The ultimate adventure to Antarctica and South America

apt ship navigating among ice

Zoe Macfarlane

Posted November 21, 2022

There's so much to see and do in Antarctica and South America - and it's even easier to uncover the secrets of this beautiful region with the help of local experts on a tour.  Here's how to create some unforgettable memories in Antarctica, Machu Picchu, the Galápagos Archipelago and more.

When travelling, some destinations are enjoyable self-guided – be it a week-long jaunt around London, a sun-soaked getaway in Fiji or a self-care sojourn to Bali. With bucket list adventures, however, you want to travel with the experts. To absorb every drop of culture, seek out every adventure, and connect with locals as you go, a helping (and experienced) hand is a huge advantage. This is especially true of South American destinations and Antarctica, where there is so much to learn, see, and do off the beaten track, and where thankfully, APT have a range of tours that turn a memorable destination into a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

Even better? RACV Members receive a discount on all APT touring.

If you’re unfamiliar, Australian Pacific Touring (APT) is a luxury travel brand with 95 years of experience, and offers tours and river cruising to some of the world’s most incredible destinations. APT has long been committed to responsible tourism, and their travel experiences offer stand-out moments that you simply can’t access when travelling solo. In short, APT ensure your travels are enriching, educational, personalised, and filled with moments to treasure forever.

To help you decide, we’ve selected some of our favourite destinations and tours for your next bucket-list vacation in Antarctica and South America.


Antarctica is a destination so remote, so frigid, so unyielding, and yet so alluring to travellers – with visitor numbers rising steadily over recent years. A journey to the seventh continent is one filled with colossal icebergs, waddling penguins, migrating whales, and tales of daring adventures from legendary polar explorers and lifetime memories.

Sail to Antarctica with APT aboard the privately chartered luxurious expedition ship -  Le Boréal. Its size allows guests to go further and see more, with a flexible itinerary that leaves space for maximum discovery. Passionate and knowledgeable guides reveal Antarctica’s secrets, ensuring you absorb all there is to know about this un region.

Departing Ushuaia, you’ll board Le Boréal and cross the Drake Passage. As you journey south, the excitement builds. Once in Antarctica, Zodiacs get you close to the action. Whether it’s front-row seats to watch a waddle of penguins, encounters with orca, humpback, or minke whales, or to visit a scientific base, enjoy it all.

APT offers three Antarctica tours, including the 14-day Antarctic Voyage. After a luxurious three-night stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina, take an included APT private charter flight to Ushuaia where you board your cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, your magical polar adventure begins.

Travellers in Antarctica on a boat

Embrace the cold and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Antarctica. Image: APT Travel Group.


Machu Picchu

If Peru’s Machu Picchu is not on your bucket list, you must have already been. Nestled in the Sacred Valley and east of the Peruvian capital Lima, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most iconic sites. This Incan citadel impresses thanks to its ancient architecture that reveals the secrets of the Incan empire.

When you travel to Machu Picchu with APT, you’re doing with class. On APT’s Best of South America tour, you’ll board the Inca Rail’s first-class train and travel through the Sacred Valley in style. This travel experience gives you the best seats to witness the forested landscapes, verdant valleys, and rushing rivers as you journey to Aguas Calientes.

On site at Machu Picchu, enjoy an immersive day with a local guide. Discover its fascinating heritage and learn why the lost city of the Incas is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There’s also an optional add-on 8-hour Machu Picchu hike if you’re game.

Iguazú Falls

The majestic power of the UNESCO-listed Iguazú Falls is something to be felt as much as seen; pictures don’t do it justice. With 275 waterfalls across 2.7 kilometres, viewable from both Argentina and Brazil, you’ll experience the relentless force of nature when you journey here.

On the Best of South America 18-day group tour, you’ll first visit the Argentinian side of Iguazú Falls, including a ride on the quaint Rainforest Ecological train. Explore a series of walkways and viewing platforms, including views of the largest waterfall, the mighty Devil’s Throat.

On day two, soak up the panoramic views on a leisurely walk between viewing platforms on the Brazilian side of the falls. Part of APT’s tour blueprint is to offer freedom to sightsee, affording customisable add-ons to cater to your interests, desires, and curiosity. At Iguazú Falls, you’ll have the opportunity to see the falls from different perspectives. This includes by jet boat or aboard a helicopter for a bird's eye view.

See wildlife up close on the Galápagos Archipelago. Image: APT Travel Group.
A trip to Machu Picchu offers incredible panoramic views. Image: APT Travel Group.

The Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Archipelago is located around 1,000 km from Ecuador and is made of up of more than 120 islands, islets and rocks. If the untouched, wildlife haven of the Galápagos Islands appeals to you, you won’t want to miss the in-depth 6-day, 5-night inclusion on APT’s 28-day South America Inca Journey with Galapagos Cruise. Considered a living museum, the Galápagos Islands represent one of the best places in the world to see the wildlife and plants in this unique ecosystem.

Across your island travels, meet the local fauna - like giant tortoises, turtles, sea lions, and even pink flamingos, - connect with endangered animal wildlife programs, and uncover the beauty on trails, in caves, and along the stunning shoreline. It’s a whirlwind adventure you’ll be talking about for years.

Optional Galápagos Islands activities include snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding, walking, and more.

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