From large cosmopolitan cities to the wilds of Patagonia, the mystique of the Amazon, breathtaking forests and waterfalls, and living histories of ancient civilizations, South America offers a staggering diversity of experiences to explore.
More than twice the size of the Australian continent, with 12 sovereign countries occupying its 17.8 million square-kilometre land mass, South America has long been considered a frontier destination where travellers can still connect with authentic, traditional ways of life.
While 80% of it officially lies in the tropics, the continent stretches further south than any other into subantarctic latitudes, meaning it really doesn’t matter what time of year you travel, you will always have options.
From bustling and colourful Buenos Aires with its strangely familiar eucalyptus-lined boulevards to the ancient remnants of the mighty Incan Empire in Peru, here’s a snapshot of what this incredible part of the world has to offer.
South America’s spectacular diversity
With vibrant cities, beautiful beaches and a culture that celebrates music and dance as part of life, Brazil is a land that writhes, heaves and pulsates with passion and movement. Travel from the mighty Amazon River to the glorious sub-tropical rainforest of Iguazú Falls, or marvel at the historic colonial centre of Salvador.
From the stunning Perito Moreno and the many other glaciers of Patagonia to the driving tango beats spilling from clubs in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, Argentina has so much to see and do. It’s also famous for its wine regions like Mendoza and Salta producing world-class Malbecs and the country also boasts arguably the finest steak and barbeque houses to be found anywhere.
Chile shares the pristine wilderness of Patagonia with Argentina and boasts the world’s driest desert, volcanoes and geysers, great beaches, fjords, idyllic islands and more acclaimed wine touring. It truly is a land of contrasts. Forty-percent of Chileans live in its lively capital Santiago that is majestically framed by the Andes.
Cuzco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Amazonian jungle, the floating island of Titicaca as the world’s highest lake – Peru’s countless marvels also include ancient ruins, natural splendours and uniquely colourful and expressive culture.
Straddling the equator from where it takes its name, Ecuador could well be your most surprising and delightful South American discovery. Its capital Quito is a wonderfully colourful city known for its Spanish flavour, engaging street markets and is famous for its chocolate. Discover the historic port city of Guayaquil and take advantage of its access to the acclaimed Galápagos Islands.
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Icons and Treasures to explore with Scenic
Travel through the picturesque fields on your rail journey to Machu Picchu before spending a full day at the ancient Inca site, where your guide will share the mysteries of these majestic ruins. A truly must-do travel adventure.
Amidst the extraordinary beauty of the Sacred Valley in Peru, participate in a weaving demonstration, whilst enjoying a delicious Andean feast at Hacienda Huayoccari.
Take a walking tour to view the Brazilian Falls – many consider to be the world’s most spectacular – before the park gates open to the general public. Enjoy the walkways across the top of the falls on the Argentinean side and see the famous ‘Devil’s Throat’. A natural wonder of epic proportions.
Get your dancing shoes on in Buenos Aires as you learn about the rich history and culture of the Tango, meet local dancers and witness their stirring performance.
Favela Shanty Town Tour
Witness the day-to-day lives of locals who live in one of Rio’s densely-packed favelas. With a local expert guide, you will gain an understanding of this fascinating pocket of Brazilian life and you’ll also visit a community school and enjoy a lively capoeira show.
Home to over 40,000 plant and 3,000 fish species, more than 370 types of reptiles, the Amazon is teeming with life. A place of inestimable importance to the environment and a melting pot of unique tribal culture, myth and legend, the Amazon is remote and compelling with the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve only accessible by boat.
Cruise in a 5-star luxury private cruise vessel to explore this extraordinary World Heritage-listed site. Enjoy skiff and kayak excursions that will take you deeper into the jungle visiting villages and schools and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Located about 1,000-kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, the stunning Galápagos Islands are without a doubt one of the world’s best destinations for native habitat wildlife viewing. The islands’ isolation and volcanic landscape provide a rich environment for an incredible array of unique plant and animal species.
Enjoy twice daily excursions by Zodiac, kayak and snorkelling for close encounters with tortoises, penguins, Bobbies and those signature marine iguanas, ‘Galapagos Dragons’. The expedition vessel features all the creature comforts you’d expect from Scenic, and as always, everything is included.
Travel with Scenic
You’ll find the wonders of South America are all the more enjoyable when you’re escorted in comfort and luxury with Scenic.
Catering to a maximum of 24 guests, Scenic’s South American tours in this region offer an unrivalled level of comfort and personalisation. Each journey is meticulously planned to showcase the destination.
Every journey is hosted by a professional Scenic Tour Director to ensure your South American experience is safe, enjoyable and seamless. They will also be there to plan the indulgent experiences, such as a relaxing spa treatment and the practical necessities, like your personal ‘oxyshot’ canister to help with breathing at high altitudes.
Many of the South American properties you’ll stay in are small boutique hotels which have been carefully selected for their attention to detail, excellence in service, physical beauty and in some areas, Heritage listing. Some of these hotels include…
Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro
Stay at the most renowned hotel in Rio de Janeiro, right on Copacabana beach. Enjoy tastefully appointed rooms with beach service exclusive to hotel guests.
Belmond das Cataratas Hotel, Iguazú Falls
The only hotel located in the centre of the Iguazú National Park, a few hundred metres from the famous falls, allows you to immerse yourself in the flora and fauna of the area.
Palacio del Inka, Cuzco
This colonial mansion is built over Inca foundations with parts of the building dating back to the 16th century. The exquisitely appointed guest rooms combine Peruvian art and handcrafted furnishings.
Tambo del Inka, Sacred Valley
Positioned in the heart of the Sacred Valley, enjoy breathtaking views of the Andes and Vilcanota River. Featuring refined dining, a therapeutic spa and first-class fitness centre, with an emerald lagoon and beautiful riverside gardens.
Sofitel Buenos Aires
This luxurious hotel features a blend of French savoire faire and Argentine tradition. Surrounded by enchanting and elegant sidewalks, guests are within easy walking distance to the main shopping areas.
explora Patagonia, Chile
This intimate luxury wilderness retreat inside Torres del Paine National Park is the perfect base for experiencing one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders and Scenic is the only operator in this market to stay at this property.
Whichever unique South American journey you choose with Scenic, you are guaranteed of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
All Scenic tours include:
- The intimacy of smaller group sizes with a maximum of 24 guests
- Scenic Enrich – unforgettable and exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences
- Scenic Freechoice – a choice of activities and dining options throughout your journey
- Scenic Sundowners – exclusive hosted evening drinks in memorable locations
- Scenic Special Stays – iconic hotels remarkable for their location, character and heritage
- Luxury cruise of the Amazon rainforest
- Galápagos Islands deluxe expedition cruises
- Welcome and farewell receptions with included drinks
- Fully escorted touring
- Expert handpicked Tour Directors and local guides
- A Scenic representative to assist you on your arrival and departure
- A local South American based operations team
- All internal flights
- Audio whisper headsets (except in Patagonia)
- Personalised return airport transfers
- All tipping and gratuities.
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