Stunning South America
Chile - Peru - Ecuador - Brazil
Stunning South America
Stunning South America uses the best local guides along the west coast and Brazil to help you immerse yourself in the in the sites and sounds of a colourful and energetic South America
First Stop - Chile
Absurdly thin and unreasonably long, Chile stretches from the belly of South America to its foot, reaching from the driest desert on earth to vast southern glacial fields. However, no matter where you go, it feels like a little backyard, bookended by the Andes and the Pacific. The country averages just 175 km wide. Buena onda (good vibes) means putting forth a welcoming attitude and Chile certainly provides this to its guests. While many destinations on the globe the traveller may feel like a commodity, here you’ll feel like family.
Chile offers almost 6,500 km of coast-line; from El Gringo in the north, to the frigid Antarctic waters of the south. The water is pretty cold everywhere all-year, due to the Humbolt Current; but the beaches are pristine.
Santiago is the Chilean capital, it was founded by the conqueror Pedro De Valdivia 1541. On a clear day Santiago basks in one of the most spectacular settings of any city in the world. It is framed by a mighty circle of mountains Andean peaks to the east, and a smaller coastal range to the west.
Valparaíso is a harbour side city not to be missed. Itwas declared World Heritage thanks to the picturesque architecture of its 44 hills, and their characteristic elevators.
The city of Arica sits at the northernmost point of Chile, it's popular as a stopover before crossing over into Peru, yet many end up staying for the pristine beaches and impressive waves.
Next Stop - Peru
A visit to South America isn’t complete without a pilgrimage to the glorious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, but, the truth is, this feted site is just a flash in a 5000-year history of peoples. Walk through the dusted remnants of a vast ancient city at Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian ruins in all the Americas. Fly over the puzzling geoglyphs etched into the arid earth at Nazca. Or venture into the rugged wilds that hem the stalwart fortress of Kuelap. Lima’s great museums, with priceless ceramics, gold and some of the finest textiles in the world, reveal in full detail the sophistication, skill and passion of these lost civilizations. Visit remote communities and see how old ways live on. Immerse yourself, and you will leave Peru a little closer to the past.
Third Stop - Ecuador
Picturesque colonial centres, Kichwa villages, Amazonian rainforest and the breathtaking heights of the Andes – Ecuador may be small, but it has a dazzling array of wonders. The historic centres of Quito and Cuenca are World Heritage Sites, are lined with photogenic plazas, 17th-century churches and monasteries, and beautifully restored mansions. Wandering the cobblestone streets amid architectural treasures from Spanish colonial days is a fine way to delve into the past. Beyond the cities, the Ecuadorian landscape unfolds in all its startling variety. There are Andean villages renowned for their colourful textiles and sprawling markets, and remote settlements in the Amazon where shamans still harvest the traditional rainforest medicines of their ancestors.
Finally - Brazil
Brazil is one of the world’s most captivating places, it is South America’s biggest country with powdery white-sand beaches, pristine rain forests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises. Brazil’s attractions extend from enchanting, frozen-in-time colonial towns to dramatic landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and idyllic tropical islands. Add to that, Brazil’s biodiversity: legendary in scope, its diverse ecosystems boast the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth.
Brazil’s most famous celebration, Carnaval, storms though the country’s cities and towns over Easter with hip-shaking samba and frevo, but Brazilians hardly regulate their passion for revelry to a few weeks of the year. Wherever there’s music, that carefree lust for life tends to appear – whether dancing with Cariocas at Rio’s atmospheric samba clubs or following powerful drumbeats through the streets of Salvador. There’s the dancehall forró of the Northeast, twirling carimbó of the Amazon, scratch-skilled DJs of São Paulo and an endless variety of regional sounds that extends from the back-country sertanejo to reggae-loving Maranhão.
With so much going for them, it’s no wonder that Brazilians say ‘Deus e Brasileiro’ (God is Brazilian). How else to explain the treasure chest of natural and cultural riches sprinkled all across the country?
Sydney, Australia - Santiago, Chile $2050
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Sydney, Australia $2850
Quito, Ecuador - Salvador, Brazil $1000
8 weeks accommodation (breakfast included) $8400
Tour bus $3000
Tourist attractions $4000
(includes travel to Machu Picchu, Flights over Nazca Lines, Kichwa Villlage, travel to Amazon and Andes)