South America tailor-made holidays
South America was made for travel and adventure. The continent is complex, contrasting, challenging and ultimately exhilarating. Wherever you pitch up, South America embraces and engulfs you, whether you fall for the pulsing rhythms, staggeringly beautiful outdoor world or fascinating cities.
Iconic cityscapes such as Buenos Aires in Argentina, Cartagena in Colombia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil provide ideal introductions, while ancient sites such as Ciudad Perdida in Colombia and Machu Picchu in Peru offer iconic alternatives. Many offer world-renowned treks, such as the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek; challenging but worthwhile walks that end at world wonder Machu Picchu.
Outside of the urban areas, the continent boasts a wealth of natural wonders, whether you want to boat down the Amazon in Brazil, stargaze in Chile's Atacama Desert or spot endemic wildlife on Ecuador's Galápagos Islands.
Then there's the awe-inspiring Pantanal in Brazil, ice-slicked wonders in Patagonia, epic Iguazu Falls and the spectacular salt pans of Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni.
With so much to see and do, your biggest challenge will be deciding what to focus on and working out how to cram as much of the continent into your itinerary as possible.
Popular countries in South America
Essential experiences in South America
South America is a continent of superlatives and the natural wonders of South America are as spectacular as anywhere in the world, with rainforests, mountains, canyons, lakes and glaciers in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Peru vying for your attention.
The Amazon River is South America's mightiest river. An Amazon cruise in either Brazil or Peru allows you to access the rainforest on an alternative wildlife holiday and see sights that otherwise would be off limits to overland travellers.
It's fair to say that South America and expedition cruising make for a happy marriage. After all, the continent's coastlines, and indeed its outlying islands, are packed full of out-of-the-way gems, tailor-made for the adventure-minded traveller.
South America cruises are about getting off the beaten track. Explore the landscapes that stretch from the tropics to the sub-Antarctic and discover an enormous variety and diversity of destinations.
Wildlife holidays in South America are exceptional. The Amazon rainforest in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru is home to enormous ammounts of animals, Whilst the Galápagos Islands boast a number of unique species.
Colourful and vibrant, South America is a honeymoon destination with a difference. Travel to Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and more for activity and adventure, glorious beaches and a wealth of history and culture.
South America conjures up images of lost cities and otherworldly cultures; travel to Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to discover sites such as Machu Picchu for yourself and see the breathtaking remains of the Inca's endeavours.
Although the infrastructure in South America doesn't lend itself to great railway journeys, there are still some exceptional train journeys in Peru, to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, and also in Ecuador.
In South America, learn about the Incas, access the Amazon, spot wildlife and encounter local traditions on an escorted tour of Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru amongst others.
Although not especially known for its beach holidays, South America still has some excellent places to kick back and relax, especially in Brazil and Peru, where you can also pair beach holidays with wildlife holidays, culture and history trips and stunning city breaks.
There are some iconic activity and adventure experiences associated with South America. Travel to Argentina, Brazil, Chile or Peru amongst others to discover what's available for the intrepid traveller to try.
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Top itineraries in South America
Witness the best of Chile's stunning natural world, from the vast expanse of the Atacama Desert to the lakes, glaciers and towering mountains of Patagonia in the south, staying throughout at some of the country's finest hotels.
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.
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