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Home to over a dozen countries, each with its own unique climate, geography and splash of culture, South America is one of the most diverse and unique continents on Earth. Fusing indigenous heritage with western traditions from the continent’s colonial past, trek through the Earth’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, hike the Machu Picchu Inca Trail, or just kick back with a cocktail on the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. With such an array of cities, countryside and coastlines, a hotel in South America guarantees an activity fuelled break that you’ll never forget.
Brazil — The largest country in South America, Brazil is dominated by the Amazon rainforest. While it is a top destination for eco-tourists, recent years of economic growth have placed the vibrant Latin culture of its major cities Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paolo at the top of the tourist agenda when it comes to finding the best hotels.
Argentina — Bordered by the famous Andes mountain range, Argentina comprises grassland, lakes and glaciers, making it one of the most geographically diverse countries in South America. Its colourful and cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires, is the home of the tango and is also the most visited city in South America – and so has some excellent hotels.
Chile — Chile is a country of extremes. Long and narrow, it boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world, has some of the largest volcanoes on the planet and its haunting Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth. Chile is also one of the world’s largest producers of fine wine, so be sure to enjoy a little tipple. There’s so much to do and see with a hotel in Chile.
Peru — Best known for the Inca Trail and the ancient city of Machu Picchu, Peru’s vast swathes of rainforest house some 70% of all species on the planet. While much of the rainforest is protected, Peru remains a top destination for those keen on extreme hiking, biking and rock climbing, as well as wildlife spotting.
South America has it all. Capture an unforgettable snap of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, or bask in the shadow of the fairytale basilica of Las Lajas, which traverses a gorge in Colombia. Nature lovers will marvel at the crashing Iguazu Falls on the Argentine border with Brazil, while more active types might want to trek through rainforests, up mountains and past volcanoes, which cut across the vast sky like timeless sentinels. Whatever you do – don’t forget your camera.
Whether you’re in the thriving cities of Lima or Brasilia, or trekking through a time capsule community in the Andes, one thing’s for sure – South Americans love their food. Book a culinary walking tour in Rio de Janeiro to sample regional specialities, such as grilled beef or the local staple, meat and bean stew. For something more intimate, a small group Lima home cooked tour could be on the cards. Pass through authentic Peruvian family kitchens, sampling mouth-watering delicacies as you go, including fresh ceviche or a traditional Brazilian potato dish passed down through generations.