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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

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

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South America Circle

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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 The 3 Countries My friend and I visited Santiago, Brazil and Argentina en route to Antarctica. Chimu booked all our transfers, accommodation and tours in these countries except for Rio where we made our own arrangements. Apart from a couple of late pickups for our tours everything went well and we saw the main sites in and around Santiago and Buenos Aires. The accommodation was well suited to our needs and we felt very comfortable in the countries we visited because we knew we had the support of Chimu Adventures.
Date published: 2016-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great way to see highlights of South America. Our Itinerary went very smoothly. We were met in each of the countries by the Chimu guides who arranged drivers to and from the airports, welcomed us with itineraries and gave us sound advice. We needed a Doctor in Puno in Peru and our guide arranged for a doctor to visit the hotel and was on 24 hour call during our stay.The entire trip was very well organised and we found it very comforting to know a Chimu guide was just a phone call away. Well done Chimu we thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
Date published: 2015-02-15
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 5 out of 5 by from Precision planned and organized Including airline flights and all tours, trips, airport pickups and transfers were all perfect.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A real taste of South America The guides and transfer staff were amazing; helpful and so enthusiastic. Some of the domestic flight transfer pick ups were way too early. This caused trouble with my luggage on several occasions either going missing or not being able to check in for an hour later - very painful lugging suitcase etc around for an hour; International flights were fine though. Overall though it was an amazing trip with lovely hotels, fabulous locations and great people involved.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great adventure We thoroughly enjoyed every place we visited and were well looked after.
Date published: 2015-06-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very poor hotel choice not fit for the purpose Having travelled half way around the world the destinations were all we expected but the accommodation was very poor Clasico (no stars) is in a doggy area, well decorated but has no facilities even the café where we ate breakfast was not available to spend time in apart from the very limited breakfast they served. and so we had to stay out all day in the heat with only shade and air conditioning if we went into cafes etc and bought drinks also there was building work being carried out opposite our window which was noisy all day. Mirasol (3 star) was in a good location, a large hotel which needed the rooms refitting and the air conditioning replacing very shabby pool - We moved out of both hotels as soon as we could at our own expense Both hotels told us that they would not be charging for the days we did not use, therefore we will expect a refund for those days - 4 days of each hotel We moved to beautiful hotels which we enjoyed very much
Date published: 2016-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Travels through South America My wife and myself had a fantastic five weeks' trip through South America, which started from Santiago in Chile and finished in Quito, Ecuador. Everything went so well with knowledgeable guides and drivers who took us to many wonderful sights and supported by excellent accommodation, centrally located in the cities that we visited. Many thanks goes to Emma of Viva Expeditions for her sound advice during the planning of such a memorable journey.
Date published: 2016-08-08
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 Peru Argentina and Brazil - WOW Amazing trip. Cuzco and Machu Picchu were amazing for their atmosphere and beauty. Buenos Airies is really the Paris of Sth America - and don't miss the steaks ! Iguazu Falls must be seen and experienced at least once in a lifetime. RIO - almost as beautiful and spectacular as Sydney - need I say more. Bring on the Olympics ! CHIMU's organisation was excellent - Everything went as planned and Kieron was so accomodating and responsive !
Date published: 2016-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a lifetime We cannot praise Chimu travel enough for the excellent organisation snd attention to detail that made this trip so special for us. From our first phone all with Matt in London we knew we had found the company that would provide us with enough support and arrangements whilst still enabling us to have time yo ourselves without a strict agenda. Everything from flights to the very welcome airport pick ups, excellent tours and country reps to the comfy and well located hotels was well organised and took the stress out of our trip. We chose South Anerican icons and it covered everything we had hoped for. In hindsight we would probably have spent less time in cities but these were still interesting. highlights were Iquazu falls, Rio, sacred valley in Peru and the wonderful Gslapagos islands. It really was an amazing trip and we would recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2016-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful south american trip Our trip guided by chimu covered Brazil, Argentina, chili and Peru over almost 4 weeks. Our whole trip went without any glitch. Chimu organised all the tours including the pickup and drop off from each airport and hotels were superb. Most of our guided tours were supported by local guides with very good knowledge of history and culture with good grasp of English. Thanks chimu for making the trip stress free and enjoyable
Date published: 2016-11-10
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 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 fantastic trip. great organisation. Chile was not all the arrangements went to plan. Guides were very good even if they do speak too quickly!! Need to find an alternative to the Ranch at Calafate - bit touristy but then I do come from a sheep farm! My fault for not checking the Itinerary. Speed boat ride to Galapagos was long. A better choice may have been a short cruise that stopped off at a couple of islands. Posata Amazonas was great. Guide Robin was terrific
Date published: 2015-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing South America Our whole trip was excellent and the planning that Chimu did all went according to plan. All our guides were wonderful and went over and beyond. There was always someone to collect us from the airport, take us to our hotel, someone to pick us up for tours and one of the best parts was that all of the tours we did there were only a couple of people, not crowds of tourists on big buses. Very personalized. Perfect.
Date published: 2015-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Travelled through Argentina, Brazil, Panama & Cuba. Enjoyed all destination, but felt a "bit unsafe" in Brazil. Iguazu falls are spectacular (but must be seen from both the Argentinian side as well as the Brazilian side. Cuba was, without a doubt, the pick of the countries - friendly locals, beautiful history (and buildings), felt safe walking through the streets at any hour and the food is exceptional.
Date published: 2015-02-09
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 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 Outstanding trip Itinerary worked out - loved being met at each airport and presented with itinerary for that city. Couple of comments to make: (1) It is not a good idea flying straight from Lima to Juliaca (at 3860m) and then being taken to 4000m. My Mother who is 78 years old suffered quite substantial altitude sickness (headaches, light-headedness, vomiting, lack of appetite for 3-4 days) and even I who was able to take Diamox still suffered vomiting and lack of appetite for a couple of days. Macchu Pichu should be first, followed by Cusco and then Juliaca/Puno. (2) It would be useful if there was a half-day (couple of hours) option at Lake Titicaca to visit just one floating village and return to Puno, particularly when suffering from altitude sickness. (3) Fellow passengers on Sacred Valley Tour were most annoyed that we needed to be dropped off at Ollyntaytambo railway station just after 4pm and therefore having less time at Pisac markets.
Date published: 2015-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing trip Our experience of travelling with Chimu was wonderful. At every airport, for every excursion we were greeted by a friendly face who took us to our hotel or on our tour. Our accomodation was clean and comfortable, and generally central to the area. The extra experiences built into our itinerary were invaluable to heightening our enjoyment of the trip.
Date published: 2019-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Big Five (I think) The trip was very well organised, accommodation was excellent, pick ups went according to plan (apart from our driver in Rio not turning up to transport us to the airport), most of our guides were very competent and there were many highlights. The pace seemed quite relentless at times but that was because we were packing so much into 28 days.
Date published: 2019-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Patagonia Breathtakingly beautiful, nature at it's best. Wonderful expedition guides. Travel arrangements faultless - friendly locals would just appear, then take us on the next step of the journey. They would brief us on the trips, any expenditure and any safety issues ( not that there were any of these) Thanks Chimu and Kieron Tebbutt in particular
Date published: 2015-01-04
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 Amazing Trip, exceeds expectations Great trip, went very very smoothly. Exceeded expectations. Some hotels were amazing but all great (however wouldn't have the budget hotels). Would recommend upgrade accommodation in Rio. A couple of hiccups, Rio agents, collected us 2 hours later, didn't check their pickup sheet and made excuses. However, everything else went smoothly. Would highly recommend that you advise people travelling to a lodge in the Amazon they cannot take their suitcase, only backpack, this is very important information and not in the guide. Extra day in Cusco would be fabulous. Also, you don't need a beach towel for Seaman Catamaran, Galapagos (just fills up the suitcase unnecessarily). Checking tipping daily rate as believe expectation is you tip more! Galapagos amazing as was Machu Picchu - absolutely WONDERFUL. Any traveller travelling to South America is a must to see. Thankyou Jason for providing such an easy smooth sailing trip, really appreciate it. Regards Carole
Date published: 2015-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great trip The Chimu staff were extremely organised with all transfers, hotels and daily activities running smoothly. We did a three week tour of South America, with 8 internal flights, and did get quite sick of airports by the end of it. The highlights were mostly in Peru, in the Amazon and Macchu Picchu. Iguazu falls were also very beautiful.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America from the Pacific Wonderful range of destinations and activities - from glaciers to desert to tropical islands. Great opportunities for learning about geology and wildlife as well as ancient civilisations - from whales and albatrosses to the Sacred Valley and Macchu Picchu - and travelling by small ship provided fantastic views of islands and fjords.
Date published: 2016-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfectly assembled and delivered Our tour was obviously targeting an exclusive level of travel and we were delighted with every aspect from hotels, to sightseeing and especially the quality of the guides. Extending over 30 days with a focus on Peru and Ecuador, this tour was amazing and we look forward to repeating the idea with two other South American countries.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well organised tour of 4 countries The trip was excellent and was organised around visiting the "natural wonders" of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru. Everything went extremely well because of the good planning, as the trip was designed to suit our requirements. All the hotels, transfers and tours were excellent. It was a pleasure to travel with Chimu Adventures.
Date published: 2015-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing countries to visit Well coordinated itinerary. Could have spent more time in Santiago Chile. Best tour guides ever. Thomas - Argentina, Natisha - Rio de Janeiro, Juan Carlos - Peru. Fantastic staff at Torres del Paine: Eco Camp. If the late arrivals at some destinations could be avoided the trip would have been more enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-01-05
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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