With so much to see and do in South America, it can be hard to decide where to visit. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best tours in South and Central America, with a brief description of what you can expect from the destinations. If you’ve traveled to South America before, use this list to discover your next trip. Let us know in the comments section below where you want to visit the most in South/Central America.
7. Costa Rica
There are pristine jungles just waiting to be explored in Costa Rica, and our Costa Rican Adventure Tour will show you all of the highlights. Paddle for your life on 10 miles of the best class 3 rapids in the world on the Reventazon River, or just walk along the river and enjoy the stunning jungle scenery home to many colorful birds and lizards. You’ll then drive to Arenal and explore the famous volcano and dense rainforest home to howler, white-faced, and spider monkeys. You can then ride horseback to La Fortuna Waterfall, a secret Eden deep in the forest. At night you can sit in the hot springs and view a fiery performance from the Arenal volcano. Enjoy the beautiful beaches for the next week as you relax on some of the most exquisite sand the world has to offer.
Colombia is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in all of South America. In Bogota, visit La Candelaria and the Plaza de Bolivar, along with touring the Museo Botero and Museo del Oro. The next day, travel to Pereira and visit the coffee haciendas and plantations to see where the best coffee in the world is grown. Then visit the Valle de Cocora where you will marvel over 200 square miles of lush green hills and wax palms that stand over 200 feet high. The next stop is to the beautiful city of Cartagena, where you can take in all of the history and culture that Colombia is famous for. After your tour of Cartagena, you can take in the waters of the Rosario Islands to end off your trip.
First arrive in Panama City, one of the most beautiful cities in the world (it actually was named number 9 on our list of 100 Cities to See Before You Die). The next day ride a native boat on the Chagres River and hike the forest with your indigenous guide. Later, meet others members of a native tribe and learn dances that are local to the region, and get your body painted like the locals. After you will soon explore the trails around the Baru Volcano and view the wildlife in the encompassing forests. After all of your cultural experiences, transfer to Bocos Del Toro to explore the archipelago and many beaches and stay at the Punta Caracol, a unique resort where you stay in small huts built on top of clear Panamanian waters.
4. Belize and Guatemala (two-for-one)
Two of the most wonderful countries in Central America can actually be visited on the same tour. Take a tour of the city of Antigua where your guide will tell the story of its history and show off the highlights of the city. The next day travel to Lake Atitlan which is surrounded by three volcanos and twelve native villages. Next you will visit the famous skyscrapers of the jungle, the ancient Mayan temples in Tikal which are home to over 3,000 structures of temples, alters and pyramids. You will continue your voyage to Belize where you’ll kick start your trip to Via Yaxha to view more Mayan temples. Over the next few days you can also horseback through the forests, cave tube in the Cayes, and snorkel with sharks and stingrays.
Arrive in Buenos Aires and take a tour of the city, and at night experience the local dance culture. Argentina is full of wildlife including penguins, sea lions, elephant seals and southern right whales, all of which can be viewed while on tour. Later take a ride on a catamaran to view the tall glacier walls of El Calafate. To end your trip, view the breathtaking Iguazu Falls and take a guided nature tour through the Devil’s Gorge.
Arrive in Rio de Janeiro and relax on some of the most amazing beaches in the world. As fun as the days can be, the nightlife in Rio is not to be forgotten – experience the local dance culture on Copacabana after dark. In the coming days, you will tour Sugar Loaf and Corcovado, with a stop at the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue included. The next day you can take a tour down the Amazon River and view the exotic wildlife of the worlds largest jungle. There is so much to see on a tour to Brazil, take a look at our tours to get the full overview.
1. Peru and Ecuador
Your trip of a lifetime first starts out in the beautiful city of Lima and then transfers to Cusco, the old capital of the Incan Empire. The next day you’ll board a train to the lost city of Machu Picchu and the Citadel. Explore the ruins at your own pace, and marvel at the history that surrounds you. After touring Peru extensively, you will depart to Ecuador to tour the city of Quito. The city is full of life and truly captures the culture of Ecuador. After your tour, catch a flight to the Galapagos Islands to view the abundant wildlife including iguanas, penguins, lava lizards, tortoises and more. Cruise the islands and take in all that these unique islands have to offer. We have many programs to Peru and Ecuador, and can customize any tour to South America to best suit your travel style.