South America Tours & Trip Packages

South America Tours & Trips

777 South America trips. Tours from 41 tour companies. 4,117 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.

777 Trips match your criteria (1 - 20 shown)

Essential Peru
4.7/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
With a huge range of trip styles and themes, they cater to basically every type of traveler out there- even those with super specific interests.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Lake Titicaca, Lima, Machu Picchu, Nazca

Highlights

  • Discover Machu Picchu by train with guided tour
  • Enjoy a homestay on the traditional island of Amantani in Lake Titicaca
  • See Colca Canyon and its soaring condors
  • Wander through the colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent
  • Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley

Themes

Cultural, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife, Festivals & Special Events

What travelers are saying

"Friendly and helpful staff were happy to help with all our questions."

Trip dates & details
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Chile: Coastal Vistas & Vineyards
4.9/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Group Tour
Why we love them
Their unique emphasis on immersive cultural experiences combined with active exploration with personalized cycling experiences.
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Strenuous
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Casablanca Valley, Champa, Concon, Puerto Natales, Santa Rita Vineyards, Santiago, Zapallar

Highlights

  • Marvel at Humboldt penguins and sea lions as they lounge on islands just offshore.
  • Join a captain in his small boat and help him bring in the catch of the day.
  • Admire the pride of Viña del Mar, the Reloj de Flores—a large clock made of flowers.
  • Stroll the cobbled, winding streets of hillside Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a local guide.
  • Blend your own wine with a sommelier, then have it bottled and labeled to go.

Themes

Culinary & Wine, Cultural, Cycling & Biking, Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel, Nature & Wildlife, Photography

What travelers are saying

"This was the first organized tour my husband and I have ever joined, so we were not sure what to expect , but it turned out to be the best vacation we've ever had. The scenery and food were amazing. We stayed in beautiful hotels. Most of the riding was on paved bike paths so we hardly ever had to deal with car traffic. Our leaders, Andrea and Martin, were funny, informative , and so helpful. We are already planning to go back to Italy with VBT this summer."

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At World's End: Embrace the Biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands | April 16, 2022
5/5 Excellent
12 reviews
Group Tour
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Galapagos, San Cristobal

Highlights

  • Snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard in the Itabaca Channel
  • Sleep alongside giant tortoises in El Chato nature reserve
  • Hike along lava trails and encounter spectacular birdlife on San Cristóbal
  • Swim with sea lions at Punta Carola Beach
  • Explore remote, uninhabited islands

Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Nature & Wildlife, Photography, Scuba Diving

What travelers are saying

"A Culture Trip curated trip is a must for anyone burnt out planning their own trips or going to a remote or unfamiliar area. Having a local insider was the highlight of the trip. From the moment we landed to the moment we had to go through security to leave, we were completely taken care of. Our insider gave us great recommendations for restaurants and was very adaptable to any situation that arose."

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Explore Spain & Portugal
4.5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Algarve, Bar, Barcelona, Dali, Granada, Lisbon, Madrid, Porto, Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Sierra Nevada

Highlights

  • Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin in Granada before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra.
  • Unwind in a laidback fishing town in the Algarve, soaking up the sun on the beach and enjoying an included boat trip around the rocky cliffs of the coast.
  • Join pilgrims along the last leg of the famous Camino de Santiago journey as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
  • Sit back, relax and watch the water flow by in one of Porto’s river restaurants while you sample a couple of varieties of the city’s signature wine – port!
  • Start and end your adventure in Madrid, home to art galleries, colourful architecture and some of the best restaurants in Spain.
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Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"I've travelled with Intrepid in Vietnam, Morocco, Nepal and Egypt and had a brilliant time every time. The experience is better than most tours as you are in a small group that goes a bit more 'off the beaten track', and you don't get taken to endless shopping opportunites (i.e. a cousin's carpet shop). They also have higher ethics than most travel companies, they contribute to local charities and they avoid animal use (donkeys etc) where possible. The tour leaders we have had have all been wonderful, knowledgable and relaxed, with good english."

Trip dates & details
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The Inca Trail
4.8/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
With a huge range of trip styles and themes, they cater to basically every type of traveler out there- even those with super specific interests.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Urubamba

Highlights

  • Complete the classic Inca Trail, South America’s most celebrated walking route
  • Enjoy camp life in the Andes − our expert staff take care of all the chores!
  • Explore Inca ruins as our knowledgeable tour leader brings them to life
  • Arrive at the famed Sun Gate at the ideal time to see Machu Picchu
  • Refresh after your trek with a stay in charming Aguas Calientes
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Themes

Cultural, Hiking & Walking

What travelers are saying

"Friendly and helpful staff were happy to help with all our questions."

Trip dates & details
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Andes to the Amazon: the Essence of Ecuador | August 20, 2022
5/5 Excellent
12 reviews
Group Tour
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Andes Mountains, Cotopaxi, Quito

Highlights

  • Explore Cotopaxi National Park on horseback
  • Hike around the ethereal Quilotoa crater lake
  • Visit a traditional Tigua art studio
  • Cycle the Baños Waterfall Route
  • Go white-water rafting in the Amazon rainforest
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Themes

Culinary & Wine, Cultural, Cycling & Biking, High Adventure, Hiking & Walking, Photography

What travelers are saying

"A Culture Trip curated trip is a must for anyone burnt out planning their own trips or going to a remote or unfamiliar area. Having a local insider was the highlight of the trip. From the moment we landed to the moment we had to go through security to leave, we were completely taken care of. Our insider gave us great recommendations for restaurants and was very adaptable to any situation that arose."

Trip dates & details
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Galapagos Discovery
4.9/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Galapagos, Isabela Island, Otavalo, Quito, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz

Highlights

  • Get your blood pumping as you scale Sierra Negra Volcano during an epic hike, then cool off with a swim in the perfect waters of Isla Isabela’s beaches.
  • Many come to Isla Santa Cruz just for the giant tortoises. Get up close and personal with these enormous animals as they drag themselves through the sand.
  • Learn about the unique habits of the marine iguana. This dinosaur-like little creature has an iridescent sheen and is only found on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Birdwatching at the Galapagos is quite an experience. Watch the aerobatic routines of blue-footed boobies and the death defying stunts of the frigate birds as they whizz through the air.
  • This trip combines plenty of must-try activities and islands with generous mounts of free time, so you can explore the Galapagos at your own pace.

Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife

What travelers are saying

"I've travelled with Intrepid in Vietnam, Morocco, Nepal and Egypt and had a brilliant time every time. The experience is better than most tours as you are in a small group that goes a bit more 'off the beaten track', and you don't get taken to endless shopping opportunites (i.e. a cousin's carpet shop). They also have higher ethics than most travel companies, they contribute to local charities and they avoid animal use (donkeys etc) where possible. The tour leaders we have had have all been wonderful, knowledgable and relaxed, with good english."

Trip dates & details
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Best of Galapagos
4.8/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Cotopaxi, Darwin, Galapagos, Galapagos Islands, Guayaquil, Otavalo, Quito, Ronda, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz

Highlights

  • Encounter the nearly extinct giant Galapagos tortoises, as well as blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and maybe even dolphins and whales!
  • Go snorkelling on multiple days throughout different islands, looking out for sea turtles and the harmless Galapagos shark.
  • Get your blood pumping as you scale the Sierra Negra Volcano – one of the Galapagos’ most active volcanoes and the world's second-largest crater!
  • Learn how to make the famed encebollado – a local fish soup considered one of the best in the world! Your expert chef will take you through a fun cooking class, then you’ll tuck into the hearty dish for lunch.
  • Enjoy a land-based Galapagos trip, using locally owned hotels on the islands instead of staying on a boat, which means you’ll have more opportunities to interact with the locals.
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Themes

Cycling & Biking, Hiking & Walking, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife, Rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing, Trekking & Expeditions

What travelers are saying

"I've travelled with Intrepid in Vietnam, Morocco, Nepal and Egypt and had a brilliant time every time. The experience is better than most tours as you are in a small group that goes a bit more 'off the beaten track', and you don't get taken to endless shopping opportunites (i.e. a cousin's carpet shop). They also have higher ethics than most travel companies, they contribute to local charities and they avoid animal use (donkeys etc) where possible. The tour leaders we have had have all been wonderful, knowledgable and relaxed, with good english."

Trip dates & details
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South America Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
4,117  Reviews
See all South America tour reviews
Excellent
2,244
Great
554
Average
55
Disappointing
16
Terrible
8
A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Qué paja el Perú !

Before I went on this holiday, anyone I talked to about Peru seemed to equate it principally with Machu Picchu and Inka trails. Frankly, as beautiful and wondrous...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Amazing itinery, varied and comphrehensive

Essential trip covers the highlights in 2 weeks covering Andes and Desert Peru comprehensively (Jungle would be an additional bolt on). The itinery was key fo...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Perutastic

A great and very enjoyable trip with a very good guide / tour leader (Daniel). Such varied culture, food and scenery too. I felt like I learned and saw a lot. My ...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Brilliant Adventure

What a brilliant time we had on our recent visit to Peru. From the moment we met our guide Sebastian at Lima airport the fun started. The itinerary was full on but...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

An amazing trip of a life-time!

This was my first experience of Exodus and I was very impressed. All of the communication prior to travelling was excellent and this continued with my arrival in ...

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South America Tour Selection Trips

  • Consider South America tours that take in more than one major site: combining trips to the Galapagos Islands with Machu Picchu, or an Amazon River Cruise with Rio de Janeiro.
  • For touring the Amazon, look for travel providers that employ indigenous people among the guides – they’ll know the rainforests, local customs and landscape like no one else.
  • For trips to Machu Picchu, keep in mind that there are tours for all levels of exertion and roughing it, ranging from short guided lodge-based hiking to luxury train trips to multi-day camping trips.
  • Bear in mind that if you plan to hike the Inca Trail, a tour is required, and only 500 individuals (including porters and guides) are permitted on the trail per day
  •  Plan well in advance if you’d like to see Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. If you want to see Machu Picchu, but don’t feel like the Inca Trail’s for you, many South America tours still include the famous site. Many visit via the PeruRail route from Cusco.
  • If you like natural diversity, consider a tour to Ecuador – a small country that packs a punch especially considering its size! The Andes, Amazon, the Pacific, colonial cities, and the Galapagos all can be experienced in Ecuador.
  • Some Galapagos tours travel by small ship around the islands, while others are mainly land-based; boat trips will visit more islands

Additional details

South America has some of the most diverse landscapes and wildlife in the entire world. Laying claim to both the Galapagos and the Amazon, tours in South America often have a heavy focus on nature hikes, conservation, local living, and wildlife photography.

The diverse cultures of South America’s countries and regions are a highlight of many guided tours to South America. You’ll enjoy regional cuisine, perhaps even stay with a local family for a few nights. Learn to tango in Argentina, experience the unique floating villages on Lake Titicaca in Peru, and visit coffee plantations in Colombia.

South America tours often have a heavy focus on eco and sustainable travel. Costa Rica is world renowned for its eco lodges. Many tours highlight the many ways tourism can help with conservation rather than hinder the survival of South America’s stunning natural beauty.

South America also attracts history and archaeology buffs looking for tours that visit the many fascinating ancient settlements. Home to countless ruins, including of course the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, travelers have been flocking to South America for centuries seeking to experience these amazing historical sites for themselves.

There are many ways to plan a tour to Machu Picchu, including hiking the Inca Trail. Many travelers may not be aware, however, that if you are planning to walk this ancient byway, you do need to take a tour. Private Inca Trail tours are available, and a popular option, but you cannot simply hike on your own.

Only 500 people are allowed on the Inca Trail every day - this rule has been implemented by the local government in effort to preserve the trail and protect the area. The 500 includes porters and guides, so that leaves room for roughly around 300 travelers.

Off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are where legendary Charles Darwin did a majority of his research leading to the groundbreaking Origin of Species and scientific theories of Natural Selection. When you visit, you’ll get to see and get up close to the many species that led him to his conclusions about evolution including Galapagos Finches, Giant Tortoise, and Marine Iguanas.

Small ship cruises to the Galapagos are becoming increasingly popular. Because the Galapagos can be an entire trip in theselves, consider if you want to invest in a longer trip - one that also includes Machu Picchu or more of Ecuador. 

Countries in South America

Argentina - Modeled after Paris and Madrid, the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is the most visited city in South America. Tour Buenos Aires or Tour some of Argentina’s 30 national parks 

Bolivia - Captivating in both history and geography, Bolivia was once the center of the ancient Tiwanaku culture and later part of the Incan empire. Geographically, the country has active volcanoes and the stunning Uyuni salt flats.

Tours to Bolivia

Brazil - Contains most of the Amazon river basin, the world’s largest river system and the most extensive virgin rainforest. Add Rio de Janeiro, the iconic symbol of Brazil to your itinerary, and you’ll be on an amazing tour.

Tours to Rio and the Amazon

Colombia - More tourists are visiting Colombia, a country of cultural and geographical contrasts. Culturally, Colombia’s Spanish heritage is still very much in tact, while several indigenous groups still practice their traditional ways. Is Colombia safe to travel.

Tours to Colombia

Chile - The Andes mountain range dominates this 2,700 mile long country whose southern tip is subantarctic because of its location only 400 miles from Antarctica. At its northern end you’ll be in a coastal desert.

Tours to Chile

Ecuador - A rich heritage comes from the Incas - much of what is now Ecuador was a part of the Incan empire. Ecuador is also one of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world from rainforests to the Galapagos archipelago.

Tours to the Galapagos 

Guyana - The only English-speaking country in South America, Guyana was one a Dutch and British colony. Only a few thousand visitors travel to Guyana each year due to crime and higher levels of poverty; nonetheless, some call it authentic, a place for “raw adventure” and the government is aiming to lead in sustainable tourism. Is Guyana safe to travel. Tours to Guyana.

Paraguay - Although it is one of the least visited countries in South America, some say Paraguay is a country of hidden treasures. It is a more homogenous society in South America with people of European and indigenous Guarini ancestry. In fact, Guarini is the official - and proudly spoken - language. 

Peru - Its arid coastal regions to the west and the Amazon basin to the east with the rugged Andes in between has brought such incredible diversity in the ways of life, climate and economy that Peru is a top destination in South America. Another reason for the large number of tourists is what the rich and highly organized Incan civilization that ruled this region for centuries has left behind.

Tours to Peru.

Tours to Machu Picchu.

Suriname - Called South America’s hidden treasure by The New York Times, just 580,000 people inhabit Suriname. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world and as a former Dutch colony, Dutch is its official language. Tours to Suriname

Uruguay - Overshadowed by its huge neighbors, Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay has its own unique sites and attractions like the UNESCO World Heritage historic quarter of the Colonia del Sacramento, the eclectic capital of Montevideo and beach resorts - all untouched by mass tourism. Tours to Uruguay 

Venezuela - The largest lake in South America, Lake Maracaibo, and the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, are both in Venezuela. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of State does not recommend travel to the country for a number of reasons. Is Venezuela safe to travel

Languages Spoken in South America

Spanish is the dominant language spoken in South American countries except in Brazil where Portugese is the official language and in Suriname where they speak Dutch (Suriname was once a Dutch colony). Many speak English as a second language and the most common indigenous language is Quecha, the language spoken by the Inca.

When traveling with a tour, your guide will be bilingual or multilingual. Nonetheless, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to meet locals who don’t know English. Speaking their language - even just doing your best with what you know - will endear you to your hosts. It can also be a more enriching experience for you.

But regardless of your language ability, don’t fear, the South American people are incredibly friendly and helpful. It’s not uncommon for them to find someone who does speak English if they themselves do not.

Packing for South America

One of the many benefits when traveling on an organized tour is that they will provide you with a packing list that will depend on your destination, when you will be traveling and, or the activities you’ll be doing. A packing list for a multi-day trek on the Inca Trail is much different from one for a visit to the Galapagos Islands where you may wish to bring your own snorkel and mask!

Safety Tips for Traveling to South America

The US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs is an excellent resource for travel advisories, passports as well as country specific information and what to do in case of emergency while abroad. You can also register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which is encouraged by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Your enrollment helps them contact you in the case of an emergency at home (family, civil unrest, natural disaster, etc.). You will also receive alerts about safety conditions in the destination you are traveling to and should you need to be found, authorities will contact this department.  

Another benefit of booking with a tour company is that they, too, can provide an extra level of safety as well as guidance. Regardless, there are some basic safety tips you should be aware of before and during travel, many of which are helpful no matter where you travel.

1. Check with the US Department of State before you go to check the travel advisory level, of which there are 4. They list countries, regions within countries, even specific big city bus routes. They advise exercising normal precautions, increased caution, whether you should reconsider travel or not travel there at all.

2. Many countries in South America are still developing; as such their tourism infrastructure is in varying states of development/expansion. In remote areas there may be inadequate facilities or none at all. This could mean more exposure to the potential for crime. 

3. Do not become a target for thieves by your behavior, dress, being unaware or displaying signs of wealth. 

  • Walk with purpose. For example, know where you are going and leave valuables at home or in the hotel safe
  • Take only the money you need for the day with you. Consider a wearable that can be concealed for your money and passport.
  • Use your camera and put it away in a bag that doesn’t scream “camera!” 
  • Don’t set items of value on the table while in restaurants where they can be easily swiped. Keep your bag/purse strap looped around your arm or if your bag/camera is placed on the floor at your feet, around your leg. 
  • Be especially vigilant in heavily touristed areas like the beaches of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. These are higher crime areas, particularly because of poverty. 
  • Major events/any crowded area is a prime spot for thieves 
  • Dress like the locals as much as possible to blend in rather than stand out 

4. Be cautious when using ATMs. Use those that are in well lit areas and be on the look-out for anyone who may be watching

5. Avoided unmarked vehicles that claim to be taxis, use buses from reputable companies

6. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Unmarked or otherwise suspicious motorcycles are often used by thieves to come up from behind, snatch a purse and quickly disappear into traffic. Pickpocketers will often work in pairs or groups to distract their victim then steal. 

7. Learn and practice some basic words for assistance in Spanish and if traveling to Brazil, Portuguese. You may not have time to consult your translator. 

8. Take your own first aid kit. If you travel with medications, get a note from your doctor explaining the medication(s) and dose(s). If you have a medical condition, consider carrying a note on your person that explains what to do if you need help. 

9. Let people know your itinerary/tour company and let them know of any changes in your itinerary

10. The CDC’s Traveler’s Health page will advise you of the vaccinations needed by country

11. Stick with bottled water and be wary of drinking fruit juices with or without ice and other beverages with ice 

South America on a Budget

Most likely you already have an idea of how much you want to spend. Next, you’ll want to consider that travel costs will vary by country. Venezuela is the least expensive country, although do keep in mind that as of their latest advisory on April, 9, 2019, the U.S. Department of State does not recommend traveling to Venezuela.

Brazil, Chile and Argentina are at the more expensive end of the spectrum while Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru fall on the less expensive end. Colombia falls in between. Note that the State Department issued a Level 2 advisory not only for Colombia but also Guyana and Uruguay: “exercise increased caution.” 

South America is becoming both more accessible and affordable as a greater number of tourists are heading there instead of the more traditional spots like Asia, Europe and Mexico. There are several drivers of this trend. As of June, 2019, for example, the Brazilian government no longer requires U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil for tourism among other activities to get a Visa, which was a cumbersome process.

Other countries, too, are incentivizing tourists as they recognize the value of their unique attractions as well as the boost tourists give to their economy. Local economic factors also play a role in cost of travel; for example, Argentina’s current (2019) instability makes it a good buy. Last, more tourists means more flights. This, in turn, increases competition among airline carriers. More competition also means cheaper flights. 

Multi-day tour companies have responded to this trend which gives you more choices than ever when it comes to booking a tour to South America. Stride makes it easy to choose tours based on your budget. Filter your results by lodging level: luxury, premium, value, basic or camping.

You can also filter your results by a minimum and maximum total spend for your tour. Don’t forget to include the cost of flying to your destination and also make sure there are no additional costs you might incur on your tour; for example, optional activities or transportation.

Always Find the Best

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