South America Express

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South America Express - Tucan Travel
South America Express - Tucan Travel
5 reviews
+17 Destinations
Andes Mountains
Rio de Janeiro


  • Explore Machu Picchu
  • Wander the Atacama Desert
  • Visit Iguazu Falls
  • See a tango show
Age range
18 to 65 year olds
Hostel, Hotel
Max Group Size
Train & Rail, Jeep & 4WD, Boat, Local Transport, Private Vehicle, Plane
Start in Lima and end in Rio de Janeiro! With the adventure tour South America Express, you have a 26 day tour package taking you from Lima to Rio de Janeiro and through Lima, Peru and 16 other destinations in Latin America. South America Express is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel and hostel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

5 Reviews

Rather Poor
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  • FR
    Written on April 17, 2018
    4.5 - Excellent

    I got to see and do everything I wanted to do in a short space of time.
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  • DR
    Written on June 17, 2017
    3.0 - Average

    The guide of the tour was very good deserves more than 5 stars (Wilson) was like a friend and his help during the entire trip he was great. The hotels were not good, the worst the "La Paz" Bolivia. A big lack of information about what is basic hotels, as tourists we should know where we are going and the "basic hotels" are not in my book. At least tourists should be informed that these hotels are "that do not have heaters, showers and toilets are scarce and shared with other people.
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  • South America Express reviewer 3
    Written on May 4, 2017
    4.5 - Excellent

    I absolutely have to write this review so that no one else is almost deterred by the 2-star reviews! I booked this tour because it squeezed so many amazing places that I wanted to see in under a month. Previously, I have got home sick in less than a month, but this time I am honestly sad that it's over! It was absolutely amazing and i'll always remember it fondly. I was worried that South America would be a slightly scary place to travel, but being on a Tucan tour made it a breeze. It would have been really difficult to organise without the experts and especially our tour guide, Christian. He was a best mate as well as a tour leader and made us laugh every day. He came along with us to the optional activities such as sand-boarding in San Pedro and whitewater rafting in Mendoza, and the fact that he speaks Spanish made everything easy for us. He was also really knowledgeable and could tell us lots about the places we were going. The group size was perfect and most of us got on so well that we wanted to do everything together, even on the free days. 25 was the youngest age (myself), most were in their 30s, a couple above 60. I realise now that I prefer this style to large 20-something tours. Machu Picchu, Sacred valley, Lake Titicaca, the 3-day Bolivia tour, San Pedro, and Iguassu falls were my highlights because they were so stunning and so fun. There might have been more time in Santiago and Buenos Aires than I needed, but there was lots to keep busy with. There was a good balance of nature and cities, the hotels were all nice and the buses were usually comfortable. It was only the one that crossed the Bolivian border that had broken air-conditioning which Tucan wouldn't have had control over. You do lose a bit of luxury in Bolivia, but it's an experience!! A few tips - it may be an organised tour, but make the most of it by researching what you want to do on your free days in advance. Download locations on the trip advisor app to find stuff to do when you haven't​ planned in advance. Buy souvenirs when you see them (or you will regret it when they don't appear again!) Wear suncream on the salt flats (whoops), eat all the ice-cream and drink all the wine you want, take all the photos and grab at the opportunities to do crazy things like sand boarding, hanggliding and getting into hot springs when it's an absolutely freezing morning in Bolivia. It's a once in a life time holiday! Thank you to Tucan, Christian and my new friends for making the trip amazing.
    Tucan Travel commented on this review
    We love reviews that go into this level of detail Tamasin. Thank you so much for taking the time to post it!
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  • C
    Written on February 29, 2016
    2.0 - Rather poor

    We travelled throughout South America in January 2016 visiting Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina & Brazil finishing the Rio carnival for a total of 30 days. We travelled with Tucan Travel on their South American Express group tour & have the following comments on our experience. We knew we had 7 flights within South America but had not realised in addition the amount of coach journeys (most 8hrs long) to get around the country. Instead of taking the bus journey of 10 hrs( turned out to be 16 hrs for the group due to border crossing ) from Santiago to Mendoza we booked a flight which took 55mins leaving us a full day in Mendoza. Some mornings we were leaving at 5.20am & missing breakfast due to the early starts so would highly recommend taking snacks with you all the time as it is hard to plan timing of food stops or whether you will like the food. • Tour leader inexperienced affecting quality & trip experience – Danea did not instil confidence in any of our group that she knew her job as a tour leader. She was often hesitant in manner & came across as lacking confidence in dealing with issues that arose or making decisions. We as a group were also concerned about information been omitted due to inexperience of our tour leader which became obvious when we saw the level of interaction & detailed information been provided by Heidi, who has 12 years tour leader experience, exclusively to her own group. Heidi spent all her time looking after her own group exclusively & her group kept to themselves & even though we observed her & her group in hotels, our groups were very separate. It was obvious by their actions that each tour leader took responsibility for their group only. Danae admitted this was her 1st time out of Peru, that she was only a short time a tour guide. Our expectation was that Tucan should have ensured a fully qualified, professional guide for our tour which would have taken away the worry we experienced about the logistics & details on the trip. • 4x4 land cruiser conditions for 3 days– 1) Fitting 5 to 6 people in each cruiser, the two back seats are v small & cramped, suitable for small children only definitely not fit for adults whose legs were cramped. Health issue in cramped conditions, possible clots in legs due to long drives in cramped position. 2) Seats behind the driver were only 2 seats but 3 people were expected to sit with the 3rd person sitting in the middle on a crack which is part of another seat, not suitable or comfortable for long days traveling. 3) Some seat belts were not working. 4) The handholds above the doors were only available at 3 doors so people in seats with no handholds were thrown around when off road which was quite a lot of the time. • 4x4 Basic share accommodation same gender rooms not provided. One of the nights at the basic accommodation we were sharing a room which had 6 people (4 male, 2 females). Tucans own information states "Travellers will share rooms with other group members of the same gender" • Altitude sickness tablets should have been strongly recommended. For everyone to start taking a few days before the trip as this trip is 12 days at high altitude (up to 5000m) from Cusco to Santiago. Many individuals on our trip were very unwell which hampered their experience of the trip. • Two separate Tucan groups competing for available resources. Our trip had Two Tucan groups of 16 people each in the same location at the same time for 80% of our trip. Staying at the same accommodation, requiring transportation (whether coaches or planes) in these countries means trying to find decent facilities & transport for 32 people. As our group of 16 was nearly always 2nd leaving everywhere to the point we were told we were not meant to be the “2nd class (inferior) Tucan group as Heidi’s group from our assessment got to the accommodations before us so hot water was used up before our group arrived. Heidi’s group rooms in Igazu hotels were in the refurbished part of the hotel with our group in the old grim part of the hotel ( ants in shower..). In the Don Raul San Pedro del Atacama hotel when we arrived after a hard day driving over the mountains the only Tucan booking at the hotel was for Heidi & her group, our groups accommodation did not exist. Luckily for us as we arrived for once at a hotel before Heidi’s group & as her rooms were Tucan rooms we took them, Heidi’s group had to be accommodated elsewhere in town. Transportation vehicles that Heidi’s group had available were better quality than ours which we could see with our own eyes. The above information is the reason for the ‘2nd class comment to us from our tour guide to try to say to us that our group were not an afterthought when this tour was been put together by Tucan trying to manage two groups of 16 people at the same places. We should have had equal treatment & quality on our trip to Heidi’s group which all of our group felt was not the case. All of our group of 16 felt the same way, the majority of our group members having experience of travelling with other group tour companies to other destinations in the past. All of us were if the opinion not to travel with Tucan again & would not recommend them as a company.
    Tucan Travel commented on this review
    Hi Caroline, Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. You raise many issues and I will try and comment on as many of them as possible, however I know that our Customer Relations Manager is currently investigating your case. Transport The tour you took through South America was designed with as many flights in as possible in order to limit the number of long travel days and make as much use of your time as possible, giving you more time in the exciting destinations the continent has to offer. Despite this, your tour still covered vast distances in a relatively short period of time and it is impossible to travel from A to B without long bus journeys and early starts sometimes. The early morning departures in particular are chosen to allow you to enjoy your destination as much as possible and the long bus journey between Santiago and Mendoza is meant to be one of the most beautiful in South America. When the road is open, we always take this route rather than flying as the views are exceptional and not to be missed. The 4WD’s we use on the Uyuni Salt Flats sit 8 people comfortably. This is the best way of driving over the salt pans and covering the huge distances required. Accommodation The accommodation we use varies throughout the trip but we always try and use hotels with the equivalent comfort of a three star hotel. Your tour included one night in basic, multi-share accommodation on the Uyuni Salt Flats. This accommodation was clearly described in your itinerary and we choose these style of hotel due to the lack of affordable options in the region. We have never had any complaints about this accommodation before as it is clearly described online and part of the authentic travel experience we advertise. If you had any other issues with your accommodation, we always recommend raising it with your tour leader at the time so that they can work with the hotel to make changes. We block book hotel rooms and services up to 12 months in advance and the hotels we use are used to accommodating up to 36 of our clients at any time on some popular tours. There was one incident where half of the booking was lost but the hotel admitted responsibility and found somewhere of a similar standard for the rest of the group to stay very quickly. We are unable to control which rooms the hotels use and a lot depends on other guests Your Tour Leader Throughout your tour, your tour leader Denea was assisted by a much more experienced tour leader, Heidi who was running the tour alongside yours. Denea also had the support of our office in Peru who she was in contact with on a daily basis. Denae had plenty of experience that qualified her as a tour leader. She has been working for Tucan Travel for several months now and before that, ran tours for a volunteer company for over a year. Other As a tour operator, we are unable to provide medical advice. We always recommend that you visit a doctor before travelling, particularly if you are worried about altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can affect everybody in different ways so it is important that you understand the illness and take whatever precautions you are comfortable with depending on your doctor’s advice. I am sorry that you feel that you would not travel with us again and we wish you all the best in your future travels. Kind regards, Jess @ Tucan Travel
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  • JJ
    Written on February 9, 2016
    2.0 - Rather poor

    Tour leader was inexperienced (it was her first time in almost every place on the tour and she was clueless as to local conditions and information). Accomodations often lacked basics like hot water (to say nothing of terrible WiFi) and many meals were incredibly basic and repetitive - I hope you like balogna and toast with instant coffee for breakfast. Information was not provided in a timely manner and was often wrong and / or changed reach time it was presented. No one in the tour group was happy with toucan's service and most have filed official complaints. I would not book with toucan again.
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Download PDF Brochure
  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Arrive Lima
  2. Day 2: Sacred Valley of the Incas
  3. Day 3: Machu Picchu
  4. Day 4: Cusco
  5. Day 5-6: Puno & Lake Titicaca
  6. Day 7-8: La Paz
  7. Day 9: Uyuni
  8. Day 10: Uyuni (Salt Flats)
  9. Day 11: Laguna Colorada
  10. Day 12-13: San Pedro de Atacama
  11. Day 14-16: Santiago
  12. Day 17-19: Mendoza
  13. Day 20-22: Buenos Aires
  14. Day 23-24: Foz do Iguaçu
  15. Day 25: Rio de Janeiro
  16. Day 26: Depart Rio de Janeiro

What's included

Expand all
  • Accommodation

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Average by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Additional Services

  • Additional Services

Download PDF Brochure


  • The Road to Rio Carnival Day 3
  • The Road to Rio Carnival Day 5
  • Main Page Video
  • Cusco, Lima
The Road to Rio Carnival Day 3

Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

  • January 1, 2016

    At the end of this tour I wanted to fly to Salvador (Brazil) for 2 nights then return back to Rio, can I delay the flight from Rio to Lima included in the tour to leave 2 nights after the tour ends?

    If you're interested to go to Brazil for 2 days, you're welcome to do so and then you can find another flight ticket back to Lima or wherever you will be travelling after this tour.

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What are people saying about TourRadar?

  • Hamish13th March 2018
    Super easy website to use. The filters are awesome & allowed me to find exactly what I was after. Specific features like filtering by exact date (+/- 3 days), desired price per day and type of experience. Will use Tour Radar again for booking a tour.



South America Express

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go


Chile and Argentina

Plugs & Adapters

Peru, Bolivia and BrazilPeru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and BrazilChileArgentina


Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.


These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Ideally 1 month before travel.
Yellow fever
Recommended for Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. Ideally 10 days before travel.


Lima is the starting point and Rio de Janeiro is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Tucan Travel to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
TourRadar only requires a deposit of $500 to confirm this Tucan Travel booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 24 July 2018 the full payment of $4,530 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $4530 for South America Express, but the deposit of $500 is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Tucan Travel tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express


Covering a total distance of approx 6,793 km.
  • Lima (Peru)
  • 576 km
  • Cusco (Peru)
  • 24 km
  • Sacred Valley (Peru)
  • 21 km
  • Ollantaytambo (Peru)
  • 26 km
  • Machu Picchu (Peru)
  • 65 km
  • Cusco (Peru)
  • 334 km
  • Puno (Peru)
  • 68 km
  • Lake Titicaca (Bolivia)
  • 68 km
  • Puno (Peru)
  • 213 km
  • La Paz (Bolivia)
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