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Top South America Experiences

Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

Enjoying the Galápagos Islands’ wildlife

Trekking along the Chilean Coast

Wandering around the city of Buenos Aires

Cruising along the Amazon Rain Forest

Exploring the Atacama Desert

Walking around Colombia’s coffee plantations



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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

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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 

Countries: 

EcuadorPeruBrazilChileColombiaGuyanaArgentinaPatagoniaBolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay

Attractions: 

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

South America Tour Reviews - Summary

4.7 out of 5

100%

recommend

9,944 Reviews

Excellent 7,403 Great 2,519 Average 18 Disappointing 4 Terrible 0

Rating Details

Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

Amazon River Cruise

Amazon River Cruises

5.0 September 2017 International Expeditions Recommend: Yes This was our second time coming to Peru but first time with International Expeditions and it was amazing.

Staff and guides are very friendly and accommodating. If you have food allergies and any sort of problem they take the time to ensure you have a great trip and will help you any way that they can. The river cruise itself was very comfortable clean sheets, beds are nice and rooms are pretty spacious overall for a river cruise.

We always had daily activities to participate in or could choose to stay behind. But I wouldn't recommend that as you get to see so much just within the first couple of days that you're in Pacaya-Samiria Reserve!

The wildlife was incredible and included sightings of monkeys, birds, snakes, a sloth, spiders and beautiful frogs that you get to see during the night boat tour. I loved going into a local village and learning about cultural traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. We even participated in a spiritual ritual that's supposed to cleanse your body; a very interesting experience! I'd recommend bringing and using insect repellent daily especially during summer peak season, it is the Amazon after all. If you love wildlife and are looking for a great authentic but comfortable experience in nature, I highly recommend this trip.
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Great trip with Latin Adventures- Cotopaxi, Quilotoa and Baños

Jewels of the Andes | Exploring the Andes

5.0 September 2017 Latin Adventures Recommend: Yes Highly recommend this company- the transfers and itinerary ran smoothly and Gabriel was an excellent driver. Daniel was very knowledgeable about every aspect of our trip (local areas, culture, vegetation and more) and the 4 of us felt very well looked after. Read more

2 Amazing weeks in Ecuador

Ecuador Adventure & Highlights | Mágico Ecuador

5.0 August 2017 Latin Adventures Recommend: Yes When I arrived in Quito I had 3 options for my trips and I found out Latin Adventures the best.
They have Tours in the different areas of Ecuador ( Volcanos, The mountains, Jungle, Hot springs, the beach, etc....
I'm very thankful to these guys because they helped me a lot planning all my schedule for 2 weeks.
They were always on time, good places and prices, good cars, tasty meals, very nice staff, etc.

I highly recommended this Agency in the Old Town Quito, go to Ecuador and enjoy it.
Gracias
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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.
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Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

5.0 August 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes We travelled on the "A" itinerary. An excellent holiday, above our
expectations. The boat (Cachalote), guide and the crew were superb. The chef
was innovative and produced fantastic meals. The wildlife was extremely
varied and very accessible on the walks and snorkeling sessions. All in all
a very professional and well organised trip.
Snorkeling close up with sea lions, turtles and rays. Turquoise seas and
deserted beaches. Wildlife round every corner - iguanas, giant tortoises,
albatross, boobies, frigate birds and pelicans. Walking on the most recent
lava flows. Travelling with the sails up.


Billy' was a very personable guide. His knowledge was encyclopedic. He lives
on the Islands, knows them very well, is very willing to share his
information, answer questions, and seems to know how to avoid the few other
tourist groups we came across. We could not fault him.


Travel light. You don't need much on the boat. It's warm/hot and T
shirts/shorts are the order of the day. The coldest bit was the air
conditioning on board! The sun is almost overhead so hat and long sleeves are
a good idea.
Good firm soled walking shoes/boots are essential due to the rough nature of
the lava terrain.


We loved the boat. It is beautifully maintained, polished wood everywhere
inside, and scrubbed decks outside. Obviously well loved. We were very sorry
to have to leave at the end of the holiday.


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