While jaguars are found all over South and Central America, actually seeing one is a rare coup. But not impossible, and all the more likely if you put yourself in the best situation for the magic moment to happen. If your interest is piqued by the thought of putting yourself in the advantageous position to witness a wild jaguar, then you’re going to need to get off the beaten path and make sure your...
Even though the United States didn’t qualify for this year’s World Cup, our team of Latin America travel experts here in the U.S. have found plenty of rooting interests in the tournament all the same. When you spend as much time getting to know the people and the places across South America the way we have, you develop some pretty profound ties and you can’t help but pull for the countries you know...
If you’ve always dreamed of witnessing penguins in the wild, then our team of Latin America travel experts has you covered. While Antarctica is famously the best place to go if you’re looking for the ultimate penguin trip, there’s also no shortage of opportunities to do some penguin watching everywhere from the Galapagos Islands all the way through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In...
  This past week you may have noticed penguins taking over your Instagram or Twitter feed as World Penguin Day was celebrated on April 25th and proved once again that pretty much everyone, everywhere loves penguins. Penguins are without a doubt the most sought after wildlife viewing experience we offer at Southern Explorations, and it’s no mystery as to why. Across the 17 species of penguins,...
 Brazil first made entry into the country simpler for citizens of Canada, Japan, and Australia, and now U.S. citizens can officially travel to Brazil easier than ever thanks to the introduction of a new e-visa program. Our goal at Southern Explorations is to always make sure your trip planning experience is as smooth and easy as possible, so it’s safe to say we’re pretty excited about the...
 Rio Carnival 2018 kicked-off with hundreds climbing onto enormous, extravagant floats and hundreds more still gathered in brilliant costumes, drumming and dancing to pulsing samba music. Stretching 700-plus meters of technicolor jubilation, the legendary party parade announced the official return of Carnival season once more.  This year’s parade pitted 13 of the best samba schools – large...
Good news for Canadians looking to experience Argentina and Brazil in 2018 and beyond! The Argentinian government has now waived the reciprocity fee for Canadians to visit the country as of January 1, 2018, while Brazil has introduced a new electronic visa for Canadian visitors.  Argentina Canadian travelers to Argentina will no longer have to pay the US$78 online fee before they travel as was...
Thanks to a new electronic visa system, Brazil is becoming much easier to visit for North Americans. Southern Explorations expects a rush of bookings for Brazil starting in the new year. Beginning in January 2018, tourists from the United States and Canada will no longer have to wade through the complicated bureaucracy and paperwork to visit South America's largest country.Brazil has already started to roll out...
As we continue our Trips of a Lifetime series – in which we take a look at some of the most memorable and impressive trips our team of Latin America travel experts have designed – we take a look at an impressive itinerary custom built for a group of Southern Explorations guests who knew what they wanted to see and came to us to help make their dream a reality. As soon as we started putting together our...
Travelers can now enjoy one of the most iconic festivals in the world with an award-winning travel company. Southern Explorations, adventure travel experts, have launched a new five-day tour to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.This ageless celebration first took place in the 18th century, and is now one of the most famous celebrations in the world. Carnival, celebrated the world over, is a five-day, four-night celebration...
Chapada Diamantina National Park was established to preserve the region’s mountainous canyon country, river valleys and vegetation ranging from orchids and bromeliads to cactus. After much community campaigning, the federal government designated the area as a national park in 1985 and eliminated diamond mining within the park’s boundaries. An historic area of diamond deposits, many of the park’s...
To the delight of visitors on Brazil tours, Bahia offers an interesting cuisine of African, Portuguese and Caribbean origins, reflecting the region’s rich cultural history. There are two central themes; fish from Brazil’s northern coast, and the distinctively orange, spicy palm nut oil, “azeite de dendi,” from the trees that grow along the coasts of Brazil and West Africa.  One of...
Nothing so personifies travel to Brazil as the beaches in and around Rio de Janeiro, the stuff of legends and films. Though it was once the beaches of Guanabara Bay that attracted the in-crowd, since the early 1920s, sun-worshippers by day and revelers by night have sought out the westerly beaches along Avenida Atlantica and Avenida Vieira Souto to enjoy life.   One’s Rio de Janeiro tours aren’...
 We’re always looking to take our guests below the surface of every destination we visit throughout Latin America, showing you a side of the cities, villages, jungles, mountains, and more that many travelers regrettably miss and one of the most enthralling ways to experience Southern Explorations’ destinations like Ecuador, Brazil, Panama, and Colombia is to literally look below the surface by doing...
It’s no secret that Latin America’s landscapes are the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers. Ancient ruins, active volcanoes, glacial lakes, friendly locals and countless waterfalls are just a few reasons why hikers should consider Latin America for their next trek – and it doesn’t need to be Machu Picchu. We rounded up our team’s favorite under the...
This week, the 2016 Summer Olympics will mark the first time a South American city has hosted the Games. Rio de Janeiro, the city known for its extravagant coastline of white beach and emerald mountains, gears up for the arrival of more than 10,000 athletes. In true Latin American fashion, celebrations will make their way to the streets and local hotspots, meaning you don’t have to be a world-class gymnast or...
 Trip Advisor is one of the best-known and trusted travel resources worldwide, and every year they turn to millions of travelers to vote on the best of the best for the Travelers’ Choice Awards. We weren’t surprised to see many of our favorite Latin American destinations grab the spotlight for must-see landmarks, destinations, beaches, restaurants, and destinations on the rise in the 2016 Award...
Learn to tango on the streets of Buenos Aires, follow your stomach through Lima’s booming culinary scene, or watch the world’s best athletes live from the stands during the Olympics in Rio. Our team of travel experts have scoured the continent and picked the top five festivals you have to get to this summer - from sport enthusiasts to foodies, Latin America has a little something for everyone. 1)...
UruguayUntil recently, travelers planning a trip to South America would by-pass thoughts of Uruguay, opting instead for the better known attractions of the colossal countries on either side. Increasing numbers of visitors are discovering all that this little country has to offer. Uruguay is comprised mostly of grasslands, fringed by blissful sand dunes and beaches. For the vacationer, this means the opportunity to...
What Is A Multisport Adventure Trip?
As the name implies, multisport itineraries are active and most days are spent on one or more excursions that require at least moderate exertion. They usually involve a combination of different activities rather than focusing on just one. For many outings, guides transport passengers from their hotel to a trailhead or put-in at a river for a whitewater rafting trip. On others,...
SOUTHERN EXPLORATIONS 10 YEARS OLD AND GROWING!2015 marks Southern Explorations’ 10th year in business. What started as a two-person operation in a garage has grown into a company with destination coordinators in several countries, customers from throughout the world and awards from the national travel media for our authentic trips and sustainability values. Southern Explorations has become one of the leaders...
Travel to Brazil The beach paradise of Florianopolis is a popular destination on Brazil tours. Vacationers love the surf and the cosmopolitan nightlife. The region also attracts many who wish to watch whales during their travel to Brazil. The small island of Campeche off the coast of Santa Catarina is the site of a former whaling station. Starting in July, southern right whales migrate here, remaining in the area...
Brazil's Historic Mining Towns In 1785, another deposit was discovered 100 miles west of the first. Throughout the eighteenth century, interest in diamond mining exploded, attracting prospectors from great distances and increasing the demand for slave labor. Between 1700 and 1800, approximately three million carats were extracted from Minas Gerais. The largest diamond ever found in Brazil was a 254-carat stone,...
Reading about and preparing for your adventure is half the fun. For more book suggestions go to Brazil  
The beach paradise of Florianopolis is a popular destination on Brazil tours. Vacationers love the surf and the cosmopolitan nightlife. The region also attracts many who wish to watch whales during their travel to Brazil. The small island of Campeche off the coast of Santa Catarina is the site of a former whaling station. Starting in July, south right whales migrate here, remaining in the area until November. South...
Satisfying the World's Sweet ToothSatiating the continent’s sweet tooth created an agricultural frenzy in Brazil where the northern coastal areas offered ideal conditions for growing sugarcane. More tracts of land were cleared to cultivate the crop, and what are today the states of Pernambuco, Paraiba, Bahia and Sergipe became the heartland of Brazil’s sugarcane industry. Sugar turned the Bahia...
What you need to know before visting Brazil's historic mining townsIn 1785, another deposit was discovered 100 miles west of the first. Throughout the eighteenth century, interest in diamond mining exploded, attracting prospectors from great distances and increasing the demand for slave labor. Between 1700 and 1800, approximately three million carats were extracted from Minas Gerais. The largest diamond ever found...
Gathering together a large enough work force to carry out these ambitious plans proved a daunting challenge. The colonists encountered resistance among the indigenous population from the start. As development plans expanded along the coast, more workers were needed than could be supplied from the region. For the buyers, indigenous slaves were a bargain, usually selling for less than half the cost of imported slaves...
What you need to know before visting Brazil's historic mining townsThe international community, primarily Britain, could not allow an economic powerhouse like Portugal to have the unfair advantage of low labor costs after the other nations had abolished slavery, and international pressure mounted for Portugal to follow suit. Britain sent the Royal Navy to patrol the west coast of Africa to intercept ships engaged in...
Isabel married Gaston d’Orleans, Count d’Eu, and had three sons. While she was still in her twenties, her father began leaving her in charge of Brazil as Regent during his numerous travels abroad. She came from progressive roots. When the military asked to be relieved of the responsibility of re-capturing runaway slaves, she agreed. She is best remembered in Brazilian history for her signing of the...
Before the French invaders arrived, Portugal’s Royal Family cleaned out the national treasury of its gold and silver, packed up the Royal Library, and escaped, accompanied by a court of between 10,000 and 15,000 members. Led by the Prince Regent, soon-to-be King John VI, they set sail for Brazil under escort of the British Royal Navy to rule the Empire from Portugal’s most profitable colony until it was...
The year after his coronation, Dom Pedro II married Princess Teresa of the Two Sicilies with whom he had three children. Two wars to protect Brazil’s borders and retain dominance in the region occurred during his reign, the Platine War and the War of the Triple Alliance. While numerous rebellions also took place, his fifty-year reign also included a period of stability that spread commerce into larger areas of...
The largest number of quilombos was established in what is today the state of Alagoas. It was here that the rebel movement gained strength by forming an “republic,” consisting of two large settlements and many small settlements with a total population of several thousand. The leader took the title of Ganga Zumba and ruled over these settlements which had their own chiefs, including Zumbi. The kingdom...
The bandeirantes were entrepreneurs, not government employees, operating in large expeditionary groups, some numbering into the hundreds, known as bandeiras. In the slave trade, the bandeiras would capture indigenous people and walk them, shackled, to the coast. Those who were still alive by the time they arrived were sold, providing the bandeirantes a lucrative profession.The bandeirantes used a variety of...
One quilombo was developed on the Trombetas River, a tributary of the Amazon, at Pancada Falls, a treacherous waterway that the slaves could navigate but their hunters could not. Another was built at Bacabal, on the fluvial island of Marajo that separates the mouths of the Amazon and Para rivers, making a perfect setting for a quilombo. On the coast, rather than inland where most of the other quilombos were...