Holidays to South America: an Overview

South America is a destination on the up thanks to an enticing blend of fascinating people, places and pastimes and a new found place in the public consciousness. Whatever you are looking for we will have a spot-on suggestion. Want breathtaking landscapes? We can advise on some that may render your jaw well and truly dropped, such as the pampas of Argentina or the glaciers of Patagonia in Chile.

Will, Hero and Ysobel are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

The Original Travel Americas team know an almost swotty amount about the continent after living and travelling there over the past decade

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We can arrange tailor-made adventures into the remote Amazon rainforest, or mountaineering with expert guides in the Andes and diving in the Galapagos Islands. Wildlife nuts can even travel to a secret spot that we know deep in the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil to spot jaguars in the wild.

Also in Brazil, and away from actual animals, party animals have to visit Rio and Buzios, while Ecuador is also gaining a great reputation as a hip hangout beach destination as well.

From buff beach bods to history buffs, the various - invariably spectacular - cities and symbols of the Incas and the Nazca, South America's great indigenous peoples, at places such as Machu Picchu are the stuff of every bucket list.

And then there's the food, in our books always a reason to travel. Carnivores need to roam around Argentina learning about the endless ways to cook perfect steaks, while Peruvian cuisine, and ceviche in particularly, are the culinary craze du jour. Elsewhere Chilean and Argentinian wines are coming on strong and coffiends need to sample Colombia's finest beans.

Have we missed anything? Lots, but not as much as you'll be missing out on if you never visit South America.


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Top picks for South America

Argentina

Argentina

South America

From the end of the world in Patagonia, past the pampas and sultry Buenos Aires to the hilltops of Salta, Argentina is big, bold and beautiful.

Where to go

Argentina
Ski Portillo

Ski Portillo

Chile

Just two hour's drive from the capital Santiago, Portillo is the finest ski resort in Latin America, with a majestic Andean setting and superb powder conditions.

What to do

Ski Portillo
Casa Ana

Casa Ana

Uruguay

Perfect for honeymooners or chill-time seekers, British art gallery owner Martin Summers, rents his summer haven out to guest looking for that home away from home feel.

Where to stay

Casa Ana
Peru

Peru

South America

The scenery is striking in its diversity, from plunging canyons to soaring mountains, lush rainforests to arid Altiplano.

Where to go

Peru
Helicopter ride

Helicopter ride

Iguacu Falls

Silence the arguments over whether it’s the Argentinian or the Brazilian side of the falls that affords the best view, and see the whole lot from the air in a thrilling helicopter ride.

What to do

Helicopter ride
Riding in Southern Patagonia

Riding in Southern Patagonia

Southern Patagonia

Although El Chalten is known for its superb hiking and mountain climbing, its pristine wild scenery also lends itself perfectly to some spectacular riding.

What to do

Riding in Southern Patagonia
Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Rio, Buzios & the Costa Verde

The most outrageous and spectacular festivities take place in Rio, whose world-famous Carnival and its associated musicians, dancers, floats and parades have become so large that they all take place in the purpose-built sambodrome building, with entries and seating tightly controlled and pre-allocated.

What to do

Rio Carnival
Hotel Fasano Las Piedras

Hotel Fasano Las Piedras

Uruguay

The 480 hectares Fasano Las Piedras estate is a special setting, combining spectacular views of almost Tuscan countryside with British country house elegance, all conveniently located within minutes of the most beautiful beaches of Uruguay.

Where to stay

Hotel Fasano Las Piedras
Glacier Ice Trekking

Glacier Ice Trekking

Southern Patagonia

Southern Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park stretches parallel to the Andes for over 120 miles, its most famous members being the Perito Moreno, Upsala and Onelli.

What to do

Glacier Ice Trekking
Guardia del Monte

Guardia del Monte

Uruguay

Located on the edge of Castillos Lagoon, Guardia del Monte is one of the few remaining working cattle ranches that still cater to guests, and with beautiful surrounding it’s a personal favourite of ours.

Where to stay

Guardia del Monte
Kayaking from Paraty

Kayaking from Paraty

Rio, Buzios & the Costa Verde

Hundreds of islands with unspoiled tropical wilderness lie just off shore of the Costa Verde and the best way to explore them is by kayak.

What to do

Kayaking from Paraty
Sugarloaf & Corcovado mountains

Sugarloaf & Corcovado mountains

Rio, Buzios & the Costa Verde

The iconic mountains that appear in any self-respecting shot of Rio both offer superb panoramic views of the city, its bays and beaches.

What to do

Sugarloaf & Corcovado mountains
 Estancia Vik

Estancia Vik

Uruguay

Merging exceptional design, flawless service and an unparalleled collection of Uruguayan and International Art - Estancia Vik is a luxury boutique hotel surrounded by 4,000 acres of rolling countryside near Jose Ignacio.

Where to stay

Estancia Vik
Ecuador & the Galapagos

Ecuador & the Galapagos

South America

Nobody comes back disappointed from the Galapagos, but don't neglect the rest of this fascinating country

Where to go

Ecuador & the Galapagos
Playa Vik

Playa Vik

Uruguay

Sister property to Estancia Vik, Playa Vik is very much a work of art in itself, with wacky architectural design and fantastic sea views.

Where to stay

Playa Vik
Whale watching, Florianopolis

Whale watching, Florianopolis

Southern Brazil

Escaping the harsh winter, the whales migrate northwards in search of warmer and calmer waters in which to reproduce and nurse their young calves.

What to do

Whale watching, Florianopolis
Bolivia

Bolivia

South America

Landlocked Andean Bolivia is rich in ancient culture, music and folklore and perhaps because of the country’s relative lack of sophistication and infrastructure, is far less visited than its neighbours.

Where to go

Bolivia
Brazil

Brazil

South America

Indisputably the ‘in’ country on earth right now, and somewhere that we at Original Travel can’t get enough of.

Where to go

Brazil
Fly Fishing in Northern Patagonia

Fly Fishing in Northern Patagonia

Northern Patagonia

Still a fully working farm, Tipiliuke Lodge is part of the 20,000 hectare Cerro de los Pinos country estate founded in 1909 by the grandfather of the current owners.

What to do

Fly Fishing in Northern Patagonia
El Balcon del Abra

El Balcon del Abra

Uruguay

The posada El Balcón del Abra is located in a manicured park surrounded by beautiful trees and towering palms, and with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and hills.

Where to stay

El Balcon del Abra
Colombia

Colombia

South America

Fast recovering from a severe image problem, Colombia is once more one of South America’s most vibrant countries.

Where to go

Colombia
Pueblo Barrancas Eco Lodge

Pueblo Barrancas Eco Lodge

Uruguay

Located in a rugged oceanfront landscape hidden within forest and dunes, Pueblo Barrancas Eco Lodge is just a few short footsteps from the beach.

Where to stay

Pueblo Barrancas Eco Lodge
Bahia Vik

Bahia Vik

Uruguay

Bahia Vik is the latest member of the stylish Vik retreats family. This chic beach boutique is nestled in ten acres of the sandy dunes of Mansa Beach on the Jose Ignacio Peninsula with magnificent views of the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

Where to stay

Bahia Vik
Uruguay

Uruguay

South America

The secret is sneaking out, but Uruguay is still a hugely under-rated destination.

Where to go

Uruguay

Thank you so much for organising the most wonderful holiday for us. It was the best holiday I have ever been on. Everything ran smoothly and we just loved everything. I shall be recommending you to all my friends.

Jane & Charlie

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