From seaside on the white sand beaches of Copacabana to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, From the frozen rivers of ice in the south, to the awe-inspiring force of the Amazon, South America runs the gamut of natural wonders including waterfalls, volcanos, rainforests and deserts and many of those highlights can be visited on one of our South America Cruise Excursions!
The color palette runs from purple mountains in the morning mist, deep blue glaciers, jungle green. sun-kissed golden sand, orange tinted deserts to red rock gorges and canyons.
Across this kaleidoscope of colors and terrain, you layer in the South America people. Centuries of tradition, cultures and history blending with the new technologies of today. Add some kick with the food, drink and wine. Fourteen countries, each country with its own take on simple dishes created from the fruits of the land. They are all so similar and yet so different.
Add the unique art and the music of South America, which speaks from somewhere deep inside. Wall paintings to modern art, clay pots to stunning sculptures, rituals to the gods to salsa, samba and tango, South America is alive.
Argentina and adjacent Uruguay offer gauchos and grilled meats on the plains of the Pampas. Mendoza Argentina is home to prized wines in the shadows of the Andes. You can see glaciers in Patagonia to the south and awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls to the northwest where Argentina shares the Parana and Iguazu rivers with land-locked Paraquay and Brazil. Most of which are accessible on our South America Shore Excursions.
Brazil is South America's largest country. Home to enticing Rio de Janairo and modern Salvador and Sao Paulo, all massive urban jungles, it is perhaps best known for its other jungle: The Amazon Rainforest. Covering over 2.7 million square miles, 60% which lie in Brazil. This diverse eco system is home to more than 40,000 plant species, 1300 different species of birds, over 3,000 different species of fish and represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforest.
Other countries sharing the Amazon Basin with Brazil include Suriname, the smallest sovereign state in South America, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.
These South American countries offer more than just jungle. Columbia is home to some of the oldest Spanish settlements still in use; Santa Marta founded in 1525, and Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which many consider the most beautiful colonial city in South America, in 1533. Bolivia has the world's largest salt plains, measuring just under 4000 square miles, and Equador is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the cities of Quito and Cuenca and the fascinating Galapagos Islands, 620 miles west of the mainland.
Peru has the second largest section of the Amazon Basin and is home to the headwaters of the river. In addition, it is home to eleven UNESCO sites, the most famous being the historic Center of Lima, the Nazca Lines, the city of Cuzco and the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
South of Peru is land-locked Bolivia, home to Lake Titicaca, the Inca ruins of Tiwanaku, and the Salar de Uyuni salt flats, second largest in the world.
Chile is another South American country with an abundance of must see or do attractions. The Atacama Desert, although the driest place on earth, is rich in natural and geological marvels. Just south of Santiago is the Colchagua Wine Valley, an award winning wine-growing area that blends its old rural traditions, with state-of-the-art wine making. Not far to the west is the coastal town of Valparaíso, home to the "ascensores" (funiculars), which offer spectacular views of the town and bay.
Shared with Argentina, but a land unto its own is Patagonia; at the end of the world where The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans merge. On the Chilean side, you find Torres del Paine National Park, Volcan Villarrica volcano, the Southern Chilean Fjords and Tierra del Fuego, the desolate windswept island at the tip of South America.
As if that is not enough, Chile also oversees Easter Island, a UNESCO site located more than 1200 miles off the western coast of South America. It is home to over 880 statues, called moai.
Off the Eastern coast of South America are the Falkland Islands, more than 770 islands making up a British overseas territory. Like much of the coastline of Argentina and Chile, the Falkland Islands are home to incredible numbers of marine life, mammals and birds including rockhopper, king, gentoo, and Magellan penguins.
Enjoy our unique and selected Cruise Shore Excursions in South America!