This 19 week budget friendly adventure tour visits iconic sights as well as remote areas of South America including the Amazon Jungle, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Bolivian Altiplano, Atacama Desert, Camino Austral, Torres del Paine, Ushuaia, Valdes Peninsula, Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. So sit back, relax and travel with us in a custom-built overland truck from the Caribbean coast of Colombia to the greatest show on earth, Brazils’ Rio Carnival!
This tour also runs in reverse from Rio de Janeiro to Cartagena.
In total you will visit 9 countries on this madventure including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil.
Price: £5609 Expedition Payment + $3000 Local Payment (£43 + $23 per day)
Length: 131 days, 130 nights
Accommodation: 55% hotels, guest houses and hostels, 45% camping
Meals: 130 breakfasts, 57 evening meals
Transport: 100% custom-built Madventure overland truck
Age restrictions: none, all ages are welcome
Group size: 25 is average, minimum is 15, maximum is 36
Our proposed itinerary is here to give you an idea of where we will be going and what we will be doing during this expedition. This itinerary is the ideal route we would like to take providing all political and natural situations are acceptable during the time of our travels. Situations sometimes change during an expedition so please be prepared to take an alternative route in the event we encounter any problems. It’s all part of the adventure!
For those travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Cartagena the itinerary below will be reversed.
If you can’t do the whole tour you are welcome to do a shorter section of your choice so please get in touch and we will be happy to work out a bespoke itinerary and reduced price for you.
This tour starts in the port town of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Legendary for both its outstanding beauty and fascinating history, this town really is a living museum of colonial Spanish architecture.
Please note that we depart Cartagena the day after the tour starts so if you would like more time here you should arrive a few days prior to departure.
From our base in Santa Marta you have the option to visit the stunning Tayrona National Park where a series of wildlife-rich forest trails lead you to palm-fringed beaches and coastal lagoons usually only seen on postcards.
We now move south to the vibrant city of Medellin where we have the chance to explore Pablo Escobar’s old stomping ground! Through amazing displays of graffiti Comuna 13 tells us the story of an area once controlled by narcos and paramilitaries.
In the Andean town of Salento you have the opportunity to explore the colourful buildings and craft shops that adorn the colonial town square. The area is also well-known for the Cocora Valley where you can hike amongst the lofty wax palm trees which are a home to rare parrots.
We continue to the perfectly preserved pearl of colonial architecture known as the White City, Popayan. This is a laid-back town where kicking back in a sidewalk cafe is a great way to pass the day. This is also the gateway to Purace National Park where you have the option to take a day tour to see condors and thermal springs amongst some of South America’s most beautiful scenery.
Our final stop in Colombia is at the Shrine of our Lady of Las Lajas, an impressive Roman Catholic church built inside a canyon and something you would expect to see in a Disney movie.
A short drive away we cross the border and enter Ecuador.
Our first stop in Ecuador is the colourful market town of Otavalo where traders flock to from as far away as Colombia to sell their animals, carpets, food, clothing and traditional crafts.
On our way to Quito we stop at the equator where you have the chance to visit an exhibit that explains all the facts about this area where you can also straddle the yellow line marking the boundary between the northern and southern hemispheres.
In the lively city of Quito wandering through the old town is a definite highlight where narrow alleyways open up into grand plazas displaying historic churches as well as the President’s Palace. This city also has fantastic bars and restaurants to keep you entertained at night.
Dropping steeply out of the Andes we now enter pristine Amazon rainforest where you have the option to join a guided Amazon jungle excursion which includes hiking, rafting, bat-caving and waterfall climbing. Those who opt not to take the jungle excursion can enjoy the region’s activities such as kayaking and hiking from our base in the small town of Archidona.
A little further up the road we reach Banos, a bustling town offering several adventurous activities such as horse riding, canyoning, mountain biking, rafting and bungee jumping. Kicking back in the hot springs is a good way to end the day.
The town of Cuenca is our well preserved last stop in Ecuador where a day on the open-top bus will show you all the sites of this historic colonial town. Adventurous eaters should try the succulent Cuy (roasted guinea pig), it’s a delicacy here!
We now drop out of the Andes on our way towards Peru.
The white sand beaches of northern Peru are our first stop where you have time to enjoy the surf and go swimming with wild green sea turtles.
In Huanchaco you can sample some of the best ceviche in the country where the fish are caught locally by fishermen using reed boats, a 3000 year old tradition.
Close to Huanchaco you have the option to visit the vast and unusually decorated crumbling ruins of Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world. This area also boasts fascinating pyramids and temples well worth a day’s exploration.
A winding road now leads us into the mountains to Huaraz where we get commanding views of the magnificent Andes mountain range. Here you have the opportunity to undertake day trips to hike the famous Laguna 69 trail, visit the ice-blue Laguna Paron and walk to the face of the Pastoruri Glacier.
Back down on the coast we visit Lima for a taste of bustling city life and a look into Peru’s history in the fabulous museums, churches and plazas that adorn the city. The beach area of Miraflores is a culinary delight not to be missed.
A little further south we visit the national marine reserve of Paracas from where you have the option to take a boat trip out to the Ballestas Islands which are home to sea-lions, penguins and thousands of seabirds.
En-route to Nazca we have a short stop at Huacachina, a desert oasis where you can enjoy views over the green lagoon waters to the high, rolling sand dunes where the adventurous can take a dune buggy and go sandboarding.
The mysterious Nazca Lines are our next attraction where you have the option to take an exhilarating flight for an aerial view of pictures of whales, monkeys, spiders and even spacemen made by stones laid out on the desert floor.
Close to Nazca we take an afternoon to visit the mummified remains of ancient tribesmen at Chauchilla Cemetery and also the Cahuachi Pyramids, once an important ceremonial centre for Nazca culture.
Our journey back into the Andes now leads us to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco. This colonial town is abuzz with energy and its beautiful squares, plentiful nightlife and wonderful restaurants make it a great place to explore and live it up a little! It is also from here that you will start one of your greatest optional excursions, the Inca Trail. This exhilarating 2 or 4 day hike lives up to its reputation for stunning scenery and ends at one of the world’s most beautiful sites, Machu Picchu.
On our way out of Cusco at a staggering 5200 m above sea level you now have the option to visit the Rainbow Mountains, a multicoloured marvel of nature.
We continue to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. From here you will get to see condors riding the early morning thermals, flying by at eye level providing great photo opportunities.
The charming city of Arequipa boasts beautiful churches, colonial plazas, lively markets and mouth-watering cuisine for us to enjoy during our 2 night stay here.
Our last stop in Peru is at the small town of Puno situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Here you have the option of visiting the nearby floating reed islands where you can meet some of the native inhabitants, many of whom have never set foot on land!
Hugging the shores of Lake Titicaca we now head to Bolivia.
Our first stop in Bolivia is La Paz, a bustling city where much of the street space is taken up by native women in bowler hats and voluminous skirts squatted down selling everything from fake designer jeans to coca leaves. There is even a witches market where you can find dried llama foetuses, magical love potions and an array of other weird and wonderful concoctions.
From La Paz you also have the option to cycle down the world’s most dangerous road, a hair-raising experience that follows a track carved into the side of a mountain.
We continue to Sucre, Bolivia’s most beautiful city set in a valley and surrounded by mountains. This is the proud heart of the nation and its whitewashed buildings are well-preserved vestiges of glorious colonial architecture.
A short drive away we now reach Potosi, once the wealthiest city in the world due to its prolific silver mines. The mines still operate today and you have the option to take a tour into the depths of the mines through a series of tunnels and shafts where you can even buy dynamite and have a go at your own excavations!
We continue to the tumbleweed town of Uyuni where we stay in a hotel made out of salt from the nearby Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats. From here you have the option to visit the salt flats in a 4×4 jeep for an other-worldly experience of bizarre rock formations, cacti-studded islands and bright-white salt.
Our journey now takes us on a 3 day off-road adventure across the Bolivian altiplano, a high-altitude plateau of multi-coloured mountains, hardy wildlife, steaming geysers and towering volcanoes. This really is one of South America’s highlights!
The sandy desert tracks of the altiplano now lead us over the Andes and into Chile.
We drop steeply out of the Andes into our first Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama, located in the world’s driest desert. This dusty frontier town is straight out of a spaghetti western and the relatively low altitude brings a welcome change in weather.
Desert meets ocean and we follow a coastal route taking in magnificent scenery and enjoy the stunning beaches of Pan de Azucar National Park from where boat trips are on offer to explore the rich sea-life of otters, seals, sea lions and birds.
Further south we reach the capital, Santiago. The city’s tree lined streets and wonderful architecture create a serene atmosphere but dig a little deeper and you discover a vibrant social scene. Huge coffee houses, tiny rock bars, sumptuous cuisine at restaurants like the Fat Cow and streets crammed full of late night dance clubs all make Santiago unforgettable.
As we continue south we notice a distinct change of scenery as the desert gives way to beautiful turquoise lakes and pine clad mountainsides. Pucon is a small Swiss-like lakeside town where we base ourselves for a few days to enjoy the area’s rafting and hiking. The really adventurous have the chance to trek up the active Villarica volcano.
Southern Chile is the beginning of our journey along the Camino Austral, a stunning route that takes us on ferries through beautiful fjords, dirt tracks that lead us to remote villages and national parks that offer unsurpassed views of the Patagonian wilderness.
Futaleufu is our first stop on the Camino Austral and is a world-class destination for fishing, kayaking and whitewater rafting, and actually boasts having the world’s most dangerous river.
Weather permitting, you now have the option to visit the Hanging Glacier where you can trek up to the viewpoint of a glacier creeping over a cliff-face with a gushing waterfall pouring out of it.
The town of Coyhaique is a friendly outpost where you have an afternoon to visit the regional museum and get a better understanding of this gateway to remote southern Chile. The 6 lagoons tour is an option for those who want to take in some more amazing scenery.
From our base in Rio Tranquilo you have the option to visit the stunning San Rafael Glacier as well as explore the bizarre marble caves on the shores of Lago General Carrera.
Settlements now become few and far between as we continue our journey south towards Argentina.
Our first stop in Argentina is at Cueva de las Manos (cave of the hands) where we get to see an exceptional amount of cave art dating back 13,000 years.
We continue to the village of El Chalten in Los Glaciares National Park where you have a couple of days to explore the trails surrounding the iconic peaks of Mt. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.
From our base in El Calafate you now have the option to visit the incredible Perito Moreno glacier where you can take a breathtaking boat trip through the glacial waterways or even put on crampons for an hour of glacier trekking.
We now head back to Chile.
We now cross back into Chile to visit one of South America’s most iconic national parks, Torres del Paine. Our idyllic campsite next to a turquoise glacial lake affords us stupendous views of the jagged mountain peaks towering skywards and the hiking here is stunning!
After crossing the Magellan Strait into Tierra del Fuego, providing the reserve is open, we now visit a King Penguin Colony where you can learn all about these adorable creatures that randomly made Bahia Inutil their home in 2010.
A short distance away we now enter Argentina again.
Dramatically wedged between huge mountains and the icy Beagle Channel, the end of the world town of Ushuaia is our base for exploring the region’s highlights. Activities such as trekking, kayaking, fishing, wildlife watching and boat cruising are popular day trips and the seafood restaurants lining the ocean-front are simply divine. This is also the closest land point to Antarctica.
Back on the mainland we now start our journey through eastern Patagonia, probably the most barren and windswept landscape that you will ever encounter. Breaking the trip up is Valdes Peninsula, one of the planet’s most significant marine reserves. This area is home to thousands of sea lions, elephant seals and penguins. Preying upon all these are the magnificent orcas and (if you are lucky enough) their beach attacks are a spectacle not to be missed.
Our journey continues north up to the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, where glorious architecture, wide tree-lined streets and open-air tango shows are but a few of the city’s attributes. Culturally, this is the place to be with exquisite restaurants, interesting museums and fabulous music concerts.
We now cross the border into Uruguay.
Uruguay is one of South America’s best kept secrets. The broad cobbled streets of the historic Colonia del Sacramento is a world away from the busy streets of Buenos Aires and is a relaxing first stop here.
Further east we reach the capital Montevideo, a pleasant city with a great food market where you can dine on seafood and meats prepared by butchers and fishermen in the heart of an old railway station.
The beaches of Punta del Este are our next stop and are amongst the best on the continent.
The thermal pools of Salto are our final destination here before returning to Argentina.
We now enter a vast system of wetlands known as the Esteros del Ibera where you have the chance to spot wildlife such as caiman, capybara, marsh deer, howler monkeys, boas, the rare maned wolf and over 300 species of birds.
We now head towards Paraguay.
Our first stop is at the friendly town of Trinidad where you have the opportunity to explore the nearby ruins of Jesuit Missions on an optional day tour.
Further north we reach the lively capital of Asuncion, blissfully located on the banks of the Rio Paraguay. The city is full of bustling markets selling everything from cheap electronic equipment to Paraguayan fast-food and also boasts some wonderful museums and intricate architecture.
On our journey east we get a flavour of the Paraguayan countryside before crossing the border into Brazil.
Iguazu waterfalls are perhaps the most impressive in the world being more than 3 km wide and 80 m high with 275 falls plunging and crashing off a series of tiers. Power boating around the falls is a must if you don’t mind getting wet. We spend a couple of days here giving you the opportunity to explore the falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian side. Helicopter rides can give you a bird’s eye view of the falls and if you enjoy a bit of nightlife the popular Brazilian theme evening is a great way to see the capoeira dancers (martial arts dancing) and sample the famous Brazilian churrascaria, a meat lovers feast!
We now head for the beautiful Brazilian coast where we camp in the colonial village of Paraty. Here the steep jungled mountains seem to leap into a sea filled with hundreds of islands and jutting peninsulas. Mobile one-man bars wander the cobbled streets mixing up caipirinhas to cool down weary travellers returning from the islands. The place is quite simply idyllic!
A couple of days relaxing in Paraty puts us in good stead for the non-stop party we are about to attend in Rio de Janeiro. For 4 days the city is absolutely effervescent and the carnival atmosphere is electric! Days can be enjoyed on the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana and wild nights can be spent dancing at the Sambadrome. Pao de Acucar and Cristo Redentor offer unparalleled views of what is known locally as the Marvellous City, a fitting final destination for an incredible journey from Caragena to Rio Overland!
This tour ends upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro so we advise you to book your accommodation in Rio well in advance as hotels can fill up quickly during carnival.
If you would like to extend your trip and join us before Cartagena our truck travels through Alaska, Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama before reaching Colombia so you can add on any of those places should you wish to.
We are happy to create a bespoke itinerary and price for you so please feel free to contact us to discuss all options.
If you can’t do the whole tour you are welcome to do a shorter section of your choice so please get in touch and we will be happy to work out a bespoke itinerary and reduced price for you.
HOW TO BOOK
To make a booking please fill in our online booking form and then pay a £300 deposit by Bank Transfer, Paypal, Wise or Credit/Debit Card.
Once we receive your online booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking by email and send you all relevant information necessary for your expedition preparations.
The Expedition Payment of £5609 is the main bulk payment for your expedition and is payable in the UK in GBP (£ Sterling). In order to reserve a place on this expedition you must pay a £300 deposit. Eight months prior to departure a further payment of £2000 must be paid to secure your booking. The final balance of your Expedition Payment £3309 must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date. If you book between 4 to 8 months prior to the departure date a deposit of £2300 should be paid upon booking. If you book within 4 months of the departure date the full Expedition Payment of £5609 should be paid upon booking.
The Expedition Payment can be paid by Bank Transfer, Paypal, Wise or Credit/Debit Card.
Bank Details for Direct Transfers
Please use your full name as a reference when paying by direct transfer.
Account name: Madventure Ltd.
Sort code: 400810
Account number: 91618415
IBAN : GB14HBUK40081091618415
Swift/Bank BIC: HBUKGB4B
Branch BIC: HBUKGB4116A
Bank address: HSBC Bank, 6 High Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AZ, United Kingdom
Please use your full name as a reference when paying by Paypal.
Paypal account name: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t have a Paypal account? Create one now – www.paypal.com
Please use your full name as a reference when paying by Wise.
Wise offers a cheap and fast international money transfer service where you can choose to make a payment using either your bank account or credit/debit card.
Don’t have a Wise account? Create one now – www.wise.com
Credit/Debit Card Payments
Call us on +44 7712 225 438 in order to make a Credit/Debit Card payment over the phone.
This is a cash payment of USD $3000 that must be paid to your expedition leader at the beginning of your trip and will be used to pay for expenses while you are on the road.
Please bear in mind that this is not a kitty and is not refundable. The local payment is simply a way for us to get cash to the expedition leaders so they can run the trip.
Please bring your local payment in new unmarked $100 bills if possible.
Although all local payment amounts are advertised in USD you can bring the equivalent amount in either EUROS or GBP.
Below is a list of the most popular optional excursions along with the most recent prices. Prices can of course change and are not controlled in any way by Madventure so please use the list below as an approximate guide only. Prices are shown in USD.
Cartagena pirate ship boat trip $35
Tayrona National Park day tour $30
Cocora Valley return transport $20
Purace National Park day tour $70
Equator exhibit $5
2 day Amazon jungle excursion $150
White water rafting in jungle $50
Horse riding (per hour), Banos $15
Mountain biking, Banos $30
Canyoning and rappelling, Banos $60
Bungee jump, Banos $20
Cuenca open top bus $10
Swimming with green sea turtles $15
Chan Chan ruins day tour $25
Laguna Paron day tour $50
Laguna 69 hike $50
Pastoruri Glacier tour $30
Ballestas Islands boat tour $15
Huacachina sandboarding and dune buggy tour $30
Nazca lines flight $70
Cusco tourist ticket giving access to all main sites $35
Sacred valley day tour, Cusco $80
4 day Inca trail and Machu Picchu $750
2 day Inca trail and Machu Picchu $600
Lake Titicaca islands day tour $25
Cycling the world’s most dangerous road $125
Silver mine tour, Potosi $20
Uyuni salt flats day tour $30
Valley of the moon, Atacama desert $50
Pan de Azucar National Park boat tour $20
Wine tasting tour, Santiago $70
Villarica volcano climb, Pucon $140
White water rafting, Pucon $50
Horse riding (per hour), Pucon $20
Trout fishing day trip, Pucon $100
White water rafting, Futaleufu $90
6 Lagunas tour, Coyhaique $40
San Rafael Glacier boat tour $180
Marble caves boat tour $15
Ferry to Torres del Paine hiking trails (one way) $30
King Penguin reserve $15
Perito Moreno Glacier day trip, El Calafate $50
Perito Moreno Glacier mini-trekking, El Calafate $300
Beagle Channel boat tour, Ushuaia $40
Buenos Aires tango and dinner show $100
Esteros del Ibera wetlands boat tour $15
Iguazu Falls $15
Mercado del Puerto meal, Montevideo $30
Jesuit Missions ruins day tour, Trinidad $20
Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls $20
Helicopter flight over Iguazu Falls $120
Paraty boat day trip $25
Sambadrome grandstand carnival ticket $25
We will be travelling in a purpose-built Madventure overland vehicle 100% of the time on this expedition. A standard bus simply wouldn’t be able to tackle many of the roads we travel on.
The overland vehicle we use is a custom-built expedition truck which can accommodate up to 36 people although most of our expeditions travel with approximately 25 people.
Comfort and safety is of course a big factor during expeditions of this length and nature so all our vehicles have high-backed coach seats with safety belts. The seating is on the upper level of the vehicle giving you an almost 360° view of the surrounding scenery.
Our vehicles are designed to allow sufficient luggage storage and are also equipped with lockers to keep all your gear safe.
Our long range diesel and water tanks ensure our self sufficiency in remote areas and the equipment we take with us is also of vital importance. In case of a breakdown we are equipped with a good selection of spare parts as well as a comprehensive tool kit to undertake any necessary repairs on our own as and when we need to.
There may also be times when we get stuck in the sand or mud when travelling off road so all necessary recovery equipment such as sand mats, cables, ropes, shovels and pickaxes are also on board.
We spend a lot of nights around the campfire so we take along good axes and saws for the times when we have to replenish our wood supply.
We usually carry 400 litres of treated drinking water and we are equipped with a good kitchen which includes all cutlery, plates, cups, pots and pans, utensils, gas cooker, BBQ grate, etc.
Our vehicles are equipped with a small fridge which is used for the cook group’s breakfast and dinner food only. For personal food and drinks we have cooler boxes for everyone to use.
Comfortable fold up chairs are provided for outdoor seating and we also have a large tarpaulin to keep us dry on those rainy days.
We carry a portable shower and shower tent so you can take a shower every day on this tour if you like, even when we are wild camping in remote areas.
Our vehicles are equipped with USB charging points only so try and bring all of your important electronic devices such as telephone, tablet and head-torch to charge from a USB socket. We do not have a 120V or 240V power supply on the vehicle but you will have the opportunity to charge your 120/240V electronic equipment at the hotels we stay at.
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit for emergencies but we recommend you bring your own for general use.
Eating well is a very important factor on our expeditions and good food is vital for everyone’s health and well-being. When we are camping we usually cook breakfast and the evening meal on the vehicle. For lunch we usually stop at a cheap local restaurant giving you a chance to taste the local fare. Occasionally we may prepare lunch on the vehicle when we are in remote areas.
When staying in hotels (usually in cities) we always strive to provide you with one healthy, wholesome and plentiful meal every day, usually breakfast at the hotel. Lunches and evening meals are at your own expense when we stay in hotels. Local food is generally very cheap so if you are on a budget then eat what the locals eat. Western restaurants tend to be more expensive.
When it comes to shopping and cooking while camping we will divide ourselves up into groups of 3 or 4 people (depending on group size) who will do their own fresh food shopping, prepare the day’s meals and clean up at the end. This will work out that you roughly get to cook once every 10 days (depending on the group size).
Fresh food is generally available daily so when we are camping we try to eat meat and vegetables for every main evening meal. We do cater to vegetarians but we do not cater to vegans or fussiness. In these group situations everybody must appreciate we cannot cater to restrictive diets or individual likes and dislikes.
Don’t worry if you are not a gourmet cook as your crew are also always there to give advice.
Our vehicles are equipped with a small fridge which is used for the cook group’s breakfast and dinner food only. For personal food and drinks we have cooler boxes for everyone to use.
Cleanliness plays an important role throughout this expedition and your crew will make sure an acceptable level of general hygiene is maintained throughout your journey to ensure the wellbeing of the group.
You will spend 55% of the time on this expedition staying in local hotels, guest houses and hostels. The other 45% of the time you will be in your tent camping.
Quite often we will wild camp by ourselves out in the bush or in the desert and other times we will use designated campsites with amenities. The majority of our wild camp locations are usually very scenic and we always strive to find the perfect spot on the banks of a river, overlooking a canyon, behind a dune in the desert, on a remote beach, etc. but sometimes we just have to camp wherever we can find a spot.
From past experience on expeditions of this length and nature we have found that people prefer to supply their own tents as they are then not forced to share and they can pick a tent that suits their needs. As a general rule, try and choose a good quality lightweight and waterproof free-standing tent that is easy to erect, take down and carry.
At some of the campsites there are upgrade options available so should you prefer not to camp or you just want some time alone you can sometimes rent yourself a private room at your own expense.
When we are not camping (usually in cities) we always try to use decent, clean budget hotels, guest houses and hostels, however, taking into consideration the sometimes unpredictable nature of this expedition and the remoteness of some of the areas we visit, please be aware that in some circumstances we just have to take what we can get, good or bad. When staying in hotels, guest houses and hostels you can expect to share your room with other expedition members of both sexes.
There is usually an opportunity for anyone to upgrade to a single room or a superior room if they so wish. All accommodation upgrades are at your own expense.
1. Your contract is with Madventure Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Company No. 6809461) whose office is at 10 Ablett Close, Oxford, OX4 1XH, United Kingdom.
2. A deposit of £300 is payable at the time of booking. The deposit is non-refundable unless Madventure is unable to offer you a place or you cancel within 14 days of the initial booking date. Madventure guarantees not to increase the tour price once the deposit has been received.
3. A booking is made in the name of the client and is not transferable to another person. You are only permitted to transfer your deposit once to a future tour, after that a further £300 non-refundable deposit will be required to book another tour. Please note that you will be affected if you have transferred and there is a price increase as you will have to pay the current tour price at the time that the tour balance payment is due.
4. Eight months prior to departure a further payment must be received to cover 50% of the total tour price in order to secure your booking. This payment is non-refundable unless we can not provide the tour. The final 50% balance of your tour payment must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the tour start date at which time the tour will be confirmed to run. Once the tour is confirmed to run you will not receive any refunds of any monies paid. If the full payment is not received 4 months prior to departure Madventure may deem the booking cancelled and all monies paid will be forfeited. If you book within the 4 to 8 month period prior to departure a non-refundable 50% deposit of the total tour price should be paid upon booking. If you book within the 4 month period prior to departure the full non-refundable 100% tour payment must be paid upon booking.
5. Cancellation of a booking must be notified in writing and when received by Madventure any monies paid will be forfeited. You acknowledge that payment for the tour is an intrinsic part of the tour’s income and contributes towards the overall costs of equipment, vehicle running costs, staff administration, travel permits, etc. and Madventure will have incurred a large part of its costs before the actual departure date. You will not receive a refund of any amount after the tour has been confirmed to run (which will usually happen no later than 4 months prior to the tour departing). We therefore recommend you take out your travel insurance from the date you make your final tour balance payment, 4 months prior to departure, so you are insured if you have to withdraw off the tour. If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.
6. It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your tour, but we do plan all tours many months in advance. Occasionally, we may have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you of them at the earliest possible date. We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your tour. For example, if the minimum number of clients required for a particular tour is not reached, we may have to cancel it. However, we will not cancel your tour less than 4 months before your departure date (except for reasons of Force Majeure). If we are unable to provide the tour for any reason you can either have a full refund of all monies paid within 14 working days of the tour being cancelled or accept an offer of an alternative tour of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). In the event of the tour being cancelled prior to departure, all monies paid by you towards the tour cost only will be refunded. In the event of a cancellation Madventure is not responsible for reimbursing equipment, flights, visa costs, vaccinations, medication, etc. purchased by yourself so we therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance to ensure these types of expenses are covered under the terms of your insurance policy as you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.
7. In the unlikely event of a Force Majeure situation that forces us to cancel the tour within 4 months of the planned departure date because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, you can either have a full refund of all monies paid within 14 working days of the tour being cancelled or accept an offer of an alternative tour of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). In the unlikely event of a Force Majeure situation that forces us to cancel or change the tour while it is underway because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control we will not refund you or pay you compensation, so we therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for the tour cancellation while underway is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company. Force Majeure situations can include, for example, war, riot, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, epidemics, pandemics, health risks, closed or congested airports, ports or stations, poor local infrastructure, changes imposed by rescheduling or cancellation of transport by the transport supplier such as flights by airlines or main charterer, the alteration of transport or transport types, adverse weather conditions (actual or threatened), avalanche and technical failure with transport, Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice changing and advising against travel to the tour destination.
8. If you choose to leave the tour for any reason on your own accord once the tour is underway you will not receive any compensation from Madventure including any refunds of the tour payment and/or the local payment. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for your departure is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.
9. We reserve the right at any time prior to the departure date, without prior consultation with yourself, to merge your tour with one or more other tours travelling at the same time. This will not constitute a major change and would usually just mean swapping vehicles.
10. The tour payment and local payment cover transport, accommodation, some related ferry and train tickets, meals and national park entry fees as specified on the website, repair of our expedition vehicle as well as repair and replacement of camping equipment including stools, cooking equipment & utensils.
11. The tour leader has sole responsibility for the local payment. Any local payment monies or stock remaining at the tour end are non-refundable.
12. You undertake to comply with the laws and regulations, whether in respect of health, immigration, currency exchange control, dress or any other matter of all the countries visited during the tour.
13. You undertake to obtain a valid passport and have enough blank pages in the passport for the tour and your specific passport and visa requirements. Immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. We do not accept any responsibility and shall not be liable if you cannot travel or cannot participate in any part of the tour because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. You are responsible for obtaining and having available the necessary documents (including but not limited to full, current passport with enough blank pages to complete the trip and valid for at least 9 months from the last day of the tour and visas for all periods, countries and territories within the tour) enabling you to participate in the tour and shall comply with all local legislation and regulations of the countries in which the tour takes place (including immigration requirements, customs regulations and currency exchange). You shall indemnify us against any loss or expense that we may incur or suffer as a result of breach of this condition by you. We cannot guarantee visa prices and availability of visas. Ultimately visas are your own responsibility to obtain.
14. Madventure reserves the right to deviate from the advertised tour route if in their reasonable opinion such deviation is necessary for the safety or well-being of any or any one of the members of the tour or for the satisfactory progress of the tour. In the event of it becoming necessary to fly over a country or countries in order to satisfactorily and safely continue the tour, all costs of your flights will be borne by yourself.
15. Madventure accepts no responsibility for matters arising out of political disputes, border closures, epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters, climate, armed robbery, terrorism, etc. Should it become necessary to abandon a tour because of such an event Madventure will be entitled to retain all monies paid. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.
16. You accept that owing to the nature of countries visited, all tours involve an element of personal risk and are of a potentially hazardous and unpredictable nature. In many countries we visit, the basic infrastructure, such as roads, is very poor and therefore less safe than that familiar to people from many western countries. In particular, lack of road markings or warning signs, unmarked speed bumps, seasonal flooding of roads and bridges, local vehicles which are poorly maintained and driven and which are hazardous to other road users etc. are factors beyond the control of Madventure. You accept that in some areas we drive off-road and that this involves personal risk when the expedition vehicle can be negotiating rough terrain. Madventure owns and operates many of its own expedition vehicles and employs its own crew. Where stated, locally arranged transport and crew, including trains, ferries, buses or coaches are used. Where Madventure’s own vehicles and/or crew are not used for the above services, you agree that the obligation of Madventure to yourself is to select normally competent, independent subcontractors to provide the necessary services related to the tour and to exercise reasonable care in selecting such suppliers to provide these. You also accept that you undertake this tour at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
17. You accept that local emergency facilities are usually of a very limited nature. Hospitals outside of large cities often have no accident and emergency facilities and emergency transport facilities can be non-existent.
18. If you have a problem during your trip please inform the tour leader immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally please follow this up by emailing or writing to our office giving all other relevant information and, where possible, evidence. We must receive any such complaint no later than 28 days from the date of completion of your tour in order to take appropriate action. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you.
19. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any personal possessions (including but not limited to cameras, jewellery, valuables and money) which is carried on or in our vehicles, carried on public transport or transport supplied by independent subcontractors, left in accommodation provided by us or our suppliers during a trip or left in our care during a tour. Such items are carried and/or left at your own risk.
20. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on our tour are not part of your tour arrangements provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator. You accept that the prices quoted for optional activities are approximate as local prices can and do change. Any of the optional activities listed are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Madventure. You also accept that you undertake any activity at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
21. Whilst a tour is in progress you will at all times be expected to act in accordance with all reasonable instructions from us and/or the tour leader. We may exclude you from the tour or any part thereof at any time (including during the tour itself) if we are of the opinion that you are likely to prejudice the good order, discipline or safety of the tour, including as a result of failing to comply with the tour leader’s instructions, breaking any law or regulation of any country where the tour takes place or failing to adhere to the tour code of conduct, provided that we exercise our discretion reasonably in this regard. In such an event you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result of our decision to exclude you from the tour, and Madventure shall cease to have any responsibility to/for you. No refund will be given for any unused services.
22. By completing the booking form you confirm that you appreciate the risks involved in the tour and that you do not suffer (or have ever suffered) from any pre-existing medical condition that may prevent you from actively participating in the tour other than those that have been declared to us. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are medically fit enough to undertake the tour and to ensure that you have received the necessary vaccinations and medications (and taken them as prescribed by your doctor) relevant to the destination country. Unless informed otherwise in writing we will assume that you are in good health and are not aware of any reason why you may be unsuitable to take part in the tour. We recommend that you consult your doctor before making a booking to ensure that you are medically fit and are fully aware regarding the immunizations and medical issues related to your destination countries. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, illness or disability, are undergoing medical treatment or, since entering into the contract, develop any medical condition, illness or disability or undergo any medical treatment; you will give us full particulars at the earliest opportunity and at the latest sixty (60) days before the departure date. If it is later discovered that a pre-existing condition was not declared within the specified time, and such condition would, if we had knowledge of it, have led to our refusal to accept or to cancel your booking, we reserve the right to withdraw you from the trip without any refund or recompense. In such an event, you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result. In the event of you being withdrawn from a tour, no refunds will be given and we will not be responsible for (and you agree to indemnify us against) any costs, claims, losses and expenses arising including costs of repatriation, eg. flights and legal expenses. By agreeing to these conditions, you provide your consent to us and our insurers obtaining your medical records should we consider it necessary. You will be responsible for any charges for the provision of the information. We reserve the right to inspect your vaccination book at any time and to withdraw you from the tour in the event that you have not received and/or taken all the requisite inoculations and/or medication. If the information provided by you is incorrect and we discover that the correct information affects your suitability to take part in the tour, we may terminate the contract and withdraw you from the tour without refund or recompense, including during the trip. You agree and acknowledge that certain activities undertaken whilst you are on the tour may be inherently hazardous and have risks associated with them. You agree to abide by all instructions given to you whilst you are on the tour and you acknowledge that we cannot be held responsible for any injuries that may arise as a result of you failing to comply with such instructions.
23. You must be covered by personal travel insurance to undertake any Madventure tour. We recommend you take out a travel insurance policy that covers you fully against the cost of tour cancellation by you or by Force Majeure, medical care and repatriation should you become too ill to continue and above all covers you against the cost of air evacuation should sickness or injury necessitate such a course of action. You should also note that passenger liability insurance covering vehicles, particularly in third world countries, may be inadequate. It is therefore important that your travel insurance cover makes sufficient provision for your dependents in the event of an accident. Please note however that we have no control over the availability or standard of medical and repatriation services and facilities in the areas we visit and these do not form any part of our contract with you. Please remember that many of the areas we visit are not as developed as the UK and the availability and standard of such services may well be lower. Please read your travel insurance policy details carefully and take them with you when you travel. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check individual insurance policies for suitability.
24. It is understood that on the Madventure tours where we use our own expedition vehicles the sections of the tour that travel through Europe, USA, Canada and Mexico are provided to you free of charge. You will not have to pay any additional fee to travel through Europe, USA, Canada and Mexico with us but it is understood that we do not operate for hire and reward in these areas. We do this purely as a legality in order to operate our specialised overland vehicle in these areas legally.
25. Privacy & Data Protection – we shall ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect your personal data (as defined in the European GDPR act 2018 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018) and we do not store our customers financial details. When you make a booking, you do however consent to all the information you provide being passed on to our suppliers, agents, subcontractors, employees or volunteers whether based inside or outside of Europe for the purposes of us providing you with the tour.
26. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you consent (unless otherwise stated on your application form) to our staff taking photographs and or video footage of you during the tour and that these images may be used by us for publicity and training purposes including, but not limited to, brochures, websites, marketing material and in the media.
27. We shall be entitled to novate or assign the contract or any part of it to any third party. You shall not be entitled to assign the contract or any part of it. This contract is made on the terms of these conditions, which are governed by English law, and subject to the provisions of condition you agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. If any of these conditions is found by any court or other competent authority to be wholly or partly unfair or unenforceable the validity of the rest of the booking conditions and the rest of the condition in question shall not be affected and shall remain valid and enforceable to the extent permitted by law. A reference in these conditions to a statute, convention or regulation shall be as a reference to that statute convention or regulation as amended, re-enacted or extended at the relevant time. The headings in these conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation. Where the context otherwise requires, words importing the singular meaning shall include the plural meaning and vice versa and words denoting the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders. Where the context so admits, words denoting persons shall include natural persons, companies, corporations, firms, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, joint trips, trusts, voluntary associations and other incorporated and/or unincorporated bodies or other entities (in each case, whether or not having separate legal personality) and all such words shall be construed interchangeably in that manner.
28. The information given on the website, on social media, in newsletters, in the brochure and other literature supplied is given in good faith but no warranty is given that it is correct.
29. No servant, agent or authorised representative of Madventure has authority to commit Madventure to any liability whatsoever and Madventure will not be bound by any statement or representation unless it is in writing and signed by one of the directors.
30. ABTA – We are members of ABTA, membership no. Y6801. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com
31. Financial Protection – In accordance with the UK Package Travel & Linked Travel Regulations 2018, Directive (EU) 2015/2302 or the local applicable law in the country of residence of the passenger(s) booking with Madventure Ltd are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies received by us, including repatriation costs and arrangements, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Madventure Ltd.
The respective laws according to the country of residence of the passenger(s) usually only requires us to provide cover for Package & Linked Travel Arrangements, there is no requirement for Financial Protection of day trips or single elements, and none is provided unless the local law requires such. If you have questions on this then please contact Madventure Ltd.
Madventure Ltd has taken out an insurance provided by International Passenger Protection Ltd (IPP) with Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE (LMIE) trading as Liberty Specialty Markets, a member of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. LMIE’s registered office: 5-7 rue Leon Laval, L-3372, Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Registered Number B232280 (Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés). LMIE is a European public limited liability company and is supervised by the Commissariat aux Assurances and licensed by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance as an insurance and reinsurance company. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Madventure Ltd.
In the event of our insolvency please make contact as soon as practically possible giving full details of what has happened quoting the name of your Travel Operator:
For UK & Worldwide excluding EU Passengers
IPP Claims at Sedgwick
Telephone: +44 (0) 345 266 1872
or online at http://www.ipplondon.co.uk/claims.asp
For EU Passengers
IPP Claims at Sedgwick
Telephone: +31 103120666
or online at https://www.ipplondon.co.uk/claims.asp
We recommend a budget of £120 – £150 per person per week to live comfortably during this expedition. This budget should cover day to day things like lunches, snacks, soft drinks, meals when not camping, the odd few beers, etc.
Budget approximately £100 for your visas.
Souvenirs are something that can be very cheap or very expensive so if you are going to be buying things like silk carpets you should budget for it.
Please also have a look at our Optional Excursions list as you may want to budget for a few of those activities too.
We recommend you bring 1/3 of your money in cash US Dollars and the rest of your money on your credit/debit card.
They generally accept all major currencies for exchange but US Dollars are accepted everywhere.
ATM’s are widely available for you to draw local currency using your credit/debit card.
To keep your money/credit cards/ipad/camera/laptop safe we recommend you purchase a ‘Pacsafe Travelsafe’ product. They offer various size portable anti-theft bags that can be attached to the vehicle when travelling and also attached to the toilet/bed/closet in your hotel room when off the vehicle.
Below is general information and recommendations regarding visas and passports. Visas are ultimately your own responsibility to obtain and visa requirements may vary according to your nationality and place of application, so use the information below as a guide only. Madventure is in no way responsible for obtaining your visas or passports.
For most nationalities all visas on this expedition can easily be obtained at borders and most are currently free. Some nationalities may require a couple of visas before arrival at a border and these are best obtained en-route just before entering.
Americans will need a visa for Bolivia which is best obtained en-route in Lima.
Australians will need a visa for Chile which is best obtained en-route in Lima.
American and Australian passport holders should budget approximately £100 for these visas.
Please ensure you have 5 blank pages in your passport in order to accommodate all the visas and stamps, and ensure your passport is valid for at least 11 months after your departure date.
You will need approximately 4 passport photos for the duration of the expedition.
You will need a digital colour copy of your passport, a digital colour passport photograph and Covid 19 vaccinated travellers will need a digital colour copy of your Covid 19 vaccination certificate with QR code (all 5 – 100 Kb in size) downloaded onto your phone/tablet/laptop in order to apply for some visas and to cross some borders.
Vaccination requirements are constantly changing so we recommend you seek the latest professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure to ensure you allow yourself enough time to obtain all necessary vaccinations. Nomad Travel’s website has up-to-date information on vaccinations, malaria and other general medical advice for all the countries we will be visiting and they also administer vaccinations at their travel clinics in various locations in the UK.
Alternatively speak with your local health professionals for current accurate information. You will need to make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic and take a list of the countries you are visiting with the approximate dates when you will be there.
It is not a requirement to be vaccinated against Covid 19 to join this tour but please be aware that travellers who are not vaccinated against Covid 19 may be required to show a negative PCR test at certain borders before being allowed to enter the country. This requirement has become less necessary over the last year but please bear in mind that Madventure is not responsible for border control procedures so if you are asked to show a negative PCR test that would be your own responsibility.
Travellers who are vaccinated against Covid 19 should bring an up to date Covid 19 vaccination certificate displaying a valid QR code with you as it may be required to enter some countries on this trip. Please also have a digital colour copy of your Covid 19 vaccination certificate with QR code downloaded to your phone/tablet/laptop in order to show health officials at some borders.
An up to date Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate should be brought with you as it is sometimes required to enter certain countries on this tour.
MEDICALLY FIT & ABLE
You need to be in good general health for this expedition and be reasonably fit and able. The main concern is that everyone is able to pitch in equally and do their fair share when it comes to group activities like the communal cooking and cleaning up, packing gear in and out of the vehicle, erecting your own tent, etc. You do not need to be super-fit by any means and all ages are welcome. We always attract a very broad age range on these expeditions, from people in their 20’s through to people in their 70’s.
Please inform us of any medical conditions that you have before departure so that your crew know how to deal with a medical situation if it should arise. All information will be kept confidential unless you request us to inform your fellow travellers. For example, it may be wise to inform fellow travellers if you are allergic to something like bee-stings so they know what to do if you get stung.
FIRST AID KIT
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit aboard the vehicle but it is recommended that you bring your own basic first aid kit for general use.
It is compulsory that every person who travels with Madventure obtain travel insurance for the complete duration of the tour. Proof of travel insurance must be shown before joining a tour.
You may be covered under your credit card’s travel insurance so it might be worth checking with your credit card provider first.
There are various travel insurance companies to choose from and a Google search will bring up a vast selection but for a comprehensive reliable policy that includes Covid Cover and Medical Repatriation we recommend a London based company named Campbell Irvine, Telephone: +44 20 7938 1734, https://microsite.
For people based in North America a company called Allianz offers good cover – Telephone: +1 866 884 3556, www.allianztravelinsurance.com
If you choose to obtain your travel insurance through another company please ensure you read the small-print and make sure your policy includes Covid Cover and Medical Repatriation.
Tent: A good quality lightweight and compact waterproof free standing tent is recommended for this expedition. A removable fly-sheet will help you stay cool on warm dry nights. If you are travelling on your own you are restricted to a 1-2 man sized tent. If you are sharing a tent, you are restricted to a 2-3 man sized tent.
Sleeping bag: It can get cold on this tour so we recommend a good quality 4 season sleeping bag with a ‘Mummy Hood’. Please make sure that your sleeping bag has a ‘crush bag’ so it can be compacted down.
Sleeping bag liner: A Thermal Fleece or Silk Liner will bring your sleeping bag up a season when it’s cold and they are good to use on their own when it’s too hot for your sleeping bag.
Roll Mat: A compact inflatable Thermarest roll mat is recommended. A non-compact mat will not be permitted as they take up too much room.
Pillow: If you do wish to take a pillow (although most just bring a pillow case and stuff their fleece in it at night) then Thermarest makes a good stuff pillow that compacts down small.
Backpack/sports bag/suitcase: We recommend you carry your luggage in a backpack but irrespective if you prefer a sports bag or a suitcase you are restricted to a maximum 100 litre volume.
Day bag: You are also permitted to bring a day bag with a maximum 40 litre volume that you can carry in the overhead luggage rack or under your seat on the vehicle with you.
Pacsafe: In order to keep your valuables safe we recommend a Pacsafe product. They make a range of anti-theft bags which vary in sizes and can accommodate your money, credit cards, passport, camera, laptop, etc. They can be attached to a fixed part on the back of the vehicle when travelling and/or to a fixed item in your hotel room.
Headtorch: An invaluable investment! Check out the Petzl range of USB rechargeable headlamps.
Water purifier: Quite a handy thing to have to purify contaminated water and avoid stomach bugs. Check out the range of Lifestraw products.
Kindle: Optional but great to keep all your travel guides and books in one place.
Ipad/Tablet: Not a necessity but many places have WiFi available these days so having your own Ipad or Tablet will save you hanging around internet cafes.
Smartphone: Not a necessity but a smartphone is very convenient for storing all your digital documents, emailing, taking photos, mapping and calling home using local sim cards.
Camera: Completely up to you but most people use their phone.
Toiletries: Available everywhere but start with some toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant, soap and shampoo.
Sunblock: Minimum SPF 15 recommended.
Towel: A microfibre travel towel is a good option as it dries quickly and packs down small.
Sunglasses: Polarised lenses offer great protection.
First aid kit: Only a basic one is recommended but should include plasters, antiseptic cream, bandage, pain relief tablets, scissors and safety pins.
Passport photos: You will need approximately 4 passport photos for the duration of the expedition.
Digital passport photo: Please have a digital colour passport photograph (5 – 100 Kb in size) downloaded to your phone/tablet/laptop as it may be required at some borders or when applying for certain visas.
Digital passport copy: Please have a digital colour copy of your passport (5 – 100 Kb in size) downloaded to your phone/tablet/laptop as it may be required at some borders or when applying for certain visas.
Digital Covid 19 vaccination certificate: If you are vaccinated please have a digital colour copy of your Covid 19 vaccination certificate with QR code (5 – 100 Kb in size) downloaded to your phone/tablet/laptop as it may be required at some borders or when applying for certain visas.
Yellow Fever vaccination certificate: An up to date Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is sometimes required to enter certain countries.
Passport: Please ensure you have 5 blank pages in your passport to accommodate all the visas and stamps required on this tour, and ensure your passport is valid for at least 11 months after your departure date.
Clothes & shoes:
1 x flip flops
1 x walking shoes, trainers or boots
4 x socks
4 x underwear
1 x thermal underwear
1 x thermal gloves
4 x t-shirts
1 x lightweight long sleeve top
1 x fleece top or fleece jacket
1 x waterproof jacket
2 x zip-off trousers which can be worn long or short
1 x thermal beanie or woolly hat
1 x baseball cap
1 x swimming trunks/bikini
As our expeditions are not your average run of the mill overland tours we would like to go through every aspect of the trip with you to ensure that you are as informed and prepared as possible. At Madventure we believe in giving you the nitty-gritty details as well as the obvious highlights, as in our opinion these are just as important. If after reading this, you decide that this expedition is not for you then, as long as it is within 14 days of your initial booking, you can cancel your booking and receive a full refund of your deposit.
The following may sound a little negative at times but it’s just so we are secure in the knowledge that we have provided you with as much information as possible for the benefit of you, us and your fellow expedition members. There is nothing worse than booking on the trip when it is not what you wanted or expected, our expeditions are too long and too full on. You need to know what you are in for and be able to handle it!
Weather: As we are travelling from the warm Caribbean Coast to the icy Southern Ocean on this tour, with much of it in the Andes mountains, you can expect all kinds of weather, from freezing cold to stifling heat, so be prepared for all the elements and you will be comfortable.
Altitude: We travel up to nearly 5000 metres above sea level on this tour so if you suffer from altitude sickness be prepared for it and have altitude-sickness tablets with you.
Hygiene: As wonderful as South America is, some of the places we visit do not have a western infrastructure and their acceptable level of hygiene standards may be very different to ours, so be prepared to accept that things may not be as clean as they are back home.
You must also maintain your own personal hygiene and ensure that you and your clothes are washed regularly. If anyone stinks or is noticeably unclean the tour leader will have a word with that person to ensure a decent level of personal hygiene is maintained by everyone aboard the vehicle.
Group diversity: We have no restrictions when it comes to age, gender or nationality and if there is one thing we have come to realise it is that the more that is in the mix the better.
Mucking in: This is a full participation expedition so you need to be able to participate fully in all aspects of the trip including cooking, cleaning, carrying water, collecting firewood, digging your vehicle out of sand and bogs, pitching your own tent, etc.
We get everyone to agree that you are medically fit and able and can physically participate fully in all aspects required. Don’t worry, you don’t need any prior experience and you don’t need to be super fit, just be happy to do your share and have a willingness to get stuck in when necessary.
When things go wrong: The only thing we can guarantee is that at some point things will not go according to plan! We have to follow the legislation of each individual country and they all have different regulations which can sometimes slow us down. It is however usually obstacles such as bad roads, border closures, breakdowns and natural disasters that have a bearing on the expedition. Expect the unexpected and accept that things will go wrong from time to time.
These instances are usually the stories that remain with everyone so enjoy the experience. An easy-going approach will help the situation immensely. Moaning about every little thing that doesn’t go our way will not!
Attitude & group living: A good, easy-going attitude will help you get through this trip and ensure you are liked by your fellow travellers as well as the locals. The one thing that is extremely detrimental to an expedition such as this is your common moaner. It has nothing to do with age, gender or nationality, the reality is they signed up for this expedition in theory but they can not cope in practice, and it’s always got to be someone’s fault. It sounds a bit harsh but by weeding out any moaners early on we can have a chat with them and ensure your expedition is as good as it can be. It’s hard enough at the best of times without in-house problems so by ensuring everyone is on the same page from the start will put us in good stead.
Laziness and selfishness will also be spotted early on so we advise everyone to pull their weight. We can guarantee that at some stage during the expedition you will have to just fit in and go with the flow when it’s not what you personally wanted to do. When situations arise where we can’t please everybody we always aim to please the majority of the group, not the individual.
Please be aware that if any particular person is constantly causing the group or the crew grief due to their behaviour they will be warned and then asked to leave the expedition if nothing improves. No refund will be given if this happens. This is obviously the most extreme situation but we will not let one or two selfish lazy individuals spoil the tour for everyone else.
Usually everybody who joins our expeditions has a relaxed approach to life and gets on well with other people. Aggressive antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated. This is a once in a lifetime experience so let’s all enjoy it!
Drive times, routes & proposed itineraries: This trip is designed to allow plenty of free time in all the places of interest but we are driving a fair distance across South America in 19 weeks so yes, there are going to be a lot of drive days and some of them will be long. This is where you have to be able to take pleasure in the scenery or a good book from time to time.
Generally on a drive day we leave in the morning around 7 – 8 AM (after breakfast) and arrive at our destination before dusk in daylight, but this really depends on the distance between destinations and the road conditions.
Sometimes it will be a full day’s drive between destinations and you’ll have the following day or two free. On rare occasions it may be 2 or 3 drive days in a row where you’ll leave early, stop overnight at a wild camp or hotel and then continue early again the next morning. Areas like the Bolivian Altiplano can be remote and the pleasure is in the scenery. Sometimes however it’s only a few hours drive between destinations.
Our proposed itinerary is the ideal route we would like to take providing all political and natural situations are acceptable during the time of our travels. Situations sometimes change during an expedition so please be prepared to take an alternative route in the event we encounter any problems. If a border closes unexpectedly then we have to try and find a safe alternative route which may not be to everyone’s liking. In the worst case scenario we may get stuck with no way forward and at that point we would have to decide whether to fly over the obstacle and continue on local transport or abandon the trip. We have never had to abandon any trip before but we want you to be aware of the worst case scenario.
Please note that we may be placed under military or police escort when travelling through troubled areas. This has never happened on this tour but if this does occur then we follow their directions and they make the decisions with regard to driving hours and routes. We do not argue with those who are trusted to ensure our safety, so please be aware that if this happens the pace may be faster or slower than we would personally choose and the route they pick will be the one we follow, regardless of our proposed itinerary.
Delays: We always strive to arrive at our destinations on time but if we experience any delays we will adjust our itinerary accordingly. If we experience any major delays our end date can be extended to suit our needs.
The proposed itinerary is just that, ‘proposed’, and can change at the crew’s discretion if need be.
Drugs & alcohol: Please be aware that drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are illegal in most countries we visit on this trip and they enforce severe punishment for being caught in possession. NEVER carry illegal drugs on your person or on the vehicle during this tour as you would not only jeopardise your own freedom but also the well-being of the entire group if you are caught in possession.
If you are caught with any kind of illegal drugs on this tour, regardless of the amount, you will be asked to leave the tour immediately and no refund will be given. Any inconsideration can lead to the tour being cancelled and innocent people arrested. We will not hesitate to remove someone if we have to.
Aggressive or abusive drunk behaviour will not be tolerated during this tour and if anyone is constantly abusing alcohol and causing trouble we will not hesitate to remove them from the tour and no refund will be given.
Your Crew: On this tour you will have 1 driver and 1 tour leader. On some expeditions we may also have a cameraman who is there to help market our tours and update our social media accounts.
Your driver will be responsible for driving and maintaining the expedition vehicle.
Your tour leader will be responsible for setting the itinerary, booking accommodation, arranging group travel permits, organising border crossings, ensuring the food and hygiene is to a high standard and generally ensuring the smooth running of the expedition.
Your crew members are not tour guides and will not be giving you the history and facts of every country you travel through. Apart from the odd optional extra that needs to be organised in advance, we leave most of that stuff to you guys, this way ensuring you get to do what you want at the price you are happy to pay.
You do the reading up on the places we are going to in advance and decide how you want to spend your time and what activities you want to do. Apart from some basic rules this is not a trip where we hold your hand, it’s an expedition and we expect that you will want to be as independent as possible when it comes to your free time.
Your crew will be hand-picked and trained by Madventure and will have experience of overland travel but they may or may not have done this expedition before. They will however have detailed notes from previous expeditions and backup from our office in the UK.
Tipping: Tipping the crew at the end of your expedition is always appreciated. As this is a fairly long expedition we recommend you tip your driver and tour leader a minimum of $150 each if you are happy with their service. Thank you.
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