South America and long travel go together like ice cream and happiness. It’s huge. It’s cheap. And it’s got more diversity, color and chaos than the other continents rolled into one. You might start you journey in Rio, kicking back on the sands of Ipanema, but before you know it you’re trekking through the Brazilian Amazon, or the cloud forests of Ecuador. Join a Quechan street party in Cuzco, cross the Bolivian altiplano, eat hot empanadas in Santiago or venture into the untamed wilds of Patagonia. If this place doesn’t convince you to drop everything and live like Indiana Jones, nothing will.
One month in South America
Our longest trips in South America
Machu Picchu, Peru
You know you love it, but have you actually been yet? Machu Picchu is probably the one image of South America that gets seared into our collective imagination, but there are a bunch of ways you can get there. Trek the classic Inca Trail, avoid the crowds on the Quarry Trail (then take a bus to Aguas Calientes) or train all the way and just enjoy the view. It doesn’t matter how you go. Just make sure you do.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The salt flats of Bolivia are the biggest in the world: one massive unbroken horizon of seasoning. Because there are no landmarks, no trees or markers or anything to interrupt the view of 10 billion tonnes of salt, you can get up to some pretty crazy visual shenanigans. Hop in a 4x4 with us and explore the flats, then (if you’re going overland) head onto the Bolivian altiplano and cross into Chile. We guarantee 0 crowds and lots of flamingos.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
When Charles Darwin sailed the Beagle into the Galapagos, he discovered the planet’s best kept evolutionary secret: 19 unspoiled islands that would change the way we think about the world. These days it’s pretty much the same, just with much more comfortable boats and less scurvy. Meet marine iguanas on San Cristobal, swim with sea lions off the coast of Fernandina and trek across the lava fields of Espanola.
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