South America Travel Specials up to 18% Off!

South America Travel Deals Specials

Get ready for spring break, because we’re giving huge discounts on all of our travel packages if you travel between April-May 2012!

Yes, we know, it seems a little early to be talking about springtime specials. But we’re just thinking ahead – and so should you. April-May is a great time to travel to South America, because it’s a shoulder season, when it’s not too crowded and the weather is mild. It’s when the Andes mountains boast their snow-capped peaks, the landscapes are green and lush, the rivers are full but not flooded, and the Amazon river is at the perfect level for cruises down into deep tributaries.

To convince you that spring is the best time to travel to South America, we’re giving you huge discounts on any travel package! The details? Just travel to South America between April 1, 2012 and May 31, 2012, and you’ll get an 18% discount* on ANY tour! 

*valid for payments by wire, or American Express. All other cards only if you have proof of travel insurance, bought form LLC or otherwise. Normal internet discount from between 10% to 15% applies otherwise.

Missed this travel deal? Check out our South America travel specials on our website.

South America Travel Specials

3 Popular Indigenous Markets on South America Tours

Sacred Valley Peru ToursTake a South America tour of the most famous indigenous markets in South America. In South America’s indigenous markets, you can find medicinal herbs that will promise to improve your health, fortunes, or fate. There are aphrodisiacs, llama foetuses, and meat cuts lying out on tarps in the sun. There are hand-made ponchos and chuspas, small bags used for carrying change and coca leaves. These colorful and lively marketplaces may seem strange to foreigners, but it’s a way of life for the indigenous farmers, peasants, and locals who follow in a long line of ancestors who have been hawking their wares for centuries. Check out these 3 great indigenous markets in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. Know of others? Mention them in the comments section!

Tarabuco Sunday Market, Sucre, Bolivia 

Tarabuco Sunday Market Bolivia ToursThe Tarabuco Sunday Market is located several miles outside of Sucre, Bolivia. The indigenous market is one of the largest in the region. The Yampara locals come from miles away to buy and sell at this weekly market where everything from intricate weavings, fresh fruits and vegetables, and medicinal plants are sold. The Yampara are also well-known for their colorful clothing, hand-woven ponchos, and chuspas, small bags used for carrying change and coca leaves. At the Tarabuco Sunday Market, you can charm the locals by learning a few words in Quechua, their native language, and perhaps barter down the high prices used on foreigners.
Check out  this great blog post by on the Tarabuco Sunday Market.

Read our Landscapes of Bolivia Tour, which includes a visit to Sucre and the Tarabuco Sunday Market.

Pisac Market, Sacred Valley, Peru  

Peru Vacations ToursThe Pisac Market is located in the town of Pisac, nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, just outside of Cusco, Peru. For those on a trip to Machu Picchu, a stopover in Pisac is a must. This market attracts the best artisans, weavers, farmers, peasants, and other locals wanting to buy and sell their wares among each other and to foreigners. The market has become increasingly more popular for foreigners looking to purchase trinkets, weavings, woodworking, and other artisan crafts. Arguably, the Pisac market holds the most variety and best prices than the smaller markets in Cusco. Plus, the market is located at the foot of the Pisac ruins, impressive Inca terraces that are worth the visit alone.

Check out this awesome article about the Pisac Market from The Adventures of Rob and Lauren.

Read our Essence of Peru Tour, which includes a full day Sacred Valley tour.

Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Ecuador

The Otavalo Market takes places every Saturday in Otavalo, outside of Quito, Ecuador. The marketplace involves hundreds of stalls where locals set up, dust off, and hawk their goods to passerby. Otavaleños, the residents of Otavalo, are well-known for their mastery of weaving. Otavalo was once primarily a farming community, but as tourism picked up, many residents turned to making handicrafts and textiles for souvenirs. Scarves, hats, sweaters, and other textiles, as well as jewelry and other handicrafts are for sale at nearly each stall. Plus, there are several food stands where fresh juice, fish, sandwiches, and other local dishes are sold.

Check out this informative article on the Otavalo Market by Bacon is Magic.

Read our Heart of the Andes Tour, which includes an Otavalo Market tour.

Contact us if you’re interested in traveling to South America and visiting any of these indigenous markets. One of our expert travel consultants will be happy to help plan your vacation to South America.



New UNESCO Tour: Lord of Qoyllurit’i Festival Now a UNESCO Site

Just last month, the Peruvian Minister of Culture, Susana Baca, announced that yet another aspect of Peruvian culture had caught the attention of UNESCO, bringing Peru even more to the forefront as an internationally-recognized travel destination.

The annual pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i, a religious event that takes place in the highlands near Cuzco, has been named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Now this Lord of Qoyllurit’i Festival is available as one of our UNESCO Tours.

Photo courtesy AgainErick via Wikimedia Commons

No longer is Peru simply known as the home of Machu Picchu, the spectacular city of stone located in the dense cloud forest of the Peruvian Andes. Peru boasts a number of incredible travel destinations, many of which have been recognized by UNESCO. Northern Peru’s archeological treasures in Kuelap, Trujillo, and Chiclayo, come to mind, especially now that the Peruvian government strives to increase tourism to regions of Peru other than Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

The Lord of Qoyllurit’i festival is a colorful display of dance, music, and costumes that happens on the feast day of Ascension, in May or June. Locals dress up to dance along a mountain path near Cuzco, and finishing at the Sinakara sanctuary with an elaborate feast. Mixing indigenous folklore and Catholic symbols, the festival is considered one of the most important religious festivals in Peru.

Since its origins sometime in the late 18th century, this Peruvian festival now attracts over 10,000 pilgrims and tourists each year. Many of the pilgrims are indigenous Peruvians from Quechua and Aymara peoples. Pilgrims, musicians, and dancers dress in colorful costumes and carry small crosses through the mountains in the Sacred Valley to the Lord of Qoyllurit’i shrine in the Sinakara sanctuary in the mountains.

This festival takes place approximately one month before another popular Peruvian indigenous festival, Inti Raymi, a colorful pageant re-enacting the Inca tradition of sun worship. The Inti Raymi festival takes place at the Sacsayhuaman ruins outside of Cuzco every June. Like the Lord of Qoyllurit’i festival, Inti Raymi is well-attended by locals as well as tourists interested in the vivid cultural traditions of indigenous Peruvians.

If you are interested in visiting Peru during the Lord of Qoyllurit’i Festival or Inti Raymi, just contact us and one of our expert travel consultant can help you plan your Peru vacation.

Check out our Peru Tours, especially our Travels of the Incas Tour which gives an in-depth look at Inca ruins in Peru and Bolivia. 

View all our UNESCO Tours.

South America Travel Deal: Enter our Amazon Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Win Amazon Kindle Fire Giveaway


How would you like to own a brand-new Amazon Kindle Fire? We’re running a contest for an amazing new South America travel deal, and the rules are simple. Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a Kindle Fire! Then comment on our Facebook Wall or on our Google+ Profile and tell us your favorite South American country. It’s that simple! We’ll choose one contestant at random to be the lucky winner on February 28, 2012. So get started, and tell your friends about the this awesome South America travel deal, too!

To enter the Kindle Fire Giveaway:  

Like us on Facebook:

1) Just follow this link to our Facebook page

2) Click “Like”

3) and then post on our wall what your favorite South American country is!

Good luck, and thanks for participating in our giveaway!

Note: this South America travel deal contest has now ended. Check out our other South America travel deals on our South America Travel Specials page.

South America Travel Specials

Amazon River Cruises to Peru, Brazil, Bolivia & Ecuador

Brazil Amazon ToursThe Amazon River is the mightiest in the world, and it stretches from the highlands of southern Peru across northern Brazil along 4225 miles (6800 km) until it spills into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon River basin covers even more territory, nearly 2.72 million acres, with dozens of channels and tributaries. Throughout this vast territory thrive millions of bird, animal, insect, plant, and tree species – many of them endemic to the Amazon Rainforest.

On an Amazon River Cruise to Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, or Ecuador, you can see for yourself the lush tropical flora and the incredible biodiversity and abundance of fauna. Relax on a hammock on an open-air deck of a luxury Amazon River Cruise boat, letting the sounds of the forest lull you to sleep. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Peru Amazon River Cruises

Brazil Amazon Tours Tucano BirdwatchingBeginning high in the Andes mountains near Mount Mismi, the source of the Amazon River is not much more than a trickle at first. It gets larger and rambles through the major port city of Iquitos, Peru’s northern Peruvian rainforest region.

On a Peru Amazon River Cruise, you’ll start in the port city of Iquitos, and will spend 3, 4, or 7 nights enjoying the beauty and relaxation of life on the river. See dozens of Amazon tributaries, including the Yanayacu river, the Tahuayo river, Charo lake, the Yacapana Islands, the Pacaya – Samiri National Reserve, a Manatee Rescue Center, and much more.

All meals are served aboard, and each day, you’ll dock and have the chance to go hiking, canoeing, bird-watching, fishing, caiman-watching at night, swimming, and more fun activities.  A professional guide will show you the best places to spot wildlife such as river otters, pink dolphins, macaws and parrots, squirrel monkeys, white-faced monkeys, and more. Also check out our Peru Amazon Tours for a list of Peru Amazon lodges and tours. All Peru Amazon Tours also include tours of Cusco and Machu Picchu!

Read our Aqua Expeditions itinerary.

Brazil Amazon ToursBrazil Amazon River Cruises

Brazil Amazon River Cruises offer a variety of riverboat choices, from small vessels to luxury yachts. Most river cruises begin in Manaus, the major port city in the Amazonas region of Brazil. Manaus was once a booming frontier town that thrived on the rubber trade. The city continues to prosper as a launchpoint for ecotourism as well as Brazil nut and other agricultural products. Take a Manaus city tour before you begin your Amazon cruise, and make sure to see the opulent Manaus Opera House – it’s an architectural and cultural marvel.

On a Brazil Amazon cruise, you’ll get the chance to see the amazing “Meeting of the Waters,” where the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões (or Rio Amazonas), two of the world’s mightiest waters, join together. You’ll also get to explore dense rainforest areas, swimming holes, and small tributaries during off-cruise excursions. See pink river dolphins, toucans, monkeys, frogs, caiman, and more wildlife in the beautiful Amazon jungle. While aboard the riverboat, you can relax with a tropical drink called the caipirinha, the Brazilian national cocktail.

View all Brazil Amazon Cruises here.

Bolivia Amazon River Cruises

Brazil Amazon CruisesBet you didn’t know you could go on an Amazon River Cruise . . . in Bolivia!

Although the Bolivian Amazon is little-known, a river cruise along the Mamore River, an Amazon tributary, is a journey through unspoiled tropical paradise. Pass by quiet lagoons, pristine beaches, and villages, while keeping an eye out for wildlife from the open air decks of the catamaran. You’ll see plenty of tropical birds, monkeys, river dolphins, and more while aboard a Bolivia Amazon cruise. All meals are served aboard the boat. Professionally-trained naturalist guides take you on daily excursions to go swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing and bird-watching. Visit to cattle ranches, farms, and local communities as well. You may even have a chance to swim with river dolphins!

View the Bolivia Amazon River Cruise itinerary.

Ecuador Amazon River Cruises

Ecuador’s Rio Napo is an Amazon tributary that crosses through beautiful, lush rainforest. Beginning in the town of Coca, your Ecuador Amazon River cruise winds through tropical scenery. Each day, a professional guide will take you on nature hikes to parrot clay licks, on canoeing trips, on canopy treetop walks, and to visit local communities. You’ll visit the Cuyabeno Natural Reserve, the Yasuni National Park, and the Limoncocha Biological Reserve. At night, you can go on noctural nature walks to see insects and other animals that are most active at night. All meals are served aboard the cruise boat.

Take a look at all our Amazon Cruises. Contact us today to get started planning your dream vacation to the Amazon Rainforest!