Peru to Brazil Reverse

Inca Trail, Iguassu and Paraty | View photos »

Our favourite cross-continental flight is from Lima to Iguassú making this striking combination of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, mighty waterfalls and the beautiful beaches of Paraty bay possible.

Customisable trip from 14-17 days » i

Prices from £2,940 - £3,400 per person

Map of the area

"Most amazing holiday"

"Most amazing holiday"

It was the most amazing holiday experience we have ever had. Neil B

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Sample itinerary

Travel to South America

Fly to the Peruvian capital, Lima. Depending on your flight times, you may or may not need to spend the night. For daytime flights you would arrive very late and so probably stay at the airport hotel. For overnight flights you land early tomorrow and connect straight through to Cusco.

Fly to Cusco in the heights of the Andes

This morning fly up to Cusco. You are looked after by a Pura Aventura guide throughout your time in Cusco and on the Inca Trail so they will be there to meet you off the plane. Today is really all about your acclimatising to the high altitude (3,326m). This afternoon take a stroll through the picturesque streets to get your bearings.

Explore Cusco and surrounds with your guide

You will still be acclimatising today so the pace will be fairly relaxed. Spend all day in the company of your guide exploring some of the Inca sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley today. You might also like to visit the colourful and lively market in the town of Pisac, renowned for its local weavings and hand-painted pottery.

Set off on the Inca Trail this afternoon

From Cusco drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, stopping to explore the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo. Start your four day hike with a gentle walk alongside the Urubamba River. The start point of the trail is actually lower than Cusco so for the first couple of days you are actually still acclimatising to the altitude. Sleep in comfortable tents and enjoy delicious meals prepared for you by your cooks.

Steady walk through trees to high altitude

Today walk at relatively low altitude (3,000m) through a pretty wooded landscape. As the day goes on you will be passing the tree line and start to get spectacular views of although by the end of the day you will be higher than you were in Cusco, camping in a lovely spot at around 3,800m. The drier season (April-November) coincides with winter in Peru so whilst daytimes are generally fairly pleasant, at night the temperature drops quickly.

The longest day, crossing high mountain passes

Today is the hardest day of the trail as you cross over two high passes, effectively hiking an ‘m’ shape. You will also have stunning views of the surrounding Andean peaks and should have a great sense of achievement by the end of the day. Once you hike over the second high pass of the day, (3,900m) then you should find the going good. Your campsite tonight is at 3,600m on a bluff overlooking the mountains.

Walk all day to arrive at Machu Picchu

The final day of the trail is the most beautiful, starting with what can be the most stunning sunrise. There are lots of steps as you approach the satellite Inca site of Winaywayna. The evidence of Inca masonry is everywhere as the trail leads you through cloudforest rich with orchids and birds. Lunch is served at the ruins of Winaywayna before the final push to the Sun Gate and your first views of Machu Picchu.

Spend all day in Machu Picchu then back to Cusco

This morning if you are feeling energetic, you can catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, heading slightly up the hill beyond the site to catch sunrise over the mountains. Enjoy a full guided tour of the site this morning. Afterwards you can continue to explore the extensive ruins on your own or climb the emblematic peak of Huayna Picchu for a ‘condor’s-eye’ view of the city. Return to Cusco by train this afternoon to arrive some time after nightfall.

Fly to the Iguassu Falls, via Lima

Fly back to Lima this morning, connecting onwards by the direct flight to Foz do Iguaçu, the town on the Brazilian side of the border of the Iguassu Falls. You are met here this evening and transferred the short distance to your comfortable hotel in town. You are in the humid tropical rainforest here so the contrast with the high, dry and cold climate of Cusco will be very noticeable.

Explore from both sides of the border

The Iguassu Falls are actually a network of cascades which straddle the Brazil/Argentina border. Spend today with a group to explore both angles. In general terms, from the Brazilian side you get the best views, whereas on the Argentine side, you get closest to the falls. The falls are surrounded by a network of walkways and paths which allow you to walk above, beneath and even behind the massive curtains of water. They are incredible for photography in particular.

Fly to Sao Paolo and on by road to Paraty

Fly to Sao Paolo from where you travel by comfortable bus along the coast to Paraty, a journey of around four hours. Paraty is a beautiful colonial town with a car-free heart, set beneath striking green mountains on the edge of a beautiful bay. In short, it's rather lovely. Settle into your very comfortable small hotel this evening before heading out to explore.

Wander the colonial cobblestones

Day to relax and explore colonial Paraty, with its profusion of beautiful churches, boutique shops, bars and restaurants. There are a number of beaches in the area which are ideal for relaxation and swimming. Paraty is a year round destination with water temperatures ranging between 23 to 28 celsius. Remember this is a rainforest region - very green and beautiful - rain is part of the system.

Discover tiny beaches and bays

Another day to relax or find yourself a new beach. You can also look for more structure to your day, there are a number of choices, such as visiting nearby sugar cane distilleries to see how cachaca, Brazil’s national drink, is made. For a more relaxed day, there are a profusion of wonderful waterfalls such as Tobogan and beaches such as Trinidade, Camburi, Picinguaba, Fazenda and Felix, which can be visited.

Explore the bay by boat

A final day to relax or explore Paraty. If you haven’t yet done so, you might like to head out into the bay itself on a schooner for a half day tour of some of the best beaches and islands in the area. The schooner stops at several beaches for you to swim and snorkel, before you enjoy lunch on board as you head back.

Travel home via Rio or Sao Paolo

Return by comfortable bus directly to the airport at Sao Paulo for your overnight flight back home. Or it is possible to leave via Rio if you haven't been there yet. Again, we quote international flights separately on this holiday.

About this trip

Summary

Our favourite cross-continental flight is from Lima to Iguassú making this striking combination of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, mighty waterfalls and the beautiful beaches of Paraty bay possible.

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How adventurous?

Culture
1 2 3 4 5
Activity
1 2 3 4 5
Comfort
1 2 3 4 5

Physical adventure

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is hard going. The trail covers 28 miles over four days so distances are not great. However, it is at very high altitude with a number of steep ascents and descents as well as lots of narrow steps meaning that the going can be slow and fairly tough.

What you get in return for these exertions are four days’ walking in the beautiful mountain surroundings of the Peruvian Andes finished off with the exhilaration of arriving at Machu Picchu on foot in the quiet afternoon.

We pace our Inca Trail differently to most, in essence timing it to be half a day behind the main daily intake onto the trail (limited by permit to 500 people in total). Where the majority of hikers are moving along together and sleeping at the same campsites, you walk in peace and sleep with few others in sight.

Day one of our trail is very short, only around 2 hours of walking at altitudes lower than Cusco. Over the course of a fairly long second day, you regain altitude gradually to reach a level similar to Cusco. The third day of our trail is the hardest, pushing over the highest pass (4,200m) before going down into a valley and back up over a second high pass to finish on a high plateau at 3,600m. The fourth and final day is quite long but is effectively downhill, including a lot of narrow steps, as you descend towards Machu Picchu at 2,400m.

Where most people hiking the Inca Trail cross the high pass on day two, our pace gives you extra time to acclimatise. It also means that your walking pace isn’t being forced by an inevitable desire to avoid getting clogged up with big, noisy groups. There is time to rest, enjoy the views and learn about your surroundings without any sense that you need to hurry.

In terms of physical comfort, the full Inca Trail does involve three nights camping out at altitude. This undoubtedly adds to both the adventure and the exertion of the hike. Tents are fairly spacious and always pitched for you by the team of porters. In addition we carry our own toilet tent, pitched at a discreet distance from camp.

Each morning your porter will deliver warm water for you to take a ‘bird bath’ before breakfast. A dining tent is set up for meals, including lunches on the trail. Our chef does an amazing job - meals are substantial and remarkably elaborate given how far you are from a kitchen.

Elsewhere in Peru, and in Brazil, you stay in comfortable hotels. We tailor this trip to include anything from 3-4 hotels. The standard itinerary is based on superior 3* hotels.

The Brazilian section of this trip is not intended to be overly active though you are likely to spend most of your time outdoors walking the paths of Iguazú or in bay of Paraty. Sea kayaking, snorkeling and hiking are all common activities in the area.

Temperatures and weather on this trip vary considerably. In Peru, the driest time of year is winter so April through October/November. In general you can expect daytime temperatures of somewhere between 10°-20° in Lima, Cusco and at Machu Picchu though temperatures plunge at night. On the Inca Trail you can and should expect temperatures to be sub-zero at night.

In southern Brazil, temperatures are generally in the 20° - 30° range, the wettest months being December though March. August is the driest month.

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Cultural adventure

The cultures, nature and landscapes on this holiday are fantastically varied. Lima has its own rich history of immigration which is reflected particularly in the cuisine. In Cusco and on the Inca Trail you are in the Andean heartlands of the Inca with all the rich customs and history that this entails.
You have the same guide with you throughout your time in Cusco and onto the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. This consistency of guiding means that you don’t get the repetition which is inevitable if you have the usual set up of different guides at each place. Cutting out the repetition buys you time to find out more about more aspects of life in Peru, be that history or food, music, culture or politics.

Paraty is a beautiful, colonial town on the waterfront of the southeastern coast of Brazil, south of Rio. The centre of the town is a national monument and a great place to explore on foot. Because it’s such a small place, Paraty is somewhere you can wander out and let yourself discover – be that a restaurant an art gallery or a musical event.

For more formal cultural activities, there are a couple of good exhibitions and museums in town, including the Casa de Cultura and a couple of cachaca distilleries.

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Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Practicalities

We have a detailed itinerary for this trip, as set out above. If you would like a copy, please get in touch and we can email it over to you.

Ultimately though, this is a tailor made trip so we would love to have time to talk to you in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you. It might be that you don’t want the full Inca Trail for instance.

In the form set out above, this holiday includes all internal South American flights, the full Inca Trail to Machu Picchu including entrances, porters, guides, it also includes first class hotel accommodation while not on the trail, transfers and transport as detailed in the full itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. You need to fly into Lima (airport code: LIM) and out of either Sao Paolo or Rio (airport codes respectively: GRU and GIG).

Please note: pricing assumes at least four people on the Inca Trail departure. Note also that permits for the Inca Trail sell out well in advance so please check availability of permits with us as early as possible.

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Prices from

£2,940 - £3,400 pp

Customisable trip length

14-17 days

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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