FAQs

Is it safe to travel to South America?

To put it simply, yes. While it is true that some places and situations are dangerous in South America, these are easily avoidable and can be minimised by diligently planning your trip and practising safety precautions. Checking websites such as smartraveller.com.au and talking with our friendly professional team can help guide you to having a safe and fun experience in South America.

Who will meet me upon arrival into each city?

You will be met by one of our English-speaking and friendly local representative in each city you arrive in as long as transfers are listed on your itinerary.

What language do they speak in South America?

Spanish and Portuguese are the main languages spoken in South America, with some exceptions to Suriname (Dutch), French Guyana (French) and Guyana and Falkland Islands (English). Rest assured many of our local representatives are either English speaking or bilingual speakers to ensure smooth communication throughout your trip.

What money is used in South America?

Each of the countries in South America has their own currency. Here are some of currencies, for a full list of currencies please visit websites such as www.xe.com

Argentina – Argentine Peso
Bolivia – Bolivian Boliviano
Brazil – Brazilian Real
Chile – Chilean Peso
Colombia – Colombian Peso
Ecuador – US Dollar
Peru – Peruvian Sol

What are the most popular attractions that I can visit in South America?

South America has some of the world’s most spectacular sceneries and exciting attractions suited for all travellers. Of course there are world famous sites such as Machu Picchu, the Iguazu Falls, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, the Amazon – it is truly rich in culture and landscapes. Many of our itineraries encompass some of these natural as well as extensions options which you could add to our escorted tours.

How fit do I need to be to travel?

We offer a variety of experiences all of which require different fitness levels from relaxing on the beach to trekking the jungles of the Amazon. As a standard, we advise that you be in good physical condition to get the most out of your tour. Get in touch with us if you any questions and we can talk through the physical expectations of your trip.

The tour or experience that I want is not listed in your website or brochure, can I still book a tour with you?

Absolutely, if there is a specific experience or destination in South or Central America you’d like to visit, get in touch with us and we will work on a tailored itinerary based on your interests and needs.

Is it possible to customise my tour?

Absolutely, we specialise tailor made itineraries. Bring us your South America wish list and let our expertise and first hand experiences create the perfect itinerary. Our friendly team is here to help you every step of the way.

Who can help me if I lose my passport or if I need assistance?

We understand that for a first time traveller into Latin America it can sometimes be daunting, that’s why we have a strong network of local representatives throughout South America. Our local guides are on hand to ensure you have a safe and fun experience and are the first direct contact should you any questions or need assistance during your trip.

Which flights do I need, how do I get there?

South America is closer than ever with many flights departing from many major Australian/NZ cities. Where you land in South America depends on your chosen itinerary. Typically speaking, the main city you land in is Santiago in Chile. We also have access to internal flights so if you need to go between countries in South America we can easily organise those flights for you.

Can you help with internal flights between each of the countries in South America?

Absolutely, as a wholesaler we have access to a large range of discounted internal flights that will get you into the nooks and crannies of South America.

What vaccinations do I need to have prior to arriving in South America?

We strongly recommend that you consult with your medical practitioner and specialist travel doctor for information regarding:
• vaccinations
• travelling to high altitudes areas
• any pre-existing conditions that may impact you during your travel

For general advice please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and your doctor for specific advice.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness occurs when your body hasn’t adjusted to the sudden increase in altitude and changes in air pressure. Altitude sickness can affect people differently so it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor before travelling with us.

Where will I get altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness can happen to anyone of all fitness levels and are more likely to affect you in certain countries than others of South America. Generally speaking you are likely to experience altitude sickness in the following areas:

• Atacama Desert, Chile
• Ecuador – not Galapagos
• Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca, Peru
• La Paz, Lake Titicaca and Uyuni, Bolivia

How do I avoid getting altitude sickness?

The best way to avoid getting altitude sickness is to gradually increase altitude during your travels. Here at the South America Tourism Office, we expertly create itineraries that follow this golden rule. For example, in our ‘Essence of South America’ tour, we have our clients stay in the lower altitudes of Sacred Valley for a couple of days before continuing to the higher altitudes in Cuzco.

What kind of power adaptor do I need to bring?

A majority of countries in South America use the European style outlet. For information on the specific country you’re travelling to please visit www.electricaloutlet.info/latin-america-the-caribbean.html

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