South America Travel: Most Popular Articles
Capital cities, population, maps and world fact book information for the countries and territories of South America
Top travel sites to visit in South America
Suggestions for when to travel to take advantage of the climate and seasons for your business trip or vacation in and around the countries of South America.
A reader asks what kind of adapter do they need to travel in South America.
These cities in South America are popular because in many cases they are points of entry, capital cities, representative of their countries or distinctive for particular attractions. Each has its own charm and ambiance.
Travel to the top UNESCO sites in South America.
The cities mentioned on this list are South America's largest, either by size, population or both. It's not surprising that Brazil, South America's largest country has five cities listed. Not all cities are tourist destinations, but each has its own attractions, history and sightseeing opportunities.
Iguazu Falls is one of the top destinations in South America. Taller than Niagara Falls, the water level rises and falls with the season, but the spectacular Devil's Throat with its high flying plume of spray is always a thrill.
With almost 3000 miles of coastline, there are hundreds of beaches, coves and inlets for swimming, diving, surfing, windsurfing and sea fishing.
These popular cities highlight two of Colombia's most scenic areas, the coasts on the Pacific and the Caribbean, and the Andes. Colonial charm, modern cities and beach resorts with access to archeological ruins add to visitor's delight.
Colombia's capital, Bogota is a city of contrasts. A rich colonial heritage, stunning architecture and scenic beauty abound in this modern city, filled with museums, churches and social activity.
Click on a city name on this map of Colombia to find extensive resources for lodging, sightseeing, geography, history, art, culture, sports, recreation and more. Bonnie Hamre is your expert guide to South America.
Colombia is the only country in South America with coasts on the Pacific and Caribbean. It's a spectacularly beautiful country, with the Andes, beaches, colonial cities and archaeological treasures to delight the business or leisure traveler.
These popular cities in Argentina attract business and leisure travelers for their variety of attractions, sports activities, fabulous scenery, charm and business and recreational facilities.
Chile's Fiestas Patrias celebrate Chile's independence from Spain and run for a week prior to the Dieciocho festivities on September 18, with regional activities such as the Pampilla de Coquimbo, Semana del Folclor, National Rodeo Championships and other events celebrating Chilenidad.
Visitors to the Andean regions might turn up their noses at being served cuy, or guinea pig, but this is a traditional entree and served a number of ways, but almost always with a spicy, pepper sauce and potoates or rice. Try it - you just might like it!
Columbus Day, Native American Day and Dia de la Raza commemorate the exploration, colonization and multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage of the Americas.
The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca are the home of the Uros, who consider themselves the owners of the lake and its waters. Traditionally fishermen and weavers, they now include tourism as a mainstay as visitors to the lake enjoy the sensation of walking on a floating layer of reeds.
Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun, is the annual recreation of an important Inca ceremony and brings multitudes of visitors to Cuzco, Peru for a week of festivities culminating in the day long, elaborately costumed parade and celebrations at the nearby fortess of Sacsayhuamán.
There are many ways to enjoy South America, but do not make these 5 mistakes
Lima is called the City of Kings for the day it was founded. A vastly important colonial city, Lima now suffers the ills of modern cities, but visitors who rush through it on the way to Peru's other attractions are missing a wealth of history and culture that summarizes and defines the rest of the nation.
Exploring Cartagena's must-see places and things to do, including Ciudad Amarullada, the walled city, Convento de la Popa, Bocagrande, museums, and side trips to Santa Marta, Ciudad Perdida and Parque Nacional Tayrona.
Wherever you have cattle and cattle ranches, you have people on horseback tending to them. In Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil, they're the gauchos of myth and lore, a larger than life vital part of folklore and modern life.
Spectacular South America boasts so many marvels of landscape, wildlife, geographic formations and natural wonders that it is hard to narrow the list to only these attractions, among the top destinations of South America.
What we consider to be wacky are normal and delicious food in South America, you can't plan a visit without trying just a few of these dishes.
Big, sprawling Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is cosmopolitan and yet retains a neighborhood feel in the barrios. Sightseeing, nightlife, including the sensual tango, is a must in this sophisticated city.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Venezuela from Bonnie Hamre
The best surfing spots in South America
South America makes for a vibrant and wild vacation but it also requires a bit more precaution, discover the most dangerous cities in South America.
Passports are required fr travel, and are gotten from your country of origin. Visa requirements are set by the country you plan to visit. It is your responsibility to check entry requirements with the consular officials of the countries to be visited well in advance of your trip.
Argentina celebrates Independence Day on July 9, the day in which the Acta de la Declaración de la Independencia Argentina, the proclamation declaring independence from Spain was signed in Tucuman, one of Argentina's oldest cities.
The Colombian city is a popular resort and attraction you can spend several days in. This list shows the best nightlife, beaches, and churches it has to offer.
Countries in South America requiring passports and or visas. Information compiled for South America for Visitors
Common monkeys found in the tropical or rain forest areas of South and Central America are howlers, capuchins, tamarinds and owl monkeys.
During Brazil's Ciclo de Ouro, Paraty was the main port for shipping gold to Portugal. Now, it's a charming colonial town offering visitors a lot of history, great beaches and a relaxing vacation.
Chapada Diamantina National Park in Brazil's Bahia state is called the Lost World, compared to the Grand Canyon and to Jurassic Park landscape, but the region stands on its own for the fantastic rock formations, rivers and waterfalls, and a vast underground river system that creates astonishingly beautiful caves that attract divers and spelunkers all year around.
La Paz, one of the two capitals of Bolivia, nicknamed the city that touches the clouds, is one of the highest cities on earth and the center of Bolivian legislative government, culture and tourism.
An overview of the visa requirements and fees for entering and exiting South American countries
These popular cities showcase Chile's varied geography from the sere Atacama Desert in the north, through the lush central zone to the lakes and fjords of the far south, with a sidetrip to an isolated island in the Pacific.
This meat and vegetable stew from Argentina is a filling and satisfying meal combining traditional ingredients with sweet potatoes, squash and peaches or apricots for a delectable combination. Served with crusty bread and butter and a good Argentinean red wine, this makes an excellent entree.
These popular cities share something in common: they are all excellent examples of Brazil's varied regions, attractions and culture in large cities and favorite beach resorts.
There are a tremendous number of things to do and enjoy in Rio, some internationally famous like the beaches, Corcovado, carnaval, Sugar Loaf, and others less well known, like a natural reserve within the city limits, architectural beauties and monuments to heros. Explore Rio.
Cali is Colombia's third largest city and a center for sugar and coffee industry. It enjoys terrific nightlife in the salsotecas, and visitors enjoy the historic center as well as excursions into the surrounding areas for sugar baron haciendas and the prime archaeological sites of San Augustin and Tierradentro.
Over one million earthquakes happen worldwide every year. Some are so slight they are unfelt, others last for minutes that seem like forever and can cause major changes in the landscape. Many of these earthquakes happen in South America, due to the Nazca and South American plates of the circum-Pacific belt. The world's largest earthquake, a 9.5, occurred in Chile in 1960.
Selected books cover a wide range of topics, from travel planning to politics, history, touring, wildlife, flora and fauna, cultural studies, human rights, cuisine government, military matters, arts and crafts, sports and more about Paraguay.
Chile's Lake District has been likened to Switzerland, but the spectacular arrangement of lakes, volcanos, rivers and waterfalls stand on their own.
Its location, closer to Nicaragua and Jamaica, offers a relaxing attraction away from the potential dangers of mainland Colombia.
Many people skip Northern Peru and head straight to Lima, here is a two week itinerary on what to see in Northern Peru
After a fight, one castaway declares regret for ever having made an alliance with a tribemate. To enjoy an overnight visit with their loved ones, the All-Stars are forced to watch their loved ones battle each other in the Reward Challenge. It's no holds barred as one All-Star calls out another for being the bossiest member of Chaboga Mogo. A tough struggle for individual Immunity comes down to a close finish. Who will be safe this week?
Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is a monument to what Brazilians can do and have done. It's a city pointing like an arrow into the future. It's built on a massive scale, with large, innovative buildings, a freedom of spirit and imagination.
Venezuela celebrates the carnaval, or carnival, festivities with dance, music, balloons, family festivities, lavish costumes and parades and a great deal of joy.
Your next latte, expresso, cafe au lait, or plain cup of coffee might just have come from South America, one of the world's producers of fine coffee.
A mixed grill is an international favorite, and particularly popular in Argentina, where beef is king, as well as in other South American countries.
At 979 meters (3230 feet) with an uninterrupted drop of 807 meters (2663 ft), Angel Falls is sixteen times the height of Niagara Falls. Located in Venezuela's Canaima National Park, the falls are best viewed, and appreciated, from the air. Here's a sampling of the awesome falls.
Georgetown, Guyana isn't on the top destination list of many travelers, but the touches of whimsy in the Dutch and English colonial architecture, the mixtures of cultures and cuisines, plus the opportunity to visit the interior, an ecotourist's dream of tropical jungle, savannas teeming with wildlife and spectacular Kaieteur Falls, is something to consider.
The best beaches in South America
Discover the best beaches in Colombia
Enclosed by mountains, Quito, named a World Heritage site, is divided into five zones. The most frequented by visitors are North, where you'll find the modern city, business, restaurants and hotels; Central-North, famed for the nightlife; and the Historical Center, also called Old Town. The South and Valleys areas also have their attractions.
High in the Ecuadorian Andes, the small town of Banos attracts pilgrims, volcanologists, hikers, climbers, bikers, rafters,and tourists eager to enjoy the pleasant climate.
The attractions of Recife are becoming known to more travelers and include beaches, art and entertainment, cultural heritage, and side trips to Olinda.
Doctora Laura Bozzo, host of the wildly popular Peruvian talk show, Laura, presents a puzzling case. Her show is taped from the studio in Lima where she lives under house arrest for alleged complicity in a political scandal and is not shown on Peruvian TV. An attorney, Laura Bozzo demands a trial to demonstrate her innocence while millions of her fans write supporting emails. Guilty or innocent?
This hero of the Latin American wars of independence died discouraged that his efforts were in vain. Revered today as South America's great liberator, his political principles are the basis for the Bolivarian Movement and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Learn more about the city known as the Heartland of Argentina, Córdoba, which retains its colonial history blended with a modern tourism industry.
Nightlife in South America is diverse from large clubs in Sao Paulo to bonfires in Ecuador, check out the top 5 cities to party in South America.
Christmas traditions in Peru. South America Travel.
Otavalo, home to one of the most famous markets in South America, is also the site of September's Fiesta del Yamor, a two-week celebration of thanksgiving.
Medellin is the capital of Antioquia department in Colombia and enjoys a temperate climate that gives the city the names of The Land of Eternal Spring and Capital of The Flowers.
Rio de Janeiro, a cidade maravilhosa, is one of Brazil's most spectacular cities for it scenery, beauty, climate, lifestyle, beaches, beautiful people, Carnaval, festivals, and international acclaim.
Celebrate the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria on February 2 in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela
Long distance and train travel between South American countries is a thing of the past, but local passenger and sightseeing train trips are still available, and in many cases, an attraction in themselves. Some are for fun only, others are a viable way to travel.
Colca Canyon is not as well visited as other natural wonders of Peru, but it is home to the great condors and reportedly deeper than the USA's Grand Canyon.
Venezuela's capital and largest city is the center of commerce, culture, economics and the base for touring the country's attractions, including Angel Falls and the llanos.
Sprawling Parque Nacional Canaima, Venezuela's second largest national park includes rolling savannas, forests, dense river woodlands, sheer cliffs, and steep flat-topped table mountains called tepuis, from which fall spectacular cascades of water. Angel Falls the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, and Roraima, the highest tepui in the Guiana Highlands, are top destinations within the park.
Should I Go To The Amazon? (This quiz is from AMAZON UP CLOSE , written by PAMELA BLOOM, HUNTER PUBLISHING
Touring the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls, on the borders of Brazil and Argentina on the Iguazu river is best done in at least two days. Here are some places to stay on either the Brazilian or Argentine side of the falls.
Chile's capital city is cosmopolitan, the financial, cultural, and political center of the country. It's graced with tree-lined streets, parks, distinctive neighborhoods, ample assortment of restaurants and hotels. In addition to its own attractions, Santiago is near ski resorts, beach resorts and the ideal base for excursions into the Central Valley and either extreme of Chile.
Photos of people living in South America, at work, at leisure, at play.
Attractions, things to do and see in Vina del Mar, Chile's premiere seaside resort include beaches, sunbathing, the Municipal Casino, lively nightlife, sports, tennis, musical productions and fine dining.
Before you travel to South America here are a few things to consider.
The three Iles du Salut (Islands of Salvation or Health), off the coast of French Guiana are lush, tropical isles of abundant foliage, great views and open to visitors. Once however, they were the site of the infamous Devil's Island penal colony, called the Green Hell. Ile Royale is now a resort destination for visitors to French Guiana.
Between 1,500 to 1,700 mi long, Venezuela's river runs the length of the country, and is home to most of the indigenous population as well as tourism and the country's largest growing economic sector.
Called the City with Four Names, Sucre is the second capital of Bolivia, home to the Bolivian Supreme Court, a colonial heritage city with one of the oldest universities in the Americas, intriguing attractions and a wealth of cultural traditions to entice the visitor.
Ilhabela, in the state of Sao Paulo, on Brazil's largest maritime island, a rain forest ecological reserve, with miles of pristine beaches, spectacular waterfalls and mountain views, and is popular for both land and sea sports and recreation. Page 2.
The great natural wonders in South America
Ecuador's capital is a mix of colonial history and modern enterprise, a city at the middle of the world, and a delight to visitors. Tour the city, then venture out on the PanAmerican Highway, north and south to visit Otavalo, Ibarra, Cotacachi and Tulcán, then on to Latacunga, Ambato and Baños.
Santa Marta is Colombia's first Spanish settlement. Located on the coast, it boasts great beaches and access to Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta national parks, plus the famed lost city of the Taironas.
Paracas, and the Ballestas islands are often called Galapagos of Peru. The area offers fantastic wildlife viewing of birds and marine animals, plus a look at the ancient Paracas culture.
Alturas de Machu Picchu (The Heights of Machu Picchu) is a description, with pictures, of a visit, historical background, a photo gallery, and a quote from Pablo Neruda, from guest author Clarence Fisk's Chronicles of a Chilean in..., written in Spanish.
Home to more than 17 million people, Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America and Brazil's bustling economic and financial center. Waves of immigration brought a mix of cultures and cuisines reflected in the restaurants, many theatres, opera and dance companies. Nightlife is all night. The city hosts trade shows, congress and symposiums with ease.
Revered as Argentina's greatest hero, San Martín was also Liberator of Chile and Protector of Peru. Called Knight of the Andes and Santo de la Espada, he is also the subject of one of history's unsolved mysteries.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Peru: dia de los trabajadores san pedro y san pablo peru holidays all saints day corpus cristi
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Bolivia from Bonnie Hamre
Click on a city name on this map of Brazil to find extensive resources for lodging, sightseeing, geography, history, art, culture, sports, recreation and more.
Alberto Santos Dumont, a Brazilian aviation pioneer, is called the Father of Aviation for his experiments with dirigible balloons and aircraft, resulting in early heavier-than-air flights.
Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the Americas and the cradle of Incan civilization. Bordered by Peru and Bolivia, the lake has sustained life for thousands of centuries and still beckons visitors intrigued by the mystical and mythological properties of the area.
Manaus is the heart of Amazonia. Find out about transportation to and from the Brazilian city, the climate and weather, and things to do and see.
Get inspired to travel with these South American Poets
Traveling, exploring new places, discovering ourselves is a joy and a learning experience not to be missed. Being open to adventure and off-the-beaten-path travel is part of the experience. And yet, it's only common sense to know what to expect and take some cautionary steps. Some of these suggestions apply to travel anywhere, and some only to South America. Enjoy your travels, but be safe!
Rio de Janeiro has a great variety of restaurants. The restaurants listed here are highly recommended, popular and reservations are always a good idea.
Background and location information about the 47 major glaciers, including Perito Moreno, the only one in the world still growing.
Carnival locations and information for Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil, plus Carnaval festivities in Bolivia, Colombia and other countries of South America.
Called Foz do Iguaçu in Brazilian, and Cataratas del Iguazú in Spanish, Iguazu falls are a top destination for visitors from all countries. These photos display only a portion of the grandeur and awe-inspiring nature of the which are taller than Niagara Falls, twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horsehoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River on the border between Argentina and Brazil.
Bogota has much to offer the visitor, from the center of the historic district, to ample parks and amusement centers, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Paraguay.
March is a busy month in South America, plan your trip around these great holidays and festivals.
Arica is Chile's northernmost city, a duty-free oasis and the gateway to archaeological and natural wonders in Lauca National Park, the geoglyphs at Putre, and the high altitude lake Chungara.
How to spend two weeks travelling Colombia.
Dia de Todos los Santos, or All Saints Day, is celebrated throughout Latin America in conjunction with All Souls Day as a reaffirmation of life and a way to honor saints and the dead.
Adventure sport seekers will find plenty to do in South America as there are many opportunities for paragliding. Discover the best places to paraglide in South America.
Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru, with good reason. The ruins stand atop a steep mountain overlooking the Urubamba river far below, and raise questions archaeologists and historians are still asking. Enjoy these photos of the site, of the Temple of the Sun. Page 8.
Photos, virtual tours and pictures of Argentina include Iguazu Falls, Mesopotamia, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, the Andean Northwest and the Lake District, Tierra del Fuego and points in between plus a selection of Historical Photos.
Discover Ecuador's coastline and the top beaches in the country.
Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is a charming, cosmopolitan city, offering the visitor a taste of colonial days in the Ciudad Vieja, or old city, a choice of sandy beaches, nightlife, cultural and artistic events and a pleasant climate.
One tribe suffers a sleepless night thanks to a castaway's continuous outbursts. Some of the castaways find strength in the relationships being formed on the island and others face a difficult and emotional decision at Tribal Council. Page 2.
On Beagle Channel, surrounded by water, sky and mountains, Ushuaia calls itself the End of the World. As the closest city to Antarctica, the city is a hub for Antarctic touring and navigating the Strait of Magellan. Cruise ships dock here for a quick onshore visit. Summer is ideal for trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, sporting fishing and the most astounding tours along the Beagle Canal, Cape Horn and even the Argentine Antártida.
Popular music from South America includes selections from old favorites, new trends and various popular artists, including Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Jaci Velasques, Juanes, Paulina Rubio, Carlos Ponce, Luis Miguel, and Shakira.
Lima is more than a city to rush through on your way to other destinations in Peru. It is a city rich in culture and things to do and see. Here you can tour the museums displaying the history and anthrologogy of the past, the richness of the Inca empire, the many regional varieties of the country, plus enjoy the neighboring beaches and sports, plus a zoo where you can see many of the country's wildlife up close. Enjoy Lima!
Cuzco, Capital of the Inca Empire, has both historical and cultural significance. As the hub of tourism for Machu Picchu, Ollytantambo, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac and the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River, Cusco offers archaeological sites, colonial charm and up to date facilities for the visitor.
One of South America's most favorite beverages, yerba mate is an herbal tea with medicinal properties affecting overall health, vigor and endurance. Sharing a mate with close friends and family strenghtens the bonds of friendship and good will.
Best Museums in Quito Ecuador
Learn all the best places locals go kite surfing in South America.
If you are traveling to South America or know someone who is, don't forget these seven items.
Cartagena is one of Colombia's most visited destinations with tourists who come to enjoy the history, the sights, the weather and nightlife. Plan to stay several days, to enjoy the colonial period, the modern city and the fashionable seaside resort of Colombia's second port. Choose one of the these hotels or upscale residences to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Christmas Traditions in Argentina
The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia's southwestern altiplano is a high-altitude salt pan, considered the largest in the world, and a compelling destination for its wide open, blindingly white expanse, the lagoons with their coloful flamingos, a cacti-covered oasis and the famed salt hotel. Take this photographic tour and you wont need sunglasses, sunscreen or suffer altitude sickness!
Uruguay's greatest national hero is celebrated with a national holiday, the Natalicio de Artigas, on the day of his birth, June 19.
Carne Mechada, from Venezuela, is a slow cooked, flavorful and tender beef entree that works well with rice and vegetables on the side, or as a filling for stuffing peppers, tortillas, or however your imagination takes you.
For decades an exclusive resort for wealthy South Americans, it is still expensive, but not as much as famed European and US resort areas.
San Carlos de Bariloche, commonly known as Bariloche, is a prime, all-season destination in Argentina's Patagonia. Summer sailing on Lake Nahuel Huapi, skiing, the lake crossing from Chile and a decidedly European ski chalet environment make Bariloche a favorite vacation spot.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Colombia from South America for Visitors.
The worlds slowest moving mammal, sloths are tree dwellers, carrying out most of their activities hanging upside down in trees. They eat, sleep, mate, give birth, and tend their young suspended over the ground. It takes them about two and half years to grow to full size, between one and a half and two and a half feet.
The wildlife of South America is abundant, lush, many specied and a treat to wildlife photographers, birders, adventure explorers. Many are facing extinction.
With fewer crowds finds out where to go in South America in November
The best hiking trails in South America
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Argentina with links to related infomation.
Places, people, desert, lakes, volcanos and splendid scenery, plus Historical Photos of various regions of Chile.
Whether you have only a day to spend in Paraguay's capital city, Asuncion, or more time to explore the country, you might enjoy visiting parks, museums, historical buildings and other sights.
Favorite foods and recipes from Paraguay includes Guarani recipes, such as So'o Ku'i Meat And Rice Pie ,So'o Yo-sopy Beef Soup, Bori-bori Beef Soup With Dumplings and Paraguayan versions of international favorites.
The center of Argentina's wine industry, Mendoza is an all-seasons destination for climbers, hikers, skiers, rafters, bikers, paragliders, naturalists, trekkers, and oenophiles.
If you are considering a trip to Peru, especially Cusco, use this seasonal guide for the best months of the year to suit your travel interests.
Sacsayhuaman is located just outside Cuzco, learn more about these ancient Inca ruins.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Uruguay, South America
Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes, or tooth-puller, was executed in 1792 for his role in encouraging Brazilian independence from Portugal, and is today honored each April 21st as the Civic Patron of the Brazilian nation.
Pension is a budget accommodation in a family home usually with meals. May have long term boarders.
Tour Brazil, from soaring skyscrapers in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to the prehistoric petroglyphs in Serra da Capivara National Park, with these colorful pictures. Includes some Historical Photos and sketches.
The Ancient Chimu City of Chan Chan
The Jesuit Missions in South America began in Brazil, then spread to what is now Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, with one in Uruguay. They are all on the tourist mission circuit, and a worthwhile visit to learn about Spanish and Portuguese colonial history.
The best non-Inca ruins in South America
Ecuador has ten mountains over 5000m.