Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm
Thinking about exploring South America?
Tune into this 7 Minute Radio Segment on Brazil & the rest of South America!
This month, SouthAmerica.travel CEO, Juergen Keller, joined Pauline Frommer from the Frommer’s Travel Show to talk about travel to South America. Fast forward 10 minutes into the show to hear Juergen Keller’s interview, or read some of the highlights below.
Pauline Frommer: With the Olympics just finished and the Paralympics upon us, a lot of people are thinking about traveling to Brazil. Juergen, what do you hope people will take away from what they saw of Brazil during the Olympics?
Juergen Keller: I’m hoping that everyone now understands how diverse Brazil is. In the opening ceremony and closing ceremony, we saw the aspects of Brazilian life and how diverse the country, the cultures, and regions are. That’s what people need to understand about Brazil.
Pauline Frommer: Talk a little about the country, how big is Brazil and when you talk about the diversity, what do you mean?
Juergen Keller: Brazil is about half the size of South America, and it is the size of the continental United States! Now, half of Brazil is the Amazon, and that is only one of the two rainforests that you can find in Brazil.
Pauline Frommer: So people go to see the Amazon Rainforest, they go for the extraordinary beaches? And I have to say that the beaches in Brazil aren’t just beaches, they are a way of life. There is nothing more wondrous than being on a beach towel on Ipanema beach and you have one guy selling you freshly cooked food, and another guy selling clothing; and then you walk down the beach and you can get a massage. It’s such a fascinating culture. What would a typical first visit to Brazil look like?
Juergen Keller: It always depends on the traveler. First and foremost, we talk to our clients and ask them where they have traveled in the past; we get to know them as a traveler. From there, we typically recommend starting or ending in Rio de Janeiro and include a mix of different cultures like the Brazilian Afro-culture in Salvador da Bahia.
Pauline Frommer: When you say the African Salvador da Bahia, this is an area where a lot of slaves came, but the African culture that they brought with them flourished and made it a very unique and vibrant part of Brazil.
Juergen Keller: Absolutely, there in Salvador you have different music, you’ll find different items on the menu that you haven’t seen elsewhere, you’ll the women wearing their authentic dresses. The culture is completely different than the rest of Brazil.
Pauline Frommer: So you go to Rio, Salvador da Bahia, what about Iguazu Falls?
Juergen Keller: Absolutely, Iguazu Falls are one of those places that make it easy to combine Brazil and Argentina. We often hear our clients say “oh my gosh I had not expected this of Iguazu Falls, it is so different than Niagra Falls.” And that’s exactly right. At Iguazu Falls the water is coming down in the middle of the rainforest, the Falls stretch over a couple miles! You see clouds of water over the falls like little explosions, and then you have blue skies and the green rainforest. This gives you a completely different picture of Iguazu Falls.
Pauline Frommer: I actually went there, and we took a boat ride right up next to the falls. You could feel the power of the falls! It was incredible.
A lot of people also use your company to travel to other parts of South America like to Peru and Argentina. What does this customized trip look like?
Juergen Keller: Well first, like I said, we talk to the customer, and we find out what their preferences are and what they would like to see. Then we say okay, according to what you told me, we will do the itinerary like this, so that they can travel at their own pace. All tours are private, with English speaking guides and can be customized however the client likes.
Keep in mind our expert travel consultants have all been to South America, and a lot have even lived in South America. Everyone is enthusiastic about the continent.
Pauline Frommer: Well it is a fascinating place in the world that more Americans need to visit!
Get started planning your own customized trip to South America.
Visit us online and scroll through hundreds of sample itineraries. Combine Machu Picchu, Iguassu Falls, Rio and Buenos Aires for an unforgettable journey. Or Colombia with Patagonia. For more information on South America, download our free Travel Brochure, featuring our top tours, recommended lodges, cruises and more!