Cruising to South America, rounding Cape Horn like an early explorer, is a once in a lifetime experience. Stopping in many ports along the way, you’ll want to see the best of what each destination has to offer. To aid you on your southern adventure, we’ve assembled a list of South American highlights.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Cruise to Sao Paulo, Brazil , the largest city in South America! That said, there are many things to see and do in the cultural capital. Perhaps the most impressive is the Sao Paulo Museum of Art. Situated on bustling Paulista Avenue, this collection of more than 8,000 works, is the largest and finest assemblage of Western art in the southern hemisphere. MASP, as it’s called for short, holds its own against major art institutions including the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and the Museu d’Orsay in Paris. Though the museum houses many examples of Brazilian art, it’s the major collection of European masters including Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and more that steals the show.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
No trip to Rio de Janeiro is complete without a visit to the city’s iconic Christ the Redeemer. The 125-foot sculpture of cement and soapstone lords over the city like a guardian angel. This largest art deco sculpture in the world was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. The site provides an amazing view of the sprawling city below.
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
The port of Puerto Madryn in Argentina is valued for its proximity to the Valdes Peninsula. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a naturalist paradise. It’s one of the best places in the world for whale watching as the southern right whale appears here every year to calve. Mothers and babies swim right up to the tour boats. This Patagonian nature reserve is also home to sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, penguins, baleen whales and orcas.
Cruise to Ushuaia , Argentina, one of the southernmost settlements in the world. The site is the jumping off point for exploration of Tierra del Fuego, also called the “End of the World.” Join the ranks of Magellan, Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin as you explore the famous Beagle Channel by boat. It is here that explorers rounded treacherous Cape Horn en route to the Pacific. In his shipboard journal, Darwin in 1833 wrote, “It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more beautiful than the beryl-like blue of these glaciers.”
Enjoy a panoramic view of Santiago, Chile, with the towering Andes mountains looming as a backdrop, at the popular Cerro San Cristobal overlook. Stretch your legs via the 45-minute hike to the top, or ride the funicular from the fashionable neighbourhood of Bellavista. Also at the top is the famous 50-foot statue, Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. Don’t forget your camera.
Besides being the jumping off point for Machu Picchu, the capital city of Lima, Peru, is also home to the famous Larco Museum. This extensive museum collection explores 4,000 years of pre-Columbian art in the form of indigenous pottery, gold and silver headdresses and masks, and much more. The erotic pottery exhibit portrays the Incas widespread fascination in depicting sex though ceramics. An excellent accompaniment to Machu Picchu, the museum showcases works from each of Peru’s ancient cultures.