This beautiful and magnificent continent is home to so many natural wonders that it’s hard to pinpoint just one! Diversity could very easily be its second name. Nestled between two oceans, The Atlantic on the East and the Pacific on the West, Latin America is a promised land for nature lovers, adventure seekers, foodies, culture and history enthusiasts, and all who just love to explore and have fun.
This vast continent has given so much to the world, and it keeps on giving. Here you can find unspoiled forests, jungles, rugged mountains, deserts, and big cities bustling with life. With its rich legacy of history and culture, it is perfect for expanding horizons and take in new knowledge.
The countries may seem to have a lot in common at first glance, but they do differ, and this is what spices up the entire journey. One thing is certain – an adventure of a lifetime awaits you!
Since it’s virtually impossible to see and do all in just one visit, the following short and informative travel guide will help you cherry pick those ultimate best destinations and landmarks of this enchanting continent.
Map of South America
What to see and do in South America
Taste the raw wilderness of the Amazon
There are many ways to experience the lungs of our world. Whether you decide to see it from the air, hike in the bushes, take a boat tour, sleep in the huts- you are about to have an unforgettable experience. Amazon river and its surroundings are fascinating! Enjoy the nature and the wildlife.
This historic Inca city in Peru is a postcard image of South America. With well-preserved ruins of Incas architecture, it attracts countless of visitors every year. For them, seeing the lost city from the 15th century is a peak of their travels.
Tango in Buenos Aires and samba in Rio
Argentina’s charming capital Buenos Aires is a combination of all good things in life. It’s the second largest city in South America, and many compare it to Paris. The stunning architecture, passion for life, cafe culture, renowned cuisine, never ending nightlife all help add up to its reputation of a place that steals hearts. There’s much to see and do in Buenos Aires, but one thing is sure – the need to learn how to tango and dance the night away!
National parks and trekking
It seems like the majestic land of South America was made for walking amongst many of its wonders of nature. You can choose from national parks such as Lauca National Park in Chile, Iguazu National Park or Tierra del Fuego National Park, both in Argentina, and Pantanal Matogrossense National Park in Brazil.
Terrains range from rugged mountains and snow-capped peaks, mysterious jungles, and parched deserts.
Countries of South America offer a colorful spectrum of different types of accommodations, from the very budget-friendly ones to the luxurious high-end resorts. All in all, Latin America is quite easy on the budget. Hostels’ dorm rooms can cost as little as 8 USD on average, although realistically you’ll pay between 10-25 USD per night. The exact price depends on the country, location, season and often destination’s popularity. Most of the countries offer Airbnb and have Couchsurfing communities.
Food and drinks
The price of foods and drinks depends on the country, time of visit and also the location of the restaurant. The cheapest options are food stalls or small, family-run restaurants where you’ll pay little but usually eat well. For example, eating on a budget will cost you an average of 15 USD per day in Brazil and around 11 USD in Peru. South American cuisine is delicious and varied. So don’t hold back and try local dishes and specialties. Be careful when it comes to drinking tap water. It’s not completely safe to drink in all countries. That’s why it’s best to double check and stick to bottled water. It’s quite inexpensive. Most hotels use filters, but to play it safe, you can also boil the water. Alcohol is relatively inexpensive as well. You’ll be able to enjoy a pint of domestic beer around 2 USD. Liquor prices aren’t too high either.
Getting around such an enormous space can be challenging. Buses are a good, safe, quite reliable, and a budget-friendly option to travel in-between cities and countries. Choose your bus operator wisely. Flights are usually quite pricey. Renting a car or a van will allow you to explore at own pace and terms. But keep in mind roads can be tricky and full of not so pleasant surprises. World’s most dangerous road is Yungas Road in Bolivia. How safe hitchhiking is, depends on the country. Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay are said to be safe, but you may want to skip sticking your finger out in Colombia.
Depend on your preferences. Tours and treks that take days are understandably more expensive. Entry to the Casa Del Arbol, Baños in Ecuador where you can have the wildest swing of your life cost around a dollar. You can save loads if you travel during low season, book online and in advance.