I am looking at heading to South America from New Zealand. The only way of getting there is flying from Auckland to Santiago. So as to not waste this opportunity I am wondering if there are any organised trips that run from Santiago to Peru (including the Inca Trail and Machu Pichu)?
try GAP Travels. They do many such tours.
But you'd almost be as well looking at them then copying the route and doing it yourself, unless of course you want to do it with some others and have it relatively easy.
Looks like this covers your needs .....
travel code JSM on GAP adventures site.
Day 1 Arrive Santiago
Arrive in Santiago at any time.
Day 2-9 Chile
Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago sits on the edge of the Andes, with world-class vineyards and ski resorts only a short drive away. Possible day trips from here include Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, Chile’s premier beach resort. Travel north to beachside La Serena and relax or visit a Pisco factory. Continue northwards to San Pedro de Atacama, on the edge of the driest desert in the world.
Day 10-21 Bolivia
Climb high into the Bolivian altiplano and spend 3 days trekking between the Atacama Desert and the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Using 4x4 vehicles, explore the mountains and geysers, piercing blue skies and blinding white salt flats of this otherworldly landscape. Travel north to World Heritage Potosí, the highest in the world and a silver mining centre during colonial times, where you can descend into a working silver mine. Spend two days in Sucre, Bolivia’s “White City,” and stop in Cochabamba on our way north to La Paz, the highest capital in the world. Walk the street markets, explore ancient ruins or visit the highest ski resort in the world.
Day 22-39 Peru
Drive to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and stay overnight on the floating Uros islands or with a family on Taquile Island. Next are Cuzco, the Inca trail and the ruins of Machu Picchu. Wander the Incan capital and watch dawn break over Machu Picchu at the end of the 4-day trek—the experience of a lifetime. Descend to colonial Arequipa, surrounded by mountains, with excursions to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines before continuing to Pisco, named for the liquor produced here, and jumping-off point for the Ballestas Islands. Finally enjoy the museums, nightlife and cafés in Peru’s capital Lima before heading home.
Day 40 Depart Lima
I work in Peru for a travel agency that operates all of SA, including the itinerary you want.
If you need any help on that, mail me.
Always a pleasure to help!
Check out Kumuka Tours also. I did a bit of research on them in the past, though never actually used them, and they look to be quite good.
HOwever, gettnig from Santiago to Peru is pretty effortless to do yourself.
From the main bus terminal on the Alameda in Santiago take a TurBus north to Arica, stopping along the way if you wish. The bus service is excellent, very comfortable, and reasonably good value. You will drive through the Atacama which is a beautiful desert landscape.
From Arica you can then connect to any of the major cities/towns in Peru, inc. Cuzco. I'd recommend the bus company Cruz del Sur.
It will cost you A LOT LOT less to do it yourself, so it's worth some serious thought.
I have a similar issue, i wanted to start my S.America leg from ecuador and work down through peru, bolivia and brazil, flying home from Sao Paolo.
But I had the same issue where I could only fly from N.Z to Santiago!
Therefore what do you reccomend for me to do?
I could get an internal flight from chile to ecuador, but that seems like a waste of an opportunity to see more...chile, argentina etc.
What about the bus which was recommended, how long would that take?
If I travelled upto Ecuador though on the bus, how would I make it across to Brazil?
Alternatively I could cut out Ecuador and spend more time in chile/argentina, go up to peru, then across through bolivia into brazil?
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 4, 2007, at 10:58 AM by bummer007 ]
I suppose, most importantly, how much time do you have Bummer?
To bus from Santiago to the border with Peru, going flat out will take about 2 days. I would recommend stopping somewhere along the way for a few days e.g. San Pedro de Atacama or Calama before continuing on up to Arica. To bus up through Peru will take quite a long time as well.
I would suggest the following two options:
Option A (including Ecuador).
Take a flight from Santiago to Quito (this will save you a lot of time). From Quito, the work your way overland down through Ecuador into the north of Peru, down to Lima, over to Cusco. From Cusco, cross the border into Bolivia via Puno. Take in La Paz and continue down to Uyuni where you can do the Salar de Uyuni tour. From there, make your way into Argentina, go to Salta and then on down to Cordoba, across to Buenos Aires.
From Buenos Aires, bus north to Iguazu Falls, cross the border into Brazil and finish in Rio.
Option B (excluding Ecuador).
From Santiago bus north to San Pedro de Atacama (24hr journey). Spend a couple of days there. From there bus to Arica on the border with Peru. (Another 24 hrs I think). From Arica, you can bus to anywhere in Peru that you'd like to go to. I would suggest Arequipa (a really cool Peruvian city) and then on from there to Cuzco. From Cuzco, follow the rest of the route from Option A.
That's just a very rough idea. Obviously, it could change depending on the cities you want to visit etc, but if you need any more help just let me know.