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Eating and Food in South America

The cost of all meals is included in our Classic group tours. You may like to drink beer, soft drinks, fruit juice or bottled water with your meals – please note drinks are not included in your tour price so payment for these is to be made directly to the restaurant staff.

On Go Beyond tours, meal inclusions are listed in your itinerary. On occasion you will have the opportunity for some free time around meal times to experience the local restaurants for yourself. At these times meals will be at your own expense.

The meals which are included in your tour are clearly stated on each individual day of the itinerary. Breakfast could include a combination of western and local dishes. Lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style or at local restaurants, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of most people, so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking.

If you like South and Central American food from home, you will have no problems as it is similar, only more flavoursome. In tourist centres some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home. Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer and wine is widely available. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks and fruit juices are also widely available and hotels will usually serve tea and coffee at breakfast or other meals. Please be aware that on some days where a lot of sights are covered, dinner times may be early (around 5.30pm) and your tour group may head directly to the restaurant after sightseeing. Additionally, long driving distances or flight times, for example, may delay/alter your mealtime.

Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days. Any food allergies/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and should be reiterated to the National Escort when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies. We unfortunately can give no guarantee that special requirements can be met and whilst travelling away from major cities, it is highly recommended that those passengers with food intolerances take additional food items with them as not all dietary requests will be met due to the limited foods available.


Argentinian food incorporates many European influences predominantly from Italy and Spain. The Argentinian barbeque (asado) with steak and ribs is widely recognised as the countries national dish, however in Patagonia lamb, goat and seafood are popular. Empanadas, stuffed pastry parcels, are a traditional snack and Dulce de leche (similar to caramel) features heavily in
desserts throughout the country. Lunch usually seen as the main meal of the day in Argentina with dinner being a lighter dish. Whilst we strongly recommend trying as many local dishes as possible, Argentina also has a wide range of international foods available.


Brazilian food is strongly influenced by European and African cuisines, whilst there is not a single national cuisine there is an assortment of regional traditional dishes. In Rio and Sao Paulo the
Brazilian Feijoada is the traditional dish, a stew made from meat and black beans. In Northern Brazil Cassava (a root vegetable) features heavily in meals. Popular dishes throughout the country include rice and beans, served with meat and salad, fresh tropical fruit is a common dessert. Typical snacks include Pao de queijo (cheese bread), Coxinha which is a chicken croquette, and Kibe which is a bulgar wheat and beef croquette. Whilst we strongly
recommend trying as many local dishes as possible, Brazil also has a wide range of international foods available; pizza is widely known as a favourite amongst many Brazilians.


Bolivian food is a fusion of indigenous and Spanish culinary influences, offering a delightful array of flavors and textures that showcase the country's rich cultural heritage. Staples of Bolivian cuisine include potatoes, corn, beans and quinoa and are often served alongside staples that were brought by the Spanish such as beef, pork and wheat. One iconic dish is salteñas, savory pastries filled with juicy meat, vegetables, and a hint of spiciness, perfect for breakfast or as a quick snack. Another beloved staple is the hearty and flavorful Silpancho, consisting of a breaded beef cutlet served over a bed of rice, potatoes, and fried eggs. Then there is Plato Paceño, a vibrant combination of lima beans, potatoes, corn, and cheese and often with beef, creating a comforting and satisfying meal. Bolivia's diverse geography also contributes to its gastronomy, with dishes like saice, a spicy beef stew with potatoes, highlighting the country's Andean roots. A quintessential snack is the delectable cuñapé, a cheesy bread roll baked to golden perfection. 



The diversity of the landscape, provides Chile a tremendous amount of produce, meat and seafood, essentially unparalleled in the rest of the world. The unique environments are well represented in Chilean cuisine, being equally as varied. Typical dishes are hearty and filling, containing a combination of meat or seafood and vegetables, often put into a crust. A great example of Chilean cuisine are empanadas, which are fried beef, onion and olive dumplings, served all throughout the country. Others include a thick stew called cazuela de ave and an indigenous recipe of corn, onions cooked in cornhusks called humitas. Because of its long coast,
seafood is a staple in many dishes, especially across the centre and south. Chile’s supply is funnelled into Spanish-influenced dishes such as marinated shrimp and paella. Meals in Chile are culturally considered as a time for families to gather at home, especially around lunchtime, which is the primary meal of the day.



Peruvian food incorporates dishes introduced by the indigenous population and from a wide variety of immigrant populations from Europe, Asia and Africa. The four traditional staples of the
diet are corn, potatoes, legumes and grains such as quinoa. The diversity of climates and altitudes in Peru have a strong influence on what is eaten – close to the sea, ceviche containing
fish is popular, whilst in the Andes, meat from indigenous animals such as alpacas and guinea pigs are eaten. A typical dish from this region is pachamanca, a variety of meats, herbs and vegetables slow cooked underground with heated stones. Savour the food in Lima, it is Latin America’s gastronomic capital! Peru also has plenty of international cuisine options.