First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

Top South America Experiences

Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru and getting your first glimpse of ancient Machu Picchu high in the Peruvian Andes.

Walking in Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos Islands’ observing some of the world’s most amazing wildlife – from blue-footed boobies to frigate birds, sea lions to giant tortoises.

Trekking along the Chilean Coast

Sampling the vintages in Chile’s beautiful wine country.

Wandering around the vibrant city of Buenos Aires

Taking a river cruise on the Amazon, keeping an eye (and ear) out for howler monkeys, sloths and pink dolphins.

Exploring the Atacama Desert 

Reveling in the power of Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls, which ranks with Africa’s Victoria Falls as one of the two greatest waterfalls on earth.

Visiting the city of Cartagena, touring the old fortress, and Spanish colonial inspired city. 

Surveying a panorama of Rio de Janeiro from atop Corcovado mountain.

View More

Top South America Attractions

Machu Picchu in Peru

Iguazu Falls in Argentina

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Easter Island off the coast of Chile

Amazon Rainforest

Galapagos Islands

View More

South America Attractions And Landmarks Guide

While much of South America may speak Spanish or Portuguese, the continent is remarkably diverse – possessing world-class cities, vast areas of rainforest, beach-laden coastlines, fascinating indigenous cultures, rich stores of wildlife, archaeological and historical treasures, and some of the world’s most intriguing islands.

All this is in a continent just two-thirds the size of North America, with 12 independent countries. Travel providers focus primarily on Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and, more recently, Colombia, though Bolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay are also home to considerable natural and cultural attractions.

Brazil's Riches 

Brazil alone is nearly half the size of the entire continent, so between visits to the Amazon region, including the city of Manaus – where you’ll find a 19th century-era opera house that rivaled the finest in Italy – as well as Rio de Janeiro, the Spanish-African fusion city of Salvador de Bahia, and Iguazu Falls, it can easily fill a two-week or more tour by itself. A river cruise on the Amazon and a visit to the cosmopolitan city of Rio make for an almost perfect combination -- and contrast – of isolation and urbanity.

Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina can also easily be destinations unto themselves, or can be combined with each other on longer tours. Ecuador, about the size of Colorado, features not just the Andes Mountains, but exotic jungle lodges in Amazon headwaters, the Pacific coast, the splendid Spanish colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca, the market town of Otavalo, and – far out into the ocean – the Galapagos Islands.

Peru, just south of Ecuador, is best known for Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan city, and Cusco, the Incan capital, but also is the source of the Amazon and shares Lake Titicaca, known for its artificial islands, with Bolivia. Both Ecuador and Peru have rich indigenous cultures, and combined Galapagos and Machu Picchu tours allow you to experience both a natural and man-made world wonder in the same bucketlist-filling trip.

Surprising Chile

Chile proves one of South America’s greatest surprises. While it receives less publicity than some of its neighbors, it also offers some of the most remarkable landscapes on earth. The world’s driest desert, the Atacama, is here, as is a lovely lake country and remote, mountainous Patagonia, where you can trace Charles Darwin’s voyages aboard a small expedition-style ship and perhaps even land on Cape Horn.

Argentina is best known for trendy Buenos Aires, one of the great South American capitals, but also shares Patagonia with Chile and has its own wine regions. Ushaia, at the southern tip of the country, is a key embarkation point for expeditions to Antarctica, and the Falkland Islands, off the Argentine coast, are frequent stops on small-ship expeditions.

Still not sure where to go or how to get there? Let Stride help you sort it all out. You’ll find travel operators who offer all degrees of luxury (or roughing it), price level, group size, itinerary and more. And soon you’ll be saying hola! or ola! to your next South American adventure.

Related Guides 


EcuadorPeruBrazilChileColombiaGuyanaArgentinaPatagoniaBolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay


Galapagos Island, Ecuador; Amazon River, Brazil; Amazon Rainforest, Brazil; Machu Picchu, Peru; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cusco, Peru; Cartagena, Colombia; Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Many More

Top Activities: 

Wildlife SightseeingNature SightseeingRuins & Archaeology SightseeingHiking

Must See South America Attractions

1. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is arguably the most recognizable and most well known attraction in South America. The ancient city hidden in the clouds of Andes in Peru has attracted travelers for years. This amazing site can be visited in a number of different ways, from day trips to challenging multi-day hikes to luxury train rides. However you choose to visit Machu Picchu is sure to leave you speechless.  

2. Inca Trail

Inca Trail in Peru

One of the most popular ways to get to Machu Picchu is via the Inca Trail. This ancient trek is a challenge, but generally doable if you are in basically good shape. Though it is ill-advised to attempt the Inca Trail after zero training. Make sure you have at least a few months of hiking or stairmaster under your belt! Ideally practicing in an area of high altitude.

The Inca Trail is a spectacular experience as you literally tread in the footsteps of the ancient Inca. Typically Inca Trail tours take between 3-4 days. It’s important to note that traffic along the trail is heavily restricted and highly regulated. Only 500 people a day are permitted on the Inca Trail - this includes porters and guides - leaving room for roughly 300 tourists.

3. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a top “must see” destination for many traveling to South America. Known for the recognizable “Christ the Redeemer” statue at the top of Corcovado Mountain, as well as the famous “carnaval” festivities, Rio is widely considered as somewhere that the party doesn’t stop. Still dangerous in some neighborhoods, it’s definitely a place best visited on a tour. Nearby are the musically immortalized Copacabana and Ipanema beaches - heavily touristed yet still a fun outing.

4. Galapagos Islands

Blue Footed Booby in Galapagos

When one thinks of South America’s top attractions, one may only consider the mainland continent. But one should reconsider. The Galapagos are without a doubt one of the most fascinating destinations on earth. Home to incredible biodiversity, as well as historically significant, the Galapagos are best visited via small ship cruise.

The wildlife here has never had cause to fear humans, and have thrived for centuries - meaning that they literally roam about without ceremony (like they might if they had been trained). If wildlife photography is your thing, you couldn’t ask for a better situation.

5. Patagonia

Patagonia South America

Patagonia has grown rapidly in popularity among travelers. Serious hikers are going to enjoy traveling here the most - many South America travel companies offer (or even specialize in) intense camping journeys through Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park. Patagonia as a region covers Argentina and Chile, and is notable for stunning formations of and bright blue ice. Yet another attraction in South America that needs to be seen to be believed.

6. Amazon River

Green parrot in the Amazon

The enigmatic Amazon, with its miles upon miles of dense jungle, hidden tribes, and diverse wildlife, is a sight to behold. Often visited via river cruise, the Amazon rainforest is perfect for those travelers who are interested in nature, conservation, eco friendly travel, and of course wildlife.

You can visit The Amazon any time of year, but the wet season vs the dry season will make a difference in what you see. The wet season means more byways are open for your river cruise vessel to traverse, but conversely some hiking opportunities may not be available because the ground is too wet.

7. Cartagena

Cartagena Colombia South America

Like many cities in South America, Cartagena Colombia once held a reputation for being unsafe for travelers. Today the city has shaken it’s ugly past and is an extremely popular attraction in South America. Heavily influenced by Spanish colonialism, the Old Town of Cartagena is a small walled city with a distinctly European feel, right down to the cobblestones.

Shops, churches, restaurants and cafes mean you could spend your whole tour within these walls, but there’s so much more to see. Take a boat ride to the white sand beaches for an afternoon of bliss or venture outside the tourist district for a glimpse at local Colombian life (it is not advisable to do this without your guide).

8. Iguassu Falls

Iguassu Falls South America

Eleanor Roosevelt expressed her awe at seeing Iguassu by saying “poor Niagara!” That should tell you something! This incredible waterfall is actually claimed by both Argentina and Brazil as it actually spans the border. Many walkways surround the falls offering many different vantage points for that perfect photograph. A common excursion for multi day tours in South America, this is one of those attractions you just have to see to believe.

9. Bolivian Salt Flats

Bolivia Salt Flats South America

You’ve seen the images. A sheer reflective surface flat and stretching to the horizon, reflecting the sky such that people appear to be walking on air...literally. This optical illusion also allows for countless forced perspective shots - and they can get pretty creative! The Bolivian salt flats are famous for their photographic potential, but are also great fun for jeep rides across the expansive empty landscape.

10. Easter Island

Easter Island South America

Another enigmatic archaeological site in South America, Easter Island has puzzled historians for centuries. Recent discoveries have revealed that the large stone heads rising out the ground, on an island off the coast of Chile, were even larger than previously thought. Tours to Easter Island are generally one or two day excursions, often part of a larger tours that include Patagonia and Chile.

South America Tour Reviews - Summary

4.7 out of 5



4,790 Reviews

Excellent 3,749 Great 1,267 Average 72 Disappointing 15 Terrible 1

Rating Details

4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals

Incredible experience with wonderful guides and breath-taking scenery.

Highlights of the Andes | Otavalo Market & Surroundings

5.0 August 2017 Latin Adventures Recommend: Yes At first I was unsure about doing a tour here in Ecuador, but after my experience with Latin Adventures I can´t believe I hesitated! This is easily one of the best tours I´ve had the pleasure of doing. The town of Otavalo is lively and very pretty. There are indigenous handicrafts in every corner, all beautifully made. The highlight of this tour was La Laguna Cuicocha. One of the most beautiful landscapes I´ve experienced without a doubt. The hike around the lagoon is not difficult, just a little long. Absolutely worth it though for the views and the wildlife.

I highly recommended anyone considering doing a tour to go through Latin Adventures. They were kind, professional, and always willing to go the extra mile.
Read more

Thank you for your help in organising and delivering our recent three week trip to Argentina

Best of Argentina 15 Days

5.0 January 2017 Say Hueque Recommend: Yes A note to thank you and your colleagues at Say Hueque for your help in organising and delivering our recent three week trip to Argentina. Everything went as smoothly as one can expect and we especially appreciated the regular contact from Vanesa while we were touring around.

The local tour agents were very efficient and helpful. We also enjoyed the local hotels, each with their own characteristics. The hotel in Cordoba was particularly good.

Finally, thank you for the gift of malbec received on our arrival. It was very enjoyable and set a standard for the rest of our trip.
Read more

Overall, a well coordinated trip by Say Hueque

Buenos Aires & Southern Patagonia In 14 Days

4.0 January 2017 Say Hueque Recommend: Yes As for comments regarding our experience with Say Hueque, besides the issue with Cauquenes de Nimez we didn't have too many other issues. Only thing would be the shuttle issue from El Chalten back to El Calafate. I wish there was more flexibility in taking an early shuttle back to El Calafate. Our shuttle didn't leave until 7pm and by the time we got to our hotel it was 11pm. Then we had to wake up really early the next morning to catch the shuttle to Torres Del Paine. But I understand that these shuttles are pre-paid and reserved in advance and the company has limited departures. When I initially made the reservations, I was told there was only a 7pm departure from El Chalten to El Calafate. Apparently I learned that this was not true and that there was another company who offered an early departure (1pm) from El Chalten to El Calafate. I wish I had know about that, because I would have requested an earlier time instead of the 7pm.

I had a good experience with your agency. Vera, Patricio, and you were very helpful and provided timely follow up to my questions. I also liked that you have an initial itinerary in which I can then customize what I would like to do. For instance, I added an additional day in Torres Del Paine, which was nice as the second day weather was better than the first. I enjoyed that Say Hueque booked all the hotel and transportation arrangements and all were timely and reliable. I spoke to some other independent travellers who had trouble figuring out transportation connections and making hotel bookings, who wish they went thru an agency. I like that Say Hueque is an expert of the region and was able to coordinate days and time for our travels. Although the tour was a little more expensive; I think the extra expense saved us the headache of trying to make the reservations and booking ourselves. Overall, a well coordinated trip by Say Hueque.

Last recommendation, is that I wish I had dealt with less people at Say Hueque. I first made contact with Vera, then she went on vacation for a month, and so I was talking with Patricio. Then Vera came back from vacation and then I was dealing with her. Then right before the trip I was working with you. Confusing. I would have preferred to have initially worked with you from the start of the trip planning process to the actual trip.
Read more

I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the excellent organisation of every detail within our trip

Buenos Aires, Iguazu & Classic Patagonia 15 Days

5.0 January 2017 Say Hueque Recommend: Yes Now that we are back home from our amazing holiday in Argentina, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the excellent organisation of every detail within our trip. We had a great time since everything was organised to perfection, making our holiday in Argentina a memorable one! I will be recommending your service to friends and family who may decide to travel to Argentina. Read more

First of all i would like to thank you and your team for arranging a great Patagonian trip for us!

Discover Argentina In 24 Days

4.0 January 2017 Say Hueque Recommend: Yes We really appreciated that there was always someone from Say Huegue to meet us at each section of the journey. We felt comfortable in a foreign counry thanks to your hospitality! It was nice to receive letters from our representative in Iguazu and always receiving solicitous letters from Caroline !!

To start with my review i would divide the trip into 4 categories: sights , excursion ( guides), hotel, transfer
Our journey with Say Heuque in Argentina was started from Buenos Aires. In the early morning our guide was waiting for us on time! The weather that day could be better so the significant part of the excursion we stayed in the auto. The russian quide ( Alexander ) was nice and he was really upset that we could not have even a little walk because of the strong rain. As for his professional knowledge as a tour guide i could not say that he was very informative and interesting.
To run a few steps forward i would say that all ""russian guides ' that we had during our trip were very weak, i could conclude that they are not really guides or experts in their sphere, i would call them attendant rather than a guide ( especially in El Calafate). It must be admitted that we felt a lack of information, we would like to absorb more history about Argentina or the region, more nature description , more interesting facts and etc ( as usually supply professional guides). As for Alexander we could give him 6 points out of 10 - and it is the best guides score in our rating ..
As a conclusion for Buenos Aires section we rank the following way ( 10 score system)
The sights of Buenos Aires - 10
The guide asstance - 6
The transfer and the hotel in BA were not with S/H

The next day we flew to El Calafate.
The transfer assistance was good. The hotel was good despite of the fact that it was stated as 4* star hotel but according to European standards i would say that it was firm 3*. But it was nice and original.
We had an excursion to Perito Moreno with minitrekking. it was fantastic!!! ! Especially we loved minitrekking it gave us a chance to touch this increadible nature creation!! I would recommend to the travellers to include minitrekking as an obligatory part of their program! it was the most marvelous part of our trip, we were really impressed! Even now looking at our pictures we could not believe that we were there and saw those beauties with our own eyes!
As for the guide service it was really the wost guide we had, his name was Nazar ( ex russian), his activity as a tour guide was reduced to zero, practically no information, he knew our schedule and was ready to give information about time and distance ( that was all that he knew) , he gave us very poor information about the region, the way back from the Glacier to Calafate he was sleeping :)/
our rating in El Calafate ( 10 score system)
Perito Moreno - 12! :))
Excursion guide - 2
transfer - 10
Hotel - 9

Than we continued our trip to Torres del PAine, Chile.
Our driver was also a guide, he was local, he knew the route and showed us the places we had asked to see, we interviewed him , we posed a lot of questions concernig political and economical situation in both countries, may be he knew a lot, but it was not an excursion :), if we do not ask him, he do not tell anything. As far as i remember according to our programm it should have been a professional guide additional to the driver..
We stayed in Torres del Paine Hotel for 2 nights, and as i checked a lot of time before we have confirmed our programm, i expected lower level of the hotel but in fact it was nice and cosy).
The most incredible part of our journey in Chile of course was trekking to the Base of Torres!!!!! and it is not because of the beauties that we saw during the whole trekking,but becuase it was difficult but we did it!! I could not write you every details that happened to us, but i could say that was a real adventure as we read in the books when we were small. We made the part of the trekking dy horses ( 2 hours 1 way) and the rest of the part on foot. It was raining the whole day and it was windy, we were wet ( we had special clothes)/. To tell you the truth i thought once to stop and to leave the trekking but my husband persuaded me to continue, not all the group reached the Base ( 2 people failed to go to the distance).
The goup had two guides provided by the hotel and they were perfect, they were as theu should be - strong, attentive, professionals. The way bag was really difficult because the path over the precipice was blurred by the constant rain and we must be carefull with the horses because it had no right to stumble...But the emotions when we reached the hotel were fantastic.
Torres del Pain e- 10
Excursion guide - 6
transfer - 10
Hotel - 9
trekking - 10

We continue to travel to Punta Arenas.
we had private transfer with a guide ( also 6 out of 10 point, the same problem as all of them).
Accorning to pour programm we had an excursion to Ottaway pinguin Colony.......I could not describe how we were dissappointed.... the biggest and the onle one dissappointment of the whole travel.
On the way to Punta Arenas from Torres, the driver made a small deviation from the rout ( 45 min.) we found ourselves on a sea shore.. It was 1 p.m/ and the quide gave us a notice that probably you would not see pinguins becuase they had gone to the sea and be back at Could you imagine your astonishment and dissappointmet when you bought a ticket to the Picture Galley and when enterinr the first hall discovered that all the pictures are on the construction and out of the museum!!!!! We saw 10 pinguines on a sae shore far away from us and that was all that we saw!!!!!! I could not call this 10 pinguins - a COLONY, and the agent who sold us this excursion 9 whom you probably contact should have known it . We were also surprised by the fact that we have paid 130 USD each plus entrance ( 4 people = 600 usd) for small deviation from the route with no pinguins......disaster
In our programm we had a boat trip from unta Varas to Bariloche, it was nice route, especially the first part till Puelche, and after we felt a little bit exhuasted as we were tired becuase of a lot of tansport changes , if i had a secong chance i would have ordered only one part of this route , as the lanscape was approximately the same the whole trip.
In Iguazu we had a guide that met us in the airport, he was ex russian ( ukraine), the way of his behaviour was not nice, it is difficult to explain what was wrong with him, he put himself in a rang above the others , his last quiestion - ""what kind of business do you have?"" was the end of our forbearance :)). At the hotel we were given the letter from our host from SayH it was nice we called him but it was sunday evening... and i called to your 24 hour service, the girls i was speaking to was fantastically nice and she managed to find for us a new guide for the next early morning excusrion, it was really luck we would like to express our deep thanks to that lady on the phone (unfortunatelly i do not remeber her name(, she really saved us!!
Iguazu Brasilian part - 10
Argentinian part - 9
Hotel - 8
transfer - 10 very very goog work!! we changed transport 6 or 7 times and it was perfect every time.
english guide - 8

I send you so long letter only becuase i suppose that my comments would help future travellers and also because we appreciate very very much your work and the way you treat the travellers, your hospitality and attantion to a details. We have travel experience for 15 years and i do not know any anothe company that could organise our trip better than you . I was lucky to find you in the Internet among this big range of companies willing to attract tourists but without a knowledge how to do supply the service.
I would like to thank your direction who supervise your routine work . I will do all my best to persuade our friends to apply to your company if they decide to go to that part of the world becuase you deserve more customers.
Read more
See all reviews for South America Top Operators & Trips
Top South America Travel Companies Ajax Loader...
Rover How can we help?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By submitting this form you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.



Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by: