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Vacation for you might mean that you’re not looking to relax. Instead, you’d rather get your heart racing and blood pumping on an adventure tour! Lucky for you, there are plenty of spots in South America to satisfy trekking, horseback riding, river rafting or any other energy induced activity you desire. Read below for the top 7 Destinations in South America for Adventure Tours!

#1. Peru

Adventure: Follow the Footsteps of The Incas on the Inca Trail 

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Peru is the perfect place to trek into history. Embark on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and catch a glimpse of a natural world wonder and the history that is embedded deep within. While multiple routes take visitors to the “Lost City of the Incas,” the Inca Trail is the only path that crosses through the Sun Gate entrance, the same entrance that the Incas traveled through centuries ago.

For travelers that have ample energy, opt for the standard 4-day package. This hike will no-doubt, test your endurance, but will also reward you with scenic landscapes of ancient ruins and lush, vibrant green forest. When fatigue starts to wash over you, just imagine walking on the Sun Gate’s stone steps, leading you closer and closer to viewing the iconic edges of Machu Picchu.  

#2. Patagonia

Adventure: Trek into Patagonia’s Untouched Territory 

Patagonia Adventure Tours

Almost everything you do in Patagonia requires a little adventure, especially if you want to visit the Patagonian glaciers. Convenient for you, there are numerous ways to visit these massive blocks of ice. If you’re a devoted hiker, choose from numerous trails in the two main national parks. In Torres del Paine, guests can hike the renowned W Trek, while others visit Los Glaciares National Park to see the jagged, snowcapped peaks of Mt. Fitz Roy. Regardless, keen trekkers can follow remote pathways to get a close-up of Patagonia’s natural, wild setting. 

If hiking isn’t your forte, embark on an Adventure Cruise! Some of Patagonia’s most fascinating glaciers are inaccessible by land. Therefore, expedition vessels take guests through the icy cold waters to see these spectacular sites up close! Check out Hurtigruten Cruises for the ultimate adventure cruise. These cruise plans are full of expert-led land excursions, designed to bring out the inner explorer in every guest. 

#3. Bolivia

Adventure: Race Down Yungas Road via Bike 

Yungas Road - Adventure Tour

What screams adventure more than the “World’s Deadliest Road”? Yungas Highway is known as one of the most dangerous roads in South America and guests seem not to shy away from the name. Instead, travelers crave the adrenaline rush that comes out of the 4-5 hour ride downhill. To make things better, you can seamlessly add a day-trip to Yungas Road, to any Bolivia Tour. Begin your adventure in the urban jungle of La Paz, stopping by the Mercado de las Brujas (Witches’ Market) for souvenirs. Then ride the Mi Teleferico (La Paz’s Cable Car System) for a panoramic display of the city. Finally, don’t forget to learn about essential civilizations before the Inca Empire at Tiwanaku, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After you have finished exploring La Paz, go out for what you really came for: an adventure! Sign up for a guided biking tour down Death Road and let the winding trail give you an experience like no other! For those that wish for more, you can now zip-line in Bolivia as well! 

#4. Ecuador

Adventure: Reach Great Heights Climbing Cotopaxi 

Cotopaxi - Adventure Tours

Many tourists turn to Patagonia for a hiking adventure, but you may want to consider Ecuador for a change of pace. It is here where you can find Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in Ecuador (height of 5,897m). The Cotopaxi National Park is an ideal place for adventurous souls to hike the surrounding terrain during the day, and slip inside a cozy,  local hacienda (ranch or estate) for the night. Extreme climbers come for the two-day guided climb to the top of the volcano, as it has become a popular tourist attraction. However, take note that while you can climb to the top, that doesn’t mean you have to! Plenty of guests choose to stop at a certain altitude, as they reach the ceiling of their comfort zone. Other activities here include mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding and visiting the nearby rose plantations.

Note: Cotopaxi’s climbing season is from December to April. During the rest of the year, the winds are too strong.

#5. The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Adventure: Say Hello to Sea Turtles During an Underwater Experience 

Sea Turtle in the Galapagos - Adventure Tours

Have you ever been face to face with a smiling sea turtle? Have you ever swam with a cornucopia of colorful fish? Now’s the time! A subaquatic snorkeling adventure is a highlight for many guests on a Galapagos Islands Tour. Snorkeling requires no specialized training, meaning anyone can do it! The minimum requirement is that you can swim and can breathe through a snorkel.

If that sounds like you, pack your favorite swimsuit, sandals and a waterproof camera, and get ready to observe underwater life in one of the world’s most pristine settings. The best part about snorkeling? There’s no hassle of complicated equipment and training that is needed for scuba diving. However, if you would like to dive deep under the surface, there are scuba diving opportunities. For the best snorkeling, head to Isabela Island, Floreana Island, San Cristobal Island and more.  

#6. The Amazon Rainforest 

Adventure: Lock Eyes with Caiman on a Nighttime Safari 

Amazon Adventure Tours

The quantity and variety of wildlife in the Amazon makes any day outside an adventure. Stay at one of the Amazon lodges in Brazil, Peru or Ecuador where special, adventure-based excursions are offered. During the day, opt for a canoe ride down the river, an afternoon of swimming with pink dolphins, or a lesson from the local guides on how to fish for piranha. If you pick up on their expert fishing techniques, you might just return to the lodge with some fresh fish for dinner! Other activities include horseback riding in the Pantanal, jungle walks, kayaking and more.

Once night falls, you will soon realize that the Amazon Rainforest does not sleep and is no shortage of adventure. Hop aboard a riverboat for a nighttime safari. Listen to the songs of the animals, as they create a new ambiance in the forest, one you didn’t notice during the day. If you’re daring, you might even try to lock eyes with stealthy caiman before you return to the lodge. 

Note: Some of our favorite lodges are the Eco Park Amazon Lodge & the Anavilhanas Lodge. Both of these lodges are located in Brazil.

#7. Argentina

Adventure: Navigate Raging Rivers via Raft 

Argentina Adventure Tours

Whitewater river rafting is one of the most invigorating activities you can find in South America! Whitewater rivers can be found in many regions of Argentina and accompany all levels of experience. Avid adventurers can choose from six of Argentina’s most popular rivers. The Alumine River in Argentine Patagonia is best in the winter and spring season. During those times of the year, visitors can admire the lakeside forest and surrounding snowcapped mountains. For a longer journey, choose the Atuel River, Argentina’s longest river with lively currents. Or, opt for the Mendoza River, where you can raft down the snowmelt of the Andes. There’s a river for everyone. 

Note: The Corcovado River, Hua-Hum River, Juramento River, and the Manso River are also popular rafting rivers. Pair a trip of whitewater river rafting with an excursion to many other points in the country. Raft in northern Argentina and then travel a few hours east to Iguaçu Falls near the Brazilian border for a complete package.

Are you ready to book an Adventure Tour to South America? At SouthAmerica.Travel, we are your Adventure Travel experts. Send us an email or give us a call today and receive all the help you need to make your Adventure Tour an unforgettable one! 

Margo Lynott

Margo Lynott

Marketing Assistant at SouthAmerica.travel
Margo was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington. She graduated from Seattle University, with a Bachelor's degree in International Business. With a desire to travel, she left Seattle in 2015 to study abroad in Paris, France for a semester. During her time abroad, she went on weekend trips exploring England, Spain, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Margo is a Marketing Assistant at SouthAmerica.travel and promotes her passion for international travel. She has explored Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile and cannot wait to explore more!
Margo Lynott
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