8 Reasons Why A South American Cruise Should Be Your Next Vacation

If you're looking for variety in a vacation, cruise to South America. It's a continent of extremes. Waves quietly lap the pristine beaches of Uruguay's resort towns while the rhythms of Samba rattle windows in Rio. In Chile alone, you'll find snow-capped mountains and the world's driest desert. You can party in Paraty one day and hike through a remote rainforest the next. Do you love the chic atmosphere of the Cote d'Azur? Then you should visit South America. Do you love the rugged, adventurous spirit of Australia? Then you should visit South America. Do you love the nightlife, music, and dance of the Iberian Peninsula? Then you should visit South America. 

An aerial photograph of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A South American cruise is the best way to experience it all. It's a seamless way to visit multiple countries in one trip, but it's not about convenience. When you cruise to South America with us, you know you'll be getting a unique, immersive travel experience. From our carefully curated shore excursions to our out-of-this-world Land & Sea packages, when you cruise to a destination (or destinations) with Azamara, you know you'll do more than simply scratch the surface.  There are countless reasons why traveling to the continent should be on your radar. These are just eight of them:

1. Experience the Music and Dance of South America

When cruising to South America, you simply have to take in a few live music and dance performances. 

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, it's all about the sultry art of tango. You can watch the pros at milongas (dance halls), catch a more casual performance on the street, or take lessons yourself. 

Enjoy a sultry tango performance in Buenos Aires

In Rio de Janeiro, it's all about that Samba. Want to know more about how Samba evolved in Brazil, and its significance within the celebrations of Carnaval? You're in luck! We just happen to have an article on history of, and insider tips for attending, Rio's Carnaval

Samba performers in Rio.

2. Check One of the Seven Wonders of the New World Off Your Bucket List

You can visit Macchu Picchu when you travel to South America with Azamara Club Cruises.

Macchu Picchu, in Peru, is one of the Seven Wonders of the New World. The 15th-Century Incan Citadel is truly a sight to behold. And you can travel to this sacred site with Azamara, through our Land and Sea Packages. The trip includes two days to explore Macchu Picchu and four unique local experiences. 

3. Eat Your Way Across South America

Each South American country has its own specific cuisine and traditions, and we love them all. One of the joys of cruising in South America is being able to indulge in authentic, delicious meals in each port of call. 

In Chile, be sure to try empanadas, humitas, and Porotos Granados. Not sure what those dishes are? We've got you covered! We dig into Chilean cuisine in this article on the history and culture of Chile.

Empanadas in Chile.

One of the best ways to explore local cuisine is through our Cruise Global, Taste Local shore excursions. You can visit local farms in Patagonia, sample fresh produce at a market in Peru, take a cooking class in Uruguay, and more. 

4. Take in Rio's Famed Nightlife Scene

When it comes to some cities, if you haven’t seen it at night you haven’t seen it at all. Rio de Janeiro is one of those cities; it comes alive at night.

Rio Skyline at Night

If you're dreaming of sipping caiprinha cocktails and shaking your hips to the sounds of Samba, a trip to Rio's Lapa neighborhood is what you need. It's known as the "cradle of carioca Bohemia" (carioca is Brazilian slang for locals) and is packed with trendy bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. The famous Rio Scenarium nightclub has three floors of dance space, and it's easy to visit with our Cruise Global, Nights Local shore excursion. 

5. Witness the Majesty of Iguazu Falls

The breathtaking Iguazu Falls lie on the border of Argentina and Brazil, and consist of 275 falls along 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River. The Devil’s Throat is the most impressive of them – a U-shaped, 82 meter high, 150-meter wide waterfall.

Iguazu Falls

Take in the spectacle of these incredible waterfalls from both sides when you visit with our Land and Sea Package. You'll spend one day exploring the falls by boat from the Argentine side. The next day, you can compare the view as you approach by boat from the Brazilian side. 

Iguazu Falls Birds Eye View

6. Relax on Some of the World's Most Beautiful Beaches

One of the best things about a South American cruise is getting to experience the many amazing beaches the continent has to offer.

Punta del Este’s Brava Beach is famous for the Mano de Punta del Este, or, “The Hand”. The sculpture is an award-winning work by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal and makes for a great photo op. The beach is also lined with great restaurants and boutiques.

Punta del Este

Ilhabela means “beautiful island”, and this Brazilian port lives up to its name. Visitors love the luscious jungles, state park trails, stunning waterfalls and, of course, several fantastic beaches. One of our favorites is Curral Beach, renowned for its natural beauty and warm waters. It's a stop on our Cruise Global, Adventure Local tour in the region.


Rio’s Copacabana Beach is perhaps the most famous in the world. At 4km long, the beach is perfect for surfing, sunbathing and people-watching. This beach also hosts one of the most exciting New Year’s Eve parties in the world!

Copacabana Beach

7. Sample Some of the World's Best Wine

South America is home to some of the world's greatest wine regions — though some are more well-known around the world than others. Argentina, of course, is renowned for its Malbec wines. And Chile is no viticulture slouch either, producing excellent Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Flying a little more under the radar, though, is Uruguay. Uruguayan wines may not be as famous as some other South American varietals, but their red wines made from Tannat grapes are particularly beloved locally. Sip them while you can, as they're hard to come by overseas. 

Vineyards in Chile.



In Valparaíso, Chile, guests can explore Chilean wines during a blind tasting. You just might discover a new favorite! In Montevideo, Uruguay, guests can visit a family-owned winery in the Cuchilla Pereira region to sample their offerings and learn all about the winemaking process.

8. Snorkel with Sea Turtles in the Galapagos

Sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands are practically other-worldly. The volcanic islands are home to many endemic species, as animals have adapted over time to become unique to the region. In fact, it was after visiting the Galapagos and observing how animals had adapted to become endemic that Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution. Predators are few and far between - the Galapagos Tortoise is the largest land animal in the area - and as a result, local wildlife is known for being quite tame, allowing humans to get (respectfully) up close and personal. Snorkeling with sea turtles and penguins, seeing the famous Galapagos tortoises in person, hiking the rugged volcanic terrain, and walking in the footsteps of Darwin himself at the Charles Darwin Research Station will make this the vacation of a lifetime. 

A post-cruise journey to the Galapagos will be the icing on the cake when it comes to your trip to South America. This experience, offered in an exclusive partnership with Celebrity, delivers the perfect mix of luxury and adventure. 

See and Do It All in South America With Azamara

Are you feeling the familiar tug of wanderlust yet? We don't blame you. South America is a captivating destination. Join us on our new ship, the Azamara Pursuit, and see it in style! Browse voyages here.

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