Top 10 Adventure Trips in South America
Monica Irauzqui, VP of Yampu tours, was at the LA times Meet the Experts Event this past weekend sharing her Top Ten Adventure Trips in South America to an enthusiastic crowd of adrenaline seekers. We all love a relaxing afternoon on the beach, and soaking in local cultures through leisurely strolls through cobblestone roads, but every now and then, it can be good to take a couple steps outside of your comfort zone and raise your heart rate a bit.
Lodge-to-Lodge Trek (or Horseback!) to Machu Picchu, Peru
Trek from Cuzco to Machu Picchu by day, and spend your evenings in the comfort of authentic high Andean
lodges, enjoying the upscale cuisine, hot showers, and even an outdoor jacuzzi. Your six-day guided trek will traverse across magnificent mountain passes will have you enjoying remote views of the snow-capped Salkantay peak, crossing through nine different ecosystems, and enjoying cultural exchanges with the locals as you pass remote villages.
Cross the Bolivian Altiplano through the Uyuni Salt flats to Atacama Desert in Chile
One of the worlds greatest “natural wonders”, the Uyuni salt flats are the largest in the world. Create a truly unforgettable experience as the flats reflect the sapphire-blue Altiplano sky. Travel and explore through villages, Incahuasi Island, and visit the various lagoons in the area, finally crossing the border into Chile to end your journey in San Pedro de Atacama. There’s also the option of staying in a luxury mobile camper in the flats. This can all be done alone or combined with Peru, and Lake Titicaca.
Rafting – Biking – Hiking in Cuzco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, Combined with Jungle Survival Training in the Peruvian Amazon
In this unique tour, you will participate in a variety of outdoor activities including jungle survival training, hiking in the rainforest, canoeing down the Amazon, and swimming with the elusive pink dolphins. This trip will also include the primary highlights of Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley, in an adventurous manner.
Explore the Peaks of Patagonia in Chile and Argentina –
Visit and trek on glaciers, raft glacial rivers, and hike the famous towers and peaks of Patagonia! Enjoy a horseback ride through Patagonia stopping to BBQ with Gauchos. Take in breathtaking scenery on guided kayak tours in glacial lakes or through fjords, in Patagonia Chile and Argentina
Sand-Board, Windsurf, and 4 x 4 the dunes and lagoons in Jericoacoara, Brazil
This remote village is secluded from the hustle and anxiety of the modern world. Still a rather small fishing village, no cars or roads, just sandy paths, and an off-the-beaten-path beach destination, Jericoacoara is the perfect place to unplug, relax and enjoy the coastal wildlife, or enjoy some exhilarating sand-boarding, windsurfing, or 4×4 treks in the sand dunes. There’s also the option to continue traveling through these amazing dunes to Lençóis Maranhenses, a desert that looks like a sea, with its blue and green pools.
Mountain Biking Tour of Bolivia –
Take an unforgettable 17-day cultural adventure from La Paz, the highest administrative capital in the world at 14,000 ft., down to the Amazon. On this descent, you may see snow-capped peaks, locals roaming with sheep or alpacas, dramatic cliff faces, misty cloud forests, dangerous drops, and Bolivian life in the local villages.
Canyoning over Iguazu Falls and Ibera Wetland exploration –
The Iguaza Falls are truly one of the wonders of the world! 4 x 4 through the jungle, boat down the river while getting splashed by the falls, followed by a few days in a wildlife Estancia in the Ibera wetlands of Argentina. Horseback riding safari’s, mountain biking, and boat trips to see the wildlife are also amazing here.
Salt Cathedrals, Volcanic Mud Baths, and Snorkeling Colombia –
After the Cathedral you’ll head to two Caribbean islands: San Andrés and Providencia. Lie out on the beach or try out water sports such as snorkeling or diving in some of the most beautiful and complex coral formations in the world. After exploring Cartagena, take a day trip to a mud volcano, followed lastly by the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and 37,000 acres of white Caribbean beaches.
Trekking in Torres Del Paine, Chile –
The trails in-between the Torres Del Paine’s famous craggy mountains are among the world’s best trekking routes. You will see wildlife such as Fox, Puma, and Andean Condor as you trek these winding trails through breathtaking views of the Patagonia glaciers, rivers, lakes, and forests. You will stay in Refugios, typical mountain huts, and Eco-Camp domes.
Horseback Riding the Coast of Uruguay and Traditional Estancias –
Take a horseback ride along the coast through picturesque lagoons, hills, and forests, while staying at carefully selected working estancias that seem to be straight out of traditional gaucho ballads. You’ll learn that nothing pairs a traditional Uruguayan lamb barbecue like a glass of wine from one of their many local vineyards.