South America is like a world in miniature: within the bounds of this one continent you’ll find steaming jungles, parched deserts, towering mountains, blissful beaches, windswept ice fields, rolling grasslands and sprawling megacities. It’s a fascinating patchwork of indigenous cultures and ancient civilisations, a continent that was changed forever by the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century and shaped by colonialism, slavery and revolutionary struggle.
South America is also a wildlife paradise, home to some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Journey into the heart of the Amazon rainforest and search for golden tamarins, scarlet macaws and enormous anacondas; encounter penguins and whales in the icy waters off Tierra del Fuego; or follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and explore the remarkable Galapagos Islands, home to a unique array of weird and wonderful creatures. From the heights of Lake Titicaca to thundering Iguazú Falls, from the coffee plantations of Colombia to the lost city of Machu Picchu, South America is quite simply one of the most varied and exciting regions on earth.