If you’re looking to arrange the holiday of a lifetime in South America, then look no further for inspiration.

I’ve spent the last five years travelling around South America, searching for exciting places and experiences in order to create unforgettable holidays for the clients of my specialist travel company, Dehouche. Here is my list of can’t-miss experiences on the Latin continent:

Watching the sun set in Trancoso
A chic little village on Brazil’s Bahia coastline, Trancoso is being hailed as the new St. Barths, with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Matt Damon holidaying and investing in beach houses here. For the ultimate experience, hop in a beach buggy and head inland to the valley of the buffalo, where you can have sundowners on the ridge above the valley and watch the buffalo graze as the shadows of the palms get longer and the red sky disappears — simply breathtaking!

Cruising the Amazon
Lodges in the Amazon fall short in terms of quality so the perfect way to do the Amazon is on your own private riverboat with expert crew and cook. There is nothing like turning the engine off over lunch and slowly drifting downstream in total solitude — with just the occasional pink river dolphin for company.

Exploring streets of Palermo Viejo
Buenos Aires is possibly South America’s most interesting and happening city right now. Base yourself in the district of Palermo Viejo with its ever changing array of the city’s finest dining, drinking and shopping establishments. It’s full of hidden gems.

Speedboating around the island of Boipeba
Discover a new facial expression called speedboat smile — an uncontrollable expression of joy only seen when aquaplaning across clear blue sea toward a floating bar, one kilometre off the island of Boipeba in Bahia, Brazil. Drop anchor and tuck into a grilled lobster, washed down with a caipirinha.

Flying over the Iguaçu falls in a light aircraft

Joining together more than 200 separate waterfalls, Iguaçu falls is simply spectacular, but it is, of course, touristy — so we recommend flying over the falls in a private light aircraft en route to either Brazil or Argentina — get the best of this natural phenomenon without actually stopping there!

Drink a caipirinha on Ipanema beach
It costs just $1 and is served in a plastic cup, but boy does it taste good with the sand between your toes, the waves crashing against the beach and the sun setting on Rio’s famous beach. This has to be one of life’s greatest experiences.

Tour the vineyards of Mendoza
The countryside around Mendoza’s wineries is just stunning with the Andes ever present on the horizon. Couple this with Argentine hospitality and its amazing steak and you have a dream combination.

Ride in the Brazilian Pantanal
The Pantanal is a vast wetland the size of France and home to the greatest abundance of wildlife in South America (far greater than the Amazon). Live like a real cowboy and ride amongst the toucans and hyacinth macaws.

Explore Cartagena on foot
The most complete colonial town in South America is the walled citadel of Cartagena on Columbia’s Caribbean coast. It oozes culture and is the perfect size to get around on foot.

Drive a classic car in Uruguay
The coastline from the capital, Montevideo, up past Punta del Este to the very north of Uruguay is dotted with pristine beaches and wonderful unspoiled villages. The best thing is Uruguay’s fleet of 1950s and ’60s American cars — fantastic fun.

Heli-skiing in the Andes
With peaks twice as high as the Alps and ski runs twice as long, this is THE place to be for late summer skiing. Hiring a helicopter to ski the ultimate untouched powder doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg, either, starting from $300 US per hour.

More info
For more inspiring ideas for your South American trip, or to make these experiences happen, contact travel experts Dehouche at info@dehouche.com.

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