After much deliberation about where to fly into and in what order to do the South American countries we finally decided on a rough itinerary which can be seen below:
Ecuador, Quito – 1st Stop
Flying into Quito after a gruelling 25 hour flight with 3 stops; Madrid, Dominican Republic and Panama. Galapagos for an 8 day cruise, back to Quito for a few days then heading South towards the Peruvian border.
Carry on heading South along the coastal route towards Lima then Colca Canyon and Arequipa, turn North and head for Cusco for the classic 4D/3N Inca Trail Hike. Move South towards Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian border.
See the sights of La Paz, possibly head to Rurrenabaque for some Amazon adventures, quick cycle down Death Road before heading South East towards Sucre/Potosi, picking up a Salt Flat tour from Uyuni. This 3 night tour will take us across the salt flats and the Altiplano towards the Chilean border.
Starting in San Pedro de Atacama (over the Christmas period) we will head South again towards Santiago where we will most likely be spending the New Year. Next major stop will be Puerto Montt – the gateway to the ‘Lake District’. Winding our way in and out of Chile and Argentina we will continue South towards Patagonia. The main highlights here include Glacier Hikes, Penguins and Whales.
From Iguazu we will fly to Campo Grande, the southern gateway into the Pantanal (vast wetlands with abundant wildlife), after a few days in the jungle we will fly to Rio de Janeiro for the Carnival. Once the carnival is finished and our wallets emptied we head North via bus, destination Salvador. Finally flying back to Rio for a connecting flight to North America…
We fly into New York on the 20th March 2014, spending 5 days in the big apple we pick up a campervan and hit the road. There are no real plans for this leg of the journey although key highlights and must sees include; Niagara Falls, Yosemite NP, Yellowstone NP, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Los Angeles.
We fly home from LA to London on the 6th June 2014…
A rough route can be seen on the rather basic map below, apologies for the lack of clarity…