By Terry Dale, President and CEO, USTOA

With the 31st Summer Olympics kicking off this summer in Rio de Janeiro, South America has piqued the interest of travelers and soon viewers around the world. USTOA tour operator members have recognized rich packaged travel opportunities across our neighboring continent, and are excited to offer guests a chance to experience the vibrant culture of South America with travel options like these.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Credit: Colin Roohan)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (credit: Colin Roohan)

Offering a multi-country trip through the colorful continent, Collette’s “The Wonders of South America” tour is a 12-day exploration of Chile, Argentina and Brazil’s most vibrant cities. Travelers will learn about the strong Andean roots of Chile’s capital city Santiago, learn how to create the famous caipriniha cocktail in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and spend a day at a gaucho horse show in the Argentinian countryside. Available throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018, prices from $2,819 per person based on double occupancy.

Guests on Mayflower Tours’ “Cruising Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands” have the opportunity to see indigenous wildlife or snorkel with species native to the South American islands, with the backdrop of the stunning Alcedo Volcano. With travel dates available in the fall of 2017, this eight-day adventure celebrates the untouched beauty of the land, as well as the history and preservation of the islands starting at $3,799 per person twin.

Cox & Kings takes luxury travelers to Paraguay, a lesser known destination in South America. This seven-day private journey lets guests venture off the beaten path as they visit a local village to meet the resident gauchos, or explore the country’s rich history with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad and Jesus. On a private journey through this extraordinary landlocked country, itineraries are handcrafted and a private guide and vehicle are included. Guests can travel now until March 31, 2017 with prices starting at $3,850 per person based on double occupancy.


Huayna Picchu, Peru (Credit: Colin Roohan)

Huayna Picchu, Peru (credit: Colin Roohan)

Travelers can experience the beauty of western South America during Overseas Adventure Travel’s “2016 Southern Peru & Bolivia Inca Landscape & Lake Titicaca” trip. The 15-day excursion across Peru and neighboring Bolivia takes guests through spectacular and unknown territory such as The Andean plateau, the world’s highest navigable lake and the pre-Incan ruins at Tiwanaku. The rich history and beauty of the area can be discovered through 2016 from $ 3,595 per person based on double occupancy.


Cartagena, Colombia (credit: Justin Weiler)

Cartagena, Colombia (credit: Justin Weiler)

During Goway’s “Best of Colombia” trip guests discover the fascinating cities of Bogota, Cartagena and Armenia. This sometimes misunderstood country exposes travelers to Colombian history, colorful Caribbean charm and the lively pulse running through the veins of each city. The eight-day trip includes activities such as historical tours, a visit to El Infiernito, an astronomical center used by the local Musisca Indians, and of course a stop at Colombia’s famous coffee triangle. Trips are available through 2016 from $1,207 per person based on double occupancy.

Editor’s Note: Information was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Prices may vary from time of writing, based on currency fluctuations.

This post originally ran in the August 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.