South America Tours

Most Australians travelling to South America visit more than one country on their holiday, crossing borders to get a true taste for the diversity this continent has to offer.
 
Where to start? There are numerous gateways in South America, the most common for Australians being Santiago and Buenos Aires. From there it will depend on what your style of travel is as to where you want to go.
 
What’s it like?  It is impossible to sum up South America in brief, it is a continent like no other, offering a variety of incredulous terrains, a host of differing cultures, a fascinating and unique range of wildlife, a gastronomic cuisine, an intriguing history and a range of adventure-filled activities. From snow-capped mountains to turquoise lakes, stark arid deserts, rainforest, vast salt flats, pampas grasslands, glaciers, volcanoes, spectacular coastline and waterfalls, the landscapes of South America are breathtaking. In complete contrast are bustling and vibrant cities such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Lima and Montevideo. Then there are fascinating colonial towns such as Cusco, Sucre, Quito, Cartagena and Colonia and the mining towns of Potosi and Ouro Preto. South America is steeped in history and culture and a South America tour could allow you to delve into the history of the Inca, Moche and Nazca civilisations or immerse yourself in the culture of the Quechua Indians or the Afro-Brazilian beat of Salvador. For food lovers, a gastronomic experience awaits, tempting you with mouth-watering Argentinian steaks or fresh seafood ceviche accompanied by a glass of fine Chilean or Argentinian wine. Put simply South America has it all, all you need to decide is what type of journey you are after, South America has it all.  
 
Getting there: For Australians visiting South America there are many ways to get there, the most popular is flying the southern route south via Auckland to Santiago/Buenos Aires. From the west there is also the option to go via Abu Dhabi in the middle east to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires, or for those who want to do a bit of shopping on the way there are many options via Los Angeles in the USA and then dropping down into Lima or Quito It will depend on where you start and end your journey.
 
More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.
 
Still wondering? Contact us:  You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you. 
 

The entire journey with Chimu Adventures was amazing! Our guides were great. The hotels were perfect. I couldn't think of going with any other travel company! - Ashharman

Read Reviews (Avg 4.7 ★)
 
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Featured South America Trips & Deals

GROUP TOUR  From 13,300

This small group tour visits South America's most incredible destinations in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile.Visit Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, the Amazon and more.

POPULAR  From 7,290

Looking to explore South America? This 21 day loop covers the best of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and a taste of Chile. Highlights include Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, the Amazon and more.

South America Tours

Articles On South America

Why Is The Amazon So Important?

Posted on Mon, 12 Dec 2016

The Amazon rainforest is a wondrous and beautiful place, full of mighty rivers and lush green trees. But, beneath its glossy green exterior, it’s working hard to provide the world with countless benefits. Without the Amazon the entire world’s climates would be thrown off, the atmosphere would be polluted with billions of tonnes of CO2, 10% of the world’s biodiversity …

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How Does South America Celebrate Christmas?

Posted on Tue, 29 Nov 2016

Christmas is a wonderful time to visit South America. Not only do you get the priceless chance to escape the stresses of the holiday season at home, but you’ll also get the chance to experience a whole new part of the world in what is arguably the most special time of year. And Christmas in South America, a fervently traditional …

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The Mysteries of The Amazon River

Posted on Sun, 02 Oct 2016

We have all heard about the mighty Amazon River, however there is still a lot of mystery surrounding this natural wonder. From it’s sheer length, majestic surrounding forests, rich and terrifying biodiversity, and unusual scientific history, this is definitely one of the most interesting rivers in the world. This is why we have put together this list of 10 mysteries of …

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Airstream Uyuni Camper

Posted on Thu, 29 Sep 2016

A La Paz to San Pedro de Atacama adventure is usually denoted by its distinctive lack of luxury. Unless, of course, you choose to tour the world’s largest salt flats with a luxury Airstream camper in tow. This relatively new addition to the Bolivian overland scene has opened up this most remote region of South America to a brand new …

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The ultimate South America Bucket-list – Part 2

Posted on Thu, 22 Sep 2016

So…where were we? Read The Ultimate South America Bucket-list – PART 1 If you’ve already got a South America tour under your belt, you’ve no doubt ticked a few of the PART 1 highlights off your bucket list. That’s the beauty of this continent: you can actually see a lot in a relatively short trip. Even if you visit remote …

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The Best Time to Visit South America’s Big Five

Posted on Tue, 20 Sep 2016

Have you fallen in love with South America’s Big Five yet? Read our previous guides…and you will! Previous blogs Big Five: 1. Conquer South America’s Big Five 2. How to Tick Off South America’s Big Five Among South America’s most enticing attractions, there are 5 that shine through like the priceless gems they are. Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Rio …

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How To Tick Off South America’s Big Five

Posted on Mon, 19 Sep 2016

Planning a comprehensive South America tour, one that aims to take in several attractions, is usually fraught with much angst, most especially by first-time visitors. Such a HUGE continent, SO many places to see and SOOOO many things to do. Where does one even start?! South America’s Big Five attractions are undoubtedly a fantastic starting point for any itinerary. Although, given …

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Conquer South America’s Big Five

Posted on Sun, 18 Sep 2016

Think Africa is the only continent with a Big Five? Think again! From the impenetrable depths of the Amazon to the breathtaking heights of Machu Picchu, we introduce you to South America’s BIG Five attractions, and show you how to conquer them…one by impressive one. South America’s BIG Five 1. Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu is, without a doubt, the …

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The Ultimate South America Bucket-list – PART 1

Posted on Fri, 16 Sep 2016

When it comes to bucket-list worthy attractions, South America is a little greedy. From tip to end, from the Pacific to the Atlantic: this incredibly diverse continent offers innumerable chances for exhilarating and unique experiences. The problem, of course, is that when you plan a South America tour of just a few weeks, it’s impossible to do, see, taste and …

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9) Planning your trip to South America if you want to relax and unwind on a beach

Posted on Tue, 06 Sep 2016

There are so many options when it comes to beach escapes in South America. The Caribbean is probably the world’s largest beach resort after all, and although many of the Caribbean’s islands aren’t really part of Latin America (i.e. no Spanish or Portuguese language) Cuba and Mexico alone have so many all-inclusive resorts at destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen …

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South America Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil The itinerary was just wonderful. We saw all and more of what we had imagined. Chimu's MO of using local agents or subsidiaries worked really well - we had the beenift of our own space as well as meeting plenty of people on the various city tours etc.
Date published: 2015-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great value. All we requested in our time and pric Guides and hotels were great. Most tours were just the two of us but other larger groups were enjoyable. Agency was contactable, even finding and returning to hotel a jacket left on the bus. Follow up calls checked all was ok.Our only pproblem was due to a late add-on and limited time causing altitude sickness at Puno because of lack of acclimatisation. Machu Piccu was wonderful with plenty of time with and without the guide. Much better than the other large groups we saw.
Date published: 2014-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Amazing!! Antarctica - Brilliant! MS Expedition and its crew were fantastic - food was never ending & cooked superbly. Nothing to fault. So amazing to see life without buildings, cars & pollution. The place makes you fell insignificant!!!! Am planning another trip! Peru - Cusco was fantastic. We arrived to see the last day of the festival so had colourful costumes, music & fun! Machu Picchu was beyond expectations. Fantastic local guide. Easter Island - Amazing. So interesting, especially the quarry with the Moai. Would recommend this location to anyone All in all, a trip of a lifetime!
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America - northern half Our tour was organised by Chimu Adventures and was excellent. In 5 weeks we saw Santiago, Valparaiso, Galapagos Islands for 5 days (needed 8 days), back to Quito for a couple of days (meant we had no problem with altitude), then Puno/Cusco/Machu Picchu/ Sacred Valley for about 6 days, then a boat on the Amazon for 4 days, over to Iguassu Falls, Rio, then Sao Paulo for a relative's wedding. Full comments sent to travel agent. Only wouldn't recommend Mabu Thermas & Resort Hotel at Iguassu - all other hotels great. Guides great.
Date published: 2014-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 6 weeks in South America We had a fantastic time in South America. Everything went smoothly and the guides organised by Chimu were fantastic, especially Diego who was our guide in Ecuador from a Chimu affiliated company called Latin Trails. We spent a week on Yolita 2 in the Galapagos covering the western and central islands itinerary and 3 days at La Selva Amazon lodge and would highly recommend both. Things we would change in hindsight: More time in the Amazon More time in the sacred valley, Peru An extra day at the amazing Iguassu falls (we only had 2 days there) Less time in Lima
Date published: 2016-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sth America & Mexico. Espectacular I recently toured Peru, Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Rio & Mexico City with Chimu. The service, itinerary timetable and attention to detail were first rate. As a first time tourist to South America they provided great peace of mind that everything was organised and I was kept informed throughout. On my trip Chimu management and staff went above and beyond when I had a minor incident (unrelated to tour itinerary). I will always remember this support and would warmly recommend Chimu to anyone looking to book one of their many adventure tours.
Date published: 2015-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 countries, 5 stars! We loved every bit of our Chimu tour. From Chile to Colombia and everywhere in between. The trip was faultless. I have travelled all over the world and never had a 'perfect' holiday. This one certainly was. Full credit to Chimu for the amazing experience we just had. I have already reccomended you to three friends who are considering travelling to South America. Your staff in country should be applauded and your knowledge staff (Craig) are first class. Thanks for the memories!
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Trip, very different from our other trips. Great trip but quite exhausting when added to our trip to Antarctica. Knowing how to speak more Spanish would have been good but Brazilians speak their own dialect of Portugese so that would not have been a help there. Chimu organised transfers and small tours so that was all well done. We thought this was the best way to do a trip around countries that speak a language we do not understand and we were correct. Peru was actually the most interesting and different of the four countries we visited. Flying LAN all the way around was great, easy to organize flights and luggage limits.
Date published: 2016-03-02
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Country Information

Nine ways to plan your South America Tour

Posted on Thu, 25 Aug 2016

Unsurprisingly it’s something I’m often asked – where should I go in South America and what should I do? I guess the answer can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. What I mean by that is that people like to approach their travel planning in different ways and so I’m going to provide a range of answers …

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12 Dazzling UNESCO-listed Attractions in South America

Posted on Thu, 18 Aug 2016

The Top UNESCO-listed Attractions in South America are a spellbinding collection of historical, cultural and natural wonders. Combined, they represent all that is so revered about this continent: from the amazing wilderness brimming with unique wildlife to all the ancient cultures that have shaped human evolution on our planet. Include a few or all on your next South America journey …

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The Rich and Quirky History of South America

Posted on Tue, 16 Aug 2016

South America has a lot in common with Europe, which dates back to the colonial era in the 15th century. There are some great stories and there is so much to explore in South America, while many people don’t know too much about the history. Read some of the quirky stories Chad Carey (Co-founder of Chimu Adventures) tells about the …

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Tip-Top Seasonal Dressing Guide for South America

Posted on Mon, 06 Jun 2016

Packing the right clothing for a cross-continental jaunt through South America is arguably one of the most daunting tasks you’ll face. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy Seasonal Dressing Guide for South America. Because figuring out what you should pack, what you should ditch, and what you should definitely not leave home without, can be mighty confusing to the uninitiated. Whether …

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Must see destinations in South America

Posted on Fri, 20 May 2016

It’s hard to cover every nook and cranny when you are travelling to one of the largest continents on the planet, that’s why we’ve put together a list of must see destinations in South America. A vast place with ecosystems ranging from the driest desert in the world, to snow-capped peaks to the might Amazon river. Must see destinations in …

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Wildlife in South America

Posted on Wed, 11 May 2016

The wildlife in South America is arguably the most varied on the entire planet. If not for culture and historical highlights alone, then at the very least for breathtaking nature and an array of utterly unique wildlife. The land of glaciers and tropical rainforests, vertiginous mountains and outstanding beaches, is home to a kaleidoscope of endemic wildlife. Most of it …

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Top 10 Restaurants in South America

Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015

South America has plenty of culinary delights to offer diners everywhere. Looking for the best restaurants? Here’s our top 10: (not in any order) 1. D.O.M. Photocredit: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

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Frequently Asked Questions

What money do they use in South America ?

Each country has its own currency with US Dollars being readily exchangeable throughout most of South America and accepted in many large hotels, top-end restaurants, supermarkets and major stores. Argentina - Argentinian Peso (ARS) Bolivia - Boliviano (BOB) Brazil - Brazilian Real (BRL) Chile - Chilean Peso (CLP) Colombia - Colombian Peso (COP) Ecuador - US Dollar (USD) French Guiana - Euro (EUR) Guyana - Guyana Dollar (GYD) Peru - Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN) Suriname - Suriname Dollar (SRD) Uruguay - Uruguayan Peso (UYU) Venezuela - Bolivar (VEF) Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.

What language do they speak in South America?

Portuguese and Spanish are the primary languages of South America. The majority of South Americans speak Portuguese but most South American countries are Spanish-speaking. English is spoken in Guyana, Dutch and Indonesian in Suriname and French in French Guiana.

What is the religion of South Americans?

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in South America. In the Andes and lowland South America, shamanism and animism are common.

Do I need to be fit to go to South America ?

The level of fitness needed will depend on the South America tour that you choose to take in terms of countries to be visited and the types of activities to be included in your itinerary. Many parts of South America are at altitudes above 2000 metres, where there is a risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness effects everyone differently and usually has nothing to do with your general fitness level, but we highly recommend acclimatizing at altitude before taking strenuous treks or walks.

Is it safe to travel in South America?

Most South American countries have now recognized that tourism plays an important part in their economies and governments have taken great steps in the last few years to change South America’s poor security image. You will find a strong police presence in the towns, cities and sites most frequently visited by tourists. To minimise security risks we recommend the following: - do not show any outward signs of wealth or wear expensive jewellery - keep your valuables in your hotel in safety deposit boxes - keep any valuables that you must carry with you hidden, as pickpockets can be present in crowded areas and around tourist areas - use only taxis with official identification - avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourists would not be expected to go - always keep your day pack and camera close to you and never leave them unattended

Do I need a visa to travel to South America ?

Visas are required by some nationalities for travel to certain South American countries. Please refer to the detailed information on the specific countries that you plan to travel through for visa requirements.

How long do I need to travel to South America ?

You could spend anything from a few days to several months travelling in South America, depending on whether you plan to focus on just one country, or maybe just one experience such as the Inca Trail. Or whether you plan to encompass several countries in your South America travels. Chimu Adventures offers itineraries to suit every time frame.

How much should I budget for daily in South America?

South America can vary greatly in terms of prices in each country. Our South America tours include breakfast daily and many other meals may also be included in your itinerary. As a rough guide for additional spending money based on having moderately-priced lunches and dinners and buying a few souvenirs at local markets, we suggest the following budgets: 15-25 USD per day - Bolivia 20-30 USD per day - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia 25-35 USD per day - Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela 30-40 USD per day - Chile 35-45 USD per day - Brazil 30-50 USD per day - The Guianas

Do I need to get vaccinations for South America?

We recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those countries that you will be travelling through. As a general guide we recommend the following: - Yellow Fever – Especially for jungle areas - Hepatitis – Both A and B (twinrix) - Typhoid - Diphtheria - Cholera - Rabies - Tetanus

What kind of power adaptor plug do I need for South America ?

Most countries in South America use the European style outlet which contains 110v. Please visit the below link for more information on each country: http://electricaloutlet.org/

What should I pack to travel in South America?

What you need to pack will depend on when and where you plan on travelling and on the activities that you plan to include whilst on your South America tour. The following should act as a useful checklist of essential items: • Passport, photocopy of passport & spare passport photos • Travel Insurance documents • Air tickets and itinerary • Foreign Currency (US$) and/or debit/credit cards, traveller’s cheques • Money belt • Small daypack • Basic first aid kit • High UVA sun block • Sunglasses & sunhat • Mosquito spray & insect repellent • Comfortable walking shoes/boots • Sandals • Long sleeve tops and trousers • Light-weight clothing • Warm clothing (depending on itinerary and time of year) • Camera with spare battery and memory cards • Security code padlock • Adaptor • Small torch