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South America is home to a plethora of cultures, natural wonders, diverse landscapes and ancient civilisations - there's a lot to fit in and on an A&K Classics journey we'll take you to the heart of this amazing continent, showing you the best it has to offer.
Ecuador & Galapagos are two of South America's highlights, and the mix of culture and wildlife make them a popular combination. Quito was the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on your first morning an A&K guide will introduce you to its sights and the city's historic cobbled streets. The next leg of your journey will be a seven night cruise in the Galapagos aboard a luxury cruise ship, a vessel built for both adventure and comfort. The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the world's most varied wildlife, and on this trip you will explore Darwin's living laboratory with an expert guide as you go in search of creatures such as the blue-footed booby, Sally Lightfoot crabs, penguins and finches. Returning to dry land after your cruise, visit Otavalo and stay in the grounds of a working hacienda, and visit Cotopaxi National Park, home to the world's highest active volcano.
Our next Classic journey focuses on neighbouring Peru, starting in Lima before moving onto Puerto Maldonado where you'll stay at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge. Here you can walk through the lodge's extensive system of jungle trails, visit Rolin Island to see the several species of resident monkey, and canoe up the Madre de Dios River to Lake Sandoval, home to parrots, turtles, piranhas and giant otter. You'll then fly to Cusco and head to the Sacred Valley before making the short journey by train to Machu Picchu. Accompanied by an expert guide, explore the ruins and learn about the lives of the priests, craftsmen and servants who once lived in this seemingly uninhabitable place; and perhaps even take on a famous hiking trail for amazing views over the 'lost city'. Cusco is of course a highlight of any trip to Peru, and you'll have the chance to explore the inca town, visit San Pedro market and explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman.
An A&K Classics journey to Argentina will reveal the vibrant combination of bustling Buenos Aires with the spectacular landscapes of Bariloche and Iguazú. The journey starts in Buenos Aires, where you'll explore the city's key sights around the central plaza, take a neighbourhood tour of San Telmo and visit artisans at work in La Boca; before watching a dramatic tango show. From Buenos Aires fly down to Bariloche, home to a myriad of streams and lakes framed by snow-capped mountains. The scenery is stunning and sets the bench high for your next stop, Iguazú Falls.
Our final Classics journey offers a great overview of Chile - city, the wine region and desert. As well as exploring Cosmopolitan Santiago you'll drive west to Valparaiso, a historic hill-top port scattered with colourful old houses, and head into the Maipo Valley to sample some of Chile's famous red wines. The Atacama Desert - the driest on earth - is a must-see in Chile, and on this trip you'll have two days to take advantage of the many excursions on offer. Your guide will be on hand to recommend outings to suit your specific interests and requirements, whether that be a 4WD trip, hiking, mountain biking, visiting thermal springs or even star-gazing.
Suggested itineraries for South America
Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands 2017/2018
Nights: 19 | from £17,820
Set sail with A&K's award-winning Expedition Team on all-balcony 'Le Lyrial,' embarking on a panoramic voyage that includes wildlife-rich South Georgia, the unspoiled Falklands and the wild shores of Antarctica.
Nights: 12 | from £3,990
You get a lot of bang for your peso in vast and varied Argentina. It has European flair, mountain wilds and subtropical abundance, the latter spattered by the world’s most impressive cascade. Using easy regional flights, you can combine Argentina’s classy capital, its Alpine-esque Lake District, wine country and the plunge of Iguazú Falls.
Classic Ecuador & Galapagos
Nights: 12 | from £7,220
Highlands, islands and UNESCO-listed splendour: that’s Ecuador. This Latin American nation is small but packs a real punch, from the historic cities and rumbling volcanoes of its mainland to the unparalleled creature encounters on its outlaying Galapagos Islands – arguably the world’s best wildlife destination.
Nights: 9 | from £4,120
Machu Picchu is THE bucket list sight. The ‘lost city’, hidden in the Andes, is swirled in mist and mystery – the stuff of travel legend. But with a ten days in Peru you can see far more, including a wealth of other incredible Incan sites plus the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon, one of the planet’s wildest, richest spots.
Nights: 12 | from £4,745
The crème de la crème of our Chile itineraries, prepare to be wowed by the extraordinary contrasts this skinny country has to offer – from surreal desert-scapes to wild Patagonian plains, with plenty of city slicking in between.
Featured articles for South America
Exploring Peru by Tom Bowring
Peru has always been high on my list of countries to visit and during my whistle stop tour I was treated to some of the...