Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador (including the Galapagos)
South America is so much more than people expect and it’s a region that has everything you need for the Journey of a lifetime;
pristine wilderness, stunning colonial cities and gorgeous wine country to name but a few of the highlights.
ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS
Most folk think of Ecuador as a stepping off point for the Galapagos, but there so much more to it than just this. We loved it for the diverse tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the “Avenue of Volcanoes” at Cotopaxi and the thriving Indian culture of Quito.
Of course the Galapagos remain the star attraction though and it’s easy to see why. Without any natural predators the islands have become a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts that never fails to surpass expectations. Nowhere else on the planet can you get so up close and personal with sea lions, penguins, albatross, iguana and turtles (to name but a few). And there’s no better way to experience the Galapagos than by boarding one of the ships that cruise around the archipelago – a different island every day and another astounding experience every time.
Peru is all about its Andean and Incan culture and any trip to the country has to include a visit to Machu Picchu. Either hop on a train from the old Spanish capital of Cusco or hike the Inca trail to this awe-inspiring citadel built on the roof of the Andes. Lake Titicaca, the Colca Canyon, Arequipa and the astounding Nazca Lines only add to the sense of wonder of Peru.
Buenos Aires is certainly the heart and soul of Argentina. With its torn history, majestic colonial buildings, tango infused evenings and some of South America’s best museums, galleries and shopping; it’s not to be missed. But Argentina’s natural side is no less impressive – from the towering Andes and the roaring Iguazu falls to the desolate beauty of Tierra Del Fuego and the wildlife haven of the Peninsula Valdes. One of our many highlights was spending time on a working estancia, riding with the Gauchos and exploring the countryside. An evening with our hosts, a beautifully cooked home dinner and some of that world famous Argentinian wine rounded off a perfectly South American day.
Chile was our first stop in South America and set the bar very high indeed. As the longest country in the world it is a land of extremes. From the incredibly arid Atacama Desert in the north to the vineyards around Santiago and the windswept granite peaks in Patagonia. It (almost literally) blew us away with its diversity of cultures and experiences. Torres Del Paine is truly one of the world’s most beautiful spots but kayaking the Rio Serrano was our highlight.