It’s natural when you visit South America for the first time to say, “I want to do it all!” With bucket list in hand, you start looking at what you can knock off during your 10-day vacation. Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Rio, Buenos Aires, Easter Island, and wine country here we come!
In general we’d say that’s a bad idea. Save a few places for next time and really give yourself time to soak it all up instead of spending all your time in modes of transport. We will say, however, that visiting several neighboring countries on one trip is getting easier all the time. First the visa situation has gotten a lot better—more on that in a minute. But if you give up the idea of trying to plan it all yourself, there are companies like SouthAmerica.travel that already have multi-country itineraries set up and they’ve put them together for other clients multiple times.
If you look at their Brazil and Peru tour packages, for example, you find a 10-day “World of Wonders of South America” tour that hits a lot of highlights while still making sense geographically. Iguazu Falls is located in Argentina, but also in Brazil. With this tour you can see it from both sides after flying from Lima to Iguasu then continuing on to Rio. Before that though, you land in Lima and move on to Cusco and Machu Picchu,
If you have more time, they have an 18-day tour that also includes Paraguay and Bolivia. Or you can combine two itineraries to include more sites on your bucket list if you want to visit the Galapagos, Easter Island, or the wine regions of Chile and Argentina.
This is a great time to tour South America for Americans since the U.S. dollar is strong and things are easing up on the reciprocal visa fee front as well. Brazil is dropping its hefty fee for the summer Olympics from June 1 to September 18, so it’s great if you can piggyback onto that. Meanwhile, Argentina’s new president quickly dropped theirs for Americans, so they’re now welcoming U.S. citizens with more open arms. Chile dropped theirs last year.
Let Someone Else Mind the Travel Details
Besides the ease of planning that comes with booking a tour through a regional specialist, you get the benefits of local expertise and a helping hand when needed.
A company like SouthAmerica.travel can plug in an itinerary they know will work, but they can also customize trips to add or subtract as needed to make it perfect. You work with one person to set everything up—including flights if you’d like—for the whole itinerary. Then you know they’ll be using the best operators on the ground in each location, people who have already delivered great service for past clients. Since they’ve been running tours in these countries since 1999, you won’t be a poor guinea pig in Peru.
With an expert planning the trip, you know they’ll make the itinerary as streamlined as possible for connections and trips between countries. At each step of the way, a local contact will meet you as you arrive.
Then if anything does go wrong along the way, you’ve got 24/7 support for any issue in the country that you are visiting. If a trip has to be cut short because of illness or an emergency back home, one phone call can get the rest of the itinerary cancelled. Get in touch with them here.