At first glance, it can be hard to differentiate between the 12 nations of South America. They all speak Spanish or Portuguese; most of them have the Andes as their vertiginous spine; most of them, too, descend into the endless stretches of the Amazon. But an overland tour here will make you wonder why you ever thought Peru and Bolivia were alike, or what on earth Chile has in common with Argentina. There is lilting Spanish, yes – but also Quechua, Aymara, Huaorani – and Welsh. Really. There are places where the rain seems ceaseless – and places where it never falls. There is fresh seafood, hearty stews cooked in the earth, and strange fruits as vibrant and delicious as this captivating continent.
Linking up these highlights on an overland tour involves long hours on the road – but what roads these are. The landscape changes not daily but hourly, with mountain passes, waterfalls, indigenous villages, modern cities, thick jungle and stunning coastline all side by side. Find out how to explore it all in our South America overland vacations travel guide.