South America Escorted Tour

22 days / 21 nights

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Come along on this amazing escorted tour that takes you through the most unforgettable places in South America. Be captivated by Cuzco the capital city of the ancient Inca civilisation, the picturesque Sacred Valley, the memorable ruins of Machu Picchu and the beautiful Lake Titicaca.

Discover the witch’s market in La Paz before visiting Santiago, set amongst the Andes Mountains. Feel the rhythm of the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro,

Visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls, and enjoy the elegant cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires.

Choose from a range of optional pre and post tour extensions, including the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon and Patagonia.

Package includes:

  • International economy airfares ex MEL/BNE/SYD
  • All internal flights within South America
  • Accommodation in selected class hotels with private facilities
  • Meals as indicated (20 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners)
  • Return economy Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • First class catamaran journey across Lake Titicaca
  • Transport by air conditioned vehicles
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and excursions
  • Meeting service and airport transfers
  • English speaking local guides
  • Tour Escort (minimum 10 people)
  • Tipping

Package excludes:

  • Air Taxes (taxes invoiced as tickets are issued – approx. $1180pp)
  • Departure Taxes (paid locally at airports)
  • **Pre-extension to Amazon
  • **Pre-extension to Galapagos Islands
  • **Post tour extension to Patagonia

Two date options: 3 September – 8 October 2018 or 11 March – 1 April 2019

To find out more, contact us on (03) 9600 1482 or via email at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Peru Explorer – Bunnik Tours

20 day trip covering all of the highlights of Peru. Small group tour company with guaranteed departures through to September 2018.

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Inclusive of airfares cost is $10,995 p/p plus a discount of $500 p/p off this price if booked by 27 December 2017.

Tour highlights:

  • Explore the Amazon Jungle from Puerto Maldonado, discovering village life, sampling local food and spotting wildlife
  • Feel the magic of Peru’s Sacred Valley and the Lost Incan city of Machu Picchu
  • Cruise across Lake Titicaca to the floating Uros Islands
  • Tour the Colca Valley and its incredible canyons
  • Discover the ‘white city’ of Arequipa and its beautiful buildings built from volcanic stone

Travel details:

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to South America (inc. taxes)
  • Three economy-class flights within South America
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping made easy, $235p/p pre-paid

Accommodation and meals:

  • 13 nights in good quality hotels (3½-4½ star)
  • 3 nights in an Amazon jungle lodge near Puerto Maldonado
  • 1 night stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Eco Retreat (4½ star)
  • 17 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour guides:

  • English-speaking locally based tour director (subject to a minimum of 8 passengers)
  • English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing:

  • Discover the wonders of Peru
  • Discover the sights of Lima on a city tour and visit the famous Larco Museum, containing priceless Incan artefacts.
  • Explore the Amazon Jungle from Puerto Maldonado, discovering village life, sampling local food and spotting wildlife. Visit beautiful Lake Sandoval and Tambopata Candamo National Reserve, and keep an eye out for the parrots, caiman and the endangered giant river otter.
  • Take a walking tour of Koricancha, the Temple of the Sun, and enjoy the old world ambience over dinner at Casa Qorikancha restaurant, behind the Church of Santo Domingo in Cuzco.
  • Explore the ancient Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman followed by a visit to the buzzing San Pedro Market, selling all things weird and wonderful.
  • Discover Cusco on a walking tour, visiting the 17th century cathedral and the beautiful San Blas neighbourhood.
  • Travel into the magical Sacred Valley and visit the village Awanacancha to see locals weaving and meet the herds of llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas.
  • Stop in the small town of Pisac and explore the impressive ruins and lively market.
  • Tour the town and fortress ruins of Ollantaytambo, then visit a house for a taste of local life.
  • Visit a local chicheria. Learn about and taste the traditional chicha and try some of the local delicacy, guinea pig.
  • Explore the patchwork of salt pans at Maras and the elliptical terraces of Moray before visiting the Seminario pottery workshop in Urubamba.
  • Travel by Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, gateway to Machu Picchu!
  • Feel the magic of the Lost Incan City of Machu Picchu on an in-depth guided tour and enjoy some time to explore the ruins at your own pace.
  • Spend the night in a nature retreat in Aguas Calientes.
  • Travel by Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo. Continue to Cusco by road, stopping at Chinchero for a traditional weaving demonstration.
  • Marvel at the amazing scenery travelling through the High Andes Mountains from Cuzco to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
  • Cruise out to the incredible floating reed Uros Islands, made entirely out of reeds from the lake. Then visit Taquile Island and learn about the unique traditions of the islands’ inhabitants.
  • Make your way into the incredible Colca Canyon (the world’s deepest), via the villages of Patapampa, Chucura, Toccra, Vizcachani and Patahuasi.
  • Visit the Cross of the Condor, the canyon’s deepest point, and watch the majestic Andean condors as they cruise over the morning thermals.
  • Stroll through the villages of Yanque, Alchoma, Maca and Pinoholloand stop at the mountain terraces of Antahuilque to learn about the importance of the balconies and hanging tombs.
  • Discover the “white city” of Arequipa and its beautiful buildings built from volcanic stone. See Santa Catalina Convent, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Church of La Compania and Carmen Alto viewpoint.

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Peru Highlights – 15 days from Lima to La Paz

Geckos is an Australian based company arranging trips for 18-39 yrs old travellers who wish to explore the world in the safety of a small group,enjoy a mix of local accommodation and transport.

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Meals: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport: Boat, Bus, Plane, Taxi
Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (8 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities:

  • Lima – Leader led orientation walk of Miraflores
  • Amazon Jungle – Activities at the lodge
  • Cuzco – Orientation walk
  • 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 night / 3 day Quarry Trail)
  • Lake Titicaca – Boat tour and homestay

Regular departures throughout 2017. Prices start from $3255 p/p.

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Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Lima
Welcome to Lima, Peru. At around 2 pm there will be a pre-departure meeting.
After the meeting we’ll head out on an orientation walk around Peru’s capital. You’ll be lead around locations such as Miraflores and head from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to the entertainment complex of LarcoMar.
Afterwards, get to know your group with a few pisco sours and a plate of Lima’s famous ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice, chilli, onions and tomato).

Days 2-3: Amazon Jungle
Take a flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you’ll be staying for two nights. Upon your arrival, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Here you can leave most of your luggage in safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for your next two nights in the jungle. You’ll then take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Diosarea. There will be time to unpack and unwind once you get there. The next two days are packed with activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a trek which lasts approximately half a day. At times the paths can get quite muddy and some people can find the trek a little exhausting. Along the way there will be regular stops, and you’ll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You might spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccaries, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. For lunch you will return to the lodge.
For your night-time excursion, you will venture out in the dark in search of caimans on the Tambopata River. The naturalist guide will use a spotlight in order to locate them on the banks of the river, so you can observe them from a respectable distance.

Notes: We stay at two different lodges in the same area. The activities may vary slightly according to which lodge you are at. Depending on which lodge you are staying at, the included night excursion may be on the night of Day 1 or Day 2. As both of our lodges are in the same area of the jungle, you will see the same wildlife and your overall jungle experience will be the same in either lodge.

Day 4: Cuzco
Say farewell to the jungle today and fly to Cuzco, which takes just under an hour. Spend the next two days trying to acclimatise to the high altitude of this location (i.e. no strenuous activity). After dropping your luggage off and having some lunch, why not walk around downtown Cuzco, the local San Pedro market, the main square and past the 12 Angled Stone. In your free time, visit the alpaca farms in the SacredValley for knitted creations and the market town of Pisac for leather goods.

Day 5: Cuzco
Today is free to continue your exploration of Cuzco and its surrounding areas. Perhaps venture out to the great Inca sites of Sacsayhuaman, Quenca and Tambo Machay. Speak to your tour leader about optional activities that may be available. Later in the day, meet the rest of your fellow travellers who may be joining today. Use your evening to relax, grab some food and prepare for the trek if you’re heading out tomorrow.

Day 6: Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Depending on your pre-arranged travel arrangements, during the next four days you may: hike the Classic Inca Trail, hike the Inca Quarry Trail or stay in Cuzco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cuzco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cuzco you’ll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won’t have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you’ll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cuzco and only travel with the necessary items for the next few days.

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the ruins of Llactapata, which was burnt to the ground by the last Inca emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail. In the evening, set up camp while the cook makes dinner.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 km long and often steep. Each day’s journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq’a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q’orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3 Train:
For those travellers disinterested in hiking the trail or who are unable to, spend two extra nights in Cuzco before travelling by bus to Ollantaytambo. From here take a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes where you’ll spend a third night.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.

Day 7: Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek, as we ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
Today, perhaps your free day indulging your inner foodie in the eateries of Cuzco. Head to lunch at the arty Fallen Angel restaurant, and if you still have room for dessert, the ChocoMuseo offers tastings and chocolate-marking workshops. All optional activities are at your own cost.

Day 8: Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around 2-3 hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as ‘Town Above the Clouds’. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night’s campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn’t hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
In the morning take the three-hour train to the town of Aguas Calientes, which is nestled in the hills at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want to, there’s time to visit Machu Picchu independently before the guided tour the next day. If you’d like to do this, please advise your group leader at the welcome meeting at the beginning of the trip. Otherwise, you might like to while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes.

Day 9: Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option and Machu Picchu
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3 Train:
In the morning at 5.30 am, take a bus up to Machu Picchu. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cuzco.

For all trails – after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it’s time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

Day 10: Cuzco
Today enjoy free time to relax, shop for souvenirs or see more of Cuzco’s sights. Perhaps head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas, or if you’re a thrill-seeker, try mountain biking in the hills surrounding Cuzco. In the evening, you might want to chew the fat with the group over dinner.

Day 11: Puno
In the morning travel by local bus for six hours through the Altiplano plateau to Puno. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. If you’re lucky, your visit might coincide with an evening parade, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. Once you’re settled, head out in town and shake your tailfeather.

Day 12: Lake Titicaca (Homestay)
Puno sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Today you’ll take a tour of the lake by slow motorboat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros people built these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They’re built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. In the evening, enjoy a homestay in a local community on Llachon. Your homestay is in a mud-brick house, with shared drop-toilets but no shower. It can get quite cold here. The homestay will provide plenty of blankets, but remember to pack thermals and plenty of layers. Help your host family with their daily activities or maybe play a game of soccer in the village.

Day 13: Puno
Enjoy a home-cooked breakfast by your host family this morning, taking the time to explore the rest of the island afterwards. In the afternoon, take the boat back to Puno where the rest of your day is free to explore.

Day 14: La Paz
Travel by comfortable local bus to Desaguadero (just over seven hours) and cross the border into Bolivia. You’ll be asked to leave the bus to proceed through Peruvian migration. The group will then walk across a bridge, submit passports at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus for La Paz. Approximately 30 minutes after crossing the border, there’s another stop where the army will check your documents again. The journey to La Paz takes around eight hours in total. In the evening, perhaps head out for an optional group dinner.

Day 15: La Paz
Your adventure ends today, as there are no more activities planned. You’re free to leave the accommodation at any time. If you have some more time in La Paz before flying out, take a walk around the city’s famous Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches’ Market. Browse the weird and wonderful stalls selling everything from aphrodisiac potions to dried frogs and llama foetuses. If that’s not for you, there are plenty of markets selling goods made of alpaca wool, leather and other traditional materials.

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Chile/Argentina – End of the Earth adventure

Gap 15 day ‘END OF THE EARTH’ Chile/Argentina

From $3,999p/p USD – Departures October 2014 – March 2015.

Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to experience one of the world’s most pristine wilderness settings, this challenging 2-week adventure packages the region’s essential highlights into one incredible journey. Explore Torres del Paine, encounter the Perito Moreno Glacier and hike Glacier National Park. With years of local experience, we employ the region’s best guides to reveal the extraordinary, bringing you to our exclusive campsites which provide stunning views of Patagonia. Prepare to be awed.

What’s included:

El Chaltén and Glacier National Park hike (full-day). Perito Moreno Glacier guided tour. Torres del Paine National Park excursion including hikes with expert mountain guides. Penguin colony tour (Punta Arenas). Boat cruise on the Beagle Channel (Ushuaia). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners. (Allow USD360-475 for meals not included.)

Hotels (12 nts), camping (2 nts).

Public bus, van, plane, boat, hiking.

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist mountain guides in Torres del Paine, local guides.

Small group experience; Max 15, avg 12

Day 1 Buenos Aires

Arrive at any time.

Days 2-3 El Chaltén/Glacier National Park

Fly to El Calafate and continue by bus to El Chaltén and Glacier National Park. Full-day guided hike included and free time for further exploration.

Days 4-5 El Calafate

Return to El Calafate by bus. Included guided tour to Perito Moreno Glacier and opportunities for great Argentine cuisine.

Days 6-9 Puerto Natales/Torres del Paine National Park (4B,2L,2D)

Travel by bus into Chile and to Torres del Paine National Park. Two and a half days of included hikes from our campsite base, with our expert mountain guides.

Day 10 Punta Arenas (1B)

Bus south to Punta Arenas. Included tour to a penguin colony at Otway Sound.

Days 11-13 Ushuaia (3B)

Cross into Argentina by bus, arriving in Ushuaia. Included boat cruise on the Beagle Channel and free time for shopping and individual exploration.

Day 14 Buenos Aires (1B)

Fly to Buenos Aires. Optional tango show and dinner.

Day 15 Buenos Aires

Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking pre- or post-accommodation to fully experience this lively city.

To find out more about this adventure, contact Trans Otway Travel on (03) 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Andean Adventure in Peru

21 days from $1,960 pp twin share

Peru and Bolivia are both steeped in history and culture. The Inca Empire lasted for over 300 years and long before that various coastal civilisations had flourished.

Your Andean Adventure enables you to discover this wealthy heritage and also allows you to experience the stunning natural wonders of the region. Our trip starts in Lima and continues southward through the Sechura Desert to Nazca and Arequipa.

From there it’s on to Cusco – one-time capital of the Inca Empire. We trek ancient Inca mountain trails and visit the magnificent ruins at Machu Picchu, before continuing east to Lake Titicaca and ending our journey in La Paz.

To book, call us on (03) 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au