I wanted to travel through South America but I was really apprehensive. I was at university at the time and only had three weeks off to travel. I didn’t know any Spanish, and the countries were too large for me to navigate around them alone. Before that I’d only ever travelled through Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji which had been easy countries to travel through.
I was worried that I wouldn’t know how to do it, especially not being able to speak the language so I started looking for adventure tours in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. I had heard of G Adventures and searched their website. When I saw the G Adventures ratings and their tour for 3 countries in 3 weeks starting in Peru, overland to Bolivia and Chile, it seems the perfect fit so I booked it!
Why G Adventures Tours?
Although I was an independent traveller, this tour didn’t really seem like a tour. The group sizes were quite small – up to 12 people and it was travelling overland with a local guide, travelling on buses with the locals, staying in local accommodation and included a trip to the Uros people – an indigenous tribe who lived on the reed islands in Lake Titicaca.
Plus the trip included all of the highlights of Peru such as Machu Pichu and a train to get there, and the Uyuni Salt Flats, one of the most spectacular sights in South America. It also included a trip to the Atacama Desert where I would be seeing the most amazing stars in one of the best star gazing places in the world.
G Adventures is a sustainable company and works with locally owned businesses instead of international chains to help strengthen local communities. They also have a non-profit organisation called Planeterra which helps minimise the impact on destinations and promote sustainability.
G Adventures has also received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that we have implemented health and hygiene protocols that are aligned with WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols.
Unlike other companies where you pay your deposit only to find out that the trip has been cancelled because there wasn’t enough people, these trips have 100% guaranteed departures. So I knew that once I had committed, I was definitely going!
Positives and Negatives of Taking a Tour
I had never been a fan of coach tours where you are herded everywhere in a large group staying in chain hotels. I always wanted to experience travel like the locals and travel overland to get a real feel of the country rather than just flying.
The benefits of taking a G Adventures tour meant that I didn’t have to worry about arranging it myself. All I needed to do was turn up. It took the stress out of having to work out a route, the logistics of getting everywhere and places to stay.
Another bonus was sharing the three weeks with a lovely group of people. Being an independent traveller, the tour gave me free days where I could go off by myself and see what I wanted to see or just chill out alone.
I also got to experience travelling on local buses and always had company during my journeys, something that I don’t usually have when I travel solo. For me the biggest stress is figuring my way around in a country where I can’t speak the language.
What I really liked about the trip is that it also included a guided tour to a women’s weaving project which G Adventures supports.
I usually stay away from tours because I like to be independent when I travel and you never know who you will get paired with. I was really lucky with my group but I guess the negatives could be not having nice people on the tour.
Are G Adventures Tours Good Value?
G Adventures Southern Divide is a 21 day trip from Lima to Santiago. It costs €3049 which I personally think is really good value. The only extras you have to pay are your international flights to Lima and from Santiago back home plus food. (This is the cost as of September 2018)
For my trip they included all the tours such as the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins, Machu Picchu, the Floating Islands where I met the Uros people and learnt how they live off these reed islands, a 3 day jeep trip to the Uyuni Salt Flats (which was amazing and one of my best highlights) plus a tour of the Valley of the Moon.
The trip was really diverse and we saw some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen infall three countries. I love deserts and the Atacama Desert is simply magical.
If I had to cost all the flights, accommodation and tours separately then the trip may work out to be more costly than travelling myself. Food wasn’t included except for the breakfasts which came with the accommodation.
But to have the reassurance of a local guide who guided us around, told us which buses to take and to arrange absolutely anything that we wanted to do was definitely worth paying, especially when I only had 3 weeks.
Who Are These Adventures For?
Trips range from active to cultural. The tour that I took didn’t need a good level of fitness, but it did include extras such as biking, rafting and kayaking for those who were feeling adventurous. If you want to travel as the locals do then a service level tour offers a mix of public and private transport.
I couldn’t have done this trip myself at the time. In a group of 10, ranging from 20 to 60 years old, we spent 3 weeks exploring all three countries with our South American guide.
I shared a room with another girl and even though we had a full itinerary, there was still free time and the freedom to have some down time whether that meant hiring a bike and exploring alone or just finding a cafe to relax in. It was made so easy and I definitely recommend this company for anyone who wants to have an adventure with a like-minded group of people.
The trips are small group experiences with a maximum of 16 people although the average is approx 12. You can pay a single supplement to have your own room but I was happy to share with a girl with Belgium. She later went on to do several tours with G Adventures.
Who Are They Not For?
If you aren’t comfortable with sharing a room with someone that you don’t know (unless you pay the single supplement for your own room). You also need to be comfortable on local transport, no toilets for hours and be open to things not running on time. Beggars also come on the local buses.
If you love your comfort and aren’t open to new experiences then maybe look at a different tour company but if you love adventure and traveling overland, G Adventures is definitely for you.
G Adventures South America
Since taking the G Adventures Peru, Bolivia and Chile trip, I have travelled independently through Peru. Knowing some basic Spanish gave me the confidence to go back to the country. If you don’t know any Spanish then I really recommend taking one of these tours. Peru is an amazing country and can take weeks to explore. Both trips were completely different.
My first trip was mainly seeing the Inca sites and Lake Titicaca and was more one of culture. The second time was a two week trip down the Peruvian coast visiting Mancora, Huanchaco, Lima, and Arequipa. I have also been back to Santiago in Chile. If you don’t have 21 days to explore Peru then G Adventures also offers these shorter tours. I have listed them ranged from 8 days to 15 days.
8 days: Inca Discovery
Join the G Adventures Inca Trail, and explore this iconic trail to Machu Picchu, whilst also seeing Ollantaytambo and Cusco. If you only have one week off work then this trip shows the highlights of Peru. Prices start from €1049.
11 days: Explore Machu Picchu & The Amazon River
If you have less than 2 weeks the G Adventures Machu Picchu and the Amazon tour takes you into the Amazon from the Peruvian gateway of Iquitos. Start in Lima, fly to Cusco, see Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley, before flying to Iquitos to explore the Pacaya Samiria reserve and the Amazon. Prices start from €1599.
11 days: Bolivia Discovery
A shorter adventure exploring the best of Bolivia starting from La Paz then flying onto Sucre, before travelling to Potosi, Uyuni, and the famous Salt Flats. Prices start from €1149.
15 days: Inca Empire
If you have two weeks you can combine your trip with Bolivia with the Inca Empire for 15 days. This starts in Lima and travels to Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Puno, Lake Titicaca, and La Paz. Prices from €1949.
All South America Tours
G Adventures have so many tours to South America ranging from 7 days to months. You can either spend your time in just one country, or combine it with other destinations. G Adventures travel trips are marked as classic or active tours, and even 18-to-thirty somethings so it’s easier to pick which tour is better for you.
Other G Adventures Tours
Although my G Adventures review is based on their South America tour, they don’t only operate on this continent. They have tours worldwide including countries off the beaten track so you can practically travel all around the world with them. They offer trips in different styles so if you want to cycle through a country for part of your trip then you can.
If you are planning on travelling to a country but feel apprehensive about how you will be perceived as a solo female in places such as Egypt or Morocco then these are a great way to experience the country and get the confidence to go back as a solo. You can even go to Antartica with them! That’s definitely a once-a-in-a-lifetime experience.
They also have occasional sales where you can save money on their trips. Sign up to the email below to get notified of discounts.
G Adventures Reviews
I really like G Adventures and think that they are the best company if you want to see as much as you can, and have company while you do it. But if you are still unsure after reading this G Adventures review, here are some more recommendations and G Adventures tours reviews from the girls in our Facebook community:
G Adventures USA review – “I did a trip in the US with G Adventures and loved it! They’re super nice and know everything about the places they’re showing you. I really recommend it! It will be a mix of backpacking without having to worry about where to sleep that night. They’ll arrange for you. You’ll also make plenty of friends.” – Meiline Baptista
G Adventures review Peru – “I travelled with G adventures through Peru and Patagonia and found the company to be excellent. I had experienced tour guides and the organisation was good.” – Petrina Wong
G Adventures Africa review – “I did a tour with G Adventures last August from Cape Town to Livingstone (via Namibia, Botswana and Zambia). Great trip, really fun and informed guide and good mix of people (nationalities and ages). It involved a mix of small hotels and camping, but all organised so no hassle and fun. I’d recommend them and would go with them again.” – Jane Lowrie
G Adventures Southeast Asia review – “I recommend the Indochina discovery tour! Does Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos all in 30 days! perfect for people who want to see these amazing countries but only have a month to do so.” – Jemma Hill
I hope that this G Adventures review was useful. To find out more about the Southern Divide tour and all the other G Adventures experiences worldwide, click the button below to choose your next solo adventure. Happy planning!