Few places in the world can match the western coast of South America for its combination of stunning natural beauty and its rich historic and cultural heritage. The region is dominated by the spectacular landscapes of the Andes mountain range, which is the setting for the dramatic locations of many cities, colonial towns and historical ruins, including Quito, La Paz and of course Machu Picchu. But its not only the mountains that draws travellers to this region - there are the spectacular sights of the Colca Canyon and Quebrada de Humahuaca, the beautiful Lake Titicaca and the otherworldly landscapes of Salar de Uyuni and the Atacama Desert. This is also the part of South America where indigenous culture is most strongly represented, while the historic heritage of the area extends beyond Machu Picchu to include many other Inca and other pre-Hispanic ruins and numerous well preserved colonial cities.

Quebrada de Humahuaca Valparaíso SantiagoMap for Along the Andes

Countries Visited


Interested in exploring more of South America? Then check out the Gringo Trail, Northern Trail or Across the Southern Cone journeys.

Routes for Along the Andes

Quito - Santiago

The complete Andean journey from Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile takes in five countries and numerous historical sites, both colonial towns and pre-Hispanic ruins, amidst stunning scenery of mountains, lakes, canyons and salt flats.

Tours: 2 available View highlights of this route

Quito - La Paz

A classic Andean route that offers the best of Ecuador and northern Peru, before travelling through the popular sights of southern Peru - Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca, and finishing in Bolivia's capital, La Paz.

Tours: 3 available View highlights of this route

Quito - Lima

A trip from Quito to Lima incorporates the spectacular landscapes of the Andes, world-famous historical sites such as Machu Picchu and Chan Chan and attractive colonial towns like Cuenca and Cuzco, making it justifiably one of the most popular regions in South America.

Tours: 3 available View highlights of this route

Lima - Santiago

Incorporating some of the most popular destinations in South America (including Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni), the route from Lima to Santiago travels through southern Peru and Bolivia before going south to Santiago via either the Atacama Desert in Chile or through north-western Argentina.

Tours: 4 available View highlights of this route

Lima - Bolivia

Southern Peru and Bolivia remain one of the most popular regions in South America, with a wealth of attractions for travellers including Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca and Salar de Uyuni, colonial towns like Arequipa, Cusco and Sucre and the western edges of the Amazon Rainforest.

Tours: 2 available View highlights of this route

Lima - La Paz

Connecting the two major cities and capitals in the central Andes, this route includes all the popular highlights of Southern Peru - Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Cuzco and Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and the spectacular Colca Canyon.

Tours: 9 available View highlights of this route

La Paz - Santiago

The southernmost route of the Andean journey takes in all the highlights of Bolivia - Tiwanaku, the colonial towns of Potosi and Sucre and the bizarre landscapes of Salar de Uyuni before heading south through northern Argentina or Chile to Santiago.

Tours: 0 available View highlights of this route

Guidebooks for Along the Andes

Guidebooks for this journey from all the major travel publishers are listed below. Links to Amazon (UK, US and Canadian stores), Waterstones (UK) and selected publisher websites allow you to purchase the guidebooks online at best value with one simple click (individual chapter downloads are also available for selected Lonely Planet titles).

Amazon Store: | |
Footprint South American


South American

Sep 2013 (90th ed.)
1684 pages

Author(s): Ben Box

Lonely_Planet South America on a Shoestring

Shoestring Guides

South America on a Shoestring

Aug 2013 (12th ed.)
1112 pages

Author(s): Regis St. Louis, Greg Benchwick et al.

Download Individual Chapter PDFs (£2.99) - Click here to view chapters.
Frommer's South America

Complete Guides

South America

Jun 2010 (5th ed.)
832 pages

Author(s): Nicholas Gill, Eliot Greenspan, Charlie O'Malley

Footprint Peru, Bolivia & Ecuador


Peru, Bolivia & Ecuador

Dec 2010 (3rd ed.)
708 pages

Author(s): Ben Box, Robert & Daisy Kunstaetter

Insight South America

Insight Guides

South America

May 2013 (6th ed.)
440 pages