South America Touring

South America is an incredible destination and is bar far one of the most beautiful and richly diverse places in the world. This continent is second to none when it comes to offering extraordinary experiences and boasts a colourful local culture, a diverse range of plants and animals as well as the impressive Andes mountain range. There are so many wonderful experiences to highlight, including an expedition to the deepest jungles of the Amazon Rainforest, a glimpse at the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and a trek along the Inca trail to the forgotten city of Machu Picchu.

South America consists of many wonderful countries and here’s a snippet on our top ones:

Brazil is the largest country in South America by both population and land mass and stretches from the base of the Amazon in the north to the impressive Iguaçu Falls in the south, offering visitors great interest and diversity. One of the most densely populated cities, Rio de Janeiro is filled to the brim with fascinating people and culture and is famously symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue on the top of Mount Corcovado, this city also boasts the renowned Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Each year Brazil hosts an incredible carnival with many colourful floats and parades, with people dressed in striking costumes all dancing to the sounds of samba.

Argentina is an enormous South American nation with terrain encompassing the Andes mountains, glacial lakes and the Pampas grassland which is the traditional grazing ground of its famed beef cattle. The country is also known for its love of tango dance and music. Its big, cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires, is centred on the Plaza de Mayo, lined with stately 19th-century buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied presidential palace.

Argentina boasts stunning natural wonders like the Aconcagua; the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, also the widest river and estuary on the planet, the River Plate and not forgetting the huge and very mighty Iguazu Falls. Together with a good quality of life and people, and relatively well prepared infrastructure make this country one of the most visited of Latin America. 

Peru is much smaller in comparison to Brazil and Argentina but is a country that is also home to a section of Amazon rainforest. It is easy for travellers to combine a jungle experience together with a visit to the world famous Machu Picchu, which makes Peru an extremely interesting option for many travellers. Accessed via the ancient routes of the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu is the lost Incan city perched high in the Andes mountain range. The region surrounding Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, the colonial city of Cusco, is an area rich in archaeological sites and very popular amongst visitors. On Peru’s Pacific coast is the capital city of Lima, which boasts a well preserved colonial centre and impressive collections of pre-Columbian art.

Ecuador is smaller yet in comparison to all the above South American Countries but offers an immensely diverse landscape encompassing yet more Amazon rainforest, Andean highlands and the splendour of the unique wildlife of the Galápagos Islands. Quito is the capital city and is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial centre, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.

Thames Travel’s Thoughts:  Our love of South America is a long-standing one and Claire has first-hand experience from her trip to Ecuador and The Galapagos, where she mingled with the locals in street markets, saw the famous Cotopaxi Volcano gently erupting whilst on route to Quito and came face to face with the infamous Blue Footed Boobie in the Galapagos Islands and even saw Humpback whales frolicking in the bay. Each of the South American countries is so richly diverse with so many exciting experiences to be had.