As senior travelers, you might feel a bit wary about traveling somewhere as distant and unfamiliar as South America. Especially since it’s not the kind of destination that encourages you to keep still. However, when you plan it right, there’s no reason you can’t experience all of the splendor South America has in store regardless of age or mobility. The secret lies in balancing adventurous activities like exploring Machu Picchu and hiking to Torres del Paine with plenty of downtime in heavenly high-end hotels and retreats. After all, what’s the point of working hard all your life if you can’t reap the rewards of luxury travel? In this article, we travel from the world’s driest desert to the world’s largest waterfall and beyond to bring you five of the best South America Tours for Seniors. Which one will catch your attention most?

Mendoza Wine Tasting and Patagonia

Embark on a sophisticated sojourn through Argentina starting with wine tasting in Mendoza and finishing with unimaginable views of the famous El Fitz Roy mountain peak. Situated in the dry hinterlands of Argentina, Mendoza has been a prime wine-growing region for centuries, but it has gained particular prestige in the last few decades for its Malbec grape variety. 

Get a taste for Malbec’s viticulture and oenology when you stay at the Cavas Wine Lodge, a luxury 18-room boutique hotel and winery in the heart of the wine region. As well as getting exclusive access to Cavas’ wine-making, the lodge will arrange wine safaris, hiking, and other excursions to explore the beautifully rugged region. In your downtime, enjoy a cooking class with wine pairing, indulgent spa treatments, and a traditional asado feast.

After a relaxing retreat to this world-renowned wine region, head south to Los Glaciares National Park to find your more adventurous side. As its name suggests, is home to Patagonia’s most impressive glaciers including Perito Moreno, Uppsala, and Spegazzini, as well as the iconic Fit Roy and Cerro Torre mountains. 

EOLO Patagonia’s Spirit, located a 25-minute drive from the park’s activity base El Calafate, is an idyllic base for those desiring a sophisticated solitary retreat. The 10,000-acre property in the Patagonian plains provides only 17 (very spacious) suites along with a restaurant, wine cellar, massage rooms, sauna, jacuzzi, and four lounges. What more could you want after ice climbing along Perito Moreno, hiking to Fitz Roy, horseback riding around the Patagonian plains, and fly fishing on Lago Argentino?

2 Nights on the Andean Explorer and Machu Picchu

There’s no better way to navigate Peru’s cultural highlights than on the Belmond Andean Explorer, one of the world’s most exclusive trains. It begins in Arequipa, the colonial capital of Peru. Before boarding, you can explore the city’s most famous colonial highlights like the Santa Catalina Monastery and the Plaza de Armas. The train will depart in the early evening, leaving you plenty of time to settle into your luxury private suite (which just so happens to be one of the largest suites onboard any train in the world) before dressing up for a refined Andean dinner with a contemporary flair.

After a few drinks accompanied by live entertainment in the elegant bar car, you’ll retire to your suite for a dreamy night’s sleep ready for tomorrow’s destination. As the train pulls into Lake Titicaca the next morning, you can refuel with a filling breakfast before a full day of adventure on the floating Uros Islands. These islands are home to Peru’s oldest surviving indigenous community, the Uros people, who built them using interwoven reeds. With a private guide in tow, the Uros people will invite you into their community to give you a first-hand experience of their daily lives.

Upon departure to Cusco, your final destination, the incredible views of the Peruvian highlands from your suite, observation car, or open deck will be accompanied by cocktails and canapes followed by another evening of delectable Andean dishes and live entertainment. Your trip will conclude with a sunrise breakfast before disembarking the next morning to explore the ancient Inca capital and travel on to Machu Picchu.

10-day Amazon River Cruise

Lounge of Luxury Amazon River Boat

© Delfin Cruises

Set sail on the adventure of a lifetime through the deepest, darkest Peruvian Amazon on a 10-day luxury riverboat cruise. We recommend the Delfin III, a Relais & Chateaux riverboat that prioritizes elegance, exclusivity, and a personal experience. It features only 22 suites, each with a marble ensuite and floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a 5-star restaurant, lounge, dip pool, spa, gym, and a bar serving round-the-clock cocktails. From the welcome Cava to handmade chocolates on your pillow each night, the Delfin III spoils you with thoughtful gestures throughout your stay.

Being all-inclusive, the Delfin III boasts an exciting schedule of activities led by its passionate onboard naturist guides. Begin your Amazonian adventures with a sunrise stroll wildlife-spotting in Pacaya-Samiria National Park. Then, as you find your feet in this fervent jungle, you will be able to spend time with a local shaman, swim in the river, kayak, and watch hundreds of macaws fly around Bird Island. The more you immerse in this wild and unfamiliar environment, the more you will feel connected to nature in a way you’d have never thought possible.

Between the excursions, there is plenty of downtime to luxuriate in the onboard facilities. Perhaps you’ll practice your wildlife-spotting skills as you soak in the top-deck dip pool, mingle with fellow guests and new friends in the lounge, or rejuvenate your body with a hot stone massage. After all, there’s something so satisfying about being able to indulge in life’s finer things despite being in one of the world’s most wild and uncivilized environments, is there?

The World Wonders of South America

Now that you’ve retired, it’s time to start ticking some of the world’s most coveted travel destinations off that bucket list. Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, and Iguazu Falls have each been honored as ‘Wonders of the World’, giving them higher prestige than any other famous sight or travel destination in South America. If they weren’t on your bucket list before, we implore you to write them at the top. You’ll thank us later.

Start your bucket-list trip on the world-famous 1920s-style Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. A three-course Andean-inspired brunch followed by Piscos and live entertainment is the best way to embark on this adventure. Its mysticism will have you mesmerized from the moment you step through the Sun Gate because although you’ll have seen it pictured, nothing can capture the magic of Machu Picchu.

After a few relaxed days in a Sacred Valley retreat, we will fly you to South America’s most soulful city, Rio de Janeiro. Although Rio is all go go go, it’s easy to take it at your own pace and stick to the city’s quieter spots if you prefer. However, the 30-meter-tall statue of Christ the Redeemer watching over the city is not one to miss. From the funicular ride to the top to the views breathtaking views across the city, you’ll be wholly impressed.

From the mountains to the city, the journey completes in the subtropical Brazilian forests where the mighty Iguazu Falls hide. With 275 drops over a span of 3 km, the scale and force of this spectacle of nature will humble you like nothing else — especially from the heights of a private helicopter. 

Chile from Top to Bottom

From the barren unearthly landscapes of the Atacama Desert in the north to the towering snow-capped peaks of Patagonia in the south, nowhere will you experience such exhilarating extremes as Chile. While both destinations are defined by their outdoor pursuits, you can balance out the adventure with some luxurious relaxation at our refined retreats that are perfectly suited to senior travelers. 

An indoor-outdoor rustic Chilean retreat, Nayara Alto Atacama is an idyllic desert oasis best suited to discerning travelers that prefer a slower pace. Venture out into the desert on foot, horseback, or by 4×4 with your personal Atacama guide at any time to see Valle de la Lune, or simply relax at the Puri Spa or read on your terrace. Your evenings can be spent mingling with fellow guests around an asado and exploring the universe from the retreat’s very own telescope.

After navigating the world’s driest desert, journey over 2000 miles south to Torres del Paines near the southern tip of Chile. Although this world-renowned Patagonian National Park is all about adventure, its top sights and activities are accessible to all ages and abilities. From Tierra Patagonia, a luxury boutique hotel and spa that seamlessly blends into pampas of Lake Sarmiento, you can embark on a day hike to the base of Torres del Paine, Patagonia’s most famous peak. Sailing to the Grey Glacier, fly fishing in Lake Sarmiento, and cycling at Canadon Macho are a few more of the easy ways it allows you to explore the region. 

Create Your Own Senior’s South America Travel Itinerary in 2024

While these five South America tours for seniors are some of our most highly recommended ideas, you can also browse each of our luxury tours across, Machu Picchu, Chile, Patagonia, the Amazon Jungle, Brazil, and the Galapagos Islands. Or, you can create your own itinerary with our Totally Latin America South America experts. Whether you want to go hiking, wine tasting, horseback riding, golfing, or simply stay at a remote mountain retreat, we can create your ideal itinerary of destinations complete with hotel bookings, guided tours, restaurant reservations, and more. Get in touch with us here to get started.