Beaches, beaches, beaches ... and beef. With 500km of beach on three sides and an interior packed with cattle farms, sometimes it seems these are Uruguay's only offerings. Sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, tiny, progressive Uruguay has acted as more than just a physical buffer between the two South American behemoths. Dominated by sophisticated Montevideo, home to half the population, Uruguay represents a symbolic compromise: the best of both countries, with the sum larger than the parts. Today Uruguay's fortunes - and prices - are chained to its two giant neighbours, which is good news for the traveller given the recent economic woes of both. A short hop from Buenos Aires, the premier beach town of Punta del Este draws Argentina's glitterati each summer for a seemingly endless paparazzi beach party. It may be full of tourists, but they're all beautiful, and at least they're all from Argentina.
If you're the epicurean sort who's looking to experience some gourmet living, try this culinary trip on for size. You'll spend 11 days travelling Chile and Argentina, immersing yourself in the Mendoza wine region and taking a full-day winery tour in Maipo Valley. On top of a 2-night stay in an estancia (ranch) in Uruguay, you'll also take a visit to a Planeterra-supported culinary school for a demonstration and lunch. We can guarantee you won't find Argentinean food fresher than this.
Highlights: Taste your way through the Maipo Valley and Mendoza vineyards, learn to prepare local specialties at a cooking class in Mendoza, live the cowboy life at a stylish 'estancia' ranch in Uruguay, visit a Planeterra-sponsored culinary training project, explore Buenos Aires's trendy neighbourhoods
Sometimes the slow road is the way to go. Hit the road from Quito to Rio with other young travellers and experience pretty much everything you can imagine in between. Hike the Inca Trail and discover the thriving Inca culture, cross the salt flats of Bolivia, dance the tango in Buenos Aires, and hit the beach in Brazil. This trip offers up lively cities, stunning scenery, and tons of adventure. 65 days, 7 countries, 3 nights in the Amazon and 1 adventure you’ll remember forever.
Highlights: Mingle with the locals at a homestay in the Amazon, spot condors at Colca Canyon, conquer the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu, experience traditional life on Lake Titicaca, cross the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion, stand in awe at Iguassu Falls.
Lima to Rio Adventure (SPMR)
If you have the time and can’t decide between Peru and Brazil, then see them both—and pretty much everything in between—on this 51-day extravaganza. Trek the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, cross the Bolivian Salt Flats, sip wine in Argentina and hit the beach in Brazil. You’ll get plenty of energetic cultures, the great outdoors, and the company of other young travellers to keep you moving. There’s time later to slow down, take the long road and have an adventure while you can.
Highlights: Spotting condors at Colca Canyon, conquering the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu, experiencing traditional life on Lake Titicaca, crossing the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano on a 4x4, being awed by Iguassu Falls.
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Taste of Chile, Argentina & Uruguay (SCTS)||11 days||Comfort||Upgraded||
|The Great South American Journey - Quito to Rio Adventure (SEQR)||65 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Lima to Rio Adventure (SPMR)||51 days||Yolo||Basic||