South America Ports
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Along with Buenos Aires, Rio is perhaps the most popular port of call on cruises around South America. This bustling city sits right on the seafront, lined with spectacular sandy beaches like Copacabana. Beyond the crowded cityscape are lush green mountains, and the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain jutting up in the bay.
Many cruises give you the opportunity to see Rio’s most iconic landmark, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, with incredible views of the city and the wider bay beyond. As well as being the capital of carnival, Rio is also home to a lively culture of art and theatre – with the ultra-modern Cidade da Musica complex and the Ornate Theatro Municipal making ideal alternative attractions.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The port city of Buenos Aires features on a huge number of luxury cruises in South America. Known as the “Paris of the South”, this city combines towering modern cityscape with grand colonial architecture – as well as inviting street-corner bars, restaurants and colourful traditional homes.
Your time in Buenos Aires is the ideal opportunity to perfect your tango, with the chance to take a professional dance class or see it performed Porteno-style at the Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso. Alternatively, sample the city’s rich Catholic culture with a trip to Tierra Santa, a religious theme park dedicated to Christ – or discover the city’s great love for polo on a more sporting shore excursion.
Callao is the gateway port to Lima, the colonial capital of Peru. This picturesque city is perhaps best enjoyed at dusk, and some luxury cruise lines include longer stays or late-night departures to let you see the city by evening.
Lima is characterised by its architecture, particularly the twin towers of its elegant central cathedral. Further out in the city you’ll find a handful of stately homes that once belonged to prominent figures in Lima’s colonial past, and a huge variety of bars and restaurants to get a taste for local life. History lovers can even see some of Peru’s most beautiful ancient treasures here, gathered in halls of the National Museum.