The top five ports in South America


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When visiting South American ports, it’s best to leave valuables on the ship due to pick-pocketing concerns.
When choosing a cruise to any destination, the itinerary’s ports of call are one of the most important factors to consider. In South America, these five ports represent the best of the best.

Rio de Janerio, Brazil: Rio’s sexy reputation can easily be experienced on a port call to the scintillating city. Within walking distance of the port is the downtown area, where visitors can see gorgeous churches from the 17th century. Ever-popular sites include Sugarloaf Mountain – where new gondolas carry visitors to the top for stunning views – the iconic Cristo monument, and the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: A city full of soul, Buenos Aires’ many draws include architecture, abundant woods and parks, delicious meats and wines, and the ubiquitous salsa music. The port is near the city center, making it easy for cruisers to experience the city. Stop in at a tango club, enjoy a relaxed meal of bife de chorizo (grilled strip steak), or take an excursion outside the city to a traditional gaucho ranch.

Punta del Este, Uruguay: With a reputation for attracting elite jet-setters, the elegant and ritzy beach town is one of South America’s most luxurious. Unique attractions include the private home/art gallery of Casa Pueblo in Punta Bailena, made up of artistic, maze-like rooms. Some of the best beaches can be found in La Barra in the Mondono district, while tours to Isla de los Lobos are popular for visiting colonies of seals and sea lions.

Galapagos Islands: Regardless of which islands you happen to visit on your cruse, up-close experiences with nature and wildlife are guaranteed in this destination. Active cruisers can take hikes through isolated wilderness, coming face-to-face with unique species such as blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sharks, sea turtles, and so many others.

Santiago, Chile: Though Santiago is a city worth more than a quick stop, it makes for a fascinating cruise call. Chile’s capital city is full of culture and history – must-see sites include La Chascona, Pablo Neruda’s former home, the 1805 La Moneda presidential palace, and the hilltop Santa Lucía park, where the city was founded in 1540.