South America is synonymous with archaeological sites and historic ruins. Although there are lots of pre-Columbian cultures that have left their mark on the countries here, the Incas are the most significant group.
The Inca civilisation expanded rapidly to cover Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Masterfully sculpted stone sites and monuments remain as testament to the skill, spirituality and determination of this impressive pre-Columbian culture.
Machu Picchu in Peru is the poster site for the Incas, with its stunning location, well-preserved features and options for access, via the Inca Trail or train from Cusco, itself full of Inca and conquistador sites, making it justifiably popular.
Alternatives include Choquequirao close by and Kuelap in the north of the country. Take in ruins throughout the country including Chan Chan, Chavin, Ollantaytambo and the Tucume pyramids, see the Nazca lines or explore the Sacred Valley to see traditional markets, festivals and unique sites such as Moray and Salineras.
Elsewhere, visit El Fuerte, Tiahuamaco, Tiwanaku and Potosi in Bolivia, the Easter Island moai in Chile, Cartagena and La Ciudad Perdida in Colombia, Ingapirca and Quito's old town in Ecuador and Iglesia de San Francisco, Caracas in Venezuela.
These are just a handful of the options available though. You can also tailor-make your history and culture holiday to South America by adding a city stay, wildlife holiday or other excursion to your itinerary; talk to a destination specialist to see what we can do for you.