• a large waterfall over some water with Iguazu Falls in the background

South America Holidays

South America has all the ingredients for a truly unforgettable adventure. From the soaring Andean peaks and steamy Amazonian rainforest to Patagonia’s icy glaciers and Atacama Desert’s arid expanses, natural wonders and astounding landscapes abound. Paired with colourful culture, welcoming locals, fascinating history, exquisite cuisine and a thriving nightlife, there’s something to tick everyone’s box on a South American holiday.

Samba your way through radiant Brazil, stopping for a dance at the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnaval. Follow the footsteps of the Incas as you weave through lush mountain valleys and roam ancient temples on a Machu Picchu trek in Peru. Contemplate the awe-inspiring power of the Iguazú Falls in Argentina. Sink your toes into the soft white-sands of Colombia’s paradisal beaches. Ponder the mysterious Easter Island stone statues. Journey across mystical Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, where wet salt flats stretch in an endless mirror mirage as far as the eye can see.

Wherever you go, expect to be taken aback by the sheer magnificence and variety of South America’s landscapes and cultures.

Every moment offers new adventure on a South America tour

South America travel is packed with nail-biting adventures and novel experiences. Whizz down Andean roads on a mountain bike; fish Piranhas in the languid Amazonian river; paraglide over Medellin’s green hills. When you’re done thrill-seeking, you can relax on golden coastlines, wander the cobbled streets of charming colonial towns or barter over brightly coloured lama wools at a local market. From morning to night, prepare to be enchanted, excited and intrigued.

The perfect way to make the most of this extraordinary continent, we organise an array of South America multi centre holidays. Combine an adventure in Rio De Janeiro with wine tasting in Mendoza. Blend cultural heritage in Peru with relaxation on Brazil’s beaches. Sail Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands and Patagonia by boat.

Destination Highlights
  • Witness the incredible biodiversity of the volcanic Galápagos islands
  • Step back into the past on a hike to majestic and mythical Machu Picchu
  • Vast and untouched, roam Patagonia’s snow-tipped peaks, alpine lakes and towering glaciers
  • Visit glittering Lake Titicaca, glimpsing the culture and traditions of the locals who inhabit the floating reed islands

Our favourite hotels

South America is home to some incredible hotels. If you can’t see exactly what you’re looking for, get in touch - we’d love to find you the perfect fit.

Rooftop Pool

Belmond Miraflores Park

Lima

H&J Rating
Belmond Miraflores Park

Belmond Copacabana Palace

Rio de Janeiro

H&J Rating
Belmond Copacabana Palace
a bedroom with a bed and a chair in front of a window

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Cusco

Cuzco

H&J Rating
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Cusco

Time Zone

GMT -3 to GMT -7, depending on area and time of year

Language

Spanish in all countries except Brazil with is Portuguese

Health Information

Speak to your GP for the latest information medical information.

Things to do in South America

It goes without saying, intrepid travellers are right at home in this continent of 12 big and bold countries. You’ll explore big-hitting natural and man made wonders such as The Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls; and diverse cities such as Santiago and Rio. You won’t be able to get enough of this place.

  • gig

    Rio Carnival

    Be as flamboyant as you like - when you join 2 million revellers at the world’s biggest carnival, you’ll see that they don’t hold back on their vibrant costumes. This five-day festival, hosted at the Sambadrome, will have you instantly hooked on Brazil’s party spirit.

  • a view of a rocky mountain

    Machu Picchu

    You’ll be amazed when you visit Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel in Peru perched 2,430 metres above sea level. South America plays home to many other indigenous ruins like these – the human-like moai sculptures on Easter Island are also a must-see.

  • a person standing next to a body of water

    Icebergs

    Head to the southern most town in the world, Ushuaia, from here the next stop is Antarctica. Take a boat trip out to see some of the most impressive icebergs in the world.

  • Easter Island

    Easter Island

    Easter island is the most remote, yet still inhabited island in the world. A five hour flight from Santiago takes you to this mysterious place, which is home to hundreds of Maoi statue. The origin of which is still unknown.

  • Galapagos Iguana

    Galapagos Islands

    The Galapagos Islands is one of the world's best and most unspoiled places for wildlife watching. Enjoy wildlife like never before from land and boat.

  • Robert, Destination Specialist

    Robert

    Destination Specialist

    “South America is one of those places that just keeps on giving. To really make the most of this incredible continent - and its astounding array of landscapes, cultures and cities - we highly recommend a multi centre holiday.”

  • Barbara, Destination Specialist

    Barbara

    Destination Specialist

    “South America is a year-round destination, but due to the diversity of the landscapes and climates, each country will have a different best time to go. If possible, consider visiting places in off peak season, where there will be fewer tourists at the main attractions and guaranteed space at the best hotels and restaurants. For attractions such as Machu Picchu or Patagonia, there will be specific times to visit due to weather conditions.”

Events & Festivals in South America

An array of vibrant events and festivals take place all over South America each year. Incorporating one into your South America travels is the perfect way to really get an insight into the atmosphere, culture and traditions of a place.

  • Rio de Janeiro Carnaval, Brazil

    People flock from all over the world to join the throngs celebrating this colourful carnival from 21-26 February - the world’s biggest street party, clocking over two million attendees. From huge, dazzling float parades to samba street parties, dress in your best and get lost in the drums and the dancing.

  • The Flowers Festival, Colombia

    During August, Medellin transforms into a haze of flowers and fragrance to mark the annual Flower Fair. Expect pageants, folk concerts and the enchanting Desfile de silleteros parade (Flower Grower’s Parade) - where the farmers who create the stunning flower arrangements compete by parading them through the city on their backs.

  • Day of the Dead, Bolivia

    Despite the name, there are few festivals as colourful or joyful as El Dia de los Muertos. With a long tradition in South America, this event is celebrated widely across the continent in November. People join processions to their local cemeteries where they make offerings of food and flowers. Bolivia has some of the most intriguing celebrations, where the ancient tradition of digging up skulls and decorating them for the day is still popular.

  • Inti Raymi, Peru

    Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) takes place annually on 24 July, in honour of the revered Incan Sun God, Inti. Celebrated since 1412, the festival draws thousands of locals and international travellers to Cuzco. The celebration sees dancing, singing, lavish feasts and elaborate cultural re-enactments at the Incan archaeological site Sacsayhuaman.

Local Cuisine in South America

Latin America is a place famed for its meat, fish and wine, and there are ample opportunities to sample some of the continent’s most sumptuous authentic dishes. From steaming street stalls to world-class restaurants, a world of flavour awaits.

  • Brazilian Feijoada

    One of Brazil’s traditional dishes, the hearty Feijoada bean stew consists of black beans and salted pork or beef. A true labour of love, the traditional cooking process takes up to 24 hours. It is served with rice, cabbage and sometimes an orange slice.

  • Peruvian Ceviche

    Ceviche is Peru’s favourite dish; it even has its own National Holiday on 28 June. The dish consists of fish or seafood marinated in lime and spiced with Peruvian chilli peppers. It is often accompanied by camote (sweet potatoes) and choclo (corn).

  • Argentinian Empanadas

    Empanadas are small pies, in a croissant-like shape. There are various different fillings and they range in size and style. Argentina is well-known for having the world’s best empanadas and many regions have special recipes that have been passed down generations.

  • Uruguayan Chivito

    One of the world’s most epic sandwiches, the Chivito is the national dish of Uruguay. A substantial sarnie, it consists of slices of churrasco (filet mignon beef), bacon, mozzarella, tomatoes, lettuce, ham, olives and a fried egg.

  • South American Wines

    Each country and region in South America boasts its own distinct wine. From the rich reds of Argentina and Chile, to the dry Muscat of Bolivia and the bubbly’s of Brazil, there’s a whole world of flavour to discover.

Our South America destinations

A continent of dense rainforests, turquoise glaciers, red-rock canyons and towering volcanoes. Not to mention cities steeped in history, quaint fishing villages and music you can’t help but dance to. Begin your exploration today.

a large waterfall over a body of water

South America

Brazil

Brazil
a lake with a mountain in the background

South America

Argentina

Argentina
a snow covered mountain

South America

Chile

Chile
Machu Picchu

South America

Peru

Peru
a house that has a sign on the side of a building

South America

Colombia

Colombia
a lizard on a rock

South America

Ecuador

Ecuador

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