South America travel guide: Traversing two hemispheres and bordering two giant oceans, South America is where travelers can dive into some diverse, vibrant culture and get an opportunity to get on some deep explorations. South America comprises twelve sovereign states. From the massive skyscrapers to the jungle of the Amazon— South America has all that you can ever dream of. The food, the culture, the natural wonders, this part of the earth has made sure there is something for everyone. Some of the most visited places include Machu Picchu, the Galápagos Islands, Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, and of course, there’s much more. Our South America Travel guide covers & wraps up everything that every leisure traveler needs to know. So ready to hit the beaches of Rio and explore the foodie culture of Argentina eh? Great Call! Don’t press back, read the full article so you can make the SMARTEST investment of time & money. We share, because we CARE!
1. Best time to visit South America
2. South America Culture
3. Interesting Facts about South America
4. Best Cities in South America
5. Languages in South America
6. Best Things to See in South America
The weather conditions in Europe & Asia are completely different from that of South America for obvious reasons. As we discussed in the first part of this South America Travel Guide, it is located in the southern hemisphere, unlike other continents.
Summer: October to January
Autumn: February to April
Winter: May to August
Spring: September & October
The best time to travel to South America will also depend upon the kind of activities you are intending to do. South America comprises a massive part of the planet and the rainy season in different countries fall in different parts of the year. So, if you are planning adventure travel, always check the official website of the country.
Since South America is a huge continent with 12 different sovereign states all with varied geographical conditions, the best time to visit through all these states isn’t the same. While Patagonia would be having a high season, it could be scorchingly hot in the Atacama— that’s about South America. With this South America travel guide, we intend to bring you a brief idea about everything you might need to know before booking a vacation package.
Here’s a Sneak Peek into a few of the top destinations in South America:
Best time to Travel to Patagonia: Summer
Best time to Travel to Atacama desert: March to April & October to November
Best time to Travel to Bolivian and Peruvian Mountains: Summer
For now, we’re gonna say that the best time to travel to South America in October to March, however, this is not always the case. So, before you book your vacation package check our upcoming article on the best time to visit different parts of South America, we’ll keep you posted on Leisure.com’s Top Cities page.
Music & Dance Culture in South America: Music & dance culture are engraved in most parts of South America. Some of the most popular forms include tango from Argentina and Uruguay & samba and bossa nova from Brazil. And, South America has also been an enlightened country with many great authors including Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges & Isabel Allende.
Drinking Culture in South America: The drinking culture in South America is inclusive with a huge number of pubs, bars & the home overpopulated with cellars. The people in South America celebrate everything with drinks— and that’s almost common. They believe, the more the merrier and they even invite leisure travelers into their homes for celebrations happening.
However, the people of South America do not support hard liquors and are happy with their wine & beer. Some of the most popular drinks South Americans love to drink are Cerveza y vino Tinto o Blanco & Pisco Sour. But with our South America, we would like to inform you that you must be cognizant of the fact that you might stumble upon drunkards and alcoholics on your leisure vacation— so be aware when you are drinking with strangers. You can be tricked and rendered unconscious by mixing something up in your drinks.
South America houses the second-largest swimming pool in the world. San Alfonso del Mar located in Chile is 80,000 sq m is the largest in South America & the second-largest in the world.
South America is home to two of the pristine tropical forests that exist today around the world— the Amazon rainforest & the Iwokrama Forest (it is one of the few habitats that still exist).
South America comprises 12 countries including— Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Suriname, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, and Ecuador. Besides these independent states, there are others— French Guiana (France) South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands (UK), and Falkland Islands (UK).
South America houses the world’s largest mountain range that spans about 7,000 km. The Andes is located in the western part of the continent and it is the largest mountain range in the world.
South America is home to five cities from the list of 50 largest cities in the world that include— Santiago, Bogota, São Paulo, Rio, and Lima.
Over 300 languages are spoken in South America and the most common ones include Portuguese, Spanish & English.
Most Leisure travelers have reviewed South America as the perfect urban escape— from numerous magical scenery to the fabulous food, and diverse culture, everything is JUST superb. We’ve prepared this South America Travel Guide keeping a lifetime adventure trip of a lifetime for leisure travelers. South America is a place that boasts incredible people, epic nature, vibrant colors, and much more. So, let’s see where you can see & experience all of it.
Our South America Travel Guide list of top 10 cities to travel in South America lists Cuzco, Peru. For many, this might be different, but leisure travelers have rated this UNESCO World Heritage site, the top city. You’ll get to see a variety of architectural & archeological artifacts belonging to ancient times.
Rio de Janeiro found the second spot on the list of our South America Travel guide— quite a popular place. It’s a gem on the planet and every leisure travel trip to South America must include Rio de Janeiro. From the 30-meter-tall statue of Christ the Redeemer to unbeatable coastal views— everything is just unmissable.
Buenos Aires is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Paris of South America’, and that said, we hope you realize why we’ve placed this city in our South America Travel Guide list of top cities to travel to. The city is most popularly known for “football”, “Tango”, “Steak”, and “Red wine”-- it attracts travelers for its elegance & sophistication.
With a huge number of skyscrapers & mountains, Santiago deserves a mention in any South America Travel guide list of best cities. For art lovers, Forest Park is the heaven where they get to experience art that stretches from the pre-Colombian era through contemporary.
Sucre is one of the best Spanish cities in South America and it one of the most Instagrammable cities in the world. For being an outrageously photogenic city and for its UNESCO World Heritage site status, Sucre finds a name in the South America Travel Guide list of top cities.
Other top Cities to Travel to according to Leisure South America Travel Guide are:
- Cartagena, Colombia
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Valparaíso – Chile
- Quito, Ecuador
- Medellin, Colombia
While how you would be able to interact will depend on the country you are traveling to, in this South America Travel Guide, we’ll talk about some of the official languages spoken across the continent— Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), English (Guyana and the Falkland Islands), French (French Guiana), and Dutch (Suriname).
Besides the official languages, a number of other indigenous dialects are commonly spoken across South America— and Spanish is spoken in most of the countries. So, if you wish not to get dumped asking for a pizza at a restaurant, learn Spanish, just the common keywords would do. These keywords & phrases will help you navigate through restaurants & restaurants. Here is a snippet of what you need to learn:
Me llama— My name
Gracias— Thank you
Por favor, ayúdame— Please help me
No entiendo— I don’t understand
Habla inglés— Do you speak English
Dónde está el baño— Where’s the bathroom
The Amazon river basin houses the biggest rainforest in the world, spanning approximately 40 percent of South America and around seven million square kilometers. It includes eight countries of South America— Suriname, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, and French Guiana. You can enjoy activities like hiking, flying, and boating around this mystical rainforest.
Angel Falls, buried deep in the heart of the jungles of the country, is the world’s highest waterfall. The view of the waterfall plummeting dramatically into a pool of water is just a magical thing to witness here. We wanted to list this spot in our South America Travel Guide for the kind of reviews it has gotten from our readers.
We could not have missed this in our South America Travel Guide— it is one of the most visited and iconic spots across the continent. Snuggled in the slopes of the Andes, Machu Picchu ruins take us through a journey of the past, the Inca Empire. And, if you want to add an element of adventure hike through the Inca Trail to arrive in Machu Picchu.