South America Tours
South America has the diversity of no other continent in the world. From snow-capped peaks in the Andes to the virgin rainforest of the Amazon, from the golden beaches of the Atlantic to the magical Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, not to mention the spectacular Iguazu Falls, there is an interest for everyone. Yampu offers numerous trips that combine several South American countries.
In South America, Yampu’s most comprehensive trips are the South America Highlights, taking you to between two and seven countries: Ecuador, which includes the fabled Galapagos Islands; Peru, home of Machu Picchu; Bolivia, a landlocked country with enormous diversity of ecological zones; Chile; Argentina, where the tango was born; Uruguay and Brazil, which comprises roughly half the land mass of the continent.
|The 5 most popular trips in Combined South America:||
South America Highlights Tour with Galapagos
Patagonian Chile and Argentina
Peru, Argentina and Brazil: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Iguazu and Rio
Luxury Quito and Galapagos with Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu
Here are some of our comments about the recent trip to Galapagos, Machu and Amazon. We'll start by saying that all the connections were made so easy because of all the private service and transfers. Would not have had the exceptional experience if we had been in a group. All hotels/ships had wonderful service. Quito: We loved Casa Gangotena. We had the only room that had a balcony, 5 french windows, super high ceilings and the most beautiful bathroom. Would always recommend going there. This was the best hotel of the whole trip. I would urge people to go just one block beyond the hotel to the small and wonderfully curated museo Casa Del Alabado. No need for a guide there. There are endless churches, the most ornate Iglesia de la Compania. Quito is not very pretty though, and if there was a way to guarantee getting directly to the Galapagos, and miss Quito, we would. We were told repeatedly not to walk anywhere at night. We ate at Theatrum. Food was great, but much too formal and ornate for us as we have done that often in New York and Miami and so would pass that up. The hotel put us in a taxi and a restaurant employee met our taxi at the curb and escorted us into the restaurant. I guess this is an indication of how unsafe it is at night. The other times we ate in Casa Gangotena and the food was delicious. We expected neighborhood bodega type places which, if there, we didn't spot them. The equator was OK and fun to say we'd been there. Galapagos We expected to go directly from the airport to the ship. Instead we drove for an hour, had a planned lunch and then went off to a giant tortoise preserve. The brochure said it would only be a 5 minute ride to the ship in the harbor. I was dressed in a dress, ballet shoes, jewelry, etc expecting to get to the ship, get settled, change and then off to some type of excursion. I felt ridiculous. The only thing that saved the day for me is that I had thrown some sneakers into my carryon, so I then could walk around the preserve. Finally we get to La Pinta and we had one of the larger rooms that had a sofa and desk which we appreciated so we could spread out our things. Would request that for future clients. The other rooms only had the desk. Everything about the trip was fantastic including the food. We snorkeled with sea lions, penguins, and even white tipped reef sharks. We were supposed to snorkel with hammer head sharks, but water was too murky. Loved the frigates, boobies, etc. There were always easier alternatives for those who could not do the strenuous land hikes/excursions which were amazing. The Naturalist were experts. Would highly recommend La Pinta. On the return we were denied access to the VIP lounge at airport, but it was nothing to get excited about. Met some fun people. Must say that everyone we talked to, who went to Guayaquil hated it so glad we didn't go there. Lima The long layover in Quito was tiring, but not the worst. We got to the Miraflores Park very late, but had some great snacks in the lobby bar before it closed at 1am. The hotel is wonderfully situated. Room very large, but had a musty smell. Needs a face lift. If there is a newer boutique hotel, would have preferred it. We were able to have our laundry picked up first thing in the morning which we needed after the Galapagos. Breakfast is served on top floor with great views. Unfortunately, the weather is always overcast which we did not expect. We thought it would be sunny like Miami only 10 degrees cooler. We enjoyed our walks along the ocean. The tour of the Larco Museo is a must as far as we are concerned. Even the gardens are spectacular. Our guide was great. The special lunch time meal of 8-10 hors d'ourvres was beautiful. This is my favorite private museum other than the Guggenheim in Venice. Our guide was great. We ate the next night at Cala restaurant, right on the ocean. We had read about it in the NY Times. Since it was chilly the concierge requested a heat lamp at our table on the terrace. The hotel puts you in their private cars and then the restaurants call them back when you are done. We had the best seafood of any place in the world with maybe one exception, a place in Cap D' Antibes. The restaurant is at the top and a chi chi bar is on ground floor.The next day, Sunday, we had lunch at Pescados Capitales. This is outside the Miraflores, but hotel provided transportation. I would highly recommend this because it is lively, informal and we were the only foreigners there which is what we like. So both places were great. The only bad meal was at a "meat" place called Pampa De Amancaes right near the hotel. Terrible, heavy meal. Stick to Seafood. We avoided the chi chi Astrid and Gaston as do that enough in NY and Miami Beach. We met a Canadian couple who did go and enjoyed their 10 course meal and another couple loved Central. Lima is for foodies, which we are. All the good wines are from Argentina and Chile which we had plenty of. Not crazy about Pisco Sours, but everyone else was. I would have liked one more day just to eat two more meals! Cuzco Just loved this town the most, so cute, clean and safe. The elevation was hard for me, but Tom had no problem. The Monasterio Hotel is fabulous. We've never seen such a high ratio of help to guest, exquisite. The first night we ate at Cicciolina, just two blocks from hotel. We had booked way ahead of time because it is essential. It is full of vibrant, happy help and customers. Food fantastic, our favorite place. Wanted to go back one of the other nights, but completely booked. The other fun place is ChiCha, two blocks from main square. This is an "in" place by celebrity chef Gaston (as mentioned above in Lima). Right near the hotel is "Map" but it looked like the restaurant in MOMA in NY so we canceled there, but others may like it. Cuzco is full of young travelers so there is a great vibe everywhere you go. The Casa Concha museum can be skipped as they have not finished the renovations. The four Inca sites are very interesting, but I had to stop after the first three as the altitude was getting to me. This is when you really appreciate a private tour because if we had been with a group, we could not have returned early. I only wish Cuzco was lower elevation and closer and I would go back just to eat. Machu Picchu The Orient Express train, Hiram Bingham is the only way to travel. What a beautiful train, great lunch, bar car, vistas, etc. etc. Arrived at the Sanctuary Lodge. This is the only place to stay. The food is delicious. They need to have better service. They returned the passports to us in the room, but they weren't ours. I had to ask four times for various people to change a light bulb. Aside from that, Machu is stunning. It takes about 3 hours to go through all the main sites, altars, etc and we had a great guide. We wished we had then returned that same night on the Hiram Bingham departing around 5pm. Instead we stayed over for a 10am entrance to HuaynaPicchu which was too difficult for us. We requested this, so it was our ignorance of the place. In future, advise people how difficult it is. We then had to wait until 4pm to get the Vistadome back. We did not like this. They played music at the level of a disco for four hours. Here you are, tired and worn out and you can't relax. So would advise only younger people stay over or people who are photo crazy for sunrise pictures, which we aren't. By the time we got back to hotel we just went to the lobby bar and had a great snack, but I was so tired I had to leave before Tom. Overall Machu is a tremendous experience. Amazon The flight to Iquitos was fine. The town is crowded and worn down so it was a relief to get to the fabulous Aria ship. I guess they take you on the city tour so they can clean the rooms. I would have rather rested in a bar or restaurant rather than ride around the dusty town. The ship was great and the food was gourmet. It was just what we needed after the strenuous Galapagos and Machu hikes. There were plenty of expeditions on the skiffs. Within the first 5 minutes of the first trip we saw the pink dolphins. Later wonderful monkeys, camen lizards, bats, hawks, iridescent butterflies. Tom caught one of the largest piranhas. Met some truly interesting people who gave great tips for other trips such as safaris, etc. The four day tour is plenty. I don't know what more could have been seen on the 7 day. Only a few stayed that long. Thanks for putting together a great trip. We gave you name to some other happy travelers.