GUEST REVIEW: Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, Maras and Moray

This couple just returned from a custom Peru adventure to Machu Picchu. Read on to hear what they have to say:

“We highly recommend AWR. I liked their reminder emails a lot. There was a lot of info and it was good the way my husband and I did our luggage since the train to Machu Picchu only allowed for a small bag of 11 pounds. So, we were able to keep a couple bags in Cusco.

The main highlight of our trip would be Machu Picchu and then the extra hike to Huayna Picchu that we did and getting the permit for it. That was my husband’s favorite and he was surprised I got that with AWR and was happy about it. I also liked staying in the town the night before Machu Picchu – there was a fun restaurant that my husband got to try ginnea pig at. I just had pasta. I also liked seeing the salt mines & Moray. It might of been fun to stay a night in Ollantaytambo – maybe more shopping time there is all I can think of.

Maras Sacred Valley
Discover the Sacred Valley: Maras Salt Pans

The AWR team was very helpful and made sure we were OK and the tour guides were all great. It was a very memorable trip.

Thanks so much, Gretchen and AWR for your help!

-Gigi”

Want to plan your own Peru trip? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,
Gretchen

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GUEST REVIEW: Rainbow Mountain, Rafting and The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Doreen and Karen just returned from a custom Peru adventure with us! Read on to hear about their trip highlights and get an even greater insight to their journey through their photos!

Trip highlights:

Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
River Rafting and Short Rainbow Mountain Trek

Doreen and Karen began their journey by exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley. They continued on to do the 5day/4night Inca Trail Trek to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu and culminated their time in Peru by setting out on a fantastic river rafting adventure and short trek up the sacred Rainbow Mountain, Ausangate.

“The whole trip was really our ‘favorite part of the trip’- we wished could have stayed longer. Every part was great! Our guide for the Sacred Valley, Rueben, was amazing!! We would have loved even another day at Ollantaytambo. On the Inca Trail, the porters and guides were amazing. Loved having a portable toilet. Food was crazy good! Great to meet new people. It was a fun group. The rafting guides and rainbow mountain guides were amazing! David made our trip feel special.

At AWR, working with Barbara was excellent! For future travelers, our only advise is: relax and enjoy!”

Check out more of Doreen and Karen’s trip photos here:

For more information on what these travelers did, check out our following itineraries:

2-Day Trek to Rainbow Mountain from Cusco

5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Your friendly Peru expert,
Gretchen

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Top 5 Museums to Visit in Santiago

On your next trip to Patagonia or Atacama, take some time to explore Chile‘s exciting capital and dive deep into the country’s local history and culture via the numerous museums that the city has to offer! Read on for our top 5 museums that are a must on your next Chile adventure!

1) Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos

This is the perfect museum to visit if you are new to Chile. It’s all about human rights and gives a great overview of Chile’s controversial politics and history. Chile has gone through a lot of big changes in just the last thirty years, transforming from a strict dictatorship to a strong democracy. To understand the country, you need to understand its past and this museum is a great spot to learn! The museum is made up of several floors and located near metro Quinta Normal. Nearby there is a big park and Barrio Yungay, Santiago’s artsy and historical neighborhood.

Website: http://ww3.museodelamemoria.cl/

2) Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Nestled in the heart of downtown Santiago is the Bellas Artes Museum, which holds several rooms of beautiful artwork. It holds a wide array of sculptures and paintings that anyone can enjoy! The museum is free to enter, with a goal of educating the public through various exhibitions, lectures and seminars.

It’s simple to find this museum! Just get off at Metro Bellas Artes, turn the corner and you’ll see it. The museum closes on Monday but is opened the rest of the week from 10 AM to 6:45 PM.

Website: http://mnba.gob.cl/sitio/

3) Casa Museo La Chascona

Learn about one of Chile’s favorite poets Pablo Neruda, through a self-guided tour of his house in Santiago. Pablo actually has three homes you can visit in Chile. One is located in Chile’s colorful port city Valparíaso and the other in Isla Negra, which is a beach town a few hours south of Santiago. In his Santiago house, visitors receive a personal recorder that can be used while walking through the rooms. It’s a great way to learn about this famous poet and why he is important to Chile.

It’s located in Santiago’s young and vibrant neighborhood Bellavista. After visiting the museum, visitors should explore the neighborhood, grab lunch and admire the colorful street art plastered on the buildings and walls.

Website: https://fundacionneruda.org/

4) Central Cultural La Moneda

In the center of town is the Cultural Center La Moneda. It’s a great place to visit and they regularly update the exhibitions and bring new work to Chile. In the past they have shown exhibitions from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Sandro Botticelli and more! In addition, there are sometimes workshops that visitors can participate in. For the Andy Warhol show, the center hosted short workshops to demonstrate pop art techniques and allow visitors the chance to make some colorful artwork.

Catch the metro and come to downtown Santiago. The Cultural Center is beside the capital and next to metro La Moneda.

Website: http://www.ccplm.cl/sitio/

5) Museo Interactivo Mirador (MIM)

The MIM is a great place for children. It is also equally as entertaining for adults that are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon. This museum is filled with tons of interactive games and activities that are both fun and educational. Visitors can learn about earth science, nutrition, robotics and more!

The museum is located in the southern half of the city and can be accessed via metro or taxi.

Website: https://www.mim.cl/

Want to plan your next Chile adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Chile expert,

Gretchen


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Top Must-Visit Restaurants in Lima and Cusco

Peru is the culinary capital of South America with Lima and Cusco being it’s gastronomic epicenters. Read on for our list of top recommended stops to delight your senses on your next trip to Peru!

LIMA

Cala Restaurant – Barranco

By the sea in one of the main gastronomic capitals of the world we find an innovative cuisine of traditional Peruvian flavors fused with the secrets of the Mediterranean. Commandeered by Alfredo Aramburú and his son Jose Alfredo, they work hand in hand on experience and creativity with the latest culinary techniques. Presenting a menu full of personality with a great variety of dishes and sea freshness. A legacy from father to son that is reflected in every detail is their main key to success.

www.calarestaurante.com

Astrid & Gastón

Their story begins in 1994: Gastón Acurio and Astrid Gutsche, newcomers to study cooking in Paris, founded the restaurant in a small house in Miraflores. At first, very French, according to the world trend. Then, over the years, decidedly Peruvian; willing to revalue inputs and recipes, and with the clear objective of promoting Peruvian gastronomy in the world. 2014 was their twentieth anniversary. They have left Cantuarias to start a new project: to settle in Casa Moreyra, an old house, over 300 years old, in the chic San Isidro neighborhood. Today, Gastón and Astrid, along with a young team of cooks, constantly serve up innovative and exciting culinary surprises that will leave any traveler to Peru astounded.

http://www.astridygaston.com

Central

At Central, the biodiversity of Peru is celebrated. Fresh ingredients and an inexhaustible curiosity to discover and to integrate new ingredients to its menu give rise to a Peruvian cuisine of vanguard in the heart of the traditional district of Miraflores in Lima. The experience that they promise to offer guests is to explore the heterogeneous Peruvian territory in inputs, colors, stories and scenarios. In moving together to different heights, and connect with our environment in a special way. Take a few minutes of your time to complete the information they require. With this they assure that every meticulous detail will be taken into account.

www.centralrestaurante.com.pe/

La Gloria

A classic of Lima, The Glory of Oscar Velarde has always remained in the top positions of the different rankings of the country. It has an elegant atmosphere and a first class service. Nowadays the kitchen is in charge of chef Alejandro Salazar, who presents a menu of Mediterranean food and also uses Peruvian ingredients that give his dishes a delicious fusion.

http://www.lagloriarestaurant.com/

Maido

Life is movement. Nothing is static or absolute. Nobody is. We are in constant flux, as are the Earth, the tides, the bacteria, the light, the blood of our bodies, the color and the seed. The kitchens, like the family trees, are constantly redefined, their identities enriched in an intense interculturality that is the basis of the history of every civilization, since men exchanged the first sounds, products, ideas, customs. Fusion cooking is nothing but cooking, so eloquent is the word that encloses the act. Blood is conjured in the fire. People sing in the hearth. The individual and collective stories merge in the hearth. In the stove life is gestated, the elements are united. In the kitchen the dialogue is promoted, the elements are confronted, the opposites are attracted. This is how the Nikkei kitchen was born, from a complex history known as Peru and from another of equal proportion, distant and foreign, called Japan, that came together to live harmoniously and create a third reality: The Nikkei Kitchen

www.maido.pe/experiencia_nikkei.php

CUSCO

Inka Grill

Inka Grill, the first restaurant of their chain, arrived in the majestic Plaza de Armas of Cusco in 1998, was a pioneer of the gastronomic revolution in the city. They offer an international menu perfectly amalgamated with Peruvian flavors and adapted to suit all tastes, in which the comforting bird and quinoa soup stands out. The menu reinvents international dishes in its original concept, from pastas, pizzas and sandwiches to vegetarian dishes and unforgettable desserts.

http://www.cuscorestaurants.com/inkagrill/

Limo

The ají limo is an indispensable ingredient of ceviche, the standard-bearer of Peruvian cuisine. In it the owners were inspired to create LIMO, Peruvian cuisine & pisco bar, a modern culinary proposal with an emphasis on marine products: tiraditos and ceviches stand out; their sushi bar, an exponent of Japanese Peruvian food; and their famous rice chaufa as some of our most emblematic dishes.

http://www.cuscorestaurants.com/limo/

Cicciolina

A great dining experience is not only the food, for us it is actually the whole idea of going out; where the food and the wine are part of everything around you. The whole experience of Cicciolina starts with finding out about another part of life, the aromas from the open kitchens, the amazing women and men that attend you and the feeling of how everyone sort of knows each other, pecks on the cheek and smiles from regular customers in a tourist town. Cicciolina is all about attention to detail.

http://www.cicciolinacuzco.com/

Want to book your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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Top 5 Museums To Visit In Buenos Aires

For your next trip to Argentina, make the most of your time in Buenos Aires by visiting our top 5 favorite museums!

1) Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and MALBA

Not only does this museum house the largest public art collection in all of Latin America, it also has an impressive collection of European impressionists; thanks largely to the wave of European immigrants that arrived here at the turn of the last century. Speaking of which, this is the place to learn about the history and development of Argentine artists in a global context. If the very thought of this leaves you hungry for more, pop over to the Latin American Modern Arts Museum, or MALBA, which specifically focuses on 20th and 21st century Latin American art.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Av. Del Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires, +54 11 5288 9900.

Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM – 8 PM. Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 8 PM. Closed Mondays.

2) Memorial Museum (former ESMA)

For those interested in Argentina’s history, this is a very important place to visit. This space was created in the year 2004 to preserve the memory of those who died during Argentina’s last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983) and to promote and defend human rights. It is located on the 17-hectare site that formerly belonged to the ESMA, the Argentine army’s mechanics’ school, which was used as a clandestine torture center during the dictatorship.

Several institutions are now located on the site, including the national memorial archive, the Malvinas War Museum, a cultural center. The memorial museum features testimonies of survivors of and various historical archives.

3) Usina del Arte

Housed inside a striking old-brick electrical plant in the working class neighborhood of La Boca, Usina del Arte is an exhibition space as well as a concert venue that offers a robust cultural program. The program constantly rotates, so be sure to check the website for details about the latest exhibitions.

Usina del Arte, Agustín Caffarena 1, La Boca, Buenos Aires, +54 11 4909 2076.

Hours vary depending on the week’s program, which you can view HERE.

4) Museo Xul Solar

The works of Argentine painter, Renaissance man and eccentric Xul Solar (1887-1963) are located in a Palermo museum that’s an award-winning piece of art in itself. The venue is around a century old and was renovated in the 1990’s to reflect Solar’s architectural ideas. A friend of famous Argentinian writer Jorge Louis Borges, Xul Solar was an intellectual and artistic polyglot. His works reveal a mind of marvelous modern imagination — don’t miss it.

Museo Xul Solar, Laprida 1212, Buenos Aires, +54 11 4824-3302.

Hours: Tuesday – Friday 12 PM – 8 PM. Saturdays: 12 PM – 7 PM. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

5) Fundacion Proa

Proa is a private institution located in the historical town of La Boca in Buenos Aires, specialized in Contemporary Art, that has the permanent support of Techint Organization.

A historical Italian house refurbished at the end of the 19th Century was the starting point for this center of Contemporary Art. The building itself establishes a dialogue with the surrounding community through its translucent facades, offering a unique landscape of the City. The history of the construction and the town.

Want to plan you next trip to Argentina? Contact us!

Your friendly Argentina expert,

Gretchen

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VIDEO: Luxury Rainbow Mountain Lodge to Lodge Trek

Come trace the steps of our breathtaking 5-Day Luxury Rainbow Mountain Lodge to Lodge Trek here:

Want to join the adventure and book this trek for your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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NEW TRIP! 5-Day Luxury Rainbow Mountain Lodge to Lodge Trek

Our 5-Day Luxury Rainbow Mountain Lodge to Lodge Trek is a breathtaking journey in the Cordillera Vilcanota, on a route we call the “Camino Del Apu Ausangate”, the route to the sacred Rainbow Mountain. Apus, or “sacred mountains” in Quechua, are the bearers of life and the guardians of some of the most pristine alpine ecosystems in the world. Ausangate, the Rainbow Mountain, is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning peaks you will ever behold and the journey there is a trip of a lifetime.

On your trek you will be accompanied by llamas and horses that will carry our gear. These are owned by shepherds of the community of Chillca who are proud to share their land with us, as well as the spirit of their inspiring world. On our hike and in the unique “Tambos” or Andean Lodges, daily meals will be prepared by experienced chefs who will introduce you to a great variety of delicious Peruvian dishes and produce, and for your entertainment: authentic vernacular music, played by local inhabitants, will liven up some of our evenings at the cozy, candle-lit “tambos.”

GROUP DEPARTURES: Every Friday

PRIVATE DEPARTURES: Available upon request

OVERVIEW:

  • Day 1: Cusco – Chillca (LD)
  • Day 2: Chillca – Machuracay (BLD)
  • Day 3: Machuracay- Anantapata (BLD)
  • Day 4: Anantapata-Huampococha (BLD)
  • Day 5: Huampococha- Cusco, Departure (BL)

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Chillca (LD)

An early departure from Cusco to travel in our comfortable coach bus along the Vilcanota River to visit the temple of Checacupe, then through the upper valley of Pitumarca. At Japura, we’ll trek a short distance to Chillca. Community members and local musicians greet us at our first Andean Lodge, sharing their native Andean music as we sip coca tea. Our 8 double rooms have hot showers and full bathrooms. The lodge features tasty, healthy Andean cuisine, such as Alpaca steak, with vegetarian dishes and other dining options available.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Chillca Lodge

Day 2: Chillca – Machuracay (BLD)

After breakfast, we trek along the glacier valley of Phinaya, seeing hundreds of alpacas and llamas. On the way to the glaciers at Mt. Santa Catalina, the trail climbs past the breathtaking Pjachaj waterfall. Our picnic lunch awaits us above. Then, surrounded by moraine walls, glaciers and lakes, we walk about 5 hours to Machuracay Lodge. Your bags are carried by llama caravan. At the lodge, we’re met by the native family that manages it.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Machuraccay Lodge

Day 3: Machuracay- Anantapata (BLD)

Today we take on our first mountain pass (16,587 ft./ 5,100 m.) enjoying spectacular panoramic views. Descending alongside the glaciers, we hike to Ausangate Cocha Lake where we’ll have lunch. Here, the landscape shifts dramatically, with red sandstone formations where we’ll see vicuñas and occasional condors. After a great day of hiking we arrive at the third Andean Lodge to relax, take in the splendid views and enjoy a restful night.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Anantapata Lodge

Day 4: Anantapata-Huampococha (BLD)

After breakfast, we hike the trail up to the next mountain pass. Dropping down, we hike past Lake Kayrawiri, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and the great valley below. Colorful bands of soil adorn the hillsides. Then, we continue on to Laya Grande Hill via massive Glacier del Inca, to encounter the amazing colors of soil strata at Mt. Vinicunca (the world-renowned “Rainbow Mountain”). We have lunch there, with time for photos and a rest stop in this spectacular landscape. On our way to our fourth Andean Lodge we might see hundreds of Andean geese nesting in the cliffs of Anta. Hiking past the flatiron formations of Mt. Apu Labrayani, we arrive at Huampococha Lodge, where we’ll spend the night in comfort.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Huampococha Lodge

Day 5: Huampococha- Cusco, Departure (BL)

We hike up enjoying an outstanding view of the mountains to reach the top of the last pass. It’s an easy downhill from here. We hike past the strange shapes of a Karst limestone rock forest and continue to the end of the trail at Trapiche. There, we have lunch and return by bus to Cusco, reminiscing about the unforgettable experiences we’ve shared in the Andes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

The 5-Day Luxury Rainbow Mountain Lodge to Lodge Trek combines amazingly well with the following itineraries:

Want to book your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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GUEST REVIEW: Amazing Brazil and Peru Adventure

This group of three just returned from an incredible Brazil and Peru combination custom adventure! Read on to hear about their journey, the highlights, as well as personal advice to future travelers.

Kicking off their journey in Sao Paulo, they explored the historic center, numerous parks and incredible markets that this must-visit South American metropolis has to offer. From Sao Paulo, they continued on to the rhythmic beaches of Rio de Janeiro where they visited the famous Christ the Redeemer, Tijuca Forest and soaked up the sun atop Sugar Loaf mountain. They ended their magical time in Brazil, staying at the spectacular Belmond Das Cataratas Hotel on the edge of the mighty Iguazu Falls!

Continuing on, they jumped on the direct flight from Foz do Iguassu (airport on the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls) to Lima, Peru. In Lima, they stayed in the chic and upbeat neighborhood of Miraflores while checking out the world-renown culinary scene and the stunning collection of Peruvian historical artifacts at the Larco Museum. Machu Picchu bound, they flew to Cusco next and spent time discovering the beauty and tranquility of the Sacred Valley, with the always deeply knowledgeable and upbeat, Claudia (one of our top guides in the region). Awestruck by the mystery and wonder instilled by the Machu Picchu citadel, the trio returned to Cusco and flew north to Iquitos, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Their adventure came to a close with four days and three nights aboard the Delfin III as they explored the overwhelmingly incredible biodiversity of this enchanting ecosystem.

Moray

“We had a wonderful time in Brazil and Peru and AWR’s travel arrangements were flawless. Special mention to our lady guide in Sacred Valley, Claudia, she was very helpful and nice.

We are extremely likely to recommend Adventures Within Reach to our friends, family, and coworkers. You guys would be the first one I contact for any locations where I need an agency.

Our top three highlights from the trip are:

1) Iguazu Falls was amazing. Peru, generally, was way above expectations. The people were very nice everywhere we went, food was good and standards generally high.

2) Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are must-visits. We also really loved the Sonesta hotel in Yucay, Sacred Valley. Great value and beautiful property. We actually liked it better than all the Belmonds.

3) The Delfin III is a nice boat for a quick cruise on the upper amazon. Good quality rooms, interesting programs and amazing staff.

Arrival in the Amazon

It has been great working with Gretchen. Will not hesitate to recommend to all my friends and family. I wish you could have organized some of our other travels.

Advice for future travelers:

If budget permits, stay at the Belmond in Iguazu Falls. It makes a lot of difference to have access to the falls when the crowd clears.

The temperature at Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu may be cool but when the sun is out, it’s scorching hot. You definitely need a good hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and water. “

Machu Picchu

For more inspiration based on the components of this particular adventure, check out:

9-Day Active Rio and Iguazu Adventure

9-Day Sao Paulo, Paraty and Rio de Janeiro

1-Day Lima City Tour with Museum Visit

7-Day Peru: Machu Picchu Tour by Train

4-Day Delfin Amazon River Cruise

Want to plan your next Brazil adventure or trip to Peru? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,

Gretchen

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Introducing Antarctica’s 2020-2021 Season Dates and Rates!

Our most popular ANTARCTICA trips
Being up-close with Antarctica’s penguins is one of the world’s most exciting wildlife experiences

Adventures Within Reach is excited to announce that the 2020-2021 Antarctica expedition dates and rates are set. Reserving a trip far in advance is the only way to better insure that you get on the trip you want, when you want it, and in the cabin you prefer. For some expeditions, like the 8-day Antarctica Fly/Cruise, booking more than a year out is virtually a de facto requirement just to get on a trip.

The 2020-2021 season dates and ships are listed on the landing page of each trip. Simply click the trip link and check out the tour summary at the top for dates/ships. Most departures include a “from” price for general reference. For specific prices and availability for the cabin-type you’d prefer, simply contact us >> and we will help!


12-Day Antarctica Basecamp
Camping on Antarctica

12-Day Antarctica Basecamp

These specialized, adventure-oriented Basecamp Expeditions feature the most exciting activities imaginable including camping on Antarctica, sea kayaking, mountaineering and more, all included in the price. The “basecamp” is in fact a comfortable yet formidable expedition vessel. Traveling by zodiac to shore, you’ll explore awesome natural areas loaded with pristine Antarctica scenery. Like with other expeditions, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to witness the wonderful wildlife of the region too!


10-Day Classic Antarctica Peninsula Expedition
Zodiac in Antarctica

10-Day Classic Antarctica

Classic Antarctica expeditions are easily the most affordable way to visit Antarctica in a deeply meaningful way. The trips check all the most important boxes: Antarctic wildlife, surreal polar scenery, and a chance to personally set foot on the hallowed white continent itself. These trips voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina and across the famed Drake’s Passage to explore the wildlife-rich South Shetland Islands and the icy upper reaches of Antarctica’s western arm.


8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise
Penguins line up for the polar plunge

8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise

The 8-day Antarctica Fly/Cruise expeditions are among the truly elite travel experiences available on Earth. Departing from Punta Arenas, Chile, travelers fly to Antarctica aboard a polar-worthy, custom aircraft. After landing, you hop aboard the expedition vessel and cruise Antarctica much like you would on a classic cruise. Then you fly back. The trip saves you time and spares you the 2-day voyage across the Drake. Sea Kayaking and hiking/snowshoeing are options for travelers looking for that extra kick!


19-Day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica
Albatross displaying

19-Day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica

For travelers who have the time and financial resources available, the longer Antarctica expeditions are among the most epic trips in the world, traveling to three amazing “end of the world” natural areas, each incredibly isolated and wild. These trips are especially excellent for keen wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. With more variety in habitats, there’s more variety in wildlife and scenery.

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NEW TRIP! 3-Day Petropolis Teresopolis Trek

Just outside of Rio lies the mind-blowing Serra dos Orgaos National Park and mountain range. Trek one of Brazil’s most beautiful routes through this incredible park on the 3-Day Petropolis Teresopolis Trek! The trail is known for its breathtaking vistas, steep climbs, and high difficulty rating, so get ready for an incredibly rewarding challenge! This is an excellent add-on for adventurous and active travelers looking for a unique experience while visiting Rio.

Starting at $1595 USD per person!

ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrival in Petropolis; Start Trek (LD)
Day 2: Castelos do Acu and Pedra do Sino (BLD)
Day 3: Pedra do Sino to Teresopolis (BL)

Day 1: Arrival in Petropolis; Start Trek (LD)

Private transfer from Rio de Janeiro to Petropolis. (1h50 / 70 km approx).

1st Day: Petropolis park entrance x Castelos do Acu

Hiking time: 5 to 7h

The first day of Petropolis Teresopolis crossing is the most demanding. During the 7 km up to Castelos do Açu shelter we gain approximately 1100 meters of altitude. The trail of Acu mountain goes through a dense forest and with a strong ascent to Pedra do Queijo viewpoint. Then the trail gets a little less steep until arriving at Ajax viewpoint, which has natural water supply. After Ajax, we need to face the point considered the most difficult of the ascent to the Açu castles: the Isabeloca mountain. This ascent is named after an alleged passage of Princess Isabel on the spot. Once Isabeloca is over, we’ll cross the Chapadao do Acu, a counterfort, before arriving at the Acu castles. This is the first place to stay overnight and where the first mountain shelter of the Petropolis Teresopolis Crossing is located. The view of the Acu castles closes the first day with a golden key. From there it is possible to see all of Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay in addition to the entire mountain range of Serra dos Orgaos.

The current overnight options are (depend on availability of the National Park):

Camping (in camping tent)
Bivaque (collective room without beds inside the mountain shelter)
Bunk bed (bed inside the mountain shelter)

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio or Camping

Day 2: Castelos do Acu and Pedra do Sino (BLD)

2nd Day: Castelos do Acu and Pedra do Sino

Hiking time: 6 to 8h

The second day is undoubtedly the most beautiful of Petropolis Teresopolis crossing. The entire course goes on an average altitude of 2,000m. After leaving the Acu castles, we’ll cross a valley and then climb to the top of Morro do Marco. After descending this hill, we arrive in Luva valley and then ascend to the summit of Morro da Luva. The trail follows another section of rock summits, where navigation is complicated until reaching the section called The Elevator. The Elevator is a ladder made of steel rebar stuck to a steep stone that gives access to the summit of Morro do Dinossauro. Once at the top of Morro do Dinossauro, we find the first great view of the Pedra do Garrafão and Pedra do Sino stones. From there we start the descent to Vale das Antas and the trail continues to the summit of Morro da Baleia, where you can see the rock wall of Pedra do Sino, Garrafao and the trail channel where The Cavalinho is located. The Cavalinho (The small horse) has this name because it is a stone that to cross is necessary to make a movement similar to riding a horse. After overcoming Cavalinho, the trail follows the channel until it skirts Pedra do Sino and reach a bifurcation that gives access to the peak of Pedra do Sino and to the Shelter 4. The Pedra do Sino is the highest point of the crossing. At its summit there is an incredible 360 view, being possible to see several mountain ranges of the region, Rio de Janeiro city and even the Agulhas Negras peak and Serra Fina mountain range, in the clearest days.

The current overnight options are (depend on availability of the National Park):

Camping (in camping tent)
Bivaque (collective room without beds inside the mountain shelter)
Bunk bed (bed inside the mountain shelter)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Refugio or Camping

Day 3: Pedra do Sino to Teresopolis (BL)

3rd Day: Pedra do Sino and End in Teresopolis

Hiking time: 4 to 6h

The third day is the least demanding of the crossing. The trail follows for approximately 9 km to the Teresopolis park dam, the final crossing point. During the descent we hike through two waterfalls where the highlight is the Veu de Noiva (Veil of the Bride) of Teresopolis with 16 meters of height that at certain times of the year is dry.

Private transfer from Teresópolis to Rio de Janeiro. (2h/110 km approx)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

More on Brazil:

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