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South America Adventure Tours
South America adventure tours are a thrilling way to experience the continent. From the best hikes in South America to rafting, zip-lining, mountain biking, and even sand boarding and surfing in South America, we’ve got a great range of adventure tours! You can don crampons and trek on a glacier in Patagonia, hike the Inca Trail, go hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, horse-ride in Argentina or mountain bike in Peru to name just a few. More South America adventure trips can be had in the Amazon Rainforest where kayaking, tree climbing and piranha fishing are all possible. There are so many options, so all our adventure tours in South America are completely customized to fit your travel style, pace and schedule.
Covid-19 Update: South America Travel – Countries are open for travel!
South America is open for travel again. We’re operating trips in several countries right now, with more following soon.
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Top 11 South America Adventure Tours
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More Adventure Tours to South America
Here are some more top South America adventure travel ideas:
Trek the Inca Trail in PeruPeru is the perfect place to trek into history. Embark on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and catch a glimpse of a natural world wonder and the history that is embedded deep within. While multiple routes take visitors to the “Lost City of the Incas,” the Inca Trail is the only path that crosses through the Sun Gate entrance, the same entrance that the Incas traveled through centuries ago. For travelers that have ample energy, opt for the standard 4-day package. This hike will no-doubt, test your endurance, but will also reward you with scenic landscapes of ancient ruins and lush, vibrant green forest. When fatigue starts to wash over you, just imagine walking on the Sun Gate's stone steps, leading you closer and closer to viewing the iconic edges of Machu Picchu.
Trek in PatagoniaAlmost everything you do in Patagonia requires a little adventure, especially if you want to visit the Patagonian glaciers. Convenient for you, there are numerous ways to visit these massive blocks of ice. If you're a devoted hiker, choose from numerous trails in the two main national parks. In Torres del Paine, guests can hike the renowned W Trek, while others visit Los Glaciares National Park to see the jagged, snowcapped peaks of Mount Fitz Roy. Regardless, keen trekkers can follow remote pathways to get a close-up of Patagonia’s natural, wild setting. If hiking isn’t your forte, embark on an Adventure Cruise! Some of Patagonia’s most fascinating glaciers are inaccessible by land.
Bike down Death Road in BoliviaWhat screams adventure more than the "World’s Deadliest Road"? Yungas Highway is known as one of the most dangerous roads in South America and guests seem not to shy away from the name. Instead, travelers crave the adrenaline rush that comes out of the 4-5 hour ride downhill. To make things better, you can seamlessly add a day-trip to Yungas Road, to any Bolivia Tour. Begin your adventure in the urban jungle of La Paz, stopping by the Mercado de las Brujas (Witches’ Market) for souvenirs. Then ride the Mi Teleferico (La Paz’s Cable Car System) for a panoramic display of the city. Finally, don’t forget to learn about essential civilizations before the Inca Empire at Tiwanaku, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After you have finished exploring La Paz, go out for what you really came for: an adventure! Sign up for a guided biking tour down Death Road and let the winding trail give you an experience like no other! For those that wish for more, you can now zip-line in Bolivia as well!
Climb Cotopaxi in EcuadorMany tourists turn to Patagonia for a hiking adventure, but you may want to consider Ecuador for a change of pace. It is here where you can find Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in Ecuador (height of 5,897m). The Cotopaxi National Park is an ideal place for adventurous souls to hike the surrounding terrain during the day, and slip inside a cozy, local hacienda (ranch or estate) for the night. Extreme climbers come for the two-day guided climb to the top of the volcano, as it has become a popular tourist attraction. However, take note that while you can climb to the top, that doesn't mean you have to! Plenty of guests choose to stop at a certain altitude, as they reach the ceiling of their comfort zone. Other activities here include mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding and visiting the nearby rose plantations.Note: Cotopaxi's climbing season is from December to April. During the rest of the year, the winds are too strong.
Snorkel with sea turtles in the Galapagos IslandsHave you ever been face to face with a smiling sea turtle? Have you ever swam with a cornucopia of colorful fish? Now’s the time! A subaquatic snorkeling adventure is a highlight for many guests on a Galapagos Islands Tour. Snorkeling requires no specialized training, meaning anyone can do it! The minimum requirement is that you can swim and can breathe through a snorkel. If that sounds like you, pack your favorite swimsuit, sandals and a waterproof camera, and get ready to observe underwater life in one of the world's most pristine settings. The best part about snorkeling? There's no hassle of complicated equipment and training that is needed for scuba diving. However, if you would like to dive deep under the surface, there are scuba diving opportunities. For the best snorkeling, head to Isabela Island, Floreana Island, San Cristobal Island and more.
Search for caiman by night in the Amazon RainforestThe quantity and variety of wildlife in the Amazon makes any day outside an adventure. Stay at one of the Amazon lodges in Brazil, Peru or Ecuador where special, adventure-based excursions are offered. During the day, opt for a canoe ride down the river, an afternoon of swimming with pink dolphins, or a lesson from the local guides on how to fish for piranha. If you pick up on their expert fishing techniques, you might just return to the lodge with some fresh fish for dinner! Other activities include horseback riding in the Pantanal, jungle walks, kayaking and more. Once night falls, you will soon realize that the Amazon Rainforest does not sleep and is no shortage of adventure. Hop aboard a riverboat for a nighttime safari. Listen to the songs of the animals, as they create a new ambiance in the forest, one you didn't notice during the day. If you're daring, you might even try to lock eyes with stealthy caiman before you return to the lodge.
Go rafting in ArgentinaWhitewater river rafting is one of the most invigorating activities you can find in South America! Whitewater rivers can be found in many regions of Argentina and accompany all levels of experience. Avid adventurers can choose from six of Argentina’s most popular rivers. The Alumine River in Argentine Patagonia is best in the winter and spring season. During those times of the year, visitors can admire the lakeside forest and surrounding snowcapped mountains. For a longer journey, choose the Atuel River, Argentina’s longest river with lively currents. Or, opt for the Mendoza River, where you can raft down the snowmelt of the Andes. There's a river for everyone. Note: The Corcovado River, Hua-Hum River, Juramento River, and the Manso River are also popular rafting rivers. Pair a trip of whitewater river rafting with an excursion to many other points in the country. Raft in northern Argentina and then travel a few hours east to Iguaçu Falls near the Brazilian border for a complete package.
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Best Places for a South America Adventure
Uyuni Salt Flats
The Uyuni Salt Flats might be the purest adventure destination in South America. Spending a couple of days in a jeep traveling through the salt flats provides the ultimate sense of exploration and wonder. Fun fact, no matter what time of year you visit, you will have fantastic photo opportunities! Don’t forget about stargazing in Uyuni, an eye-opening experience for anyone interested in the cosmos.
The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Jungle is a must-visit for any adventure seeker. With its dense forestry, diversity of wildlife, and incredibly powerful river basin, there is a magical aura that the Amazon contains unlike any other destination in the world. Whether you choose to do a cruise or stay at a lodge, you will get the feeling that you are truly on a voyage through untapped land and come out the other end a more experienced adventurer!
The Pantanal Wetlands
The Pantanal (along with the Galapagos, see below) is one of the best places to see wildlife in all of South America. Since it is near the Amazon and does not have the same dense forest like the Amazon, the wildlife is accessible and easier to spot. You will see a wide range of animals including giant river otters, anacondas, iguanas, caiman, monkeys, capybaras, and if you’re lucky, even a jaguar!
5 Best South America Adventure Tours for 2023
|Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek||from $4543||7 Days||Trekking from lodge to lodge, enjoy the comfort and service of top-quality mountain lodges located in the Andes Mountains, and and be rewarded with...|
|El Chalten and El Calafate Trekking Tour||from $847||4 Days||El Calafate and El Chaltén are hiker's towns filled with all the best hikes in Patagonia! Located near the Los Glaciares National Park in Ar...|
|Lencois Maranhenses Luxury Adventure Tour||from $||9 Days||Explore the northern coast of Brazil, where the warm Caribbean waters give way to extraordinary coastal dunes of remarkable beauty. Enjoy luxurious...|
|Three Guianas Adventure Tour||from $||14 Days||...|
|Florianopolis & Santa Catarina Brazil Adventure Tour||from $||6 Days||Fulfill your need for adventure on this 6-day adventure tour in Florianopolis, Brazil! Visit the beautiful Lagoinha do Leste for a day at the beach....|
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South America Travel Guide
Download our FREE South America Travel Guide and get inspired to explore to South America. Browse through 26 pages of travel planning tips and ideas – a great resource for planning your dream vacation.
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- Inspiration for cruises, remote lodges and trains
- Wine, golf and adventure ideas
- 24 top tours of South America
FAQs about South America Adventure Tours
Thinking about a South America Adventure trip? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we often hear from our guests.
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