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Destination Guide - South America

South America: Tribal Meets Modern

South America is a unique combination of secluded rainforest tribes, modern cities, and historic temple ruins. Many of the South American countries, especially Brazil and Argentina, are famous worldwide for their over-the-top carnivals, welcoming atmosphere, and seductive dances.

Nowhere else in the world combines hiking and mountain climbing with history and culture. The Aztec temple ruins high in the Andes Mountains, the Arawak settlements on the eastern coast, and many other remnants of ancient civilisations must be experienced to be believed. To find out how best to travel to South America be sure to consult

When to go

South America has a wide range of climates, from high altitude cities to humid rainforests, to hot settlements and icy expanses. Lying on the equator, the continent has some of the hottest temperatures in the world. There’s no particular time of year to visit the continent as temperatures are constant, with heavy rainfall around the Amazon Basin and northern states, scorching sun in the Atacama Desert, and warm bathing temperatures in the most populous cities. Throughout the year there will always be somewhere to experience.

Rio de Janeiro

One of the largest cities is the Americas, it’s the typical South American seaside settlement, with its huge statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, the legendary Copa Cabana beach, and Maracanã Stadium; Rio is a focal point of the global spotlight. The Rio Carnival is the ultimate event on the South American calendar, with millions of spectators, dancers, singers and musicians joining in the celebrations before Lent each year. Brightly decorated floats, traditional dances, and samba music fills the streets around the Sambadrome for this Brazilian event. The city is scattered with former Portuguese colonial monuments and architecture, including the former royal palaces and the intricately decorated Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro. Rio has it all.

Buenos Aires

As the political and cultural capital of Argentina, the sprawling city of Buenos Aires has something for everyone. Home to the Tango and referred to as the “Paris of Americas”, Buenos Aires has an atmosphere all of its own. Modern glass skyscrapers sit alongside colourful 19th century port shanty houses in the La Boca neighbourhood, while grand mansions and embassies sit on Alvear Avenue, facing the widest avenue in the world; Avenida 9 de Julio. This is a truly unique and fabulous city.


The Chilean capital is one of the highest capitals in the world, and is surrounded by the snow-capped Andes Mountain range. Throughout the city the remnants of Spanish colonialism are very evident, with the ornate National Library of Chile and La Moneda Palace, which has occupied its current area since 1784, and now acts as the office of the President of Chile. Visiting Santiago is like stepping into another world; more reminiscent of a European city than that of a modern South American city.

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South America highlights not to miss

- Hiking high up into the snowy Andes Mountain range, which span Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
- Visiting the mysterious moai stone carved heads on Easter Island; one of the most remote settlements in the world.
- Visiting the diverse wildlife on the Galapagos Islands, where lizards, birds, tortoises and fish, which are extinct everywhere else, can still be seen.
- Joining in the celebrations of the Rio Carnival and dressing up in bright feather boas during the samba.
- Watching the crashing icebergs of the Perito Moreno Glacier; found at the very tip of the South American continent.
- Spending the night in a remote Amazonian rainforest camp, surrounded by unique wildlife and the sounds of nature.
- Stargazing in the Atacama Desert, which has some of the clearest skies on earth.