7 of the best luxury adventures in South America

Aug 07, 2023 BY Paul McWilliams

A continent of vast and vibrant rainforests, endless deserts that seem to drop off the edge of the world, and thousands of miles of unspoiled coastline. It’s little wonder that the best luxury adventures in South America are some of the greatest on the planet.

Guide to undiscovered trekking holiday destinations Pixabay royalty free image of Glacier in Torres Del Paine, Patagonia

Combining four or five star fun with action sports has grown in popularity in recent years. People crave heart pounding activities and breathtaking scenery while still wanting great service, food and accommodation. Fortunately, with these luxurious active vacations in South America you get to enjoy both.

Best luxury adventures in South America

Best luxurious active vacations in South America

So, if the thought of lazing around the pool day after day is not your idea of the perfect holiday. But you’re also way past the idea of roughing it in hostels or restless nights in hammocks. Then check out these luxury South American adventures. There are also plenty of luxury hotels to choose from.

Heli-skiing in Patagonia, Argentina

Argentina is the land of ice and fire. And with more than 600,000 acres of skiable terrain is home to an impressive winter sports scene. The mountains of Cholila in Patagonia have some of the best snow in South America with plenty of alpine bowls, glacier runs, tree skiing and steep descents.

Review of Turkey Heliski in Ayder Amazing heli snowboarding in Turkey day 1 photo courtesy of Turkey Heliski

Of course, the infrastructure is not quite as developed as on other parts of world. Which for the luxury skier can only mean one thing: heli-skiing. There’s something extra special about skiing somewhere it’s likely no one has ever skied before.

On an Argentinian heli-ski adventure there are plenty of opportunities to pioneer first descents and carve new trails down virgin slopes. Plus, with the likes of Elemental Adventure you can stay in luxury lodge accommodation and enjoy superb Argentinian wines and fine dining. The perfect end to an incredible day of heli-skiing and the best way to prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.

Brazilian wildlife adventures

The Amazon is renowned for being one of the most wildlife rich areas on the planet. This colossal rainforest is home to around 10% of all the world’s species and covers an area roughly twice the size of India. So there is plenty to explore.

Take a luxury nature tour of Brazil on a river cruise up the Amazon or one of its many tributaries. You can spot some of the 1,300 bird species, see pink river dolphins, get a rare glimpse of a jaguar, see monkeys, caiman and so much more.

7 of the best luxury adventures in South America wildlife tour in brazil royalty free pixabay image of Macaw

However, Brazil is not all about the Amazon. There are also the incredibly diverse Pantanal wetlands which you can explore by kayak. And the magical Iguazu Falls which offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. As well as the animal life, you can also visit remote villages where life has remained largely unchanged for generations.

Surfing in Mancora, Peru

Peru has developed a great reputation for surfing. Surf spots like Mancora are being talked about amongst those in the know in the same way that Malibu was 50 years ago or Sayulita 20 years ago.

Mancora is an unspoiled surf spot located about 500 miles north of Lima on the Pacific coast. Mancora surfing holidays are renowned for offering access to the longest left hand break on the planet.

As well as being home to some superb surfing, there is already an established luxury hotel and resort scene here which means you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can stay in beach front accommodation with private pools and views out over the ocean.

7 of the best luxury adventures in South America surfing in Mancora, peru Wikimedia CC image by Bruno Ahlgrimm

Tour the wonders of Chile

At just over 100 miles wide but 2,500 miles long, the landscapes in the north of Chile are wildly different from those in the south. In fact, the scenery on offer is unlike anything else you can find on the planet.

In the Atacama desert you’ll feel like you’re on the surface of the moon. And in Patagonia it’s like you’ve reached the very end of the world itself, where pristine glaciers meet towering granite mountains and swirling oceans.

In the middle of the country you can visit the Chilean lake district and the central valley where you can find some of the best vineyards in South America. Why not join a top to bottom luxurious Chile tour that combines classy accommodation with a culinary scene that rivals anything on the continent. Easily one of the best luxury adventures in South America.

Kitesurfing in Ceara, Brazil

Ceara state in Brazil is renowned for its incredible national parks, white sand dunes and natural lagoons. But it’s the reliable wind conditions, which combine with the landscape to create almost perfect conditions for kitesurfing.

Brazilian kiteboarding holidays: 14 Best Brazil kitesurf spots Flickr image by Cold North Photography

Over the last two decades, word has slowly got out that this is the place to kiteboard in Brazil. As well as the usual array of low-cost cabanas and lodges there has also developed a choice of high-end accommodation options.

This includes luxury hotels such as those found on Prea Beach. Nestled among the mangrove forests and lagoons you can find top end hotels offering everything you would expect from five star accommodation. Book a holiday here with Planet Kitesurf.

Galapagos Islands liveaboard cruise

The unique biological reserve that is found in and around the Galapagos Islands can only be seen on a liveaboard boat experience, as there are no hotels on the islands themselves. But there are boats and then there are boats…

Many are fairly basic with shared dorm style accommodation but there are others that offer more luxurious Galapagos cruises. Expect fine dining, sun decks with hot tubs and exquisitely appointed suites. It’s the best way to see the turtles, iguanas, boobies, sea lions and countless other creatures in style.

Trekking in the Colombian jungle

Trekking on holy ground Wikimeida CC image of Teyuna Ciudad Perdida in Colombia by Dwayne Reilander

Ok, so hiking through the jungle might not seem like a luxurious thing to do but it’s all about how the experience is curated. Colombia trekking holidays don’t have to mean hour after hour of sweaty trudging through mud, followed by nights in a hammock surrounded by mosquitos and creepy crawlies.

It can also mean luxury vehicle support, guided treks with knowledgeable and certified guides and evenings with great food in luxurious jungle lodges. As with all of the top activity holidays in South America, this combines the best of both worlds.

We hope you found this guide to seven of the best luxury adventures in South America inspiring. Check out our many excellent South America activity holidays for more ideas.


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