From the world's mightiest river to the most barren and dry deserts, South America is a land of stunning and somewhat unbelievable extremes. With charming beach resorts that line the coasts of Brazil, the snow-capped mountains of Chile and the red hot tango parlours of Buenos Aires, this continent is full of passion, excitement, and vibrant culture.
While the vibrant capital cities offer raw energy and passion, where the Latin spirit in abundance, there’s plenty of spectacularly beautiful landscapes and opportunities to explore including the lush rainforests and mystical islands.
South America is also home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela, the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River and the longest mountain range, the Andes. This makes it a top destination for both thrill seekers looking for new challenges, and for those who appreciate magnificent natural scenery. Whatever your interests or whatever you like to do on holiday, you’ll instantly fall in love with South America.
For those looking for adventure, Puerto Montt in Chile is the place for you. The city offers a unique, adrenaline-pumping opportunity to raft down the choppy waters of the Petrohue River, surrounded by gushing waterfalls and spectacular foliage, and with the imposing peaks of the Andes standing tall in the background.
Alternatively, spend some time in Ushuaia, Argentina, where you’ll have the chance to experience South America like never before. Off-roading through the Carbajal Valley is a unique way to see the ‘real’ Argentina, away from the tourist-centric ports and cosmopolitan cities - just stripped back nature that’s begging to be explored.
For something a little more chilled out, sailing along the magical Amazon is a relaxing yet special experience, and you are sure to see some of the most breath-taking scenery on the planet.
Manaus looks as if it has been pulled straight from a postcard, with the white sands of the Ponta Negra Beach, the crystal clear waters of Love Cascade, and the beautiful Paricatuba Waterfall (visit during the winter to see the waterfall gushing rapidly, it’s a real sight to behold!). However, one of the main reasons travellers flock to Manaus is to see a natural phenomenon that really has to be seen to be believed. Manaus is where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes meet to form the Amazon. Despite the two rivers blending into one, they maintain their distinct colours, and there are many who believe that the waters never mix! It’s truly mystical and enchanting to witness.
When travelling along the Chilean coastline there is a wealth of memorable sights; this scenic adventure often ends or begins in the fabulous city of Santiago. A fascinating blend of old Spanish colonial buildings and new expansion can be seen there and you will find its friendly people, green parks and numerous cafés give it a welcoming atmosphere. However, Santiago isn’t the only South American destination to display clear colonial influences.
Puerto Montt, for example, is deeply rooted in Eastern European culture, and its architecture remains reminiscent of the Bavarian-style buildings of Poland and Estonia. Even the cuisine can be linked back to Eastern Europe, with many Germanic treats and beers on offer. This diversity is a part of what really draws people to a South American cruise.
South American cruises are very popular with those interested in both history and religion. In fact, Rio de Janeiro, although primarily known for its carnival environment and slight debauchery, is actually one of the most important religious sites in terms of Catholicism in the world.
The Christ the Redeemer statue, that stands tall on Corcovado Mountain overlooking the port and the city, opens its arms to all travellers, providing an almost pilgrimage-like destination for believers, and fantastic views and photo opportunities for others.
South America is one of the most diverse continents on earth, in terms of culture, architecture, and wildlife. It is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, anaconda, piranha, jaguar, vicuña, and tapir.
A cruise to South America has something for everyone, from the carnival atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires with their unforgettable flamboyancy, to the snow-capped mountains and incredible wildlife of the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
This is one of the only places in the world where you can honestly say ‘this place has it all!’.