Never a travel company to keep its wheels from turning for long, the overland specialist Oz-Bus, which runs epic trips across the globe by bus from London to Sydney, Beijing, Kathmandu and New York, is venturing in a new direction, but this time on the other side of the Southern Hemisphere – South America and home of the greatest carnival of all, Rio.
The latest journey, which has just been made available this week, is set to depart from Quito in Ecuador on 1 December 2011. The bus will embark on an 83 day journey crossing 7000 miles through South America to Rio de Janeiro, arriving in time for the spectacular carnival celebrations on 21 February 2012.
Along the way a maximum of 35 travellers will explore the heights of the Andes and the Inca Trail, the wilds of Patagonia and the contrasting cities of Lima, Santiago and Buenos Aires, before arriving in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival.
Highlights of the trip will include Lake Titicaca, La Paz, the Salt Flats of Uyuni in Bolivia, the Cafeyate vineyards in Argentina, the Torres del Paine National Park and the spectacular Iguazu Falls.
As with all Oz-Bus journeys, authentic culture, adventure and close interaction with the local people are all an integral part of the experience. Oz-Bus passengers can choose to trek to Machu Picchu, get up close to the world’s largest glacier, spend the night with native Indian families on islands in the middle of Lake Titicaca and visit the bottom of the world – Tierra del Fuego.
The majority of accommodation throughout the latest Oz-Bus trip will be in simple hostels and hotels, a feature which will be welcomed by Oz-Bus’s growing league of ‘grown up gappers’ who make up over 60% of passengers. In line with the Oz-Bus policy of responsible travel, private guides and accommodation providers will be used throughout the journey which will also enhance the experience by providing a colourful streak of local colour and culture.
The Quito to Rio trip follows a busy couple of years since Oz-Bus launched in early 2009 with its first trip from London to Sydney. London to Kathmandu quickly followed, and in March 2010 the first London to New York departed via Russia and China – without a single flight. According to Oz-Bus’s client experience manager Rob Freeman, South America has been an ambition almost since the beginning. He says: “South America constantly crops up when we speak to previous Oz-Bus clients about where they might like to go in the future. Many of our passengers rebook on different trips, so really we are just fulfilling their wishes, keeping them within the Oz-Bus family, and at the same time adding yet another thrilling adventure experience to our collection of trips.”