• Be Amazed at Machu Picchu

  • Walk with a Tortoise in the Galapagos

  • Gaze at Glaciers in Patagonia

  • Feel the Power of Incredible Iguazu

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Our Most Popular South America Tours & Packages

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Welcome To Ideal South America

Any travel agency can sell you a tour. Ideal South America was created to help you find the right experience, perfectly suited to your needs and requirements.

We don’t sell our trips off the peg. We find out about your interests, listen to your needs and understand your concerns to customize the right itinerary for you. All our tours are private, meaning you can go where you want, when you want, and take as much time as you like.

With Ideal South America, you get the best of both worlds. Because we’re a US company, we know what you’re looking for and what’s important to you. We answer your questions right away and make sure you get the information you need. And we also have offices in South America, giving us local, on-the-ground knowledge and expertise.

South America is a fascinating place, it’s our absolute pleasure to share it with you. Welcome, and buen viaje!

Trip Reviews

My wife and I picked Ideal South America to arrange a 21 day trip (October 20 – November 6, 2019) to Peru and the Galapagos Islands. From the first phone call it was obvious that this company is customer focused and detail oriented. The Peru leg of the trip included Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cuzco with guided tours in each location. The Galapagos leg included an 8 day cruise visiting numerous sites on 8 different islands with guided walking tours and snorkeling. All the guides were on time, extremely knowledgeable, spoke English, and anxious to address customer needs. Drivers providing transportation between airports, trains, and hotels were always on time and waiting for us when we arrived. Our 8 day cruise in the Galapagos was on a smaller boat with only 16 passengers and an out-of-this-world guide. We loved the intimacy of the smaller boat and fewer passengers. The entire trip went off without a single hitch and I would not hesitate to recommend using their services to anyone going to South America.

The JacksonsPeru and the Galapagos Islands, Nov. 2019

We had a fantastic trip!! Our guides were awesome! The Amazon cruise was so nice and loved that there was only about 60 people on board and each had a balcony room. Food was great. We loved that we had a private tour guide in Iguazu and Rio. The excursions were fantastic! I have recommended it to all my family and friends already! Will definitely be looking at some of your other tours in other countries for the future!

Evans FamilyBrazil, May 2019

Excellent trip to Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu! We enjoyed the sights and guides were very good. We now know a lot more about tortoises, blue footed boobies, sealions, iguanas, etc. The M/C Cormorant was very nice and there was a good group of people, guests and crew. Opportunity for snorkeling present. Quito, Sacred Valley, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Inca temples, and, of course Machu Picchu were all great. A religious parade in Chinchero was most interesting.

Erik & Lone ChristensenGalapagos & Peru, March 2019

I cannot thank you enough for facilitating the amazing trip to Peru that my sister Annie and I took last week. It was wonderful to NOT have to worry about coping with any details, since Ideal South America had taken care of all of those. The trip had enough structure that we didn’t feel like we were floundering, but we also had the freedom to come and go as we wished. I also want to praise our local guide, Bryan, and our sweet driver, Daquis (?). Both were kind, punctual, and completely professional. My suitcase got left at LAX for five days, and Bryan was very helpful in communicating to the airlines on my behalf. This is not my last trip to South America, that’s for sure, and I will be in touch with Ideal South America in the future! Thank you, thank you.

The Roddas (Annie & Katie)Peru, December 2018

Max and Ideal South America arranged a special trip for my adult children, their spouses and I which included the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Our guide, of Incan heritage, was knowledgeable and prepared, and our driver was the best. Our accommodations were gorgeous. A seamless experience. You will not be disappointed with their services.

The Winters et. al.Peru-Machu Picchu, July 2018

We had a very nice vacation and enjoyed all the places that we visited. The hotel in Calafate was quite far from town so I would not recommend it for someone who is not able to walk far. The rooms are very simple and in need of some updates but the lady who runs it is extremely nice and helpful. We had one dinner there but would not recommend it.

The hotels in Buenos Aires, Salta, Mendoza and Iguazu were good. The hotel in Purmamarca was different. The three nights there were too many. It would have been fine to spend two nights there but it is a very small town and we were able to do the hiking around the mountains the first full day there so there really wasn’t anything to do the last day there. The Finca La Azul was quite nice but again we were far from everything. They did not offer lunch and so we had to walk quite a ways to find a place. They did not always have food service so that was a drawback. Again it seemed that 2 nights there without a car were too many. One night would suffice.

All the sights that we saw were amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed them. The guides and drivers were super friendly and helpful. They were knowledgeable and informative. We thank you for all that you did to make this trip carefree.

The Feric FamilyArgentina, April 2018

Donovan …

First I would like to say that Susan and I were very pleased with our recent vacation to Peru and Ecuador, which was planned and executed by Max and Isabel at Ideal South America. The planning and options phase by Max was very thorough and easy to work through … and most importantly the end result was very rewarding.

We have had the opportunity to travel around the world, and I prefer finding a locally based travel agent with feet on the ground and long-time success with a proven

track record.  Ideal South America fit that bill.  It is always a bit worrisome to pay a good sum of money and put your faith in an organization, when you do not truly know how the trip will

turn out in the end.  Attention to detail, a stable of excellent on-the-ground partners to provide the services, such as we had both in Peru and Ecuador, are obviously critical to providing a

top-notch vacation.

Again, from the detailed trip information to the first airport pick-up, all the venues and adventures, the guides … everything worked out very nicely and that is much appreciated.

Les G. et. al.Ecuador & Peru – May 2017

First, we had a wonderful time and the trip was fun and interesting. We managed not to get sick and did not have any altitude problems. Since you never met us, I will remind you that we are not exactly youngsters, as Judy is in her 70’s and I am 80 next week. We were a little tired when we returned, but that was probably due to the plane ride, rather than the trip itself.  Each of the steps in the trip went according to your careful plans. We had only one small glitch, which was easily reversed when Noe, our greeter in Lima, missed us (and we did not see him) at the airport exit, but he came over to the hotel after we asked the Wyndham concierge to call the travel company. All the other “hand-offs” were on time and waiting for our arrival. Neither we nor our luggage got lost.

The accommodations provided were very nice. The Maison del Angel in Quito was like a museum, and we were practically the only people staying there. The Nemo III catamaran in the Galapagos was a nice boat, and we were with compatible fellow travelers. Only two small complaints here. The boat, in order to make the island-hopping schedule, didn’t sail, but motored. A slight disappointment. The food on the boat was not to our liking, but it was a cruise, not a restaurant. The Galapagos islands were what we expected. Our guide, Alexi, was very knowledgeable and gave us a good understanding about the islands and the wild-life there. The views and the ocean and the birds, fish and sea lions and tortoises, and the lava fields were all magnificent.

In Peru the country was very different from where we live: on the ocean in Massachusetts. The Incan culture and Machu Picchu and the Andes mountains were astounding. The various guides were excellent. The views and the history were great. The hotel in Urubamba (Augusto’s) was excellent. The hotel in Cusco was nice and appropriately centrally located. The flight connections all were appropriate and allowed us to get there without having to rush.

On the whole we were very satisfied with the entire trip. We would give you and your help an A+ rating. We would certainly recommend your service/company to any of our friends seeking a similar South American trip. I have attached a couple of photos. Thanks again.

Alan Diamond and Judy GoldbergPeru & Ecuador - September 2016

Thank you for the most incredible 2 weeks! I have to say, it was rather flawless. We couldn’t believe you arranged for such great weather, the best guides, wonderful hotels, and such an incredible yacht.

Everyone we came in touch with from your organization was on task and incredibly professional.  A well-oiled machine.  A few family pic’s attached for you.

Where should we go next?

Katz familyPeru & Ecuador, December 2017

Hey Donovan – the overall trip exceeded our expectations.  We would definitely recommend the trip, even though it was a bit expensive for our friends, especially with the canadian dollar so low.

Thanks for putting it together for us.

Brian S.Peru & Galapagos – Nov. 2015

HI Max and Donovan,

I would like to thank you for a lovely Trip.  The Coral staff did an awesome job making our vacation spectacular.

The DietrichsEcuador & Galapagos, Dec. 2015, Jan. 2016

Hi Max,

I can’t tell you pleased we were with what you arranged for us. We, I had a great time and the fact that it was so well arranged and every stop, really was a great plus! I didn’t have t worry about a thing, starting out right from the beginning. It really made traveling in Peru and Ecuador a pleasure. We enjoyed the hotels, the upgrade in Puno was the least favorite (only because they changed for internet and offered no bottled water (as the other did – something so simple, means a lot to travelers), the people that met us and the experience in Galapagos was great. The food on the boat was average, but the guide and staff really made it a great/special time.
Walter in Machu Picchu was really great and went out of his way to make it a wonderful adventure. I forget all the people, but they’ll together set our mind at ease in the various stops we made. The train was great, Andean Explorer, long, but great experience beautiful country to see!

Thats again, I will certainly recommend this agency to all that ask!

Dave A.Peru & Galapagos - May 2016


Just wanted to touch base and you let know how great our trip went.  Other than AA losing Jill’s bag (which caused a bit of anxiety), all went perfectly!  Our guides, Israel in Machu Picchu and Pablo in the Galapagos, were incredibly knowledgeable and enjoyable to spend the day with.   The hotels you chose were just as great.  The food in Peru was as good as everyone said.  All in all, I was impressed well beyond my expectations on how enjoyable, educational and adventurous this entire trip was.   Even with the baggage glitch, our contact (Ronaldo) in Cusco did everything possible to help locate the lost bag and bridge the language barrier while talking to airport people.  So, thank you for all your effort with creating this trip for us!

Darin PetersenPeru & Galapagos, Jan. 2016

Hi Donovan the trip through Costa Rica was fabulous. Once again you did an outstanding job giving us a trip to remember. Our guide, Charlie (Carlos) was amazing.

Linda O.Costa Rica, June 2015

I had contracted with Ideal South America (ISA), after checking with eleven other travel agencies.  If you plan on a trip to South America I heartily recommend that you check with ISA, because they are a top quality firm.

Col. Ed SchollEaster Island, Peru & Galapagos, Feb. 2014

We had the best time ever, just an exceedingly wonderful whirlwind tour of Peru and the Galapagos. Your tour guides were so careful and aware of our needs while working our legs off, and so well informed … the kinds of guides that make an experience memorable with their inside knowledge of the Incan culture and history. The Galapagos tour was as wonderful. W. was so knowledgeable about the islands, that from my scientific background, he was the best guide we could have had for the region. The whole crew onboard the yacht was so friendly, always smiling and careful with us, and the cook made excellent meals. The memories that we take from this will last a lifetime, and although we were too close to the hot sun, too high in the altitude and too hot and sweaty, this too was part of the exhilarating experience that will be in our memories.

Jane E. & Sue W.Peru, Galapagos, April 2014

As promised, a while back, I am sending you some pictures from our trip to Peru. As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time! We loved the drive up to 16,000 feet, seeing the condors in Colca Canyon and, of course, Machu Picchu.  In Machu Picchu we did the hike to the Inca Bridge. A little scary since there were no barriers between us and the 1000 foot cliff!  The climb up Wayna Picchu was also fabulous.  Again, scary but well worth it. We also loved Cusco.

All of our guides were so wonderful, especially Jose, our guide in Cusco and Machu Picchu.

We are planning to possibly going to Patagonia in three years so I will contact you about that trip at that time.

The Eid-Heberle FamilyPeru, June 2013

I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for planning and delivering an incredible trip! Alyssa and I had an amazing time roaming through Peru and the Galapagos Islands. So many great experiences that it’s hard to pick which one was best. Along the way we experienced very friendly and prompt service and each accommodation fit our needs perfectly. Our only regret is that we weren’t able to spend more time in South America, which only means that we’ll be coming back! Again, thank you so much for creating this wonderful trip and we very much look forward to coming back and using your services again.

PS.  We got engaged in the Galapagos Islands

Jake & AlyssaPeru and Galapagos, March 2013

“We had a wonderful time on our trip. Everything went really smoothly and we enjoyed all of our excursions. It was the trip of a lifetime for us. The scenery was absolutely incredible and we also saw some amazing wildlife….penguins, sea lions, flamingos, rheas, guanacos and even a fox. It was so nice to have all of our transfers and excursions arranged and well-organized. We really liked the personalized service and attention.”

Falston Family, CaliforniaArgentina - Patagonia, Jan 2013

Our trip was wonderful!  Everything was well organized, hotels were great, and the weather was close to perfect.  We really enjoyed Rubin, our driver in Sacred Valley and Cusco.  Adriana and Craig were able to converse with him pretty well.  Edith, our tour guide for Lake Titicaca, was also exceptionally good.

Thank you.  You put together a very memorable trip for us.

Lewis Family, PennsylvaniaPeru Tour, January 2013

We enjoyed the vacation. The accommodations are great, the places we saw exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is way better than the pictures show. The Galapagos trip is also great. I guess the best way to describe it is – YOU BETTER SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!

I wish I had extended the trip by a few more days. The Galapagos trip should have been at least a week. And a visit to the Nazca lines should have been the icing on the cake.

Thank you and your staff for arranging the trip for us. Till next time.

Sonny & Amanda Penzalan, California Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Nov-Dec 2012

We are back we had a great time. Thanks for your careful planning. The Andes were spectacular, the yacht was terrific … the Galapagos amazing. The guides … were wonderful.

Schreibers, FloridaEcuador-Galapagos, March 2013

The trip to Ecuador and Peru was great!  We felt that all of the guides, drivers, and transfers were excellent.  Everything went well and we really enjoyed the entire trip.

Sue Clark & Family, WashingtonPeru & Ecuador, December 2012