Ten Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In South America In 2022

May 17, 2022

South America and its sovereign states offer us a warm climate, historical relics, architectural and natural wonders as well as a large range of foods, stunning landscapes, and vibrant colorful cultures. The continent and its inhabitants are culturally influenced by their indigenous peoples, connections with the Iberian Peninsula and Africa, and the many European colonies that were located here in the past. 

No wonder, this diversity and the many things to explore have led to an increase of touristic revenue and booming travel. Here are ten cities that are definitely worth a visit.

The Ten Most Beautiful Cities In South America

If you travel to South America, you have many places and cultures to explore. At any end of the country, you will find diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and a lot of history. If you want to add South America to your travel-radar, here are ten of the most beautiful places on the continent:

1.    Santiago, Chile

If you google Santiago, you will quickly understand why many people love to explore this city at least once. Its skyline is a stunning combination of skyscrapers, mountains, Neoclassical and typical Chilean architecture.

The Andes surrounding the city are often snow capped and home to ski resorts. Just 90 minutes outside Santiago, Valle Nevado will provide you with slopes for every experience level. In the summer months, you can use these spots to hike, bike, or ride horses.

If you are looking for hotels in Santiago, Chile, you will have your pick between modern buildings or charming Bohemian neighborhoods like Barrio Bellavista.

2.    San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

You will not find any shiny glass-covered skyscrapers in San Pedro. Instead, life here is a bit more rustic. Similarly to Santiago, however, you will also get your fill of the Andes and its dramatic landscapes, in combination with deserts, geysers, hot springs and even volcanoes. It easily makes you feel like you landed on Mars. 

This makes San Pedro a great destination for nature lovers. There is plenty to explore, for example the Los Flamencos Natural Reserve.

3.    Cusco, Peru

Cusco will give you more of a rural vibe in some parts of the city as well. It is often used as a pit stop for hikers and mountain climbers on their way to Machu Picchu or nature lovers visiting the Lake Titicaca and the Uros Floating Islands. If you are interested in Peru’s natives and history, you can explore the many Inca sites around the outskirts of the city.

4.    Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is well known as a popular cosmopolitan travel destination in Argentina. If you are interested in shopping, this is the place for you. It is full of high class and diverse shops, as well as a vibrant nightlife. If you explore the city, you will be able to find many Italian influences from the early settlers from Genoa.

5.    Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is close to Buenos Aires. While you can still find some of the upscale feeling of Buenos Aires here, especially at its high-class beaches, you will also find a more relaxed, down to earth downtown area.

If you are interested in architecture, the art deco and neoclassical buildings all over the city are stunning. For example, check out the Palacio Salvo or the Castillo Pittamiglio.

6.    Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, a city in Argentina, is the southernmost city in all the world. The Antarctica is just 600-miles away, and you can feel the city’s connection to nature and science. Explore the Maritime Museum for some educational fun, or go on hikes to try to spot some penguins.

7.    La Paz, Bolivia

If you like altitudes, La Paz is a great destination. It is located high in the Andes Mountains, making it the highest administrative capital in the world. Naturally, the surrounding area and city itself are very mountainous with steep inclines and canyons. 

If you use the aerial cable car, you can easily enjoy the view from up high and enjoy the image of the traditional Bolivian buildings clinging to the mountainsides.

8.    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Needless to say, Rio de Janeiro is one of the top destinations for travelers all across the world. Famous for its Carnival, the city is known for its free spirits and vibrant colors. 

If you enjoy libraries and books, make sure to stop at the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading. It is filled, wall to wall, with high reaching bookcases and pretty golden and turquoise architecture. If you are not visiting during the festival, you can chill at the Copacabana Beach or visit the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

9.    São Paulo, Brazil

If you are a foodie, São Paulo is the right destination for you. The city is full of stores, restaurants, and street vendors that will make it hard for you to choose. Additionally, this culture is complemented by the diverse art scene, cool bars, and art-house cinemas. 

You can really feel the cultural diversity in this city, since it has the largest Japanese and Italian population outside their native countries, as well as over one million people with German heritage.

10. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

If you have ever wanted to see fruit sellers in vibrant clothing balance bowls of tropical fruits on their heads like you have seen in media about the Caribbean, Cartagena de Indias is a great destination. It is these kinds of signs of the heritage and culture of Colombia that can be found all over the “Queen of the Caribbean Coast”, as the city is called.


South America has many wonderful places to visit, and it’s almost a shame to pick only a few of them to suggest. Here are ten beautiful cities you can use to start your exploration of the many South American cities and cultures. You can find just as many stunning landscapes as vibrant towns and historical destinations. There is most definitely something for every traveler to find here.  

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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