A cruise to South America is full of culture, history and exotic flavors. It’s the ideal adventure for travelers who like new experiences, beautiful scenery, varying climates, bustling cities and quaint villages.
On longer cruises such as the upcoming 2016 67-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, guests have even more opportunities to experience the ports with five overnight calls in Lima, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Panama City, Panama; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil. By day, these cities are interesting and vibrant, but at night the energy rises to a whole new level and the streets come alive with music, dance and excitement.
If you’re looking to make the most of your evenings ashore, take a look at these five tours and head out for a night on the town.
Lima by Night & Magic Fountains
Lima is the capital of Peru, and it’s not only one of the country’s largest cities but also one of the largest cities in South America. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features grand old buildings, attesting to its longtime role as one of the queen cities of the Spanish empire. This popular place is also one of the gastronomic capitals of the Americas, thanks to Spanish, Andean and Asian influences.
With the Lima by Night & Magic Fountains tour you can get a different view of this vibrant city. You’ll drive through downtown Lima, featuring the Main Square and Plaza San Martin. Then, you’ll take in the Magic Water Circuit of Lima — one of the city’s most visited attractions. The circuit consists of 13 impressive fountains that combine movement, light, sound and images. Here, you’ll be treated to a stand-up show.
NatalieInAK gave the tour five stars on the Holland America Line website and said Lima is worth an evening visit!
“This was a fun excursion for all ages. The fountain park was big and beautiful and it felt very safe. It was great to see so many Lima families there enjoying the fountains. There were plenty of fountain-light shows and interactive fountains that you could run through if you didn’t mind getting a little wet. It was also lovely getting a chance to see Lima and its beautiful architecture all lit up at night. Overall, it was a fun and safe nighttime excursion well worth the money.”
Tango: A Night of Passion & Desire
Buenos Aires, Argentina, is one of South America’s cultural and commercial capitals. You’ll quickly fall in love with this romantic city that magically becomes even more lively at night.
The Tango: A Night of Passion & Desire tour features a marvelously entertaining tango show arranged exclusively for Holland America Line guests. You’ll head to one of the most iconic tango theaters in Buenos Aires for a spectacular presentation of the popular dance. The professional performers will leave you breathless with their skills, timing, passion and stamina. You can also combine this tour with dinner: a three-course meal in opulent surroundings while the dancers get ready for the show.
Diane gave the tour five stars on the Holland America Line website.
“This was one of the most memorable tours of the entire trip. The Tango show was very well done and included a history of Tango told through out the dances. There was drama, comedy, passion and fantastic music.”
Night Out In Rio: Samba Show
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a stunning city with beautiful people who have a contagious lust for life, and there’s no question why it’s nicknamed the “cidade maravilhosa,” or “marvelous city.” By day you can enjoy the breathtaking city views from the top of Corcovado Mountain or Sugar Loaf, and by night you can get a whole different feel for the culture.
The Night Out In Rio: Samba Show shore excursion is a Medallion Collection tour offering a firsthand glimpse of Rio’s fabulous nightlife. You’ll visit a local show house and enjoy a 90-minute live presentation featuring dazzling color, costumes, song and dance of Afro-Brazilian culture. You’ll quickly fall in love with the samba beat and enjoy the most important dance of the world-famous Carnival festival.
An Evening Exploration in the Amazon
Manaus, Brazil, one of the world’s greatest boomtowns, rose to glory as the rubber trade exploded in the late 19th century. Today, the boom-time landmarks still stand. At night, you can enjoy a visit to the world-famous pink-and-white Teatro Amazonas Opera House, a copy of the Grand Opera de Paris.
Guest UKTourist wrote:
This turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. Listening to talented young people perform in such a magnificent venue is something I will always remember. The choice of music was “inspired.”
But if it’s adventure you seek, the Alligators by Night tour is just what you’re looking for. Cross the Rio Negro by riverboat into Lake January to board a covered canoe with an outboard motor. You’ll cruise through the dark and exciting jungle as you closely watch the shadows and listen to mysterious sounds. Your guide will watch for caimans and when he spots one he’ll jump into the water to catch it! You’ll get an incredible up-close look before it is released back into the water.
Fast trip across the lake to caiman areas, with spotter shining light to find caiman. Ours about 3 years old, but still had sharp teeth. Second canoe with naturalist came along side, good descriptions of how caimans lived. Naturalist spoke excellent English, main guide more difficult to understand. Good trip, different experience at night crossing large rivers. Lights of Manaus beautiful at night. — Guest “ecmcd”
Miraflores Locks by Night
Fuerte Amador, or Fort Amador, in Panama was one of the U.S. installations, along with Fort Grant, that guarded the southern end of the Panama Canal. Today, it is a suburb of Panama City and a travel destination.
The Miraflores Locks by Night tour is an exciting opportunity to watch the huge ships that make their way through the Miraflores Locks’ chambers and see the locks up close. You’ll also enjoy the Miraflores Visitor Center, with four different halls depicting the background of the Canal and how it operates. Afterwards, you’ll pass through the former Panama Canal Zone, very much intact and resembling a still life image of the days of the American Administration. You’ll head back to the ship with a whole new appreciation of your recent transit.
GrayGrammy wrote on the Holland America Line website:
This tour, taken the evening before our Eastbound transit, made our adventure through the Panama Canal – especially through the Miraflores Locks – even more interesting and fun. Although we had done a good deal of research before taking our cruise, we learned much more at the Miraflores Visitors Center…
The full 67-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage departs Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 4, 2016. The cruise also can be split into two segments: 36 days from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires, or 31-days from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale, departing Feb. 9.
Remember, you can pre-book your shore excursions online to save time onboard and ensure that you don’t miss your tour of choice! If you want to read or write a review of the tours, click HERE and then click “review.”
Have you spent the night in any of these cities before? What did you enjoy most? Tell us in the comments below.