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.
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.
A reader asks what kind of adapter do they need to travel in South America.
Villa de Leyva, also called Villa de Leiva, is colonial-era town situated a short distance from Bogotá, and a popular day or weekend excursion. Scenic attractions include colonial architecture, gorgeous scenery, typical places to stay and local cuisine in an historic setting.
Columbus Day, Native American Day and Dia de la Raza commemorate the exploration, colonization and multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage of the Americas.
With almost 3000 miles of coastline, there are hundreds of beaches, coves and inlets for swimming, diving, surfing, windsurfing and sea fishing.
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.
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.
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!
Travel to the top UNESCO sites in South America.
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.
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.
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 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.
There are many ways to enjoy South America, but do not make these 5 mistakes
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.
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.
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.
The best surfing spots in South America
Countries in South America requiring passports and or visas. Information compiled for South America for Visitors
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.
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.
Venezuela celebrates the carnaval, or carnival, festivities with dance, music, balloons, family festivities, lavish costumes and parades and a great deal of joy.
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.
Saint Rose of Lima, the first Saint of the Americas, was born in Lima in 1586 and died there in 1617 after turning away from the secular life and living a life of self-mortification and extreme religious practices. Her devotion to her beliefs, her piety and her example are remembered annually on August 30, the feast day of Santa Rose de Lima.
Christmas traditions in Peru. South America Travel.
An overview of the visa requirements and fees for entering and exiting South American countries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Venezuela from Bonnie Hamre
Chile's Lake District has been likened to Switzerland, but the spectacular arrangement of lakes, volcanos, rivers and waterfalls stand on their own.
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.
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.
The attractions of Recife are becoming known to more travelers and include beaches, art and entertainment, cultural heritage, and side trips to Olinda.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Its location, closer to Nicaragua and Jamaica, offers a relaxing attraction away from the potential dangers of mainland Colombia.
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.
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.
Common monkeys found in the tropical or rain forest areas of South and Central America are howlers, capuchins, tamarinds and owl monkeys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many people skip Northern Peru and head straight to Lima, here is a two week itinerary on what to see in Northern Peru
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.
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.
Beginning in the 17th Century, Italians have immigrated to Argentina for centuries, leaving many travelers surprised to see so many Italians in Argentina.
Celebrate the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria on February 2 in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Argentina with links to related infomation.
Views of ice, plateaus, domes, islands, wildlife and these views of Chinstrap penguin in Antarctica.
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.
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.
The great natural wonders in South America
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.
Christmas Traditions in Argentina
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.
A mixed grill is an international favorite, and particularly popular in Argentina, where beef is king, as well as in other South American countries.
Christmas in Ecuador is a colorful celebration incorporating traditional religious events with local traditions. Enjoy the festive Pase del Niño Viajero in Cuenca and the Pesebres, novenas, Cena de Nochebuena and Misa del Gallo in Quito and other Ecuadorian communtities and top off the holiday season with the Fiesta de Año Viejo.
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!
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.
Learn more about the city known as the Heartland of Argentina, Córdoba, which retains its colonial history blended with a modern tourism industry.
The wildlife of South America is abundant, lush, many specied and a treat to wildlife photographers, birders, adventure explorers. Many are facing extinction.
Many people pass through Caracas, Venezuela on their way to other destinations, such as Angel Falls, Margarita Island or Los Roques. However, the sprawling city, a mix of modern highrises and development as well as a colonial and historic center around the Plaza Bolivar is well worth adding a day or two to your itinerary.
Best Museums in Quito Ecuador
Rio de Janeiro has a great variety of restaurants. The restaurants listed here are highly recommended, popular and reservations are always a good idea.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Background and location information about the 47 major glaciers, including Perito Moreno, the only one in the world still growing.
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.
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.
Rather than samba, salsa resounds through the streets of Barranquilla when parades and music gather thousands together to frolic until they drop.
Photos of people living in South America, at work, at leisure, at play.
Ingapirca is the largest of the Incan archaeological sites to have been found in Ecuador.
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.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Paraguay.
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.
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.
Ecuador has ten mountains over 5000m.
South America can be a great destination for budget travelers. Check out our guide to the most expensive and least expensive countries in South America
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.
Places, people, desert, lakes, volcanos and splendid scenery, plus Historical Photos of various regions of Chile.
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
The best beaches in South America
Discover the best beaches in Colombia
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.
Before you travel to South America here are a few things to consider.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Discover Ecuador's coastline and the top beaches in the country.
How to spend two weeks travelling Colombia.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Peru: dia de los trabajadores san pedro y san pablo peru holidays all saints day corpus cristi
Christmas traditions in Venezuela
March is a busy month in South America, plan your trip around these great holidays and festivals.
n Colombia, the most famous Semana Santa celebrations take place in Popayán and Mompox, where the Spanish colonial forces built six churches and a chapel, all used in the Semana Santa observations. In Venezuela, there are similar processions, the re-enactments of the Last Days and the triumphant joy of Domingo de Resurrección.
The best hiking trails in South America
The center of Argentina's wine industry, Mendoza is an all-seasons destination for climbers, hikers, skiers, rafters, bikers, paragliders, naturalists, trekkers, and oenophiles.
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.
Each of the regions of Argentina has something different to offer: cosmopolitan cities, rain forests, snow covered mountains and glaciers, vast pampas, coastal resorts, wine country and wide open spaces to explore at your leisure.
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.
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.
If you are traveling in Latin America on the first day of May, you can expect to find banks, government offices, stores, post offices and businesses closed for the day as people celebrate the International Worker's Day.
Ancient religion? Aliens from outer space? Ancient astronomers? Water sources? What caused the lines at one of Peru's favorite tourist destinations?
About Gabriela Mistral: Born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, this Chilean educator, cultural minister, diplomat,
You'll find this fresh pepper sauce everywhere in Chile, and you can make your own, controlling the spiciness, at home to serve at every meal.
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.
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.
Introductory fact page for Ecuador from the CIA World Factbook contains information about politics, government, economy, demographics, transportation, military matters, education, population, history, geography, boundaries, communications, natural resources and transnational issues, with a link to travel warnings and consular information.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in French Guiana.
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.
kite surfing in south america
These immigrants from Canada, Russia and Germany have created productive farms, dairy farms and cattle ranches, as well as a tourist attraction, in the midst of the thorny Chaco.
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.
Get inspired to travel with these South American Poets
A look at the active and dormant volcanos of Ecuador's Volcano Alley, including the ones threatening Quito.
Learn all the best places locals go kite surfing in South America.
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.
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. Page 3.
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.
This feature by guest author Marita Alisal spotlights Perito Moreno, the most famous glacier, and some of the sightseeing possibilities in Argentine Patagonia.
If you are traveling to South America or know someone who is, don't forget these seven items.
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.
National Holidays and Festivals observed in Bolivia from Bonnie Hamre
Like the gauchos, the Chilean huasos are skilled horsemen, honing their skills daily. Over the years, the huaso has come to signify much of the Chilean folkloric culture, and he is a vital part of parades, fiestas, and holidays.
Photographs of Vina del Mar in Chile's Central region from your expert guide to South America.
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.
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.