Everything You Need to Know About Cruising to South America


Even for the well-travelled, South America isn’t always the first place that springs to mind as a go-to destination. But for the intrepid and apprentice alike, it’s a continent that’s fit to bursting with culture, nature and a very, very lively nightlife.

From the ancient temples of the Incas to the pounding drums of Afro-Brazilian music, the continent is alive with a pulse and rhythm you simply don’t get elsewhere, and its welcoming ambience means the area is a superb place to explore.

Fancy a jaunt down to an area that’s by turns idyllic and energetic? To help you get the best out of your South American sojourn, here’s a handy guide to everything you need to know about a cruise to this incredible continent.

City Guides

Get a handle on your home away from home with these handy city guides. From the peerless history of Santiago’s Andean heritage and Buenos Aires’ seductive ambience to the rugged charms of Lima, give these helpful directories a peruse before you pack your bags.

City Guide: Rio De Janeiro – South America’s Samba Capital

The carnival capital of the world and for good reason, Rio de Janeiro bustles and buzzes with an infectious passion, complete with fascinating culture, world-famous landmarks and some truly unbelievable views.

From Copacabana Beach to Sugarloaf Mountain, all the way up to Christ the Redeemer’s spectacular scale, there’s so much to do in Rio. You’ll also find superb food to feast on, including their speciality churrasco; grilled meat that goes from skewer to plate in a matter of minutes. Don’t forget to wash it down with caipirinhas and plenty of them.

City Guide: Santiago – A Chilean Gem Amidst the Andes

For the explorers among you, Santiago affords plenty of opportunity to see the sights on foot, and with plenty of impressive sights and the Andes close by, we really would recommend checking it out this way.

Elsewhere, there’s a vast array of neoclassical architecture to be wowed by, and plenty of traditional Chilean food you’ll be gorging on after a day of exploration. With a storied history of wine that ensures it flows well into the night, there’s a life and heritage here that makes it a must-visit place to put on your checklist when you’re planning your journey.

City Guide: Buenos Aires – Argentina’s Eclectic Soul

Whether it’s football, tango or mate, the locals’ favourite drink; Buenos Aires is fiercely proud of its traditions, and that pride translates into a city where there’s never a dull moment. Eclectic and inspiring, experience its vivid, pulse-racing way of life at Centro Cultural Kirchner or practice the city’s most famous export with a tango class; there’s no better way to get to know this iconic dance in its very birthplace. The city lives for its steak too, so we’ve listed a parrilla or two, that is, traditional steakhouses that serve up your favourite cut like never before.

City Guide: Lima

Known as Latin America’s ‘best-kept secret’, Lima might not hold onto that title for much longer thanks to its excitable atmosphere, some of the world’s finest food and a seriously good cocktail that toasts celebrities of the past with Golden Age style. Ripe with storied 16th and 18th-century history, this sprawling city wows at every turn, and after you’re done exploring its wares, prepare yourselves for a dining experience at Central, a Lima institution regarded as the fifth best restaurant in the world, that turns the familiar into new, exciting dishes which keep you and your taste buds guessing with every bite.

Where to Sample the Best of South America’s Food, Wine and Coffee

If you’re not limited to one city, then check out this guide that covers a breadth of stop offs and the best of their associated wares. Rustic and metropolitan in equal measure, this article shows how the South Americans love to combine heritage and celebration with a forward-thinking mentality. That’s why you get events such as the Mistura Food Festival, a cuisine pilgrimage dedicated to covering Peru’s multi-faceted food heritage with new, flavourful methods. Chocolate festivals, wine celebrations and some of the best coffee spots of the continent are covered here, so prepare to add a few more locations on that list you’ve got going.

In Pictures: 8 of South America’s Most Breath-Taking Landscapes

We’ve touched on a lot of the man-made sights that make South American such a fascinating place, but don’t forget, it’s also home to some truly stunning natural wonders too. If you’re planning on seeing some incredible areas of unspoiled land, then be sure to check out this guide. From the Amazon’s unbelievable sprawl of verdant trees and vast waters to the Galapagos’ unreal ‘living laboratory’ home to a huge number of unique animals, South America plays host to world-famous sites that are begging to be explored further.

The Best Places to Experience South American Art, Culture and Music

Dating back centuries, South America’s storied heritage means its array of art, music and culture is full of impressive insights. Looking for more metropolitan sights? This guide runs through the area’s best museums, every one of them packed with art, natural science and much, much more.

A Tour of South America’s Top Historic Buildings and Architectural Sites

With its cobbled streets, dense national parks and vivid cities brimming with impressive buildings, South America should be on the list of anyone with an interest in architecture. With 12 sovereign states that make up the continent, exploring the area’s attractions might seem daunting at first, but this tour of its finest buildings makes things a little easier. From Machu Picchu’s Wonder of the World-status and the colourful cupola of the Amazon Theatre to Pelourinho’s charming, many-splendored streets, make some time for these sights while you’re there – you won’t regret it.


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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