South America Travel: Most Popular Articles
Top travel sites to visit in South America
Capital cities, population, maps and world fact book information for the countries and territories of 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.
Common monkeys found in the tropical or rain forest areas of South and Central America are howlers, capuchins, tamarinds and owl monkeys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With almost 3000 miles of coastline, there are hundreds of beaches, coves and inlets for swimming, diving, surfing, windsurfing and sea fishing.
Countries in South America requiring passports and or visas. Information compiled for South America for Visitors
The annual festival is a colorful mix of Andean pre-Columbian ceremonies and Catholic religion,where masked, costumed dancers relive ancient gods and rites.
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.
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.
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.
The best surfing spots in South America
Its location, closer to Nicaragua and Jamaica, offers a relaxing attraction away from the potential dangers of mainland Colombia.
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.
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.
Travel to the top UNESCO sites in South America.
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.
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.
An overview of the visa requirements and fees for entering and exiting South American countries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The attractions of Recife are becoming known to more travelers and include beaches, art and entertainment, cultural heritage, and side trips to Olinda.
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.
Many people skip Northern Peru and head straight to Lima, here is a two week itinerary on what to see in Northern Peru
A mixed grill is an international favorite, and particularly popular in Argentina, where beef is king, as well as in other South American countries.
Discover the best beaches in Colombia
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the city known as the Heartland of Argentina, Córdoba, which retains its colonial history blended with a modern tourism industry.
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.
Bogota has much to offer the visitor, from the center of the historic district, to ample parks and amusement centers, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
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.
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.
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!
Off the coast of Chile, way off the beaten track, the archipelago was once home to Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish castway who spent four years there and became the basis for the novel Robinson Crusoe. With limited tourism facilities, the archipelago is still a draw for the historical connections and unique wildlife.
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.
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.
Chile's Lake District has been likened to Switzerland, but the spectacular arrangement of lakes, volcanos, rivers and waterfalls stand on their own.
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.
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.
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.
For decades an exclusive resort for wealthy South Americans, it is still expensive, but not as much as famed European and US resort areas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The best hiking trails in South America
Hot chile peppers come in many varieties and are a staple ingredient in many of our favorite ethnic foods. Did you know that Capsicum, the official name for peppers, comes originally from Central and South America? Learn more about these zippy heat pods that Columbus sent back to Spain to add spice to home cooking.
The great natural wonders in South America
Before you travel to South America here are a few things to consider.
Discover Ecuador's coastline and the top beaches in the country.
Pisco is the almost national drink in Peru and Chile. First created in Peru, now it's the subject of intense discussion between Peru and Chile: who owns the appelation rights? Some people don't care, they simply enjoy the product!
Celebrate the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria on February 2 in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela
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.
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.
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.
Rio de Janeiro has a great variety of restaurants. The restaurants listed here are highly recommended, popular and reservations are always a good idea.
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!
Plan Your First Trip to South America with advice, tips and resources from getting your travel documents, choosing your destinations, travel operators, travel options, safety suggestions, to preparing yourself for travel.
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.
The best beaches in South America
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.
The disappearance of Katharina Koller and Peter Kirsten Rabitsch in Bolivia is attributed to a gang of fake police who take passports, credit cards and bank cards.
Columbus Day, Native American Day and Dia de la Raza commemorate the exploration, colonization and multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage of the Americas.
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.
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.
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.
There are many ways to enjoy South America, but do not make these 5 mistakes
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.
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.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Peru: dia de los trabajadores san pedro y san pablo peru holidays all saints day corpus cristi
Mined for centuries before the Spaniards arrived, Colombian emeralds are prized now as they were then. They're often more valuable than diamonds!
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.
Background and location information about the 47 major glaciers, including Perito Moreno, the only one in the world still growing.
The wildlife of South America is abundant, lush, many specied and a treat to wildlife photographers, birders, adventure explorers. Many are facing extinction.
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.
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.
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.
Best Museums in Quito Ecuador
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.
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.
Great movies that will inspire you to travel South America
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.
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.
Ecuador has ten mountains over 5000m.
The countries of South America hold an astonishing number of world records for biggest, longest and highest. Keep these facts and figures handy and amaze your friends with your knowledge of South America
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.
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!
Pension is a budget accommodation in a family home usually with meals. May have long term boarders.
An international resort, Buzios is two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, and its twenty plus beaches and relaxed hedonistic style likens it to Saint Tropez.
Learn all the best places locals go kite surfing in South America.
How to spend two weeks travelling Colombia.
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.
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.
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.
Cachapas are traditionally made with fresh corn, but this easy recipe uses canned cream corn, pancake mix and whatever cheese you have on hand. Try this simple appetizer for a taste of Venezuela.
Mendoza, the capital of Mendoza province lies at the base of the Andes, closer to Santiago, Chile than Buenos Aires. It's a clean, well laid-out city, with parks and tree-lined streets and parks, the center of commerce and tourism for the area. It's also prime wine country, and an all-seasons destination for climbers, hikers, skiers, rafters, bikers, paragliders, naturalists, trekkers, and oenophiles.
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.
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.
Ancient religion? Aliens from outer space? Ancient astronomers? Water sources? What caused the lines at one of Peru's favorite tourist destinations?
Fly, drive or cruise to Buenos Aires and other points in Argentina with these transportation tips
Home to thousands of wildlife species, the Pantanal,shared by Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is a huge wetlands, and a must on a wildlife-lover's travels.
Anaconda snakes, of the boa family, live throughout tropical South America, east of the Andes, mainly in the Amazon and Orinoco basins, and in the Guianas.
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.
Guide selected books cover a wide range of topics, from travel planning to history, touring, wildlife, indigenous cultures, cultural studies, top attractions, plus practical tips for travelers to Peru
Esmeraldas, long accessible only by sea, is now a commercial and tourism destination with white sand beaches, ecological reserves, and direct access to Quito, Cuenca and other inland Ecuadorian cities.
The best documentaries about South America
Thanks to Machu Picchu this is one of South America's most famous cities, discover what to do in Cuzco, Peru.
The states of Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná reflect much of their European heritage, including language and Octoberfests, and offer the traveler great vistas, splendid beaches and Iguazu Falls.
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.
Vaccinations are required for some health hazards and dieseases common in South America. Check with your doctor or international health regulations for the required and/or recommended vaccinations and get them in advance of your travel. Even though you may have been innoculated as a child for many diseases, some migh require a booster shot. Make sure your vaccinations are recorded on an official International Certificate of Vaccination.
These Latin American pastries, filled with seafood, meat, cheese, vegetables or fruit are wildly popular. Check out these recipes, or send in your choice for the perfect empanada.
The Poison Dart Frogs of South America are tiny, colorful and toxic. Depending on their diet and habitat, some of these frogs have enough poison in them to kill a monkey, or even a human under certain conditions.
With the changing reputation of Colombia there is no better time to visit.
Step back into history in this popular colonial town, resort city, a UNESCO heritage historic district and one of the least known treasures for visitors to South America
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.
Alfajores, filled Cookies with dulce de leche and covered in coconut are a traditional snack or treat.
With fewer crowds finds out where to go in South America in November
This feature by guest author Marita Alisal spotlights Perito Moreno, the most famous glacier, and some of the sightseeing possibilities in Argentine Patagonia.
Places, people, desert, lakes, volcanos and splendid scenery, plus Historical Photos of various regions of Chile.
A look at the active and dormant volcanos of Ecuador's Volcano Alley, including the ones threatening Quito.
Uruguay reflects European traditions in some of its cuisine, as well as influences from neighboring countries. Like Argentina to the south, Uruguay's parrillas are popular eating places, where meat and seafood are tradtionally prepared and served. Dining in Montevideo is late, so grab a snack if you can't wait until nine or later to dine.
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.
Think of a spa vacation, either on its own or as part of your next trip to South America. Relax with a full service spa resort, or dip into a mountain hot springs after a day of trekking, hiking, climbing or biking. Aah...
Plan your honeymoon in South America and choose from romantic tropical beaches, cosmopolitan cities with luxurious accommodations, shared adventure, out of the ordinary festivals, spectacular scenery, cruises, and other choices for a fabled trip of a lifetime.
If you are traveling to South America or know someone who is, don't forget these seven items.
Photos of people living in South America, at work, at leisure, at play.
Get inspired to travel with these South American Poets
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? Page 2.
The Ausangate trek is a circuit around the tallest mountain in the Cordillera Vilacanota of Peru. Ausangate is regarded as a sacred mountain, an apu, and is the site of shamanic pilgirmages and the annual june celebration of El Señor de Qoyllur Ritti.