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Central & South America 360

An epic American journey!

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Central and South America - greenery around a rushing waterfall

Group Size: Average 14

Trip code: CASA

Duration: 97 days or longer

Discover 13 countries!
Explore amazing beaches & jungles
See Machu Picchu & Christ the Redeemer

This epic journey leads you through the heart of Central and South America, taking in awe-inspiring Mayan ruins and spectacular landscapes. You’ll soak up festive atmospheres in bustling Latin cities and stretch out on glorious golden beaches with nothing but blue sea ahead. Plus, you’ll enjoy unique cultural activities and community homestays, giving you an unrivalled insight into the daily lives of local people. Starting in Mexico, the road winds through thirteen countries, each with their own distinct flavour. You’ll see a gorgeous coral reef off the coast of Belize and lush forests in Costa Rica. Then you’ll plunge south to stay with local communities in the Amazon Rainforest, trek the Inca Trail, and party the night away in Rio de Janeiro.

Trip highlights

  • Discover thirteen magical countries in Central and South America
  • Get to know local people with homestays at Lake Atitlán and in the Amazon Rainforest
  • Enjoy an incredible 4-day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – a once in a lifetime experience!
  • Feel the power of the Iguassu Falls, the mighty waterfalls that separate Brazil and Argentina
  • Battle of the beaches! Discover beautiful coastlines in Mexico, Peru and Brazil. Soak up that sun!
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What's included

Central American Journey

  • Community project visit and pottery class in San Ignacio
  • Guided tour of Tikal
  • Orientation walk around Antigua
  • Homestay with Guatemalan and Costa Rican families
  • Rainforest walk and cooking demo in Costa Rica
  • Beach time in Caye Caulker and El Palmarcito
  • 31 nights' accommodation
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Tour guide
  • Tour transport including internal flight

South America Journey

  • All accommodation for 64 nights
  • 39 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Amazon Jungle excursion from Quito
  • Pachamanca ceremony in Nazca
  • Colca Canyon excursion
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • 4-day Inca Trail hike with a local guide and cook
  • Lake Titicaca excursion
  • Uyuni Salt Flats 4x4 excursion
  • Entrance and visit to Iguassu Falls.
  • Transport by public bus, boat, truck, motorized canoe, train, hiking, plane, 4x4 truck.
  • Local guide

We also provide...

  • A personal Gap 360 Travel Advisor who will help plan your perfect trip
  • Assistance arranging flights and travel insurance
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Some meals
  • Optional trips and excursions
  • Airport transfers
  • Border fees
  • Sleeping bag for Inca Trail and Salt Flats excursions (can be hired for around USD10)
Further trip information

Bringing together our fantastic Central American Journey and South America Journey, this combo adventure is the ultimate introduction to the unique spirit and surroundings of this incredible part of the world. With unique homestays and cultural experiences you’ll enjoy a fantastic insight into local lives and customs. You’ll also be travelling with a group of like-minded adventurers on each stage of the trip, so you’ll meet awesome new people while soaking up gorgeous landscapes and enchanting cultural wonders. Let the adventure begin!


Bringing together our fantastic Central American Journey and South America Journey, this combo adventure is the ultimate introduction to the unique spirit and surroundings of this incredible part of the world. With unique homestays and cultural experiences you’ll enjoy a fantastic insight into local lives and customs. You’ll also be travelling with a group of like-minded adventurers on each stage of the trip, so you’ll meet awesome new people while soaking up gorgeous landscapes and enchanting cultural wonders. Let the adventure begin!


Day 1: MEXICO. Playa del Carmen. Arrive at any time. 6pm welcome meeting.

Day 2: Playa del Carmen. Free beach time or optional activities: Visit the Mayan ruins at Tulúm or dive on Cozumel Island.

Day 3-5: BELIZE. Caye Caulker. Relax on the coast or opt to snorkel or dive with stingrays at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Day 6-7: San Ignacio. On day 6, visit a community project that helps women learn new skills and try your hand at pottery! Enjoy some free time on day 7 with optional activities.

Day 8: GUATEMALA. Flores/Tikal. Take a guided tour of the ruins of Tikal and discover Flores.

Day 9-10: Río Dulce. All sorts of optional activities are on offer in this relaxed lakeside location.

Day 11-12: Antigua. Enjoy an orientation guided walk in Antigua then explore the local area and vibrant city and take an optional salsa class.

Day 13-14: Panajachel/Lake Atitlán homestay. Go on boat rides and experience a traditional homestay on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlán with its breathtaking backdrop.

Day 15-16: Antigua. Make the most of this lively city. Have fun and practice your fancy footwork at an included group salsa dancing lesson.

Day 17-18: HONDURAS. Copán. See the stunning Mayan ruins at Copán or relax in hot springs.

Day 19: EL SALVADOR. Suchitoto. Hop across the border into El Salvador and discover the picturesque town of Suchitoto.

Day 20 - 21: Playa El Tunco. Head to laid back El Tunco. Catch some waves with an optional surf lesson on the black sand beach and soak up the town’s mellow vibes.

Day 22: NICARAGUA. Leon. Get some more ink in your passport as we cross into Nicaragua. Our home for the night is the beautifully crumbly colonial city of Leon.

Day 23 – 24: Granada. Travel to Nicaragua’s oldest town. Wander the cobbled streets, explore the markets and colonial buildings, and take an optional trip to an Mombacho volcano or the warm waters of the Laguna de Apoyo.

Day 25 – 26: Isla de Ometepe. Cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to get to rugged Ometepe. Spend 2 nights in a traditional homestay, swim in the cool waters of the lake, and take an optional excursion to the springs at Ojo de Agua or up Concepcion Volcano.

Day 27 – 28: COSTA RICA. Monteverde. At 1,400 metres above sea level, our Costa Rican home for the next 2 days is literally in the clouds! The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is uniquely bio diverse, with sloths, monkeys, tapirs, large cats and more. Opt to fly through the jungle on a zipline, go horse riding, or take a tour of a butterfly garden.

Day 29 – 30: La Fortuna. Take a boat across Lake Arenal to La Fortuna, the adventure sports capital of Costa Rica. Canyoning, white water rafting, kayaking and paddle boarding are all on the menu of options while we’re here.

Day 31 - 32: San José. Hang out for one final night with your newfound friends in Costa Rica’s capital, before your epic Central American Journey comes to an end.

Please note: Flights between San José and Quito are not included. Please contact our flights team for a quote for this journey.


Day 1: Quito, ECUADOR. Arrive at any time.

Day 2-4: Amazon Jungle Homestay, ECUADOR. Travel to Tena, then into the jungle to meet a local community for an Amazon homestay. 

Day 5-8: Baños / Cuenca, ECUADOR. Optional activities such as hot springs, hiking, horse riding or mountain biking.  Explore Cuenca, Cajas National Park or the Inca ruins at Ingapirca.

Day 9-13: Mancora / Trujillo, PERU. Travel into Peru to the mellow beachside town of Mancora. Enjoy 2 nights topping up the tan, hitting the surf and partying on the sands, before continuing to the charming colonial city of Trujillo. Make sure you don’t miss the optional trip to the nearby Chan-Chan ruins – Peru’s largest pre-Incan empire – mind-blowing! Travel as you sleep on day 13 with an overnight bus to Peru's lively capital.

Day 14-15: Lima, PERU. Wake up in lovely Lima with two full days to explore this sophisticated, bohemian city. Take an optional city tour, see a Paso horse show or marvel at a fountains and lights display.  

Day 16-18: Huacachina / Nazca, PERU. Head to the dinky little oasis town of Huacachina for day 16. Wander round the oasis, join an optional dune buggy and sandboarding experience and watch the most incredible sunset. On day 17 we’ll head to Nazca, via an artisanal pisco winery. Discover the Nazca Lines - strange patterns and pictures etched into the desert. Take an optional light aircraft flight over the lines, or a desert cemetery and pottery workshop tour.

Day 19-22: Arequipa / Colca Canyon, PERU. Optional visits; Catalina Convent or hot spring. Guided tour to Colca Canyon. Day 22, overnight bus to Cuzco.

Day 23-30: Cuzco / Ollantaytambo/Inca Trail, PERU. Free time or optional city tour of Cuzco. Optional whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking. 4-day guided Inca Trail hike with visit to Machu Picchu.

Please note that due to sustainable tourism regulations on the Inca Trail there is a cap on the number of people allowed to walk the trail on any one day. This may mean that on certain dates the trek permits have sold out and you will not be able to trek the Inca Trail. In this unlikely event you will take an alternate route to Machu Picchu. Speak to us for more information. 

Day 31-33: Puno / Lake Titicaca, PERU. Visit Uros floating islands.  Guided tour of Lake Titicaca. Village homestay.

Day 34-36: La Paz, BOLIVIA. Free time in city. Optional trip to the Valley of the Moon. Overnight bus on Day 36 to Sucre.

Day 37-40: Sucre / Potosí, BOLIVIA. Optional dinosaur track excursion. City exploration. Optional hiking or mountain biking. Optional visit to a working silver mine.

Day 41-43: Uyuni / Salt Flats, BOLIVIA. 3-day 4x4 trip to the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Day 44-47: San Pedro de Atacama / Salta, CHILE. Optional ruin visit, mountain biking, or visit to the Valley of the Moon from San Pedro. In Salta, optional visit to scenic Quebrada de las Conchas/Cafayate or the High Mountain Archaeological museum.

Day 48-50: Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA. Fly to Buenos Aires. City exploration. 

Day 51-56: Colonia / Montevideo / Estancia ranch stay, URUGUAY. Free time to explore Colonia and Montevideo in Uruguay. Then head to a rural working ranch, hike or horseback ride and enjoy a local barbeque with wine from the region. Overnight bus to Iguassu Falls on Day 56.

Day 57-62: Iguassu Falls / Paraty / Ilha Grande, BRAZIL. Explore Iguassu Falls from Argentina, then take an optional boat ride or visit the bird park. Fly to Paraty and enjoy the coast, then take a boat to the idyllic Ilha Grande for some relaxation time. 

Day 63-65: Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL Explore the city from your base in Copacabana.  Depart Rio on day 65 when your epic tour of South America ends. 

Real customer reviews
Facebook Group Discussion

Heya, is anyone doing the Andean Discovery in Peru? Just thinking about booking either the 10th April or the 17th April one xx

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has ever gone on the Costa Rica adventure trip? Looking into the trip and wanted some feedback.

Hi anyone doing the Amazon Wildlife Rescue in May? Or has already been and can give some feed back. Thanks!

Booking options

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Please note: we require a copy or photo of the passport you will travel on in order to confirm the your Inca Trail permit. Please email this to us as soon as possible after you book.

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Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

Central American Journey

Please arrange your flights into Cancún (Mexico). Airport transfers are not included. Shuttles and buses from Cancún airport to Playa del Carmen are easy to find and reasonably priced.

Please note that this tour ends in San José (Costa Rica). 

South America Journey

You should arrange your arrival into Quito International Airport.  Transfers are not included in the trip price.  The airport is around 1 hour from the city centre where your hotel is located.  It is advised that you get a taxi (at a cost of approximately USD30-40) from the taxi stand close to customs, and that you pay for the taxi at a rate set at the taxi stand.  If your taxi driver does not speak English and you do not speak Spanish, simply show driver the hotel address.

No activities are planned for Day 1 so you may arrive at any time. You will have contact from your tour leader during Day 1 and there will be a short welcome meeting soon after arrival, where you can meet your group and learn more about the trip. 

Accommodation & meals

Central American Journey

31 nights’ multi-share, single sex accommodation is included on this Central American Journey.

You will be travelling through countries where cold water showers are common, so please be aware that there may not be hot water showers available. In the warm weather, a cool shower will be more than welcome!

4 breakfasts and 2 lunches and 5 dinners are included as part of this trip and this includes some authentic traditional meals at your homestays. Please allow USD650-800 for meals not included.

South America Journey

All accommodation is included during your Great South American Adventure. 

There is the option to upgrade to your own single room, for an extra cost, with the exception of the nights spent at the Amazon homestay, on the overnight bus journeys, during 2 nights in Colca Canyon, during the Inca Trail, at the Lake Titicaca homestay, during the Salar de Uyuni trip and on the estancia/ranch stay. 

Some, but not all, meals are included.  In total you will have 39 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners included on this trip.  You should allow around USD1425-1875 for meals not included.

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this trip is 18.

All countries require a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity. You should contact your local embassy for current visa requirements for all the countries visited during this combo trip.

You should have a reasonable level of fitness to take part in this trip, especially if you are taking part in the 4-day Inca Trail hike. 

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.