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Reasons to Travel with a Small Group to South America

Written by Peter Lauffer
June 11, 2021

When the phrase "group tour" is mentioned, many may think of a horde of chattering, photo-snapping tourists who are transported from one site to the next by a flag-waving tour guide. But aside from such clichés, there are viable alternatives—including for individualists.

One option is a small group tour that combines the advantages of group travel with the ability to individually explore various fascinating destinations along the way. 

Rail South America's Small Group Journeys allow you to explore each destination with a knowledgeable local guide. At most of the destinations, you will have some time to explore the site apart from the group and pursue your own unique interests. Additionally, a Tour Leader accompanies the tour group throughout the entire journey to coordinate accommodations, transportation, meals, etc. The Tour Leader’s job is to make the trip as worry-free for you as possible. 

Inside a Passenger Carriage of the Expreso del Sur between Oruro and Villazon, Bolivia
Inside a Passenger Carriage of the Expreso del Sur between Oruro and Villazon, Bolivia

There are many reasons to take a Small Group Trip with Rail South America. 

Experience a journey with like-minded friends.

Together you experience more, and the adventures become even more significant when you share them with your new friends from the tour group. Travelers on a given tour usually have similar interests, so it is easy to quickly make new friends. Sometimes these friendships are maintained long after you return home from your trip.

The composition of the Small Tour Group 

How well the group harmonizes also depends on the right mix of travelers. Judging from our years of experience, the more colorful and diverse the group, the better! Tour Groups at Rail South America are composed of English-speaking travelers from all around the world, and exploring the sites with travel companions from other cultural backgrounds can add a special richness to the tour experience. In addition, the tour group mixes together solo travelers, couples, and long-time friends in one tour group so that you will feel comfortable whatever your background may be. 

Hydrangeas Farm near Rio Verde, Colombia
Hydrangeas Farm near Rio Verde, Colombia

No extra costs for solo travelers

Like some other tour operators, Rail South America offers a Half-Double Room option to our solo travelers. Choosing this option, a solo traveler shares the hotel room with another traveler of the same sex, and the single room surcharges do not apply. We actively search on your behalf for another tour participant to share the hotel room, but in case no travel partner can be found, you as a solo traveler have the option to pay the single supplement or be reimbursed for your deposit payment.

Convenience of planning

When it comes to planning and organizing a trip, many travelers drive themselves crazy. They read one guidebook after another and struggle to plan an itinerary that matches their time frame and budget. You, however, can relax, knowing that all the details are already arranged for your journey with Rail South America. Moreover, we introduce you to destinations and sites that would difficult to visit on your own because they are either not accessible by public transport or too remote for private transportation to be arranged at a reasonable cost. 

When you join a small travel group, comfortable private transportation is part of the trip, and remote destinations can be reached with relative ease.

Uyuni Salt Lake Small Group Expedition
Uyuni Salt Lake Small Group Expedition

Freedom for your discoveries

On a Small Group Tour, the day is not exhaustively planned from early morning to evening. Traveler highlights are an integral part of tours, but there must still be time and space for optional activities and your personal discoveries. Whether you love to go shopping, sit comfortably on a terrace drinking coffee, wine, or beer, visit a museum, or relax on the beach, these individual activities create incredible memories as part of your overall travel experience. At Rail South America, we choose our hotels carefully so that whenever possible, important sites, restaurants, and shops are just a short distance away.  

The tour guide: your friend and helper

The Tour Leader is your point of contact for all questions, challenges, and opportunities, facilitating and enriching your trip immensely. He or she talks off the cuff, reports on experiences, translates, reveals local insider tips, gives recommendations, assists you should you need a doctor or pharmacy, provides introductions and deals with formalities, etc. The Tour Leader travels as a member of the group throughout the entire journey, celebrating with you the many discoveries and incredible experiences of the tour. In addition, local guides are brought in at key points to explain specific sites we visit, further enhancing the experience.

Visiting the Cerro Rico Mine in Potosi, Bolivia
Visiting the Cerro Rico Mine in Potosi, Bolivia

Peace of mind

Unforeseen challenges sometimes arise during a trip. In these rare cases when the itinerary must be modified (e.g., a change of route or alternative mode of transport is required), you are in knowledgeable, experienced hands, and your loved ones back home will have a contact person they can rely on.

Unique, elusive experiences

Small-group journeys can include travel destinations and sites that are difficult to access on your own. At Rail South America, we coordinate amazing experiences such as train journeys on remote railroads, tours of historic facilities, meals in exotic places, and luxury adventures that are not typically bookable. Participating in a Small Group Tour lets you experience unique and unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. 

Perurail Titicaca Train in Juliaca, Peru
Perurail Titicaca Train in Juliaca, Peru
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