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 ancient 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.
Great sample itineraries
South America's landscape provides ample opportunities for adventure, whether it's discovering ancient ruins or glimpsing the earth's most exotic creatures. For an epic South America holiday, get in touch.
Luxury Amazon River Cruise Brazil
Escorted Tour To Easter Island
Our favorite 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.
Belmond Miraflores Park
Belmond Copacabana Palace
Explore 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.
Join the Rio Carnival
The world famous festival, the Rio De Janeiro carnival, is a feast for the senses. Bright and bold costumes in a sparkling array of colours lead the festivities in a celebration of music, food and culture in the worlds’ largest carnival. Revel in your wild side and experience Brazil’s party spirit first hand as you celebrate alongside locals in the five day festival that will leave you mesmerised.
Venture the Machu Picchu trail
A visit to this legendary wonder of the world will leave you awe struck. The hidden city of Machu Picchu and its pristinely preserved ruins are waiting to be discovered, along the winding trajectory of the original Inca trail. If the climb seems a bit too daunting, there is also a train that takes you to the site in leisurely luxury. Either way, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the kingdom in the clouds for your efforts.
Beagle Channel Excursion
Follow the trail of Charles Darwin as you board a catamaran from Ushaia, the southernmost town in the world. Sail close to looming icebergs, past colonies of sunbathing sea lions, and if you time it just right you may even see a whale surfacing.
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.
Discover the Galapagos Islands
The volcanic archipelago of the Galapagos Islands is one of the world's best and most unspoiled places for observing animals and wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s not just the likes of Charles Darwin and Sir David Attenborough who have bought iconic status to these islands. The remote and untouched landscape transports you to another world where climbing volcanoes, snorkelling with sea lions and lounging with beach lizards and giant tortoises are all possible.
“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.”
“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
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.
The music fueling Salvador Carnival is not the samba of Rio Carnaval but a heady fusion of African and Brazilian pop. An equally impressive festival, huge street parties take place all week from 28 February to 6 March. Listen out for the beat of the bongo drums, and don’t be surprised to find your hips shaking involuntarily.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.