South America Countries


Argentina has its root in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.  After it gained independence from Spain in 1816, a civil war lasted until 1861.  In the first decade of the 20th century, Argentina became the richest nation in Latin America, its wealth symbolized by the opulence of its capital city, Buenos Aires.

Obelisco de Buenos Aires, Plaza de la Republica

We visited Buenos Aires & Puerto Iguazu in 2008 as part of our 8-day G Adventures South America trip, and El Chalten, El Calafate & Ushuaia in 2011 as part of our 20-day G Adventures Patagonia and Antarctica trip.


Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire. Spanish conquistadors from Cuzco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar.

Market, Villamar

We visited Villamar & Uyuni as part of our 2018 month-long South America trip.


Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire.  Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil.

Paraty town center

We visited Foz do Iguacu, Sao Paulo, Paraty & Rio de Janerio in 2008 as part of our 8-day G Adventures South America trip.


Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic.

Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago

We visited Puerto Natales in 2011 as part of our 20-day G Adventures Patagonia and Antarctica trip.  In 2018, we spent one month in South America and visited Santiago, Valparaíso, Calama & San Pedro de Atacama.


Colombia is among the world’s 17 megadiverse countries and the most densely biodiverse per square kilometer. Its territory encompasses the Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland, and coastlines along both the Caribbean and Pacific.

Ready for a football game, Medellin

We visited Bogota, Peireira, Medellin, Guatape, Cartagena, Barranquilla, as part of our 2018 month-long South America trip.


What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830.

Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train line, Alausi

We visited Quito, Banos, Cuenca, Alausi, Guayaquil as part of our 2014 Ecuador & Galapagos trip.

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands, part of the Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km west of continental Ecuador.  The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle.

Sea lions are welcomed at our Galapagos lodge, the Red Mangrove

We visited Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Floreana islands as part of our 2014  Ecuador & Galapagos trip.


Originally inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950’s, then it gained independence in 1966.

Stabroek Market clock tower, Georgetown

We visited Georgetown, and Kaieteur Falls after the Roraima & Angel Falls trek in 2014.


Paraguay is one of only two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia).

Busy street scene, Ciudad del Este

We visited Ciudad del Este in 2008 as part of our 8-day G Adventures South America trip.


Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru has a multi ethnic population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians.

Peruvian with llama

We visited Lima, Aquas Calientes, and Cusco in 2008 prior to joining the 8-day G Adventures South America trip.


Suriname was long inhabited by various indigenous people before being invaded and contested by European powers from the 16th century, eventually coming under Dutch rule in the late 17th century. Suriname is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country, and is a member of the Caribbean Community.

I Love SU sign near Fort Zeelandia

We visited Paramaribo after our Roraima & Angel Falls trek in 2014.


Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680; Uruguay was colonized by Europeans relatively late compared with neighboring countries. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, and later Argentina and Brazil.

Night scene at “The Hand”

We visited Montevideo and Punta del Este, along with Chile, Bolivia and Easter Island in our 2018 month-long South America trip.


The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence.

At the top Mount Roraima

We visited Caracas, Puerto Ordaz, Santa Elena, Ciudad Bolivar, and Canaima, as part of the Roraima & Angel Falls trek in 2014.

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