cabins on board our motorised yacht (7
nts) Transport: Local flight, motorised yacht, van, zodiacs, public bus
Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Group Leader: Local naturalist guide (certified by the
Day 3: Española Galapagos National Park) while on the islands, representative in Quito 6 dAYS
Meals: All meals while in the Galapagos Budget: Allow USD80 for meals not
Ahoy me'hearties! Voyage out to Punta Suarez included. Drinks and tips while on the yacht are extra Please note: Itinerary varies
fr $2,359
slightly if departing on a Wednesday Local Payment: USD100 Galapagos park entry 3 nights in Galapagos, 2 nights in Quito,
on Isla Española, re-enacting Pirates of the fee and USD10 tourist card payable on arrival to the islands Tour Code: GAEV10Z Departs Sunday, Tour Code: GA EV06Z
Caribbean (although your boat will be way more
classy than Jack's!). Enjoy the morning on this 7 dAYS
southernmost bit of the Galapagos and hang out fr $2,719
4 nights in Galapagos, 2 nights in Quito
with the wildlife. Be virtuous and learn all their Departs Wednesday, Tour Code: GA EV07Z
names - the masked and Blue-footed boobies STAY LONGER IN QUITO
are by far the easiest to remember. Sail in the Check out page 68.
afternoon to Gardner Bay for swimming and
snorkelling. (B, L, D) More ways to see the galapagos
Ask our advisers in branch or go online
64

Voyage
Galapagos
adventurer v
10 DAYS, $4,129 fr

start and finish: quito

This is your chance to re-enact a wind-swept


castaway who spends 30 odd years on a remote
tropical island in the middle of nowhere. Become Day 4: Cerro Dragon / Bartolomé Day 7: Española
your own Robinson Crusoe with this 10 day trip. Today you'll visit Cerro Dragon, located on the Head to Gardner Bay for some excellent
Create your own sea-faring tales of gripping Northeast Corner of Isla Santa Cruz. Arrive at swimming and snorkelling and then on to Punta
action, suspense and mystery. Zoom around the Bartolomé Island in the afternoon and become Suarezin in the afternoon, on Isla Española. This
incredible Galapagos Islands - many people's enthralled with the geological history. Your southernmost island in the Galapagos is home
most idealised destination on this little planet of guide will explain its dramatic volcanic features, to several wildlife species, including masked and
ours, and enjoy the comforts of your own 100ft including the unusual splatter cones. Cross your Blue-footed boobies (that's a type of bird to
motor yacht. You'll have heaps of time to soak fingers in the hope you'll spot rare Galapagos those as yet unaware). (B, L, D)
up the sun on deck, take in the spectacular views Penguins - only 800 pairs exist. (B, L, D)
and gleam inspiration for that novel you keep Day 8: Floreana
meaning to write, making some great friends Day 5: Rabida / Puerto Egas Reach Floreana Island and stop at Post Office
along the way -animal, mineral or vegetable. Cruise to Rabida Island in the morning and visit a Bay - a historic site where mariners used to
salt water lagoon rich in wildlife and vegetation. deposit and collect letters from a “post office
A large sea lion colony provides great photo barrel” sent home by returning sailors. Take your
Highlights opportunities. Spend the afternoon in Puerto chances and do the same. Cruise towards Punta
• Cruise the Galapagos Islands Egas visiting the lava rock beaches. (B, L, D) Cormorant later in the afternoon on the northern
• Lie back on the massive outdoor deck part of Floreana and head to Flour Beach, an
• Relax in your crew's capable hands Day 6: Black Turtle Cove / Seymour important nesting site for turtles. Look out for
• Snorkel and swim every day Located on the second largest island in the flamingos and the occasional penguin. (B, L, D)
• Witness incredbile and rare wildlife archipelago of Isla Santa Cruz, you'll venture
• Hike through lush vegetation over to the picturesque Black Turtle Cove by Day 9: Santa Cruz / Quito
• Become a bird-spotting expert panga ride to experience the full splendor Wake up in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa
• Snap some truly spectacular colours of the diverse marine life and birds. In the Cruz. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
afternoon continue on to North Seymour, home Fly back to Quito for a last night of fun. (B)
to abundant animal life including the magnificent
Day 1: arrive quito frigate bird. Impressive stuff. (B, L, D) Day 10: depart quito
Arrive, relax, explore. And explore some more. Time to go home and make everyone jealous. (B)

Day 2: Santa Cruz


Hop on an early flight to Baltra in the Galapagos
DEPARTURES
Islands. When you get there ferry over to the
Do it your way
Departs Daily
Island of Santa Cruz where you'll meet your Accommodation: Hotels (2 nts), twin-share cabins on board the motorised yacht
naturalist guide. Take a trip up into the highlands (7 nts) Transport: Local flight, motorised yacht, van, zodiacs, public transportation
Group Size: Max 20, Avg 15 Group Leader: Local naturalist guide (certified by the
and make friends with giant tortoises. (B, L, D) Galapagos National Park) while in the Islands., representative in Quito 6 DAYS
Meals Continental breakfast in Quito, all meals while in the Galapagos
Budget: Allow USD80 for meals not included. Drinks and tips while on the yacht
fr $2,479
are extra Local Payment: USD100 Galapagos park entry fee and USD10 tourist card 3 nights in the Galapagos, 2 nights in Quito
Day 3: Santa Fé / South Plaza payable on arrival to the islands Tour Code: GAEV10G Departs Monday, Tour Code: GA EV06G
Set sail for the island of Santa Fé, also known
as Barrington. Santa Fé is well-known as a 7 DAYS
great place for watching and swimming with sea fr $2,889
4 nights in the Galapagos, 2 nights in Quito
lions. Sail over to South Plaza in the afternoon Departs every Thursday, Tour Code: GA EV07G
- one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos. STAY LONGER IN QUITO
Witness some amazing land iguanas and walk Check out page 68.
along a path through a cactus forest to view
a combination of both arid land and coastal More ways to see the galapagos
Ask our advisers in branch or go online
vegetation. (B, L, D)

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65

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
land galapagos Galapagos on a
10 DAYS, $3,129 fr shoestring
start and finish: quito 9 DAYS, $2,189 fr

• Party til the seacows come home start and finish: quito
• Witness incredible wildlife and friends from the sea
• Snorkel like you've never snorkelled before in deep blue waters • Grow your sea legs and live the ocean life
• Sample delicious local cuisine and relax in the sun • Witness incredible wildlife on and around the islands
• Visit Lonesome George at the Charles Darwin research centre • Get out on the water in a kayak, snorkel or boat
• Soak up some deserved sunshine with an ice-cold beer
Day 1: arrive quito • Wake up to sunrise on the beach, never wanting to leave
Head out to a salsoteca or peña for a taste of the vibrant nightlife.
Day 1: arrive quito
Days 2-3: San Cristóbal Island Arrive into Quito and check out the city's rich history colonial district.
Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Absorb panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean
and get on your bike heading downhill, stopping at Mann Beach. Check out Days 2-3: San Cristóbal
the sealife in a kayak on Day three and explore Kicker Rock - the remains Fly to the Island of San Cristóbal. Hop out hiking to the the lookout point
of an underwater volcano rising out of the waters. Snorkel around turtles, of "Las Tijeretas" for some fantastic bird spotting. Spend your free time on
mantarays, sharks and penguins. Visit the Interpretation Centre. (2B, 2L, D) the beaches and make a visit to the Interpretation Centre.

Days 4-6: Floreana Island/Isabela Island Day 4: santa cruz


Set sail for the day to Floreana Island watching dolphins and albatross. Feel the wind in your hair on a speedboat to the island of Santa Cruz and
Snorkel your way around Enderby Islet or Champions Bay and Devils Crown. the city of Puerto Ayora. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre and get
Head up to the highlands - inhabited many moons ago by pirates, whalers, up-close and personal with the Giant Galapagos land tortoise.
seal hunters and bucaneers. On the way to Isabela Island check out the
flamingos in the wetlands and explore the second largest volcano crater in Days 5-7: Isabela Island
the world. Decide to horseride, surf or hang with Giant tortoises. (3B, 3L, 2D) Head out on board another speedboat to the most volcanically active
Galapagos Island. Visit the convict-constructed 'Wall of Tears' and get
Days 7-8: santa cruz active: surf, snorkel or kayak to your heart's content. Camp for the last two
Check out the Wall of Tears built by convicts, stop at look-out points, visit nights, leaving you with brilliant memories to last a lifetime.
natural pools, walk trails, beaches and mangrove swamps. Visit “Tintoreras“
Shark Alley to observe the white tip reef sharks and cop a view of diving Day 8: santa cruz / quito
Blue-footed boobies. Enjoy the local cuisine and relax to the max.(2B, 2L, D) Speedboat, bus and plane it back from the islands to Quito and party hard!

Days 9-10: quito Day 9: depart quito


Spend your last night revelling like a loco local before leaving town. (2B, L) Say adios amigos and start planning your next trip away!

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
2010 START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
JAN - DEC MOST SATURDAYS 2010 JUN 18 JUN 26 OCT 08 OCT 16
2011 JAN 01 JAN 09 JUL 02 JUL 10 NOV 05 NOV 13
JAN - MAR MOST SATURDAYS JAN 29 FEB 06 JUL 16 JUL 24 DEC 10 DEC 18
FEB 26 MAR 06 JUL 30 AUG 07 2011
Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts) Transport: Local flight, speed MAR 26 APR 03 AUG 13 AUG 21 JAN 14 JAN 22
boat, van, pick-up truck, local buses, zodiacs, public bus APR 23 MAY 01 AUG 27 SEP 04 FEB 18 FEB 26
Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Local naturalist MAY 21 MAY 29 SEP 10 SEP 18 MAR 25 APR 02
guide while in the Galapagos Islands (certified by the
Galapagos National Park), tour rep in Quito Accommodation: Basic hotels (6 nts), camping (2 nts)
Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 4 Dinners Budget: Allow Transport: Local flight, speed boat, van, pick-up truck, local
USD100 for meals not included Local Payment: USD100 buses, zodiacs, public bus. Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10
Galapagos park entry fee and USD10 tourist card payable on Group Leader: Local naturalist guide for included activities in
arrival to the islands Tour Code: GASEGL the Galapagos Islands (certified by the Galapagos National
Park), local tour leader, rep in Quito Meals: No meals
included Budget: Allow USD270 for meals not included
STAY LONGER IN QUITO Local Payment: USD100 park entry fee and USD10 tourist
Check out page 68. card payable on arrival to the islands Tour Code: GASEGS

SEE THE GALAPAGOS BY YACHT


Ask an adviser. Tour Code: GAEV10A
66

Inland &
amazon
16 DAYS, $2,009 fr

start and finish: Quito

Most who visit Ecuador make the massive


mistake of concentrating all their energies
on the Galapagos Islands, ignoring all the
bewildering beauty that make this little land
one of the continent’s true gems. Do this and
always live in regret. Ecuador is the wondrous
archetype of everything that is irresistibly
appealing about Latin America. Straddling the
Equator, this outrageously diverse country
mixes up spectacular Andean mountain scenery
with steamy Amazonian jungle and countless Days 5-6: Jungle Lodge Days 12-13: Cayambe
volcanic peculiarities. This 16 day adventure Travel to a jungle lodge located on the Napo Leave Quito and continue north to the village
penetrates to the very heart and soul of River, one of the Amazon's two major tributaries. of Cayambe, famous both for its dairy industry
the country - your experiences will be spine Explore both on foot and by canoe and learn and the snow-capped, extinct volcano of the
tinglingly real and thrillingly authentic. When about the natural history of the area. There is same name that dominates the town. You'll stay
you wake up in the heart of the jungle in the also an option for an exhilarating whitewater in a 400 year old hacienda nestled at the base
home of a local Quichua family; when you’re rafting trip. (2B, 2L, 2D) of volcano. If you are feeling energetic, you can
meandering through the searing tributaries of travel up to the volcanic glacier and hike back
the mighty Amazon; when you’re hiking to the Days 7-8: Baños down. Rent horses and head off into the hills, or
base of a volcanic glacier or when your lying Return to the mountains and journey to Baños, explore the beautiful property surrounding the
back in a bubbling hot spring – you’ll realise nestled in the hills of the Andes and renowned hacienda - the choice is yours.
that this isn’t the flickering reminisces of an for its thermal springs and hot pools. Arise early
exotic Hollywood movie. This is now, this is you to watch the dawn creep over the mountains Days 14-15: Otavalo / Quito
and this is just about as good as it gets. as you lie back in the relaxing waters. Outdoor Visit beautiful Otavalo and its famous handicraft
activity options around Baños include hiking, market, the largest in South America, dating
horse riding and mountain biking. back to pre-Inca times. The distinctively
highlights dressing villagers come from the surrounding
• Laze in Papallacta's natural hot pools Days 9-11: Cuenca/ Quito countryside every week to sell handmade goods,
• Stay with a Quichua family in the Amazon Head south along the stunning 'Avenue of livestock, fruits and vegetables and everything
• Explore the jungle on foot and by canoe Volcanoes', through Ecuador's central valley of else imaginable. On Day 15 you'll return back to
• Soak up the volcanic wonder of Baños mountains, to reach the town of Cuenca. This is Quito for a farewell night out.
• Marvel at the Avenue of Volcanoes a full-day trip with spectacular views along the
• Wander the colourful streets of Cuenca way. Cuenca is perhaps the most beautiful city Day 16: Depart Quito
• Inhale the exhilarating air of Cayambe in Ecuador with its cobblestone streets, busy Your adventure finishes where it began, say your
• Find a bargain in the markets of Otavalo markets and interesting architecture. Explore tearful goodbyes to your travelling buddies. (B)
the town, hike in Cajas National Park, or visit the
Day 1: Arrive Quito nearby Inca ruins of Ingapirca. You'll fly back to
Arrive in Quito at any time. Quito for the night on Day 11.

Day 2: Papallacta Hot Springs


In the afternoon you'll jump on a bus for a trip
DEPARTURES
over the Andes on your way to the Amazon. START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 24 MAY 09 AUG 28 SEP 12 2011
You'll stop in Papallacta for the night - this small JAN 02 JAN 17 MAY 08 MAY 23 SEP 11 SEP 26 JAN 01 JAN 16
village has maybe the best thermal springs in JAN 16
JAN 30
JAN 31
FEB 14
MAY 22
JUN 05
JUN 06
JUN 20
SEP 25
OCT 09
OCT 10
OCT 24
JAN 15
FEB 05
JAN 30
FEB 20
all of Ecuador. Spend the evening soaking in the FEB 13 FEB 28 JUN 19 JUL 04 OCT 23 NOV 07 FEB 19 MAR 06
Otavalo •
FEB 27 MAR 14 JUL 03 JUL 18 NOV 06 NOV 21 MAR 05 MAR 20
soothing water and your stunning surrounds. (B). MAR 13 MAR 28 JUL 17 AUG 01 NOV 20 DEC 05 MAR 19 APR 03 • Cayambe
MAR 27 APR 11 JUL 31 AUG 15 DEC 04 DEC 19 Quito •
APR 10 APR 25 AUG 14 AUG 29 DEC 18 JAN 02 • Amazon

Days 3-4: Amazon Homestay Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), simple village cabanas - multi- • Baños
share (2 nts), historic mountain hacienda (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, local flight,
Arise early and descend into the Amazon jungle taxis, motorised canoe, 4WD vehicles, pick up truck Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10
ecuador

Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: All meals while in the
region. The scenery changes dramatically as jungle and during homestay Budget: Allow USD250 for meals not included
Tour Code: GAEIA
you leave the mountains behind and enter lush • Cuenca
tropical rainforest. Experience life in the jungle Add on the Galapagos Islands
first-hand on a homestay with a local Quichua 'Full Ecuador'
family and enjoy the splendid hospitality of fr $4,959 Tour Code: GAEF10P
these amazing people. Make friends and get a
stay longer in quito
new perspective while experiencing a completely
Check out page 68.
different way of doing things. (2B, 2L, 2D)

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67

the ecuador

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
experience
18 DAYS, $1,179 fr

start and finish: quito

This high-octane rollercoaster ride through


Latin America’s sexiest little country will leave
you head over heels in love with everything
Ecuadorian. So on returning home to Oz, get
ready to start acting a little oddly. Stifle that
strange desire to put your mate's cuddly pet
guinea pig in the oven. Hold yourself back from
climbing into the nearest duck pond - expecting
it to be deliciously warm and bubbly. Don’t
start aggressively bartering with the poor sales
assistant to make sure you get a fiver off your
underpants. And as you climb up the hill on Days 5-6: Baños Day 10: Guayaquil
your way to work on a Monday morning, you Return to the mountains and journey to Baños, Explore the highlights of Ecuador's largest city
really shouldn’t expect nose tingling altitudes or nestled in the hills of the Andes and renowned and most important port. Check out Bolivar Park,
passing lonely llamas. This amazing adventure for its thermal springs and hot pools. Arise early the Old South Market and Barrio de las Penas.
will put into perspective just how beautiful the to watch the dawn creep over the mountains Enjoy a night boat ride on the Guayas River.
rest of the world can be. Humungous highlights as you lie back in the relaxing waters. Outdoor
include Amazonian exploration with a very activity options around Baños include hiking, Days 11-12: Coast / Machalilla
knowledgeable guide, a wild train ride through horse riding and mountain biking. Your home for the next couple of days will be
the Devils Nose, a couple of days lazing by the the beach town of Puerto Lopez. Relax in a
beautiful beaches of Machalilla, dips in and out Day 7: Santa Anita beachfront hammock or explore the area. Visit
of the beautiful thermal pools of Baños and The small Quichua community of Santa Anita an archeological site, head to Isla de la Plata
countless opportunities to dive head-first into is located at the foot of Chimborazo, Ecuador’s to see the nesting Blue-footed boobies, hike in
a plethora of amazing cultural experiences. highest snow-capped mountain. Stroll through Machalilla National Park, or go diving, snorkelling
Kicking off in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador the community or choose from loads of hiking or whale watching (seasonal).
– this 18 day adventure will pump up every options. Satisfy your appetite afterwards with a
endorphin in your body to breaking point. local delicacy, "cuy" (guinea pig). (B, L, D) Days 13-17: Quito / Peguche / Otavalo
Travel by night bus to Quito and onto the small
Days 8-9: Riobamba / Alausí community of Peguche. Visit the magnificent
• Explore the Amazon Rainforest Sooner or later every traveller to Ecuador passes Peguche waterfall and learn about local weaving
• Soak up the soothing vibe of Baños through Riobamba, as it lies at the centre of the techniques from local artists. The following day
• Chomp on roast guinea pig in Santa Anita country’s road network. On clear days you can you'll go to nearby Otavalo, arriving just in time
• Take a train ride through the Devils Nose see all of the local Andean giants; Chimborazo, to experience its lively Saturday market - the
• Walk the vibrant streets of Guayaquil Carihuairazo and Tunguragua. You'll spend largest handicraft market in South America,
• Enjoy the beachside beauty of Machalilla the night here before descending well over dating back to pre-Inca times. You'll return to
• Learn ancient artistic ways in Peguche a kilometre on the famous Devil’s Nose train Quito on Day 17 for a farewell night out.
• Roam the amazing market of Otavalo journey through spectacular mountain scenery.
Climb up onto the roof for the best views, but be Day 18: Depart Quito
Day 1: Arrive Quito sure to dress warmly! Your adventure finishes on Day 18. Say bye bye.
Arrive in Quito at any time.

Day 2: Tena
DEPARTURES
Travel by bus from Quito to the Amazon jungle START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 22 MAY 09 AUG 26 SEP 12 DEC 30 JAN 16
region. Notice the scenery and climate change JAN 07 JAN 24 MAY 13 MAY 30 SEP 16 OCT 03 2011
dramatically as you leave the mountains and JAN 28
FEB 18
FEB 14
MAR 07
JUN 03
JUN 24
JUN 20
JUL 11
OCT 07
OCT 28
OCT 24
NOV 14
JAN 20
FEB 10
FEB 06
FEB 27
Otavalo •
enter the lush tropical rainforest. MAR 11 MAR 28 JUL 15 AUG 01 NOV 18 DEC 05 MAR 03 MAR 20
APR 01 APR 18 AUG 05 AUG 22 DEC 09 DEC 26 MAR 24 APR 10
Quito •
Accommodation: Simple hotels (13 nts), Amazon community stay (2 nts), Andean • Amazon
Days 3-4: Amazon village homestay - may be multi-share (1 nt), night bus (1 nt) Transport: Public bus, • Machalilla
train, truck, motorized canoe Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader • Baños
Visit an indigenous community, experience local throughout, local guides Meals: All meals while in the jungle Budget: Allow USD320 Guayaquil • • Riobamba
for meals not included Tour Code: GAREE
traditions and learn about Quichua history and • AlausÍ

culture. Hike through the rainforest, explore stay longer in quito ecuador

jungle waterfalls and learn about the important Check out page 68.
uses of a variety of tropical plants. Keep your
Add on the Galapagos Islands
eyes peeled for armadillos, honey bears, sloths, 'Full Ecuador'
jaguars, monkeys, manatees, hummingbirds, fr $4,959 Tour Code: GAEF10P
toucans and much more. (2B, 2L, 2D)
68

quito

STAysimple STAysmart STAysmart

Hostal Jhomana Rio amazonas Eugenia hotel


Hostal Jhomana is in Quito's popular Mariscal Located in the busy Mariscal district this hotel Right in the heart of the main cultural and
area close to bars, restaurants and clubs. offers comfort and relaxation with most rooms historic attractions of Quito is this new, stylish
The roof terrace is perfect for BBQs or simply having great views over the city below. There are hotel with delicate and elegant interior details.
admiring the distant Pichincha mountain. There's two restaurants - one of which is open 24 hours. Previous guests include Miss Puerto Rico 2004.
also a kitchen, TV room and internet. STA524 Perfect for a midnight binge! STA525 Enjoy the comfy King-size beds. Yes please! STA526

fr $18 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $157 Twin, INC. bREAKFAST fr $98 SINGLE
fr $32 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $157 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $98 TWIN
fr $44 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $102 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST

care for
animals in
the amazon accommodation
Shared room in volunteer house.

2 weeks, fr $1,295 meals


Breakfast and lunch is included.
Start & Finish: quito
working hours
Work in an animal conservation and rescue You will work Monday to Friday from 6.30am to
centre rehabilitating monkeys, tapirs and birds 4pm, Sunday from 6.30am to 1pm, Saturday off.
to be released into the Challari reserve. IT3 In your spare time you can trek the jungle, go
whitewater rafting or have a go at kayaking.
activities
Wildlife management at the rescue centre also inculded
(feeding, cleaning etc), improvement of animal • Airport pickup
cages, maintenance of the park, providing guided • Orientation
tours to tourists around the centre. • 24/7 support from local staff

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69
• Santa Marta (Tayrona N.P.)
Cartagena •

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
• Tolu

• Bogotá

colombia

Currency: PESO
Population: 45 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.10

colombia
My favourite The Weather
The weather in Colombia is mostly
Useful Info
Colombia is the world's largest

experience
"Who said Colombia was scary!? Our first night in Bogota was probably the
dependent on how high up you
are. The lowlands are generally hot
and sticky all year round, while
producer of emeralds, and you'll
have many opportunities to buy
them. Don't be conned by the many
best night of the whole trip. It was carnival time, the city was alive with the Andean Highlands are quite men who stand around the streets,
multitudes of revellers - all looking to enjoy themselves. I was dragged a bit cooler - especially at night. ready to pull envelopes from out of
onto a street party by a group of beautiful senoritas. I remember dancing, Summer temperatures can get their pockets. Make sure you only
I remember kissing and I remember feeling happier than I had in years. I very hot, particulary around the buy from a reputable dealer.
woke up the next morning alive with the passion of Colombia..." Peter Caribbean coastline. Bogota boasts
a very pleasant climate all year Useless Info
round, with the driest months being According to a recent study,
from December through to March. Colombia was found to have the
Please bear in mind that all the second happiest people in the
aforesaid advice could well be made world. It was just behind the South
redundant by the wild behaviour of Pacific island of Vanatu.
El Niño and La Niña.
try before you fly
Local grub For a virtual snapshot of the
A fritanga is a heaped plate of colourful landscapes of Colombia
meat - chorizo sausage, ribs, and a surreal insight into the
chops, steaks, organs such as passionate ways of its people -
heart or kidneys and more in any look no further than the novels of
combination. Served with potatoes Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia
and/or fried bananas and fried in a Marquez. '100 years of Solitude'
deep saucepan. Vegetarians might and 'Love in the time of Cholera' are
want to give this dish a miss! two of our particular favourites.
70

bogotÁ

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

Platypus hostel hotel Excelsior Hotel Casa de la Botica


A brightly decorated brilliant little hostel located Located in Zona Rosa, Bogota’s most modern A restored republican house that sits beside La
in Bogota's historic La Candelaria district. There's area - you'll have a great selection of the city’s Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace. With a
free coffee all day long, kitchen, book exchange, best restaurants, bars, clubs and shopping café, restaurant, terrace, balconies and pretty
rooftop terrace, private bathrooms and plenty of malls close to hand. A small, clean and very gardens you can be guaranteed a great stay in
space for hanging out with fellow travellers. STA527 comfortable hotel, the perfect Bogota base. STA528 one of their large and uber comfy rooms. STA529

fr $42 SINGLE, iNC. bREAKFAST fr $199 SINGLE , iNC. bREAKFAST fr $230 SINGLE, iNC. bREAKFAST
fr $54 DOUBLE, iNC. bREAKFAST fr $204 TWIN/DOUBLE, iNC. bREAKFAST fr $263 DOUBLE, iNC. bREAKFAST

coffee plantation welcome to bogotÁ


4 Days, fr $848 double 4 Days, fr $841 double

• 3 nights in a local hacienda • 3 night hotel accommodation Excellsior


• All breakfasts, dinners and 1 lunch • Half day city tour
• Transfers to and from Maniziales • Airport transfer
• Coffee producing farm tour • Daily breakfast

Head out of the big city towards coffee growing Discover the best bits of the city. Staying in the
country and the mountain town of Manizales. city’s lively Pink Zone you can easily explore
This great package includes your transfers from the historic Spanish-influenced area of La
Bogota, accommodation in a traditional hacienda Candelaria, Plaza Bolívar, El Libertador and
and most of your meals. The big highlight is a Capilla del Sagrario. Poke your nose into the
trip around a coffee producing farm. Wind up arty Museo Botero and realise why Bogotá has
through the hills and enjoy the views of the become known as "The Athens of South America".
green carpet of Arabica coffee plantations. Enjoy the wealth of excellent restaurants, the
Learn about the growing, picking, washing and pretty botanical gardens, and the colourful
roasting, before visiting a “trilladora” to see the sights and sounds of this Colombian city
manual selection process of the coffee grains, shrouded in mountains. STA531
and help out with a taste test. STA530

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71

ECUADOR & COLOMBIA


PERU, BOLIVIA,
Colombia
highlights
12 DAYS, $2,129 fr

start and finish: bogotÁ

Colombia carries quite a few unfair and


unfortunate stereotypes – many of which
have been responsible for dissuading
hordes of fearless travellers from tasting
its undeniable beauty. Colombia should be
labelled as a glorious mix of Latin American
and Caribbean culture inhabited by the most
beautiful people on the planet and stuffed
full of diverse jungle, magnificent mountains
and sun soaked coastal utopias. So if you’re Day 1: Arrive Bogotá Days 7-10: Santa Marta / Taganga -
looking for a big experience that your Arrive in Bogotá at any time. Tayrona National Park
average Joe in the pub simply won’t be able Travelling along the coast you'll arrive at
to compete with, then stop right here and Day 2: Cartagena Colombia’s oldest city, Santa Marta. This will
check out this fabulous 12 day adventure. We Enjoy some free time in lively Bogotá before be your base as you explore the surrounding
can promise you intriguing traditional villages boarding the flight to Cartagena and the beaches, villages and Tayrona National Park
and communities, beaches that’ll make you Caribbean coast. (B) - renowned for its unique combination of coral
want to stay forever, ancient historical relics, formations and jungle vegetation. Take a chance
captivating colonial architecture and an Days 3-4: Cartagena to sleep in hammocks while in the National Park
almost perfect all year round climate. You’ll Experience the Caribbean charm and beauty of (mosquito nets are provided). You'll visit the pre-
be struck by the bright ever changing colours, this colonial city while learning about its fabled Hispanic village of Pueblito while hiking through
the constantly smiling faces and the relaxed past on an included city tour. Explore Cartagena forests to waterfalls, and lookouts with great
vibe that pervades every iota of the country. by foot or take a "chiva" ride at night to get a views of the Sierra Nevada. Make sure you try
Go visit Colombia before the world wakes up feeling of this vibrant Colombian city. You can the great seafood! (B, L, D)
to its astonishing wonder. visit the Islas del Rosario National Park with its
stunning beaches or soak in the crater of the Day 11: Bogotá
Totumo mud volcano. After breakfast you'll return to Santa Marta to
pick up your luggage, before catching a flight
highlights Days 5-6: Tolu back to Colombia's capital city for one last big
• Chill out on the Caribbean coast Tolu is a laid-back beach town that gets very few night on the town. (B)
• Wander the sunny streets of Cartagena visitors year round but fills up with Colombian
• Check out the unspoilt charms of Tolu vacationers during local holidays. The town has Day 12: Depart Bogotá
• Tour the San Bernado Islands on a boat yet to be fully discovered by foreigners and this Your big adventure sadly ends today.
• Visit Colombia's oldest city, Santa Maria adds to its charm. There are several discos with
• Marvel at the ancient village of Pueblito unique local character and many restaurants
• Explore the diverse wonders of Tayrona specialising in seafood. Enjoy an included boat
• Enjoy a lively night out in Bogotá tour of the San Bernardo Islands for fantastic
snorkelling opportunities and seafood!

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 15 MAY 26 OCT 02 OCT 13 2011
JAN 30 FEB 10 JUN 19 JUN 30 NOV 06 NOV 17 JAN 15 JAN 26
• Santa Marta (Tayrona N.P.)
MAR 06 MAR 17 JUL 24 AUG 04 DEC 11 DEC 22 FEB 19 MAR 02 Cartagena •
APR 10 APR 21 AUG 28 SEP 08 MAR 26 APR 06

Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), hammock in Tayrona National Park (1 nt) • Tolu


Transport: Bus, local flight, taxi Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour
leader throughout, local guides Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Budget: Allow USD240 for meals not included Tour Code: GASMCH

stay longer in bogota


Check out page 70.

• Bogotá

colombia
72

Brazil, Argentina
& Chile

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73

top 6

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
Amazing
Experiences

1 witness the mighty Iguassu Falls


The Iguassu Falls border three different
2 lose yourself in Rio de janeiro
Cities don't come much sexier than Rio
3 touch the beauty of Patagonia
Patagonia encompasses the
countries; Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay - and de Janeiro. Samba with the locals deep into the southernmost portion of South America -
they can be viewed from all sides. Many of our night, catch a game of footy at the massive bordering both Argentina and Chile. Untouched
adventure trips in this section include a visit to Maracana Stadium or learn to surf on some mountains, crystal clear lakes, endless forests,
the Falls. We also feature local accommodation seriously stunning beaches - all these options rugged wildlife and enormous glaciers - all this
on the Argentinian side - see page 89. and more are available on pages 84-85. and more from pages 92-94.

4 hang out on brazilian beaches


If it's beaches you want then it's beaches
5 see the wildlife of the Pantanal
This tropical wetland is the world's
6 dance all night in buenos Aires
Everything about Argentina's capital city
you'll get - and these are definitely some of the largest - and is probably already familiar to you oozes sensuality and sophistication. You'll fall in
best in the world! We've got hotel options by the through countless wildlife documentaries. Check love at least 10 times every single day you spend
white sands of IIha Grande, Paraty, Salvador and out giant otters, caimans, Jabiru storks, jaguars, there as the sultry evenings go from good to
Buzios - all on page 86. Many of our Brazilian Green iguanas and many more by jumping on one sensational. Make the most of all that beautiful
Adventure trips also visit IIha Grande and Paraty. of our adventure trips - see pages 82-83. provocation and check out pages 90-91.

Average High TempERATURE (ºC)


City J F M A M J J A S O N D
Buenos Aires 29 27 26 22 18 15 14 16 18 21 24 27
Rio Gallegos 18 18 16 12 7 4 3 7 10 13 16 17
Salta 26 25 24 24 20 18 18 21 22 25 26 27
Iguassu Falls 31 31 30 26 23 20 21 22 24 27 28 30
5 4 Santiago 29 28 26 22 17 14 13 16 18 21 25 27
San Pedro 14 15 13 11 10 8 7 7 8 10 11 13
1 2
Concepción 21 21 20 17 15 13 12 13 15 16 18 20
Salvador 30 30 30 30 29 28 27 27 28 28 29 30
6 Florianopolis 28 28 27 26 23 21 20 21 21 23 25 27
Rio de Janeiro 32 33 32 30 28 27 27 27 27 28 30 31

3
74

in search of
iguassu
17 DAYS, $2,129 fr

rio de janeiro - Buenos Aires

Like a giant South American sandwich full of all


the tastiest fillings you could possibly imagine, Day 1: arrive Rio de Janeiro Days 7-10: Iguassu Falls
Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires make great Arrive at any time. According to the Cariocas Time to pack up your palms and head over west
wedges of bread to whack all the salivating (local inhabitants of Rio) ‘God made the world on a full day’s travel to the spectacular Foz do
stuff in-between on this fabulous 17 day in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio.’ It's Iguaçu. Awesome, epic and amazing you’ll be lost
jaunt around some of the continent’s best and not difficult to see why they feel this way, with for words as you breathe in the warm waterfall
brightest showboats. From the City of God, the stunning white beaches of Copacabana vapour and hop over the border to Argentina for
you’ll pass through tropical islands soaking up and Ipanema, sweeping views of the bright a different view or two. Take the opportunity to
sunshine - snorkel, surf and get colonial over blue ocean from way up high on Christ the ride under the huge torrents of thundering water
a delicious local coffee. Prepare for excitement Redeemer’s shoulders, or sunsets from atop the on a speedboat. Speedos purely optional.
overload when witnessing the spectacular Sugar Loaf - reached by cable car. And under all
Iguassu waterfalls, as you stradle (count them) that intoxicating colour and seductive samba Day 11: Salto
a whole three countries' borders. Chillax to the soul, you’ll have until midday tomorrow to share From the border of Brazil, through the awesome
max in some thermal baths before popping into a caipirinha or two with your new travelling atmosphere of Argentina, unleash yourself on
Uruguay to say 'hola' to the locals. Meet some buddies. Happy times. Uruguay in the city of Salto for some welcome
other funky fun-time fanatics on the ferry to the relaxation at the thermal baths. Cross the
capital of legends that is Buenos Aires. You'll Days 2-4: Ilha Grande impressive Salto Grande hydroelectric dam and
never want to leave, ever. As the wandering Get your groove on as you gun down the Atlantic continue the water theme with some wet and
whispers suggest, these guys really know how coast to the port of Angra dos Reis. Hop on wild wizardry at the water park.
to live it up and keep that happy hearty vibe. So board a ferry to take you over to the stunning
take a page out of their books and let that Latin island of Ilha Grande. You’ll be greeted by boats Days 12-13: Montevideo
spirit loose! bobbing along the bay, a stunning lush green Arrive into Montevideo – Uruguay’s uber cool
mountainous backdrop and a real chilled out capital, renowned for hosting Buenos Aires’
highlights attitude. There are over 100 beaches to choose socialites at the weekends at its various
• Rave it up in Rio from, so use your flippers to get down and set happening beachside clubs. Contrasting
• Samba the night away out on the surf. Absolute bliss. creativity is interspersed in and around a
• Chill with a caipirinha on Copacabana city that combines art deco and neoclassical
• Snorkel in tropical paradise Days 5-6: Paraty buildings, along with the historic downtown
• P.A.R.T.Y in Paraty It’s a hard life. More palm trees and sandy shores business district and 80s style skyscrapers.
• Frolic in Iguassu’s fabulous falls make up the most part of Paraty – a quaint Intermingle with the urban landscape and rave it
• Relax in thermal baths colonial town with a relaxed friendly feel. Coffee up on the long stretch of sandy white beach that
• Get lost in Montevideo’s mayhem fiends will be in heaven on a trip to a Fazenda – lies uninterrupted, surrounding the whole city.
• Go colonial in Colonia (coffee estate), or if you’re more of a cocktail-
• Sail over the Rio del Plata crazed monkey then have all your cachaça
• Eat Argentinean steak queries quibbled at a local distillery. How do we
• Tango in Buenos Aires love thee Brazil? Let us count the ways...

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75

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
Do it your way
go in reverse
BUENOS AIRES - RIO DE JANEIRO
fr $2,129 Tour Code: GAJBR

Day 14: Colonia Days 15-16: Buenos Aires Day 17: Depart Buenos Aires
Step into a remarkably different side of Fancy a swim? Hmm, probably not. Better cross Don't cry for me Argentina (oh come on, we had
Uruguayan life as you head along to Colonia del the Rio del Plata by ferry then and find a free to get it in here somewhere). In your finest Evita
Sacramento, a world away from Montevideo’s page in your passport for yet another stamp as style, it's time to say adios amigos and leave
motorised mayhem. Stroll along the riverfront you arrive into Buenos Aires. You can fit a lot feeling high on life, inspired and invincible.
and up the cobbled streets. Hire a golf buggy into a couple of days down here so head over
and try to remember your left from your right to the areas of colourful working-class La Boca,
- road signs are few and far between and there boho-chic San Telmo, high-class Recoleta and
are no traffic lights. It's altogether the perfect party-central Palermo. Tango those twinkle-toes
setting for that perfect bit of "you've been all night long at a Tangueria and order a steak
framed" action - get your cameras at the ready! as big as your head. Check out the soccer at
Rock up to the light house and unwind under a La Bombonera (the chocolate box) - La Boca's
stunning sunset. Drink sangria, tuck into superb famed blue and gold stadium and if there's time
seafood and try a bit of the local speciality food head up river and explore Tigre. There are bars,
- goat. We kid you not. restaurants and boliches (nightclubs) a plenty to
dance your last nights away in style.

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 06 MAY 22 SEP 08 SEP 24 JAN 10 JAN 26
JAN 09 JAN 25 MAY 13 MAY 29 SEP 15 OCT 01 JAN 13 JAN 29
JAN 18 FEB 03 MAY 20 JUN 05 SEP 28 OCT 14 JAN 17 FEB 02
JAN 27 FEB 12 MAY 27 JUN 12 OCT 09 OCT 25 JAN 20 FEB 05
FEB 06 FEB 22 JUN 03 JUN 19 OCT 18 NOV 03 JAN 24 FEB 09
FEB 17 MAR 03 JUN 10 JUN 26 OCT 26 NOV 11 JAN 27 FEB 12
brazil
FEB 20 MAR 08 JUN 17 JUL 03 NOV 02 NOV 18 JAN 31 FEB 16
FEB 24 MAR 12 JUN 24 JUL 10 NOV 09 NOV 25 FEB 03 FEB 19
FEB 28 MAR 16 JUN 30 JUL 16 NOV 17 DEC 03 FEB 07 FEB 23
MAR 04 MAR 20 JUL 06 JUL 22 NOV 23 DEC 09 FEB 14 MAR 02
MAR 11 MAR 27 JUL 12 JUL 28 DEC 04 DEC 20 FEB 17 MAR 05 paraguay
Paraty • • Rio de Janeiro
MAR 14 MAR 30 JUL 19 AUG 04 DEC 12 DEC 28 FEB 21 MAR 09 São Paulo •
MAR 20 APR 05 JUL 26 AUG 11 DEC 18 JAN 01 FEB 24 MAR 12
MAR 26 APR 11 AUG 04 AUG 20 DEC 20 JAN 05 MAR 09 MAR 25 Iguassu Falls •
APR 05 APR 21 AUG 11 AUG 27 DEC 22 JAN 07 MAR 11 MAR 27
APR 12 APR 28 AUG 18 SEP 03 2011 MAR 18 APR 03 Argentina
APR 20 MAY 06 AUG 25 SEP 10 JAN 03 JAN 19 MAR 28 APR 13
APR 27 MAY 13 SEP 01 SEP 17 JAN 06 JAN 22

Accommodation: Simple hotels (14 nts), night Bus (2 nts) - accommodation can be Salto •
quite basic/multi-share at times Transport: Public bus, train, ferry, walking Group
Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: No uruguay
meals included Budget: Allow USD300 for meals not included Tour Code: GAJRB Colonia •
Buenos Aires • • Montevideo
stay longer in buenos aires
Check out pages 90-91.
76

southern Day 2: buenos aires


Delve into the porteño lifestyle and explore
Days 5-6: paraty
With all the excitement of the falls well behind

highlights this city built on cosmopolitan dreams. From


the neighbourhoods of French style, high-class,
gallery-filled Recoleta to the La Bombonera
you, it's time for some relaxation on the sandy
shores of Paraty - a stunning coastal town with
a distictly tropical feel. Wander the cobblestone
8 DAYS, $2,299 fr football stadium - home of the much loved Boca streets, hop onto a boat for a trip around the
Juniors. Check out the Sunday San Telmo market bay, check out the countless islands and kick
Buenos Aires - rio de janeiro and head to Palermo for curb-side cafés. Take a back with a cool caipirinha watching the world
trip around the Evita museum for an insight into go by. Oh it's a hard life for some. (2B)
Pack your most colourful clothes and make her iconic status and party into the small hours
the crossing between the two headiest cities when the locals will only just be waking up! (B) Day 7: rio de janeiro
in South America. With more personality than Welcome to the city of soul, samba and sunshine.
your granny’s dog who’s just gorged itself on Days 3-4: iguassu falls Be prepared to party hard along the stunning
chocolate biscuits, you can guarantee that these Get ready for a thunderous applause and white beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, get
eight days will be fun-packed to the max with the sheer forces of Mother Nature at her high and mighty from the top of the Sugar Loaf
more than a little tropicality thrown in. So get most mental as the falls show off their real and witness Christ the Redeemer standing in
out your itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot personalities the closer you get - raging wildly all his glory before you with helicopters circling
bikini, grab a pair of havaianas, don your tango- over the side of the cliffs with more furor than overhead. Check out colonial Santa Teresa and
tapping steel toed shoes and samba it up all a shopper on the morning of the Boxing Day hop-scotch up the coloured steps in Lapa. Take
the way from Buenos Aires to Rio. Eat the best sale. This is one Mother you seriously wouldn’t an organised trip into the favelas to live and
bits of cow you've ever tasted and make it your want to mess with. Stand gob-smacked at the breathe the rhythms that keep the Carioca (Rio
personal mission to try all the different cocktails different vantage points, from two countries no locals) people grooving all day long. (B)
these passionate people know how to produce. less and scare yourself silly wandering the metal
Meet a magical mermaid or gorgeous gaucho fenced walks around the site. Real daredevils can Day 8: depart rio de janeiro
(Argentina’s answer to a cowboy) and sail off jump onto a speedboat and ride the white waters Soak up that last bit of sun, enjoy one last
into the sunset high on life and full to the brim under the monstrous torrents. Soak in the spray cocktail and take your new Brazilian husband/
of excitable energy. and the electric atmosphere. (2B) wife/girlfriend/chef/personal cocktail maker
home with you. (B)
highlights
• Eat Argentinean steak
• Practice Evita style poses
DEPARTURES
• Sip cocktails in stylish Palermo START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 09 MAY 16 SEP 26 OCT 03 2011
• Watch La Boca play football JAN 03 JAN 10 MAY 23 MAY 30 OCT 10 OCT 17 JAN 02 JAN 09
• Inhale Iguassu’s atmospheric vapour JAN 10
JAN 17
JAN 17
JAN 24
JUN 06
JUN 20
JUN 13
JUN 27
OCT 24
NOV 07
OCT 31
NOV 14
JAN 09
JAN 16
JAN 16
JAN 23
• Border hop to the max JAN 31 FEB 07 JUN 27 JUL 04 NOV 14 NOV 21 JAN 23 JAN 30
FEB 05 FEB 12 JUL 04 JUL 11 NOV 21 NOV 28 JAN 30 FEB 06
• Sunbathe on Brazil’s Costa Verde FEB 14 FEB 21 JUL 18 JUL 25 NOV 28 DEC 05 FEB 06 FEB 13
brazil
FEB 28 MAR 07 JUL 25 AUG 01 DEC 05 DEC 12 FEB 13 FEB 20
• Snorkel in deserted coves MAR 07 MAR 14 AUG 01 AUG 08 DEC 12 DEC 19 FEB 20 FEB 27
MAR 14 MAR 21 AUG 15 AUG 22 DEC 19 DEC 26 FEB 24 MAR 03
• Rave to Rio’s samba rhythms MAR 21 MAR 28 AUG 22 AUG 29 DEC 22 DEC 29 MAR 13 MAR 20 paraguay
• Rio de Janeiro
MAR 28 APR 04 AUG 29 SEP 05 DEC 29 JAN 05 MAR 20 MAR 27 Paraty •
• Catch sunset from the Sugar Loaf APR 11 APR 18 SEP 12 SEP 19 MAR 27 APR 03
São Paulo •
APR 25 MAY 02 SEP 19 SEP 26 Iguassu Falls •

Day 1: arrive buenos aires Accommodation: Comfort hotels (7 nts) Transport: Private van, local flights,
Argentina
comfortable buses Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader
Arrive into this glorious city. Check out the throughout, local guides Meals: 7 Breakfasts Budget: Allow USD350 for meals not
included Tour Code: GASBR
plethora of incredible restaurants, see a tango
show or check out theatreland. Failing that head go in reverse
to a jazz club, guitar show (peña) or relax in a Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires • Buenos Aires
bar with a glass of excellent Argie vino. Fr $2,009 Tour Code: GASSB

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77

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
brazil &
argentina
discovery
11 DAYS, $1,659 fr

rio de janeiro - Buenos Aires

From Rio to Buenos Aires you’ll be dancing til the Days 2-4: Paraty Days 9-10: Night bus / Buenos Aires
cows come home, taking in some terrific sites A hop skip and a jump along Brazil’s emerald Head south overnight to the cosmopolite’s dream
and visiting some of the most vibrant places coastline will find yourself rolling into the that is Buenos Aires. Set out and explore this
on the planet - not that we’re biased…much! beautiful colonial city of Paraty. Wander the vibrant metropolis of never-ending European
Bright splashes of colour coupled with beautiful cobblestone streets, head out on board a boat or influences that could fill your days forever
beaches and tropical islands, not to mention go for a stroll barefoot along the beach and feel with its great bars and restaurants alone. Be
the insatiable thirst for fun and a dusk' till dawn the sand between your toes - heaven on earth. choosy and head downtown to the colourful
nightlife that Brazil has a certain reputation for, Take in a historical ‘fazenda’ (coffee estate) or neighbourhoods of La Boca, San Telmo - great
you’ll be high on life and happy as Larry (whoever satisfy your curiosity for cachaça – the local for Sunday markets, and pop your head into
he is) all the way to Argentina. Mid way you’ll be liquor – at a distillery. It’s also a great chance to the huge French-style cemetry in high-class
completely mesmerised by the incredible Iguassu haggle for havaianas and flirt for football shirts Recoleta. Participate at one of the various
Falls. Marvel at the sheer power of nature at one of the various tourist-friendly markets. tanguerias or tango houses - learn the steps
unadulterated before you wiggle your way down with a lesson or two. And don’t forget the Bife
to Buenos Aires and get into the porteño's (local) Days 5-8: Night bus / Iguassu Falls de Chorizo – Argie steak at its absolute best!
sexy and seductive spirit. Hit the road Jack, don't you come back. Well
no, do - you'll definitely want to return one Day 11: Depart Buenos Aires
• Make friends with Jesus in Rio day. Bop on overnight to Iguassu. Come armed Time to trot like a gaucho, off into the sunset.
• Samba in the sun on Copacabana beach with bedtime stories and hilarious anecdotes in
• Indulge your senses on tropical islands abundance to entertain your new-found friends
• Gaze gob-smacked at Iguassu falls on board this comfy coach-time cruise. Explore
• Take epic photos a plenty the jaw-dropping sights of Iguassu Falls from
• Proudly parade in the Pampas not one but two different viewpoints that just
• Appreciate the Argentine appetite so happen to be in different countries. Count
• Tango in Buenos Aires those passport stamps! Peer over the edge of
the boardwalks and witness the incredible power
Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro of nature as the water plunges spectacularly into
In a super-speedy spin around the city, soak the vast canyon below.
up the sunshine, samba on the sand, and sip
caipirinha cocktails till dawn. Alternatively
helicopter over Christ the Redeemer, ride a cable
car to the top of the Sugar Loaf or be completely
DEPARTURES
random and eat cheese on a stick from a street- START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 22 JUN 01 SEP 25 OCT 05 2011
stall. Mmm, tasty. Let the locals guide you, JAN 16 JAN 26 JUN 05 JUN 15 OCT 09 OCT 29 JAN 01 JAN 11
enlivening your senses one by one. FEB 02
FEB 27
MAR 02
MAR 09
JUN 19
JUL 03
JUN 29
JUL 13
OCT 23
NOV 06
NOV 02
NOV 16
JAN 15
JAN 29
JAN 25
FEB 08
MAR 13 MAR 23 JUL 17 JUL 27 NOV 20 NOV 30 FEB 12 FEB 22
MAR 27 APR 06 JUL 31 AUG 10 DEC 04 DEC 14 FEB 26 MAR 08
brazil
APR 10 APR 20 AUG 14 AUG 24 DEC 18 DEC 28 MAR 09 MAR 19
APR 24 MAY 04 AUG 28 SEP 07 MAR 12 MAR 22
MAY 08 MAY 18 SEP 11 SEP 21 MAR 26 APR 05

Accommodation: Simple hotels (8 nts), night bus (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, van paraguay
Paraty • • Rio de Janeiro
Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides
Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD200 for meals not included
Tour Code: GASZAD Iguassu Falls •

GO IN REVERSE: Argentina
Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro
fr $1,659 Tour Code: GASAZD

add on a sailing adventure


'Islands and Iguassu' • Buenos Aires

fr $2,299 Tour Code: GASAZV


78

iguassu and
beyond
15 DAYS, $2,949 fr

Buenos Aires - rio de janeiro

Rhythm, soul, colour and unrivalled emotion Days 2-4: Mercedes – Esteros del Iberá Days 11-13: Ilha Grande
are just some of the "isn’t the world wonderful" Spend a half-day touring your new favourite Get your groove on as you gun further up the
elements you’ll get a handle on over the next 15 city, drinking coffee and eating infamous dulce Atlantic coast to the port of Angra dos Reis.
days - a far cry from day-to-day life back home de leche cake before hopping on a night bus Ferry over to the stunning island of Ilha Grande.
in grey normality. Inhale the inspiration, feel the to Esteros del Iberá; the largest fresh water King-prawn kebab in one hand, coconut in the
exhillaration that'll sweep you up high leaving reserve in Argentina. Here’s your chance for other, you’ll be greeted by boats bobbing on the
you dangling in the air hoping you remembered some fantastic up-close moments next to Howler bay, stunning lush green mountainous backdrop,
to pack your parachute, or at least a spare monkeys, capybaras (giant guinea pigs), otters and a real chilled out vibe. There are over 100
set of undies. From the tango-tapping centre and caymans. (2B, 2L, 2D) beaches to choose from, so get your snorkelling
of Buenos Aires, across wildlife-central water shoes on and set out on the surf. Bliss.
reserves, to the incredible power and sights of Days 5-7: iguassu falls
the Iguassu Falls, roaming around in tropical Get your history hats out for a quick stop at Day 14: Rio de Janeiro
waters over and under the ocean, you’ll wind the fascinating Jesuit ruins near Posadas before Arrive into Rio – Brazil’s biggest ocean-side
up into Rio, aka party-goers paradise. Switch leaping over the Argentinean border and arriving jewel in the crown. According to the Carioca’s
your ipod onto 'samba shuffle', catch some rays, into glorious Brazil. Glimpse the Falls from all (local inhabitants of Rio) ‘God made the world
appreciate some deep fascinating culture and angles and walk right up to the Devil’s Throat for in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio.’ It's
meet some super-friendly local people. Learn a shot at what Mother Nature looks like at her not difficult to see why they feel this way, with
how to dance the night away right on into dawn, angriest and most beautiful. Get wet and wild on the stunning white beaches of Copacabana and
witnessing a couple of spine-tingling sunrises a high powered boat under the spray of the Falls. Ipanema, sweeping views of the bright blue
across tropical bays. You'll wonder why it's taken ocean from way up high on Christ the Redeemer’s
you so long to get here and will be booking your Days 8-10: Paraty shoulders, or sunsets from atop the Sugar Loaf,
next trip back before you can say caipirinha! Palm trees and sandy shores make up the most reached by cable car. And under all that colour
part of Paraty – a colonial town with a relaxed and samba soul, it’s the perfect setting for a last
highlights friendly feel. Reach caffeine heaven at a Fazenda caipirinha with your travel buddies. Good times.
• Tango in Buenos Aires (coffee estate), or if you’re more of a cocktail-
• Eat Argentinean steak crazed monkey then have all your cachaça Day 15: Depart Rio de Janeiro
• Hang out with some wicked wildlife queries quibbled at a local distillery. How do we Time to leave. Samba into the sunset feeling high
• Frolic in Iguassu’s fabulous falls love thee Brazil? Let us count the ways… on life, inspired and invincible.
• P.A.R.T.Y in Paraty
• Snorkel in tropical paradise
• Boat out into hidden coves and beaches
DEPARTURES
• Rave it up in Rio START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 21 JUN 04 OCT 08 OCT 22 2011
• Shake your body to the samba JAN 17 JAN 31 JUN 11 JUN 25 OCT 29 NOV 12 JAN 21 FEB 04
• Chill-out with caipirinhas on Copacabana FEB 14
MAR 07
FEB 28
MAR 21
JUL 16
AUG 06
JUL 30
AUG 20
NOV 19
DEC 10
DEC 03
DEC 24
FEB 11
MAR 04
FEB 25
MAR 18
MAR 27 APR 10 AUG 27 SEP 10 DEC 31 JAN 14 MAR 25 APR 08
APR 23 MAY 07 SEP 17 OCT 01
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires brazil
Accommodation: Hotels (13 nts), bus (1 nt) Transport: Public and private bus, ferry,
Arrive into Buenos Aires and step out into the taxi Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides
Meals: All meals while in the Esteros del Iberá Budget: Allow USD280 for meals not
electric air of a city that hums to the sound of included Tour Code: GASABR paraguay
• Rio de Janeiro
Illha Grande / Paraty •
the Tango. Head down to the neighbourhoods São Paulo •
RIO CARNIVAL PACKAGES Iguassu Falls •
of colourful La Boca, boho-chic San Telmo,
fr $1,104 See pages 90-91.
uber-cool Palermo (you might spot a movie star) Argentina
and high-class, high-cultured Recoleta. Show off STAY LONGER IN BUENOS AIRES • Mercedes / Esteros del Iberiã
those twinkle toes on your first night out and Check out pages 90-91.
enjoy some excellent steak washed down well
with some fantastic Argie vino. • Buenos Aires

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79

southern

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
explorer
15 DAYS, $3,839 fr

santiago - rio de janeiro

If you’re short on time but you don't want to


compromise on exciting explorations - then
this jolly little jaunt might be just what you’re
looking for. Uncover three amazing countries,
cruise three very different capitals, take in some
truly tropical time and marvel at momentous
mountains - all of course with an extra large
dollop of fun thrown in for good measure. Soak
up the Brazilian sun for some well deserved
relaxation - cocktail in one hand and snorkel
mask in the other. Then get out and active
on wet and wild activites like boating under Days 7-9: Buenos Aires Days 12-13: Paraty
the ravaging waterfalls at Iguassu and hiking Touch down in Mi Buenos Aires Querido – as the A hop skip and a jump along Brazil’s emerald
atop snowy peaks. An electrifying and all- song goes – ‘My beloved Buenos Aires’, made coastline will find you in the beautiful city of
encompassing multi-climate combination of all famous by Carlos Gardel, possibly the most Paraty. Wander the cobblestone streets, head
your favourite things. Let yourself go and get prominent figure in the history of Tango. Explore out on board a boat or go for a stroll barefoot
into the flow. all the different areas of this wonderful city – along the beach and feel the warm sand between
hang out with the cool kids in Palermo, get boho your toes - heaven on earth. Take in a historical
highlights chic on in San Telmo, tap your tango toes in La ‘fazenda’ (coffee estate) or satisfy your curiosity
• Salsa seductively in Santiago Boca and hunt out some ghosts in Recoleta’s for cachaça – the local liquor – at a distillery. It’s
• Quaff quality vino in the Maipo Valley impressive cemetery. Kick back with a Quilmes also a great chance to haggle for havaianas and
• Admire the Andes in all their splendour (local beer) and tuck into some steak so juicy flirt for football shirts in the markets. (2B)
• Go skiing in Bariloche (seasonal) you’ll be licking your plate and asking for more
• Eat Argentinean steak more more! (2B) Day 14: Rio de Janeiro
• Watch football in Buenos Aires According to the Cariocas (local inhabitants of
• Get wet under Iguassu Falls Days 10-11: Iguassu Falls Rio) ‘God made the world in six days, the seventh
• P.A.R.T.Y in tropical Paraty paradise Explore the jaw-dropping sights of Iguassu he devoted to Rio.’ It's not difficult to see why
• Samba in the sun on Copacabana beach Falls from not one but two different viewpoints they feel this way, with the stunning white
• Roam rambunctious Rio that just so happen to be in different countries. beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, sweeping
Count those passport stamps! Veer over the views of the bright blue ocean from way up high
Day 1: Arrive Santiago edge of the boardwalks and bear witness to on Christ the Redeemer’s shoulders, or sunsets
Arrive into Santiago at any time. If it’s winter nature’s incredible power as the water plunges from atop the Sugar Loaf - reached by cable car.
bring a jumper – or you might get Chile. spectacularly into the vast canyon flowing Soak in all the chaotic colour and samba soul,
down below. Dare-devils can choose to rock the and party the night away, sharing a caipirinha or
Day 2: Santiago 'I'm a drowned rat' look after an exhilarating two with your travelling buddies. Good times. (B)
Be cool and get down…downtown. Head out speedboat ride under the spray and vapour of
for some cracking Chilean vino at different the Falls. Wet and wild, you'll be talking about it Day 15: depart Rio de Janeiro
wineries across the Maipu Valley - wander amid for weeks to come. (2B) Tear yourself away from tropical paradise. (B)
the vines and be sociable, knowledgeable and
sophisticated all at once. (B)

Days 3-4: Puerto Varas


DEPARTURES
Fly up high into the sky and down south to START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 Apr 18 May 02 Aug 08 Aug 22 Nov 28 Dec 12
Puerto Varas where you’ll get the chance to Jan 10 Jan 24 May 02 May 16 Aug 22 Sep 05 Dec 12 Dec 22 brazil
hike around the Petrohue region in the hills that Jan 24
Feb 07
Feb 07
Feb 21
May 16
May 30
May 30
Jun 13
Sep 05
Sep 19
Sep 19
Oct 03
Dec 22
2011
Jan 05

surround the Osorno Volcano. Choose to get out Feb 21 Mar 07 Jun 13 Jun 27 Oct 03 Oct 17 Jan-02 Jan-16
Mar 07 Mar 21 Jun 27 Jul 11 Oct 17 Oct 31 Jan-16 Jan-30
to the lakeside villages of Frutillar and expand Mar 21 Apr 04 Jul 11 Jul 25 Oct 31 Nov 14 Jan-30 Feb-13
Paraty
Apr 04 Apr 18 Jul 25 Aug 08 Nov 14 Nov 28 Feb-13 Feb-27
your horizons just that little bit further. (2B)
Accommodation: Comfort hotels (14 nts) Transport: First-class buses, local flights, private paraguay
van Group Size: Max 15, avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides chile São Paulo • • • Rio de Janeiro
Meals: 13 Breakfasts Budget: Allow USD420 for meals not included Tour Code: GASSR Iguassu Falls •
Days 5-6: Bariloche
One of the most beautiful spots in the whole go in reverse
wide....Argentina. You’ll feel like you’ve been Rio de Janeiro to Santiago
• Santiago
transported to a little bit of Alpine heaven, fr $3,839 Tour Code: GASRS • Buenos Aires
Argentina
complete with splendid background and epic stay longer in santiago
action-packed activities. Enjoy a lake cruise to Check out page 97.
• San Carlos de Bariloche
the Blest Arm on Lake Nahuel Huapi and try the • Puerto Varas
local chocolate – it's pretty special. (2B) stay longer in rio
Check out pages 84-85.
80

southern Days 2-5: Pucón


Get out and about in the fresh air and fill
Days 11-12: Night Bus / Buenos Aires
Cosy up amigos, you’ll be heading off on a

sojourn those lungs with what dreams are made of.


Get energised with a mind-blowing, stress
busting, ‘I’m on top of the world’ style hike in the
top-class night bus in no time. Seriously, your
cramped economy airfares will be put well back
into their places on your way back home. Journey
13 DAYS, $1,419 fr mountains, don a life-jacket and jump into the through the vast open pampas and arrive into
nearest river for a bit of rafting action or head what’s commonly known as the Paris of South
santiago - Buenos Aires onto the slopes for some exhilarating skiing – it’s America. While this may be a little cliché, the
snow time! evidence of European influences certainly
Bounce your way from Chile to Argentina on a underlies the vibrant personality and seductive
fantastic flurry of absolute action. Prepare for Days 6-7: Puerto Montt / Puerto Varas soul to this city. Munch out on Argentine steak,
a marathon of mountainous mayhem, a good Head further south to the city of Puerto Montt, with a good dollop of chimichurri sauce and a
guzzle of some great gourmet gentility and a the gateway for explorers going into the puré mixto (mixed mash); take in the colourful
spattering here and there of some all-round epic Patagonian wilderness. Head over to the island neighbourhoods of La Boca, San Telmo and
adventure! Enjoy this mix of heady heaven that of Chiloé and chomp your way through some Palermo and tap those tango toes all night
would give any mixologist a run for their money. seriously good seafood. long in a Tangueria or boliche (nightclub).
Come out the other end feeling as energised as a Atmospheric intoxication is only but inevitable as
Duracell bunny, as relaxed as a pair of well-worn Days 8-10: Bariloche every Argentine would most definitely agree.
jeans and as inspired and in love as Romeo when Step into quasi-alpine aficionado heaven.
he met Juliet (just less of the killing, eh - we Journey through the mountains of Upper Day 13: Depart Buenos Aires
come in peace). At the end of these very lucky Patagonia and arrive into Bariloche, a Time to depart this wonderous city, if you can
13 days it’s high up on our betting cards that summer and winter resort town favoured by possibly tear yourself away. Well, if it were only
you’ll never want to leave, so ummm...don’t! Tack the Argentines for activities such as hiking, up to us…
another tour onto the end of this and avoid the biking, paragliding, lake tours and skiing or
journey home for just that little bit longer. Some snowboarding – snow permitting, obviously. Tuck
would say we’re bad influences, others - merely into some of the local chocolate, famed for its
door-openers to the world... richness, certainly helping to keep the cold out.
Marvel at the sensational views.
highlights
• Suck in Santiago’s sophistication
• Snap some serious landscape
DEPARTURES
• Raft down raucous rivers START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH chile
2010 MAY 23 JUN 04 AUG 27 SEP 08 DEC 27 JAN 08
• Snowboard into Bariloche (seasonal) JAN 02 JAN 14 JUN 09 JUN 21 SEP 04 SEP 16 2011
• Savour sumptuous seafood JAN 15
JAN 30
JAN 27
FEB 11
JUN 14
JUN 23
JUN 26
JUL 05
SEP 12
SEP 21
SEP 24
OCT 03
JAN 11
JAN 27
JAN 23
FEB 08
• Eat half an Argentinian cow FEB 10 FEB 22 JUL 02 JUL 14 SEP 30 OCT 12 FEB 04 FEB 16
FEB 25 MAR 09 JUL 07 JUL 19 OCT 10 OCT 22 FEB 20 MAR 04
• Quaff quality local wine MAR 11 MAR 23 JUL 20 AUG 01 OCT 21 NOV 02 MAR 07 MAR 19
MAR 27 APR 08 JUL 26 AUG 07 NOV 01 NOV 13 MAR 16 MAR 28
• Paraglide like an eagle APR 11 APR 23 AUG 03 AUG 15 NOV 15 NOV 27
• Santiago
APR 29 MAY 11 AUG 11 AUG 23 NOV 26 DEC 08
• Tango til your toes drop off MAY 12 MAY 24 AUG 19 AUG 31 DEC 12 DEC 24
• Buenos Aires
Argentina
• Absorb colourful Buenos Aires Accommodation: Simple hotels (10 nts), night bus (2 nts) Note: Accommodation can
be quite basic/multi-share at times Transport: Overland vehicle, walking
Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides • Pucón
Day 1: Arrive Santiago Meals: No meals inc. Budget: Allow USD250 for meals not inc. Tour Code: GAJSB

Arrive into Santiago at any time. Head out into • San Carlos de Bariloche
GO IN REVERSE • Puerto Varas
the city and explore. Stumble upon the Plaza de Buenos Aires to Santiago
Armas and check out the café culture, wall-to- fr $1,419 Tour Code: GAJBS
wall shops, parks and leafy suburbs.
STAY LONGER IN buenos aires
Check out page 90.

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81

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
• Amazon Rainforest Natal •
Recife •

brazil
Salvador •

• Pantanal
• Campo Grande
• Bonito

Paraty • • Rio de Janeiro


Iguassu Falls • São Paulo •
Currency: REAL
Population: 191 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.50

brazil
My favourite The Weather
For a country that's bigger in size
Useful Info
Mighty sporty types, the Brazilian's

experience
"Sunset from the top of Sugar Loaf after a truly epic carnival gave me the
than Australia, the climate hardly
varies and temperatures stay
pretty constant all year round. The
are ranked number one in the world
for their national soccer skills.
They'll be hosting the 2014 FIFA
most incredible goosebumps. There I was, standing overlooking one of the Amazon gets the most heat and World Cup as well as the 2016
best cities in the world after an immense week of unforgettable chaos and humidity - and in the October and Summer Olympics.
fun. You could still hear the music pumping. The beaches of Copacabana April wet season you'll still average
and Ipanema to my left, Christ the Redeemer up in front of me on a distant 5-6hrs of sun everyday. In the drier Useless Info
hill, and the lights of the marina beneath my feet..." Emma season you'll get more like 9-10hrs. You might be forgiven for thinking
Coasts are cooler due to the sea that Brazilian beauty is only skin
breeze and only in the far south will deep. They're probably the most
you feel a slight temperature drop. addicted nation in the world to
plastic surgery with celebrities and
Local Eats lesser mortals talking openly about
When you think of Brazil, think their facelifts, wrinkle reductions
tropical - you'll get almost every and bum tucks. Nip tuck to it!
type of fruit under the sun. Add
that to random sticks of cheese, try befor you fly
grilled with oregano on the Listen to some Samba and Bossa
beaches, acaci berry smoothies, Nova - the most famous Bossa
sensational buffet restaurants Nova track of all time is probably
(where you pay for your food by its 'The girl from Ipanema' from the
weight) and the essential coconut mid-1960s by Antonio Carlos
and caiphirinia. Feijoada - black Jobim. It's been covered numerous
beans, huge meat kebabs and deep times since. Feel that rhythm!
fried Coxinhas are also delicious.
82

wonders of
brazil
15 DAYS, $2,949 fr

start and finish: rio de janeiro

Time to get tropical and samba it up Copacabana Days 3-4: Paraty Days 9-10: Bonito
style. In a vision of all things colourful and crazy, Time to P.A.R.T.Y in Paraty – another gloriously Bonito, as its ‘beautiful’ name implies, is a great
you’ll get drunk on the party atmosphere alone. tropical destination. You’ll want to stay place for nature lovers. Just outside the Pantanal
Become hopelessly addicted to the embodiment forever, lying under the naturally beautiful area, this is water and jungle country where
of South American soul that is the Brazilian surroundings, lazing on heavenly blue shores brilliantly coloured fish fill the area’s crystalline
spirit - setting you well on your way for the and drinking locally grown cachaça. See just rivers. Explore nearby underwater caves and
ultimate of unanticipated travel tales. Start how much you like it on a cachaça cocktail waterfalls, go rafting or snorkelling, or just relax
off in magnificent Rio – a city with a character cruise in and around the beaches and coves. by the river.
like no other and if you just so happen to time It’s also home to sugar cane and coffee,
your trip around February, make sure you book making it a caffeine addict's haven. Popular Days 11-13: Pantanal
in for Carnival and the greatest show on earth; with Brazilian nationals and foreigners alike Wildlife wackos: unite! Little-known outside
the Rio parade. Huge long lines of the city’s there's so much to see and do, so get out of South America, this huge wetland
samba schools moving to the music til dawn, there and get active! region (half the size of NSW) is one of the
dressed in outrageously awesome costumes and continent’s best places for catching life
ingeniously joined to the amazingly detailed and Days 5-8: Iguassu Falls / Night Bus that’s as wicked as it is wild. Special guests
perfectly constructed floats. Add all this on to Head inland from the coast on to the Foz do may include: cabybaras (giant guinea pigs),
the continuing topicality that lies in wait for you Iguaçu – gateway to the epic Iguassu Falls. Howler monkeys, caimans, Giant River otters,
further down the coast in the haven of coves Prepare for a two-sided border hop from Brazil anacondas, anteaters and great Jabiru storks.
and golden beaches, transporting you to a world to Argentina as you soak up the spray from both Ingenious impressionists will have a field day.
where mermaids do really exist and heaven is a countries. Daredevils can get close to the Falls (3B, 3L, 3D)
place on earth. Slap on the sunscreen, whip out on a wild and wet power-boat ride, taking in
those flower garlands and shades and groove the truly incredible power of Mother Nature as Day 14: Rio de Janeiro
to the rhythm of these life-loving people with a the torrents jet their way into the raging river Wrap up your sight-seeing and get out to party!
passion for partying. down into the vast canyon below. Higher than
Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls you’ll need Day 15: depart Rio de Janeiro
highlights a dentist appointment to wrench your jaw back Stuff your bag full of flip flops, bikinis and
• Marvel at Christ the Redeemer together by the time you get back home. football shirts and depart beaming like a super
• Boogie with a Brazilian bang bright bulb with a radically renewed spark.
• Laze in the sun on tropical islands
• Sail the Atlantic ocean blue
• Snorkel around idyllic islands
DEPARTURES
• Create cachaça based cocktails START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 15 MAY 29 OCT 02 OCT 16 2011
• Get wet and wild under Iguassu Falls JAN 23 FEB 06 JUN 12 JUN 26 NOV 06 NOV 20 JAN 22 FEB 05
• Get back to nature in the Pantanal FEB 20
MAR 06
MAR 06
MAR 20
JUL 10
AUG 07
JUL 24
AUG 21
DEC 11
DEC 24
DEC 25
JAN 07
FEB 12
MAR 09
FEB 26
MAR 23 brazil
• Make friends with monkeys APR 17 MAY 01 SEP 04 SEP 18 MAR 26 APR 09
• Pantanal
• Go coco crazy on Copacabana Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), multi-share tented room with hammocks (3 nts),
• Campo Grande
night bus (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, night bus, internal flight Group Size: Max
15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guide while in the Pantanal • Bonito
Meals: All meals on Pantanal excursion Budget: Allow USD260 for meals not
Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro included Tour Code: GAZWB
• Rio de Janeiro
Paraty •
Arrive in Rio at any time. Order a beer beachside, São Paulo •
Add on a sailing adventure Iguassu Falls •
take in the view, breathe in the sweet air, soak
Check out page 87.
up the sun and get supremely excited about the
next few days to come. RIO CARNIVAL PACKAGEs
See pages 84-85.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro
stay longer in rIo
Tour round the city taking in the sensational
See pages 84-85.
views from Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and
take a stroll in colonial Santa Teresa. Marvellous.

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83

brazil

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
Crossing
17 DAYS, $2,479 fr

rio de janeiro - la paz

If A is for adventure then B is for beautiful


Brazil and boggling Bolivia. Over the next 17
days get to know the exhilarating extremes
of these two glorious countries – from the
indigenous intricacies of the Andes to the
wild interior of Brazil and its golden Atlantic
beaches. Get off the beaten track a little and
check out the more hidden and arguably richer
bits either side of these brilliant borders. Get
all your senses tingling as you explore with
your eyes, ears, noses, mouths, hands and feet
- cartwheels and backflips optional! Days 6-9: Iguassu Falls Days 14-15: Corumbá / Santa Cruz
Head inland to the Foz do Iguaçu – gateway to Cross into Bolivia at Corumbá, stopping first in
the epic Iguassu Falls. Hop across the border Puerto Suarez. Board an overnight train to Santa
highlights and feel the spray from both sides. Daredevils Cruz, Bolivia's second largest city.
• Drink in Rio’s intoxicating personality can get scarily close to the Falls on a wet and
• Laze in the sun on tropical islands wild boat ride, taking in the truly incredible force Day 16: La Paz
• Sail the Atlantic Ocean blue of Mother Nature as the torrents jet their way Feel on top of the world in more ways than one
• Create cachaça based cocktails into the raging river below. Higher than Niagara as you roll into the world’s highest capital. Buy
• Get wet and wild under Iguassu Falls and wider than Victoria Falls you’ll need to call a all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff - potions
• Get back to nature in the wetlands dentist to wrench your jaw back together. to cure both real and imagined afflictions, all
• Make friends with monkeys essential baby alpaca finger-puppets, silver,
• People watch in La Paz Days 10-11: Bonito leather and Bolivia's infamous stripy trousers.
As beautiful as its name implies and a great
Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro place for water, jungle and nature lovers. Watch Day 17: Depart La Paz
Arrive into Rio and in a quick-stop whirlwind, brilliantly coloured fish fill the crystalline rivers. With a hangover to end all hangovers (or is that
wander this incredible and incomparable city til Check out underwater caves and waterfalls, go just the altitude?) head off into the sunset,
dawn. Inhale the infectious Latin soul, shake your rafting or snorkelling, or re-re-lax by the river. grinning like a misplaced Cheshire cat.
booty to some samba, bathe in tropical paradise,
oh and there’s also that Jesus bloke up on the Days 12-13: Pantanal
hill too. Spread that Carioca (Rio resident) love Wildlife wackos: unite! Little-known outside of
and have some fun. Amazing! South America, this vast wetland region is one
of the continent’s best wildlife watching spots.
Days 2-3: Ilha Grande Special guests may include: cabybaras (giant
Escape the city and head down to the coastal guinea pigs), Howler monkeys, caimans, Giant
island of Ilha Grande. If you’ve ever wondered River otters, anacondas, anteaters and great
what paradise looks like, this'll be a pretty close Jabiru storks. Ingenious impressionists will have
match. Stroll along the sandy beaches or jump a field day. (2B, 2L, 2D)
head first into the warm Atlantic Ocean. Boat
out to hidden coves, hike through the ardent
and lush greenery, spot a monkey or two, an
armadillo and many a perky parrot. Failing that,
DEPARTURES
just chill and watch the world go by in this truly Departs Sat Weekly
beautiful part of the planet. Accommodation: Hotels (11 nts), night bus (2 nts), train (1 nt), multi-share tented
room with hammocks (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, local flight, 4WD vehicle, train,
optional hiking, ferry Group Size: Max 16 , Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader Day Bolivia
brazil
Days 4-5: Paraty 1-16, Local rep in La Paz, local guides Meals: Meals while in the Pantanal • La Paz
Budget: Allow USD330 for meals not included Tour Code: GASZRL • Santa Cruz
Time to P.A.R.T.Y in Paraty – another gloriously
• Pantanal
tropical destination. You’ll want to stay forever,
• Bonito
lying under its naturally beautiful surroundings, Rio de Janeiro •

drinking its locally grown cachaça and lazing Iguassu Falls •
on its heavenly blue shores. See just how much Paraty / Ilha Grande
you like it on a cachaça cocktail cruise in and go in reverse
around the beaches and coves. It’s also home to La Paz - Rio de Janeiro fr $2,479 Tour Code: GASBLR
sugar cane and coffee making it a coffee addict's
stAY LONGER IN RIO
haven. A destination popular with Brazilians and Check out pages 84-85.
foreigners alike.
STAY LONGER IN la paz
Check out page 60.
84

rio de janeiro

STAysimple STAysimple STAysimple

1 El misti hostel, copacabana 2 che Lagarto Ipanema 3 rio backpackers, copacabana


5 minutes from Copacabana beach, El Misti has This funky modern hostel has a cool terrace out This three-storey hostel has a good chill out
friendly staff, a comfortable setting and laid front for sipping beers and watching the world TV area with pool table, kitchen, internet
back atmosphere - perfect for settling down for go by, great tourist services and a friendly chilled and big balcony. It has a great relaxed vibe
a while. The professional in-house chef dishes up vibe. The bar is one of the hottest in town. The meaning people often stay longer than planned.
delicious international food every weekend. STA533 top-floor rooms have amazing sea views. STA532 Portuguese lessons can also be organised. STA534

fr $18 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $22 DORM, inc. breakfast fr $26 DORM, inc. breakfast
fr $77 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $80 DOUBLE, inc. breakfast

rio Carnival Package


7 nights, fr $1,104

• El Misti Hostel, Copacabana


• 7 nights guaranteed accommodation
• Check in between: 11 Feb 10 - 14 Feb 10
• Daily breakfast
• Close to Lapa for street parties
• Optional organised nightly activities

Welcome to the greatest show on earth. Carnival


in Rio is a once-in-a-lifetime experience simply
unrivalled by anything else. Be prepared for
sleepless nights of epic fun, enough sunshine for
a whole year's worth of vitamin D and caiphirinas
that'll start flowing out your ears. Check into
this fun hostel, well positioned for partying and
seeing all the must see sights! Check in starts on
the 11 Feb 2010. Tour Code: STA535

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
85

dates for your diary

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
 ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 15km 

February 12 - February 16, 2010


rio carnival!!
MARACANA
STADIUM
march 2010
Rio circuit - cycle race
SANTA TERESA
april 1 - april 5, 2010
holy week festivities

april 2010
rio boat show
CORCOVADO SUGARLOAF
(CHRIST THE REDEEMER STATUE) MOUNTAIN
June 13 - 29, 2010
Rio bonfire and fireworks festival
TIJUCA
NATIONAL PARK COPACABANA June 27, 2010
LAGOA RODRIGO 1 4
DE FREITAS rio marathon
3
2 6 September 7, 2010
5
IPANEMA Brazil Independence day

STAysmart STAysmart STAystylish

4 bandeirantes, copacabana 5 Mar ipanema 6 Ipanema plaza


A bargain hunter's dream. All rooms have air- Location, location, location. 2 blocks from Hang out with the cool kids at this chic Ipanema
con, phone, fridge, radio, cable TV, internet and vibrant Ipanema beach this modern hotel is on hotel. With marble floors, plush lighting,
safe. Laze around the hotel's beautiful outdoor the doorstep to fun bars, restaurants and classy rooftop terrace bar and stunning views of the
pool, fitness room, sauna and massage centre - boutiques. People-watch for hours from its street beach you'll never want to leave. Oh and did we
sightseeing gets tiring you know! STA536 café. All rooms have air-con and cable TV. STA537 mention the pool and wet and dry saunas?! STA538

fr $150 SINGLE, inc. breakfast fr $196 SINGLE, inc. breakfast fr $335 SINGLE, INC. BREAKFAST
fr $150 TWIN/DOUBLE, inc. breakfast fr $217 TWIN/DOUBLE, inc. breakfast fr $335 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

tour of a favela Samba Expedition 'The Big Dude' Tour


half Day, fr $43 half Day, fr $39 half Day, fr $45
Visiting a Favela is a pretty unforgettable So what if you've got no timing and the feet of Hop off on a short hike up the 696m Pedra
experience and sheds a whole different light elephant? With a couple of beers and a sense Bonita. Witness stunning views over Rio, and
on the better known glitzy side of Rio. Wander of adventure, you'll be dancing like a pro before then drive through Tijuca National Forest where
through the streets with your guide, visit a local too long. Shake it like a polaroid picture! (Not Christ the Redeemer will be waiting at the top.
artist's studio and a school. Meet the real people included: Energy to dance, skimpy clothes, Grab lunch and a beer in Santa Teresa before
and sample their home-made cakes. STA539 whacky photos, money for beer). STA541 walking the famous Lapa coloured steps. STA543

Football Game at
Maracana Stadium surf expedition Favela funk party
half Day, fr $57 half Day, fr $82 fr$48
Experience the passion of a soccer derby in the After football and beach volleyball, surfing is Make yourself a caipirinha, don your dancing
infamous Maracana stadium. Join the locals as the third popular sport in Rio. With more than shoes and groove to your heart's content at one
they beat their drums and blow their trumpets in 25 beaches in Rio, for good waves to practice of Rio's finest clubs. Feel like a true Carioca -
support of their local team. You'll soon know why it's the perfect opportunity to grab a board and dance, party and drink with the locals. This little
Brazil has won the world cup an amazing five head out there. Whether your an old pro or a beauty includes transport and entry to the club.
times. You can't escape the fever! STA540 complete novice, get out on those waves! STA542 Wiggle that booty! STA544
86

beaches
of brazil

STAysimple STAysimple STAysimple

misti chilli hostel, paraty alpha hostel, salvador che lagarto, ilha grande
A great beachfront location with an atmosphere A 'home away from home' in a safe area that still Loud, popular and heaving with travellers, this
that's calm and cool. Chill out in a hammock, feel has a social and lively atmosphere. There's a big hostel is right on the unspoilt beach and close to
the breeze and smell the ocean air. All rooms kitchen, TV lounge and great games area. Rooms town. Lounge on the balconies, sunbathe in the
have en suite bathrooms, female dorms are have fans, lockers and environmentally-friendly garden and party in the bar til dawn. There's also
available and there's an awesome TV room. STA547 solar-heated showers. STA548 internet, a kitchen and TV lounge. STA545

fr $15 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $20 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $22 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST
fr $61 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $50 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $84 DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

STAysimple STAysmart STAystylish

aquario pousada, ilha grande Marazul, salvador Pousada Corsário, Búzios


A little bit of paradise, with sea-view suites A simple hotel by the beach close to local A few hours from Rio in beautiful Buzios - this
and dorms. A large sun deck offers panoramic restaurants, cafés and nightlife. Small pool and hotel is quality on a stick. In huge grounds with
views of the island and activities include kayaks, good hearty breakfasts make this a popular pit two pools on famous Ossos Beach, rooms are
surfing, boats, fishing trips and diving. The stop for explorers and passers by. Rooms have chic and stylish. VIPs have ocean views, whirlpool
restaurant and bar serves up great times. STA546 cable TV and air-con. STA549 baths and a private terrace/garden. STA550

fr $31 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $129 SINGLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $191 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST
fr $63 DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $129 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $238 DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
87

Brazil Tall Ship

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
Sailing Adventure
7 DAYS, $1,829 fr

Rio de Janeiro - paraty

• Sail exotic landscape and pass mountains dipping into the sea
• Cruise into Paraty - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Snorkel and slip into inviting blue-green waters
• Get involved on the workings of the boat
• See amazing flora and fauna at the Mamanguá Ecological Reserve

Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro


paraty
Arrive in Rio and board the ship of your dreams. Come armed with eye- 7 DAYS, $90 fr DORM, INC. BREAKFAST
patches and Pirates of the Caribbean jokes. Get to know your sailing crew.
How do we love thee Brazil, let us count the ways… Tropical paradise
Day 2: Set sail from Rio de Janeiro awaits those who come to wile away their days in Paraty. 125 miles south
Embark on your adventure along the Brazilian coast with unbeatable views of Rio on the Costa Verde (Green coast) this quaint colonial town sits
of Rio's famous horizon. Boat past lush rainforest and long, lonely beaches. amid a backdrop of lush greenery and the Bocaino mountains. The centre
has been named a National Monument with well-preserved buildings
Day 3: Ilha Grande, Enseada das Palmas and cobblestone pedestrians-only streets. There’s heaps to see and do
Explore by sea, snorkel, kayak or foot. Watch the sunset at Lopes Mendes – get into the hustle and bustle of the markets, explore the sugarcane
beach, before dinner and drinks on the beach. Perfection on a stick. plantations or take a train through the Atlantica Forest. Or you could
spend your time just sittin’ on the dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll
Day 4: Lagoa Azul, Saco do Ceu away… in an excellent homage to Otis Redding. Paraty could well have
Set sail for Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), Sítio Forte and Saco do Céu. In the been his muse. Head out on a boat to secluded coves, snorkel over to
evening phosphorescent sea plankton look fantastic in a fluorescent show. the flotillas of islands and soak up some sunshine. Make friends with the
monkeys spilling out of all corners and grab an ice-cold beer as you watch
Day 5: Mamanguá Ecological Reserve spectacular sunsets. A little bit of romance, a lot of relaxation and some
Boat to Mamanguá Ecological Reserve - the only fjord in Brazil. Check out very, very good times ahead. Price includes accommodation only.
the rainforest flora and fauna before night time festivities on the beach.

Day 6: Ilha da Beixiga, arrive Paraty


Have a Robinson Crusoe moment on the stunning private island of Ilha da
Beixiga. Party in Paraty, famous for seafood, Cachaça and Bossa Nova.

Day 7: Depart Paraty


Top up your tan and enjoy the colonial charm of this pretty town.

salvador
7 DAYS, $120 fr DORM, INC. BREAKFAST

Rumoured to have an even better Carnival scene than Rio, Salvador has
earned the name ‘Capital of Joy’ which makes it shoot up on the radar of
DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH top destinations to visit if you find yourself down Brazil way. Located in the
2010 FEB 28 MAR 06 NOV 28 DEC 04
JAN 17 JAN 23 MAR 14 MAR 20 DEC 18 DEC 25
northern state of Bahia – otherwise known as the ‘Land of the drum’ you’ll
FEB 07 FEB 13 NOV 07 NOV 13 be guaranteed some bopping nights out, painting the town a rainbow of
Accommodation: Single and double berths (multi-share) brazil colours and soaking in some true Brazilian beats. It also pumps in a whole
(6 nts) Transport: 120 ft Brazilian Tall Ship Tocorimé and
inflatable shore boat Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12
Rio de Janeiro •
lot of feel-good African influences – you’ll notice them in the food (think
Group Leader: Captain, first mate, engineer, deck hands,
cook, passenger liaison Meals: All meals while on board • Ilha Grande delicious spicy seafood…mmm), music scene, art and architecture. As soon
Budget: Allow USD100 for extras not included, (i.e. alcoholic Paraty •
beverages) Tour Code: GAZVRPT as you arrive you'll want to head out into the surf, dive into the Atlantic
Ocean and head up into the rolling hills for some sensational hiking. Witness
go in reverse
the stunning views of the city below and then head back into town and relax
Paraty - Rio Tour Code: GAZVPRT
on the beach. Wander the city centre and sit out at the cafés dotted along
the pretty harbour. You won’t want to stay here for a week – you’ll want to
set up camp and call it home. Price includes accommodation only.
88
Iguassu Falls •

Córdoba •
Rosario •
• Mendoza • Buenos Aires

argentina
• Bahia Blanca

Currency: ARGENTINE PESO


Population: 40.4 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.60
• El Calafate

argentina
My favourite The Weather
Gloriously hot from November
Useful Info
Think things have been bad for

experience
"As soon as I stepped into Buenos Aires I knew I was at home. The
to March, chilly over June throuh
to August (to the Argentineans'
disgust) you'll probably still be
us recently? The Argentineans
have known it worse - surviving a
deep recession and then complete
cosmopolitan influences hit me straight away – I felt like I was walking the wearing t-shirts while they're all economic collapse in 2001, they
boulevards of Milan, Paris, New York or London - but all rolled into one and wrapped up in scarves. Further saw their money devalued to be
filled with unmistakable South American seduction. The atmosphere of the south in Patagonia it's reminiscent worth a mere third of what it was,
tango halls and bustling San Telmo market was brilliant. Not to mention the of Tassie - wetter and much cooler. practically overnight. So be kind and
nightlife – I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun!" Emily think before you excitedly exclaim
Local grub how cheap it is compared to home.
Meat fiends will be in aboslute Argento means silver in Spanish.
heaven - Bife de Chorizo -
succulent and juicy sirloin steak is Useless Info
a must, accompanied by chimichurri The stadium home to La Boca - one
sauce and a puré mixto (mixed of Argentina's soccer teams is more
mash). There are strong Italian commonly known as La Bombonera
influences too, meaning pasta - or chocolate box. Whats more, the
and pizza are the stuff of dreams. city's main stretch of road, the nine
Definitely try the sickly sweet dulce de Julio, is the widest boulevard in
de leche - pumped into all sorts the world spanning 110m.
of puddings, alfajores and the
addictive medialunas (croissants, try before you fly.
but better). Wash it all down with Watch 'The Motorcyle Diaries' a
some excellent Argie wine: try biopic film that tells the story of
red Malbec or Bonarda and white a young Che Guevara on his 1952
Torrontes or Chardonnay. journey across South America.
89

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
iguassu falls

STAysimple STAysmart

hostel inn iguassu Posada la sorgente


By far the nicest hostel around. This place has Spoil yourself at the sexy Sorgente. There's a
an enormous pool, perfect for a cool-down dip pool fed by mineral springs set in lush gardens, a
after your trundle round the falls. There's a really restaurant, late-night bar and tasty home-made
great and lively bar, two pool tables, ping pong breakfast cakes. The ensuite rooms have king-
and sport fields. All rooms have air-con. STA553 sized beds, a balcony and pool views STA554

fr $17 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $154 SINGLE, INC. BREAKFAST


fr $61 DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $154 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

Iguassu Falls Experience


4 days fr $546

• 3 nights stay at Posada La Sorgente


• Full day tour to the Argentine side
• Half day Brazilian side tour
• Transfers to and from accommodation
• 3 hearty breakfasts included

Witness the sheer power of Mother Nature over


these few days and gawk over the local flora
and fauna. Make friends with the wildlife and
boat out under the spray if you dare. Border hop
between Brazil and Argentina and then relax
back in the hotel's inviting pool and gardens.
Stay up all night chatting to other peeps at the
bar or go out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
STA555
90

buenos aires

STAysimple STAysimple STAysimple

1 millhouse hostels 2 Hostel suites florida 3 hostel suites palermo


Two amazing party hostels set right in the heart The newest edition to the Hostel Suites Empire, Some of the best accommodation in town in the
of downtown Buenos Aires. Both have 24hr smack bang in the centre of town. There's free city's coolest area. The plush Palermo Suites'
reception, kitchen, TV and games room, free internet, WiFi, a pool table, mini cinema and rooms are spacious with wooden floors, modern
internet, cafe/bar, individual lockers and happy, an alive and kicking bar. All rooms have private lighting, stylish beds and cultured décor. All
friendly staff - just like their guests! STA556 bathrooms, heating and air-con. STA557 rooms have private bathrooms and lockers. STA558

fr $15 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $16 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $22 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST
fr $60 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $68 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $75 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

spanish on the move tango package


4 days fr $182 3 days fr $188

• Learn to speak Spanish • Stay in a top quality city-centre hostel


• Explore the different city zones • Explore the city of Buenos Aires
• Discover local bars and restaurants • Eat amazing Argentine steak
• Understand how local culture works • Shop til you drop in stylish boutiques
• Sample the true porteño way of life • Hunt for bargains in the markets
• Less time in the class - more real life • Tap your tango shoes til dawn

¡Hola! Want to combine city sightseeing with a Perfect if you don't have much time - you'll be
bit of Spanish lingo learning? Step away from picked up from the airport and whipped into a
boring classrooms and onto this beautiful city's Tango frenzy. Stay at the stylish Hostel Suites
streets for a lesson/tour with a difference. Obelisco and spend a night amongst friends
Explore different neighbourhoods and get under and locals at Boca Tango, a colourful show that
the skin of an Argentine's way of life. More than recreates the lifestyle of city dwellers. Enjoy
words; you'll learn about the people, culture and spectacular dancing and music while you munch
history stopping at coffee shops along the way. on a delicious three course meal.

Days 1,2,3 of the course are held between 14:00-17:00 hours. Day 4 is held over Accommodation: Hostel (2n) Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner Other Inclusions: Airport
dinner at a local restaurant (dinner not included) from 20:00 to 23:00 hours. and tango show transfers, 1 welcome drink , Boca Tango show Tour Code: STA560
Tour Code: STA559

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91

3 dates for your diary

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
 MINISTRO PISTARINI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 30km 
PALERMO
april, 2010
6
BAFICI - International indie film fest
RETIRO
STATION
RECOLETA august 1-30, 2010
World Tango Championships

september 15-october 15, 2010


ECOLOGICAL Pepsi Music Festival
1 2 RESERVE
OBELISK
October 1-30, 2010
CONGRESO 5
CASA ROSADA Buenos Aires Jazz Festival
4
PUERTO MADERO november 1 - 30, 2010
Creamfields Buenos Aires
SAN TELMO
November 1 - 30, 2010
9 JULY

La Noche de los Museos - museums stay


open til 2am with concerts galore
AVENU

LA BOCA
E

Mid november - mid december annually


Argentine Polo Open, Palermo

STAysmart STAysmart STAystylish

4 The clan house B&B 5 Castelar hotel and spa 6 plaza elegance unique hotel
Step inside a house full of cosy, bright colours Castelar has seen it all and knows how to please. Elegance by name, elegant by nature. The rooms
and quirky antique furniture. There's a fully Famous for its superb spa, this is one place you'll are designed to impress with their stylish and
functional kitchen, free internet and WiFi, 24hr want to spoil yourself. Turkish and Finnish saunas exclusive furnishings. The hotel's fine-dining
tea and coffee, and buffet breakfast til 12pm. Sit are free for guests, and there's also a gym, Zen restaurant serves up creative signature cuisine
out on the terrace and relax in the lounge. STA561 garden, restaurant, WiFi and cable. STA562 and mouth-watering Argentinian dishes. STA563

fr $49 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST fr $167 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST fr $92 SINGLE, INC. BREAKFAST
fr $53 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $167 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $96 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST

football match tango show with dinner


half Day, fr $101 fr$84
Argentina's passion for football is rivalled only Feel the passion, aggression and flare of Tango
by Brazil. You can't stay in Buenos Aires without while you munch with the locals and friends
someone asking you about Diego Maradona - so on a heavenly traditional dinner. Get intimate
tag onto this tour with all your other 'gringo' with Argentina's residents as they show you the
mates for a mad time in amongst thousands of beginnings of Tango and dance you through a
die-hard fans. STA564 night of some supreme musical talent. STA565

clubbing night pass B.A by bike


fr$19 half Day, fr $43
Buenos Aires has some of the most incredible Burn your bike tyres around Buenos Aires' most
and downright crazy nightlife on the entire famous and colourful spots as well as all those
planet. Classy clubs are a feature here, though nooks and crannies you wouldn't find on your
nights out don't usually start till around 2am own. A fun, short and lively way to see the city if
(these Argentines are hardcore). Show them how you have a spare morning or afternoon up your
we do it back home and last till dawn in and out sleeve. You'll arrive in San Telmo in time for a
of 10 clubs and over 7 nights! STA567 deserved beverage. Helmet hair included. STA566
92

patagonia
el calafate ushuaia - peninsula
& torres the end of valdes
del paine the world whales & penguins
5 days, fr $495 3 days, fr $371 4 days, fr $356
Start & Finish: el calafate Start & Finish: ushuaia Start & Finish: Puerto Madryn
Departs: Daily Departs: daily Departs: daily

• 4 nights accommodation in El Calafate • 2 nights accommodation in Ushuaia • 3 nts. accommodation in Puerto Madryn
• Daily breakfast • Daily breakfast and lunch on Day 2 • 2 breakfasts
• Airport or bus station pick up • Airport or bus station pick up • Airport or bus station pick up
• Full day trip to Perito Moreno Glacier • Full day trip to Tierra del Fuego • Peninsula Valdes penguin rockery
• Full day trip to Torres Del Paine • Take a boat trip into the Beagle Channel • Punta Tombo penguin rockery
• Free day to enjoy El Calafate
Tierra del Fuego is the southern-most tip of the Check out amazing Peninsula Valdés a.k.a. 'The
On the other side of the Andes, the spectacular Americas and as close as civilisation has got to Sanctuary of Nature' - where magnificent marine
and majestic Torres del Paine National Park the snowy desert of Antarctica. This three-day creatures such as Orcas, Southern Right whales,
is just waiting to be explored. Its imposing adventure allows you to explore Argentina's Elephant seals, Sea lions and the Magellan
peaks form a dramatic background to its vast most valued wildlife and immerse yourself in an penguin swim in serenity. This trip combines
coloured lakes and hostile vegetation. This ancient culture. Enjoy treks, boat trips, canoe the local earthly attractions with full day visits
superb package offers you the chance to explore tours and the nightly freedom to make your trip to the Punta Tombo penguin rockery, Peninsula
Perito Moreno Glacier. You'll hike and truck your anything you want it to be! STA569 Valdés and Puerto Piramides. You'll also have
way through some startling scenery and you'll the pleasure of staying in the quintessential
Please note: On day 2, the full day excursion of trekking and canoeing in the Tierra
witness some of the most amazing wildlife you del Fuego National Park is only guaranteed to operate from 3rd October until 10th Argentinian town of Puerto Madryn. STA570
April each year. During the winter this is not possible.
are likely to see in your life. All that fresh air is Please note: Punta Tombo can only be visited between mid-September and
mid-April. During the rest of the year, the tour will set out for Gaiman and Trelew,
likely to make you sleepy - and you'll have a very Choose from three accommodation options: with a beach-stop at Playa Unión and Port Rawson - where you can appreciate
spectacular coastal scenery and wildlife.
comfy bed to return to in the evening. STA568
STAysimple fr $371 Choose from three accommodation options:
Choose from three accommodation options: Mixed dorms at the 'Free Style Hostel' or similar.
STAysimple fr $356
STAysimple fr $495 STAysmart fr $688 El Gualicho Hostel, Posada del Catalejo; Hostel
Calafate Hostel, Hostel del Glaciar Libertador or Hosteria Mirabeagle, Hosteria Macondo, Che Patagonia or Hostel Viajeros
similar depending on availability. Hosteria Peninsula Antartica or similar.
STAysmart fr $1,173
STAysmart fr $1,240 STAystylish fr $845 Villa Piren, Hosteria Las Maras, Hotel Tolosa,
Patagonia Queen, Kalken, Hosteria Rincon de los Luxury rooms in the decadent Mil819 or Hotel Solar de la Costa or Hotel Bahia Nueva.
Suenos or similar depending on availability. Tierra de Leyendas.
STAystylish fr $2,046
STAystylish fr $2,014 Exclusive boutique accommodation at Territorio
Esplendor Calafate or Design Suites. Hotel or similar depending on availability.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
93

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
patagonia
experience
11 DAYS, $2,419 fr

start & finish: Ushuaia

Latin America ain’t all about sexy salsa dancing, Day 1: Arrive Ushuaia Days 6-9: Torres del Paine N.P.
steamy jungle expeditions, moonlight mojitos Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Travel south across the border into Chile to the
and oversized sombreros. Down on the southern spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Here,
tip of the continent stretching across both Chile Days 2-3: El Chaltén / Glacier N.P. the landscape conforms to every stereotype of
and Argentina lies an icy wilderness unrivalled Fly south over lofty peaks to the town of El the rough beauty of Patagonia: breathtaking
in its sheer dramatic beauty. Patagonia is the Calafate and transfer on to El Chalten. From views of the three pink granite towers, French
continent’s true treasure and is ideal for those your base in El Chaltén you'll take a full-day hike Valley and its glaciers, as well as the region’s
who want a travelling experience stripped naked amongst the spiralling granite peaks of Glacier unique wildlife such as vicuña, rheas and
of clichés, commonality and any kind of uncouth National Park's northern tip - also home to the Patagonian hares. Travel by boat on Lake Pehoe
interference from commercialism. Everything third largest ice field on earth. Hike to Laguna amongst the icebergs of Grey Glacier. You can
down here is nothing short of magnificent. You’ll de Los Tres to fully appreciate majestic Cerro even hike on the glacier itself. (2B, 2L, 2D)
enter a trance like state of virtual bliss as you Fitzroy/Chaltén (3441m) and to Laguna Torre for
gaze at the panoramic views from the slopes of inspiring Patagonian views. Day 10: Ushuaia
behemothic snow shrouded mountains. You’ll be Back to Ushuaia for one last night on the town.
awestruck as you watch the enormous chunks of Days 4-5: El Calafate / Moreno Glacier
ice drop from the Perito Moreno Glacier into the Return to El Calafate, on the shores of Lago Day 11: Depart Ushuaia
deep green waters below. You’ll feel like you’re Argentino. A spectacular drive west through Your Patagonian adventure finishes on Day 11.
wandering around a deserted heaven as you lofty mountain peaks takes you to the Moreno
hike past the resplendent scenery of Torres del Glacier, within Glacier National Park. During the
Paine National Park, while reclusive condors and trip you may spot condors, rheas, eagles or
searching eagles swoop down in search of their flamingos - but the real star of the day is the
unfortunate prey. You’ll be forgiven for feeling a glacier itself, located at the southern terminus of
joyful kind of fear as you travel by boat amongst Glacier National Park. Sliding down from atop the
the intimidating icebergs of Grey Glacier. Over 11 southern continental ice field, Moreno's 60m wall
days you’ll come to realise how fortunate you are of ice sporadically chokes off the narrow Canal
to be experiencing Patagonia. de los Tempanos (Channel of Ice Bergs) creating
a natural ice dam, which eventually explodes in a
dynamic display of force.
highlights
• See the third largest ice field on earth
• Enjoy the views from Laguna Los Tres
DEPARTURES
• Witness the falling ice of Moreno Glacier START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 FEB 21 MAR 03 OCT 17 OCT 27 2011
• Spot condors, eagles and flamingos JAN 10 JAN 20 MAR 07 MAR 17 NOV 14 NOV 24 JAN 09 JAN 19
• Hike between ethereal granite towers JAN 24
FEB 07
FEB 03
FEB 17
MAR 21
APR 04
MAR 31
APR 14
DEC 12 DEC 22 FEB 13
MAR 06
FEB 23
MAR 16
• Marvel at unique indigenous animals
Accommodation: Simple hotels (8 nts) - may be multi-share, camping (2 nts)
• Cruise among the icebergs of Lake Pehoe Transport: Local buses, plane, hiking Group Size: Max 12, Avg 8 Group Leader: Tour
Leader throughout, local guides Meals: Meals included while camping in Torres del
• Enjoy a lively night out in Ushuaia Paine Budget: Allow USD200 for meals not included Tour Code: GASAPP

why not check out antarctica? argentina


Ask an adviser for details.
El Chaltén •
START AND FINISH IN SANTIAGO • El Calafate
'Essential Patagonia'
fr $2,599 Tour Code: GASCEP
Puerto Natales •

chile

• Ushuaia
94

end of
the earth
15 DAYS, $2,979 fr

start and finish: buenos aires

There is something unspeakably stunning


about Patagonia. It is undoubtedly one of the
most beautiful places on our planet – say it
quietly but many of us at STA Travel would
put if firmly at number one. Try your best to
imagine a seemingly endless succession of
snow capped mountains, divided by shimmering
lakes and enormous glaciers, inhabited by very
few humans but roamed by many penguins, Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires Days 6-9: Torres del Paine N.P.
subterranean rodents, cougars and all kinds of Arrive in Buenos Aires at any time. Continue the journey south along the unpaved
magnificent bird life. For those who worship the road to the border of Chile. Spend a relaxing
great outdoors, this is just about as good as Days 2-3: El Chaltén / Glacier N.P. evening in scenic Puerto Natales before the trip
it gets. The air is crisp, clean and wonderfully Fly south to the Province of Santa Cruz and the to spectacular Paine National Park. Spend the
exhilarating. The waters are icily cold, but fresh town of El Calafate before transferring overland next two nights camping among the dramatic
and full of life The night skies are alive with to El Chaltén. Enjoy a full-day hike within Glacier granite pillars that dominate the landscape. From
a silent orchestra of the most vividly radiant National Park’s northern end, where granite the campsite, take day hikes and check out some
stars. This stupendous adventure will fly you pinnacles spiral upward into the sky from the of the striking scenery of this protected area,
back and forth from Buenos Aires straight into third largest ice field on earth. Hike to Laguna home to amazing wildlife - herds of guanacos,
this heavenly wilderness. Amongst many other de Los Tres to fully appreciate majestic Cerro majestic condors, flocks of pink flamingos and
big highlights - you’ll take a two day camping Fitzroy/Chaltén (3441 m) and to Laguna Torre large Patagonian hares. Return to Puerto Natales
excursion to Torres del Paine National Park, for inspiring views of the magical peaks and on the afternoon of Day Nine. (2B, 2L, 2D)
you’ll hike through Glacier National Park, you’ll glaciers. Return to to El Calafate in the late
cruise through the islands and inlets of Beagle afternoon of Day Four. Day 10: Punta Arenas
Channel and you’ll witness the incredible moving Punta Arenas is Chile's southernmost city. You
ice of Morneo Glacier. Prepare for personal Days 4-5: El Calafate / Moreno Glacier will have time to explore and visit a penguin
fulfilment, ephemeral enjoyment and a big wide Return to El Calafate on the shores of Lago colony at Otway Sound.
smile that’ll stay etched on your face throughout Argentino. A spectacular drive west through
the 15 days of this trip, and beyond. lofty mounatin peaks takes you to the Moreno Days 11-13: Ushuaia / Beagle Channel
Glacier, within Glacier National Park. During the The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is
highlights trip you may spot condors, rheas, eagles or your base for a cruise of the the Beagle Channel.
• See the third largest ice field on earth flamingos - but the real star of the day is the Check out the amazing marine wildlife.
• Enjoy the views from Laguna Los Tres glacier itself, located at the southern terminus of
• Witness the falling ice of Moreno Glacier Glacier National Park. Sliding down from atop the Day 14: Buenos Aires
• Marvel at unique indigenous animals southern continental ice field, Moreno's 60m wall Fly back to Buenos Aires. Why not visit a tango
• Hike between ethereal granite towers of ice sporadically chokes off the narrow Canal show and finish off your trip in style.
• Hang out with the penguins at Otway de los Tempanos (Channel of Ice Bergs) creating
• Cruise the waters of the Beagle Channel a natural ice dam, which eventually explodes in a Day 15: Depart Buenos Aires
• Enjoy a sultry sexy night in Buenos Aires dynamic display of force. Your adventure sadly finishes. Say goodbye!

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAR 01 MAR 15 NOV 13 NOV 27 JAN 10 JAN 24 • Buenos Aires
JAN 02 JAN 16 MAR 06 MAR 20 NOV 15 NOV 29 JAN 15 JAN 29 chile
JAN 04 JAN 18 MAR 08 MAR 22 NOV 20 DEC 04 JAN 17 JAN 31 argentina
JAN 09 JAN 23 MAR 13 MAR 27 NOV 22 DEC 06 JAN 22 FEB 05
JAN 11 JAN 25 MAR 15 MAR 29 NOV 27 DEC 11 JAN 24 FEB 07
JAN 16 JAN 30 MAR 20 APR 03 NOV 29 DEC 13 JAN 29 FEB 12
JAN 18 FEB 01 MAR 22 APR 05 DEC 04 DEC 18 JAN 31 FEB 14
JAN 23 FEB 06 MAR 27 APR 10 DEC 12 DEC 20 FEB 05 FEB 19
JAN 25 FEB 08 MAR 29 APR 12 DEC 11 DEC 25 FEB 07 FEB 21
JAN 30 FEB 13 APR 03 APR 17 DEC 13 DEC 27 FEB 12 FEB 26
FEB 01 FEB 15 OCT 16 OCT 30 DEC 18 JAN 01 FEB 14 FEB 28
FEB 06 FEB 20 OCT 18 NOV 01 DEC 20 JAN 03 FEB 19 MAR 05
FEB 08 FEB 22 OCT 23 NOV 06 DEC 25 JAN 08 FEB 21 MAR 07
FEB 13 FEB 27 OCT 25 NOV 08 DEC 27 JAN 10 FEB 26 MAR 12
FEB 15 MAR 01 OCT 30 NOV 13 2011 FEB 28 MAR 14
FEB 20 MAR 06 NOV 01 NOV 15 JAN 01 JAN 15 MAR 05 MAR 19
FEB 22 MAR 08 NOV 06 NOV 20 JAN 03 JAN 17 MAR 07 MAR 21
FEB 27 MAR 13 NOV 08 NOV 22 JAN 08 JAN 22 MAR 12 MAR 26

Accommodation: Hotels (10 nts), multi-share dorms (2 nts), camping (2 nts).


Transport: Public bus, van, local flights, boat Group Size: Max 12 Avg 10
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, El Chaltén •
• El Calafate
2 dinners Budget: Allow USD380 for meals not included Tour Code: GASAPE
Puerto Natales •
why not check out antarctica? Puerta Arenas •
Ask our advisers in branch or go online
• Ushuaia

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Arica •
95

Calama •

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
chile

Santiago •

Puerto Varas •

Currency: PESO
Population: 17 MILLION
Price of a beer: $2.50
Torres del Paine •
Punta Arenas •

chile
My favourite The Weather
Chile's remarkable shape makes
Useful Info
Chilean history is dominated by 'The

experience
"The incredible sights of some of southern Chile's landscape was an
weather forecasting rather
tricky. Santiago and the central
area boasts a Mediterranean
Liberator' - Bernardo O'Higgins. He
defeated the Spanish in 1817 and
won independence for his country.
experience like no other. Trekking through the Torres del Paine National style climate, with hot summers You'll see his strange name (he was
Park with the huge great granite pillars dominating the landscape in the (December - March) and short, cool the illegitimate son of an Irishman)
distance was spectacular. You really felt out in the wilderness and realised winters (June - September). The emblazoned across street signs and
how small we are in this big wide world full of wonderful scenery. You have wonders of the south, like Torres monuments throughout the country.
to go there, photos just don't do it justice..." Sarah del Paine and the Lakes District, are
best explored in the summer - in Useless Info
some cases this is the only time The town of Calama in the Atacama
you can venture down there. In Desert has never experienced any
the far north of the country, the kind of rainfall. It is officially the
Atacama Desert is accesible all year driest place on Earth. You should be
round - just make sure you prepare safe to leave your raincoat at home.
for extremes of hot and cold in the
summer between day and night. try before you flY
The 2004 film 'Machuca' is centred
Local grub around the events before the brutal
Chile is dominated by its elongated 1973 revolution led by General
Pacific coastline - which means Augusto Pinochet. Told from the
its seafood is particularly special. perspective of two young boys -
Make sure you sample the deep both from different sides of the
fried conger eel, parmesan cheese social spectrum - you'll learn about
raisor clams, abalone bread pudding the political passions that still
and the delicious sea squirts. resonate in Chile today.
96

the atacama
crossing
20 DAYS, $1,709 fr

la paz - santiago

Transport your mind, body and soul to Bolivia


and through Chile on this unforgettable mash-up
of magical mountains and moon-like terrain.
Mystical moments will stay with you like a
teenage tattoo for years and years to come - a
reminder of youth, freedom and an uninterrupted
life philosophy. Nothing will prepare you for
some of our little planet’s most impressive and
fantastic scenery and truly awesome landscapes.
Geography geeks will go wild and the rest of
you will struggle to pick your thudding chins
up off the ground. Be on top of the world both Days 5-7: Sucre Days 13-15: San Pedro de Atacama
physically and emotionally in Bolivia – starting in Sucre is fascinating and historic. It’s also home Take a bus further south this morning to the
the world’s highest capital of La Paz and roaming to a few fellow traveller footprints from years small desert oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, on
through its wild and rugged environment gone by – try 60 million years in fact. So go off the edge of the driest place in the world - the
down to Santiago in Chile. You’ll have perma- explore and jump around the dino tracks. Ross Atacama Desert. Perfect for deadpan comics. Ha.
goosebumps all over and that won’t be just from a la Friends would certainly be doing a victory
the dropping overnight temperatures common to dance. The town also offers museums a plenty Days 16-17: La Serena
these countries. This really is spine tingling, once and an array of colonial buildings. On Day19 Hit the road a running, head out on the highway,
a lifetime stuff, and it's here and now for anyone take another night bus to La Paz. looking for adventure? Well you’re on the right
with the bravado and down right good sense to (music) track then. Ahem! After a bit of a bus-
take it on. Days 8-9: Potosí ride, you’ll reach the northern beachside city of
A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a tumultous La Serena. Attractive and colonial; choose to
highlights history as a silver mining centre during colonial sun-worship (the Incas prayed to a Sun God and
• People watch in La Paz times. Be daring and descend into a modern-day they were awfully clever people), edge into the
• Drink chicha in Cochabamaba mine for a close up look at methods that have Elqui Valley, see how they pump out that pisco,
• Polish up your politics in Sucre hardly changed in centuries. Explosive stuff! or star-gaze into infinity, planning your next trip
• Dig out your dynamite in Potosí into extra-terrestrial realms... ahh one day!
• Stand awe-struck on the Uyuni Salt Flats Days 10-12: Uyini / 4WD Desert Crossing
• Snap your way to paparazzi paradise Embark on an journey of epic proportions (ok Days 18-19: Santiago
• Moon-walk in the Atacama Desert so you’re not quite Indiana Jones, but you'll be Santiago is a fun-seekers playground and
• Explore San Pedro's opulent oasis pretty close). Get comfy in a 4WD and cruise the perfect destination to finish off your
• Swim in pretty beachside La Serena through the impressive Salar de Uyuni in some adventure. Visit museums, parks, and vibrant
• Wine and dine in sultry Santiago of the most isolated and dramatic geography in neighbourhoods. Day-trip-it to vineyards,
South America. A perfect opportunity for keen Andean ski resorts, Chile’s top beach resorts or
Day 1: Arrive La Paz photgraphers, you won’t believe the contrast Isla Negra - poet Pablo Neruda’s seaside home.
Arrive into La Paz at anytime. Acclimatise and of blinding white salt flats, piercing blue skies,
explore the cobbled streets. brightly coloured lagoons and moon-like Day 20: Depart Santiago
territory. Brilliant. (2B, 3L, 2D) Curtsey, bow and say ciao ciao!
Day 2: La Paz
The highest capital in the whole wide world.
Enter into the hustle and bustle on foot – though
DEPARTURES
be aware of altitude adapted super steep hills. START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAR 31 APR 19 JUL 23 AUG 11 NOV 23 DEC 12
It’s all too easy to get intertwined in the markets JAN 11 JAN 30 APR 10 APR 29 JUL 31 AUG 19 DEC 08 DEC 27
(finding oddities and wacky stuff galore) and JAN 16
JAN 22
FEB 04
FEB 10
APR 23
MAY 04
MAY 12
MAY 23
AUG 08
AUG 16
AUG 27
SEP 04
DEC 23
2011
JAN 11

needless to say you’ll be totally spell-bound by JAN 30 FEB 18 MAY 21 JUN 09 AUG 24 SEP 12 JAN 08 JAN 27 bolivia
FEB 06 FEB 25 MAY 26 JUN 14 SEP 02 SEP 21 JAN 16 FEB 04
the enchanting Witches’ Market. FEB 13 MAR 04 JUN 04 JUN 23 SEP 11 SEP 30 FEB 01 FEB 20
FEB 20 MAR 11 JUN 13 JUL 02 SEP 21 OCT 10 FEB 16 MAR 07 La Paz •
FEB 27 MAR 18 JUN 18 JUL 07 OCT 02 OCT 21 FEB 25 MAR 16 • Cochabamba
MAR 08 MAR 27 JUL 01 JUL 20 OCT 13 NOV 01 MAR 28 APR 16 Potosí • • Sucre
Days 3-4: Cochabamba / Nightbus MAR 13 APR 01 JUL 07 JUL 26 OCT 27 NOV 15 Uyuni •
MAR 23 APR 11 JUL 15 AUG 03 NOV 07 NOV 26
No sign of the Loch Ness monster here – but Salt Lakes •
Accommodation: Simple hotels (17 nts), night buses (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, San Pedro de Atacama •
staying in the highlands, you’ll head south to 4WD truck Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local
Antofagasta •
Cochabamba, famous for its spring-like climate guides Meals: All meals on the desert crossing excursion Budget: Allow USD300 for
meals not included Tour Code: GAJLS chile
and Chicha; a fermented drink made from maize.
Fact-finders will love exploring the museums and go in reverse
La Serena •
having a run around the other interesting sights Santiago - La Paz fr $1,709 Tour Code: GAJSL
Santiago •
of this pretty city. Then snore your way to Sucre.
STAY LONGER IN SANTIAGO
Check out page 97.

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97

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
santiago
& south

STAysimple STAysimple STAysmart

che lagarto la casa roja hotel del patio


Just a five minute walk from the main bus Centrally situated in the Barrio Brazil quarter, This lovely little hotel boasts an outdoor terrace
terminal, right in the city centre - but still this very social Santiago hot-spot features overlooking the buzzing Patio Bellavista. Enjoy
boasting a beautiful patio and garden. Facilities BBQs, live music nights, wine tastings and theme a drink and absorb the electric atmosphere. The
include several lovely common rooms, a fully parties. With a pool, outdoor jacuzzi, bar and colourful rooms have luxury marble bathrooms,
refurbished kitchen and free Internet and WiFi. loads of communal room - you'll love it here! free WiFi and flash flat screen TVs. STA573
STA571 STA572

fr $180 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST


fr $19 DORM, INC. BREAKFAST fr $21 DORM fr $209 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST
fr $50 DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $54 DOUBLE

torres Spanish Language School


Santiago
del paine Days 3-6: Torres del Paine N.P.
14+ Days, fr $1,002

• 12 levels of study, 2+ weeks


7 days, fr $1,709 Hiking and camping in this spectacular park is • 20 hours tuition per week
what this trip is all about. Rumours of the rough • Start date every Monday, all year round
santiago - puerto natales beauty of Patagonia are all true. Prepare for • Stay with a family or other students
breathtaking views of the 'Towers', French Valley • Weekly cultural and social events
• Enjoy four days of spectacular hiking and its glaciers, as well as the region's unique
• Absorb the dramatic beauty of Patagonia wildlife such as vicuña, rheas, and Patagonian Learn Spanish in one of the world's sexiest cities.
• Complete the full 'W' trek hare. You'll return to Puerto Natales in the The ECELA staff make the lingo easy to learn and
• Check out snow capped peaks & glaciers afternoon of Day Six. (3B, 3L, 3D) you'll study in a style that suits you. And when
you're not in the classroom, party with fellow
Day 1 Arrive Santiago Day 7 Depart Puerto Natales students at your own private pad, cosy up with
Arrive in Santiago at any time - and go explore. Your adventure ends - depart at any time. a friendly family, head off out to a vineyard or
enjoy a day of beach-bumming.
Day 2 Puerto Natales Departs: Selected Saturdays
Accommodation: Ranges from cosy home-stays to riotous student residences
Fly south to Punta Arenas and travel to Puerto Accommodation: Simple hotels (3 nts), camping (3 nts) Transport: Public bus, van, Meals: 2 a day at homestays Other Inclusions: Enrolment fees, course materials,
internal flight, catamaran, hiking Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Local certificate of attendance Tour Code: STA574
Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine. rep in Santiago, local guide in Torres del Paine Meals Included: 3 breakfasts, 3
lunches, 3 dinners Budget: Allow USD100 for meals not inc. Tour Code: GASCPD
98

hop-on
hop-off chile
From the bone dry deserts, deserted beaches • Get away from the tourist trail to the
and stunning national parks of the North to the places only the locals know about.
alpine utopias, mystical forests and volcanic
landscapes of the South - Chile has so much • All of the guides speak English and
going on over such a massive area. So the Spanish. They will provide you with as
biggest problem is - how the heck do you get much (or as little) help as you require.
from one place to another and get off the beaten
track?... We have the answer. • Your pass allows you to start and finish
your trip wherever you want, with no time
Presenting a transport network specially limit to complete your chosen route.
designed to meet the needs of independent
travellers, you can get off the bus at any of the • The lovely buses seat up to 17 people,
places along the route and catch another bus a with enough room for all your bags.
few days later. You will have the freedom to do
your own thing and spend as much time as you • Accommodation is not included, but you
like at all the places along the route. will be taken to the best hostels in town.

lake chile

district
• Santiago
Pichilemu •
• Balduzzi Winery
Santa Cruz •
Chillán • • Salto el Laja Waterfall
7 DAYS, $301 fr
• Pucon Villarrica Lake
& Volcano
Valdivia •
departs santiago every thursday all
year round & sundays, feb-mar only • Puerto Varas
• Llanquihue Lake

Day 1: Santiago - pichilemu Day 5: valdiva - puerto montt - puerto


Start off with a 220 km drive south. On the way varas
you'll visit the ancient village of Pomaire. Later, A 210 km drive to Puerto Montt - the departure
you'll stop at the Rapel Dam, a hydro electric point for the four day ferry trip to Puerto Natales,
complex with an artificial lake. In the afternoon the closest city to Torres del Paine National Park.
arrive in Pichilemu - renowned for its surfing, the You'll follow the coastline road until the Angelmo
city is a harmonious blend of aristocratic history, fish market. Stop to eat at their well-known fresh
natural beauty and urban modernity. seafood restaurants, before heading to the lovely
• Puerto Natales
peaceful city of Puerto Varas.
• Punta Arenas
Day 2: pichilemu - pucon
The longest driving day (707 km) is broken by a Day 6: puerto varas to salto del laja
visit to the small but wealthy city of Santa Cruz. waterfalls
Check out the eclectic collection of the Museo Drive along the shores of the Llanquihue Lake,
de Colchagua, built in 1995 by a local millionaire were you'll stop for stunning views of the picture
who made his fortune as an arms dealer! After perfect Osorno Volcano and the pretty lakeside
the long ride, you'll arrive in Pucón where you towns. Arrive at the spectacular Salto del Laja
will spend a minimum of two nights. Waterfalls, where you'll spend the night.

Day 3: full day in pucon Day 7: salto del laja waterfalls to


Pucón, southern Chile's tourist capital, is santiago
stunningly located between the shores of On your 450 km drive back to Santiago you'll
beautiful Villarrica Lake and the Andean foothills. stop in at the renowned Viña Balduzzi. Located
It boasts a ski resort, natural hot springs, fab in the middle of a 100-acre vineyard and still
restaurants and a 4 km long lakeside beach. family owned, the winery is celebrated for its
reserve and late harvest wines.
Day 4: pucon - valdiva
Drive along the scenic Seven Lake Road, visiting 1 day pass: fr $91
the lakeside towns of Coñaripe and Panguipulli. 2 day pass: fr $143
Arrive in Valdivia around lunchtime - one of the 3 day pass: fr $180
most beautiful cities in Chile. Founded in 1552, 4 day pass: fr $210
at the union of three rivers - check out the old 5 day pass: fr $241
Spanish fortress, the famous local brewery and 6 day pass: fr $271
the local fish market with its resident sea lions. 7 day pass: fr $301

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99

& CHILE
BRAZIL, ARGENTINA
atacama
desert
10 DAYS, $444 fr

departs Santiago on Saturdays and


from San Pedro on Fridays

Day 1: SANTIAGO TO LA SERENA


Leave Santiago stopping first in Pichidangui,
a sleepy fishing village with a large beach.
Continue north passing through Coquimbo and
arrive in La Serena in the mid afternoon. As well
as being a very popular beach resort, La Serena
is the second oldest city in Chile.

Day 2: PICHILEMU TO PUCON


The longest drive is broken by a visit to the small
but wealthy city of Santa Cruz. You'll see the
• Valle de la Luna
eclectic collection of the Museo de Colchagua, chile
built in 1995 by a local millionaire who made his Antofagasta • • Peine Oasis
fortune as an arms dealer! Arrive in Pucón where Pan de Azucar N.P. •
you'll spend a minimum of two nights.
Bahia Inglesa •

Day 3: DAY AT BAHIA INGLESA BEACH Pinguino de Humbold N.P. •


• Pisco Elqui
A free day on the beach! During the day you'll Day 6: DAY IN SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA La Serena •

drive to nearby Caldera to have a look around, The morning is free to explore, while in the
Fray Jorge N.P. •
go to the post office, supermarket and internet afternoon the bus will take you to the pre-
cafe. In the evening enjoy a communal BBQ hispanic ruins of the village of Tulor. You'll
• Santiago
(asado), prepared by the legendary cook-drivers. explore some eerie salt caves before viewing the
spectacular sunset from Valle de la Luna over the
Day 4: BAHIA INGLESA TO ANTOFAGASTA nearby volcanoes.
Cross the driest part of the Atacama Desert
where some meteorological stations have not Day 7: SAN PEDRO TO
registered any rain in over 50 years. During the PAN DE AZUCAR NATIONAL PARK
day you'll stop at the creepy cemetery of Oficina After an early departure to pick up provisions
Alemania, an old nitrate mining operation. You'll in Calama, you'll stop at the ghost town of
also make a stop at the prominent Mano del Chacabuco. Once a prosperous nitrate mining Day 10: VICUÑA TO SANTIAGO
Desierto (Hand of the Desert) sculpture. Just town and later a prison camp during the Leave Vicuña and visit the cloud-hidden Fray
north of Antofagasta, you'll watch the sun set Pinochet dictatorship, it is completely abandoned Jorge National Park. This unique pocket of
behind Monumento Natural La Portada, the huge now. Continue on to the Pan de Azucar National rain forest in the coastal highland area is also
arched shaped rock formation that sits in the Park where you'll spend the night, either camping in the middle of the desert! In addition to the
ocean. Return to Antofagasta for the night. on the beach or staying in cabin. exuberant flora, there are several rare species of
mammals, reptiles and bird life, unique to Chile.
Day 5: ANTOFAGASTA TO Day 8: PAN DE AZUCAR N.P. TO VICUÑA You'll arrive in Santiago several hours later.
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA In the morning you'll have time to explore the
Head north for about 70 km to Baquedano and secluded beaches of the National Park before 1 day pass: fr $115
visit the 19th century steam engine cemetery. driving the 580 km to the Elqui Valley. You will 2 day pass: fr $180
From here you'll leave the motorway onto a salt- be based in Vicuña for the next two nights. 3 day pass: fr $229
paved road, running over the Tropic of Capricorn 4 day pass: fr $264
until you see the Salar de Atacama. Plenty of Day 9: DAY IN THE ELQUI VALLEY 5 day pass: fr $294
time is available for taking pictures here. From Vicuña you'll drive to Pisco Elqui where 6 day pass: fr $322
After crossing the Salar, you'll get to the small inexpensive horseback riding can be arranged. 7 day pass: fr $353
oasis village of Peine. Relax in the refreshing You'll also visit a Pisco distillery. At night 8 day pass: fr $383
rock pools and continue to the Reserva Nacional marvel at the astonishingly clear skies from the 9 day pass: fr $413
los Flamencos. Watch the sunset over the Laguna Mamalluca Observatory. Experience a guided 10 day pass: fr $444
Chaxa - a flamingo breeding site, before heading astronomy tour that includes a telescopic
to San Pedro de Atacama. observation of the night skies.
100

central
america

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101

top 6

CENTRAL AMERICA
Amazing
Experiences

1 Sunbathe on the caribbean coast


With some of the most spectacularly blue
2 look after turtles in costa rica
Costa Rica has some of the most
3 smoke a fat cigar in havana
Soak in the Carribean way of life with
waters and purest white beaches, enjoy paradise impressively colourful wildlife you'll ever witness. a trip to Cuba. Learn to salsa, speak Spanish
on earth in one of Mexico's coastal towns. You'll Be virtuous and help out with the turtles, make and mix a mean Cuba Libre. Get out and about
be enchanted by the fish and dazzled by the long friends with a banana thief (monkey), look out into this country's brilliant cultural depth. Our
panoramic unspoilt beauty. There are a whole for panthers and marvel at the magnitude of the tours will have you booking flights back the
host of activities to keep you busy. flora and fauna. So many species, so little time! day you leave. See pages 126-129 for further
inspiration.

4 snorkel with sharks in belize


Scare all the folks back home with
5 check out mexican mayan ruins
Witness incredible architecture and
6 be a surfing pro in Costa Rica
Get adventurous on one of our active
your tales of swimming with sharks and giant intelligence from civilizations gone by. Most of jaunts around this country full of glorious beaches
stingrays. You can also dive the blue hole here our trips take you to either Palenque, Tulúm, and secluded coves. Work around the ocean's best
- reputed to be one of the world's top dive sites Chichén Itzá or the Teotihuacán Pyramids - all swells and tides and discover some epic terrain on
ever. Snorkel with beautifully coloured fish, coral set in and amongst truly stunning locations. bike or foot. A country for thrill-seekers and sun
and marine life. See page 125. Check out pages103 and 120 for more details. junkies alike. See pages 110 and 114.

Average High TempERATURE (ºC)


City J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mexico City D.F 21 22 24 25 26 24 23 23 22 22 22 21
Cancún 27 27 28 29 31 31 32 32 31 30 28 27
San Cristóbal 14 14 16 17 17 18 17 17 17 16 15 14
Acapulco 30 30 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31
3
Belize City 26 26 28 29 30 30 30 30 30 28 27 26
Tegucigalpa, Honduras 25 26 28 29 29 27 27 27 27 26 25 24
5 1 Guatemala City 22 23 25 25 25 23 23 23 22 22 22 22
4 San José 23 24 26 26 26 26 25 25 26 25 25 23
Tamarindo 33 34 34 35 35 34 34 34 33 33 32 33
Havana 25 26 27 28 30 31 31 31 31 29 27 26

2
6
102

discover central america


• Cancún
• Playa del Carmen
mexico Chichén Itzá •
Mérida • • Cozumel
Uxmal • • Tulum

• Mexico City
• Chetumal
• Puebla
• Belize City
San Ignacio • • Caye Caulker
Palenque • belize
• Oaxaca • Utila Bay Islands
Monte Albán • • San Cristobal • Flores
Tuxtla Gutierrez • de las Casas • La Ceiba
• Rio Dulce
guatemala honduras
Panajachel • • Copán • Tegucigalpa
Antigua • • Guatemala

el salvador nicaragua

• Granada
• Ometepe Island

Monte Verde • • La Fortuna / Arenal


San José • • Puerto Viejo • Panama City
costa rica • Bocas del Toro
Boquete • panama • Santa Clara

Mexico - Cancún MEXICO ANCIENT CIVILIZATION


Cancún - Antigua MAYAN SUN
Antigua - San José VOLCANO TRAIL
San José - Panama City PANAMA EXPERIENCE

these trips are built back to back with segment 2: mayan sun segment 4: panama experience
each other, so choose to travel one 16 DAYS, cancun to antigua 14 DAYS, san jose to panama city
segment or piece a few together to fr $1,239 see page 103 Tour Code: GACMCA fr $1,119 Tour Code: GACRSP
create your perfect central american Over the next few weeks, make your way through Cross into Costa Rica known for its beautiful
journey from anywhere you like! Belize, stopping at your own paradise island flora and fauna. Trek through the cloud forest
of Caye Caulker where the motto is 'go slow'. and bird watch, horseride or mountain bike over
segment 1: mexican ancient civilisation Get in some top snorkelling and diving before the impressive terrain. You'll witness infinite
15 DAYS, mexico city to cancun heading further south into Guatemala. Visit the numbers of mammals, plants and birds. Try all
Fr $1,159 see page 120 Tour Code: GAMCM Tikal ruins, colourful town of Flores on Lake the outdoor activities and groove to the Calypso
Start off in the metropolis that is Mexico City (or Petén Itzá and distinguish the contrasting sides beat, passing Santa Clara on the Pacific coast,
D.F as it's known to the locals) and head down of the Caribbean coast, colonial Antigua and checking out the world famous canal and arriving
through the pretty towns of Puebla and Oaxaca, Chichicastenango - another Mayan centre. into the capital - Panama city.
stopping at the markets and meeting the local
people. Check out the Zapotec ruins of Monte segment 3: volcano trail
Alban, the highland town of San Cristobál and 17 DAYS, antigua to san jose our favourites
the Mayan site of Palenque deep in the jungle, fr $1,419 see page 104 Tour Code: GAJSG
before winding up through the Yucután where Step into Honduras and soak in the beauty. cancun - san jose
you'll get the chance to visit impressive Chichén Plunge into the crystal clear waters on the island seGMENTS 2 & 3 or vice versa
fr $2,419 Tour Code: GAJSC
Itzá and colonial Merida. Finish this segment of Utila and explore the temples and statues of
perfectly by lying on the idyllic Caribbean coast Copán. In Nicaragua find epic natural beauty, mexico city - san jose
complete with stunning bright blue warm sea and lovely locals and a quaint colonial charm mixed in seGMENTS 1, 2 & 3 or vice versa
dazzling white sand. with volcanic temperament and serene lakes. fr $3,539 Tour Code: GAJXS

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
103

mayan sun

CENTRAL AMERICA
16 DAYS, $1,239 fr

Cancún - Antigua

Arrrrrrrrriiba! Time to shake those maracas


as you head off on this colourful coco-crazy
cavort where you can’t but help keep a perma-
smile stuck to your face - ooh, flash us those
pearly whites! Everything you’ve ever imagined
and more – take to the Caribbean coast, do a
reverse Buzz Lightyear and dive your way to
infinity and beyond. Wander the coastal and
colonial towns with only a pair of flip-flops and
a flower in your hair - ok so you might want a
bikini or pair of shorts too – whatever floats
your jet-ski. Meet other like-minded lovers of
the Latin lifestyle and make all your friends
back home infinitely jealous of your swimming Days 6-7: San Ignacio Days 13-14: Chichicastenango /
with shark tales, salsa lessons, magnificent Time to get your action-man costumes on Panajachel / Lake Atitlán
Mayan ruin adventures and mouth watering friends. This little town offers many an Welcome to shoppers paradise as you go visit
margaritas. Trace your way through ancient adrenaline-junkie jaunt: hike, canoe, horseride, the famous stalls of Chichicastenango. Here a
civilizations and dance til the fat marine toad go caving or swim in the Mountain Pine Ridge. simple ‘por favor’ or ‘gracias’ will earn you points
sings. What are you waiting for?! and a toothy smile. Watch these modern Mayans
Days 8-9: Flores, Guatemala move and make an effort to hunt a bargain in
highlights Settle in for a spectacular sunset in this the local markets. Head to Lake Atitlán – for
• Go coco-crazy in Cancún picturesque town by Lake Petén Itzá. Swim, live a heavenly combo of unusual natural beauty
• Snorkel in crystal clear Caribbean water the laid-back life and tick the Tikal box – one of and traditional cutlure. Tread Panajachel paved
• Kayak and windsurf to holistic heaven the biggest and best ruins in the Mayan world. streets and taste its old world flavour. Boat out
• Marvel at Mayan ruins onto the lake for a bit of romance, or choose a
• Salsa with a sexy señorita Days 10-11: Rio Dulce kayak, windsurf or home-grown dorsal fin for
• Swim with Nurse sharks and stingrays Today you will be exploring dense jungle and alternative acquatic arrangements.
• Dive world-class sites and the Blue Hole rapacious river. Hop on a lancha and coast down
• Savour sumptuous seafood the river, dipping into the water like a human Days 15: Antigua
• Chill out with a Guatemalan coffee sized sherbet. Drop your anchor in the Garifuna Back to the Viejo Capital for a mill about the
• Explore picturesque Antigua town of Livingston for a delicious taste of markets and further explorations. Sit in Central
Caribbean food, culture and music. Park – a great place to see and be seen. Go
Day 1: Arrive Cancún, Mexico nutty at a macadamia plantation and find your
Step out into the heat and humidity and breathe Day 12: Antigua inner appreciation for quality textiles. Magpies
in all things tropical. Have some crazy coco fun! Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Once upon will go mad for glistening jade jewellry and glints
a time, Antigua was the most important city in of silver coming from the local shops and stalls.
Days 2-3: Playa del Carmen all of Central America as the seat of the Spanish Salsa the night away with a hot local or fellow
Playing on the Playa (beach) is just one of the Colonial Government. It’s now a UNESCO World tireless travelling trouper.
infinite options in this sunny resort town on the Heritage site complete with cobblestones and
Mayan Riviera. Snorkel among the mangroves, pretty architecture. Stop for a coffee and watch Day 16: Depart Antigua
dive into underground caverns, swim with the volcanoes puffing away on the horizon. Tear yourselves away, vowing to return one day.
turtles, or simply soak up the sol with a cool
margarita to hand. Catch a bus to stunning
Tulúm, a little further down the coast - and party
DEPARTURES
into the night in one of the beachside bars. START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH • Cancún
2010 MAR 31 APR 15 JUL 21 AUG 05 NOV 06 NOV 21 • Playa del Carmen
JAN 02 JAN 17 APR 03 APR 18 JUL 24 AUG 08 NOV 13 NOV 28
• Cozumel
Days 4-5: Caye Caulker JAN 09
JAN 13
JAN 24
JAN 28
APR 10
APR 17
APR 25
MAY 02
JUL 31
AUG 04
AUG 15
AUG 19
NOV 20
NOV 27
DEC 05
DEC 12 mexico
As you step out of your speedy-gonzalez motor JAN 16 JAN 31 APR 24 MAY 09 AUG 07 AUG 22 DEC 04 DEC 19 • Tulum
JAN 23 FEB 07 MAY 01 MAY 16 AUG 14 AUG 29 DEC 11 DEC 26
boat onto the teeny tiny island of Caye Caulker JAN 27 FEB 11 MAY 08 MAY 23 AUG 21 SEP 05 DEC 15 DEC 30
JAN 30 FEB 14 MAY 15 MAY 30 AUG 28 SEP 12 DEC 18 JAN 02 • Chetumal
your feet’ll hit the ‘Go Slow’ sign, etched into FEB 06 FEB 21 MAY 22 JUN 06 SEP 04 SEP 19 DEC 25 JAN 09 Belize City • • Caye Caulker
FEB 13 FEB 28 MAY 29 JUN 13 SEP 11 SEP 26 DEC 29 JAN 13
the ground beneath you. Kick back with a beer FEB 20 MAR 07 JUN 05 JUN 20 SEP 18 OCT 03 2011 San Ignacio •
FEB 27 MAR 14 JUN 12 JUN 27 SEP 25 OCT 10 JAN 01 JAN 16
on the pier, munch on lip-smacking lobster to MAR 06 MAR 21 JUN 19 JUL 04 OCT 02 OCT 17 JAN 08 JAN 23 belize
MAR 13 MAR 28 JUN 26 JUL 11 OCT 09 OCT 24 JAN 12 JAN 27
your heart’s content and wake up to delicious MAR 17 APR 01 JUL 03 JUL 18 OCT 16 OCT 31 JAN 15 JAN 30
Flores •
breakfasts of home-made island banana cake MAR 20 APR 04 JUL 10 JUL 25 OCT 23 NOV 07 JAN 22 FEB 06 guatemala • Rio Dulce
MAR 27 APR 11 JUL 17 AUG 01 OCT 30 NOV 14 JAN 26 FEB 10
Panajachel •
and coffee. Groove to the totally chilled out
Accommodation: Simple hotels (16 nts) Transport: Public bus, boat, van Antigua •
reggae that pumps through every islander’s soul, Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides
• Guatemala City
Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD300 for meals not included
hire canoes - capsizing spectacularly before you Tour Code: GACMCA

can say Bob Marley’s your uncle and forget your


fears on a swim out with giant stingrays and go in reverse
antigua - cancun
Nurse sharks. Phew!
fr $1,239 Tour Code: GACGAC
104

volcano
trail
17 DAYS, $1,419 fr Day 1: Arrive San José Days 8-10: Granada
Arrive in San José at any time - and get ready! Granada’s colonial charm is complimented by the
san José - antigua surrounding active volcanoes and lakes, making
Days 2-3: La Fortuna / Arenal day trips a fun and easy option. Hike, cruise, or
This 17 day epic adventure to the hot spots of La Fortuna, at the foot of Arenal Volcano, is just explore the city’s markets and museums.
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica an excellent base for exploration. You'll take
will make you erupt with joy. This scintillating an unforgettable night hike around the base of Day 11: Tegucigalpa
swathe of Central America bubbles with bountiful the volcano to see the top glowing an eerie red, After a day of Nicaraguan and Honduran bus
vivacity – turn another corner and see a new, accompanied by a soundtrack of monkeys. Try surfing, you'll have the evening to check out
outlandish but unquestionably beautiful example a full day of whitewater rafting, go horseback Honduras' capital city, Tegucigalpa.
of life. As you’re hiking through sticky rainforest, riding, tour the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, or
you may well come face to face with a monkey relax and soak in the nearby hot springs. Days 12-14: Utila, The Bay Islands
or three. As you walk through the cool, cloud A scuba diving haven, Utila is a Caribbean-style
forests around Monteverde, catch a glimpse Days 4-5: Monteverde, Costa Rica island with a lively community atmosphere.
of the resplendent Quetzal, one of the most Travelling into the cool cloud forest and Boasting the second largest barrier reef in the
beautiful and elusive birds in the world. As you rainforests of Monteverde gives you a glimpse world, the crystal blue waters invite swimming,
cross Lake Nicaragua keep your eyes peeled for of the lush ecosystems of Costa Rica. Spend diving and snorkelling. Alternatively, just lie back
the world’s only species of freshwater shark. As two days exploring Monteverde and the Forest and relax on the beautiful white sand beaches.
you wander the grandiose streets of Granada Reserve, truly a nature lover's paradise. Optional
watch the ways of the fascinating people that activities include the Sky Walk (a series of Day 15: Copán
call this beautiful city their home. And as you suspension bridges through the jungle canopy), a Walk through Copán's grassy plazas and gaze at
scuba dive or snorkel through the aquamarine butterfly garden and a thrilling canopy zip line. the intricately carved and decorated monuments
waters around the second largest barrier reef and statues. Huge carved faces eerily stare at
in the world, prepare for encounters with all Days 6-7: Ometepe, Nicaragua you from the ancient walls.
kinds of marine life. Add to all of this the ever Cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry and arrive at
grumbling, the ever truculent and the ever Ometepe Island. Two towering volcanoes Day 16: Antigua
intriguing presence of many big, scary volcanoes. dominate the landscape. Take an optional hike The former capital of Guatemala - enjoy the
up Maderas Volcano or just enjoy the beach and architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
highlights jungle swimming hole. The wildlife on this island
• Take a night hike around Arenal Volcano is abundant and includes several species of Day 17: Depart Antigua
• Inhale the mountain air of Monteverde monkeys and green parrots. Things finish up on Day 17. Say your goodbyes.
• Check out the weird wildlife of Ometepe
• Wander the historic streets of Granada
• Check out the capital city of Tegucigalpa
DEPARTURES
• Snorkel the warm waters of Utila START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 28 MAY 14 AUG 25 SEP 10 DEC 22 JAN 07
• Wander the fascinating ruins of Copan JAN 06 JAN 22 MAY 05 MAY 21 SEP 01 SEP 17 DEC 29 JAN 14
• Hit the vibrant nightlife of Antigua JAN 13
JAN 20
JAN 29
FEB 05
MAY 12
MAY 19
MAY 28
JUN 04
SEP 08
SEP 15
SEP 24
OCT 01
2011
JAN 05 JAN 21
JAN 27 FEB 12 MAY 26 JUN 11 SEP 22 OCT 08 JAN 12 JAN 28
FEB 03 FEB 19 JUN 02 JUN 18 SEP 29 OCT 15 JAN 19 FEB 04
FEB 10 FEB 26 JUN 09 JUN 25 OCT 06 OCT 22 JAN 26 FEB 11
FEB 17 MAR 05 JUN 16 JUL 02 OCT 13 OCT 29 FEB 02 FEB 18 • Utila Bay Islands
FEB 24 MAR 12 JUN 23 JUL 09 OCT 20 NOV 05 FEB 09 FEB 25 • La Ceiba
MAR 03 MAR 19 JUN 30 JUL 16 OCT 27 NOV 12 FEB 16 MAR 04
guatemala honduras
MAR 10 MAR 26 JUL 07 JUL 23 NOV 03 NOV 19 FEB 23 MAR 11
MAR 17 APR 02 JUL 14 JUL 30 NOV 10 NOV 26 MAR 02 MAR 18
• Copán • Tegucigalpa
MAR 24 APR 09 JUL 21 AUG 06 NOV 17 DEC 03 MAR 09 MAR 25 • Antigua
MAR 31 APR 16 JUL 28 AUG 13 NOV 24 DEC 10 MAR 16 APR 01 • Guatemala
APR 07 APR 23 AUG 04 AUG 20 DEC 01 DEC 17 MAR 23 APR 08 nicaragua
APR 14 APR 30 AUG 11 AUG 27 DEC 08 DEC 24 MAR 30 APR 15
APR 21 MAY 07 AUG 18 SEP 03 DEC 15 DEC 31
• Granada
Ometepe Island •
Accommodation: Simple hotels - may be multi-share (16 nts) Transport: Public bus,
boat, van, taxi Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout • La Fortuna/Arenal
Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD350 for meals not included Tour Monteverde •
Code: GAJSG San Jose • costa rica

go in reverse
Antigua - San Jose fr $1,419 Tour Code: GAJGS

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
105

volcano

CENTRAL AMERICA
adventure
21 DAYS, $2,089 fr

antigua - san José

There is always something out there to learn,


to discover, to enjoy… There shouldn’t ever
come a time when you feel you’ve become the
best you can be. There will always be another
skill to master, another challenge to conquer,
another destination left unexplored. This 21 day
adventure will appease even the most seasoned
of travellers. As wise as you may consider
yourself, we know that this expedition through Days 8-9: León Days 14-15: San Juan del Sur
the wild, and pulsating heart of Central America Jump aboard an internal flight to Tegucigalpa San Juan del Sur is set on a stunning horseshoe-
will tweak new pangs of idealism and spark and continue on to politically progressive León. shaped cove, where hiking, fishing, biking,
flames of passion and wonder. Taking in Costa This was the nation's capital from the colonial surfing and sunset sailing are just some of the
Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, the period until 1857. Many well-preserved Spanish possible activities. Why not take a short boat
unadulterated diversity of each day is nothing colonial buildings and churches line the streets, ride to the deserted beaches of Playa Remanso
short of startling. A cornucopia of amazing along with the largest cathedral in Central or Playa Majagual. In the evenings enjoy the
cultures and thousands of years of fiery history America. Optional activities include volcano relaxed seaside nightlife with the friendly locals.
coexists with the very best that the natural boarding or a trip to the nearby beaches.
world has to offer; tropical rainforests, crystal Days 16-17: Monteverde
blue ocean waters, utopian beaches, menacing Days 10-11: Granada Travel into the cool cloud forest of Monteverde
volcanoes and a plethora of all kinds of weird Visit Masaya Volcano on your way to Granada - for a glimpse of the lush ecosystems of Costa
and wonderful wildlife. Those who have the Nicaragua's oldest colonial city. Walk or bike the Rica. Optional activities include horse riding en
imagination, intelligence and bravado to book city’s historic avenues and visit the impressive route from La Fortuna to Monteverde, sky walks,
themselves aboard this trip will forever be cathedral, the bustling market or the Convento a butterfly garden and a canopy zip-line tour.
inspired by what they witness. de San Francisco, a museum complex housing Inhale the gloriously fresh mountain air.
festival masks and a collection of 2,000 year old
highlights statues. Optional activities include a scenic boat Days 18-19: La Fortuna
• Learn to salsa dance in Guatemala trip or guided kayak excursions among the 365 La Fortuna, at the foot of Arenal Volcano,
• Enjoy a guided visit of Copan Ruins little islands (isletas) of Lake Nicaragua. is an excellent base for exploration. A night
• Swim the beautiful blue seas of Roatan hike around the volcano is an unforgettable
• Absorb the history of Leon and Granada Days 12-13: Ometepe adventure. Try a full day of whitewater rafting,
• Check out the weird wildlife of Ometepe Travel to San Jorge on the shores of Lake go horseback riding, tour the Caño Negro
• Relax in the sunshine of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua where you'll board the ferry for Wildlife Refuge, or relax and soak in hot springs.
• Enjoy a tour of a cloud forest reserve Ometepe Island. This unspoiled island paradise
• Take a night hike around Arenal Volcano was formed out of the lava flowing in between Day 20: San José
two volcanoes, Madera (1394m) and Concepción Return to San José in the evening and enjoy one
Day 1: Arrive Antigua (1610m). This is a nature lover’s dream with last night out on the town.
Arrive in Antigua at any time and go exploring. abundant wildlife. Take a walk through its lush
forest and keep your eyes peeled for howler Day 21: Depart San José
Day 2: Antigua monkeys and green parrots. Things sadly come to an end on Day 21.
Enjoy the beautiful architecture of this UNESCO
World Heritage site. Take a mountain bike ride
out into the countryside or explore the markets,
DEPARTURES
shops and museums within the city. START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 25 JUN 14 SEP 28 OCT 18 JAN 25 FEB 14
JAN 12 FEB 01 JUN 15 JUL 05 OCT 26 NOV 15 FEB 15 MAR 07
Days 3-4: Copán FEB 02
MAR 02
FEB 22
MAR 22
JUL 06
JUL 20
JUL 26
AUG 09
NOV 16
DEC 14
DEC 06
JAN 03
MAR 15 APR 04

Walk through grassy plazas filled with intricately MAR 30 APR 19 AUG 10 AUG 30 2011
APR 27 MAY 17 AUG 31 SEP 20 JAN 04 JAN 24
carved and decorated monuments, statues and
Accommodation: Hotels and beach hotels (20 nts) Transport: Taxis, public bus, • Utila Bay Islands
staircases at the unique Mayan ruins of Copán. van, ferry, internal flight Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader
throughout, local guides Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD500 for meals
Huge carved faces stare at you from ancient not included Tour Code: GACGAS guatemala honduras
walls and bring the place eerily to life. • Copán • Tegucigalpa
• Antigua
go in reverse
nicaragua
San Jose - Antigua fr $2,089 Tour Code: GACRSA
Days 5-7: Roatan • Leon
Managua •
Travel through the hills, arrive at the coast and • Granada
stay longer in san jose • Ometepe Island
ferry across to paradise. The Caribbean-style Check out page 112. San Juan del Sur •
• La Fortuna/Arenal
Monteverde •
island of Roatan is a scuba diving haven and is San Jose • costa rica
famous for its marine treasures. Crystal blue
waters invite swimming, diving and snorkelling.
Or just sit back on the beach and relax.
106

La Fortuna
(Arenal Volcano)


costa rica • Sarapiqui
Playa Potero • • Monteverde
• Puerto Viejo de Limon & Cahuita
• El Roble
Tamarindo, Conchal & Flamingo • • San José
Tambor • • Jaco
• Manuel Antono

Currency: COSTA RICAN COLÓN


Population: 4.5 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.60

costa rica
My favourite The Weather
Situated well within the tropics
Useful Info
Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy

experience
"I couldn't believe the wildlife - we saw bugs, frogs and lizards everywhere!
but north of the equator, Costa
Rica has a typically tropical climate
with high temperatures all year
Planet Index and is the greenest
country in the world. The HPI
measures how much of the Earth's
And there were snakes, crocodiles in the lagoon that came up to the beach, round at low altitudes. At altitude, resources nations use and how
and amazing giant turtles. There were monkeys always hanging around temperatures significantly drop - long and happy a life their citizens
where we were staying and loads of screaming noises... huge spiders... and San José has much cooler nights enjoy as a result. In 2007 the Costa
so many birds... I think we even spotted a panther on the beach one night - than at sea level and the days are Rican government announced plans
but that's not necessarily normal!..." Ruth less hot and humid. Fortunately, for Costa Rica to become the first
Costa Rica is rarely affected by carbon neutral country by 2021.
hurricanes or tropical storms.
Useless Info
Local grub Costa Rica literally translates
Beans and rice, rice and beans, as "Rich Coast". It became the
you're gonna love them - otherwise first country in the world to
known as gallo pinto or burra. constitutionally abolish its army in
There's a heavy reliance on fresh 1948. Locals are known as Ticos.
fruit and vegetables. Try the
plantain and sweetcorn based try before you fly
dishes and you'll probably turn Re-live those childhood moments
into a banana while you're there. and watch Jurassic Park all over
Buzz around on the local coffee - again. It's a little-known fact that
traditional coffee breaks are usually it was filmed here. And you can
at around 3:00pm. For something a practice your dinosaur impressions
little stronger, drink guaro, the local too. Rooooaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
liquor, and granizados.
107

CENTRAL AMERICA
costa rica
adventure
16 DAYS, $1,539 fr

start and finish: san José

One of the most biologically diverse countries Day 4: Tortuguero National Park Days 10-12: Monteverde
in the world – a true Garden of Eden. Distinctive Take a morning boat ride to Tortuguero, Climb into the misty mountain air of the
for its rainforest, rushing rivers, pristine beaches with spectacular wildlife viewing en route. Monteverde cloud forest region. Weather
and towering volcanoes, you’ll truly feel off the The beaches here are nesting grounds of the permitting, do a two hour guided horse tour
beaten track on this 16 day adventure that enormous Green and Leatherback sea turtles. through coffee fields and forests. Spend a couple
takes you all around the beautiful little Central of days exploring the town and a cloud forest
American country of Costa Rica. Travelling Days 5-6: Rara Avis reserve - a true nature lover's paradise. Optional
with a small group of merry companions, The journey is half the adventure as you begin activities include a trail of suspended bridges
you’ll experience things that’ll transport your by travelling along two rivers, the Tortuguero through the canopy, a butterfly garden and a
subconscious to a place of contented reverie. and the La Suerte. Back on land you'll board thrilling canopy zip line.
The sheer ecological beauty of all that you see a van, then a unimog (all-terrain truck) and a
will leave you contemplative, philosophical, tractor-drawn cart - eventually arriving at your Days 13-14: Quepos / Manuel Antonio
bemused, amazed, but ultimately very, very special jungle oasis. You'll enter the primary Quepos is a small pacific town perfect for
happy. Your feet will perhaps tread where none rainforest bordering Braulio Carrillo National relaxing at the end of your tour. A short distance
have gone before as you explore steamy virgin Park, where at 700m above sea level the climate away, Manuel Antonio National Park offers
rainforest. Your ears will try and absorb the is generally cool year-round. A naturalist guide excellent hiking, spectacular views and abundant
crazed cries of howler monkeys as you trek leads you along nature trails, a butterfly farm wildlife. There are beautiful white sand beaches
around the base of an active volcano. Your and swimming spots at the twin waterfalls. There and the warm turquoise water is ideal for
skin will moisten in the misty mountain air as is also the option to climb to a viewing platform swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding,
you ride a horse through an incomprehensibly 30m above the jungle floor. (2B, L, 2D) sailing or surfing. The nightlife in the area is also
surreal cloud forest. And your body will bask some of the best in the country.
in the resplendent rays of the most becalming Days 7-9: La Fortuna / Arenal
sunshine as you lay back on stunning white La Fortuna, at the foot of Arenal Volcano, is an Day 15: San José
sandy beaches. Prepare to fall madly in love with excellent base for area explorations. Take a night Return to San José for some last-minute
the magic of Costa Rica. hike around the base of the Arenal Volcano, shopping and a final night on the town.
accompanied by the sounds of monkeys and the
HIGHLIGHTS distant rumbling of the volcano. Other optional Day 16: Depart San José
• Bask on exotic Caribbean beaches activities include white water rafting, horseback Your big adventure sadly ends on Day 16.
• Take a boat tour of Tortuguero N.P. riding, waterfall canyoneering (abseiling), a boat
• Explore Rara Avis Rainforest tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, or a
• Hike around the base of Arenal Volcano relaxing soak in hot springs.
• Soak yourself in bubbling hot springs
• Horseback ride through Monteverde
• Absorb the wonder of a cloud forest
DEPARTURES
• Snorkel the warm waters around Quepos START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAR 15 MAR 30 MAY 31 JUN 15 AUG 16 AUG 31
JAN 02 JAN 17 MAR 20 APR 04 JUN 05 JUN 20 AUG 21 SEP 05
Day 1: Arrive San José JAN 04
JAN 09
JAN 19
JAN 24
MAR 22
MAR 27
APR 06
APR 11
JUN 07
JUN 12
JUN 22
JUN 27
AUG 23
AUG 28
SEP 07
SEP 12
Arrive in San José at any time - and go exploring. JAN 11 JAN 26 MAR 29 APR 13 JUN 14 JUN 29 AUG 30 SEP 14
JAN 16 JAN 31 APR 03 APR 18 JUN 19 JUL 04 SEP 04 SEP 19
JAN 18 FEB 02 APR 05 APR 20 JUN 21 JUL 06 SEP 06 SEP 21
JAN 23 FEB 07 APR 10 APR 25 JUN 26 JUL 11 SEP 11 SEP 26
Days 2-3: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca JAN 25 FEB 09 APR 12 APR 27 JUN 28 JUL 13 SEP 13 SEP 28
JAN 30 FEB 14 APR 17 MAY 02 JUL 03 JUL 18 SEP 18 OCT 03 Rara Avis
Begin with a bus ride over the scenic mountains FEB 01 FEB 16 APR 19 MAY 04 JUL 05 JUL 20 SEP 20 OCT 05
FEB 06 FEB 21 APR 24 MAY 09 JUL 10 JUL 25 SEP 25 OCT 10
to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The picturesque FEB 08 FEB 23 APR 26 MAY 11 JUL 12 JUL 27 SEP 27 OCT 12
La Fortuna/Arenal •

• Tortuguero N.P.
Monteverde • • Limon
FEB 13 FEB 28 MAY 01 MAY 16 JUL 17 AUG 01 OCT 02 OCT 17
village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca's white and FEB 15 MAR 02 MAY 03 MAY 18 JUL 19 AUG 03 OCT 04 OCT 19
San José • • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
black sand beaches are surrounded by exotic FEB 20 MAR 07 MAY 08 MAY 23 JUL 24 AUG 08 OCT 09 OCT 24 Manuel Antonio •
FEB 22 MAR 09 MAY 10 MAY 25 JUL 26 AUG 10 OCT 11 OCT 26 costa rica
tropical vegetation. Many optional activities are FEB 27 MAR 14 MAY 15 MAY 30 JUL 31 AUG 15 OCT 16 OCT 31
MAR 01 MAR 16 MAY 17 JUN 01 AUG 02 AUG 17 OCT 18 NOV 02
available, including bike rentals, snorkelling and MAR 06 MAR 21 MAY 22 JUN 06 AUG 07 AUG 22 OCT 23 NOV 07
MAR 08 MAR 23 MAY 24 JUN 08 AUG 09 AUG 24 OCT 25 NOV 09
hiking in Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. MAR 13 MAR 28 MAY 29 JUN 13 AUG 14 AUG 29 OCT 30 NOV 14

Accommodation: Hotels/inns (13 nts), multi-share lodge (2 nts) Transport: Public


bus, tractor, van, boat Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader
throughout, local guides Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Budget: Allow
USD210 for meals not included Tour Code: GACRA
108

costa rica
hike, bike
& raft
15 DAYS, $1,929 fr

start and finish: san José

Physical activity makes people happy. As far Day 1: Arrive San José Days 8-10: Arenal / La Fortuna
as we know that’s a scientific fact. Costa Rica Arrive in San José at any time - and go exploring. At the base of the magnificent Arenal Volcano,
makes people happy – that ain’t scientifically La Fortuna has much to offer the adventurous
proven, but the professors here at STA Travel Days 2-5: La Danta / Guápiles traveller. You'll have a free day to take advantage
are 100% sure it's true. So mix this all together Embark on a four day/three night excursion deep of the town’s exciting activities that include
and what do you get? Nothing less than ecstatic, into the jungle, using a rustic lodge situated biking, kayaking, abseiling, hiking the Arenal
jubilant and beautiful serenity… which is more in the heart of the rainforest as your base. Volcano, hiking to one of the many waterfalls
or less the meaning of life. So for a fulfilling, You'll hike remote and unspoiled primary forest and of course, enjoying a frosty beverage in
contented and complete existence you simply located in the central volcanic mountain range the swim-up bar at the local hot springs. On
have to book yourself on this 15 day rock'n roll on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Hike along one morning you'll bike through unsealed roads,
ride through Costa Rica. This amazing adventure the rainforest and enjoy the view of different over lava fields and through lovely scenery.
includes four days of hiking through the jaw waterfalls, including one that’s 150 metres Another day, you'll enjoy a bike ride to la Fortuna
dropping La Danta Private Reserve, three days high. Opportunities to see wildlife abound and waterfall and take a dip in a swimming hole. (2L)
of rafting on the Reventazon and Pacuare rivers, if you’re really lucky, you may catch a glimpse
horseback riding on your way to the cloud of an endangered species such as tapir, puma Days 11-13: Monteverde
forests of Monteverde and a session or two on or jaguar. Return each afternoon to the comfort Travel by jeep, boat and van to Monteverde
the bike seat as you cycle over lava fields. Just and safety of the lodge. Located near one of where you'll enjoy a two-hour guided horseback
reading about it may well precipitate a glorious, the many beautiful waterfalls cascading down tour through coffee fields and forests. Whilst in
excitable sweat. There is possibly no better the rim of the canyon, the lodge provides Monteverde you'll also experience a guided tour
country in the world for getting out and about a spectacular view of the canopy and the of the reserve in Monteverde Cloud Forest, a bird
amongst Mother Nature, simply because she seemingly never-ending rainforest. (4B, 3L, 3D) lover's paradise. You'll have free time to explore
presents her best work in the landscapes and the area, go on the sky walk, try the famous
creatures of Costa Rica. Mountains, forests, Days 6-7: River Rafting canopy zip-line or check out the butterfly
waterfalls, volcanoes, rainforest, monkeys, sea Your rafting adventure begins with a trip down garden. Marvel at the teeming wildlife.
turtles, parrots – you name it, Costa Rica has it the thrilling Reventazon River. The next day
and this adventure will definitely deliver it. you'll set off on the Pacuare River, known for Day 14: San José
its spectacular canyons and virgin rainforest. Return to San José for your final evening and a
HIGHLIGHTS Afternoons and evenings are spent at a remote farewell night out on the town.
• Hike through beautifully lush rainforest tent camp. Revel in the strange sounds of the
• Stay at a rustic rainforest lodge jungle animals and the rare trees surrounding Day 15: Depart San José
• Raft down exotic rivers you. (2B, 2L, 2D) Your adventure finishes where it started.
• Cycle across lava fields
• Soak in the hot springs of La Fortuna
• Ride horseback around Arenal Lake
DEPARTURES
• Take a tour of a cloud forest reserve START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 10 APR 24 JUL 24 AUG 07 DEC 11 DEC 25
• Witness remarkable wildlife JAN 16 JAN 30 APR 24 MAY 08 AUG 07 AUG 21 DEC 18 JAN 01
JAN 30 FEB 13 MAY 08 MAY 22 AUG 21 SEP 04 2011
FEB 13 FEB 27 MAY 15 MAY 29 SEP 25 OCT 09 JAN 22 FEB 05
FEB 27 MAR 13 JUN 12 JUN 26 OCT 30 NOV 13 JAN 29 FEB 12
MAR 06 MAR 20 JUN 19 JUL 03 NOV 06 NOV 20 FEB 26 MAR 12
MAR 20 APR 03 JUL 10 JUL 24 DEC 04 DEC 18 MAR 05 MAR 19

Accommodation: Hotels/guest houses (10 nts), jungle lodge - no electricity (4 nts)


Transport: Public bus, private van, bike, boat, rafts, hiking Group Size: Max 12, Avg 8
Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides Meals: 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches,
5 dinners Budget: Allow USD250 for meals not included Tour Code: GACHB
La Fortuna/Arenal • • Braulio Carillo / La Danta
Monteverde • • Pacuare River
San José •
fancy some surfing? costa rica

'Costa Rica Kayaks and Surf'


fr $1,419 Tour Code: GACRKS

STAY LONGER IN SAN JOSÉ


Check out page 112

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
109

CENTRAL AMERICA
basic
costa rica
14 DAYS, $1,009 fr

start and finish: san José

This 14 day frolic gets you going: out and about, Day 1: Arrive San José Days 8-9: Monteverde
up, down, loop the loop, inside and outside. Arrive into hot and sticky San José. Get out and Travel from Lake Arenal up an alluring green
Throwing you up in the air like an experienced explore the city and people-watch. mountain road into the misty mountain air of the
trapeze artist, you’ll come back down to earth Monteverde Cloud Forest. Explore the town and
giddy with active exhilaration. Costa Rica is Days 2-3: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca a nearby Cloud Forest reserve - bird lover's might
famed for its happy and healthy attitude, it's Take a bus ride down through the mountains to actually explode with excitement! This unique
the kind of thing you'd like to capture in a Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Stand stunned on community has several co-operatives worth
bottle - like a majic potion - to dab on yourself Puerto Viejo's white and black sandy beaches visiting. Be a daredevil on the sky walk, visit the
when ever you're feeling down! Hop off hiking, and breathe in the exotic tropical vegetation. pretty butterfly garden and play Tarzan on a
get on a horse and run as fast you can into the Rent a bike, snorkel or hike through Manzanillo zip-line canopy tour.
wilderness. Swim in fantastically blue waters, National Wildlife Refuge. Dance the night away
absorbing the paradisiacal quantity and beauty to reggae and calypso, taste flavourful Afro- Days 10-12: Playa Sámara
of the local wildlife and wade through the Caribbean cuisine and succumb completely to the Head onto beautiful Playa Sámara on the
plethora of plants and brightly coloured orchids. natural beauty of this tropical paradise. Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and spend
On this trip out you'll get deep into the heart time doing nothing on the white sandy beach.
of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, skip care-free Day 4: Cahuita Actionistas can swim and snorkel in pristine
along the black and white sandy beaches, snorkel Continue north to Cahuita, a laid back Caribbean waters or learn to surf at one of the local surf
vibrant reefs, eat coconuts with monkeys and town with gorgeous beaches and a great schools. Very cool.
drift off into dreamland with the sound of far off national park. Hike the park's trails, snorkel
volcanoes and birds cawing in the background. vibrant reefs, make mates with the monkeys and Day 13: San José
soak up some serious sun. Return to San José for a final night on the town.

highlights Days 5-7: Arenal / La Fortuna Day 14: Depart San José
• Salsa the night away in San José La Fortuna sits at the foot of still-active Arenal Leave at anytime - energised and alive!
• Hike to hot and happy heaven Volcano. Escape into the dark on a night hike
• Snorkel in crystal clear waters around its base and listen to the sounds of the
• Devour delicious Caribbean fodder monkeys and the distant rumbling of the volcano.
• Relax in magma-heated hot springs Check out other activities like white water
• Inhale tropical air in the Cloud Forest rafting, horse riding, a tour of the Caño Negro
• Spot awesome looking birds Wildlife Refuge. Relax to the max in magma-
• Learn to surf heated hot springs.

DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 JUN 20 JUL 03 OCT 17 OCT 30 2011
MAR 21 APR 03 JUL 18 JUL 31 NOV 21 DEC 04 JAN 16 JAN 29
APR 18 MAY 01 AUG 15 AUG 28 DEC 19 JAN 01 FEB 20 MAR 05
MAY 16 MAY 29 SEP 19 OCT 02 MAR 20 APR 02

Accommodation: Simple hotels/guest houses (13 nts) (may be multi-share)


Transport: Local bus, boat Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader
throughout Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD350 for meals not
included. Tour Code: GACRCR

La Fortuna •
stay longer in san josÉ Playas del Coco • • • Cahuita
Check out page 112. Sámara • • San José • Puerto Viejo
costa rica de Talamanca
Monteverde
110

costa rica quest costa rica


9 DAYS, $899 fr volcanoes & surf
start and finish: san José 9 DAYS, $1,239 fr

• Hike around the base of the still active Arenal Volcano start and finish: san José
• Ride horseback along the lake front at Monteverde
• Take a guided tour of a fascinating Cloud Forest reserve • Experience a night hike around the base of a still active volcano
• Explore the superb trails in Manuel Antonio National Park • Inhale the cool mountain air and explore a Cloud Forest Reserve
• Lie back on the white sandy beaches of Queops • Mountain bike along the lakefront to Monteverde
• Learn to surf on the waves of Costa Rica's Pacific coastline
Day 1: Arrive San José • Enjoy a fabulous night in the bars and clubs of San Jose
Arrive in San José at any time. Get yourself out and about.
Day 1: Arrive San José
Days 2-3: La Fortuna / Arenal Arrive in San José at any time. Head out for a wander.
La Fortuna is an excellent base to start exploring the area. Take an
unforgettable hike around the base of the active Arenal Volcano, Days 2-3: La Fortuna / Arenal
accompanied by the sounds of monkeys and the distant rumbling of the Drive through the mountains to La Fortuna, at the foot of Arenal Volcano.
volcano. Optional activities include white water rafting, horseback riding, a A night hike around the volcano is an unforgettable adventure. Try a
boat tour of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge or a relaxing soak in hot springs. full day of whitewater rafting, go horseback riding, tour the Caño Negro
Wildlife Refuge or soak in the nearby hot springs.
Days 4-5: Monteverde
Inhale the cool mountain air of Monteverde. Enjoy a two hour guided tour Days 4-5: Monteverde
on horseback and spend a couple of days exploring the town and a Cloud Travel by van, boat and mountain bike along the lakefront to the cool
Forest reserve, a true bird lover's paradise. Optional activities include the mountain air of Monteverde. Spend a couple of days exploring the town
sky walk, a butterfly garden and a thrilling canopy zip-line. and a Cloud Forest Reserve. Optional activities include the sky walk, a
butterfly garden (cooler than it sounds!) and a thrilling canopy zip-line.
Days 6-7: Quepos / Manuel Antonio National Park
Quepos is one of Costa Rica's best known beach towns and the stunning Days 6-7: Playa Hermosa
Manuel Antonio National Park is only a few minutes away. The tropical Learn to surf at the Zopilote Surf Camp, located on Playa Hermosa de
vegetation, abrupt headlands and well-maintained trail systems offer Cobano on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Check out hidden and
superb hiking and wildlife viewing; while the warm turquoise water is ideal well-known spots - there are waves for beginners and pros alike. (2B, 2D)
for swimming, sea kayaking, boogie boarding and surfing.
Day 8: San José
Day 8: San José Squeeze in a morning surf before taking a local bus back to San José. Arrive
A local bus takes you back to San José for one final night on the town. in the evening, in time to head out for one final night on the town.

Day 9: Depart San José Day 9: Depart San José


Your adventure comes to a finish on Day nine, say your tearful goodbyes. Your trip comes to an end on the morning of Day nine.

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
JAN – NOV: WED & SAT START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
DEC: SELECTED MON, WED & SAT 2010 JUN 05 JUN 13 NOV 20 NOV 28
JAN 02 JAN 10 JUN 19 JUN 27 DEC 04 DEC 12
Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts) Transport: Public bus, van, JAN 16 JAN 24 JUL 03 JUL 11 DEC 18 DEC 26
boat Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader JAN 30 FEB 07 JUL 17 JUL 25 2011
throughout, local guides Meals: No meals included FEB 13 FEB 21 JUL 31 AUG 08 JAN 01 JAN 09
Budget: Allow USD300 for meals not inc. Tour Code: GACRQ FEB 27 MAR 07 AUG 14 AUG 22 15 JAN JAN 23
• La Fortuna/Arenal MAR 13 MAR 21 AUG 28 SEP 05 JAN 29 FEB 06 • La Fortuna/Arenal
Monteverde • costa rica
MAR 27 APR 04 SEP 11 SEP 19 FEB 12 FEB 20 Monteverde • costa rica
San José • APR 10 APR 18 SEP 25 OCT 03 FEB 26 MAR 06 San José •
APR 24 MAY 02 OCT 09 OCT 17 MAR 12 MAR 20 Playa Hermosa •
Manuel Antonio • MAY 08 MAY 16 OCT 23 OCT 31 MAR 26 APR 03
MAY 22 MAY 30 NOV 06 NOV 14

Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), beach front house - may be


STAY LONGER IN SAN JOSE multi-share with private bathrooms (2 nts) Transport: Public
bus, van, boat, mountain bike, surfboard Group Size: Max 15,
Check out page 112. Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides,
local surf instructors Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Budget: Allow USD210 for meals not inc. Tour Code: GACRVS
111

hop-on hop-off

CENTRAL AMERICA
costa rica
Costa Rica is a stunning and wild topical
wonderland that offers an unlimited amount
of adventurous activities...learn to surf, hike
a volcano or take a dip in some natural hot
springs. Our fantastic bus passes give you the
freedom to see Costa Rica your way. • La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano)
Papagayo Gulf • costa rica • Sarapiqui
Playa Potero • • Monteverde
Experience the real Costa Rica and create your • Puerto Viejo de Limon & Cahuita
Coco Beach & Ocotal •
own personalised itinerary. Choose where you • El Roble • Manzanillo
Tamarindo, Conchal & Flamingo • • San José
want to go, when you want to depart, how many
routes you wish to purchase and which free Tambor • • Jaco
activities you want to do. Connections operate • Manuel Antono
to and from each destination listed on the map.

YOUR hop-on hop-off PASS


• Choose 4, 5, 6 or 7 transfers between a
selection of 18 exciting destinations.

• Choose from daily departure dates with


flexibility to change your itinerary as 4 shuttles & 2 activities: fr $573
you travel your route 5 shuttles & 2 activities: fr $650
6 shuttles & 2 activities: fr $722
• Door to door accommodation pick-up 7 shuttles & 2 activities: fr $793
and drop-off on all routes.

• All passes are valid for up to one month. Choose one of the following popular
itineraries or select any route you
• Choose 2 out of the 3 included activities like from the big map above.
(see below).
4 shuttles
arenal: volcano hike & hotsprings Recommended min. trip time: 6 days
The tour begins with an enchanting walk through San jose - La fortuna (arenal volcano)
tropical rainforest accompanied by our naturalist - puerto viejo - manuel antonio -
guide, while you observe monkeys, toucans and san jose
sloths before arriving at the active area of the
Arenal Volcano. At the hot springs enjoy a well 5 shuttles
deserved bath of hot water minerals, whilst Recommended min. trip time: 10 days
enjoying the breath-taking view of the Volcano. San jose - manuel antonio - tamarindo
- monteverde - la fortuna (arenal
san jose: white water rafting Volcano) - san jose
This adrenaline pumping trip begins when
the river drops steeply from the Costa Rican 6 shuttles
mountains and charges through pristine jungle Recommended min. trip time: 13 days
gorges, then winds around rocky curves to take San jose - manuel antonio -
you on a wild, adventurous ride back to sea montezuma - tamarindo - monteverde
level waters. - la fortuna (arenal volcano) -
san jose
monteverde: zip-line adventure
This cool and thrilling adventure allows you to 7 shuttles
explore the marvels of a virgin rainforest from Recommended min. trip time: 15 days
its canopy, indulge in the Cloud forest's amazing San jose - manuel antonio -
flora and fauna, including a wide variety of monteverde - tamarindo - la fortuna
mammals and exotic birds. Enjoy the spectacular (arenal volcano) - sarapiqui -
Costa Rican rainforest, 300 feet above the puerto viejo - san jose
forest floor.
112

San José
costa rica
nature
paradise
STAysmart STAysmart
8 days, fr 1,317
Start & Finish: san josÉ
taylor inn hotel vesuvio departs: every saturday
Just a few minutes from the Commercial centre A small and charming hotel within an old colonial
of San José, this hotel is small and pleasant. house in the heart of the historic Barrio Amon. Days 1-2: San JosÉ / arenal volcano
The National Theatre, Gold Museum and other Free continental breakfast, internet and room From the airport you'll head to the impressive
attractions in the city are nearby and you can service is available. Each lovely room boasts a Arenal Volcano – winding through lush scenery
relax on the pretty patio with your breakfast. STA576 private bathroom and cable TV. STA575 on your way there. Unwind in the evening and
explore the volcano the next day. Check out the
fr $92 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST fr $101 SINGLE , INC. BREAKFAST activities - hot springs, waterfall abseiling, horse
fr $109 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST fr $116 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. BREAKFAST riding, volcano hikes and wildlife tours.

Days 3-4: monteverde


Onwards and upwards to Costa Rica's cloud
forest – home to some incredible flora and

Costa Rica fauna. The area is acclaimed as one of the most


outstanding wildlife refuges in the new world

Adrenalin Tropics. Arrive by jeep-boat-jeep and take a


jumper (it can get chilly up high). Spend time
exploring, zip-lining through forest canopies,
8 days, fr $1,558 Day 4: arenal volcano wandering coffee plantations or horse riding.
Feel the red-hot heat, ash clouds and grumbles.
Start & Finish: san josÉ Relax in the thermal springs before dinner. Days 5-7: manuel antonio n.P.
departs: every saturday Welcome to fantastic rain forest, coral reefs
Days 5-7: tamarindo beach and beaches - the most beautiful in the country.
Day 1: Arrive San JosÉ Head to the coast on an awesome scenic drive. The forest is home to abundant wildlife - sloths,
Arrive into town at anytime - and go exploring. Lap up the tropical life. Beach it, snorkel it, surf iguanas and squirrel monkeys. Beach it, snorkel
it or just chill out in your own little bit of paradise. it, take boat trips out to the reefs, meander the
Days 2-3: turrialba markets, sample scrumptious local coffee or go
Head to Turrialba for waterfall abseiling, canopy Day 8: Depart san josÉ diving. If all else fails, just relax!
zip-lining and walking on hanging bridges! Horse Make your way back to San José’s airport -
ride through coffee plantations and white water about a 5 hour drive. Make sure your outward Day 8: depart san josé
raft down the stunning Pacuare River. flight departs after 4pm to get there in time. Depart from the airport - arriving San Jose around 4pm
Accommodation: Simple hotels (7n) Meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 2 dinners .
Guide: Guide for activities, guided Arenal Volcano hike, tour to the Eco Thermal Accommodation: Simple hotels (7n) Meals: 4 breakfasts Transport: Between towns/
Waters Tour Code: STA577 cities and to and from the airport in San Jose Tour Code: STA578

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
113

CENTRAL AMERICA
pacific ocean build homes teach
turtle for local english in
conservatioN families costa rica
1 week, fr $1,045 1 week, fr $1,395 4 weeks, fr $1,595
extra weeks fr $410 extra weeks fr $345 extra weeks fr $280

Start & Finish: san josÉ Start & Finish: san josÉ Start & Finish: san josÉ

A chance to do something really different, that If you want to immerse yourself in the laidback In Costa Rica, as in most countries around the
helps the wider world and lets you see some Costa Rican culture while making a real world, it’s the rural areas that need volunteers
sun. At a specialised marine turtle conservation difference to the lives of local people, then this the most; outside the cities, resources tend
project in one of three locations on the Pacific particular project will be right up your street. to dry up and children are left with far less
coast (Ostional, Mata Palo or Buena Vista), Grab the chance to work closely with Costa Rican opportunities. Luckily for you, rural Costa Rica is
you'll help with the day to day preservation families helping them to build homes that will also home to some of the most inspiring scenery
of the endangered leatherback turtle species. really improve their quality of life. Hundreds of this side of the National Geographic channel and
Help with the preparation of hatcheries, beach thousands of people in Costa Rica live in sub- these schools in particular provide a stunning
clearance and get out on those night patrols. standard housing that doesn't have adequate backdrop to your time here. They are located
The leatherback turtles are considered critically sanitation or safe weather protection. Help the in the small village of San Carlos in the Central
endangered - over 80% of the population was ongoing efforts to improve this situation and Valley, close to Volcano Arenal - listen to those
lost in the last 10 years. You'll receive marine make friends for life in the process. You'll make rumbles! Rural schools in Costa Rica don't have
turtle training so you can help out with research a significantly, noticeable and immediate impact. any English teachers so you'll be a sight for sore
and data collection. In your free time make your It's also a great base from which you can soak eyes for the children and they’re guaranteed to
way over to Panama or chill out in a locals bar. IT4 up the sun and explore the wonderfully tropical make the most of you! ITxxx
landscapes. ITxxx
activities activities
Turtle beach patrols, monitoring nests and activities Teaching English and other subjects.
recording data. Get involved in all aspects of the building
depending on what stage the building is at. Help accommodation
accommodation build septic tanks, lay floors, dig trenches and Single room in homestay.
Various shared accommodation, basic and clean put up roofs. Work out in the sun!
with cold water. meals
accommodation Three meals a day.
meals Homestay. Shared rooms.
3 meals a day. working hours
meals Flexible; five days per week which may include
working hours Three meals a day. Saturday, all other time is free.
Flexible; 5 to 6 days a week, a mix of day and
night work, with shift durations between 2 to 8 working hours also inculded
hours. All other time is free Flexible; Monday to Friday up to eight hours a • TEFL certification
day, all other time is free. • Airport pickup
also inculded • Orientation
• Airport pickup also inculded • 24/7 support from local staff
• Orientation • Airport pickup
• 24/7 support from local staff • Orientation
• 24/7 support from local staff
114

tamarindo
surf school Surf & Bike
8 days, fr $978 8 days, fr $978
Start & Finish: Liberia Airport Start & Finish: Liberia Airport
Departs: daily Departs: daily

• 5 surf lessons • 3 surf lessons


STAysimple
• Video-taped surf lesson analysis • 2 bike rides
• Stay right on the beach • Meet amazing wildlife
blue trailz hostel • Understand waves, safety and surf rules • Free T-shirt
At the back of the Blue Trailz surf shop in the • Free T-shirt • Airport Pick up and drop off
centre of town, this small hostel is adorned
with surf boards and splattered with sand. Developed for first time surfers, you'll learn the Combine two amazing high-adrenalin sports with
Private rooms have kitchenettes, air-con, private basics of how to control your board to get out this surf and mountain biking package. The week
bathrooms, TVs and a balcony or patio. STA579 and start surfing with confidence. Your bilingual is designed for beginner surfers and intermediate
instructors will talk you through all the board to advanced mountain bikers. Tuition includes
fr $14 DORM shapes and the all important safety aspects. basic training, safety rules and a guide/teacher
fr $50 TWIN Enjoy a tasty BBQ on the last night. around the impressive biking trails.
Accommodation: Dorm or private room (7n) Also Includes: 3 surf lessons, surf
Accommodation: Dorm or private room (7n) Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner Also board rental, 2 bike rides, bike hire, airport pick up and drop off Meals: 7 break-
Includes: 5 surf lessons, surf board rental, surf lesson analysis, t-shirt, airport pick fasts, 1 dinner Tour Code: STA581
up and drop off Tour Code: STA580

WAYRA Language School


8+ days fr $528

• 1 week - 3 months study


• 20 lessons per week
• Start date every Monday, all year round
• Stay with a family or other students
• Weekly cultural and social events

Immerse yourself in the culture of Costa Rica


and come away with more than the ability to
conjugate at this friendly school right by the
beach. Build your Spanish knowledge from real
experiences - chat to locals, learn about nature
reserves and head into local towns. When you're
not in the classroom, beautiful Tamarindo beach
is your backyard - swim in the sea, snooze in the
sun and soak up the Spanish!

Inclusions: 20 hrs per week spanish lessons, enrolment fees, course material,
certificate of attendance Meals: 2x daily in a homestay Tour Code: STA582

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
115

CENTRAL AMERICA
mexico
• Cancún
• Playa del Carmen
Chichén Itzá •
Mérida • • Cozumel
Uxmal • • Tulum

• Mexico City
• Chetumal
• Puebla
Belize City• • Caye Caulker Belize
Palenque •
BELIZE Currency: BELIZE DOLLAR
• Oaxaca • Flores / Tikal
Monte Albán • • San Cristobal Population: 320,000
Tuxtla Gutierrez • de las Casas
• Lanquin Price of a beer: $2.50
Antigua •

GUATEMALA
Mexico Guatemala
Currency: PESO Currency: QUETZAL
Population: 111 MILLION Population: 13 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.50 Price of a beer: $1.80

Mexico, Guatemala
& Belize
My favourite The Weather
Tropical, hot, gloriously sunny
Useful Info
Belize used to be known as British

experience
"Caye Caulker was the best! When we got off the boat onto the island
and humid. That generally sums
it up. But beware of the dropping
temperatures in the highlands and
Honduras, it's the only country in
Central America where English is
the official language and you'll find
Vicki went off diving into the Blue Hole and I went out snorkelling with in Mexico City - it makes the nights the Queen's head on its banknotes.
massive stingrays and nurse sharks. Pretty scary stuff but equally amazing worthy of rugging up. Beware of
– there’s just so much to see. We spent a couple of days chilling out on the tropical storm season from August Useless Info
piers, drank cocktails and ordered some seriously juicy lobster – I’ve been to October - this is the period when Maize (corn) is pretty important to
dreaming of it ever since. Take me back tomorrow, please!"... Lucy you are most at risk of hurricanes. the Mayan people, not only is there
May to October gets the most a Maize god, but Mayan mythology
sunshine but also the most rainfall. states that in creation, their
Guatemala City is almost entirely first ancestors were made from
dry from November to April. maize dough. The maize is usually
personified as a woman, but earlier
on the male Tonsured Maize God
Local grub also doubled as a Tonsured Cacao
Forget the greasy coloured food God, with cacao pods growing from
that passes for a Mexican at home. his body. Sweetcorn and chocolate.
Here you can munch on freshly These guys were ingenious!
made salsa, try mole poblano (a
chocolatey based savoury sauce), try before you fly
drink margaritas til dawn and Watch 'Sin nombre' by newbie
eat as much seafood as you can director Cary Fukunaga. It
physically stomach. Try the local showcases love, intense emotion,
ceviche too - it's delicious. Beans and the extreme violence of
and rice are also big. Mexico's fascinating gang culture.
116

18-35 yrs
mexico
grande
13 DAYS, $2,369 fr

mexico city - cancun Day 4: Ixtapa to Acapulco Day 9: Mexico City to Merida via Uxmal
Head towards the bright lights and old-school Leave behind the urban colossus of Mexico
Specifically designed for those lucky people aged ritzy glamour of Acapulco Bay. Watch the famous City and fly to the beautiful white-stone city
18-35. This amazing trip includes just about death-defying cliff divers and when the sun of Merida. Make a quick trip to Uxmal, with its
everything – so you can concentrate on having sets, soak up the experience of the nightlife in magnificent ancient pyramids and temples. Then
the time of your life. Prepare for 13 days of Mexico’s number one party town. (B) head back to Merida for a tour around the city’s
perfectly fused fun and adventure that takes in gorgeous buildings, palaces and haciendas. (B, D)
two different but equally astonishing chunks of Day 5: Acapulco
magical Mexico. You’re never too far away from Get out and peruse the traditional open air Day 10: Merida / Cancún / Chichén Itzá
the coast – which means you’ll be exposed to markets. Meet some friendly locals and then Take a captivating journey through Mayan
beautiful sunshine, beautiful people and lots head down to the beach to relax. Wrap your history on a guided tour at Chichén Itzá – a
of beautiful bars, clubs and cafes. You’ll travel chops around some lip-smacking seafood, or spectacular ancient ceremonial centre. Stop in
in an ultra modern, air-conditioned coach as watch the sunset on an optional party cruise. (B) the modern mega-resort of Cancún after lunch
you and your merry band of fun seekers check with its endless shopping, nightlife and plethora
out the white sands of the Mexican Riviera, the Day 6: Acapulco to Taxco of tropical outdoor activities. (B)
bold broodiness of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Wind up into the Sierra Madre Mountains and
the mystical ruins of Chichen Itza and the non find the quaint, stucco buildings of Taxco nestled Day 11: Cancún & Playa del Carmen
stop action of Cancún and Playa Del Carmen. in the hills. Bargain hunters beware – this is a Enjoy a day trip to the glorious Caribbean
Throughout your adventure you’ll stay in lovely dangerously good silver shopping spot! (B, D) playground of Playa del Carmen. Snorkel the
twin-share accommodation and thrown into the azure waters, hang out in the open-air cafes or
total price is your flight from Mexico City to Day 7: Taxco to Mexico City take a ferry to the island of Cozumel and hire a
Merida. Return to Mexico City and visit the unique scooter or golf buggy. (B)
floating gardens and markets of Xochimilco. Head
highlights off through “The City of Palaces” where you’ll Day 12: Cancún
• Stay every night in comfy hotels see a multitude of ancient ruins and interesting Soak up all the Cancún action you can - swim
• Enjoy loads of included local meals colonial-influenced, yet modern architecture. (B) through a jungle lagoon, learn to scuba dive or
• Dedicated crew to show you the way day trip it to an eco-archeological park. Then
• Hang out on Mexico's very best beaches Day 8: Mexico City party your last night away til dawn at one of the
• Float through the canals of Xochimilco Start the day with an excursion to remarkable very many bars and clubs. (B, D)
• Experience a guided tour of Chichen Itza ancient Teotihuacan pyramids and ruins. The
• Party until the sun comes up in Cancun day is then yours to jump into the city’s highly Day 13: Depart Cancún
• Walking tour through Colonial Morelia energised atmosphere! Wander the sidewalk This morning the tour ends and it’s time to say
cafés, bazaars, boutiques and museums. (B, D) farewell to your new friends. (B)
Day 1: Mexico City to Morelia
DEPARTURES
Leave Mexico’s capital behind. Arrive in Morelia START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 17 APR 29 JUN 12 JUN 24 DEC 04 DEC 16
with its fascinating colonial architecture and MAR 06 MAR 18 MAY 08 MAY 20 JUL 03 JUL 15 2011
picturesque streets. Try some delicious local MAR 20
APR 03
APR 01
APR 15
MAY 22
JUN 05
JUN 03
JUN 17
JUL 17
NOV 06
JUL 29
NOV 18
JAN 15
MAR 5
JAN 27
MAR 17
food and head out for a night on the town. (D)
Accommodation: Twin-share hotels (12n) Transport: Modern air-con coach, internal Cancún •
flight from Mexico City to Merida Group Leader: Tour manager and driver Meals: 12
Mérida • •
breakfasts, 6 dinners Tour Code: COMEXC
Day 2: Morelia / Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo Playa del Carmen
Head south to the sunny Mexican Riviera and • Morelia
• Mexico City
pull your chins back off the ground after scoping • Taxco
out the view of the long stretches of white sandy • Ixtapa
mexico

beaches. Kick back with a cocktail in Ixtapa. (B) VALUE TRIP! • Acapulco

Day 3: Ixtapa comfy hotel accommodation


Stroll along the Pacfic Ocean shores or check out loads of great meals
some more authentic ambience in a nearby fishing Transport in modern air-con coach
village. The warm waters are perfect for snorkelling, flight from mexico city to merida
kayaking and catching your lunch. (B, D)

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117

CENTRAL AMERICA
18-35 yrs 18-35 yrs
MEXICAN FIESTA YUCATAN EXPLORER
9 DAYS, $1,275 fr 6 DAYS, $1,245 fr

start and finish: mexico city Mexico city - cancún

• Travel and relax with modern coaches and comfy hotels • Go coco crazy in the spring break capital of Cancún
• Taste the local cuisine with included meals • Guided sightseeing tour of fascinating Mayan ruins
• Enjoy the bazaars, musems and cafes in Mexico City • Admire the architecture in colonial Merida
• Buy silver trinkets in Taxco • Soak up the sun, snorkel and dive in Playa del Carmen
• Float around Xochimilco's gardens and markets • Try great local seafood and magical mojitos

Day 1: Mexico City to Morelia Day 1: Arrive Mexico City


Enjoy Morelia's lovely colonial architecture and picturesque streets. (D) Check in and spend the afternoon exploring this historic city. (D)

Day 2: Morelia to Ixtapa via Zihuatanejo Day 2: Mexico City to Merida via Uxmal
Go west to the sunny Mexican Riviera. Kick back admiring the beaches. (B) Head out of the city and fly to the pretty white-stone city of Merida. Make
a quick trip to Uxmal's magnificent ancient pyramids and temples. Get back
Day 3: Ixtapa for a tour of Merida's gorgeous buildings, palaces and haciendas. (B, D)
Kayak along the city shores or snorkel round smaller beach villages. (B, D)
Day 3: Merida to Cancún via Chichén Itzá
Day 4: Ixtapa to Acapulco Take a captivating journey through Mayan history on a guided tour of
Soak in the views and as the sun sets, enjoy Acapulco's epic nightlife. (B) Chichén Itzá – a spectacular ancient ceremonial center. After lunch, stop in
Caribbean Cancún for endless shopping, nightlife and outdoor activities. (B)
Day 5: Acapulco
Drop by the markets, chomp on seafood or set sail on a party cruise. (B) Day 4: Cancún & Play del Carmen
Day trip it to the glorious beachside playground of Playa del Carmen. Fill your
Day 6: Acapulco to Taxco day snorkelling the azure waters and hanging out in open-air cafés. (B)
Travel into the Sierra Madre Mountains to the silver town of Taxco. (B)
Day 5: Cancún
Day 7: Taxco to Mexico City Catch all the Cancún action you can today. Swim through a jungle lagoon,
Visit the floating gardens and markets of Xochimilco, then check “The City learn to dive, or day trip it to an eco-archeological park. Celebrate your
of Palaces” for a multitude of ancient ruins and interesting architecture. (B) last night out together at the legendary bars and dance til dawn. (B).

Days 8 -9: Mexico City Day 6: Depart Cancún


Enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere and say adios amigos on day nine. Your trip has sadly come to an end. Time to leave this colourful city.

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 08 MAY 16 DEC 04 DEC 12 2010 MAY 29 JUN 03 DEC 11 DEC 16
DEC 05 DEC 12 MAY 22 MAY 30 2011 MAR 13 MAR 18 JUN 12 JUN 17 2011
JAN 09 JAN 16 JUN 05 JUN 13 JAN 15 JAN 23 MAR 27 APR 01 JUN 19 JUN 24 JAN 22 JAN 27
MAR 06 MAR 14 JUN 12 JUN 20 MAR 05 MAR 13 APR 10 APR 15 JUL 10 JUL 15 MAR 12 MAR 17
• Morelia APR 24 APR 29 JUL 24 JUL 29 MAR 26 MAR 31 Cancún •
MAR 20 MAR 28 JUL 03 JUL 11 MAR 13 MAR 27
• Mexico City MAY 15 MAY 20 NOV 13 NOV 18 Mérida • •
APR 03 APR 11 JUL 17 JUL 25
APR 17 APR 25 NOV 06 NOV 14 • Taxco
Accommodation: Twin-share hotels (5n) Transport: Modern Playa del Carmen
mexico
Accommodation: Twin-share hotels (8n) Transport: Modern • Ixtapa air-con coach, flight from Mexico City to Merida • Mexico City
air-con coach Group Leader: Tour manager and driver • Acapulco Group Leader: Tour manager and driver throughout
throughout Meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners Meals: 5 breakfasts, 3 dinners Tour Code: COMEX3
mexico
Tour Code: COMEX2

Value trip! VALUE TRIP!


sTAY IN COMFY HOTEL ACCOMMODATION STAY IN COMFY HOTEL ACCOMMODATION
LOADS OF GREAT MEALS LOADS OF GREAT MEALS
Transport in modern air-con coach Transport in modern air-con coach
FLight FROM MEXICO CITY TO MERIDA
118

mayan
adventure
22 DAYS, $2,069 fr

Cancún - Playa del Carmen

Make friends with the Mayans on this stunning


22 day trip over and under some lovely Latin
landmarks. We've got more magnificent moments
in store than your camera has memory, so here's
hoping the blink of an eye all-equipped modern
technology makes it on to market sharpish.
Unleash the inner adventurer - backflip,
cartwheel and spring-board into a swimming
pool sized splurge of fun. There'll be an
occasional crash-mat to let you lazily bask under
the sizzling sun, but for the most part you'll be
whizzing off on fun-time activities, partying like
a bat out of hell and having a jolly good Mexican
laugh with your newfound amigos.

highlights
• Go coco-crazy in Cancún
• Snorkel in crystal clear Caribbean water
• Marvel at Mayan ruins Days 4-5: Palenque Days 8-12: Guatemalan Highlands
• Make mayhem in the markets Go on a gob-smacking gallivant around the ruins Tread Panajachel paved streets and taste its old
• Swim with nurse sharks and stingrays of Palenque, home to the mummified remains world flavour. Head out onto the lake by boat,
• Rock to reggae rhythms of Lord Pakal and jam-packed full of flora and kayak, windsurf or human dorsal fin and admire
• Chill out with a Guatemalan coffee fauna. Enjoy running up and down the stone the smokin’ volcanoes in the distance. Visit the
• Kayak and windsurf to holistic heaven steps and soak in the rainforest’s radiance. Pack Sunday market of Chichicastenango, a cultural
• Dive in world-class open water your bathers for a cool down under the Agua experience not to be missed – made better with
• Salsa with a sexy señorita Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls 45 minutes away. an additional peppering of p’s and g’s (por favor
Set in the middle of lush jungle, jump into the and gracias) to help your barganacious powers
Day 1: Arrive Cancún plunge pools and take note of the somewhat come to the fore. Onto colonial Antigua for
Arrive into Cancún. Explore the city’s plethora of ambiguous (and therefore perhaps deliberately more hair-raising activities. Climb a volcano or
street-side bars and cafés. Prime every single hilarious) no-pushing-in signs. Optional day- mountain bike through the countryside for more
sense as you absorb all the beautiful craziness trippers can check out other ethereal ruins on fun times and hilarious anecdotes.
around you. Welcome to Mexico! the Guatemalan border. Tell the folks back home
you’ve got jungle fever so you’ll have to stay Days 13-14: Flores / Tikal
Days 2-3: Chichén Itzá / Mérida away til you’ve made at least a 100% recovery. Settle in for a spectacular sunset in this
Stop at the fascinating and famous Mayan Massive shame. picturesque town by Lake Petén Itzá. Swim, live
pyramids and ruins of Chichén Itzá – recently the laidback life and tick the Tikal box – one of
voted one of the new seven Wonders of the Days 6-7: San Cristobal de las Casas the biggest and best ruins in the Mayan world.
World. Learn about this ancient civilization’s Trundle along to San Cristobal de las Casas for
interesting way of life before moving on to the yet another side to the Mexican way of life. High Days 15-16: San Ignacio, Belize
city of Mérida. Wander the pretty plazas and up in the hills, this town experiences a cooler Time to get your action-man costumes on. Oh
open markets – perfect for sombrero-shaped climate than other areas, yet is by no means less yeah, you better Belize it! This little town offers
souvenirs and hammocks you have nowhere to colourful or full of life. More marvellous markets many an adrenaline-junkie jaunt. Hop to it on a
hang. Bask under the Yucatan sun and sit back will greet you extending out along the main hike, canoe or horse. Duck down low on a caving
with a coffee at an outdoor café admiring the streets and you can choose to take a speed-boat trip or visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Area for
colonial architecture. If you prefer to leave the ride along the vast gorge nearby for views and a swim in its inviting pools and rivers. There's
culture vultures to it back in Mérida’s magical birdspottings a plenty. Visit outlying villages for loads to do in this utterly stunning little chunk
museums, escape the city and dive into a nearby an insight into modern-day Mayan life. of Latin America.
cenote (water sink hole) for a swim.

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119

CENTRAL AMERICA
Days 17-19: Caye Caulker
As you step out of your speedy-gonzalez motor
boat onto the teeny tiny island of Caye Caulker
you'll hit the ‘Go Slow’ sign etched into the ground
beneath you. Feel the wind in your hair as you Days 20-21: Playa del Carmen
kick back with a beer on the pier, munch lobster Playing on the Playa (beach) is just one of the
and other fruit from the ocean. Wake up to a infinite options in this sunny resort town on the
breakfast of home-made island banana cake, drink Mayan Riviera. Snorkel among the mangroves,
delicious coffee and groove to the totally chilled dive into underground caverns, swim with turtles
out reggae that pumps through every islander’s or simply soak up the sol with a cool margarita
veins. Hire canoes and capsize spectacularly in hand. Catch a combi (bus) to the stunning
before you can say Bob Marley’s your uncle and seaside Mayan ruins of Tulúm, a little further Day 22: Depart Playa del Carmen
forget your fears on a swim with giant stingrays down the coast. Party into the night in one of Say adios amigos to your newfound friends and
and nurse sharks at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. the beachside bars and look good with the cream head home making everyone jealous of your
of the Mexican crop. bronzed body and fab freckles.

DEPARTURES

Do it your way
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH • Cancún
2010 MAY 15 JUN 05 AUG 28 SEP 18 2011 Chichen Itzá • • Playa del
JAN 02 JAN 23 JUN 05 JUN 26 SEP 04 SEP 25 JAN 01 JAN 22 Carmen
JAN 09 JAN 30 JUN 19 JUL 10 SEP 18 OCT 09 JAN 08 JAN 29 Mérida • • Cozumel
mexico
JAN 16 FEB 06 JUN 26 JUL 17 OCT 02 OCT 23 JAN 15 FEB 05
JAN 23 FEB 13 JUL 03 JUL 24 OCT 16 NOV 06 JAN 22 FEB 12 need something shorter?
JAN 30 FEB 20 JUL 10 JUL 31 NOV 06 NOV 27 JAN 29 FEB 19
FEB 06 FEB 27 JUL 14 AUG 04 NOV 20 DEC 11 FEB 05 FEB 26
'Yucatan panorama'
FEB 20 MAR 13 JUL 17 AUG 07 DEC 04 DEC 25 FEB 19 MAR 12 • Chetumal check out page 121
MAR 06 MAR 27 JUL 24 AUG 14 DEC 11 JAN 01 MAR 05 MAR 26 Belize City • • Caye Caulker
MAR 20 APR 10 JUL 31 AUG 21 DEC 18 JAN 08 MAR 19 APR 09 10 days fr $1,179Tour Code: GAMYP
APR 03 APR 24 AUG 07 AUG 28 DEC 25 JAN 15 San Ignacio •
APR 17 MAY 08 AUG 14 SEP 04 Palenque • belize
MAY 01 MAY 22 AUG 21 SEP 11 Tikal •

Accommodation: Hotels (21 nts) (May be multi-share) Transport: Public bus, van, • San Cristobal Flores •
boat Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides de las Casas guatemala
Meals Included: No Meals Included Budget: Allow USD500 for meals not included Chichcastenango •
Tour Code: GACAM Panajachel •
Antigua •
• Guatemala City
stay longer in cancun
Check out page 125.
120

mexican
ancient
Civilizations
15 DAYS, $1,159 fr

Cancún - mexico city

Get under the Mayan’s, Aztec’s and Zapotec’s Days 4-5: Mérida
skins - experience their fascinating culture and Check out the legendary Mayan ruins of Chichén
witness their intriguing ways of life on this two Itzá on your way across the Yucatan state to
week trip from Cancún to Mexico City. Start Mérida. Explore the colonial centre on foot or in
off with some well deserved relaxation and a horse-drawn carriage, take a trip to the Uxmal
snorkelling in crystal clear waters along the ruins, visit Progreso beach or spend the night
Caribbean coast. Roll up to the pre-Columbian doing your best to dance like the locals!
archaeological site of Chichen Itza – one of the
new Seven Wonders of the World, and visit the Days 6-7: Palenque
nearby underground sinkholes for a quick dip. Hit the highway and travel through the states of
Explore colonial Merida and wander the cobbled Campeche and Tabasco to cheery Chiapas - set Day 13: Puebla
streets - relax with some Mexican coffee, people- deep in the jungle. From here you can explore After a short drive on one of Mexico’s
watch and absorb the myriad of bright colours. Palenque - one of the most stunning Mayan sites comfortable buses you'll hit Puebla, famous
Discover the impressive and beautiful sights of in Mexico, hidden in and amongst gorgeous flora for its hand-painted tiles, unique handicrafts,
Palenque, set deep within the jungle, wander the and profuse wildlife. Watch out for that tree! mouth-watering Mole Poblano (yum) and rich
markets in San Cristobal and salsa until sunrise colonial history. Heaven on a stick.
in Oaxaca. By the time your trip comes to an end Days 8-10: San Cristóbal de las Casas
you'll be armed with countless adventure stories. Known for its ties to the Zapatista revolution, Day 14: Mexico City
Prepare to make you mates back home wilt with San Cristóbal is an architectural and cultural Go up, down, in, out, over, under and round the
green-eyed envy. Happy times. wonder. Take a tripette (spanglish for quick trip) world's biggest city and see if you can't get a
to a traditional village to experience day-to-day little bit dizzy. Check out the impressive Palacio
highlights life. Learn how locals combine traditional beliefs de Bellas Artes building, head into the silver
• Go coco-crazy in Cancún and modern religion with intriguing results. markets and go further afield on a visit to the
• Play on the playa in Playa del Carmen Teotihuacán pyramids - slap on that suncream
• Snorkel in cenotes Days 11-12: Oaxaca and heave yourself up under the altitude!
• Chew your way round Chichén Itzá We love Oaxaca. The colourful and lively markets Tuck into a last night full of fresh guacamole
• Get jungle fever in Palenque and the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban and moreish mojitos with your mad and merry
• Salsa it up in San Cristóbal are just two of many, many reasons to visit Mexican mates.
• Make marvellous mates in Mérida wonderful Oaxaca. Go bananas for handicrafts
• Wake up in wacky Oaxaca and souvenirs, philosophise over a couple of Day 15: Depart Mexico City
• Don stripy shawls and silly sombreros beers and salsa til you see sunrise. Depart with smiley faces and silly sombreros.
• Meddle in the markets in Mexico City

Day 1: Arrive Cancún


DEPARTURES
Step into the sunshine and head down town START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 17 MAY 01 SEP 04 SEP 18 2011
for a quick cool-down, courtesy of an ice-cold JAN 02 JAN 16 MAY 01 MAY 15 SEP 18 OCT 02 JAN 08 JAN 22
beverage. Celebrate your first evening out and JAN 09 JAN 23 MAY 15 MAY 29 OCT 02 OCT 16 JAN 22 FEB 05
JAN 16 JAN 30 MAY 29 JUN 12 OCT 16 OCT 30 FEB 05 FEB 19 Playa del Carmen
set the standard for your mad Mexican moments. JAN 23 FEB 06 JUN 12 JUN 26 OCT 30 NOV 13 FEB 19 MAR 05
FEB 06 FEB 20 JUN 26 JUL 10 NOV 13 NOV 27 MAR 05 MAR 19 Cancún •
FEB 20 MAR 06 JUL 10 JUL 24 NOV 27 DEC 11 MAR 19 APR 02

Mérida • Cozumel •
MAR 06 MAR 20 JUL 24 AUG 07 DEC 11 DEC 25
Days 2-3: Playa del Carmen Uxmal • • Chichen Itzá
MAR 20 APR 03 AUG 07 AUG 21 DEC 25 JAN 08
APR 03 APR 17 AUG 21 SEP 04
Run into the warm Caribbean sea, snorkel and • Mexico City mexico

flippers a go-go, or for an ariel view of this Accommodation: Basic hotels/guest houses (13 nts) (may be multi-share), night • Puebla
bus (1 nt) Transport: Public bus, van Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour Palenque •
beautiful part of the Mayan Riviera shoot off leader throughout Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD375 for meals not • Oaxaca
included Tour Code: GAMCM Monte Albán •
Tuxtla Gutierrez • • San Cristobal de las Casas
paragliding into the bluer than blue skies. Dive
into underground caverns to escape the heat or go in reverse
Mexico City - Cancún fr $1,159 Tour Code: GAMMC
simply sunbathe on the city's sexy sultry shores.
Grab the chance for a stylish bite to eat at one stay longer in cancÚn
of Playa del Carmen's cool bars and restaurants. Check out page 125.

Stay longer in mexico city


Check out page 125.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
121

CENTRAL AMERICA
yucatan
panorama
10 DAYS, $1,179 fr

Cancún - Isla Mujeres

Become everyone’s favourite touist on this short Days 5-7: Palenque


but sweet mooch round Mehicooo at its most Go on a gob-smacking gallivant around the ruins
colourful. Don your whacky sombrero, get your of Palenque, home to the mummified remains of
margarita order in and sit soaking up the sun on Lord Pakal. Enjoy running up and down all the
the whiter than white sand. But don’t be fooled. stone steps and soak in the rainforest’s radiance.
The plastic-fantastic, cactus-sporting, dodgy Pack your bathers for a cool-down under the
moustache, stripy-rug wearing Anglo-Mexicano Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls, 45 minutes
type (you know, that guy guilty of serving you away. Set in the middle of lush jungle, jump into
tequila til you spew out his dip-dyed greasy the plunge pools and take note of the somewhat
food) is all but rarely seen here. Instead, get ambiguous (and therefore perhaps deliberately
to know the true culture of one of Mexico’s hilarious) don't-push-people-in-the-water Day 9: Isla Mujeres
exceptionally diverse regions. Eat the real food; signs. Optional day-trippers can check out other Head up to Puerto Juarez and take a ferry over
meet the real people. Become Elton John’s ethereal ruins on the Guatemalan border. Tell the to Isla Mujeres for the night – a pretty little
Island Girl on Isla Mujeres (literally: the Island folks back home you’ve got jungle fever meaning island off the Cancún coast. Hire a golf buggy
of Women – calm down lads) and meet your very you’ll have to stay away til you’ve made at least and scoot off exploring. Visit a bird sanctuary
own Tarzan or Jane whilst playing hide and seek a 100% recovery. and bask with a beer on the beautiful beaches.
in Palenque's jungle ruins. Set sail on a sunset cruise and watch the stars
Day 8: Tulúm come out to play. Dine out at one of the yummy
highlights Travel further up the Caribbean coast, to Tulúm local restaurants and salsa your last night away
• Go coco crazy in Cancún – a ludicrously stunning, long white stretch of with your group of new-found soulmates under
• Check out fascinating Chichén Itzá open beach, free from hefty hotels and large the softly swaying palm trees. Happy days.
• Marvel at mystical Mayan ruins scale development (let’s sure hope it stays that
• Poke your head around Palenque way). With more fascinating ruins at one end, be Day 10: Depart Isla Mujeres
• Rally round sub-tropical rainforest virtuous in the cooler part of the morning and Time for a last bit of market shopping before you
• Soak up some seductive Caribbean sun then settle in with a coconut on the beach in hop back over to the mainland on a 30 minute
• Set foot on Tulúm’s pristine beaches the afternoon. Snorkel, swim and feel the sand ferry. Souvenir suckers beware – remember you
• Snorkel and swim in turquoise water between your toes. Bring sunglasses to stop will actually have to get all your worldy goods
• Meet like-minded lovers of Latin life your eyes popping out of your head over its home again somehow – so shun those silver
• Sail a sunset cruise on Isla Mujeres mind-boggling beauty – we exaggerate not. dishes, ceramic plates and coloured water jugs.
What were you thinking?!
Day 1: Arrive Cancún
Arrive anytime, breathe in the sweet air - and
humidity. Order yourself something suitably cold.
DEPARTURES
Days 2-4: Chichén Itzá / Mérida START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 MAY 01 MAY 10 SEP 04 SEP 13 2011
Stop at the fascinating and famous Mayan ruins JAN 09 JAN 18 MAY 29 JUN 07 OCT 02 0CT 11 JAN 08 JAN 17
of Chichén Itzá – one of the recently voted FEB 06
FEB 20
FEB 15
MAR 01
JUN 26
JUL 17
JUL 15
JUL 26
OCT 30
NOV 27
NOV 08
DEC 06
FEB 05
MAR 05
FEB 14
MAR 14
new Seven Wonders of the World. Learn about MAR 13 MAR 22 AUG 07 AUG 16 DEC 18 DEC 27
APR 03 APR 12 AUG 21 AUG 30 DEC 25 JAN 03
this ancient civilization’s interesting way of life Cancún • • Isla Mujeres
Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts) may be multi-share), night bus (1 nt)
before moving on to the city of Mérida. Wander Transport: Public bus, ferry Group Size: Max 15, Avg 8 Group Leader: Tour leader Mérida • • Chichen Itzá
throughout, local guides Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD 250 for • Tulum
the pretty plazas and open markets, perfect for meals not included Tour Code: GAMYP
mexico
sombrero-shaped souvenirs, hammocks you have
need something shorter
nowhere to hang, and multi-coloured blankets Palenque •
'Yucután Quest', see page 124.
that’ll look ‘just perfect’ next to your pink 8 days fr $769 Tour Code: GACMYQ
flamingo hat-stand back home. Really?! Sit back
with a coffee at an outdoor café and admire the stay longer in cancÚn
architecture, or escape the city and dive into a Check out page 125.
nearby cenote (water sink hole) for a swim if you
prefer to leave the culture vultures to it back in
Mérida’s magical museums.
122

hop-on hop-off
central america
Set off to discover lost cities and ancient • See the real Mexico and Central America
civilisations. Bask in the warm sunshine and and enjoy loads of included cultural,
marvel at the natural beauty of the stunning adventure and lifestyle activities.
Caribbean beaches, mountain temples, jungle
ruins, volcanoes and waterfalls. • Travel on a variety of transportation
methods and experience the local way of
Buy one travel pass and create your own life on safe local first class public buses.
personalised itinerary with the freedom to
choose where to go, when to depart and how • Daily departures - flexible itineraries
many days you want to spend exploring each with convenient departures everyday.
unique destination. Each pass comes with one or
more included activities - check them out below... • Choose your starting point, ending point
and everywhere in between.

Included activities - our favourites • Travel with lots of like minded travellers
and make new friends.
Xochimilco Kayak & Frida Kahlo
Meander through the peaceful canals on a one • Make unlimited changes to your
hour kayak ride and a one hour trajinera boat ride. schedule as you travel

Antigua Pacaya Volcano Trek ROutE Rec. min. trip time Price
Witness a flowing river of lava, check out the Mexico City to San Jose via Panajachel or vice versa 17 Days $765
erupting volcano and walk in dry lava. Mexico City to San Jose via Cancun or vice versa 30 Days $1147
Cancun to San Jose via Belize or vice versa 15 Days $641
Mayan Experience Home Stay
Cancun to San Jose via San Cristobal or vice versa 18 Days $772
Stay with a local Guatemalan family for the night
and sample local food and drinks. Antigua to San Jose or vice versa 5 Days $321
Mexico City to Cancun via Puerto Escondido or vice versa 8-10 Days $597
Tikal Sunrise Adventure Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize or vice versa 12-14 Days $799
Trek through animal infested jungle to an ancient
Cancun round trip via Antigua 15 Days $778
Mayan temple for a stunning misty sunrise.
Cancun round trip via Flores 12 Days $503
Sumidero Canyon Boat Tour Cancun to Antigua via Belize 9 Days $326
Spot crocodiles, wild birds and beautiful plants Fully Monty: Mexico, Guatemala & Belize Pass 27 Days $1,173
on a boat journey through this historic canyon. Fully Monty: Mexico Pass 20 Days $834

full mexico & central america ways central america sampler ways
mexico city - costa rica via cancun or vice versa, fr $1,147 mexico city - costa rica via panajachel or vice versa, fr $765
Recommended min. trip time: 30 days Recommended min. trip time: 17 days

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ACTIVITIES


Mexico City: Xochimilco kayak & Frida Kahlo / Mexico City walking tour Mexico City: Xochimilco kayak & Frida Kahlo / Mexico City walking tour
Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Petrified Waterfall, Mitla ruins, Tule Tree & Mescal Factory Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Petrified Waterfall, Mitla ruins, Tule Tree & Mescal Factory
San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour
San Cristobal - Palenque: Agua Azul Waterfalls / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Palenque Ruins San Cristobal - Palenque: Agua Azul Waterfalls / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Palenque Ruins
Panajachel: Mayan Experience Home Stay: 1 night, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast with local family Panajachel: Mayan Experience Home Stay: 1 night, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast with local family
Antigua: Pacaya Active Lava volcano trek Antigua: Pacaya Active Lava volcano trek
Flores: Tikal Sunirse Adventure

• Cancún
mexico Merida • mexico

• Mexico City • Mexico City


• Belize City
Palenque • belize
Oaxaca • • Flores / Tikal Oaxaca • guatemala
San Cristóbal • San Cristóbal •
Puerto Escandido • • Lanquin Puerto Escandido •
guatemala honduras Panajachel • honduras
Antigua • nicaragua Antigua • nicaragua
• San Salvador • San Salvador
el salvador

el salvador

• Managua • Managua

costa rica costa rica


• San José • San José

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123

Chido Ways little mayan Ways

CENTRAL AMERICA
mexico city - cancun via puerto escondido, fr $597 start & finish: cancun, fr $503
Recommended min. trip time: 8-10 days Recommended min. trip time: 12 days

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ACTIVITIES


Mexico City: Xochimilco kayak & Frida Kahlo / Mexico City walking tour Merida: Chichen-Itza ruins
Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Petrified Waterfall, Mitla ruins, Tule Tree & Mescal Factory Palenque - San Cristobal: Palenque ruins / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Agua Azul Waterfalls
San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour Flores: Tikal Sunirse tour
San Cristobal - Palenque: Agua Azul Waterfalls / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Palenque ruins
Merida - Cancun: Chichen Itza ruins

• Cancún • Cancún
Merida •
mexico

• Mexico City
• Belize City mexico • Belize City
belize Pallenque • belize
Oaxaca • • Flores / Tikal • Flores / Tikal
San Cristóbal •
Puerto Escandida • guatemala • Lanquin
Panajachel • guatemala
Antigua • • Guatemala City

Real Bamba Ways Into guatemala ways


mexico city - cancun via guatemala & belize, fr $799 cancun - antigua via belize, fr $326
Recommended min. trip time: 12-14 days Recommended min. trip time: 8 days

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ACTIVITIES


Mexico City: Xochimilco kayak & Frida Kahlo / Mexico City walking tour Flores: Tikal sunrise tour
Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Petrified Waterfall, Mitla ruins, Tule Tree & Mescal Factory Antigua: Pacaya Active Lava volcano trek
San Cristobal - Palenque: Agua Azul Waterfalls / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Palenque ruins
San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour
Panajachel: Mayan Experience Home Stay: 1 night, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast with local family
Antigua: Pacaya Active Lava volcano trek
Flores: Tikal Sunirse Adventure

• Cancún • Cancún
mexico mexico

• Mexico City
• Belize City • Belize City
belize belize
Oaxaca • • Flores / Tikal • Flores / Tikal
San Cristóbal •
guatemala • Lanquin • Lanquin
Panajachel • guatemala
Antigua • • Guatemala City Antigua •

Big Mayan Ways Full Monty Mexico Pass


Start & finish: choose cancun or antigua, fr $778 Start & Finish: Choose Mexico city or cancun, fr $834
Recommended min. trip time: 15 days Recommended min. trip time: 20 days

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ACTIVITIES


Merida: Chichen Itza ruins Mexico City: Xochimilco kayak & Frida Kahlo / Mexico City walking tour
Palenque - San Cristobel: Palenque ruins / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Agua Azul Waterfalls Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Petrified Waterfall, Mitla ruins, Tule Tree & Mescal Factory
San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour San Cristobal: Sumidero Canyon boat tour
Panajachel: Mayan Experience Home Stay: 1 night, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast with local family San Cristobal - Palenque: Agua Azul Waterfalls / Misol-Ha Waterfall / Palenque ruins
Antigua: Pacaya Active Lava volcano trek Merida - Cancun: Chichen Itza ruins
Flores: Tikal Sunrise Adventure

• Cancún • Cancún
Merida •
mexico Merida •

Mexico City • • Veracruz


mexico
• Belize City Palenque •
Pallenque • belize Oaxaca •
• Flores / Tikal San Cristóbal •
San Cristóbal •
guatemala • Lanquin
Puerto Escandido •
Panajachel •
Antigua •
124

Mexico city &


Yucatan beaches

STAysimple STAysimple STAysimple

Hostel amigo, mexico city moneda hostel, mexico city poc-na hostel, isla mujeres
A 350 yr old building on a safe street in Cool and friendly, this hostel offers a fun A great little hostel with loads going on. There's
downtown Mexico City - walking distance to city atmosphere, great location and good facilities. a big outdoor bar that serves up excellent
attractions and metro. Free breakfast, internet, Check out the bar and rooftop terrace for cocktails and yummy food. It's set right on the
TV lounge, games room and money exchange. A breakfast or a beer and make your trip fun filled. beach so you only have to roll out of bed in the
great place for meeting others. Tequila! STA583 Free breakfast, internet and tour desk. STA584 morning to catch some palm shaded rays. STA585

fr $20 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $23 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $15 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST
fr $55 SINGLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $34 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST
fr $55 TWIN, INC. bREAKFAST

Soléxico Language school


playa del carmen
7+ Days, fr $581

• 5 people per class maximum


• 15 - 25 lessons per week
• Start date every Monday, all year round
• Live an authentic Latin lifestyle
STAysmart STAysmart
• Weekly cultural and social events

mayan hostel, cancÚn caribe international, cancÚn Immerse yourself in Mexico! Soak up some
The perfect location for endless beaches, clubs, A great hotel with excellent facilities. There's a Spanish in one of Mexico's stunning beach
bars and restaurants. This friendly, family-run tropically set swimming pool, trendy hotel bar resorts - and return home with excellent Spanish
hostel has free internet, 24hr reception, tour 'D'Bohemios' (great for cocktails) and an open air and a wonderful tan! When you're not working on
desk and a great rooftop terrace. Some of the restaurant, 'La Pergola Caribeña'. You're bang in your vocab and verbs, explore the white sandy
smart dorms have thatched roofs. STA586 the centre - 10 mins from the beach. STA587 beaches, the shady palm trees and the crystal
clear waters. There's loads to see and do, so
fr $15 DORM, INC. bREAKFAST fr $66 SINGLE what are you waiting for. Tick it off your list!
fr $50 TWIN, INC. bREAKFAST fr $66 TWIN/DOUBLE
Accommodation: Ranges from cosy home-stays to riotous student residences
Meals: 2 meals a day at homestays Other Inclusions: Enrolment fees, course
materials, certificate of attendance Tour Code: STA588

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
125

yucatan quest SAIL BELIZE

CENTRAL AMERICA
8 DAYS, $769 fr 7 DAYS, $1,179 fr

Cancún - playa del carmen start and finish: aMBERGRIS CAYE

• Go coco crazy in Cancún • Sail the crystal clear Caribbean sea


• Soak up the sultry Caribbean sun • Snorkel with brightly coloured fish and coral reef
• Get colonial in pretty Mérida • Head out on the waters to fish for your supper
• Snorkel crystal clear waters in Playa del Carmen • Check out some impressive marine life
• Marvel at mystifying Chichén Itzá • Camp under the stars and munch on delicious seafood

Day 1: Arrive Cancún Day 1: san pedro, ambergris caye


Arrive into Cancún, breathe in the humidity and sweet tropical air. Grab a Meet in San Pedro at 9am and set sail for Turneffe Island on your first day
cold beer from one of the bars downtown and head out for a wild night of on the water. Turneffe Island is 30 miles long - maybe a little too far to
fun with your new touring buddies. snorkel the whole way round but you can certainly try. Try your hand at flat
fishing and put your flippers on for some spectacular wall diving. (L, D)
Days 2-4: Mérida
Move away from Cancún and onto the city of Mérida. Wander the pretty Days 2-3: Lighthouse reef / half moon caye
plazas and open air markets - perfect for buying sombrero-shaped Sail to Lighthouse Reef and snorkel the incredible reef that encircles the
souvenirs, hammocks you have nowhere to hang, and a whole wardrobe full Blue Hole - arguably one of the world's best dive spots. Cruise over to visit
of multi-coloured blankets. Sit back with a coffee at an outdoor café and the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument looking out for Red-footed boobies.
admire the architecture, or escape the city and dive into a nearby cenote Hang out in the evening around a campfire with a lighthouse beer, study
(water sink hole) for a swim if you prefer to leave the culture vultures to it the stars and tell epic adventure stories. (2B, 2L, 2D)
back in Mérida’s museums.
Day 4-5: glover's reef marine reserve
Days 5-7: Chichén Itzá / Playa del Carmen Bask on the white sandy beaches of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Stop at the fascinating and famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, recently Relax under a palm tree and snorkel til you can't swim no more. Marvel
voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, don’t you know? Learn over patches of coral reef, shipwrecks and brightly coloured marine life. Get
about this ancient civilization’s interesting way of life before heading on back on board and head on to one of the Southern Cayes. Set up camp and
to Playa del Carmen, a beach-lover's paradise. Snorkel your way around watch the sun go down. (2B, 2L, 2D)
the bay, head up parasailing for a superb aerial view or cross over to
Cozumel on the ferry for a scooter ride with a difference around the island. Day 6: water caye / tobacco caye / goff's caye
If nightlife is more your thing then you won't be disappointed - party the Spend the morning living the easy life on Water Caye and Tobacco Caye.
night away in one of the beachside bars and look good with the cream of Sail over to Goff's Caye in the afternoon - a sand bar with enough coconut
the Mexican crop. Margaritas anyone? palms to keep you and your pals sweet for a lifetime. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Depart Playa del Carmen Day 7: depart ambergris caye


Spend your final day a few miles down coast in Tulúm - possibly the most Make the final leg of your journey sailing from English Caye, St. George's
beautiful beach in the whole of Mexico. Say bye to your amigos. Caye, Caye Chapel and to the brilliant 'go slow' Caye Caulker. (B, L)

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 JUN 06 JUN 13 SEP 19 SEP 26 2010 DEC 11 DEC 17 MAR 26 APR 01
MAR 14 MAR 21 JUN 20 JUN 27 OCT 10 OCT 17 MAR 20 MAR 26 2011 APR 16 APR 22
MAR 28 APR 04 JUL 04 JUL 11 OCT 24 OCT 31 APR 24 APR 30 JAN 01 JAN 07 APR 30 MAY 06
APR 11 APR 18 JUL 18 JUL 25 NOV 07 NOV 14 Playa del Carmen MAY 22 MAY 28 JAN 22 JAN 28 MAY 14 MAY 20
APR 25 MAY 02 AUG 01 AUG 08 NOV 21 NOV 28 JUN 19 JUN 25 FEB 12 FEB 18 MAY 28 JUN 03
MAY 09 MAY 16 AUG 15 AUG 22 DEC 05 DEC 12 Cancún • NOV 20 NOV 26 MAR 05 MAR 11 JUN 11 JUN 17

MAY 23 MAY 30 SEP 05 SEP 12 DEC 19 DEC 26
Mérida • • San Pedro / Ambergris Caye
Accommodation: Camping (6 nts) Transport: Small sailboat
Accommodation: Hotels (7 nts) Transport: Public bus,
• Chichen Itzá Group Size: Max 8, Avg 6 Group Leader: Experienced sailboat Goff's Caye • • Lighthouse Reef
taxi Group Size: Max 15, Avg 8 Group Leader: Tour leader mexico captain Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners Budget: belize
throughout Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow USD200 Allow USD50 for meals not included Tour Code: GACBSB
for meals not included Tour Code: GACMYQ

stay longer in Cancún


Check out page 125.
126

Ca V

La Juli es •

Ha
yo iñ

va
Pa as • Pin

na •
lm •
a •


al


cuba

La
S

s
or

Te
oa

rr
az
ar

as
de
lR
io
Currency: CUBAN PESO
Population: 11.5 MILLION
Price of a beer: $1.80

cuba
My favourite The Weather
With its gentle northeasterly wind
Useful Info
Cuba has two currencies - Moneda

experience
"I’ve never relaxed anywhere as much as I managed to in Cuba. I won't forget
- Cuba boasts a humid subtropical
climate and is generally very warm
all year round. 70% of the yearly
Nacional which locals use and one
specifically for tourists, Pesos
Convertible (CUC). Make sure you
how chilled out I felt as I sat back in a downtown Havana bar and watched rain falls during the summer season don't get the two confused as CUC
the endlessly fascinating local people pass me by. In one hand I had a cool (May - October) when temperatures is worth 26 times more!
mojito, in the other a fine cigar. In the background the distinctive sounds can get rather hot. Winter is usually
of Cuban Son music kept my foot tapping as the day slowly became night. much drier, with things getting Useless Info
Whenever I feel stress, I think back to then and smile." Will quite a bit cooler in the evenings - There have been a total of 638
especially between December and attempts on Fidel Castro's life -
March. some of which have included toxic
cigars.
Local grub
Available for just over 25c on most try before you fly
street corners you'll eventually Anyone who wants to gain a deeper
come to love the unique, almost understanding of Cuban culture has
sour taste of Peso Pizza. With to learn a little bit more about the
fluffy dough, crispy crusts, a big Cuban revolutiuon and the antics
splattering of tomato sauce and of Che Guevara. For a fun and
slathers of stinky cheese - first fascinating way to do this - check
impressions of this hot steaming out Benicio del Toro's startling
speciality may not have you rushing performance in Che Part one. Filmed
back for more. But we guarantee entirely in Spanish, it tells the
that you'll munch your way through story of Che Guevara's key role in
many, many more on your travels overthrowing Fulgencio Batista's
through Cuba. oppressive dictatorship.
127

cuba libre cycle cuba

CENTRAL AMERICA
8 DAYS, $1,069 fr 8 DAYS, $1,239 fr

start and finish: havana start and finish: havana

• Enjoy the many outdoor activities around Vinales • Visit a traditional cigar factory in Pinar del Rio
• Be charmed by the pirate legends of Maria La Gorda • Absorb the unpoilt coastal beauty around Cayo Jutias
• Experience a stunning sunset cruise • Check out the verdant green lands around Soroa
• Take a tour of the world famous Robaina Tobacco Plantation • Ride past scenically splendid mountains to Las Terrazas
• Explore the waterfalls and coffee plantaions of Soroa • Enjoy a facinating city tour of Havana

Day 1: Arrive Havana Day 1: Arrive Havana


Arrive in Havana at any time and get out and about in this colourful city. Arrive in Havana at any time - Havana blast yet?

Days 2-3: Viñales Day 2: Pinar del Río / Viñales


Take a bus to the village of Viñales - surrounded by limestone pincushion This is cigar country, so a visit to a tobacco factory is a must. Spend the
hills. This haven for outdoor activities includes plenty of opportunities for afternoon cycling around the pincushion hills and fields of Viñales. (B, L, D)
cave exploration, hiking, biking and horse riding. Or simply sit back and
enjoy the views of the valley and sprawling tobacco fields below. Day 3: Cayo Jutías
Take in the stunning scenery as you cycle past dramatic mountain vistas.
Days 4-5: María La Gorda This coastal route ends at a beautiful unspoiled white beach. (B, L, D)
Isolated and serene, María La Gorda is located in western Cuba, on the
Guanahacabibes Peninsula. The area is filled with legends of pirates, old Day 4: La Palma
cannons and buried treasures. Maria La Gorda is famed for its clear seabed, Cycle over Jagua Vieja road to La Palma. Enjoy a break for a picnic lunch
home to many species of coral and tropical fish. Enjoy the water, the beach and make your way back to Valle de Ancón. (B, L, D)
and the amazing sunsets in this Cuban paradise. Experience a sunset sail
(subject to weather conditions) and snorkel as you wait for the sun to set. Day 5: Cueva de los Portales / Soroa
Follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara as you visit the Cueva de los
Days 6-7: Soroa Portales. Continue cycling the Carretera Central to beautiful Soroa. (B, L, D)
Learn the secrets of the Cuban tobacco industry during a visit to the
world-famous Robaina Tobacco Plantation, owned by Don Alejandro Day 6: Las Terrazas
Robaina since 1950. Stop at the lush mountain resort of Soroa, known Take a morning ride past majestic mountains and beautiful scenery to Las
as the “rainbow of Cuba,” because the area receives a lot of rainfall Terrazas, Cuba's first UNESCO-sanctioned biosphere reserve. (B, L, D)
resulting in the growth of tall trees and orchids. There are plenty of coffee
plantations, waterfalls and natural springs to explore. Continue onto Day 7: Havana
Havana for one last night and maybe one last dance in the capital. Head east back to the capital. Enjoy a farewell night out. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Depart Havana Day 8: Depart Havana


Your Cuban adventure comes to an end on the morning of Day Eight. Time to rest your weary legs - your adventure comes to an end. (B)

DEPARTURES DEPARTURES
START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 10 APR 17 JUL 24 JUL 31 2010 JUN 19 JUN 26 DEC 18 DEC 25
JAN 02 JAN 09 APR 17 APR 24 JUL 31 AUG 07 JAN 16 JAN 23 JUL 10 JUL 17 DEC 25 JAN 01
JAN 09 JAN 16 APR 24 MAY 01 AUG 07 AUG 21 FEB 06 FEB 13 JUL 31 AUG 7 2011
JAN 16 JAN 23 MAY 01 MAY 08 AUG 21 AUG 28 FEB 27 MAR 06 AUG 21 AUG 28 JAN 15 JAN 22
JAN 23 JAN 30 MAY 08 MAY 15 SEP 04 SEP 11 MAR 20 MAR 27 SEP 11 SEP 18 FEB 05 FEB 12
JAN 30 FEB 06 MAY 15 MAY 22 SEP 18 SEP 25 APR 03 APR 10 OCT 02 OCT 09 FEB 26 MAR 05
Ca V
La Jul les

Ha a •

FEB 06 FEB 13 MAY 22 MAY 29 OCT 02 OCT 09 APR 17 APR 24 OCT 23 OCT 30 MAR 19 MAR 26
yo iñ

Havana •
Pa ias • • P

va • • S

FEB 13 FEB 20 MAY 29 JUN 05 OCT 09 OCT 16 MAY 8 MAY 15 NOV 13 NOV 20
Soroa • • Las Terrazas
l

na • oro
m

FEB 20 FEB 27 JUN 05 JUN 12 OCT 16 OCT 23 cuba MAY 29 JUN 05 DEC 04 DEC 11
Viñales •
• as
a

FEB 27 MAR 06 JUN 12 JUN 19 OCT 23 OCT 30 cuba


L

MAR 06 MAR 13 JUN 19 JUN 26 OCT 30 NOV 06 • Maria la Gorda Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), basic cabin (1 nt) Transport:
Te

MAR 13 MAR 20 JUN 26 JUL 03 NOV 06 NOV 13 Air-conditioned microbus, bike Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10
a
rr
in

Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local guides


az

MAR 20 MAR 27 JUL 03 JUL 10 NOV 13 NOV 20


ar

as
de

MAR 27 APR 03 JUL 10 JUL 17 NOV 20 NOV 27 Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners Budget: Allow
lR

APR 03 APR 10 JUL 17 JUL 24 NOV 27 DEC 04 CUC60 for meals not included Tour Code: GACCB
io

Accommodation: Hotels and/or homestays (7 nts) Transport:


Private van Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour stay longer in havana
leader throughout, local guides Meals: No meals included See page 129.
Budget: Allow CUC160 for meals not included
Tour Code: GACCL
128

cuba
colonial
15 DAYS, $1,889 fr Days 3-5: Trinidad Days 10-12: Baracoa
Continue onward to the colonial city of Trinidad, Situated on a beautiful bay with the mountains
start and finish: havana a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, of the Sierra del Purial in the background,
and home to many beautiful Spanish-style Baracoa was the first settlement founded
Fabled Cuba remains a solitary outpost of churches and some truly impressive museums. by Diego Velázquez in 1512 and was only
socialist expression against the capitalist Explore Playa Ancón, with it's long stretches of accessible be sea until the 1960s. The quaint
might of the western world. You’ll step off the unspoiled, white sand beaches - an ideal spot to town boasts beautiful historic buildings,
plane into a world that consumerism has barely snorkel or swim. Get into the musical culture of including forts built to withstand pirate raids.
touched. Che Guevarra’s revolutionary spirit still Trinidad with two included salsa lessons. Surrounding Baracoa, the mountains and black
burns strongly through Cuban culture. You can sand beaches beckon to outdoor enthusiasts,
sense his almost mystical influence pervading Day 6: Camagüey with optional hiking excursions near El Yunque.
every strand of society. Raw history screams at Lying about halfway between Santa Clara and
you from just about every angle. The Spanish Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey is known for its Days 13-14: Baracoa / Havana
influences of yesteryear are still evident in the colonial past and its tinajones - large clay On Day 13 depart Baracoa for your flight to
colonial architecture, impassioned Catholicism receptacles for holding water. Also a university Havana. One of the oldest cities in the western
and flamboyant music and dance. Added to town, it has a rich tradition in music and hemisphere, Havana was designated a World
this is the quite remarkable scenery – every literature. Explore the narrow winding streets. Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982. It contains a
village and town seems to have been perfectly wealth of colonial architecture, and the old city
positioned against a green mountainous Days 7-9: Santiago de Cuba and streets around the malecon (ocean-side
landscape or an exquisite coastal panorama. This Go east along the Carretera Central to Santiago walkway) are best discovered on a walking tour.
quite awesome adventure whisks you around the de Cuba, known as the Cradle of the Revolution. Take a salsa or music lesson, rent a vintage
island and takes you to some places that time This is the province where Castro began the car or take a carriage ride through the old city.
seems to have simply forgotten about. Starting struggle against the Batista régime. Santiago You'll spend your last night relaxing at the bars
in Havana you’ll saunter along to Baracoa on the is also the home of traditional son rhythms, and clubs while listening to Cuba’s mesmerizing
far easterly tip with a frolicsome group of fellow which gave birth to salsa music. There are musical rhythms. Smoke a cigar and kick back.
explorers before you fly on back to where you many museums, colonial churches and historical
started. So light up a big fat Cuban cigar and buildings worth exploring, such as the Moncada Day 15: Depart Havana
enjoy the multiple pleasures of this beautiful Barracks, the site of Fidel Castro's first major Things finish up on Day 15, say a sad farewell.
Caribbean Island. attack on a key Batista government military
garrison. Also included is a visit to Castillo del
• Pay your respects to Che in Santa Clara Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
• Snorkel and swim in Playa Ancón
• Learn to salsa dance in Trinidad
• Wander the winding streets of Camaguey
DEPARTURES
• Inhale the history of Santiago De Cuba START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH START FINISH
2010 APR 17 MAY 01 AUG 07 AUG 21 DEC 25 JAN 08
• Listen to Pirate legends in Baracoa JAN 02 JAN 16 APR 24 MAY 08 AUG 21 SEP 04 2011
• Explore the mounatins around El Yunque JAN 09
JAN 16
JAN 23
JAN 30
MAY 01
MAY 08
MAY 15
MAY 22
SEP 04
SEP 18
SEP 18
OCT 02
JAN 01
JAN 08
JAN 15
JAN 22
• Enjoy a wild night out in Havana JAN 23 FEB 06 MAY 15 MAY 29 OCT 02 OCT 16 JAN 15 JAN 29
JAN 30 FEB 13 MAY 22 JUN 05 OCT 09 OCT 23 JAN 22 FEB 05
FEB 06 FEB 20 MAY 29 JUN 12 OCT 16 OCT 30 JAN 29 FEB 12
FEB 13 FEB 27 JUN 05 JUN 19 OCT 23 NOV 06 FEB 05 FEB 19
Day 1: Arrive Havana FEB 20 MAR 06 JUN 12 JUN 26 OCT 30 NOV 13 FEB 12 FEB 26
FEB 27 MAR 13 JUN 19 JUL 03 NOV 06 NOV 20 FEB 19 MAR 05
Arrive in Havana at any time. MAR 06 MAR 20 JUN 26 JUL 10 NOV 13 NOV 27 FEB 26 MAR 12
Havana •
MAR 13 MAR 27 JUL 03 JUL 17 NOV 20 DEC 04 MAR 05 MAR 19 Santa Clara •
MAR 20 APR 03 JUL 10 JUL 24 NOV 27 DEC 11 MAR 12 MAR 26 cuba
Trinidad •
Day 2: Santa Clara MAR 27 APR 10 JUL 17 JUL 31 DEC 04 DEC 18 MAR 19 APR 02 Camagúey • Baracoa •
APR 03 APR 17 JUL 24 AUG 07 DEC 11 DEC 25 MAR 26 APR 09
Santiago de Cuba •
Heading east along the island, arrive in Santa APR 10 APR 24 JUL 31 AUG 14 DEC 18 JAN 01

Clara, a key city in the Revolution. Santa Clara Accommodation: Hotels and/or homestays (14 nts) Transport: Private van, taxis,
local flight Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Group Leader: Tour leader throughout, local
is probably most well-known as the home of guides Meals: No meals included Budget: Allow CUC375 for meals not included
Tour Code: GACCC
the statue of Ernesto Che Guevara at the Plaza
de la Revolución. The remains of Che and his
comrades, who fell in Bolivia, are interred in the for the full cuban experience
mausoleum at this site. Combine this with the Cuba Libre.
Check out page 127.

Over 41,000 discounts worldwide - Get your ISIC card now at STA Travel
129

CENTRAL AMERICA
havana

STAysimple STAysimple

Hotel Islazul Lincoln, Havana Hotel Islazul Lido, havana


Simple yet full of personality, this spotless hotel Brilliantly located in the old quarter within easy
is excellent value for money. Breakfast is served reach of all the major sights of Havana. This
in the top-floor restaurant, with views out over hotel is just across the street from the city
the crumbling grandeur of the city below. All university. It has every facility you can think of, a
rooms have air-con and private bathrooms. STA589 peaceful vibe and friendly service. STA591
Essence of Havana
fr $43 SINGLE , INC. bREAKFAST fr $46 SINGLE , INC. bREAKFAST FULL Day, fr $88
fr $74 DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST fr $69 TWIN/DOUBLE, INC. bREAKFAST Visit the smoky charm of Old Havana (or Habana
Vieja). Experience the rum, revolution, cigars,
chevvies, Spanish colonial architecture and the
`habaneros' way of life. This full day tour will
take you right through this Caribbean city -
suspended in time and steeped in history. STA593

half day walking tour


half Day, fr $37
Taking in the essential sights of Old Havana,
this tour captures the colonial spirit of Cuba's
remarkable capital city. Stop at the impressive
STAysmart STAysmart
Museum of Revolution in the former Presidential
Palace, learn more about the life of Ernesto "Che"
Plaza Havana Inglaterra Havana Guevara and watch cigars being made. STA594
This grand hotel has kept its coloni