South America is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Every country has its own rich culture and incredibly diverse landscapes that will leave you wanting more. Of course, food is another key factor – we all know and love Mexican food, but South American cuisine is so much more than that! It’s a foodie’s paradise! The continent’s history dates back to 3000 BC, meaning that there are so many ancient ruins to discover and treks to be done. Wherever you’ll head to during your travels, you won’t be disappointed!
If you’re looking for an epic trip full of discoveries, then South America is the place to go. Between Bogota’s skyscrapers and the jaw-dropping Amazon rainforest, the landscapes are so strikingly different. There is something to suit everyone! Whether you want to sit back and relax by the beach or go on a backpacking adventure, you’ll find your dream destination in South America!
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a popular tourist destination in South America. Known as the “city of contrasts”, its pristine white beaches are combined with skyscrapers and also green and mountainous surroundings. The city offers lakes and tropical forests yet plenty of busy city life with turquoise waters to be admired.
Rio de Janeiro holds Brazil’s largest carnival celebrations every year. It is the largest street party in the world, and tourists and locals flock to the event to celebrate!
For fellow foodies, you will love visiting Rio de Janeiro. The stunning city has a wide variety of food which is a source of local pride. Its local food is hearty and comforting, such as Brazilian Feijoada (or Bean Stew) or Picadinho (Meat Stew). If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll have to taste Brigadeiro, which is basically a hot chocolate cake! It’s a strong part of Rio de Janeiro’s dessert scene!
Machu Picchu, in Peru, is a sight for sore eyes. You will fall for its frost-peaked mountains and striking views. The ancient ruins are a spectacular backdrop for your next backpacking trip. The site dates back to the 15th century, and was abandoned one hundred years after its construction.
If you love treks, then this will make your itinerary! Machu Picchu is popular for its hiking trail. The Inca trail is chosen by hundreds of tourists every year, so make sure you book in advance! Discover the different abandoned ruins and see the sights for yourself from the highest point. You will be led to the Inca citadel, where you can admire the inspiring landscapes.
Lima, the capital of Peru, has plenty to offer for any type of traveler. The City of Kings’ food, nightlife and architecture are truly unique and will ensure that you will have a good time, no matter what you decide to do! Its beaches are dreamy and give you plenty of opportunities to ace your water sport skills.
You can surf at Punta Roquitas and practice riding those waves. Punta Hermosa is also another picturesque surfing spot which is only an hour out from the city.. However, if you’re seeking a more relaxing beach experience, then Asia Beach will be your favorite place to go. It is known for its luxury apartments and shopping mall.
Lima is an often-overlooked destination despite its strong cultural identity. Its art scene is one to watch out for during your stay. The colorful streets are lined with artwork sold by local artists, and street art to be marveled.
Then there are its more traditional techniques through Peruvians’ craftwork. Peruvian weaving is sold at the local markets, and each village has its own distinctive pattern. The weavings are made out of alpaca, sheep or llama wool, and the talented locals create table runners, scarves and ponchos.
The idyllic island of Aruba is located in the south Caribbean and is part of South America. Its beaches are pristine, and are barefoot-friendly. Its sands are a unique crushed coral and shell composition, giving you that white, super soft effect. Thanks to this, you can walk on the sands even in hotter temperatures.
Its water sports are another reason why we love Aruba’s beaches. You can take part in underwater activities, of course but you can even get into windsurfing and kitesurfing to change things up a little! Aruba is perfect for adventurous spirits!
Great weather all year round
The weather will never disappoint when you travel to Aruba. The “happy island” sits under the hurricane belt, so even if you might catch the odd rainfall and storms between September and December, you’ll have great temperatures all year round! Its sunshine is pretty much uninterrupted, so you can enjoy those sun rays throughout your trip.
The Colombian capital is becoming a tourist hotspot in South America. It has previously been underrated, despite being rich in cultural, fashion and historical experiences. It is the home to many events throughout the year, such as events on travel, design, art and more recently Fashion Weeks.
Another must-see is Bogotá’s Gold Museum, which contains over 55,000 pieces of carved, pressed or cut gold that has been melted or forged into objects or jewelry by Colombia’s indigenous communities. The museum explains the objects and their background, and which peoples created them.
Coffee fiends will love Bogotá – Colombian is of course well known for its coffee culture, but the best produce is usually exported. However, you can still find great coffee in the city. Azahar, a café founded by travelers, was created to recreate a relationship between local farmers and Colombian people. The coffees are traceable back to the original farmer, and on each bag you can see information about the farmer and the plantation.
Santiago’s food scene is developing rapidly and is one of the biggest reasons to visit the Chilean capital. Six of Latin America’s edition of World’s 50 Best Restaurants came from this city, and the highest ranked was at number 5.
Any good meal needs wine to compliment it, and Chilean wine is gaining more and more notoriety. Some of the country’s oldest vineyards are in the surrounding areas of Santiago. You can visit some of the finest winemakers, such as Concho Y Toro, which is one of the largest winemakers in the world.
Though Santiago itself boasts sandy beaches and a sunny climate, just a short hour out from the capital, you can go skiing in the Andes from July to October. You can visit one of the valleys such as Valle Nevado, El Colorado or La Parva. It’s time to hit those slopes! Tourists recommend bringing your own ski equipment as the rentals in Santiago and its surrounding towns and villages aren’t of high quality.
Cartagena has become a popular tourist destination within South America. Here, you get the best of what the Americas have to offer – colorful architecture, Caribbean weather and sandy beaches. What more could you ask for?
There are city beaches in the Bocagrande and La Boquilla neighborhoods that will allow you to kick back and relax, all while enjoying the postcard-like views. Grab a book, some sun cream and enjoy the best of Cartagena’s beaches!
The city is loved for its romantic atmosphere and is often chosen by newlyweds for destination weddings or honeymoons. It is also reputed for its incredible boutique hotels overlooking the picturesque turquoise waters and white beaches.
If you’re seeking a unique experience, then there are plenty of romantic things to do with someone special in Cartagena. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city at night time. The chauffeur can give you a guided tour of the stunning city in a romantic setting.
Buenos Aires is the perfect destination for the style-conscious traveler. Argentines are often considered the best-dressed South Americans, and they are heavily inspired by European fashion. The city has plenty of shopping opportunities for all budgets. You can shop at the Galerías Pacífico in the beautiful Beaux Arts style building for a picturesque shopping experience. Its glamorous surroundings are perfect for a luxury shopper, holding brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
It is also the home to many independent designers, and you can shop for something special to bring back as a souvenir!
Buenos Aires is known for its strikingly colorful neighborhoods, which totally represents the city’s quirky character. Not only do they make a great Instagram opportunity, but each neighborhood has its own charm.
You can also enjoy the city’s green spaces and gardens for picnics and basking in the summer sun. The botanical gardens in Buenos Aires are the perfect place to stop and just take in the beautiful surroundings. There are 6000 species of trees and plants for a diverse landscape.