There are so many must-do routes and activities in South America that knowing where to start can be quite overwhelming, which is why we’ve hand-picked a few of the best overland trips in South America to help you get started.
If you’re still not sure, or have something else in mind, then just give our sales team a call on +44 (0)1728 861133 and they’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
The Incas & Andes
South America is dominated by the Andes and nowhere else quite epitomises them than Peru, along with its neighbour Bolivia. Dragoman's classic Peru trip runs between Lima and La Paz. This trip takes in the very best of Peru, including Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol, trekking to Machu Picchu, a Peruvian homestay, the condors of Colca Canyon, the ancient Nazca lines and much more.
Backroads of Patagonia
Stunning Patagonia is a must for anyone who enjoys landscapes and wilderness. The beauty of the mountains combined with the soft light creates some of the best views you will see anywhere in the world. Dragoman's Backroads of Patagonia tour between Santiago and Ushuaia includes wine tasting in Chile, the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier and the incredible Torres del Paine National Park which has the legendary granite massifs and hiking trails.
Wetlands, Waterfalls & Wonders
For a different perspective on South America, journey from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro for a great mix of tango, wine and overland adventure. As well as taking in these iconic and cosmopolitan cities, we’ll visit perhaps the world’s most impressive waterfall, Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s most important habitats, the Southern Pantanal, get involved in all sorts of activities at the eco-tourism and outdoor adventure capital Bonito, and stay in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Paraty.
A taste of Colombia! Although for a long time this country was considered a no-go zone, these days it’s perfectly safe and Colombians are some of the happiest and outgoing in the world. From the Caribbean feel of Cartagena to the rarely visited paradise of Tayrona National Park, Our Colombia Discovery tour travels down the country, stopping off to explore the infamous streets of Medellín, for a guided tour of a coffee plantation at Salento, and at the church over the valley in Ipiales, before crossing in to Ecuador and finishing in Quito. A fantastic trip!
Rio Carnival Complete Experience
Carnival Time! Often billed as the biggest street party on earth, the Rio Carnival is an unforgettable experience. Our standalone Rio Carnival trip is our only non-truck adventure, and a popular add on to our overland trips in and out of Rio, as well as just a holiday in itself. With our bulk booking power, our package offers superb value for money and includes the services of a guide, trips to Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and of course tickets to the Sambadrome. Not forgetting the endless street parades and parties, this a great taste of Latin America.
Best of Peru
If you are looking for a short trip that includes legendary Inca trails and a visit to Machu Picchu this 17-day adventure in Peru is ideal. After the thrill of Machu Picchu, you then go on to visit Raqchi, our dedicated village homestay, the Colca Canyon, the colonial town of Arequipa, and then travel along the coastal desert of Peru, taking in some sand boarding at the Huacachina oasis before arriving at Lima.
Ecuador & North Peruvian Wanderer
This tour between Lima and Quito combines northern Peru with the pristine Amazon jungles and colonial cities of Ecuador. On our journey we see some of South America’s finest colonial architecture in Quito and Cuenca, as well as the verdant Ecuadorian Andes and the rainforests of the Ecuadorian Amazon. As we head into northern Peru we leave the greenery behind and explore dry deserts and the relics of the ancient civilisations of the Moche and Chimu cultures.
Altiplano & Gaucho Explorer/Wanderer
We have two variations on our tour of Bolivia’s high Altiplano and Argentina’s grasslands, one going from La Paz to Buenos Aires, and the other going from La Paz to Santiago. Both journey across the roof of the Andes, from the dramatic salt plains of Salar de Uyuni, down through the depths of the Atacama Desert and visiting the beautiful towns of San Pedro, Salta and Cafayate. On both we get to stay at our Argentine estancia, learning to throw a lasso, heading out horseback riding and enjoying traditional food. Then our paths diverge, heading east across Argentina to Buenos Aires, or crossing into Chile to end our tour in Santiago.
Uruguay, Pantanal & The Falls
On this overland tour of southern Brazil and Uruguay, we visit the astounding Iguazú Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border, which is so large that Eleanor Roosevelt is supposed to have said "Poor Niagara!" when she saw it; as well as the Southern Pantanal, one of the most important wildlife habitats in the world, where you might see giant river otters, jaguars, caiman, parrots, toucans, howler monkeys, and plenty more. We also have a stay at a traditional Uruguayan estancia where we'll learn about the gaucho lifestyle.
If you want to get really off the beaten track in South America, then you’ll need to travel to the Guyanas. These fascinating three countries (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname) lie to the north of Brazil and don’t see a lot of visitors. Expect tropical river systems, unspoilt rainforests and savannah, limited infrastructure and an eclectic mix of Colonial influences and architecture.
The best combo trips...
Inca Empire & Patagonia Explorer
A combination of the best of the Andes and Patagonia, this 64-day trip packs in more than most people will ever see of South America. Starting in Lima, this epic adventure will head south and take in most of the highlights including Machu Picchu, Bolivian Salt Flats, Salta in Argentina, a visit to an Estancia to ride polo horses, through the wine region of Chile and in to the classic Patagonia locations of Bariloche, Carretera Austral, Los Glaciers National Park, Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine and finishing up at the southernmost tip of the world in Tierra del Fuego. There is much more and it's well worth reading through the itinerary to get a feel for all of the amazing sites you'll visit.
Andes, Coffee & Caribbean
Covering the northern countries of South America, this combination goes from Cartegena in Colombia, down through Ecuador and finally to Lima in Peru. Renowned for its incredible natural beauty, we take in a trip to a jungle lodge near Tena, rafting and canyoning in Rio Verde and a visit to the remote Lake Quilotoa in Chugchilan, staying in a fantastic local hostel to sample traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. This section is topped off with a visit to Cuenca, the home of the Panama hat!