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Get prepared for your cultural holiday in South America.
Below you’ll find a range of travel tips, advice and information that will help you get ready to explore South America.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Brazil is the largest country in South America with a huge offer for the adventurous traveller: Rainforest and wildlife, culture and gastronomy, beach and sport, mountains and rivers.
Rio de Janeiro, to many, is the gateway to Brazil. It is a vibrant city, located in a spectacular geographical setting. This is the ultimate place to finish off a holiday, chilling on its world famous beaches, taking in the sights, sounds and sunshine.
Choose to extend your stay in the area combining Rio with Paraty, a quaint, well preserved colonial coastal village; or Buzios a charming, buzzing and fun coastal town; or Ilha Grande, an island with no roads where you can really enjoy the wonders of nature.
Further afield, the state of Bahia in the north east of the country is another strong draw. The colonial capital, Salvador, with its colourful architecture, history and fiery culture is a great place to explore. Inland, Chapada Diamantina is ideal for trekkers, who head to with its plains, table-topped mountains, rivers, waterfalls and natural pools. Remote, with palm lined beaches lapped by turquoise waters, Praia do Forte is an idyllic place in which to to put up your feet and relax.
The mighty Iguazu Falls on the shared border with Argentina are another massive draw.
The Pantanal - wetlands in the West of the country are an animal lover's paradise. The World's largest wetlands is teeming with wildlife including giant anacondas, capybaras, caimans and jaguars.
The mighty Amazon River is another attraction and can be explored by boat or from a comfortable eco friendly lodge.
Not only does Brazil offer stunning sights but it also has a cultural vibrancy unmatched anywhere else. Music and dance are part of the Brazilian DNA. A varied gastronomy and a warm welcome will make any visitor immediately at ease.
Brazil shares a border with every country in South America except for Ecuador and Chile – ten in total and has great transportation links so can easily be combined with one or more other countries.
Guyana is the only English-speaking country on the South American continent and has a Caribbean feel.
It is a destination for the nature lover looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination with many attractions. Guyana offers pristine rainforest, abundant wildlife, jaguars and the mighty Kaieteur Falls.
Start your adventure in the melting pot that is the country's capital - Georgetown. Here Hindu, Muslim and Christian cultures blend in harmony.
Head off to visit the breathtaking Kaieteur Falls - the world’s highest single-drop waterfall.
Then the interior beckons. Jungle and Savannah await. With luck you might spot the Cock o' the rock or a harpy eagle.
Bigger mammals such as the ant eater might surprise you or if incredibly lucky the mighty jaguar. Travel by road or river and stay in rustic but comfortable lodges - all with an authentic Guyanese welcome.
Guyana will be an unforgettable adventure.
Paraguay is a landlocked hidden gem of a destination unspoilt by mass tourism.
The country is bordered by Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina and split into East and West by the mighty Paraguay River.
The capital Asuncion, lying on the banks of the Paraguay River, is the gateway to the country and the two main tourism regions.
In the arid West one will find the great Chaco. This is the largest and most sparsely populated territory of the country with extensive and valuable ecological and biological reserves.
Here you will find Amerindian communities and colonies of Mennonites who settled here to escape religious persecution and where they still maintain their unique way of life. You will also bear witness to the tragic history of the Chaco wars and its catastrophic consequences.
In the fertile East you will find rolling hills, green countryside bordered by mountain foothills, shady valleys dotted by streams and lakes, dense forests, along with the majority of the country’s cities and towns.
One of the main attractions of this region are the ruins of the Jesuit Missions the story of which Hollywood dramatised in Roland Joffe’s film “The Mission”.
The mighty Iguazu Falls are also just across the border from Ciudad del Este at the "tri-border" where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet.
Uruguay is one of South America’s undiscovered gems, a welcoming and charming country with dramatic coast lines and hidden treasures.
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Dates: From July 2019 to November 2020
Capacity: 16 people
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The Cusco Spanish school was great. The Spanish language teachers there are really welcoming, patient and had a keen interest in my pushing forward in learning Spanish. Thank you again for your assistance, the entire experience was wonderful.
K Radoll, uk 2010
» Learn Spanish & Trek The Inca Trail
The volunteer work was lovely. Of course we wish we had known more Spanish as it was challenging to adequately communicate with Marlene, the kids and other staff, BUT, it went OK anyway. Marlene was so kind to us and we only hope that we weren't an imposition to the teachers. We wanted to "help" and not create a burden for them, and we hope that was the case. We bought art supplies and used them with young kids in the morning for 4 days. Then the girls taught dance/movement in the afternoon. Even Steven and I did some dance and the kids thought this was pretty funny. We LOVED the kids and the staff was open and helpful. Their program is very good and seems like a true contribution to the community. We want to send them some money in the future as we think their program provides a much needed service in the community. Thank you SO MUCH for arranging this opportunity for us! The bus ride and walk to the program twice a day was good exposure for our kids and training for our high trek in the Andes.
The food was very good, the staff was good-natured and upbeat, people were there to pick us up when needed, etc. We were very happy with how it went. Ending the trek and camping at LARES hot springs was very, very cool!
K. Lindsey, USA, 2012
» Lares Valley: Alternative Trek To Machu Picchu
When homeschooling is fun!
#hammerheads #marti #galapagos #homeschooling pic.twitter.com/R53yM5UoDH
19th May, 2020 9:16 am
Mindo, just 80 km from Quito is a small, friendly and fun town, popular with tourists and packed with fabulous things to do. It is easy to get to Mindo as it is just 80km from Quito and it’s beautifully located in the wildlife rich cloud forest on the western slopes of Ecuador’s Andes. Mindo lies at the heart of the Mindo Nambillo Ecological Reserve, just where the highly biodiverse Choco lowlands and tropical Andes meet. The Cloudforest of Mindo is home to a diverse range of birds as well as some more elusive animals such as the agouti, jaguarundi, …
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