Day trip to sanctuary in Manaus.JPG

RIO to QUITO via THE GUIANAS (15 weeks) Trans South America

Overland Adventure

Trans South America

Countries Visited: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela

Join us for a once in a lifetime overland tour experience travelling across South America, as we journey along the path less travelled. Starting along the stunning beaches and vast interior of Brazil, we will journey along the Caribbean coast through French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. Forging a trail through some of the most untouched rainforest in Latin America, discover some of the continent's best kept secrets, including unique landscapes and the tropical wildlife native to Venezuela. Take in the sights of Colombia and several other vibrant and vivacious cities along the way as we pass over the equator into Ecuador. Giving you a true taste of this incredible part of the world, it is a trip you will never forget.

Want to see what it is like: Check out this video

Route Map

RIO to QUITO via THE GUIANAS (15 weeks) Trans South America
Click map to enlarge

Highlights

  • Search for the endangered spider monkey, sloths, capybara, and the elusive jaguar in Parque Nacional Monte Pascoal
  • Relax in your hammock on your journey by riverboat along the Amazon River
  • Visit Europe's Spaceport and museum, a facility used to launch satellites into space in French Guiana
  • Enjoy the ethnic diversity of Paramaribo, displayed through architecture, history, food and people
  • Feel the buzzing, lively and colourful city if Georgetown
  • Overnight stay in a Jungle Lodge nestled in the rainforest of the Guyanese Amazon
  • Explore the Amazon's largest city, Manaus offering a rich variety of nature, culture, art and dining
  • Take an excursion into Los Llanos savannah wetlands to see caiman, capybara, anaconda, and possibly jaguar
  • Wander the cobbled alleys of the old city amongst churches, monasteries and plazas in Cartagena
  • Explore the palm-shaded coves, coastal lagoons and rainforest in Tayrona National Park
  • Wander around the historic centre, picturesque buildings and take in a few cafes in Bogota
  • Camping under the stars in the Tatacoa Desert, an arid area of striking eroded cliffs

Includes

  • Accommodation - approx. 50% camping & 50% simple hostels/hotels
  • Ferry across the Baia de Todos os Santos
  • Bale Folcorico do Bahia - entrance to the show
  • Pedra Caidra Waterfall & walk - entrance & guide
  • Boat from Belem to Macapa - across the mouth of the Amazon
  • Overnight jungle lodge in Guyana
  • La Gran Sabana Waterfall
  • Henri Pittier National Park
  • Tayrona National Park - includes entrance & hammock accommodation
  • El Totumo Mud Volcano
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
  • Camping and Cooking equipment
  • Services of Oasis Crew

Excludes

  • Visas
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Trip Itinerary

We leave the stunning views of Rio behind and head north to the mountain retreat of Teresopolis. The road winds up the hillside through jungle, with dramatic peaks towering overhead. We have a free day where we can visit the Parque Nacional Da Serra Dos Argaos and walk trails to waterfalls, with stunning views of obscurely shaped mountain tops.

Continuing north we make a short stop in Congonhas to see 12 lifelike Old Testament figures sculpted from soapstone, which stand proudly outside the Basilica do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos. Our journey takes us to quite possibly the most significant and beautiful colonial town of the area, Ouro Preto. Even vehicles are not able to navigate the narrow and winding cobbled streets. The biggest attraction is the Minas de Passagem (Gold Mine) - antique cable cars take you underground in to the mine which was originally opened in 1719.

We explore the coastline, home of some of Brazil's best and least known beaches and far less populated with tourists than the resorts of Recife and Rio. We will either stay in locally owned Pousadas (guesthouses) or camp under the stars, as we pass through Linhares to Itaunas. Time can be spent exploring this sleepy fishing village or wandering the dune trails and relaxing on the beach.

Cavavelas is our next destination, on the mangrove lined Rio Caravelas. We have the option to take a day trip to the nearby reefs in Parque Nacional Marinho de Abrolhos, where there is the chance to swim with sea turtles. Alternatively the day can be spent on the beach or wandering along the riverfront.

Venturing further north, we pass by some of the more remote beaches, where we may either camp or stay in local Pousadas. If time allows, we may also stop off in Parque Nacional Monte Pascoal which is controlled by the local Pataxo (pa-ta-sho) Indians. Here we can walk the trails to try to spot the endangered spider monkey, sloths, porcupines, capybara, deer, elusive jaguar and numerous species of bird.

Porto Seguro is our next stop and is the region where Portuguese sailors first landed in the New World over 500 years ago, and where you can still see relics from those early settlement days. A steep climb up to Cidade Historica will be rewarded with sweeping views, colourful old buildings and museums. Porto Seguro is also known for its nightlife and 'beach action!'

We then take the ferry across Brazil's largest bay, Baia de Todos os Santos, and arrive in the Afro-Brazilian city of Salvador. Around 40% of all African slaves transported to the new world, came to Salvador and this has left a very particular vibe - tropical, soulful and intoxicating, that is unique to this corner of Brazil. The centre is separated by a steep bluff, in to the Cidade Alta (Upper City) and Baixa (Lower City) and access is gained in the beautifully restored art-decoelevator - Elevado Lacerda. We have a few days to wander and take in the music, cuisine and religion of the region. You can also stop off in the Praca da Se and watch locals practicing the dance fighting known as Capoeira.

Heading west, we come to the quaint town of Lencois. With its cobbled streets and brightly painted 19th Century buildings, it's the prettiest of the old diamond mining towns. The mighty Fumaca waterfalls, various caves and idyllic rivers and panoramic plateaus set the stage for some fantastic adventures. Or maybe just wander the streets, grab a coffee, take in the local life and enjoy some of the excellent cuisine.

After a night quite possibly spent under the stars, we continue into the interior where roads start to become more arduous, and we make a stop in Navidade, in the green and wooded valley of Serra Geral. More cobbled streets and prettily painted, tile roofed 18th and 19th Century houses await and we have a day to explore the town and possibly relax in nearby small waterfalls and refreshing natural bathing pools.

Following highway north we reach the confusing layout of Palmas. The Tocantins state capital was only constructed in 1989 and has a sort of 'planned weirdness' about its streets.  We move on to the cozy town of Taquarucu, some 30kms South East of Palmas, where we spend the next few days.

The local tourism boards have worked together to try to create Taquarucuas an eco tourism mecca. In the area there are some 80 waterfalls, caves and pools, which we'll have time to explore. For those that want to go wildlife spotting, several optional tours are available to the nearby parks of Estadual do Jalapao and Ilha do Bananal. In the latter, there is a good chance to see dolphins, caiman, giant river turtles and lots of bird life. Although difficult and unpredictable, we may also catch a glimpse of a Tapir or Jaguar!

Now we start a long drive north towards Belem on the Atlantic coast. Upon its completion in the 1960s this road was heralded as a feat of engineering as it overcame the unforgiving Amazon to allow people and goods to be transported from the Brazilian interior to the ports of Belem for exportation. Now the rainforest has given way to further development and we pass through vast stretches of farmland, camping overnight in remote Postos before arriving in Belem.

We have a free day to enjoy Belem and wander the riverside walkways of the mighty Amazon.

Today we board our boat, and hang up our hammock ready for the journey across the mighty Amazon delta. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer size of this area, as it will take us 24 hours to journey from Belem on the south bank to Macapa on the north.

Macapa is an overnight stop as we wait for our Overland Truck to arrive on a separate ferry from Belem. This gives us time to explore this commercial hub where gold, iron, timber, oil and tin ore pass through on its way to neighbouring Santana. The Equator also runs through the centre of the city, which has lead residents to call it ‘The capital of the middle of the world’.

We journey north on dirt roads, quite often having to use our sand mats to make it through the mud and to reconstruct wooden bridges!

Oiapoque is the gateway to French Guiana. A bridge across the Oyapock River was completed in 2011, but has still not been opened! We therefore may have to go looking for a barge to take us across to our destination of Saint George.

Once in French Guiana, we find ourselves in Europe! On completion of our immigration and customs duties, we continue on to the Capital of Cayenne where we will apply for our Suriname visas.

Cayenne is full of colonial architecture that just has to be explored. The two most impressive are the town hall, built by the Jesuits in 1890, and St. Saviours Roman Catholic Cathedral. The city’s botanical gardens are also worth a look, or just chill out on the mail square with a beer, watch the world go by and try some of the fantastic street food.Depending on the timing of our visa applications, and when we can collect our passports, the order of the following destinations may change around.

Kourou is a real highlight of our journey, as we visit the European Spaceport where we can take a tour of the site.  A large percentage of the worlds satellites are launched from here aboard the famous Ariane rockets. More recently Russian Soyuz rockets have also used this facility and if we’re lucky we may even see a launch! Time allowing we will also visit Devil’s Island, prior home to one of France’s most notorious prisons.

Nothing can compare coming up close and personal to a giant leatherback turtle. April is normally the start of nesting time, where turtles make the journey up the beach to deposit their eggs in the warm sand. We head to an area on the coast which is a nesting site for 4 of the world’s most famous turtle species.

We return to Cayenne to collect our passports and spend another night in the vibrant city, before journeying back west to St Laurent.

Founded in 1880, the penal town of St. Laurent du Maroni was inhabited almost entirely with guards or liberated prisoners from the nearby Transportation Camp. Here the famous writer Henri Charriere, who went on to write Papillon, spent some of his days before being moved to the ‘inescapable’ Iles du Salut prison. An informative optional tour takes us in to the camp and gives us a snap shot of quite how hard life would have been here.

Leaving French Guyana behind we take another ferry and cross into Suriname, where we feel the atmosphere and culture palpably change from French to Dutch. Suriname was a colonial outpost of the Netherlands from the seventeenth century until it achieved full independence in 1975; the country retains much of its Dutch character, while also having the distinctly Caribbean and African feel that permeates the whole region. Throw in some indigenous cultures and you have a unique and intoxicating mix!

We follow the road west and cross the Suriname River on the Jules Wijdenboschbrug (bridge) and arrive in Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo. Positioned where the Surname river meets the Atlantic Ocean, Paramaribo is a typically relaxed Caribbean city, with a long waterfront ideal for sitting back and relaxing in the cooling winds while watching local life go by.

The historic inner city of Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and walking the streets here the fusion between colonial, Caribbean and local architecture is pronounced as European styles were combined with local materials to produce a style of construction that is only found in this city.

Throughout the city there are many signs hinting at Paramaribo’s multicultural history and present day, and it is possible to visit the Suriname Mosque, Neveh Shalom Synagogue, St Peter and St Paul Cathedral and Arya Dawaker Hindu Temple, as well as the grand presidential palace. In the evenings head for the river, and join a river cruise to hopefully spot rare freshwater dolphins.

We will spend a few nights in Paramaribo to relax and recharge our batteries before we continue our adventure – we have a busy couple of weeks ahead!

Following the coastal road west we reach the banks of the Courantyn River, which forms the (contested) border between Surname and Guyana. We cross by ferry and continue to travel along the coast to Georgetown, Guyana's capital.

As a former British colony, Guyana offers something different again to the previous countries we have visited so far, but still has a distinctly Afro-Caribbean feel; strolling around Georgetown you could be forgiven at times for thinking you were in one of the many other past British territories in the region, such as Jamaica or even Barbados!

Guyana, which was granted independence in 1966, is the only English-speaking country in South America, and is to many an unknown entity, relatively untouched by mass tourism. For a small and often forgotten country, however, it punches well above its weight, offering some of the most pristine and ecologically diverse and plentiful rainforest found anywhere, the world's highest single drop waterfall, and a rich and established cultural history, with many noted poets, musicians and literary figures coming from its small population. Rhianna is half-Guyanese, too, should that be of any interest.

We will spend a few nights in Georgetown, from where it is possible to take an optional overnight excursion to visit Kaieteur Falls in Kaieteur National Park in the Amazon rainforest. At 221 metres, Kaieteur Falls is the world's highest single drop waterfall.

Set in a stunning location, the falls and surrounding area are for many visitors to Guyana the highlight of their travels, as their remoteness and obscurity make you feel that you are really visiting a part of the world that very few people have ever been to.

After free time in Georgetown, we then head south, away from the coast, and into the dense rainforest of Guyana. The main road has been massively improved in recent years following investment provided by the Brazilian government, but we will allow four days to fully explore the area and if the opportunity presents itself take some ad hoc detours down jungle tracks to see what we can find and bush camp in the wilds of the jungle; the area is full of unique flora and fauna and travelling through is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we won’t want to rush. This part of the trip is very exploratory in nature, and it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen, but the region has a reputation for being the best places to spot the elusive jaguar, so if we keep our eyes peeled we may be lucky!

We will also spend one night in a comfortable jungle lodge, nestled in the rainforest, and visit a high canopy walkway to view the rainforest from an elevated perspective and come eye-to-eye with some of the plentiful tropical bird life. After an unforgettable few days travelling through the Guyanese Amazon we reach the border and re-enter Brazil.

Boa Vista is our overnight stop back in Brazil, where we can take a well earned shower and enjoy some locally caught fish in one of the riverside restaurants.

We drive southwards through an Indigineous Wairmiri Reserve to rejoin the Amazon River at Manaus.

We have some free time in Manaus, a large city on the banks of the Amazon; check out the Teatro Amazonas (Opera House) and barter for dinner at the local fish market.

We leave Manaus and journey north, passing through the Waimiri Indian reserve area. We will camp the night, most likely away from any facilities, before arriving in Boa Vista the next day. From here we can spend a day in the vast grounds of Parque Anaua, or take a day trip out on the Rio Branco to Serra Grande and go hiking. The refurbished waterfront (Orla Taumanan) is also a great place to grab a Caipirinha (local cocktail made from sugar cane spirit) and relax.

Today we cross the border in to Venezuela through the only land border from Brazil, to Santa Elena, which will be our home for the next couple of nights. Those of us that are feeling energetic can choose to climb Mt. Roraima (2810mtrs), the flat topped Tepuis that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyles 'The Lost World' and where Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana meet. The walk can take 5 days or so and hikers would make their own way to Ciudad Bolivar on a bus to catch up with the group. Other shorter walks are available, as well as white water rafting and paragliding and paragliding for those needing an adrenaline rush!

Continuing our Brazil and Venezuela overland adventure we head north in to La Gran Sabana (Great Savannah) where an endless sky extends over a wide open grassland. Waterfalls appear along our route, falling majestically from the Tepuis and we will have time to stop and explore. It may be possible to hire a local guide to take us in a canoe to the base of some of the falls, where we can swim in the pools.

After 2 nights camping rough in La Gran Sabana, we will appreciate a few home comforts of a proper campsite or small hotel, as we pull in to Ciudad Bolivar. We spend the next 3 or 4 days here. The city itself has a rich history and an interesting day can be spent wandering the colonial quarter of Casco Historico (Historic Centre) and along the waterfront of the Rio Orinoco. However, the main reason to stop off in Ciudad Bolivar is to visit the beautiful Parque Nacional Canaima and the famous Angel Falls - the highest waterfall in the world at almost 1km high. An optional multi-day excursion allows you to fully explore the park with a local guide and also take a flight over the Falls themselves.

Crossing the Orinoco River, we continue north-west, camping along the way, to the Caribbean Coast where we visit some of the best beaches in Venezuela and take the stunning drive into Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. For the next couple of days we have the option of enjoying the secluded sandy beaches, soaking up the sun or heading off on some of the coastal trails in search of the local Criollo - a virtually bitter free delicate tasting chocolate!  You may also be able to hire a guide and hike up in to the cloud forest on one of the trails.

Driving south west and camping where we can, we make our way towards the wetland area of the Llanos, stopping overnight in Barimas. With luck we'll have time for a quick stop off in the spiritual centre of Guanare, which attracts almost half a million visitors each year.

Los Llanos, the immense savannah wetland that is home to a jaw dropping diversity of bird and animal life. We hope to see caiman, capybara (the world's largest rodent), anaconda, anteaters, tapirs and possibly a jaguar, amongst other wildlife. The optional excursion into Los Llanos with a naturalist guide is often one the main trip highlights for our travellers.

We base ourselves for the next few days in Venezuela's adventure capital Merida, set in the mountains with cooler conditions than we have experienced so far. There are excellent opportunities to hike and trek the mountain trails linking the many remote villages surrounding Merida, as well as paragliding, canopy tours, zip-lining, canyoning and white water rafting. Merida is also home to some of the best nightlife in Venezuela, as well as having a wide selection of well priced restaurants.

Our last night in Venezuela is spent in Cabimas, on the edge of Lake Maracaibo from where the next morning we cross the border at Maicao into Colombia. 

We press on westbound to Taganga where we spend a couple of nights in this chilled out Caribbean town with a strong alternative feel. Some of South America's loveliest coastline lies east of Taganga in Tayrona National Park. We spend 2 or 3 nights exploring trails to beaches set in deep bays, shaded by coconut palms. We have the option to snorkel and possibly scuba dive in some of the bays. Lack of roads means that we will probably have to hike with our gear to our overnight spots where we sleep in hammocks!

A highlight of any trip to Colombia is undoubtedly Cartagena. With its colonial past and Unesco World Heritage status, the old city is an ideal place to just wander the maze of cobbled alleys amongst churches, monasteries, plazas and bougainvillea draped balconies. Las Murallas, the thick walls built around the old city to protect it from pirates, are wonderfully preserved and make for an interesting walk, before stopping off in one of the hidden patio cafes. We spend 3 nights here to get a flavour of both the old city and also the trendy area of Bocagrande.

We then head south into Colombia, with a roadside bush camp on the way before arriving in the lively city of Medellin. Here is a good spot to get a few Salsa or Tango lessons in before trying out your moves in the many discos and clubs. For those wanting a little culture there are several art galleries and museums worth visiting or also an option to travel via local bus to the sleepy colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Continuing south, our Colombian overland adventure takes us in to the mountains to the pleasantly cool climate of Manizales. Here, deep in the heart of the coffee growing area, we have the option to visit one of the numerous coffee farms. Parque Los Nevados, with peaks topping 5000mtrs, is also a great place to spend a day trekking, before checking out some of the town's funky bars in the evening.

Bogota is our next stop and we have 2 or 3 nights to see the different sides of this once notorious capital city. Having had the accreditation in the 80's and 90's of being one of the world's most dangerous cities, things have really turned  around for Bogota. The city is cradled by Andean Peaks and great views can be seen from a trek up the Cerro de Monserrate. Pop in to the cobbled historic centre, La Candelaria, and as well as taking in a few cafes and picturesque buildings, enjoy the age old tradition of adding cheese to your hot chocolate!

We now travel through the Tatacoa Desert, an arid area of striking eroded cliffs surrounded by distant peaks of over 5000mtrs. The result is a quite unique ecosystem, and due to the dry, clear conditions, the area is an excellent star gazing spot and we will try to camp here to appreciate the view.

Turning west through stunning mountain scenery towards the Pan American Highway, and after a gruelling drive, we eventually take an unpaved road into Parque Purace. The park is the only place to see Condors in Colombia, and it is also home to some good walking trails. The adventurous can scale Volcan Purace (4750mtrs), but there are a few other less strenuous hikes to the Sulphur Mine and Termales de San Juan - a spectacular hot spring complete with water slides!

Further west is the beautiful colonial city of Popayan. Nicknamed the white city, some would say only Cartagena surpasses Popayan's colonial structures. We shall make a small stop to admire the chalk white facades and stock up on supplies, before following the Andes south towards Pasto.

Santuario De Las Lajas - a neo-Gothic church built on a stone bridge spanning a gorge - is the main point of interest in our last stop in Colombia, Ipiales. We may choose to camp the night in either Pasto or Ipiales, or possibly continue on to the border with Ecuador.

Half a day's drive away, in Ecuador, is the small town of Otavalo and we make an overnight stop. Here is a great place to stock up on last minute Andean handicrafts such as jewellery, woollen goods, blankets and bags.

The next morning we cross the equator as we make our way to our final destination, Quito, where the trip ends on arrival.

Quito is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and a playground for hikers and mountain bike fans, and it's certainly worth taking an extra couple of days to explore the city and surrounding areas.


Trip Joining Point: The Hotel Riazor - including Carnival or New Years in Rio

Start Time Day 1: 08:00

Address: Rua do Catete, 160 - Catete, Rio de Janeiro

Telephone: +55 21 2225-0121

Website: www.hotelriazor.com.br

Email: hotelriazor@hotelriazor.com.br

 

All prices listed are approximate and subject to limited availability. 

Room Type

Price

Description

Shared

Varied

There are different prices for New Year and Carnival Rio accommodation packages. Please contact us at southamerica@oasisoverland.co.uk to check availability.

 

The trip starts from the Hotel Riazor at approximately 8am on the morning of Day 1 of your trip.

Riazor Hotel was founded in 1891 and was at the time called "Pensão SCHRAY", situated in the old Valdetaro Square. Near the square there was a huge fountain which was transferred in 1896 to the gardens of what is now Catete Palace, Museum of the Republic. On the occasion of the reforms that transformed the mansion into the Presidential Palace, the fountain received the carving of a monogram with the initials BNF (Baron of Nova Friburgo) and the statue "The Birth of Venus" was added to it.

PRE-TRIP ACCOMMODATION:

New Years Eve and Carnival in Rio: accommodation packages are available during this time and need to be paid for in the UK before your trip commences. These Add Ons can be booked through My Oasis Account or you can contact us at southamerica@oasisoverland.co.uk to check availability and prices.

Double, twin, and triple rooms will be provided subject to availability, where requested. However when not available we may need to book other rooming arrangements, and will fit these as closely as possible to your request. Those travelling solo will be put in shared rooms to reduce the costs to them, which may be twin/triple shares with other Oasis Overland travellers. Single rooms may be available in some cities for solo travellers, and we will arrange this for you on request, subject to availability.

If you are arriving early in the morning and you would like to check in immediately, you may have to reserve your room for the previous night to ensure direct check in, otherwise you may have to wait until normal check in times (usually 1pm to 2pm).

AIRPORT TRANSFERS:

We are unable to arrange transfers in Rio. On arrival into Rio airport, pre-pay for your taxi in the airport at the taxi desk (approx. US$20-30) and take the ticket outside to an official taxi. DO NOT use the bus, as these are targeted by pickpockets and are not safe after dark.

We recommend to change some currency into Brazilian real in the airport at a bureau de change or there are ATM's - hostel rates can be low.

There will be a pre-departure meeting in the starting hotel the night before the start of the trip, usually around 6:00pm.  There will be a notice in reception advising the exact time and here your crew will explain how the day to day running of the trip works. Your Tour Leader will collect your Local Payment money as well as 2 photocopies of your passport information pageinsurance policy details with policy number and confirmation that the duration will cover you for the entire trip and a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. It is essential that you attend this meeting - please let the UK office or your tour leader know if you are unable to do so.

Post-trip accommodation can be arranged with your tour leader during the trip or directly with the hotel on arrival. The return airport transfer can be arranged through your hotel / hostel and is not included, it is at your own expense. We regret these services cannot be arranged via the Oasis office before departure.

The exception to this is for Rio accommodation over the New Year & Carnival periods, please contact southamerica@oasisoverland.co.uk when you make your booking for further information.

You need to arrive at your departure city at least the day before your trip begins. Return flights must be booked for at least the day AFTER the trip is due to end. You may wish to allow some extra time to explore your arrival and departure cities.

There are many online flight search engines such as www.skyscanner.net or www.ebookers.co.ukflights can also be booked direct with airline websites or through travel agencies. Please inform us of your flight details through your online account, as airport transfers can be arranged for various trips.

One way ticket: If you intend to travel on a one way ticket to meet up with one of our trips, without possessing an onward flight ticket - we recommend that you  have a copy of your payment confirmation/receipt (that you will be sent at time of your balance payment) available at immigration to assist easy entry.

Departure Taxes: Please check with your Travel Agent or Airline if your flight ticket already includes a departure tax payment out of the country. If it does not - please budget for approx US$30 to $70 USD - to be paid in US$ only.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your trip finishes. This is a general requirement for all of the countries we travel to on our trips.

If you have dual nationality you can only use one passport for the entire trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Please bring 2 photocopies of your passport details to give to your tour leader.

As a guideline, you will need at least 1 blank page per country in your passport, (for the 31 weeks Trans South America, you should allow at least 13 blank pages).

Inca Trail Trek – you will need to provide your passport details to apply for your Inca trail trekking permit, please enter these correctly on your booking form. If you are intending on renewing your passport then please let us know at the point of booking. In order to trek you will need to be in possession of both your passport and your permit – and the passport details have to match otherwise the permit issuing authorities will not let you trek.

The information below is to be used only as a guide and may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the relevant embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Visas must be paid for in USD cash ONLY.

On arrival to countries in South America, you will be given an 'Immigration card'. It is important that you keep this with your passport during your entire stay in the particular country as it is needed for departure. Failure to produce this immigration slip can result in a fine.

Transiting via the USA - Travellers who are flying to South America via the US will require either a US visa or for certain nationalities an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to take advantage of the visa waiver programme. These can be processed and paid for here.

If you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011 you will not qualify for the ESTA and must apply for a visa.

It is very important you establish your ESTA eligibility and have the correct documentation before departing, as if you do not have the right authorisation upon checking in at the airport you may not be permitted to travel.

For more information on other nationalities & visas checkout www.projectvisa.com

Brazil

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Brazil.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Colombia

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Colombia.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Ecuador

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Ecuador. 

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Travellers must have physical proof of health care Insurance whilst travelling through Ecuador. You may be asked to provide this at Immigration at the land border or at the airport on arrival - a printed copy of your travel Insurance should suffice.

French Guiana

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada will not require a visa to enter French Guiana. 

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Guyana

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada will not require a visa to enter Guyana.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Suriname

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and most EU countries will require a Tourist Card to enter Suriname. The approximate cost of the Tourist card is $ 45 USD. You will obtain the Tourist Card as a group whilst travelling on the trip.

Passport Holders from Australia and New Zealand will require a visa to enter Suriname. The approximate cost of the visa is $50 USD. You will require 2 passport photo's. You will obtain the Visa as a group whilst travelling on the trip.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Venezuela - Applicable if it should become possible to travel through Venezuela

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Venezuela. 

American passport holders require a visa in advance to enter Venezuela. This needs to obtained through a Venezuelan embassy or consulate in the US, before beginning the trip.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

It is possible that you may require some vaccinations for your trip, depending on the areas that you are visiting. As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give detailed advice on vaccination requirements, so please use the information below as a guide only. We have worked closely with Nomad Travel Clinics for many years and they offer Oasis travellers a 10% discount on vaccinations, anti- malarial drugs, first aid items, clothing and equipment, just enter discount code OASIS1000 at www.nomadtravel.co.uk. Alternatively you can check out the fit for travel website for more travel health information or consult a reputable travel clinic or your GP for information and advice. We suggest that you allow at least 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Being vaccinated against Yellow Fever and having a valid certificate and a photocopy is deemed compulsory in some countries we visit, especially at certain borders and are needed if you are entering from an infected country. You can view a list of countries requiring a certificate through the World Health organisation http://www.who.int/ith/ITH_country_list.pdf 

Rabies - Vaccinations are regularly advised for many countries that we travel through - especially if time and money are not a deterrent.

Malaria - In some of the areas we visit there is a risk of contracting Malaria. You must be aware that whatever malaria prophylactics you are taking, they only offer partial protection. They must be coupled with your own physical efforts against being bitten - which is the best prevention. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes come out at sunset so from this time you should wear long sleeves and trousers.  Exposed skin, especially ankles, should have insect repellent containing 'Deet' applied to them. Your crew will advise on where the worst affected areas are on the trip. There are a number of prophylactic malaria treatments on the market & requirements change. It is also wise to take a sample of whichever prophylactic you choose, a few weeks before you leave. This way you may determine early on if you have any adverse reactions so you can change the regimen if necessary. Please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice. For more information visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk or www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk

Medical advice should be taken particularly if you are visiting the jungle in either Ecuador or Peru, the Brazilian Pantanal or Iguazu Falls in either Argentina or Brazil as part of your trip.

Altitude sickness - This is caused by thin air (due to lack of oxygen) and can affect anyone arriving at high altitude (above 3000mtrs). The symptoms are headaches, dizziness, shortage of breath and possibly nausea. To avoid this or alleviate the symptoms make a point to acclimatize by arriving into a high altitude destination a few days early and make sure you do not over exert yourself, rest for a few hours, avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, large meals and drink plenty of water.

As we are travelling mostly by land (as opposed to flying into a high altitude location) we should acclimatise gradually, and so avoid 'soroche', mountain sickness.

Dengue - Unlike the malaria mosquito, which bites at night, the dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day. Some areas we travel to do have occasional outbreaks & it is therefore advised that you take care not to be bitten during the day as well as at night.  There is no vaccine available.

Health - To join our trips you should be in good general health. Your medical insurance company must be told if you have any pre-existing medical condition / allergy or if you are on any regular medication, otherwise you may not be covered under your policies for these. Our crew will need to know of any medication or conditions you may have. For general health advice log onto www.nathnac.org/travel/

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join any Oasis Trip & at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred.

You will be asked to provide the following details in My Oasis Account if you have not already done so: travel insurance name, insurance policy number & insurance emergency telephone number. You will also be required to give a copy of your policy with this information to your tour leader on arrival with confirmation that the policy duration is sufficient to cover you for the entire duration of your trip.  It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip. It is extremely important that you check the full extent of your cover related to 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance. In the event of you needing medical treatment you want to know that you have the best cover available to you. Your policy should include adequate Medical Emergency and Repatriation cover as well as Cancellation, Baggage and Personal Liability cover. You need to be aware of EXACTLY what activities your policy covers you for. Please note that skiing is not usually covered in most insurance policies. 

We offer tailor made Overland Adventure Travel Insurance that covers most of the adventure and sporting activities on our trips.

For further information on the insurance we offer, the activities covered and costs, check out the Travel Insurance section of our website. You can purchase our insurance by logging into My Oasis Account and click 'Buy Insurance' or through the following link.

Local Payment (LP)

LP is part of your overall trip payment and is the most cost effective and practical way to get hard currency to South America to pay for a variety of your day to day local costs (i.e. all meals prepared by the group, campsite/hostel/hotel fees, gas, and certain activities listed on the trip page) which cannot be pre-paid from the UK. It is a guaranteed amount, set before your trip departs, and unlike 'group kitty' systems we will not ask you to contribute more once the trip is underway.

Please note: Your LP is payable to your Tour Leader on the morning of departure in US$ Dollars CASH ONLY. Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and we will therefore be unable to accept them either and you will be required to change them in the country you start for new unblemished notes which will be difficult. Please do not bring all of your Local Payment in US$100 notes, a good mix of $20s, $50s and $100s is preferable and also make sure that they are post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB. In many countries smaller US$ notes are simply not accepted and as such notes smaller than $20 are best avoided.

Please remember that you will need to pre-order US$ cash for your LP before you leave home as your LP is payable all at once at the start of your trip and you cannot pay in local currency using ATMs due to the withdrawal limits in place and their unreliability. In addition, ATM transaction fees can seriously add to your travelling expenses.

How to bring your currency?

Past Oasis travellers have fed back that they have felt, as a general rule it is best to bring your money in a combination of cash US dollars, pre-paid travel currency cards and debit/credit cards.

Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and shops. Please ensure your notes are dated post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB. When buying US Dollars before you travel it is best to ask for clean notes with no tears or markings. It can be difficult using US$100 bills in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia so if possible, bring US$50 bills for these countries. Some travellers worry about carrying so much cash with them, however all Oasis Overland trucks are equipped with an onboard safe for the security of your money and passport. Please also remember that Visas, where required, need to be paid for in US dollars cash only.

Venezuela: There are strict currency controls in place in Venezuela, with two official and one unofficial exchange rate currently in use. ATMs have extremely low limits for daily withdrawals and frequently run out of cash or are not in working order, as such they cannot be relied upon. We recommend you budget for your entire trip in Venezuela in cash US dollars.

Spending Money

From past trips and traveller feedback US$150 to US$200 per week should cover costs such as some meals out, soft drinks and beers, email & communications, souvenirs and other general spending. Personal spending habits & budgets differ greatly from person to person. Budget on visa costs and optional activities separately (see visa section above & optional excursions page) & allow extra for your Local Payment contribution. There is often a departure tax payable in the airport, so allow up to US$50 for this.

For trips starting / ending before Carnival: During the Carnival week both tourists and locals flock to Rio, meaning that many resources are stretched. This includes access to cash via banks and cash machines, as the banks frequently close for the whole ten day carnival period. Many of the machines run out of cash early on in the celebrations (often by day 2), and once the machines are empty they are not restocked until after the carnival celebrations have finished.  Money exchanges can also be difficult to access during this time, or will only provide a very poor rate. From past experience we know that the exchange rate weakens in the run up to Carnival, so all in all (if possible) it would be best for you to get some Brazilian Real’s in advance. When working out how many you need, bear in mind any time you will be spending in Brazil before Carnival in Rio.

If your trip goes to French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana please note that the general cost of living in these countries is much higher than elsewhere in South America, and you can expect the price of meals, drinks, souvenirs and excursions to accordingly cost more. For these countries we suggest you budget around US$300 a week for extra expenses.

Changing money

Change your money only at banks, hotels, airports or forex bureaus. It is illegal to change money on the street, as these people will normally be opportunistic thieves or undercover police. Your crew will advise you where & when you can change money & with what means. It is also a good idea to have a small CASH emergency fund, to allow for the unexpected.

Credit & Debit Cards 

If you are intending using your credit or debit card, we suggest taking more than one card with you as you may find that your card is not accepted in the first ATM you try. For credit and debit cards Visa is best. Mastercard and American Express are generally not accepted throughout South America. We recommend that you inform your bank that you will be using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked.

Pre-Paid Travel Currency Cards

These cards are similar to normal Credit and Debit cards but they can be pre loaded with cash before you travel with a set amount allowing you to withdraw this cash using the card at normal ATMs. It is a more secure way to access cash on your trip, but again do not rely on these as your sole means of funds on a trip - (please refer to the ATM section). Several banks and companies now offer these cards, but be sure to look into the rates for withdrawing cash when making your decision. When using these cards abroad you will use them to withdraw the local currency from an ATM and not the currency that you loaded onto the card.

ATMs 

These are available in most major cities along our route and allow you to withdraw local currency only. We discourage you from relying on your ATM card as a primary source of funds in case it is lost/stolen/swallowed, or the machine isn't working. In some destinations we probably won't even see a bank or ATM for days on end.  Even where do find them, they cannot always be relied upon - things change, and ATMs don't always work! Besides memorising your PIN, it is also important to be aware of your daily withdrawal limit and bank withdrawal costs.

Tipping 

Tipping in South America is customary and often expected, and local attitudes towards tipping are different to what we are used to in the West. It is often more than a reward for services well done but as wages are extremely low, it is an accepted means of supplementing an income. As a general rule, tipping around 10% of the total bill in restaurants is a good guide, and the same amounts usually apply for activities and excursions.

Because it can be difficult to know what to tip, and as it has such importance in some areas both economically and culturally, there may be times and activities for which your crew will make it clear what level of tipping is 'customary/expected'. They may also be quite enthusiastic or assertive in encouraging you to take account of these suggestions. This is motivated by the knowledge of how important tipping can be, and the offence or confusion that can be caused when local people are tipped poorly. In the end, tipping remains at the discretion of the individual, but our crew will continue to advise on normal rates, and we would ask you to carefully consider the economic or personal impact of being seen to 'under tip'. We know that many who travel with us are on a tight budget, but ask you to remember that those we work with locally may also face financial hardship, and also work very hard to try to give you unrivalled service/experiences. 

As a very rough guide, we would suggest that you budget for an amount equal to 10% of the local payment for your trip, plus 10% of the cost of any of the listed optional excursions that you wish to do. The amounts you end up tipping may vary from a rigid 10%, but hopefully this will help you budget in general.

On the Inca Trail, your crew will advise you what the expected tipping amounts are before the trek. It may seem unusual to be asked to tip before receiving a service, but the tips are a crucial part of the income for the guides, cooks and porters, and it is important that this gets shared out equally and fairly between them, so you can expect your Oasis Tour Leader to take an active role in ensuring it is done in the correct manner. The tips are usually spread out by the Tour Leader and then given to the travellers to hand out on the last day of the trek.

In the past we have been asked by travellers about tipping your Oasis Crew. If you choose to do this, it would be budgeted separately from the above. Our guys work very hard at making your trip a great travel experience. Working overseas can often be challenging and they are pretty much on call for you 24 hours a day, so it's appreciated as a thank you for hard work and good service, but of course not mandatory. Our suggestion is to budget around US$1, per person, per day.

You will experience a varying degree of climatic changes at any time of year, from freezing temperatures (down to as cold as minus -15°C) in the Andes, to scorching heat in the desert and heavy downpours in the jungle (up to as hot and humid as 47°C and 90% humidity).

The rains in the Andes usually occur between November and April. This means downpours once or twice a day with the rest of the day usually warm and sunny, although there will also be times where it may not rain at all for a week or so. April to October is the dry season with clear views of the mountains. It is hot during the day but extremely cold at night with temperatures often well below zero. You will be spending a lot of time at altitude where nights can be very cold at any time of year.

The deserts in Peru can also be cold during the night but can be very hot during the day particularly between October and May. The Amazon Jungle is very hot with high humidity plus regular downpours of rain usually year-round. View South American Climate Chart

If you are travelling on a trip that goes through Patagonia in July – September, please be aware it will get very cold at times with temperatures well below zero, and you can expect snowfall. Please be prepared for cold conditions, with thermal clothing and the correct sleeping bag.

The less you take the less you have to pack, wash & lug home & you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much gear. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. You will be travelling in the heat & camping in the cold, so bring clothes for all climates; rough stuff is best. Pack according to season: allowing for extremes in temperature (from the constant baking heat in the dry season to the cold and occasional frost overnight in some areas) Make sure that you bring your gear in a traditional soft sided 70 - 90L rucksack or holdall - suitcases are not suitable. Remember baggage is limited to 20kg per person plus one day bag.


Equipment Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip
  • Sleeping Bag - 3 to 4 season bag, depending on season, & sleep sheet
  • Foam sleeping mat or thermarest & repair kit
  • Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
  • Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT rigid suitcase)
  • Water bottle - for personal use - we recommend Water-to-Go (see below Responsible Travel)

  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
  • Sun block 35 + after sun, hat & sun glasses
  • Tampons (can buy in most places)
  • Contraception
Clothes Personal Effects
  • One pair of trainers or boots
  • Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
  • Underwear/socks
  • T shirts/shirts
  • Shorts/swimwear
  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
  • Skirt or dress
  • Sweat shirt/jumper
  • Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Personal stereo - there is a stereo on the truck with iPod/MP3 adaptors
  • Towel &/or sarong


 

Recommended Medical Kit List
  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream &  tablets
  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
  • Eye-drops/bath
  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment
  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
  • Insect repellent containing Deet

  • Re-hydration sachets/vitamin tablets
  • Assorted plasters
  • 1 Course of malaria treatment
  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
  • Malaria Tablets - see Vaccinations & Health section

Please note that in the winter months (June - September) it can be very cold, especially at altitude, so we recommend that you bring extra alyers of be prepared to purchase some when you are in Peru, Bolivia & Patagonia.

Even though our trucks are equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, we advise you to bring a small personal medical kit as our truck kit is not for general everyday use. It will also be your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

Cameras (incl. Digital & Video Cameras) - An easy to use 'point and shoot' will get you some good photos. For memorable shots, it may be worthwhile investing in an SLR camera, but be sure to get some practice in before the trip! Most towns and cities have internet cafes where you can download onto CD/internet sites - but don't rely on it.  Internet speeds can be slow for uploading photos to social media or the Cloud.

Photography - Be aware of your surroundings when taking photographs and filming. Some locations will be sensitive or have local laws banning photography. For example it is usually forbidden to use cameras at borders or around government buildings, military installations, bridges and airports or to take photos of local officials. If you do take photos or film where it is not permitted you may find yourself being questioned by irate officials who may decide to confiscate your camera or instruct you to delete all the images/footage on your device. If in doubt ask for permission, or if there is no-one to ask use some common sense.

Drones - As the use of drones becomes more common, countries throughout the world are gradually updating their laws and restrictions on usage. The specific regulations will vary from one country to another, so do check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the latest information. As with cameras, use your common sense if you do use a drone and avoid operation in sensitive areas. If you plan to bring a drone on your trip with us please contact us first to ensure there will be a suitable place to store it while on your trip.

Electrical charging & power supply - It may be difficult to find a power source for charging at times, so a spare battery is a must.

Consider a 12V in-car charger (our vehicles are equipped with a couple of 12 volt cigarette lighter charger sockets - truck trips only) or bring along your 230V mains charger and travel adaptor plug for use at some of the hotels, hostels and campsites we stay at.

NOTE: 12V - 230V inverters cannot be used on our vehicles because of the power drain they cause.

Log onto www.whatplug.net for information regarding the different electrical plugs and voltage used in each country.

The internet and WiFi are readily available in almost every town and city you will visit; most hotels and hostels will have free WiFi as will many bars and cafes.  Do bear in mind that the connections can be unreliable and will not always be as fast as you are used to at home.  If a lot of people try to use the internet at the same time the speed will be slower still, especially if trying to make Skype calls or upload photos/videos.  During periods of the trip where we are camping, internet will be less common.

Some travellers choose to take an unlocked mobile phone with them and buy local SIM cards in each country, allowing them to use mobile data.  If you particularly want or need regular internet access this may be a good option. Telephone calls can be expensive usually £1 to £5 for a three minute call.

Online Diaries - A great variety of free "travel blogs" are now available online, they are a good way of keeping relatives and friend up to date with what you are doing and a good place to upload photos, collecting messages as well as keeping a record for yourself.

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched or non existent in the places we visit. To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.
  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.
  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history/culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip.
  • Why not pack some pens/pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away. You can also purchase these items cheaply, locally which will help local businesses.
  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip. We carry large quantities of purified water with us on our Expedition vehicles and it is much better for the environment if you drink this, rather than purchase bottled water along the way. (It also saves you money).
  • Water-to-Go: Oasis Overland have partnered with Water-to-Go to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles consumed during a trip. Water-to-Go is a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Click here and enter the code OASIS15 to purchase your Water-to-Go products at 15% discount. Water-to-Go will then donate a further 15% to Oasis Overland Charity projects.
 
While you're travelling

From experience gained in running trips, we have developed our own practical and manageable environmental policy which all of our crew practice on the trips we operate, and they will share this information with you at the start of your trip. We welcome your input on this, plus any new ideas you may have, to improve our existing procedures. As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit. On all our Ultimate and Overland Expeditions we carry large quantities of purified water with us. We encourage you to refill your own water bottles from this supply, rather than purchase bottled water along the way-much more environmentally friendly and saves you money.
  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.
  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.
  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.
  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you & don't worry about what someone else has paid.
  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.
  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.
  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near, (at least 30m) a water source.
  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.
  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.
  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.
  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.
  • For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see: www.tourismconcern.org.uk
 
Community Projects - Oasis are active in raising awareness and providing support to a number of projects and local schools where we believe we can make a positive difference. More information on the projects we support.

All major cities have their share of petty crime (just like our cities) and sensible precautions need to be taken. Wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches and carrying cameras will draw unnecessary attention to you.  Leave valuables such as passports and excess money in your hotel safe or truck safe (we recommend carrying a copy of your passport details page at all times). You may find a simple money belt is more discreet than a bag. Always be aware of your surroundings and when approached by people you do not know, use your common sense. At night in cities it's best to use a taxi, rather than walking around the streets, single women in particular need to be careful and we would suggest that it is safer to be in a group.

On board the truck - Each vehicle is fitted with a hidden, lockable safe to be used for money, passports and important documents. Group member will be responsible for the safe and Oasis Overland cannot accept any liability for clients' personal or monetary contents kept in the safe or on board the truck. We advise you to not take items of value that are not essential for the journey. In certain areas a roster may be drawn up for the group to share the task of guarding and keeping

FCO Advice - The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer country-specific advice, regarding not only security but also entry regulations, local laws and customs and health. We strongly recommend all travellers visit the FCO website, or the equivalent in their home country, to familiarise themselves with local conditions and potential issues in the countries they plan to visit before committing to a trip with us. You can view their website here.

As an adventure tour operator, some of our trips will travel to areas that are rarely-visited and occasionally attract negative publicity. We are not in the business of taking our travellers or indeed staff to regions that we consider dangerous and the safety of all who travel with us is always our main priority, but as a discerning customer we understand you will want to be aware of any risks before travelling. We liaise with the FCO on specific regions or areas as necessary, as well as monitoring open media outlets and political risk resources, and speaking to our contacts on the ground.

In some rare cases, our trips may have to travel through areas against which the FCO either ‘advise against all but essential travel’ or ‘advise against all travel’. When our trips travel through these areas we will carry out all due diligence and notify you in advance. This advice can change without notice.  In these instances you will need to ensure you have full and comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for these areas – some policies will exclude them. We are able to provide additional cover, if required, at additional cost.  It may also be required that you read and sign a short information sheet confirming you have been advised of the risks and agree to travel contrary to the FCO advice.

If you have any questions at all about the safety or security of your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your trip in more detail.

New Years or Carnival in Rio

New Years Eve in Rio - If you are on a trip that coincides with New Years Eve in Rio you can fly into Rio about 4 days before your trip starts or allow a few days after your trip finishes, to experience and join in the celebrations on Copacabana beach on the last night of the Year.

Carnival in Rio - If you are on a trip coinciding with 'Carnival' you should allow a few days before your trip starts or finishes, if you want to experience this spectacular event, so book your flights accordingly. Most carnival events are from the Friday through to the Tuesday before/after the trip starts/finishes. 

To reserve pre/post tour accommodation for either events, please contact the Oasis office.

Should you wish to go, tickets to the Carnival Parade at the Sambadrome will be organised via the Oasis office. You will need to add them through at the time of booking or through My Oasis Account.

View more information about Carnival and what you can do.


The Oasis truck will be your new home giving you a comfortable, secure base with which to experience your trip. As part of the adventure you will be expected to have an active involvement in the day to day running of the trip, be part of the group and get stuck in and help with various tasks, whether it's cooking meals over open fires, pitching your tent or keeping the truck clean & tidy.

Itinerary

Because Oasis Overland do not operate normal 'package holidays' the itineraries given cannot be guaranteed to run exactly as outlined. However, it is rare that we have to make major changes and in the event that we do this will be discussed with you either before or during the trip. It is important to bear in mind that should it not be possible to enter a certain country due to safety concerns, visa problems or political turmoil etc, and it becomes necessary to fly over a country in order to continue a trip, that all costs for flights will be borne by you and not Oasis. Should it not be possible for an Oasis trip to begin from a scheduled starting city due to border closures, civil unrest etc,  Oasis will make all reasonable efforts to begin the trip from an alternative location. However, all additional costs that you may incur in travelling to the alternative location will be paid by you or your insurance company and not Oasis.

Seatbelts

All Oasis Overland trucks are fitted with seatbelts. For your own safety and security we recommend that travellers wear these at all times whilst the vehicle is moving.   

Accommodation

Camping - Oasis provides tents for those nights you will be camping. Tents are shared (between two people of the same sex from your group unless you are a couple). We spend some nights bush or desert camping, and on some occasions it is necessary to camp at overnight services, which are basic but equipped with showers and other facilities; the rest of the time in campsites. Facilities and standards at campsites vary, some are well equipped and managed and some are very basic. At bush camps you will be living off the truck, so there will be no showers or en-suite facilities! At certain campsites there is the opportunity to upgrade to a private room at your own expense if you are missing your bed.

Simple Hotels/Hostels - At some locations we will stay at small locally owned hostels/hotels. These are usually basic places, and often the accommodation will be mixed sex dormitory style. Upgrades may be available on arrival, but cannot be reliably pre- booked. Please be aware that the quality of accommodation can vary quite a lot from area to area and sometimes in a small hotel the standard of rooms can vary even from one room to the next - so there needs to be a level of understanding within the group that your oasis crew does not often have power over room allocation or services provided by various hotels and it is unavoidable that they have to rely on the local staff. Please note if you choose to participate on an overnight optional activity, then you will not receive reimbursement for any accommodation or meals that you are missing out on with the rest of the group. 

During the day

As a guide, driving days normally start at about 8am and finish at about 5pm, with stops for lunch and buying food, seeing local sights etc. We won't be driving every day, although there are times when we will drive for two, but we will then stop for a few days and you will have free time to explore, meet local people, do some optional activities or just relax and do your own thing. Expect to sometimes get dusty & dishevelled during the day and although you will be able to shower most nights (except at bush camps), not all camps will have hot showers.

Meals & cook groups

When 'on the road' or camping, we usually cook using gas or over open fires in a rota system and you can expect to cook in a group of two or three people approximately once every ten days depending on the number of people on trip and whereabouts you are. Your cook group will have to decide on what to cook, utilise stocks from the truck stores and locally obtain ingredients from markets, shops etc. and rustle up a meal. But don't worry if you're not a Gordon Ramsay, as the rest of the group and the Tour leader usually lend a helping hand. Here is an idea of what to expect at meal times:

Breakfasts:  Usually simple - we help ourselves to cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion we will splurge with a cooked breakfast.

Lunch: Cold and usually quick. The cook group will put out bread, tinned supplies and maybe make a salad.

Dinner: Cooks come into their own in the evening, and will always attempt to cook up some delights.

When staying in hotels in towns or cities we do not include meals. This is your chance to go out and explore and try local cuisine in local restaurants.

Vegetarians / Vegans / Coeliacs / Gluten & Lactose intolerance - Our Tour Leaders will always do their best to cater for any dietary requirement or intolerance whenever possible. However we do not cater for fussy eaters. It must be remembered that the variety of dishes available to vegetarians may not be the same as available to meat eaters. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet or because of an allergy or would miss from home, it would be best to bring these with you, as these cannot be purchased with normal Local Payment funds due to the high cost of these specialised and often imported foods.

Remember that when eating out in local restaurants & hotels that vegetarianism or food allergies / intolerance's, are still not widely known about or understood by many local people. i.e Vegetarians or Vegans will often be offered fish or chicken in error. Most large towns and cities, or areas used to tourists, will often have more choice but please be aware that it will probably not be as varied as you are used to when eating out at home. 

In the evenings 

When at a bushcamp or campsite, you and your tent buddy will put up the tent, and then lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. The fire grates need to be taken out, the fire lit and someone can fill the kettle and make hot drinks while the cook group prepares the evening meal. Then just sit back & chill and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Oasis Crew

We usually have two crew whose duties are extensive and quite demanding, with challenges ranging from driving and maintaining the expedition vehicle to a high standard, to organising visas and border crossings, arranging accommodation, pre-booking some excursions and guides, helping with shopping and cooking as well as finding the best deals, socializing and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. While our crew are usually experienced and knowledgeable they are not tour guides as such. Our trips pass through many countries and our tour leaders cannot be expected to have detailed knowledge of each countries history, flora and fauna and archaeological sites. Even so - they will be more than willing to pass on any interesting and useful information that they have acquired whilst on the road. A rewarding way to gain a better insight into the wildlife, cultural and historical diversity of the countries we travel through is by reading guide books as well as talking to the local people and using local guides.

Adventure travel can be unpredictable and occasionally our crew may have to amend the itinerary to take into account changing local circumstances or because of a delay at a border or because of circumstances outside our control. This can all lead to additional work and commitment for our crew who will do all they can to minimize any disruption to the trip. While our crew are essentially on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it has to be remembered that no one is actually expected to work these hours, so at Oasis we are realistic that within a trip there will be times when our crew need 'down time' and a chance to relax and 'let their hair down' as well. They are only human!


Optional Excursions are paid for on the day and organised during your trip, so you can decide whilst travelling which activity you may want to do. Prices listed are only a guide and may be dependant on fluctuating exchange rates and minimum numbers. Please see below for more details.

 

Brazil

Title From Price
Fumaca Falls & Hikes - Lencois US$50
Gold Mine Tour - Ouro Preto US$16
Guided Hikes - Taquarucu, from US$20
Kayaking - Ituanas US$15
Museums, Attractions & Entrances - Salvado, fromr US$5
Museums & Entrances - Porto Seguro US$2
Parque Nacional Marinho de Abrolhos - Rio Caravelas US$180
Serra dos Orgaos National Park & Hiking Trail Fee - Teresopolis US$12
Snorkelling or Diving Day Trips - Porto Seguro, from US$30
Waterfalls & Natural Bathing Pools - Navidade US$2
Jungle Trip (incl food & accom) - Manaus (price per day), from US$80
Teatro Amazonas Guided Tour - Manaus US$7
Rio Brando Day Trip (Boat & Hiking) - Boa Vista US$90

French Guiana

Title From Price
St Laurent du Maroni Transportation Camp Entrance US$10

Colombia

Title From Price
Cerro de Monserrate Cable Car - Bogota US$15
Chiva Bus Tour - Cartagena US$25
Coffee Farm Plantation Tour - Manizales US$20
Lost City Tour (6 days/5 nights) & transport to re-join group, from US$380
Museums, Attractions & Entrances - Bogota US$5
Parque Los Nevados Day Trip - from Manizales US$65
Santuario de las Lajas Museum - Ipiales US$1
Termales del Ruiz - Thermal Baths US$30

Venezuela

Title From Price
Angel Falls Flight / Canaima NP tour - 3 days/2 nights, from US$330
Canopy Tours - Merida US$10
Catatumbo "Lightening Lake" tour- overnight, from US$90
Canyoning - Merida US$55
Horse Riding - Merida US$80
Los Llanos Wetland Area - 4 days/3 nights (incl food & accom) US$180
Mount Roraima Guided Trek (6 days/5 nights), from US$400
Mountain Bike Trips - Merida, from US$30
Paragliding - Merida US$55
Zip-Lining - Merida US$10

We feel that having optional excursions gives a greater degree of flexibility and independence to our group members; independence to decide how much your spending budget can afford; flexibility to decide when and what time of day or with whom to visit a particular site, rather than for example, with the whole group at a pre-ordained time. If you decide not to join a popular excursion, you will have free time to relax or wander off to a market, village or beach, depending on where we are.

You pay for the optional excursions to the local operator, ensuring the money stays with that operator in the local community and this ensures as well, that you are paying the true price for any optional excursions you want to do. This also applies to accommodation costs before and after the trip. Please note that the prices of optional excursions quoted are approximate as local prices can and do change. Please see the relevant trip page for the Optional excursions you can do on that trip and a list of prices.


If you have more time to travel then why not consider BUENOS AIRES to RIO (18 days) Waterfalls, Wetlands & Wildlife

2021

Start Finish Special Events Availability Trip Price Local Payment   
Mon 04 Jan Wed 21 Apr Dates: Mon 04 Jan - Wed 21 Apr
Special Events: New Year - Beforehand Availability: Available Adult Price: £4995 Local Payment: US$2720 Book

2022

Start Finish Special Events Availability Trip Price Local Payment   
Tue 04 Jan Thu 21 Apr Dates: Tue 04 Jan - Thu 21 Apr
Special Events: New Year - Beforehand Availability: Available Adult Price: £4995 Local Payment: US$2720 Book

2023

Start Finish Special Events Availability Trip Price Local Payment   
Wed 04 Jan Fri 21 Apr Dates: Wed 04 Jan - Fri 21 Apr
Special Events: New Year - Beforehand Availability: Available Adult Price: £4995 Local Payment: US$2720 Book

If you would like to celebrate New Years Eve in Rio, we have accommodation packages available before your trip departure, this can be booked as an Add On.


Read reviews from previous Oasis Overland travellers.

RIO to QUITO via THE GUIANAS (15 weeks) Trans South America

Overall Rating
Review Date
Sep 2016
Reviewed by

Highlights : Salvador, countless waterfall visits, Venezuela in general (mount roraima trek in particular), and the Caribbean beaches of Colombia. Full on at times but the jaw dropping views make it all worth it.

108 days from £4,995

+ Local payment from US$2,720

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist
  • Travel Style
    Overland Adventure
  • Start Location
    Rio
  • End Location
    Quito
  • Region
    South America

A deposit of just £600 secures your place; full amount payable if booking within 10 weeks of departure.

Add Ons and Volunteer Projects

Rio New Year Accommodation: 30 Dec - 4 January - Brazil

£285

Extend your trip with a mini adventure

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