South America & Antarctica

South America has long been a continent of mystery and intrigue – lost cities and ancient civilisations amongst natural wonders that stretch from the mighty Amazon River to the granite peaks and icefields of Patagonia to the towering peaks of Torres del Paine in Southern Chile. Witness the majestic Iguazu Falls, cruise through the Galapagos or venture south to Antarctica.

South America is undergoing a travel renaissance. Its years of having something of a risky reputation are behind it, and the region is now proving itself to be a safe, vibrant and thoroughly exciting travel destination.

The diversity of travel experiences is simply breathtaking, and each country has its own unique charms and attractions. From exploring the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu to learning the tango in Buenos Aires or cruising down the mighty Amazon River, South America has something for every travel taste.

Amazon Cruising

 

Top Experiences

  1. Machu Picchu
  2. The Amazon
  3. Patagonia
  4. Iguazú Falls
  5. Atacama Desert
  6. Galápagos Islands

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South America & Antarctica Tours

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2017 South America brochure


Argentina

Argentina is a land of contrasts and where so much of the natural landscape is on a huge scale. From sub-tropical jungle and desert canyons to frozen ice-caps, Argentina is a traveller’s dream.
Here you can find South America’s highest peak at 6,962m, the windswept plains and towering mountain vistas of Patagonia, the stylish and cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, home to the famous tango. Wine lovers can sample world-class Malbecs at Mendoza’s high-altitude vineyards with magnificent views of the Andes Mountains.  It is a land of towering mountains, glaciers and unusual flora.   Cruise or walk through this mountain wonderland, with its gorgeous lakes, fjords and glaciers like the famous Perito Moreno.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Visit spectacular Iguazu Falls, a jaw dropping experience in a rainforest setting.
  2. Patagonia, home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders.
  3. Visit the Iberá Marshlands, a protected nature reserve, for a cornucopia of wildlife.
  4. Quebrada de Humahuaca gorge for dramatic rock faces overlooking traditional villages and stunning colours.
  5. From the Malbecs and cabernets of Mendoza to the torrontés of Cafayate and syrahs of San Juan, there is something for all lovers of good wine.


Bolivia

From brilliant white salt flats, snow-capped Andean peaks, crystalline lagoons, rugged lowlands, Amazonian rainforest, terraced valleys, landlocked Bolivia is a virtual showcase of South America’s most dramatic landscapes rewarding its visitors unparalleled scenery and a fascinating cultural history.
Bolivia is South America’s most indigenous country, with the Quechua and Aymara people making up more than half the country’s population. Multi-layered skirts of bright colours and bowler hats are still worn today by indigenous women and on the windswept Andean plateaus you will still see local weavers taking their wares to weekly markets.
High-altitude La Paz, the capital, is possibly one of the most extraordinary in the world, with its maze of adobe houses clinging to steep canyon sides, a compact historic centre and endless quirky street markets.
The best time to visit the highland areas is April to October when the weather is cooler but dry with plenty of sunshine. The rainy summer season from November to March can cause some disruption on the roads, however travel is still possible.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Explore Lake Titicaca and overnight at Isla del Sol (Sun Island) for an unforgettable experience.
  2. Wander around the Witches Market in La Paz where vendors line the streets to sell a number of strange and fascinating products.
  3. Experience the Amazon in the remote Madidi National Reserve, one the most biologically diverse parks in the world.
  4. Traverse the world’s largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni and spend the night at a hotel made of salt.
  5. Visit the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Tiwanaku for a glimpse into one of the most important civilizations prior to the Inca Empire. It is also one of the oldest and highest urban cities ver built.


Brazil

Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country and getting around does take time, but travellers will be rewarded with diverse natural wonders. Brazil has a unique cultural identity, expressed throughout the country in the food, dance, music and rituals.
Take a step back in time in the colonial city of Salvador de Bahia, a living monument to the legacy of the Portuguese. Visit the lush rainforest of the Amazon or experience the wildlife in the Pantanal wetlands. Join the world’s largest party, “Carnival”, in Rio de Janeiro; perhaps no other destination in Brazil is more legendary as it pulses to the sounds of samba or bossa nova.
Brazil is a year-round destination with the warmest months being from November to March. The Pantanal is best visited during the driest months between April and October, however like in the Amazon; its wetter months offer distinct wildlife spotting opportunities and experiences.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Wildlife watching in the Pantanal wetlands, one of the richest and most varied ecosystems in the world.
  2. Stroll the romantic streets of colonial Paraty, and a schooner cruise around its stunning bay and islands.
  3. Celebrate Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the biggest party on earth.
  4. Explore the cobblestone streets of Salvador da Bahia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  5. See the “Meeting of the Waters” the striking, two-toned confluence of the Rivers Negro and Solimões, a phenomenon visible from space.


Chile

Chile is a land of astonishing diversity, proud people and awe-inspiring scenery. It is a land of extremes; from the driest desert on earth in the far north to the fjords and ice floes of the Patagonian south, Chile will impress you with her beauty. The huge variance in latitude gives Chile a unique variety of climates and landscapes.
Explore the remarkable high altitude Atacama Desert, relax in the idyllic scenery of the Lake District, experience the magnificent glaciers and national parks of Patagonia or head 3,000 kilometres off the coast to Easter Island and its mysterious moai statues, there is something for everyone in this fascinating country.
For travellers visiting Patagonia, October to March are the warmest and most accessible months. Santiago, the Central Valleys and the Atacama Desert are year-round destinations.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Explore the majestic Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.
  2. Experience the breathtaking desert landscape of the Atacama Desert and stargaze at night under the clear desert skies.
  3. From its majestic views of the Andes to the excellent museums, there is much to see in Santiago and its surrounds.
  4. Take a trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and see the mysterious moai statues.
  5. Cruise the spectacular Chilean Fjords and channels providing the only access to this part of Patagonia.


Colombia

The only country in South America to have both an Atlantic and a Pacific coast, Colombia has much to offer. Ranking in the top 3 countries in the world for biodiversity, it is a nature lover’s paradise. With its beautiful beaches and national parks; a rich and diverse culture; charming, historic towns and cities make Colombia a must-see destination.
Visit the charming city of Cartagena de Indias, with its cobblestone streets where the fragrance of tropical flowers mingles with the sea air to create a heady atmosphere. Tour the beautiful valleys of the Coffee Triangle and discover traditional villages and cloud forests teeming with birds. It is easy to see why Colombians are so friendly and are regarded as one of the happiest nations in the world.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Stroll the streets and soak up the atmosphere of Cartagena and watch the sun set at Café del Mar.
  2. Visit the beautiful underground Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá; stalactites and specks of salt create a luminous spiritual atmosphere.
  3. Go horse-riding in the stunning Cocora valley.
  4. Tour the gently rolling hillsides of the Zona Cafetera (coffee zone) and go horse-riding in the misty green beauty of Valle de Cocora, dotted with the striking “palma de cera” (wax palm), the largest palm in the world.
  5. A centre of arts and culture and excellent museums there is something for everyone in the bustling city of Bogotá.


Ecuador

From the open-air wildlife museum of the Galápagos Islands, stunning snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes, steamy tropical rainforests, colourful Indian markets, charming cities such as Quito and Cuenca, Ecuador is a nation of great natural and cultural diversity.
Quito is one of South America’s loveliest capitals, and the first to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander the steep streets and discover a treasure trove of architectural beauty and a rich cultural history.
Straddling the equator from which comes its name, Ecuador is easy to explore and an excellent destination for travellers looking to take part in outdoor activities or immersing yourself in the incredible history.  Visit local communities, enjoy breathtaking nature and wildlife or shop for the beautiful textiles and handicrafts in the many lively markets. There is something for everyone here.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Explore Quito, one of South America’s best-preserved colonial cities and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.
  2. Stroll the streets of Cuenca, a charming colonial city crammed full of heritage buildings.
  3. Get up close and personal with the wildlife in the Galápagos Islands, an experience never to be forgotten.
  4. Ride the Devil’s Nose Train, as it descends the Andes in a series of thrilling switchback turns.
  5. Journey through the “Avenue of Volcanoes”, the lofty Andean peaks are prime for hiking and climbing.


Peru

Peru spoils its visitors for choice and beckons with the allure of the ancient and mysterious. Discover a land of mysterious Inca ruins, snow-capped mountains, lush lowland jungles and immense natural beauty. Much of Peru’s territory lies in the Amazon basin, cloaked in tropical forest where one can immerse themselves in one of Peru’s many wonderful jungle lodges.
Experience the wonder that is Machu Picchu, a picturesque train trip or trek from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco. Take in stunning Andean scenery of the Colca Canyon and the picturesque “white” city of Arequipa.  Lovers of architecture and history will be enthralled by Lima’s many excellent museums and food lovers will find a never-ending selection of wonderful restaurants and markets.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Visit the citadel of Machu Picchu, the famous Inca city is simply awe-inspiring and lives up to the hype.
  2. Uros Islands, one of Lake Titicaca’s many treasures, these man-made floating villages have existed in the lake since Inca times.
  3. Colca Canyon, offering indescribably beautiful scenery, is dotted with villages which have hardly changed for centuries.
  4. Sample the delicious food in Lima, the gastronomic capital of South America. Learn all about the history in the many excellent museums on offer here.
  5. Ride a dune buggy on the soaring sand dunes of Huacachina.


Antarctica

From its extraordinary wildlife and breathtaking scenery to the relics of a fascinating history of science and exploration, the vast ‘White Continent’ of Antarctic has undeniable appeal. Pick any superlative and it can be married to this spellbinding destination!
Antarctica is a remote, magical place that will greet you with its awe-inspiring beauty. See peaceful bays dotted with colossal icebergs; cruise along deep fjords and see massive glaciers; be amazed by sharp snowy peaks that jut out of the sea.
Set foot on the seventh continent and add a new destination to your travel list. There is an excellent range of options for Antarctic travel which generates an opportunity of a lifetime to encounter remarkable wildlife amidst pristine, magnificent scenery. You will bring home indelible memories, while tales of your journey will arouse the curiosity of your peers and produce their admiration.

Top 5 Experiences

  1. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers as you hike on Antarctic soil.
  2. Experience Antarctica from the unique vantage point of a sea kayak or zodiac and gain a completely different perspective of the majestic landscape, the icebergs and the wildlife.
  3. Every direction you turn you will see an array of bird, penguin and seal species in their natural habitat, maybe even a whale splashing around at sea.
  4. For the experience of a lifetime spend a night ashore camping on the Antarctic shelf.
  5. Witness the phenomenon of the Southern Lights.