When shining a light on a continent like South America, the challenge in defining 8 great travel incentive destinations is how to cull such an abundant list of choices. From ancient cities to pulsing capitals, and Amazonian jungles to incredible islands, South America is rich in iconic and diverse travel experiences that will entice and drive motivation to achieve a place on the travel incentive. Many of these 8 greats are a good combination with one another which creates a truly amazing once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Santiago and Central Valley, Chile
Perched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Santiago is a vibrant city that is the perfect starting point to explore Chile and the Central Valley. First, take time exploring the city from street art to cafes to museums and colourful neighbourhoods.
Then from the city explore the Chilean countryside with many day trips including: The coastal town of Valparaiso, a UNESCO heritage site, wander among the colourful houses and take in the views from the promenades; get to know traditions of the Chilean “huasos” (Chilean cowboys), visiting an authentic style Ranch “PuroCaballo”; and Maipo Valley, home to Chile’s most prestigious wines, explore the vineyards, meet the winemakers and taste the best in the country.
Did you know?
Chile is bordered by the Andes mountains and the long stretch of coastline so you could ski mountain slopes in the morning and sail the ocean in the afternoon.
Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru
Cusco is a diverse archaeological city with rich origins as the heart of the Inca empire. As the oldest inhabited city in the western world you can see the Inca temples sit side by side commanding Spanish Cathedrals that are encompassed with modern life of today. Cusco is also the gateway to one of the seven wonders of the world – the lost city of Machu Picchu and the perfect city to acclimatise for a few days before trekking the Inca Trail.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the sophisticated and sultry Argentine capital that has a combination of European flair and the charm of Latin America. Home of the tango, opera, polo, soccer and so much more all in one city. Must see and do experiences include:
Parrilla (meat cooked on a traditional Argentine grill) can be found at many restaurants across the city. If you like meat you will love eating in Argentina!
Tango with the experts, visit a tango bar where you can learn a few moves.
La Recoleta Cemetery is an exclusive suburb of the dead and is one of the most spectacular cemeteries in the world. Wander the tree lined streets of elaborate tombs, crypts and mausoleums including the tomb of Argentine heroine Eva Peron.
Soccer (Fútbol) match is an unforgettable experience in Argentina with the most popular clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate the atmosphere is electric.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil comprises of almost half of the continent of South America which in turn offers a range of experiences on an epic scale. From the beach city culture of Rio de Janeiro to the depths of the Amazon jungle, Brazil has it all. As a starting point in Brazil it is hard to go past Rio de Janeiro which has it all from stunning beaches, to soaring mountains.
For accommodation it is hard to go past the luxurious Belmond Copacabana Palace, only three minutes walk from the beach and in one of the best locations. Day trip combinations that work so well from the heart of Rio is Christ the Redeemer, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sugarloaf and Tijuca National Park for a dose of adventure in the mountains.
Galapagos Islands, Equador
Ecuador offers breathtaking experiences and adventures around every turn. Take in the awe-inspiring scenery, unique wildlife, rich culture and history, Amazonian rain forest and spectacular heights of the Andes.
The isolated and protected islands of The Galapagos are most famous for is wildlife and it’s like visiting another world with face to face wildlife encounters of giant turtles, curious sea lions and marine iguanas. Here you can witness first hand Darwin’s theory of evolution.
One of the best ways to see wildlife up close and experience the islands is by boat. For small groups who have a keen interest in nature, luxury cruises such as Silversea Expeditions offer itineraries where you can take a zodiac to shore, hike up ancient volcanoes, explore caves and snorkel with sea lions.
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
A once-in-a-lifetime experience in every destination… Can you imagine an eco-challenge program in Lake Titicaca, or a Baroque music concert in the middle of the Amazon jungle? Our mission is to make all these kind of ideas come true by being creative and resourceful. We’ve got the expertise to design out-of-the-ordinary activities and to tailor-make sophisticated programs, but at the same time, giving them a touch of authenticity by interacting with living cultures.
A hidden gem between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a shining light of South America. The capital Montevideo is a beautiful modern waterfront city but it is the wildlife along the Atlantic coast and the spectacular countryside that holds most appeal.
The charming cites of Colonia del Sacramento are Carmelo are in the region known as the Tuscany of South America and can be accessed by ferry from Buenos Aires. Food and wine are at the beating heart of Carmelo however other adventures include exploring the natural and unspoiled beauty of the area. Colonia del Sacramento, said to be the oldest city in Uruguay, is a declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Portuguese where you can explore the cobbled streets and from the 19th century lighthouse take in sweeping views of the coastline.
Diversity of luxury accommodation experiences range from the Carmelo Resort and Spa part of the Unbound Hyatt Collection to the Nebona Wine Lodge by Relais and Chateaux.
Starting a group incentive in the bustling city of the Tango where there is no shortage of stunning luxury hotels and combining it with a Uruguay escape to quaint towns celebrating old world charm, great food and wine is an ideal itinerary for a 7 – 8 night program.
“These 8 great places to consider is just the tip of so many great destinations in South America. Many of them compliment one another and would be ideal combinations. Getting to South America is easy with Latam Airlines direct flights from Australia.” ~ Tanya Wick (Totem Group)
In the not-too-distant past, Bogota was more popular for the wrong reasons but today it is a popular city encompassing culture, sport and art.
Bogota is also famous globally for being a popular bike city. One of the best ways to experience the historic quarter known as La Candelaria is on a bike tour as you discover 300-year-old homes and churches amidst colonial buildings, museums, restaurants and bars.
The Gold Museum is also another highlight when exploring the city. It has a permanent exhibition of some 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles all precious to pre-Colombian cultures. The gold artefacts housed within the museum make up the country’s gold bullion reserves.
Exploring Bogota is not complete without taking a cable car up Monserrate mountain, located at 3,152 metres above sea level, and with sweeping views of the expanse of the city.
Bogota today is considered much safer than its recent past with luxury hotels and a city warmly welcoming tourists from all over the world.