I hear there are some great cruises that depart from ports in South America. Can you recommend something to me?

You are right... There are some wonderful cruise options in South America, from large ships to small expedition ships. A typical itinerary for those wishing to cruise this area is from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (Santiago) or vice versa and it takes 12-14 days in duration depending on the number of ports of call. On this cruise you will experience thrilling culture, breath-taking scenery and fabulous wildlife.

After leaving the temptations of Buenos Aires, first stop is Punta Del Este in Uruguay, an upscale resort boasting excellent beaches, beautiful seaside mansions, tree lined streets, chic boutiques and stylish people. If you have ever wanted a glimpse of the Southern Right Whale then Puerto Madryn in Argentina could be your lucky place as the Valdes Peninsula is a known hang out for these giants.

Add in a stop to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands then on to Cape Horn, located on the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile and worth seeing just for the bragging rights. Cruises continue to Punta Arenas, where the imposing mansions of the sheep barons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries line the streets. Local custom holds that visitors who rub the foot of the Magellan statue in the central Plaza de Armas will have good luck, and return again... And then, when you think it simply cannot get any better, the impressive Amalia Glacier appears.

This area of the world has more fjords than Norway, so be prepared to be impressed. Disembarking in the port town of Valparaiso - the gateway to Santiago, which is two hours away. It's important to either book a cruise which includes the transfer (as this could be an expensive taxi ride) or spend a few days in this colourful and historic town framed by the distant snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera.

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Sally Sutton
helloworld
St Heliers



I've heard South America isn't safe for solo travel for females, would you recommend a tour?

South America is a beautiful, diverse country that has always attracted travellers because of its fascinating history and geography, the wild romance and the incredible array of natural wonders. For all travellers whether solo, female, male, groups, families; South America offers an array of travel adventures.

Solo female travellers to South America do not need to be concerned as the people are some of the friendliest and most inviting hosts you will find (if a bit opinionated, but then who isn't about their country?). As long as you are aware of the risks in each country you travel through, are sensible about where you stay and conscious of your personal security, you can travel through South America without any problems.

There are many great tours that can show you through the great sights of South America; World Journeys has many fully inclusive holidays which take the stress out of travelling. The company is very accommodating and their tours mean you don't have to organise your accommodation nor do you have to worry about where you're staying. World Journeys will help you see and experience South America while feeling safe and secure.

Just a couple of things to remember when travelling through South America:

• Listen to your intuition, your gut instincts; if something doesn't feel right then go with how you feel.
• Be informed. Talk to us at helloworld or check out each country or area in advance so you are clear on the safe places to visit. Talk to and get advice from friendly locals or other travellers.
• If travelling independently arrive in an area during the day and book a hotel in a safe area.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Don't wear expensive jewellery and wear modest appropriate clothing

Katie Williamson
helloworld
Warkworth


I'm spending a week at the Olympics in Rio - what's a great place to visit for a week-long break afterwards?

Staying on in Brazil gives you the opportunity to see two of the country's experiences that shouldn't be missed - Iguazu Falls and the Amazon. Flying from Rio, you could stay three nights at Iguazu visit the amazing Iguazu Falls from both the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side over a couple of days.

Then, fly up to Manaus and see the mighty Amazon which is the second largest river in the world and home to some amazing wildlife and birdlife. You can travel by motorised canoe into the jungle and see the fascinating "meeting of the waters" where the Solimoes River and the Rio Negro flow side by side for several kilometres maintaining their own distinct colouring before merging.

For the ultimate South American experience, head out to the Galapagos Islands to do one of the many cruises exploring this unique archipelago - home to an abundance of wildlife unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Linda Abraham
helloworld
Thames

I hear there are some great cruises that depart from ports in South America. Can you recommend something to me?

You are right... There are some wonderful cruise options in South America, from large ships to small expedition ships. A typical itinerary for those wishing to cruise this area is from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (Santiago) or vice versa and t takes 12-14 days in duration depending on the number of ports of call. On this cruise you will experience thrilling culture, breath-taking scenery and fabulous wildlife.

After leaving the temptations of Buenos Aires, first stop is Punta Del Este in Uruguay, an upscale resort boasting excellent beaches, beautiful seaside mansions, tree lined streets, chic boutiques and stylish people. If you have ever wanted a glimpse of the Southern Right Whale then Puerto Madryn in Argentina could be your lucky place as the Valdes Peninsula is a known hang out for these giants.

Add in a stop to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands then on to Cape Horn, located on the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile and worth seeing just for the bragging rights. Cruises continue to Punta Arenas, where the imposing mansions of the sheep barons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries line the streets. Local custom holds that visitors who rub the foot of the Magellan statue in the central Plaza de Armas will have good luck, and return again... And then, when you think it simply cannot get any better, the impressive Amalia Glacier appears.

This area of the world has more fjords than Norway, so be prepared to be impressed. Disembarking in the port town of Valparaiso - the gateway to Santiago, which is two hours away. It's important to either book a cruise which includes the transfer (as this could be an expensive taxi ride) or spend a few days in this colourful and historic town framed by the distant snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera.

Sally Sutton
helloworld
St Heliers

Great adventure spots in Brazil

- Travel to Manaus (about 4 hours flight time from Rio) and explore the Amazon, either staying in a jungle lodge or onboard a cruise. Here you can explore the jungle and travel by boat along the Amazon river to view amazing wildlife - caiman (a type of alligator), birds and maybe even an anaconda. You can also try your hand at piranha fishing.

- Visit the 1520sq km Chipada Diamantina National Park, in the Bahia region, and hike amongst the spectacular scenery - including caves, waterfalls, orchids, and cacti. Wildlife includes macaws, monkeys and deer, and for the extremely lucky perhaps even a jaguar. The area also features charming old diamond-mining towns, such as Lencois, where you can base yourself for trips into the park.

- See the dune desert of the "Brazilian Sahara" in Lencois Maranhenses National Park. While there is a sweeping desert-like landscape, the park (which lies just outside the Amazon basin) has a heavy rainfall at the beginning of the year, which leaves small lakes dotted throughout the dunes - some even with fish, who are swept in during heavy rains when some of the lakes connect to the river.

For more information: helloworld.co.nz