Best of Touring Spring:Summer 2023 IG

Measuring 3,300 miles from east to west and 4,700 miles from top to tip, South America is an immense continent.

in Santiago, one of the biggest cities in the Americas, and see Chilean Patagonia with its meringue-like glaciers, gnarly mountain ranges, and glassy lakes. Decide on a Bolivia-based experience and you’ll be able to see Sucre, the country’s famous ‘White City’, travel through landscapes of llama farms, and visit the Salar de Uyuni salt flats where the blindingly white landscape seems as surreal as a Salvador Dali painting. Alternatively, if you have more time, go for a ‘grand’ or extended tour that takes in all this and more. Like Colombia, where highlights include World Heritage-listed Cartagena and the Cocora Valley, where palm trees spear 60 metres into the air, earning them the title of the tallest palms in the world. Or Ecuador, springboard to the Galapagos Islands, where you can catch mohawked iguanas sunbathing on some of the world’s most remote beaches and watch orcas, sperm whales and dolphins performing aqua aerobics.

It’s a compellingly contradictory one, too. Within its borders snow-tipped mountains share the space with sun-baked beaches and verdant rainforests give way to thirsty deserts. There’s too much to see to stay in one place, so touring is the best way to take your own bite out of this fang of land. Choose a tour that centres on Peru and you can tick off the 8,000-year-old Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, glide across Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in world, observing how the clouds seem to kiss the water on the horizon, and nosy around the mysterious Witches Market in Lima with its herb and talisman-topped stalls. To experience the stuff of bucket lists, find a tour that takes you into the Amazon, where you can stay in off-grid wooden lodges, take canoe trips to search for the Amazon’s bubble gum-coloured pink dolphins, and fall asleep in lantern light to the sound of distant howler monkey calls.

Pick a trip that focusses on Argentina and your days will be filled with tango lessons, steak dinners (or vegetable empanadas for the vegetarians), red wine tasting, and time in the country’s firecracker capital, Buenos Aires. Choose a tour that takes you to Ushuaia, meanwhile, and you’ll be able to say you’ve seen ‘The End of the World’ as it’s the world’s most southern city and the place where South America surrenders to the sea. Opt for an itinerary that revolves around Brazil, and you can stand in the shadow of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, sunbathe on Copacabana Beach, and experience sights like Iguazu Falls, a waterfall of 275 cascades that’s wider than Victoria Falls and taller than Niagara. For something even more memorable, pick an itinerary that coincides with Carnival, when Rio usurps New York for the title of The City that Never Sleeps.

Go for a Chile-centric tour, meanwhile, and you’ll have the opportunity to experience time

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