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South America Cruises


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A cruise to South America takes you on a journey of discovery around this varied and multifaceted continent, from the sun-drenched beaches of Brazil to the fjords of Chile. From the North to the South, you'll sail along the coasts of Ecuador, Peru and Chile. From the most renowned sites of pre-Columbian civilisations to icy, winding canals, you'll drop anchor in natural, unspoiled places. On the east of the continent, an expedition cruise along the Amazon will take you to the very heart of dense jungle, where you'll experience unforgettable encounters with local peoples.

 

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reasons to head for Latin America

Brazil or Chile? Argentina or Peru? Whether it's the Pacific or the Atlantic coast, mention Latin America and you're immediately transported to some stunning destinations. From the meanders of the Amazon to the winding Chilean fjords, the continent offers an array of potential encounters, a variety of landscapes and some extraordinary wildlife, making for an unforgettable journey.


En savoir plus

Latin America: seven must-see sites

Wondering where to see the remains of the Pre-Colombian civilisations, where to enjoy an unforgettable sea-going experience, where to dive in the middle of the jungle or where to see glaciers? This is a continent of many contrasts, an invitation to get away from it all with an array of activities to try and unmissable sites to see. Our selection:


En savoir plus

3 reasons to head for Latin America

Brazil or Chile? Argentina or Peru? Whether it's the Pacific or the Atlantic coast, mention Latin America and you're immediately transported to some stunning destinations. From the meanders of the Amazon to the winding Chilean fjords, the continent offers an array of potential encounters, a variety of landscapes and some extraordinary wildlife, making for an unforgettable journey.

1

Meet the local populations

In Brazil, the Indians skillfully navigate their dugout canoes over the waters of the Amazon. They know their way around these remote locations, where they live in a state of complete autarky with profound respect for the natural world. In Chile, indigenous tribes such as the Mapuche and the Aymara are still very much present. Marked by successive waves of European immigration, Chile is now very multicultural, with myriad customs and very rich folklore. Take a trip to the local market to immerse yourself in this traditional yet modern culture.

2

Discover an array of breathtaking sites

With a rich Pre-Colombian past, Latin America has special appeal for travellers looking for escapism and enchanting destinations. Remains such as those at Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Chan Chan and the Nazca Lines have yet to deliver all their secrets so continue to fascinate. And then there is the stunning natural environment, stretching for hundreds of miles and offering a diverse array of landscapes and colours. In Torres del Paine National Park, the glaciers give way to craggy peaks, then snow-topped summits and turquoise lakes. Sail the Chilean fjords and visit spectacular sites where time appears to have stood still. Cape Horn, the Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, with the Andes as a backdrop—behold the iconic sites of South America. In Amazonia, along the river to beat all rivers, the jungle pulsates and buzzes with life. Vegetation and water come together in the luxuriant mangrove, stretching as far as the eye can see, right up to the stilt-house villages which it shrouds in its multiple shades of green. Explore really is the word here.

3

Watch the incredibly rich wildlife...

In the Chilean fjords or in Patagonia, on land, at sea or in the skies, wildlife is everywhere. Admire Magellanic penguins, llamas, dolphins, fur seals, alpacas, condors and cormorans. And when you spot the tail of a humpback whale not far from your boat, you're sure to feel the magic.

Deep in the immense coils of the Amazon, the boto pink river dolphin is always an astonishing site for visitors, while the throngs of  macaws, toucans and scarlet ibis add their vivid colours to the dense branches of the mangrove along the rivers.

Latin America: seven must-see sites

Wondering where to see the remains of the Pre-Colombian civilisations, where to enjoy an unforgettable sea-going experience, where to dive in the middle of the jungle or where to see glaciers? This is a continent of many contrasts, an invitation to get away from it all with an array of activities to try and unmissable sites to see. Our selection:

Discover the Amazon River in Brazil and French Guiana

Amazonia and its lush natural environment are the ideal destination for adventure. The region is a real patchwork of people and cultures, and the vast green belt of forest along the Amazon River harbours some extraordinary wildlife including caymans, cocoi herons, great egrets and wattled jacana. In French Guiana, the historical remains of the former penal colonies lie just a stone's throw from the ultra-modern Kourou space centre—the launch site of Ariane and the spearhead of the European space programme.

Fly over the Nazca Lines

These prehistoric wonders are still a source of amazement today. The Nazca Lines in Peru, which stretch over a distance of around 50 kilometres, are thought to have been traced more than a thousand years ago. The lines, a series of geometric, human and animal figures, have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1994; the animal shapes are thought to invoke the aid of deities. The large-scale drawings are etched into the dark stone to reveal the lighter coloured earth below. In all, 350forms have been studied to date and no fewer than 50 new geoglyphs were unearthed in 2018. Flying over the lines is an extraordinary experience!

Admire Machu Picchu

One of the most iconic sites of the Inca empire, Machu Picchu in Peru has featured on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1983. Perched high on a rocky outcrop at an altitude of 2,430 metres, the citadel has yet to reveal all of its mysteries to archaeologists. According to some sources, it was the home of the Inca emperor Pachacútec while others believe it was a religious sanctuary. However, when the Inca empire collapsed, it was abandoned before construction could be completed. The granite citadel is an architectural jewel, built on several terraces. It remains one of the most visited sites in Latin America and is the ultimate expression of harmony between humankind and nature.

Visit Chan Chan

While the Incas had Machu Picchu, the Chimú people had Chan Chan. This archaeological site is found in northern Peru and bears witness to the sophistication of this civilisation, which was later defeated by the Incas and has since been pretty much forgotten. Chan Chan, the cradle of Chimú culture, was once home to up to 300,000 people, and bears witness to the remarkable social organisation of the Chimú. It stands out from the other sites due to the light colour of its buildings, its richly adorned adobe walls into which intricate geometric and figurative designs are carved.

Explore the Torres del Paine national park

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile lies between the Andes and the Patagonian steppe and was founded in 1959 to protect the region's biodiversity. The park owes its name to the emblematic Torres del paine, three granite peaks that tower over the Paine Massif. Yet the region is truly typified in the variety of its landscapes, which range from mountains and glaciers to valleys, lakes and pools. This protected environment has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1978 and harbours an array of species such as the guanaco, puma, the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk and the Andean fox.

Sail past some iconic spots

If you enjoy travelling by sea, you are no doubt keen to retrace history and sail the routes of the great explorers of the past. In the south of Latin America, these routes weave through the islands of Chile and Argentina. The Pío XI, El Brujo and Garibaldi Glaciers, the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and Cap Horn are all iconic crossing points that have marked seafaring history.

Immerse yourself in the old colonial cities

Founded by the conquistadors in the 16th century, the colonial cities Trujillo and Lima in Peru or Granada in Nicaragua boast some extremely rich heritage. The magnificent coloured buildings, sculpted wood balconies, imposing cathedrals, squares and richly decorated palaces provide the backdrop for a stunning trip back in time.

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