If you want to travel to South America and discover everything it has to offer, booking one of the best South America tours is one of the best options available for you. South America is rich in diverse cultures, the cuisine is incredible, there are over 100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the biodiversity will allow you to enjoy a variety of outdoor adventures. Of course, you can always travel independently, but guided tours offer a great advantage for people who want to discover as many places as possible. For one, they’re all set, so you don’t have to do any research or planning; all you have to do is get ready for the journey and show up.
All inclusive trips to South America are a bit more expensive than doing everything on your own, but they offer a lot more value. You won’t only discover places you wouldn’t have been able to discover on your own, but you’ll also be able to connect with locals, make friends with other people on the tour, and learn so many new things. Tours are active, exciting, super educational, and they make for an unforgettable experience. Today, we narrowed down the options to the 10 best South America tours so you can find the right one easily!
Best South America Tours for an Uplifting Holiday and Deeper Knowledge of this Beautiful Region
Andes, Iguassu & Beyond By G Adventures
The Andes, Iguassu & Beyond tour by G Adventures is one of the best South America highlights tours out there. With this 18-day tour, you’ll explore the rich cultures of Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. The tour includes comfortable accommodations, private and public transport, meals, and a great variety of activities. Your journey will begin in Santiago, Chile, and end in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In Chile, you will explore the city of Santiago, visit museums and try delicious food. Then, you’ll move on to the cities of Valparaiso and Pucón where you’ll enjoy natural thermal pools or hike the Villarica volcano, among other things. In Argentina, you’ll visit Buenos Aires and enjoy a tango show and a good dinner. Then you’ll explore the city by bike, go to the Iguaçu Falls, and much more. In Brazil, you’ll visit Paraty, go to cachaça distilleries, visit Ilha Grande where you can hike, snorkel or simply relax on the beach. Among so many other activities!
Patagonia Wilderness By Intrepid Travel
If you love the great outdoors and you want your journey through South America to be focused on that, this Patagonia Wilderness tour could the perfect option for you. This 15-day tour will allow you to trek past glaciers, waterfalls, mountains, and get familiar with wild South America. The tour explores Argentina and Chile and it includes meals, private and public transport, comfortable accommodations, and a variety of activities to enjoy.
The Patagonia Wilderness tour begins in Buenos Aires where you’ll go on an orientation walk and visit areas like San Telmo and Recoleta for some urban exploration, tango, and delicious meals. Then, you’ll go El Chalten, where you’ll hike to Laguna de los Tres, Laguna Torre, and visit Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy to enjoy scenic views. Next, you’ll go to El Calafate and visit the Perito Moreno Glacier where you can go on a hike or enjoy a Glacier cruise, among so many other wonderful adventures.
Active Ecuador & Peru By G Adventures
The Active Ecuador & Peru tour by G Adventures will take you around Ecuador and Peru to help you discover many wonderful places and have an action-packed vacation. Before traveling, I suggest you check out these great tips for visiting Ecuador.
This 16-day tour will take you to the most scenic routes and it’s physically demanding, so be ready for high-altitude hikes and other strenuous yet rewarding activities. It includes accommodations, meals, public and private transport, and local guides.
On the first day of the tour, you will leave Quito by bus and travel to the jungle town of Tena. Once in Tena, you will discover the Jatunyaku River and the cloud forest around it, then you’ll go to the town of Baños for a day of activities such as ziplining or you can simply explore the waterfalls or the town. The tour will also take you to Llanganates National Park, Cotopaxi Volcano, and other places before moving on to Lima, Peru. You’ll visit Cusco, Ollantaytambo, go through the Inca Trail, and so much more.
Galápagos – Central, South & East Islands Aboard the Monserrat By G Adventures
The Galápagos Islands are one of the most precious places on the planet, and this tour will allow you to explore them and have a memorable time. This 10-day tour is one of the best South America tours and it will take you through the archipelago’s southern, central, and eastern islands so you can enjoy activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and so much more. The tour includes meals, private transport, expert guides, and a great variety of activities.
The tour will begin in Quito, Ecuador and it will take you to the San Cristóbal Island so you can explore it for a bit. Then, you’ll go to Isla Lobos where you’ll watch a bunch of sea lions having fun the sea. You’ll also visit Cerro Brujo where you’ll see marine iguanas, seabirds, and sea lions, visit tortoise breeding areas and explore the rich flora in the highlands. You’ll go to Española Island, which is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago, and visit many other amazing places.
Iconic Peru By G Adventures
If your main interest in visiting South America is Peru, this Iconic Peru tour by G Adventures will allow you to explore the country and visit all the best highlights. This is one of the best South America tours because it focuses on one country and it provides many opportunities for adventure. This 14-day tour includes comfortable accommodations, meals, private transport, and expert guides.
The tour begins and ends in Lima, Peru and it will take you to so many different places. You’ll visit Puerto Maldonado and stay in the Amazon rainforest where you’ll explore the rainforest’s ecosystems and learn about the ancient Inca. You’ll go to the Sacred Valley for a day of exploration and exciting activities, you’ll go on the Inca Trail, so be ready for demanding physical activity. The tour will also take you to Machu Picchu, Cusco, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puno, and more.
Peru, Bolivia & Chile By Tucan Travel
This is another one of the best escorted tours to South America and it will take you through Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This 15-day tour is full of adventure and it will allow you to connect with different cultures while you have fun. The tour includes comfortable accommodations, a knowledgeable tour guide, meals, private and public transport, and additional service so you can make the most out of the tour.
This action-packed tour will take you to Lima, Peru, where you’ll visit many museums, beautiful squares, and other highlights such as the Huaca Pucllana ruins, among other things. The tour will also take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, the city of Cusco, Puno, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Uyuni, Laguna Colorada, San Pedro de Atacama, Valley of the Moon, and so many other wonderful places in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This is an active tour, so keep that in mind and prepare for an adventure.
Galápagos Island Hopping With Quito By G Adventures
Here we have another one of the best South America tours with a focus on the Galápagos Islands so you can maximize your time and enjoy as much as possible. This 9-day tour is quite active since it includes light hiking, rafting, kayaking, and other activities, and it includes public and private transport, meals, comfortable accommodations, and a variety of activities.
You’ll visit places such Puerto Ayora where you’ll go to the Charles Darwin Research Station. You will also go to Las Grietas and walk through a cactus forest to visit one of the most beautiful lagoons. You’ll also go to Loberia and walk along a black-sand beach where you’ll be able to snorkel or swim. You’ll visit the highlands of Floreana, go to Isabela Island, hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, go to Santa Cruz Island, visit Tortuga Bay, and much more. This tour is a great way to explore the Galápagos Islands!
Spirit of Shackleton By G Adventures
The Spirit of Shackleton tour will take you to Antarctica, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands for an awe-inspiring journey that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The 21-day tour includes accommodations, meals, private transport, and experienced guides. This is one of the best South America tours because it offers a truly unique experience. It’s an active tour but it’s not too challenging, so you don’t need a high fitness level to enjoy the journey.
The journey will start in Ushuaia and you’ll be able to explore one of the most southerly cities in the world. Then, you’ll go through the Beagle Channel and arrive at the Drake Passage. You’ll be able to enjoy incredible scenery and spot some of the most unique wildlife in the world. You will also visit the Elephant Island as you make your way to South Georgia and visit a colony of king penguins and so much more. The tour will also take you to the Falkland Islands, where you’ll enjoy many great activities.
Cafe Colombia By Intrepid Travel
Colombia is one of the most stunning places in South America, so if you’re interested in exploring the highlands of Colombia’s coffee region, this tour is the perfect fit for you. Coffee lovers know that some of the best coffee in the world comes from Colombia, and the Cafe Colombia tour will show you exactly where it comes from. This 9-day tour starts in Bogota and ends in Cartagena after stopping in fantastic places like Medellin and the Cocora Valley. It includes meals, private and public transport, quality accommodations, and a great variety of activities.
The tour will take off in Bogota, the country’s capital, where you’ll be able to visit interesting museums, old churches, adorable cafes, and much more. Then, you’ll move on to Salento, where you’ll visit the Paloquemao Market and explore the village. You will also hike to the Acaime Reserve and travel deep into the country’s coffee region. You’ll go to Coffee Estancia, which is one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, and learn about the history and the process of making coffee. And this is only a part of what the tour has to offer!
Argentina & Chile Multisport By G Adventures
Last but not least, we have the Argentina & Chile Multisport tour, which is one of the best South America tours for active people who want a real adventure. This 20-day tour will be physically demanding and super active, so prepare to do some hiking, trekking, and more. The tour includes accommodations, meals, private and public transport, and expert guides.
The journey will begin in Mendoza, Argentina where you’ll be able to explore the city and then go into the mountains. You will do some trekking to the first camp in Aconcagua and you’ll also take a bike through the vineyards in the area. You will also visit Bariloche, the Lake District of Argentina, and visit Nahuel Huapi Lake, go whitewater rafting on amazing rapids, and more. The tour will also take you to El Chaltén, El Calafate, Puerto Natales, Laguna Azul Camp, and so many other places for an action-filled tour.
Benefits of Booking a Guided Tour to South America
Now that you know what the best South America tours are, you will be able to find the perfect one for you very easily. Tours offer a ton of value and they’re definitely worth the money when you think of all the benefits they have to offer. For one, guided tours are safer than traveling on your own because they’re often guided by locals who know what areas to avoid and how to deal with locals.
Moreover, the best South America tours offer an incredible variety of activities. So, you won’t only discover many different countries, you’ll also have many different experiences in a short amount of time. Everything is organized for you, so you don’t have to research, plan, or book anything, which is incredibly time-consuming.
Perhaps the best benefit of guided tours is that they will show you all the hidden gems you never knew existed. You will be fully immersed in the culture of the country you’re visiting, and this will allow you not only to learn new things but also to have unforgettable experiences that will change your life for the better. Go through our list of the best South America tours, consider each one carefully, and choose the one that suits your travel style the best! You won’t regret it.