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TRAVELLING TO South America

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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 ]

Great Chimu Sale Now on
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 meet…

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Up to 10% off

Enchanting South America

21 NIGHTS FROM AUD 11,336

was AUD 12,595

This small group tour visits South America's most incredible destinations in Argentina, Brazil, Peru...

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South America Circle

20 NIGHTS FROM AUD 7,595

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

Highlights of Argentina

8 NIGHTS FROM AUD 2,305

One of our most popular tours to Argentina, travel to the most popular destinations in a compact tim...

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Highlights of Peru

8 NIGHTS FROM AUD 2,625

From Lake Titicaca, to Cusco and Machu Picchu, this nine-day trip is packed full of excitement allow...

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BUENOS AIRES TO RIO DE JANEIRO

8 NIGHTS FROM AUD 2,640

Discover the highlights of two of South America's most amazing cities, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janei...

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The Gringo Trail

19 NIGHTS FROM AUD 9,795

Trekking

Visit Salta in Argentina & Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia - the real heart of South America & some of the...

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Highlights of Patagonia

6 NIGHTS FROM AUD 3,885

Trekking

Discover some of Patagonia’s most beautiful features on this 7-day journey, including the Perito M...

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South America Express

11 NIGHTS FROM AUD 4,359

Marvel at the cascading beauty of Iguazu Falls, the famous sites of Rio de Janeiro and hidden histor...

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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.

South America

Rated 4 out of 5 by from excellent trip, well managed by Chimu Saw amazing sites, pick-ups and drop-off went smoothly, guides were pleasant, knowledgeable and informative
Date published: 2018-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bolivia, Chile, Argentina What a great trip with so many different experiences. Local buses, 4xdrives, small buses as transport and a plane to BA. All excellent even when snow blocked the road in Bolivia and a 12hour trip turned into 21hours! Our ‘Intrepid’ leader had it all covered and organised for our arrival as well as a dinner venue and what we were to do the next day. Looked after us so well. Accomodation from hotels in the right place to dorms in remote areas. The personal touch much appreciated by all the group as felt like old friends yet with a personable, knowledgeable and well organised group leader full of ideas that suited us as individuals. Local knowledge of visited places made the most of our time in the area and ensured we did not miss out on any opportunity. Such a great way to see and experience fe elsewhere in a safe and secure feeling environment.
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from south american trip The entire trip went on like a well tuned car. at every location the pick-up transfers are ready and waiting, the hotels are in good locations and easy to move around. I would strongly recommend Chimu to anyone planning a trip to South America. They takes the stress and pressure from us. Thanks Chimu
Date published: 2018-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Peru and Galapagos All the destinations were amazing, the guides and transportation at all stages were fantastic and the transfers/ others customer service elements were faultless.
Date published: 2018-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Trip The entire itinerary went very smoothly. However we did have a challenge with our hotel in Iguazu (Melia Hotel, formerly the Sheraton). The location of the hotel (in the Park)was wonderful and the room and dining were great. .However the hotel is undergoing extensive renovations. Our view of the falls had the foreground obstructed by what was in effect a building site. Also the construction noise (from there and from about half the hotel where the renovations are taking place was from 7.00am to 7.00pm. We believe that we should have been notified of this fact and given the opportunity of booking another hotel, or maintaining the booking but at a substantial discount. After all, as far as we are aware, we paid top dollar to stay in this hotel which was admittedly picked by us for its location in the park, and we are not aware of any discount being offered. As we were there for only 2 nights it was not worthwhile to attempt to change hotels. Subject to the above, we have no concerns. The organisation was brilliant. All excursions were as promised and well run. the only other downer was solid rain for our last 3 days of the trip (in Buenos Aires) but, rest assured, we do not hold Chimu Adventures responsible for that. Just our bad luck! Weather for the rest of the trip was fantastic.
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America Everything went perfectly there was always someone to meet us at each airport very well organised couldn't do much about the wet weather days
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great trip- thoroughly enjoyed South America again Everything went to plan - transfer, hotels etc. even the Latam strike didn't impact us. The guide in Uyuni, Martha, was exceptional. We have done many of these types of trips previously had many great guides but she made sure that we saw everything we wanted to and more. Rather than have lunch with everyone else we pulled up on the Salt flats out came the table, chairs and umbrella and we enjoyed a very peaceful lunch.
Date published: 2018-04-29
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 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 fantastic trip even tho the tour group was very small, the service provided was fantastic for all of my trip
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 26 wonderful days and nights in South America Our group of 8, comprising ages of 55-65 years, just finished one our best holidays. Chime helped us design what we wanted and supported us thoroughly over the 26 days and nights in Chile, Argentina and Peru. It was a blast.
Date published: 2018-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful trip! Both the Galapagos Islands and Cusco/Machu Picchu were fabulous. I recommend this trip and especially recommend Chimu Adventures. Susan Reynolds was the best.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic! Travelled to Antarctica, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. A trip of a lifetime. Every aspect - transfers, accommodation and tours were perfect. Keep doing what you are doing Chimu!
Date published: 2018-01-20
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 We had a great trip and generally loved the west c The trip ran smoothly, connections and transfers were well organised. We had a small issue at Ushuaia where there was no record for our transfer. One comment, in future I wold use Peru Rail in transfers to and from Machu Piccu in preference to Inca Rail, the space is very limited in Inca rail and very uncomfortable for the 3+ hours trip.
Date published: 2017-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America Everything went like clockwork until the last couple of days where we spent most of the time in airports. The guides were amazing and the destinations mind boggling. Would most definitely recommend Chimu as a tour company. Kind regards Zita Glohe PS would love to have had time to see Chile!
Date published: 2017-12-11
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 Very satisfied Holiday-makers This trip was very well organised. It lasted over 3 weeks, took in four countries, with 14 flights, 2 train trips, and numerous bus trips. There was never a hitch with Chimu regarding transport, transfers, or tours.We enjoyed the venues, the tours, and the guides. Valerie Waterston [Chimu, Australia] took us on, and she was helpful, professional, and proficient. It was all clockwork from then.
Date published: 2017-09-28
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 Fantastic in every aspect The trip was everything we expected and more. The support from our guides and welcome people was outstanding.
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great organisation We have a very smooth trip with all transport taken care of. Our Colombian guides were excellent. One hotel was horrible but the rest were acceptable and the Lima hotel was very good.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic trip Peru is wonderful and was our favourite place on the tour. Every place we went to Chimuadventures staff were very knowledgable, always on time and waiting to greet us at every destination. Would recommend this company for a very organised adventure .
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good trip Pretty much everything as stated in the itinerary happened. The itinerary was great as I visited many interesting places and things and it was neither too leisurely nor too hectic. The tour guides were all lovely people. The hotels were OK and mostly nothing special so costs were kept down. The transport provided was good and again not expensive. So I never felt like a glorified backpacker but rather a proper tourist.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything was arranged perfectly for us Every destination was a new experience for us, cannot praise Chimu enough
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely brilliant trip the whole trip was really great , and everything went very smoothly
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Awesome Holiday We had a great trip to Cuba, Peru and Bolivia on a tailor-made itinerary. Our transport, guides and accommodation were excellent and the scenery was outstanding!.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America, From Lima to Rio - Amazing Thank you Chimu. We had 23 days taking in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and South Brazil. Every arrangement was met punctually. The guides were of a very high standard and passionate about their subjects. I cant pick a highlight as it was all fantastic! The itenary was quite tiring but did give us time to acclimatise. I would also recommend taking an extra day at Macchu Picchu.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Indredible iguassu From airport pickup to drop off everything ran smoothly. Choice of hotel was also great. Excellent tour guides.
Date published: 2017-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our itinerary was extensive, travelling for over three months. All our connections, accommodation and tour bookings went without a hitch. The entire experience was amazing.
Date published: 2017-04-06
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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.

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.