Are you ready to explore and experience one of the most exciting and diverse continents in the world?
South America is home to some of the most stunning landscapes, unique cultures, and vibrant cities. With over 20 countries and countless attractions, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. Plus, it’s estimated that South American travel generates a whopping $253 billion every year in tourism revenue.
So why not join millions of other travelers in exploring its vibrant and captivating landscapes?
Here are the topics we’ll cover:
What is South America?
South America is full of incredible sights, cultures, and activities. From the majestic Machu Picchu in Peru to the breathtakingly beautiful Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, it offers a wealth of experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Patagonia, a region in the southernmost part of South America, is known for its spectacular landscapes, from glaciers to lakes, and is home to some of the most fascinating wildlife on the planet. Whether you’re looking for vibrant cities like Rio de Janeiro, a beach vacation in Cartagena or Punta del Este, or a once-in-a-lifetime trek through the Andes Mountains, there is something for everyone to be found here.
From its impressive archaeological sites to its stunning natural beauty, it is an incredible place with amazing countries to visit, that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’ll find it here in Latin America.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and immerse yourself in the wonderful culture, dazzle in the sights and sounds of South America in 2023!
What are the Best Destinations in South America to Visit?
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most famous ancient sites in the world. It’s an incredibly impressive site, with incredible views and ruins dating back to the Inca Empire. If you’re looking to see some of the best architecture and archaeology, Machu Picchu is a must-see.
This is an incredible place if you’re interested in natural history. The islands were originally colonized by extinct finches, which is what led Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. Today, you can explore these beautiful islands and see some of the most incredible wildlife on Earth. There’s plenty to do on these islands, including hiking, kayaking, exploring caves, and more.
1. Finch Bay Eco Hotel – Located in Puerto Ayora, the Finch Bay Eco Hotel is a luxurious 5-star resort that offers an array of amenities for the ultimate eco-tourism experience. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities, such as kayaking, and horseback riding, as well as access to a private beach and spa.
2. Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel – The Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel can be found on Santa Cruz Island and is a high-end resort with a 5-star rating. There are deluxe suites with personal balconies, a swimming pool, and an eatery that serves diverse global cuisine. Additionally, there’s a complete spa service, a gymnasium, and an array of exciting activities.
3. Hotel Galapagos Safari Camp – Hotel Galapagos Safari Camp is a 5-star luxury resort in the country. This resort offers a unique safari experience, with luxurious tents and suites that offer stunning views of the islands’ wildlife. The resort also features a spa, fitness center, and a variety of activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.
Patagonia is another amazing place for nature lovers. It’s one of the richest areas on Earth for wildlife, with over 400 different types of birds living there. The landscape is rugged and dramatic, with glaciers cutting through valleys and peaks reaching heights of over 14,000 feet (4km). If you’re looking for a truly unique travel experience, then this trip will definitely be worth it.
1. Awasi – Awasi is a 5-star luxury resort located in the heart of the country. This captivating resort boasts sumptuous villas with secluded patios and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s an oasis of tranquility amid a verdant paradise! Awasi also offers a unique experience with activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and birdwatching.
2. At Tierra Hotel & Spa – Situated in Torres del Paine National Park, guests will find an exquisite 5-star resort offering luxurious villas with breathtaking vistas of surrounding peaks and luscious lakes. Unspoiled beauty abounds here! They also offer a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and kayaking.
3. Explora – A 5-star luxury resort located in El Calafate. This stunning resort features luxurious villas with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Explora also offers a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and kayaking.
Cuzco is one of my favorite places to visit – it’s absolutely stunning! The city was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is now one of Peru’s most popular tourist attractions. The architecture is absolutely stunning – from churches to murals, and the Inca trail – and there’s plenty to see and do here including shopping in the historic district, visiting archaeological sites, eating in traditional Peruvian restaurants, and exploring colonial neighborhoods.
1. Belmond Hotel Monasterio – Located in the heart of the city, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a 5-star luxury hotel that combines modern amenities with historic charm. The hotel features a spa, fitness center, and restaurant, as well as a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
2. Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel – Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the heart of Cuzco. This stunning hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
3. JW Marriott Cusco – JW Marriott Cusco is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the heart of Cuzco. This stunning hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
Rio De Janerio, Brazil
Rio is one of the most vibrant and colorful cities in the world. Known for its iconic landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and the Copacabana beach, Rio offers a unique mix of urban sophistication and tropical exuberance. Rio is a must-see destination with its lively samba rhythms, delicious cuisine, and friendly people.
1. Belmond Copacabana Palace – Belmond Copacabana Palace is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the heart of Copacabana Beach. This iconic hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
2. Fasano Rio de Janeiro – It’s a 5-star luxury hotel located in Ipanema. This stunning hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
3. Santa Teresa Hotel – Santa Teresa Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the hills of Santa Teresa. This stunning hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and one of the most elegant and sophisticated cities in South America. Known for its European-style architecture, vibrant nightlife, and world-class cuisine, Buenos Aires is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. Whether you choose to explore the colorful neighborhoods of La Boca and San Telmo or attend a tango show in a milonga, you will fall in love with the charm and energy of this city.
1. Four Seasons Hotel – Located in the heart of the city, Four Seasons Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel that offers world-class amenities and services. This iconic hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant. There’s also a variety of activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and biking.
2. Palacio Duhau – At Park Hyatt – Palacio Duhau, visitors can experience the opulence of a 5-star hotel located in Recoleta’s coveted neighborhood. This stunning establishment boasts luxurious accommodations with balconies, an onsite spa and fitness center as well as an array of activities including horseback riding excursions or trekking expeditions. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure this is one place that will definitely impress!
3. Alvear Palace Hotel – The Alvear Palace Hotel is a 5-star abode located in the city’s bustling core. With regal interiors and expansive balconies, this renowned establishment offers opulent rooms complete with amenities like plush bathrooms, relaxation spa facilities as well as fitness centers and dining options. In addition to these activities, guests can indulge in trekking excursions, equestrian rides, or even jaunts on bicycles!
Cartagena is a charming and romantic city located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. With its colonial architecture, cobbled streets, and colorful balconies, Cartagena is a city that exudes history and culture. From the imposing Castillo San Felipe de Barajas to the lively Plaza de Santo Domingo, to amazing Colombian restaurants, Cartagena is a city that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern energy.
1. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena – The Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena is a five-star haven nestled in the buzzing heart of historic Cartagena. Featuring opulent interiors and balconies, this stunning hotel provides guests with luxurious rooms complete with all amenities one may require for an extraordinary stay. Furthermore, it boasts a spa; fitness center; restaurant offering exquisite gastronomic delights – among other activities such as sailing tours and snorkeling expeditions!
2. Hotel Sazagua – Sazagua Hotel is an esteemed 5-star establishment in the exclusive Bocagrande neighborhood, featuring opulent rooms with balconies and luxurious amenities such as a spa, fitness center, and restaurant. There’s also a wealth of leisure activities ranging from golfing to sailing or kayaking.
3. The Mansion del Mar – The opulent Mansion del Mar is a 5-star haven situated amid the Caribbean Sea. This regal hotel boasts sumptuous accommodations with balconies, a spa, and a fitness center along with an array of pursuits such as sailing, snorkeling, or kayaking.
Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
The Uyuni Salt Flats are one of South America’s most surreal and otherworldly landscapes. This vast expanse of salt flats and desert is a photographer’s dream come true in southwest Bolivia. From the towering cacti of Isla Incahuasi or La Paz to the colorful lagoons and geysers of the nearby Andean highlands, the Uyuni Salt Flats is a must-see place for anyone traveling to Bolivia.
1. Palacio de Sal – The majestic Palacio de Sal is a 5-star luxury hotel situated on the precipice of the Uyuni Salt Flats. This iconic establishment boasts opulent rooms with balconies, a spa and fitness center, as well as an alluring restaurant for dining experiences that are both memorable and indulgent! If you’re looking for some zest in your life – from trekking to horseback riding or biking – there are numerous activities that abound at this incomparable establishment.
2. Luna Salada Hotel & Spa – In the center of Bolivia’s vast, arid desert lies Luna Salada Hotel & Spa – a luxurious 5-star establishment that provides guests with ample opportunities for relaxation in one of its idyllic yet secluded settings. This extravagant hotel boasts spacious accommodations complete with balconies, a spa facility, and a fitness center; alongside adventures such as trekking expeditions or horseback riding excursions.
3. Oasis Uyuni Hotel – Oasis Uyuni Hotel is a premier 5-star establishment in Uyuni Salt Flats’ bustling center. This luxurious landmark boasts opulent rooms with balconies, an enticing spa area, a fitness center, and an array of activities ranging from equestrian treks to bike expeditions – each offering opportunities for plenty of adventure!
Ecuador is a small country in South America that is known for its natural beauty and rich culture. From the unique wildlife to the beautiful colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca, Ecuador offers an abundance of attractions for travelers. Adventure seekers can explore the volcanic landscapes of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, while those looking for a more relaxed experience can take a boat ride on the Amazon River or visit the colonial towns of the Ecuadorian coast.
1. Casa Gangotena – The opulent 5-star Casa Gangotena hotel is located in the beating heart of Quito, Ecuador – a haven for travelers seeking a luxurious stay. This majestic facility boasts spacious rooms with balconies, an inviting spa area complete with saunas and steam baths; fitness center facilities; along with an array of activities such as trekking excursions and horseback riding expeditions.
2. Mashpi Lodge – Mashpi Lodge, a 5-star haven of luxuriant splendor in Ecuador’s cloud forest region, offers guests an experience beyond comparison. With spacious rooms featuring stunning balconies and all amenities required for a flawless stay, guests can enjoy their time at this opulent retreat with style. Additionally, they will have many opportunities to explore; from treks through the lush vegetation to horseback riding expeditions or canopy tours – there is truly something for everyone!
3. Hacienda Zuleta – Hacienda Zuleta is a 5-star haven in the pristine Andean highlands of Ecuador. This awe-inspiring hotel boasts opulent rooms with balconies and facilities such as a spa, fitness center, and gourmet dining area; all accompanied by various outdoor activities like horseback riding, kayaking expeditions, or hiking adventures. Truly an ideal destination!
What is the Best Time to Visit?
One of the best times to visit depends on your destination. Generally, the dry season (May – October) is the best to travel to South America, however, there are some exceptions. For example, the Galapagos Islands are best visited during the rainy season (November – April). Patagonia is usually best visited between November and April, as this is when the weather is mildest and the skies are clearest. However, if you want to take advantage of lower prices, visit during the off-season (May – October). Whichever time of year it is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
What Should I Bring When I Travel to South America?
Whether exploring Cusco or Lima in Peru or trekking through Patagonia in Argentina; it is essential that you remember these essentials: comfort is key! Bring along walking shoes for when traversing rough terrain; a light jacket so that during inclement weather conditions (such as rain) your apparel will keep you comfortable; and sun protection!
Depending on which season of travel you are embarking upon – perhaps securing an umbrella could also prove useful. Lastly, make sure your smartphone has sufficient charge before departure, and consider bringing along additional memory cards for storing photos taken whilst on holiday!
How Can I Plan My Trip?
Here are some tips for planning your trip to South America:
With its awe-inspiring landscapes, captivating cultures, and remarkable wildlife, it is no surprise why it’s so popular!
Start planning your journey by deciding which countries you want to visit. Peru offers an abundance of wonders such as the ruins of the Sacred Valley, as well as the floating islands of Lake Titicaca.
Ecuador is home to the Galapagos Islands where you can experience incredible wildlife up close. Chile offers visitors a range of experiences, from trekking and admiring the vibrant capital city Santiago to exploring the historic towns of Valparaiso and Chilo while you’re visiting.
With so much to explore, it can be challenging to decide which destinations to prioritize. But with careful planning and research, you can make the most out of your South American adventure. By following these tips, you can plan a safe and enjoyable trip through South America.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what makes South America so special and why it is one of the best places to see in the world!
South America is a place that offers a wealth of experiences and adventures for travelers of all ages and interests. From the bustling cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires to the natural wonders of Machu Picchu and Torres del Paine, it never ceases to amaze and inspire
Whether you are looking for a cultural immersion, a wildlife safari, or an outdoor adventure, the continent has something to offer to every traveler. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey!