While most people know a bit about Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, the World Cup will be hosted by many other cities in Brazil. This lessens the already crowded cities and gives travellers an opportunity to see a different side of Brazil if they aren't keen on the large cities like Sao Paulo.
If you'd like a bit of sun and fun consider Fortaleza. As well as hosting the World Cup, this city on the north coast is also famous for its water sports, with the prevailing winds making surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing popular, while it also has a strong native culture that visitors can experience and enjoy.
The measure of a great food culture can often be scene in its street food. In Brazil, there are plenty of delicious options that share the story of the country. For example the popular pastel, a deep fried pocket of dough that is either filled with a sweet or savory filling, was first created by the Japanese community who came to Brazil.
To get a bit of inside knowledge on the country and its food check out our guide to street food in Brazil.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and is the seventh largest in population in the world. While public transportation is organized and it's easy to travel around the city, the most difficult thing is choosing what to do. One of my personal favourite things to do is eat! Sao Paulo is known for its gastronomy and great sushi and other Japanese food. If you're planning a trip to the city check out our picks for The Best Things to do in Sao Paulo.
Brazil is making it's way on many traveler's lists with the upcoming World Cup and Olympics soon taking place. But other than Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo many people aren't sure where to go. Brazil is a massively large country and there is so much to see. If you're planning a trip check out our picks on the Best Cities to Visit in Brazil.
Although many travelers head to Chile to see the Atacama Desert or South for Patagonia, very few spend much time in the capital city. And while as a city it does not have the lure of the wild landscape it's a metropolitan city with lots to see. If you're looking to go to Santiago check out what to do in Santiago, Chile
Strapped for time, visiting Buenos Aires in only one day can seem overwhelming. I lived in the city for 8 weeks and I didn't see everything I wanted to because there is just so much to do.
But if you only have one day have no fear, we've include the best ideas for what to do in Buenos Aires, including one of my favourites - learning how to make alfajores in a cooking class!
Image (c) BaconIsMagic.ca
Don't be afraid! As frightful as it may appear this is me having a facial at the Tierra Atacama Spa in Chile. In fact it wasn't scary at all, quite delightful, especially as the Atacama desert is tough on the skin.
The arid landscape dries out your skin and the best, most luxurious way to replenish is with a spa treatment. While many equate South America with an adventurous holiday, there are lots of luxury spa opportunities. Check out our list of the top spas in South America.
In 2010 I bought a one-way ticket to Mexico without knowing any Spanish at all. While I learned much of the beginning phrases over the next six months in Mexico and Central America, it wasn't until I landed in South America that I felt truly comfortable interacting with people in Spanish and it is here where I learned the most valuable aspects - how to be polite and how to share a joke.
But Spanish is not the same in each country in South America. The slang they use in Argentina can be very different than in Colombia. And words that are meant to be a joke in Ecuador can be offensive in Peru so it's important to keep in mind. Fortunately even when you make a mistake many people are so gracious, understanding that you are just learning. Check out the best places to learn Spanish in South America.
So many people only spent a day or two in Cuzco to become acclimated to the altitude, thinking that there isn't much to do or see beyond getting ready for Machu Picchu. A few years ago I worked at a hostel for a month so I could have some time to see the other side of tourism, and as I saw tourists come and go I realized they were missing out on a really special city. If you have time consider spending a day or two more in Cuzco, it's an amazing place. Check out the top things to do in Cuzco.
My favorite thing to do at Iguazu falls is simply to watching the cascading water. The waterfalls are so massive and the sound is so loud that it alone is quite impressive.
But for others, after snapping a few photos they are ready to move on to more action. And fortunately there are plenty of activities on the Argentina side of Iguazu falls to keep everyone busy for a few days.
Check out the top 10 ways to enjoy the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls.