Undoubtedly the highlight of everyone's South American experience, glittering Rio is a city that enchants mind, body and soul. Radiant beaches, like Ipanema and Copacabana, stretch like bejeweled arcs around the city's perimeter. The monumental 120-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer towers over Rio atop Corcovado Mountain. Take a cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain for stunning panoramic views of the mountains, beaches and skyline. Visit world-renowned nightclubs where samba bands and disco dancers jump all night long.
Santos is the port for Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America and the economic heart and soul of Brazil. Originally built as a Jesuit mission in the 1500's, the city's towering skyscrapers and a bustling population of 11 million now lend it the air of a subtropical New York.
This charming capital city, with its broad boulevards and beautiful parks, will entice you to explore the coastline. You'll also want to visit the Parque Batille y Ordonez, honoring the Father of Uruguay, and to see La Carreta-The Oxcart-a monument sculpted by Bellini.
Latin America's most sophisticated city, dubbed the "Paris of South America," invites you to stroll along broad, tree-lined boulevards to the picturesque Plaza San Martin. Tour the dazzling Teatro Colon, one of the world's greatest opera houses, and the tomb of Evita Peron. Perhaps you would enjoy a dinner ashore, followed by a performance of the Tango or an optional excursion into the pampas to visit an estancia (ranch) with traditional gaucho hospitality.
Port Stanley is the only town on the Falkland Islands, and though it has little more than 1,200 residents, it contains half of the islands' population. On the other hand there are 700,000 sheep, and a wonderful assortment of sea birds and elephant seals. Though subject to the British Queen, Argentinean claims to the "Islas Malvinas" caused war in 1982.
The world's southernmost city, Ushuaia overlooks Beagle Channel, named after the ship that took Charles Darwin to the bottom of the world. Founded just over one hundred years ago, this rustic town is situated amidst incredible snowcapped mountains, dramatic waterfalls, massive glaciers, and a forest known for its red foliage. Tierra del Fuego, the "Land of Fire," twelve miles to the west of Ushuaia, is known for its glacial landscape and its national park, which is a bird-watcher's paradise.
Located within the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas is proud of being a frontier whaling town. Conveying the flavor of a Northern European seaport, mansions show that some early settlers made fortunes here. Tour the scenic landscapes of Patagonia, with its myriad of wildlife and breathtaking views. Or fly in a chartered airplane over the White Continent of Antarctica.
Evocative of Switzerland, Chile's lake district is noted for its pristine, almost Alpine scenery and bracing climate. Visit Lake Llanquihue (pronounced "Yankee-way"), and explore the rugged coastline leading to Ensenada. Marvel at a Fuji-like volcano, Mount Osorno, which rises to a height of 8,500 feet. View the rushing falls and turbulent rapids of Petrohue and cruise the blue-green waters of placid Lake Todos Los Santos. Taste Chilean country specialties and enjoy folklore entertainment at a rustic hosteria.