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TRAVELLING TO South America

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.

[ Continue Reading ]

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.

[ Read Less ]

WHY TRAVEL WITH CHIMU ADVENTURES

  • We offer you flexible travel options in Latin America at an affordable price.

  • You can choose from over 400 suggested itineraries or pick and choose elements to build your own unique experience; cover the areas you want to explore at a pace to suit you.

  • We know each Latin American country by heart and will work with you to determine which activities and accommodations are best suited to your needs.

  • From your initial enquiry until your trip ends, you will be assigned a personal Destination Specialist who will offer a full service for your travel needs: we can book flights, insurance and any ancillary travel required to complete your journey.

  • We have offices across South America so you can be assured that ground staff are close at hand to assist whilst you are travelling.

FEATURED South America TRIPS & DEALS

CELEBRATING
15 YEARS

For 15 Years, Chimu have been inspired by the  incredible places we visit, the travellers we…

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EXPLORE THE
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

MUST SEE DESTINATION

Cruise the Galapagos Islands and discover the world's most unique wildlife such as…

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South America Circle

WOW MOMENTS FROM AUD 7,425

This 21 day loop covers the best of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and a taste of Chile. Giving you an incr...

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South America TOURS

BLOGS ON South America

Whether you are looking for advice on visas and vaccinations, when to travel, best markets or beaches to visit, wildlife guides or the top restaurants in a city, Chimu blogs are likely to have it covered. The range of topics is vast, with new and fascinating
blogs being added regularly. There are airport guides, Galapagos Island guides, what to pack and what not to pack, and even a blog on the most romantic locations to propose in Latin America!

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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 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Trip Dianne & I have just returned from the amazing South American trip you put together for us. We gave you the briefest skeleton of what we wanted to see, just placenames really, and you added the flesh to produce an absolutely marvellous trip. From airport transfers to hotel rooms, from sightseeing excursions to the fantastic Sea Spirit cruise (which we agree with Greg was the best ever) and to the W Trek, every experience was just magic, and everything just clicked like a Swiss watch. Always on time, always easy, and always memorable. Thank you very much Chimu Adventures, we enjoyed every minute.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic Vacation!! 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!
Date published: 2015-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular South America Brazil Argentina and Peru were all different but all spectacular.
Date published: 2016-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of a kind trip Antarctica as a destination is unique, The ship was just the right size for us at 120 people, no queues, got to know a lot of people and crew and staff got to know their passengers. The organisation was excellent; if weather didn't permit a landing there was always a Plan B. We had 2 landings per day and often also had the opportunity to go out in a Zodiac. The whole trip was fantastic from start to finish.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What Wonderful trip!!!!!!!!!!! this trip exceeded our expect ions! arrangements were spot on and the guides were fantastic!!! and Iam smiling as I write this review as a flood of memories will last a life time. Many thanks Rose
Date published: 2015-04-08
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
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic trip Everything went perfectly and was well planned... just one hiccup at the end - we were told that we were to be booked into one particular hotel in Ushuaia - once we had walked several blocks and then decided to take a taxi as it was all uphill - we discovered that they had no booking for us. After many phone calls to the emergency number provided - a booking was found for us back at a hotel where we had first walked from. So back into a taxi and down to the hotel. All good in the end, but a lot of wasted time especially when we had so little time in Ushuaia.
Date published: 2018-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful adventure My husband and I have recently returned from South America ,visiting Argentina,Brazil,Peru and Chile Congratulations to Chimu Adventures,everything ran very smoothly. The guides were excellent and very knowledgeable The hotels were all very comfortable with great breakfasts. The countries were all different with interesting histories and some amazing scenery We have some great memories and photos to look back on now .Thanks Chimu
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Variety plus Love Sth America. Trekking in Patagonia was fabulous and wish I'd done more and had less travel here and there. The wide open spaces inspire and the beech forest and snowy mountains add awe. Iguazu Falls are truly amazing but should have left them to another trip as lots of travelling. The magazine left for me in Buenos Aires was great and had so much really good info - wish I'd had it to book stuff before I'd left home.
Date published: 2014-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent South American experience. We had an outstanding 6 week personalised trip to South America. The highlights were numerous and absolutely everything went to plan. We always felt safe - I particularly commend Kieron from the Mooloolaba Chimu office for his work, Larry in Cusco, Rudi in La Paz and Cinthia and Jose for the trip through Southern Bolivia. I would thoroughly recommend South America as a destination and Chimu as an agent. Every hotel, guide, location and experience were terrific - we learnt so much about the history, politics and culture of the 5 countries we visited.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't have been better! Our entire trip was perfect for us. Chimu did a fabulous job of meeting us at airports and organising group tours for the 6 of us everywhere!
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from incredible holiday! The itinerary was faultless,all the guides knowledgeable and helpful, the accommodation impeccable. The whole trip was unforgettable.
Date published: 2016-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond Belief Everything was better than we expected. Great Guides and Hotels. They were very professional and welcoming.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America multi country All good except a few niggles with tours not turning up at the designated time. Al countries well organised, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, the exception was Ecuador where we were not provided a schedule and had to ask 3 times otherwise we would not have known what was happening. Also despite several requests for flight details for Galapagos and Amazon trips, Chimu didn't provide. So we could not reserve flights seats. This meant we were all separated on the flight and this was far from satisfactory when travelling with a child. This was not the actual reps fault (Gina, who was outstanding) as it appears Latin trails HQ had simply forgotten. The hotel chosen in Ecuador was also poor, so much so we had to book our our hotel at extra cost.
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a life-time! Our group of 5 couples did a multiple country itinerary, custom made for our chosen destinations. It went faultlessly due to the very professional work done by Australian and South American staff of Chimu. Our contact, Ben Alexander, in the Sunshine Coast office, was very professional, personable and met all our requests and itinerary changes. The experiences of this trip will remain with us forever!
Date published: 2014-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The most memorable and best-organised trip ever! Not a single moment of doubt in a very complicated and busy five weeks of travel.
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Peru - amazing time in amazing place Argentina was an interesting country...and Iguazu Falls were spectacular! But we were unprepared for the beauty, friendliness and 'whole package' that is Peru! Incredible food, interesting history and proud culture, natural beauty and unique flora & fauna. Easily a 'return destination'. Chimu staff made the trip easy and the connections seamless...and they are easily the most flexible and accommodating tourist agency I have ever used. Special kudos to Kieron in Aust and both Johcelyn and Janet in Peru...and the staff of Casa Republica in Lima. Oh, and don't believe all you read about the safety aspects of South America...just apply the rules of personal awareness and common sense you'd use in any large city and you will be absolutely fine.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular Holiday! We traveled as a family of four to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile for a period of four weeks. From start to finish, every aspect of the superb itinerary went to plan. All our guides , accommodation, tours, and cultural events were high quality and very entertaining. Have to say that the itinerary that was put together for us did not disappoint in any way, with our highlight being our time in Peru, namely in Cusco and Machu Picchu, and an amazing four days in Posada Amazonas. A truly memorable and probably our best family holiday to date.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting South America, from Manaus in the Amazon, Rio, Iguazu Falls to Buones Aires proved to be as exiting as we hoped for and Chimu Adventures made our whole trip smooth sailing. The guides and drivers at all the tours were very informative, courteous and punctual and transfers were right on time and there to meet us at each destination which took a lot of worry out of our travels.
Date published: 2014-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America 2014-2015 The trip was AMAZING!!!. Our first time in South America. The planned 7 weeks was not long enough. The places, and tours, we visited in the various countries were spectacular. All of our guides were knowledgeable, helpful and very tolerant of our lack of Spanish. We visited Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba. From the time we got on the plane in Melbourne, the trip went flawlessly. All the transportation was synchronised like clockwork, with the longest planned airport wait of 4 hours, in what was calculated to be one week, in total, worth of travel days for the holiday ( big holiday big continent). We only had one significant plane delay. Our accommodation was as requested, and very satisfactory. Had a fantastic time, you just have to be there!!!
Date published: 2015-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South American Express A bit like the Ronseal advert " it does exactly what it says on the tin " ,and much more. This was one of the best holidays we have ever had , so well organised ,great hotels and everyone from guides to drivers were very good .Much better then we ever imagined it would be . Fantastic , thanks to Claire @ Chimu for helping us have our holiday of a lifetime.
Date published: 2015-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ecuador and Peru Aspects of the trip ranged from surprising, interesting, intriguing and a bit dull. Galápagos was great as the interaction with the animals was terrific. Loved all the activities and all connections worked. Ecuador train trip went really well. City tours were eye openers to give an insight to culture of local area. The vegetation of western Peru was unexpected, the condors were great and Chivay interesting. Long bus trips made more interesting by guides explaining surroundings etc. Lake Titicaca and Macchu Picchu both fabulous.
Date published: 2016-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing trip! Tambopata, Inca Trail, Galapagos The itinerary went very smoothly, met at each point by friendly and helpful reps. Incredible experiences everywhere! Only reason for not giving 5 stars is that our guide on the Inca Trail was only sometimes with us during the daily hiking, and not previously being a student of the Incas i think we could have had better explanations to help us understand.
Date published: 2016-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well looked after by Chimu We went to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile. The itinerary was personally tailored for us by our consultant, Mariana C, after patiently working with us. When we arrived at each destination, there was always someone at the exit waiting for us. In Peru, Chimu representatives even turned up with the driver to greet us and personally explained the arrangement to us. Most tours were in small groups if not private tours just for us. We were very happy with Chimu. One thing for improvement though is that when we left each destination, we were always picked up so to arrive at the airport some three hours before the flight. While I appreciated the importance of arriving at airports early, three hours plus were a bit excessive and at the expense of sightseeing time.
Date published: 2015-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic trip, with the big things ticked off The trip was awesome, with only a couple of very minor things that didn't go straight forward, but the service to correct them was above and beyond. With not much time lots was able to be crammed in, yet we still had the ability to do a little bit of our own thing. All the hotels were comfortable and much appreciated after a full day exploring.
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good trip with Iguazu the stand out This trip went from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls (both sides) to Rio and ended up in Santiago. All connections were reliable and the hotels were good and well situated. The booked tours (both shared and private) were all very interesting, with very helpful guides, especially in Argentina and Iguazu Falls (the latter are a memorable visit and the highlight of the trip). Buses or vans were air-conditioned and of good quality. The city tour in Rio was not so good as the guide seemed more intent in getting through the schedule than giving the best experience. While Rio has great scenery, it was also the hottest (and most humid) and there is more crime in the city. I highly recommend Chimu for their knowledge of South America, organisation and helpfulness.
Date published: 2019-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Holiday! I travelled to Argentina and Brazil. The tour was excellent. It was very well organised from start to finish. Drivers were very punctual, guides very informative, accommodation of an excellent standard and content of tour very interesting. Excellent support from Chimu personnel in both Argentina and Brazil offices.
Date published: 2016-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We were more than happy with Chimu Adventures Our expectations of the countries we visited were more than met and the guided tours were great. We did find we preferred the private tours better than the multi language tours. Particularly, impressed with the way we were met at airports and transfers to and from hotels.
Date published: 2014-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great trip to Peru and Buenos Aires I was initially a bit anxious about our Chimu experience as the travel staff in Australia don't go that extra mile for you.And on speaking to other Chimu traveller it's the same story. You get a good agent and and they leave and forget to pass your info on or once you've paid you're forgotten. :( However, We couldn't have been happier with the service we had in Peru. The itinerary ran smoothly, the guides were very caring and had amazing knowledge. This was our first shared and organised itinerary so very happy with the whole experience. Sadly the great guides etc didn't follow us to Buenos Aires. We weren't very impressed with our BA guide, hotel Dazzler Recoleta was average and hotel staff were super busy and not particularly helpful. Chimu DO Peru wonderfully but not to BA.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I want to go back....NOW!!! We did the usual Tourist hot spots in Peru, including a stay in the Refugio Amazonas, Rio and Buenos Aires. Was amazed at the history around The Inca period and were glad to visit Rio and Buenos Aires, but the absolute beauty of Iguazu Falls was amazing. And then we went to Chile, well our eyes were in for an absolute feast of natural beauty, from the north Atacama Desert, San Pedro to Puerto Varas and the lakes, to The Patagonia and Las Torres Del Paine National Park, Calafate(Argentina), and then on to the Stella Australis cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. With lot's inbetween. All I can say is WOW WOW WOW, would go back to Chile especially today. THANK YOU Chimu for what was an absolutely fantastic trip, everything was brilliant, hotels were all great, transfers were efficient. We only had 1 hic-cup with 1 of the tours that was resolved. And a couple of little things that were always sorted quickly and always to our satisfaction. Would HIGHLY recommend CHIMU ADVENTURES to anyone wanting to travel to South America.
Date published: 2014-10-29
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

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.