South America Cruise - Ushuaia to Cartagena
The western coast of South America is stunning, as the landscape changes drastically from region to region. This 38-day cruise will find you exploring the best of the west coast aboard the G Expedition. Begin this incredible journey at the end of the earth in Ushuaia where you’ll sail north through incredible fjords and past glaciers before heading on up to the Caribbean coast in search of tropical islands hugged by turquoise waters. Everything South America is here: explore Machu Picchu, get lost inside the Darien Jungle, ride through the Panama Canal, and loads more. Prepare yourself for an adventure that will leave you with moments you’ll cherish forever.
Your G for Good Moment: Ccaccaccollo Community and Women’s Weaving Co-op visit, Ccaccaccollo
Your G for Good Moment: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay. 33 nts aboard the G Expedition. Arrival and departure transfers. Torres del Paine National Park excursion (Puerto Natales). Simpson River National Reserve visit (Chacabuco). Excursion to Punta Arenas or Ancud (Isla Chiloe). Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley (3-day land excursion). Cusco city tour. Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour. G Adventures-supported Women’s Weaving Co-op visit (Ccaccaccollo). Lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant (Sacred Valley). Machu Picchu guided tour. Isla de la Plata wildlife excursion. Darien Jungle and Emberá tribe visit. The Shaping of Panama and Miraflores Locks excursion. Transit the Panama Canal. San Blas Islands excursion. Excursion in Bahia Solano. Zodiac excursions with our expert expedition team. Lectures and educational programs on board. Internal flights. All transport to/from included activities and between all destinations.
Journey from Ushuaia to Cartagena on this cruise of a lifetime aboard the G Expedition, sail through the Chilean fjords, visit Torres del Paine National Park, explore the remote Isla Chiloe, set eyes on Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, savour lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa restaurant, travel into the heart of the Darien Jungle, check out the Panama Canal
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Please note: While it is our intention of adhere to the route described above , there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day onboard, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.
2. Flight Information: When packing your luggage please note that the weight restriction on the domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia is only 15 to 23 kg (33 to 50 lbs) per person, depending on the airline. Please note that the airlines will generally charge for excess baggage. We recommend you try to leave luggage that you do not need at your hotel in Buenos Aires (if applicable).
3. The G Expedition is an adventure Expedition ship and does not offer an elevator.
4. PLEASE NOTE: A valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the time you are returning home is required at the time of booking. This trip CANNOT be confirmed without a valid passport.
5. The electricity onboard is 220AC electrical outlets, with European 2 pin round holes, as well as 110-volt shaving sockets in the bathroom for electric razors only. You may wish to bring an international adapter. A limited supply of electrical adapters are available to borrow free of charge at the Purser’s Desk.
Group Leader Description
A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. Our expedition ships boast an international team of professional naturalists and lecturers. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through stimulating lectures, day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. Your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography. The expedition staff work conscientiously with you on deck and in the field, improving your observational skills to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table. The Expedition Staff will pilot the Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings and Zodiac cruises; they are experienced drivers who operate the Zodiacs in a responsible manner.
Group Size Notes
Max 134 aboard the G Expedition
37 breakfasts, 35 lunches, 36 dinners
Onboard our expedition ships you’ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or the lounge.
G Expedition, Zodiac, private bus, motorized canoe, train, plane, walking.
Local flights are not included in the price of this trip. Please make sure that you arrive into Ushuaia on Day 1. If you require assistance booking local flights please contact your G Adventures representative. From our experience we have found that there are regular delays in flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
Please note that internal flights in Argentina generally allow less luggage than international flights.
Flights between Lima and Cusco, and back from Cusco to Trujillo are included in the trip cost. Please be aware that there will be luggage restrictions on these flights, so it is recommended to bring a smaller back suitable for the Machu Picchu trip.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Twin-share hotels (4 nts), aboard the G Expedition in quad-, triple-, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (33 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have one queen-size bed.
My Own Room
Please note that if you have selected the Private Cabin option at the time of booking, you will receive your own room for the duration of this cruise. This includes the Hotel in Ushuaia.
If you are a solo traveller and you have NOT selected the Private Cabin option, you will be paired with another solo traveller for all nights, including the hotel in Ushuaia.
For groups of 3 passengers travelling together who have booked a triple cabin, you will have a triple room in the hotel where available. If we cannot book a triple room, please note that one of you will be sharing with another solo traveller of the same gender for the hotel night in Ushuaia.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
A NOTE ON FLYING INTO USHUAIA
From our experience we have found that there are significant delays especially in high season on flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. We highly recommend booking your travel arrangements to arrive into Ushuaia earlier in the day on Day 1. We are happy to book additional pre-tour accommodations should you want some additional time in Ushuaia.
All international flights flying into Buenos Aires arrive at Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. Please check with your airline as to which airport your domestic flight will be flying out of.
Most flights that continue to Ushuaia depart from the domestic airport (J. Newberry – AEP). Please check with your airline to make sure which airport you are flying out of. On arrival at the International airport, there is an airport shuttle service, Manuel Tienda Leon, available at an approximate cost of USD $16.00 each way. It is about 1 to 1.5 hours between the airports, so please allow yourself enough time.
Please also confirm the luggage restrictions for your flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia as domestic flights generally allow less luggage than international flights.
ARRIVAL INTO USHUAIA
G Adventures is happy to offer you a complimentary airport transfer if you are arriving on Day 1 of the tour or have booked pre-night accommodation through G Adventures.
ARGENTINA’S “RECIPROCITY FEE”:
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.
Joining Instructions with complimentary transfer:
Upon arrival into Ushuaia City Airport (USH) please collect your luggage and look for a G Adventures representative. Please make sure you have advised your booking agent of your arrival flight details into Ushuaia so we are expecting you. Be sure to keep all your important documents (i.e. passport) and medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the hotel.
Joining Instructions without complimentary transfer:
Ushuaia City Airport (USH) is located only 5 km outside of the city. Local taxis can be hired at the airport for transportation into Ushuaia at a cost of about $10 USD. On your arrival to Ushuaia please make your way to the hotel listed on your voucher. Information will be available on the notice board at the hotel. Luggage tags and other information will be available for you 1 day prior to embarkation.
Your luggage will be transferred for you from the hotel to the expedition ship on the morning of Day 2. Please have your luggage in the lobby of the hotel by 9am on the morning of Day 2. You will have the morning free to enjoy the city of Ushuaia and the surrounding countryside.
Embarkation time is set for 4pm and passengers will not be able to board the ship before that time due to refuelling, provisioning, and preparing the ship for your stay. For information on activities, restaurants and services you can consult either the tourist information office or your hotel. Due to new port security regulations you are no longer allowed to enter the port area on your own so make sure you are on time at the designated parking lot across the pier to catch the 4pm group transfer to the ship. More details will be provided with your hotel welcome letter.
On embarkation day, you should dress for changeable weather. Once aboard, you will find your luggage stored in your assigned cabin, please ensure that all your luggage is accounted for on arrival.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to arrive into Ushuaia before embarkation time (usually 4pm) of Day 2 please use the emergency contact details in this dossier. We highly recommend arriving at least 1 day before sailing in order to make sure that delays do not ruin your trip as the ship is unable to wait for late passengers. If you are delayed in arriving to prebooked accommodations please contact the hotel to advise them when you will arrive. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your booking agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
>From outside Argentina: +54 11 5252 3602
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 5252 3602
After hours Emergency number
>From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 15 3425 0380
What to Take
Most airlines allow one checked bag and two carry-on per person. To avoid any problems at check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions. For storage on board the expedition ship soft compactible luggage makes storage much easier.
Dress on board is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.
In the worlds most remote destinations that the G Expedition travels to we cannot offload our plastics, glass or tin waste for recycling. Therefore, we try to reduce what single use items that we use. You will see on the ship that every effort is being used to stop the use of single use plastic containers, bags and other items. In an effort to prevent plastic waste from entering the waste stream, we are asking for your help. We offer exceptional drinking water on the ship with refilling stations for your re-useable water containers. You will be provided a complimentary water bottle to fill up as needed. Plastic Items such as single use shampoo/conditioner plastic containers cannot be recycled, so please plan to bring any plastics back to your home countries for recycling. Please do not bring single use items that you intend to leave behind such plastic bags and throw away razors. Your participating in helping to prevent pollution and promote recycling is greatly appreciated.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
Expedition (South America):
• Binoculars (optional) (We highly recommend a good pair of binoculars for viewing wildlife at a distance.)
• Drybag (To protect camera and belongings on Zodiac landings.)
• Fleece jacket or warm layer
• Motion sickness tablets
• Warm hat
• Waterproof pants (For Zodiac landings)
• Wool socks
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
Note: Please note shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided on board.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. Aboard the G Expedition, laundry is available to be serviced by our shipboard team at an additional charge.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Before and after the cruise:
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work overseas. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
While on board our Expedition ships, cash and most major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and AMEX) are accepted to clear incidental bills at the end of the cruise by the ship’s Purser (ie. bar bills, laundry etc.).
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your expedition. The industry standard and suggested amount is USD $10 – 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed amongst the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.
- Martial Glacier Hike
- Tierra del Fuego National Park Visit
- Expedition Lecture Program (South America)
- Flight over Nazca Lines
- Chan Chan Archaeological Excursion
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
We recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items safely stored in our complimentary safety deposit box, which is located at the Purser’s Desk.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures
Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program – Make Every Day Count – Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.
Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.
Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
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Minimum age of 10 years for this trip.
Keeping in Touch on the G Expedition
While you are on board the G Expedition, we know that keeping in touch with your family and friends is important to you. We want to ensure you have the tools available to keep you connected in some of the most remote regions of the world. We have a satellite system, which allows our travellers to connect to the internet or make phone calls with the purchase of personal data credit. Travellers may use our computer room or use any Wi-Fi enabled device to connect to our network, which is available in public areas on Decks 4 and 5. Satellite phone service is available and private calls can be made from our phone booth. Due to using a satellite connection and travelling in remote regions, internet can be slow and sometimes unavailable. The connection in the high Arctic is particularly challenging and no connection is available while in and around South Georgia Island.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
One Expedition team member per 10 guests.
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