Travel Tips & Trends

Discovering South America

Iguazo Falls

South America's popularity as a travel destination has surged in recent years. Argentina, for example, recorded a 70% increase in arrivals from North America between 2002 and 2004. What's luring U.S. travelers south?

Culture: South American nations have a fascinating blend of cultures-native peoples, Spanish, Portuguese, German, African and other groups. The continent offers an incredible array of cultural experiences, from haunting Incan ruins to gaucho heritage and modern city life.

Nature: Ecuador's Galapagos Islands are South America's premier destination for nature lovers. Other prime drawcards include the Andes mountains in Chile and Argentina, and Iguazu Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina.

Food and wine: Chile and Argentina have centuries-old winemaking traditions. South American cuisine can include fresh seafood, Argentina's world-renowned beef (try traditional churrasco with chimichurri sauce), and diverse native fruits and vegetables.

Value: The U.S. dollar has been less impacted by exchange rates in South America than in other parts of the world, making the continent a surprisingly affordable destination.

Many first-time travelers perceive a South America trip as somewhat intimidating. One option is to join a reputable escorted tour. Traveling with a knowledgeable guide eliminates planning and linguistic hassles, while allowing a more in-depth understanding of destinations and experiences along the way.