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It's not all about the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

8 top destinations in South America.  From the magic of an Antarctic expedition, to the excitement of an Inca Trail hike, South America has a ... Read more
It's not all about the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

8 top destinations in South America. 

From the magic of an Antarctic expedition, to the excitement of an Inca Trail hike, South America has a great deal to offer when it comes to trekking and walking, climbing and polar cruising holidays.

Peru is probably one of the most popular countries to visit, and it's no surprise as it's here that you will find the famous Inca Trail hike and the UNESCO site of Machu Picchu as well as a number of off-the-beaten track routes that really immerse you into the Andes. But it's not all about an Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, South America is incredibly diverse and has a lot more to offer the adventure traveller. 

In the west you will find Bolivia, a country high and generally mountainous with the Andean ranges running north to south, and the Cordillera Real rising high above Lake Titicaca. To the south are the vast wilds of the Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia with its iconic peaks and piercing blue glaciers. 

Further to the north is Ecuador, placed over the equator and distinctively split into three regions - the Andes, the low Amazon rainforest and the coast. The eastern side of South America is home to Brazil, where, from the jungle calls of the Amazon to the curves of Copacabana's thong-clad crowds, is a heady celebration of the big, the bold and the beautiful.

For a destination that is really out-of-this-world, then a visit to Chile or a polar expedition to Antarctica has to be on your bucket-list. If South America is on your list of go-to destinations, then take a look at our 8 top destinations for adventure holidays.


PERU - The Inca Trail, pink river dolphins and Machu Picchu

Peru is definitely the go-to destination for adventure travellers and for many, their first visit is to tick off trekking the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. A bucket-list journey that never disapoints and one of the top 5 treks in the world.

What is the Inca Trail? The Inca trail was a route of pilgrimage to the lost city of Machu Picchu used by the Inca in the 15th century and mainly used as a religious and ceremonial route to honour the mountains and peaks. Its highest point is said to be over 4000m so most people will acclimatise in Cusco for a few days first.

What is Machu Picchu? This site of ancient ruins was built in the 15th century and then abandoned, only to be rediscovered in 1911 by Professor Hiram Bingham. The 300 houses and 50 buildings is said to be in the shape of the condor only visible from above with outstanding views. 

It's not all about hiking this famous route however, Peru is a country filled with diverse, remote and wild lands, ancient civilisations and exotic wildlife. Its abundance of walking trails can immerse you deep into the Amazon rainforest, high up into the Andes, cruising down the Amazon river or exploring it's other Inca city, Choquequirao which is only accessible by foot. Take a look below at our 10 trips to Peru.

Tours that include hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu;


Trips that include visiting Machu Picchu;


Alternative adventures in Peru;

Want to include a Galapagos Islands cruise, a visit to Lake Titicaca or a rainforest extension?  Just visit the 'Extend your Holiday' tab on your chosen holiday page for more information.


PATAGONIA - A region of outstanding beauty 

We often get asked "Where is Patagonia?" Understandably, not everyone is aware that this region encompasses the southern end of South America and is governed by both Chile and Argentina. So, unless you are a geographical guru you may never have even heard of it. The highlights of this outstanding area are undoubtedly the Torres Del Paine National Park which incorporates the famous 'W' trek, and also the Los Glaciares National Park, home of gigantic glaciers and cascading waterfalls. 

Patagonia is based in the southern hemisphere, so if you are wondering what is the best time to visit Patagonia, it's generally between October to March when the weather is a little more predictable. Out of the summer season, strong gales characterize the area, so visiting in and around the summer months will see more stable, milder weather, green landscapes and more accessible hiking trails. 

It is undoubtedly one of the most outstandingly beautiful regions in the world, with its jagged glaciers, snow-capped peaks, glittering turquoise lakes and beautiful beech forests. It's dramatic, wild and unique in its natural beauty.


Adventure holidays to Patagonia;

  • Spires and Ice - Trekking Patagonia - 13 days, grade 5 - Hike the 'W' trek and walk in Fitz Roy
  • The Classic Paine Circuit - 12 days, grade 7 - Hike the complete Torres Del Paine circuit
  • The Best of Chile - 13 days, grade 3 - The Atacama Desert, The Lake District and Torres Del Paine


BOLIVIA - From Lake Titicaca to Huayna Potosi

Bolivia is a country of extremes. From the swelteringly hot lowlands of the Amazon to the high altiplanos of Lake Titicaca. The nation has a dizzying array of climates and adventures. Many travellers consider Bolivia to be their number one favourite South America country as it's so diverse, fabulously good value for money and completely and utterly bonkers. 

There is never a dull moment in Bolivia. Whether you choose to explore the captivating Salar de Uyuni, get face to face with the exotic Amazonian animals, immerse yourself in the indigenous culture or climb a 6000m peak. Bolivia has it all.  


Adventure holidays to Bolivia;


ECUADOR - Volcano trekking at its best

A large number of travellers will use Ecuador as the gateway to the Galapagos islands where you can take a short flight (as there is no road or ferry service) to an amazing volcanic archipelago, stuffed full of giant tortoises, lightfoot crabs, iguanas, sea lions, the Galapagos penguin and the blue-footed booby. The Galapagos Islands are considered the world's foremost destinations to see the unique Galapagos animals and plant species, found no-where else in the world. We offer a fantastic week long cruise as an extension to the holidays below. 

So why do we love Ecuador? Because it's packed full of active volcanoes. 32 of them to be precise including Cayambe (3rd highest 5,759m), Cotopaxi (2nd highest 5,897m) and Chimborazo (6,263m) which is the highest of all volcanoes in Ecuador and the closest point on Earth to the Moon. 

Adventure holidays in Ecuador;


CHILE - Moon like landscapes and active volcanoes

There's nowhere quite like Chile. Not just because its long line extends thousands of miles along the west coast of South America, but because of its vast expanse of moon-like landscapes, jagged peaks, active volcanoes and the driest place on earth - the Atacama Desert. It contains epic icons of adventure travel.

With Patagonia to the south, the Andes to the east and the Atacama Desert to the north, Chile hosts a diverse range of scenery and adventure opportunities from stargazing to climbing 6000m peaks. You'll also find some of the best street food and wine in the world - who wouldn't love an empanada and a glass of full bodied deep purple Malbec?

Adventure holidays in Chile;



GUIANAS - good things come in 3's

Concealed by untamed jungle and very little infrastructure, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana have remained an undiscovered and enigmatic destination. Known as the three Guianas, it's here that you will find some of the last untouched rainforests and be able to immerse yourself into one of the most biodiverse wildernesses on the planet. 

They are an eclectic world of river dolphins, spaceports, pristine rainforest, penal colonies and the land of the lost jaguar. You will also find the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, five times the height of Niagara Falls.

Remote and undiscovered, the Guianas are for the curious traveller who loves a real adventure and is prepared to be immersed into jungle life. 

Adventure holidays to the Guianas;


BRAZIL - A captivating country with wild rainforests

From the jungle calls of the Amazon to the curves of Copacabana's thong-clad crowds, Brazil is a heady celebration of the big, the bold and the beautiful. It's one of the world's most captivating places and its vast coastline is fringed with sandy beaches and island getaways. 

Brazil boasts the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. There are countless places where you can spot iconic species in Brazil, including toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, capybara, pink dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of other living species.  Where better to spot these, than on a remote Amazon River cruise.

Adventure holidays in Brazil;


ANTARCTICA - Epic expeditions to the 'end of the world'

The southernmost continent on Earth, Antarctica is located almost entirely to the south of the Antarctic Circle. It's a place beyond comprehension and sure to amaze any traveller seeking a true adventure. It is huge, twice as big as Australia, and covered by ice. It is the coldest, driest and windiest continent and, surprisingly, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. It's utterly breath-taking, and visiting is a journey that anyone who loves exploration should make. 

The only way to explore Antarctica is by boat departing from the 'End of the World', Argentina's port of Ushuaia. A journey across the Drake Passage and two days later you'll be there, feasting your eyes on one of the world's most awe-inspiring landscapes.

Our adventures are all polar cruise expeditions, with zodiac excursions, trips to shore, evening lectures and some have the opportunity to hike and kayak too. 

Adventure holidays in Antarctica;


If you would you like to know more about any of the above holidays, then give us a call on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions. 

Before visiting any country it's important that you adhere to that destinations entry requirements, such as being double vaccinated and/or providing a negative COVID test result. For the latest advice, please see the FCDO website or call our travel experts who will be able to help on 017687 73966, or email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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