Traverse South America with Educational Travel Collaborative, L.L.C.
South America is a land of extremes - arid salt flats and tropical wetlands, Iberian tradition and indigenous culture, concentrated wealth and impoverished mining encampments. Let us chart a path through the continent with you that meets your needs and expands your horizons!
A Giant of the Independent Travel World
From Ushuaia to the Darien Gap, we've traveled South America for years combined. Let us help you plan a break on the road or a year of exploration!
Machu Pichu. The Inca Trail. The Amazon. The Pantanal. Tango. Guevara. Mendoza. Cartagena. South America isn't only the place travel legends are made of, it's also a hub of business, mining, agriculture, dance, art, fashion, design, and so, so much more. From colonial cities to indigenous cooperatives, touring this continent or any of the countries that make it up will immerse you in a land of passion and contrast like no other.
We are passionate about making this massive continent - complications and all - accessible and relevant to your interests.
A Hiker's Paradise
Patagonia is one of the most exceptional outdoor destinations in the world. Hiking here, whether alone or in a group, will give you the opportunity to meet locals and international travelers, engage with some of the best-preserved wilderness in the world, and get a sense of the multinational conservation effort to protect these lands. Patagonia has been a highlight of many of our travels. It's a place we've honed our independence, self-reliance, and physical pacing. We can help you decide from countless destinations and routings in the region, plan what to pack and what to rent in-country, and answer any questions you might have about how to make this true wilderness accessible.
Vibrant Frontier Communities
At ETC -we are all about making meaningful and beneficial connections to the local communities we visit - not just passing through in a rush to check off tourist sites on a list. Both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia are at the center of a tug of war over control of natural resources between conservationists, indigenous communities, and state governments looking to exploit water and energy resources. We can ensure that you have the opportunity to engage with your academic and personal interests while exploring the outdoors - and look forward to supporting you in planning both journies!
One Country, Many Experiences
Home to arguably the region's best-developed aviation network, Colombia offers access to the high mountains, the Caribbean coast (as well as its islands), and the Amazonian frontier. Colombia is a perfect entry point to South America - whether you're sailing the Darian Gap from Panama through the San Blas islands, or flying into el Dorado - for most people looking to jump into South America for the first time. Colombia offers an excellent introduction to this dynamic continent that can be customized based on your personal and professional goals!
A Model of Recovery and Reinvention
Colombia's protracted civil war, and the guerrilla groups that fought it, gave way by the early 2000s to one of the most open, stable, and secure countries in the region. Colombia is a hub for digital nomads and is inventing a new and youthful economic and cultural identity that fuses traditional values and indigenous culture. The country is an ideal introduction to the dynamism that is Latin America, as well as offering unique and experiences difficult to engage with elsewhere. This land is a kaleidoscope of opportunity - let us tailor an adventure that pushes your boundaries and meets your needs.
As with any area of the world, there are particular planning notes that you should be aware of - South America, wherever you go, is no exception. Here are a few tips to help set your expectations for your adventure through this beautiful continent!
South America and its constituent nations are much larger than most realize, and rugged terrain makes for long travel times. One of the things we find ourselves supporting aspiring travelers through most often is the adjustment of their expectations around how much they should attempt to see and do in a set amount of time. We wouldn't advise less than two weeks in any given country in the region, three to really explore - go significantly below that and you could be making some serious sacrifices.
Culture and Safety
We are major advocates for travel to South America, as you've seen above, but traveling safely in South America requires local knowledge and careful itinerary planning, mainly to minimize the risk of petty crime and armed robbery. We will unpack specific safety and security guidance for you and provide advice about how to dress and what to carry as we collaborate on your itinerary to make sure you are prepared to engage safely with each place that you'll visit, freeing you up to engage positively as you travel!
Entry Requirements and Fees
The politics of the region create some interesting entry and exit restrictions and fees for various passport holders, particularly those from the United States. Somewhat uniquely in the travel world, these are often handled differently depending on whether an individual enters by air or overland. We can work to plan your itinerary maximize your time, keep you out of long visa lines, and minimize the fees related to all of this red tape so that you can focus on your personal and intellectual objectives.
Estimated Costs and Pricing
Every itinerary is different, tailored to what you want to do and see, and your speed and style of travel. That said, these ballpark figures provide a solid estimate of what all-in costs would look like, including our fees, international airfare, and day-to-day meals and expenses. Estimates are for one traveler, see our design and pricing page for more information on small groups, and pricing differences for gap year travelers versus shorter-term travel.
Ecuador, Peru, Colombia
21-day Excursion from: US$ 5760
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 4264
Argentina and Uruguay
21-day Excursion from: US$ 6180
1 Month of a Gap Year: US$ 4872
Chile, Brazil, Paraguay
21-day Excursion from: US$ 6600
1 Month of a Gap Year: US$ 5480