Long known as one of the world’s best backpacking destinations, South America now offers incredible bucket list destinations fit for any type of traveller. It is a continent filled with adventure and wonder.
Explore the mighty Amazon rainforest, discover remote offshore islands, and fall in love with charming colonial cities. From the beautiful white sand beaches to the peaks of the Andes, we have created a list of the top 5 South American countries you need to visit this year.
Because South America truly is a world away, remember to protect yourself with affordable travel insurance whether that means purchasing quality backpackers travel insurance for your journey through Peru or cruise insurance around the Galapagos Islands
Stretching over 6,000km along the Pacific Coast of South America, Chile offers a wide array of climates and adventures. It is a country where you can sandboard down dunes one day and be walking on glaciers the next.
It is home to fine wine and cuisine along with exceptional modern cities such as Santiago. Enjoy stargazing under some of the clearest skies in the world and hike through the magical Patagonia region.
Relax in hot springs or take advantage of the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available such as skiing in the Andes.
And don’t forget that the mysterious and remote Easter Island, with its iconic moai, is a Chilean Island far off in the south eastern Pacific Ocean. You can reach this remarkable island via daily flights from Santiago.
An off the beaten path destination that hasn’t yet been ruined by mass tourism, Bolivia offers a truly authentic South American experience. The country is home to the World’s highest international airport as well as Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake.
The country is not all about being in high altitude, as you can get lost in the lush jungles searching for macaws and jaguars in the Amazon. After that, head to Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat where you can get some incredibly unique selfies.
Introduce yourself to new indigenous cultures, cosy up to a llama, and explore exotic cuisine. Best of all is the fact Bolivia is a budget traveller’s paradise.
See the wonder of nature as Darwin did when you cruise around the fascinating Galapagos Islands in search of giant Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, and the comical blue-footed booby birds.
It is important to point out, however, that Ecuador offers much more than just the Galapagos. Marvel at the stunning colonial architecture offered by Quito. The city is the best-preserved historic centre in the Americas and was the first to be named a UNESCO World Heritage city.
Enjoy comfortable spring-like temperatures all year round, beautiful beaches, and lovely markets where you can find all kinds of handicrafts created by talented artisans.
Argentina won’t cry for you, so long as you promise to pay her a visit during your lifetime. Visit an estancia where you can learn how to play polo or learn how to dance the tango in Buenos Aires.
Dine on some of the world’s finest beef, take a day trip to see Iguazú Falls, and see the tallest mountain outside of Asia. Aconcagua is South America’s tallest peak and is listed as one of the world’s Seven Summits.
Argentina is also home to the city of Ushuaia, commonly referred to as the end of the world, which is the gateway to exploring Antarctica. A cruise to the world’s southernmost continent is an experience that will leave you speechless.
Last but not least, you cannot go your entire life without experiencing the many treasures of Peru. Be mesmerised by lost ancient cities built by the Inca, including the 15th century citadel Machu Picchu which has been recognised as one of the great Wonders of the World.
See the impressive pre-Columbian petroglyphs known as the Nazca Lines by way of a thrilling scenic flight or follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most notable explorers as you take a riverboat cruise up the mighty Amazon River in search of river dolphins, sloths, and many different species of monkeys.
Surf the waves of the Pacific in Lima where you will also find some of the world’s finest restaurants serving delicious cuisine. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Paracas, find a real life oasis in Huacachina, and learn all kinds of intriguing history in Cusco.