South America is a wildlife haven and has an outstanding variety of fauna and flora in incomparable settings.
The Amazon rainforest encroaches into Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, with excellent wildlife holidays available in each country. Bolivia, Colombia and Guyana are less visited and more remote, whilst Brazil and Peru are the most famous and often used to access the jungle.
The Amazon in Brazil allows you to see the wild side of the country, with Manaus and Santarem especially good for birdlife and river dolphins respectively. Elsewhere, the Pantanal is home to river otters, caimans, monkeys, jaguars, anacondas and capybara. Spot sea turtles in Praia do Forte or Mangue Seco; watch whales at Praia do Rosa or within Parque Nacional Marinho de Abrolhos and snorkel amongst river fish and giant catfish at Fernando de Noronha Bonito. Even Parque Nacional da Tijuca close to Rio is home to coatis, ocelots, sloths and various simians including howler monkeys.
In Peru, the Manu Biosphere Reserve is the finest wildlife watching area in the country and one of the best on the continent. Tambopata and Madre de Dios are also exceptional spots, where you might see a wealth of animals and literally hundreds of species of bird including gaudy macaws. In the north cruise from Iquitos to the Pacaya Samiria Reserve for a different experience and the chacne to see rare pink river dolphins.
The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador boasts some superb lodges and good-quality rainforest. However, the real wildlife draw here are the Galapagaos Islands. This remote volcanic archipelago allowed animals to evolve in isolation and without developping a fear of people. Consequently, get up close to marine iguanas, giant tortoises, a wealth of birdlife including albatross, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and penguins as well as a mass of other marine life such as fur seals and sea lions.
These are just a few of the options available though. You can also tailor-make your wildlife holdiay in South America by adding a city stay, beach holdiay, activity and adventure holiday or other excursion to your itinerary; talk to a destination specialist to see what we can do for you.
Our top itineraries for South America Wildlife Holidays
Get a taste for tango in the 'Paris of South America' and gaze in awe at the advancing ice of the Perito Moreno Glacier and the thundering power of Iguazu Falls, before living life gaucho style with a stay in an estancia.
Explore Patagonia at your own pace, marvelling at the epic Fitzroy Massif, remote and rugged Torres del Paine National Park and one of the only advancing glaciers in the world: Perito Moreno. Along the way, you'll also spot whales, walruses, seals and penguins.
Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, hides a continents worth of highlights within its borders. Teeming rainforests, sparkling beaches and iconic megacities can all be found here, along with a people and culture with a deserved reputation as one of the most welcoming on earth.
Top offers for South America Wildlife Holidays
Discount for Mashpi & Isabela for selected dates in Apr/May – Save up to £-5505 pp
Book by: 02 February 2019
Combine the history of Quito and the unique biodiversity of the Amazon with perhaps the ultimate in wildlife-watching experiences – a luxury Galápagos cruise.
Book by: 31 January 2019
Pair an ultra-luxury Antarctic sailing with Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and the world's largest waterfalls – Iguazú Falls.
Early booking fares - save 5%
Book by: 30 April 2019
Enjoy Caribbean gems and paradises on the Pacific coast – an expedition dream comes true when you discover exotic treasures on both sides of the Panama Canal.
Book by: 31 January 2019
Antarctic adventures are best enjoyed midsummer, when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips.