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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
Planning a South America adventure can be a tad challenging. In a continent brimming with exceptional attractions and an eclectic mix of destinations, knowing where to even start planning can easily bring one to despair. But chill right out! Wondering what to do in South America once you get there? Wonder no more! We present to you the top highlights …READ MORE
South America has always been reasonably accessible from the UK but over the past year a number of new routes have been added to the main flight schedules meaning there’s never been a better time to travel there. Below we look at some of the key flights you can take from the UK and the various pros and cons of each …READ MORE
Tackling the challenge of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a lifelong dream for many. Yet packing for it can soon turn into a nightmare. With weight regulations, fluctuations in temperatures and the conundrums that arise from having to hike for days in remote and mountainous landscapes, not to mention the fact that you’ll probably be traveling elsewhere either …READ MORE
It sounds like a simple question but “When is the best time to travel to South America?” depends on a huge number of factors. Consider for example that Brazil itself is a similar size to Australia or continental USA and you start to have an appreciation of how large the South America continent actually is. Obviously within this vast continent …READ MORE
Start planning for a trip to South America and you’ll no doubt be recommended to stay in a hacienda by anyone who’s been. Some will call it the South America equivalent of a homestay but a hacienda is so much more than just a simple accommodation choice. What exactly is a hacienda, you ask? Well, why not come visit and …READ MORE
Worried about keeping safe while travelling through South America? Don’t be! Our South America Guide: How to Keep Safe and Travel Smart is that go-to guide you need to ensure your next stint to the most exciting and rewarding continent on the planet, will go down as your best travel experience to date. Just How Safe is South America for …READ MORE
The Andes Mountains is the mountainous spine which dramatically dissects South America in two from north to south, crossing seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The continent’s most magnificent natural attraction stretches for over 7,500km – from Venezuela all the way to Patagonia – and has spawned, in one way or another, the continent’s incredible natural …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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.
Unsurprisingly it’s something I’m often asked – where should I go and how should I travel to South America? 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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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.
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.
Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in South America. In the Andes and lowland South America, shamanism and animism are common.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 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