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South American Vacations
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South American Vacations is a U.S.-based boutique tour operator specializing in customizable private and small group tours and cruises to South America, Central America, and Antarctica. Our tailor-made itineraries to some of the most fascinating places in the world provide you with the flexibility to travel when you want and in accordance with your interests and budget.
South American Vacations is a U.S.-based boutique tour operator specializing in customizable private and small group tours and cruises to South America, Central America, and Antarctica. Our tailor-made itineraries to some of the most fascinating places in the world provide you with the flexibility to travel when you want and in accordance with your interests and budget.

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In Antarctica, the “White Continent” at the bottom of the earth, humans – mostly scientists and support personnel working at the research stations there – come and go after a few months or years. None are permanent residents. But Antarctica does have…

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“Now this story—this may well have something inexplicable about it.” José Rogel is wagging his finger like a professor, dubious but open to persuasion. “My father told me he’d seen the caleuche.  He’d recently married my mother, and one day he went to a…

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San Cristobal, the farthest east and second most populated of all the Galapagos Islands, is also the site of one of the two main airports serving the Ecuadorian mainland, some 600 miles away.  But it would be a shame to simply fly in and head straight for…

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“Holy Moai!” As we neared Rano Raraku, the site of the quarry where Easter Islanders once fashioned the famous stone statues (Moai) for which the island is best known, I couldn’t help but exclaim in sheer amazement. There, scattered across the side of an…

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High above the Andean town of Pisac, carved into a rock face that looks out over a valley of soft green terraces, there is a tunnel. A slender, teardrop-shaped slit arrived at via a narrow pass. This tunnel extends for 16 meters through an outcrop of…

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Oscar, the guide, has his watch ready.  He stares at it intently, then lifts his eyes to the crowd. “Twenty seconds.” The visitors are still bleary-eyed from the early hour (6:30 a.m., departure time 4:30), but the sun just now clearing the snow-dappled…

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Santa Cruz, the most populated and commercially developed island in the Galapagos, is also the most visited.  Near the international airport some 650 miles west of mainland Ecuador, Santa Cruz is the site of the Charles Darwin Research Station and…

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“Ten years ago nobody dared to buy a house around here. And now look. It’s full of people every night.” Miguel Mafla is gesticulating with his keys as he talks. At 73, the white-haired proprietor of one of Quito’s best-loved restaurants is vigorous and…

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Snorkeling over the coral reef is a surreal experience; gliding weightless over alien structures populated by a hundreds of colorful creatures. Dozens of fish species dart in and out of the formations, seeking food or shelter from larger fish. The…

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From across the dance floor, the couple’s eyes lock as the bandoneon strikes up: a plaintive, homesick wail. They march right up to each other, clasping hands. Their lips are dangerously close, so close that a single dream seems to tremble behind their…
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