Seinfeld knew it (“You gotta see the baaaaby”). Dorothy and her pals knew it (“We’re off to see the Wizard”). Even Clark Griswold knew it (We can't miss the Grand Canyon, it's the biggest goddamn hole in the world!”). There are some things in life that you simply can’t miss. Finding hidden gems is an essential part of the travel experience, but you wouldn’t go to India without seeing the Taj Mahal. You wouldn’t go to Paris without clapping your eyes on the Eiffel Tower. So there’s no point coming all the way to South America without ticking a few of these must-sees off your list.

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

 

When you come to Rio, you’ll be welcomed with open arms (literally) by the largest Art Deco statue in the world. This 38-metre symbol of Christianity stands atop an 8-metre pedestal on Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Forest. Get there by train and then walk the 220 steps (or take the elevator) to the staue for views over beaches, city and forests.

Read more about why Rio is a must see

 
 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Best of Argentina & Brazil

7

$2,961

Argentina & Brazil Adventure

10

$3,077

Argentina & Brazil Adventure

10

$3,650

Machu Picchu, Peru

 

Ever since 2002, when the Peruvian government clamped down on the number of tourists allowed on the trail, permits to see Machu Picchu have been snapped up quicker than tickets to Star Wars: Episode VII. Book in advance so you can stand at the Sun Gate and be part of that unforgettable moment when the light of day illuminates the Inca city of Machu Picchu.

Find out more on how to secure your Inca permit

Trip Name Days From NZD
Inca Trail Express

7

$1,453

Classic Peru

9

$2,995

Majestic Peru

15

$3,714

Inca Trail Family Holiday with teenagers

14

$4,010

 

Iguazu Falls Argentina/Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Iguazú Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls? Doesn’t matter. The jaw-dropping effect is still the same, no matter how you spell it. The sound of 12,750 cubic metres per second of water hurling itself from 275 different waterfalls stretched over 2.7 kilometres of river is something you need to hear at least once in your life. Don’t miss the the 82-metre high Devil’s Throat cataract, which marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.

First impressions of Iguazu

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Iguazu Falls

2

$375

Best of Argentina & Brazil

7

$2,961

Buenos Aires to Rio Unplugged

17

$3,225

Bolivia to Brazil Explorer

36

$7,680

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

 

Bad for your blood pressure but great for your photo albums, Salar de Uyuni is the biggest salt flat in the world. There’s over 10 billion tonnes of salt sprawled over 10,582 square kilometres, making it a breathtaking sight even if you weren’t standing 11,985-feet above sea level. Jump in a 4x4 to explore the flats, and hopefully there has been some rain so you get that famous mirrored effect in all your photos.

You have to see Bolivia to believe it

Trip Name Days From NZD
Bolivia Highlights

12

$1,895

Discover Bolivia & Argentina

20

$4,250

Bolivian Salt Flats

3

$805

La Paz to Santiago

21

$3,283

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia Chile

 

It’s hard to know where to start. Do we talk about the ancient forests, the glaciers, the alpine lakes, the rivers and fjords? Or do we tell you about the park’s Andean condors, flamingos, guanaco, pumas and endangered Andean deer? Or do we just go ahead and talk about the three granite peaks, the Torres del Paine, which rise up to 2,500-metres above sea level? It’s no wonder more than 150,000 people visit here each year.

A change of pace in Patagonia

Trip Name Days From NZD
Patagonia Wilderness

15

$5,716

Patagonia Trekking

10

$5,395

Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia

34

$5,807

Santiago to Ushuaia

23

$4,802

Wine country, Mendoza Argentina

 

If you can look up from your tasting glass long enough, you’ll see incredible views of the Andes surrounding Mendoza. However, we understand if you are simply too engrossed in your bottle to sneak a peek. Mendoza is the heart of Argentina’s wine industry, with almost 1000 wineries spread across the region. Malbec is the star, but you will also come across some of the world’s best cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier producers. Thirsty?

Read about New Years in Mendoza

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Best of Chile & Argentina

8

$3,000

Discover Bolivia & Argentina

20

$4,250

Lake Titicaca

 

South America’s largest lake sits 3811 metres above sea level, so you’ll understandably feel quite breathless while looking out over the still, blue water. Straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia, the Titicaca Reserve is home to 60 species of birds and a rare giant frog that can weigh up to 3kg. Incan mythology says that the god Viracocha emerged from the lake to create the sun and the stars.

For the love of Lake Titicaca

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Sacred Land of the Incas

15

$3,127

Peru Encompassed

21

$4,785

Explore Peru & Bolivia

25

$5,598

Majestic Peru

15

$3,714

Perito Morena Glacier, Argentina

 

As one of the world’s only advancing glaciers, this imposing beast travels around 1.5 metres each day. To give you an idea of its size, the face of the Perito Morena Glacier reaches as high as a 20-story building, with around 150 metres of ice plunging underneath the water. Located in South America’s third largest body of fresh water, Lake Argentina, you see it by boat or from the raised walkway that has been installed around the glacier.

A most glacial place

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Patagonia Wilderness

15

$5,716

Patagonia Trekking

10

$5,395

Amazon, Ecuador

 

Wildlife? Got it. Birdwatching? Legendary. Activities? You bet. The Amazon basin covers six Ecuadorian provinces and is home to many indigenous communities, some who are still living in complete isolation. When you travel with a small group you’ll to stay in a jungle lodge and take part in river rafting, night walks, canoeing and more. Meet local families, learn to use blowguns and spears, pick coffee beans and learn to make chocolate from cacao beans.

Surprises on the Amazon

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Inca Trail & Amazon

12

$3,226

Bolivian Amazon Jungle

5

$1,520

Peru Amazon - 4 days

4

$527

Ecuador Amazon Jungle - 4 days

4

$1,395

Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro

 

You’d think after two centuries of partying, Rio’s Carnaval would show signs of slowing down. But it’s just the opposite. The sequins are sparklier, the dancing is sexier, the streets are busier and the music is louder with each passing year. In the days leading up to Lent, Carnaval festivals are held all over Brazil but Rio’s is undoubtedly the most raucous. Keep your wits about you and try to keep up as you join the world’s biggest party.

The worlds biggest party

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Buenos Aires to Rio

19

$3,063

Rio Carnaval Package Original

6

$3,175

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Jewel of the Caribbean. Fortress City. The Walled City. Paradise. It’s known as many things, but Cartagena is quite simply… beautiful. Enclosed by 13 kilometres of Spanish-built walls, the UNESCO World Heritage listed streets of old town are paved in cobblestones while bursts of bougainvillea clings to the balconies overhead. It is home to many art, literature and classical music festivals yet also perfect for lovers of outdoor activities such as scuba diving, swimming and cruising.

Colombia's most beautiful places

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Cafe Colombia

9

$2,515

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

 

 

The sheer abundance of wildlife in the Galapagos is pretty overwhelming. Frolicking sea lions, gardens of colourful fish, blue-footed boobies, rare iguanas and thoughtful sea turtles make it seem like you’ve stepped into Mother Nature’s secret garden. Straddling the Equator, 1000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador is this archipelago of volcanic islands. Here you’ll find one of the world’s most unique ecosystems, housing species endemic only this South American Environment.

Read more about the Galapagos Islands

 

Trip Name Days From NZD
Active Galapagos

10

$3,667

Galapagos Adventure - Northern Islands (Daphne)

7

$3,092

Galapagos & Peru Adventure

24

$8,417

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