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Destinations: South America

South America:

Did you know that the land size of Brazil is bigger than Australia? South America is a continent full of passion and energy. Vast, vibrant and diverse discovering this unique area of the world will take time, so what better way to see as much as you can then adding a cruise to your South American adventure.  

Many who visit South America are looking for a new kind of adventure however many are uncertainty of what to see and do. Highly recommended is to combine a good 3 or 4 night stay in elegant Buenos Aires or flamboyant Rio de Janeiro before you cruise to experience the culture, history and excitement they have to offer.
 
Buenos Aires’s history can be found in the Plaza de Mayo which echoes the pain of the ‘desaparecidos’. Argentinean mothers whose children disappeared in the military dictatorship during 1976-83. In contrast the coloured buildings of the port of La Boca, provide a festive atmosphere. Highly recommended is a stroll down the pedestrian street of La Caminito, named for a popular tango song and were you are certain to find local artists selling their wares and others dancing the tango, so take your dancing sneakers! MSC Cruises Italian heritage fits in well in the port of La Boca which was initially settled by Italian migrants and makes either an excellent start for your 8 and 9 night cruises or an excellent port of call to explore the Argentinean way.
 
In contrast Rio de Janerio is the port of life, energy and of course the famous Carnivale. Started in 1872 as a festival for the working class, today Carnivale has thousands of visitors from all over the world coming to Rio to celebrate the joy of life. While Carnivale is a highlight, visiting Rio has more than just a party to offer. Think samba shows, friendly people and sugarloaf mountain cable car rides. Offering the most breathtaking view of the city from the monumental statue of Christ the Redeemer, at the summit of Corcovado hill, this is a day trip not to be missed. MSC Cruises offer 5 cruises departing Rio de Janerio as well as 4 cruises visiting Rio to capture the excitement of Carnivale so you have a chance to discover all of this with ease.
 
While the cities offer the buzz, there is so much more to explore on this amazing continent. From the famous beach of Copacabana to the coastline of the rich and famous Buzio (made famous by Bridget Bardot in the 60’s) cruising allows you to explore so much more. The colonial city of Ilheus is known as the Cocoa Capital. Cocoa was imported by Portuguese colonists and made Ilheus the prosperous city of today, however this cities secret paradise is the Tijiuipe Falls, where majestic gentle waters are a perfect haven for a relaxing swim with nature. If it’s peaceful stunning beaches you are after then the delightful Punta del Este in Uruguay has some of the most fashionable beach resorts on offer. For contrast Salvadore de Bahia dates back to the 17th century and is widely know as the African capital of Brazil. The heart of Salvadore is the Placa do Pelourinho which today throbs with Afro-Brazilian dances and drumming, however was scenes of slavery retribution in the last century. 
 

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Exploring South America :

South America is so much more than you might expect – an extraordinary diversity of Andean cultures, of ancient ruins, stately colonial cities and colourful Indian villages, of spectacular scenery, wildlife and wilderness, art, handicrafts and cuisine.

And if you are the kind of traveller who wants to see all the famous sights and cities but prefers not to join an “off-the-shelf” group tour, rushing around the standard tourist circuit, why not tailor-make your itinerary? After all, you really like to set your own pace and to spend more time in places that appeal to your individual interests. You like to stray from the beaten path, to have the chance to interact with local people - and you would certainly appreciate the attention and depth of experience that comes with having your own private guides. So allow the specialists at South America Travel Centre to create your
perfect tour.

Just as a starter, an introductory trip to South America could go something like this: Begin your journey in Rio, a city of beautiful beaches, nestled between towering mountains and the sea, and home of the pulsating samba and the bossa nova. Take the cable car up the Sugar Loaf, travel to the top of Corcovado mountain and stand beneath Rio’s landmark giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, and watch the sun set over the sands of Copacabana. Then fly southwest to Iguassu Falls, the most spectacular cascades in the world - 275 falls stretching along a 3km front and forming the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

The heritage of much of South America’s conquest by the Spanish is today reflected in the strong European influences and culture of its major cities. Among them, the most charming and sophisticated may be Buenos Aires in Argentina, with its blend of Spanish, French and Italian architectural styles, not to mention its galleries, theatres, great shopping, restaurants and nightlife. The colonial legacy is also evident in Peru’s capital, Lima, once the centre of Spanish trade and culture in the New World and a city still rich with imposing cathedrals, museums and plazas.

Take a short flight over the Andes to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, and you are only a heartbeat away from the highlight of every trip - Machu Picchu, South America’s most recognisable image and the absolute must-see on everyone’s list. Throughout the Sacred Valley, impressive ruins and remnants of Inca towns, temples and terraces attest to the extent of this once-great civilisation whose descendants still meet to trade in the bustling markets of Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Chinchero.

A fascinating high altitude train journey will carry you across Peru’s vast altiplano to arrive on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Make time to visit the Uros Indians, who spend their lives on floating reed islands, before making your way by coach and catamaran towards the city of La Paz, known as “the city that touches the clouds”. The Witches’ Market, street markets, colonial churches - and strange lunar landscapes - all wait to be explored in and around La Paz. Such a contrast to the energetic metropolis of Santiago, Chile’s capital and one of the main gateways to South America for Australian visitors. Here gleaming high-tech towers rise alongside historic colonial buildings and wide paved avenues link plazas and gardens which, in turn, are overlooked by grand government buildings and stately residences.

This is only the first taste of what there is to see and do on this fascinating continent, a handful of ideas and inspiration. With so much beauty and history to discover, so many awe-inspiring natural features and man-made wonders, you need to make a start now. The consultants at South America Travel Centre know the joy of travelling to this intriguing destination – from their extensive firsthand experience – and they will design a personalised itinerary that is sure to match your dreams.
 

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South America:

South Americans are renowned for their fiery passion and contagious energy. A journey through the South American landscape will draw you to their vibrant lifestyle and open up some of the great wonders of the world. Trek through the dense tropical growth of the Amazon Rainforest, master the art of the sultry tango and join in the festivities of the Carnivale when you travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Despite the threats it faces, the monolithic Amazon Rainforest remains the vast, wild paradise that has enchanted explorers for centuries. The Amazon River dazzles with its sheer size and beauty and it uncoils itself across an astounding area of the continent. Join an eco-tour and take in an amazing array of exotic flora and fauna while ensuring this natural wonder is alive for future generations.

 

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