Top Trips to Take in South America

| Thiago Rocha / Unsplash
Nick Dauk

Senior Travel Writer

Amazon or Andes? Glaciers or Galápagos? Let these insider-led Culture Trips be your guide.

South America is a land of superlatives, home to the world’s second-longest river in the Amazon, its driest desert in the Atacama and its highest body of water in ​​Lake Titicaca, straddling Peru and Bolivia. But it also defies easy definition in the great wilderness of Patagonia, which sweeps down the spine of the Andes and spills out into Chile and Argentina. So where to start? Let these expert-led trips be your southern cross, steering the way to all the continent has to offer, from the top of the Amazon to the tip of Argentina.

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Man leads white horse along the side of the vast Quilotoa lagoon

Adventurous Ecuador

Is five days too short for Ecuador? Tack on the country’s Andes and Amazon with this additional eight-day trip. The rich biodiversity and varied landscape of the country deserves exploration in every way imaginable. You’ll learn the ropes at a moderate pace, heading through mountains and rainforest, cycling across the Baños Waterfall Route, hoofing it around the crater lake of Laguna Quilotoa and seeing Cotopaxi National Park on horseback – all worthy ways to work off a chocolate-tasting session in Quito.

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Trip highlights and details


Quito, Ecuador

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Quito, Ecuador







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Additional reporting was contributed by Siobhan Grogan and Gethin Morgan.

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