Argentina    - Destination  guide

When running from the law, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid came to Argentina and loved it. NAZI criminals followed suit some years later, but you don’t have to be lawless and on the run to visit Argentina, just be ready to eat the biggest steaks you have ever seen and learn a few Tango dance steps.

Perito Moreno Glacier

If you visit only one place in Argentina, visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. Seven hundred metres high and 30 kilometres long, there may not be a more photogenic glacier to see in the world. The glacier is still advancing so it’s worth waiting and watching from afar to witness huge chunks of ice break apart and crash to the water. Trekking options are also available and well worth the effort but book ahead.

Iguazu falls

Argentina’s visual definition of awesome is the Iguazu falls, and depending on the water level you may enjoy as many as 150 to 300 separate waterfalls, it’s truly epic. After your visit, be sure to cross the border to see the falls from the Brazilian side the following day, and, if possible, return to the Argentinian side again at night.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid

If visiting Buenos Aires, pay a visit to El Ateneo Grand Splendid, originally a fantastic theatre, once an amazing cinema, now a chain bookstore, but a rather good looking one.

Villa Epecuen

Explore the remains of Argentina’s modern-day Atlantis, Villa Epecuen, a town that was devoured in 1985 by a standing wave lasting nearly 25 years. When the water dried up in 2009, it revealed the discarded ruins of some 230 buildings and dead trees.   

Campanopolis

Visit the custom made enchanting medieval village of Campanopolis. Built by a millionaire with a vision, this funky village has a Dutch windmill, a church, an artificial lake and secret passages to explore. It’s only open on Saturdays so plan your trip. 

Cerro Fitz Roy

Hike the windy trails at sunrise to a scenic vista of a pink coloured Cerro Fitz Roy - Los Glaciares National Park. 

Valley of the Moon

Walk Argentina’s Valley of the Moon, home to some of the world’s oldest dinosaur remains and moon- like geological formations.

Las Cueva de las Manos (cave of hands)

Find out what right-handed prehistoric artists did in their spare time and see 10,000-year-old human hand tracing on the walls of a desert cave. Las Cueva de las Manos (cave of hands) Patagonia.

Palacio Barolo

Step inside one of Buenos Aires tallest and most amazing buildings, Palacio Barolo. Modelled after Dantre Allighieri’s Divine Comedy, visitors climb to the top passing an array of amusing and esoteric symbols and messages before reaching the observation deck where they will stand next to the Bat Signal. 

La Boca

Stroll down Argentina’s most iconic alley and embrace the tango outside the colourful buildings of Caminito, La Boca, Buenos Aires.

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Here are a few suggestions of things to see and do in my favourite places in South America.    

Take heed, my lists are not intended as essential bucket lists and nor are they written in any particular order. To protect our sanity, I’ve limited each country to only ten suggestions. While there may be more worthy sights to see first, you don’t need to worry because you’ll hear all about those as soon as you arrive.

 

  Brazil    - Destination  guide

Brush up on your 16th century Portuguese (because the language hasn’t changed a great deal over the years) and ready yourself for the great outdoors. Did you hear about their jungle? It’s big. In 2007 it was reported that 67 tribes have not yet had contact with modern man… Best not to get lost but do not be deterred, Brazil is amazing. 

Iguazo Falls

Stand up-close to one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls, the unmissable Iguazo Falls. After your visit, be sure to cross the border and spend a day soaking up the spectacular views from the Argentinian side.  

The Amazon

See water lilies strong enough to stand on, piranhas, pink dolphins and a rare tidal bore that provides thrill seeking surfers the opportunity to ride a seemingly never-ending wave for kilometres. When visiting Brazil, an excursion into the Amazon is essential.   

Lencóis Maranhenses National Park

Get off the beaten track and visit the stunning beauty of Lencóis Maranhenses National Park. Here you will see 40-metre-high sand dunes formed by wind and ocean currents.

Giant glowing termite mounds

See the giant glowing termite mounds in Emas National Park.  Brazilian termites build some of the largest mounds in the world which double as nesting sites for thousands of glowing Pyrophorus beetle larvae. At night, these luminous termite mounds are a sight that can never be forgotten. While in the park, be sure to also look out for the local toucans, jaguars and tapirs. 

Rio de Janeiro

Make like James Bond and take the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain to see monkeys roaming free in the tree tops. After your visit, ride the tram to the iconic Cristo Redentor for the best view of Rio de Janeiro.

Carnaval

Purchase an official costume and dance the night away in front of millions in the Rio de Janeiro, Carnaval.  Places are limited and expensive, book well in advance and remember the whole country shuts down for a week so bring everything you need with you.     

Blue Lake Grotto

Trek to the Gruta Do Lago Azul, or the Blue Lake Grotto. Found in 1924, this cave, one of the largest flooded caverns in the world, is full of incredibly clear blue water, interesting geological rock formations and prehistoric animal bones.  

Cidade Alta

See exceptional 17th and 18th-century colonial buildings in the Cidade Alta (Upper Town) of Brazil's former colonial capital Salvador de Bahia. When there aim straight for the Pelourinho where you will find the most beautiful examples built when Brazil was a major source of Portuguese prosperity. 

Brasilia

Check out the avant-garde architecture in Brazil’s purpose-built capital, Brasilia.

Valley of the Dinosaurs

Travel back in time and walk in the Vale dos Dinossauros, or Valley of the Dinosaurs. Here, you will see fossilised tracks from 80 different species and life-sized replicas of the Jurassic creatures that made them.     

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  Chile - Destination  guide

Where else in the world can you see a skyscraper modelled after a 1990s cell phone, penguins sitting on the beach and the oldest Mummy in the world dated 5050 BC, Chile of course! Chile also has some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and when visiting South America it would be a shame to miss it.   

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Spend at least three days on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the most isolated Island in the world. Here, in this Pacific paradise, you may spend your days exploring and photographing the fabulous stone Moais, drinking Pisco Sour and watching beautiful Pacific sunsets. 

Cuevas de Mármol

Sail out to see the marvellous marble caves of Chile Chico, Cuevas de Mármol.

Atacama Desert

See a giant hand reaching out of the Atacama Desert and then check out the Atacama

Giant, one of the largest geoglyphs in the world.

Cajon Del Maipo

Drive to Cajon Del Maipo and embrace the breathtaking views of this Andean Canyon.

Villarrica volcano

Enter the caves of the active Villarrica volcano and travel hundreds of metres into its side to see the hardened remains of past lava flows.  

Punta Pite

Scale the twisty pathways and stairs through the rugged coastline of Punta Pite.

Torres del Paine

Visit the stunning Torres del Paine National Park. 

Largest geyser field in the Southern Hemisphere

Visit the El Tatio Geysers, the largest geyser field in the Southern Hemisphere.

Casablanca Valley Vineyards

Day trip from Santiago to the Casablanca Valley Vineyards and sample the local Malbec.