Five Best Places To Visit Across South America

December 6, 2023

Are you considering where are the best places to visit across South America for your next dream vacation?

From its delicious cuisine, unique wildlife, vibrant party energy, and rich history, it is no wonder that millions of tourists flock to South America each year. 

Whether you want to explore the ancient ruins of Peru or surf along the coast of Nicaragua, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy when visiting South America. 

In fact, for many people such as myself, traveling to South America is their first time traveling abroad and it is easy to not know what to expect or to overlook these essential items when traveling abroad. However, let us start exploring these destinations for your next trip of a lifetime! 

Machu Picchu, Peru

Peru is a country filled with delicious food, unique culture, nature, and a connection to the ancient Inca Civilization. Especially when visiting Machu Picchu. 

Built in the 15th century, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers panoramic views of the stunning nature of Peru. 

When visiting Peru, you must also explore the Intihuatana stone and the Temple of the Sun. The Intihuatana stone is believed to have been an astronomical clock or calendar by the Incas. If you love rich history and being outdoors, then visiting Peru is a must for you! 

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry winter season from May to October. During this time, you can enjoy dozens of fun activities to do in Peru, including hiking one of Peru’s 20,000+ mountains across the country. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is known for its vibrant culture and stunning natural landscapes and is truly one of the best places to visit across South America. 

While in Rio Brazil, you absolutely must visit the iconic symbol of Brazil, Christ the Redeemer. This 30-meter statue is one of the largest statues of Jesus in the world and offers panoramic views of the city from Corcovado mountain. 

Just a short drive from the Christ the Redeemer statue, you can enjoy the stunning beaches along Copacabana and Ipanema. Here you can walk on top of the white marble pavement and enjoy water activities such as jet skiing or simply lay back and relax. 

A trip to Brazil is not complete until you participate in The Carnaval Rio festival. This festival has been going on since the early 1723’s and attracts more than 40 million visitors each year! 

The Carnival festival is an explosion of color and rhythm with hundreds of beautiful dancers spreading cheers and happiness through dance. 

This 5-day long festival is one of the most popular holidays in Brazil and is an absolute must-do activity while in South America. 

However, while there is a huge police presence to keep everyone safe, petty theft is common, especially in large crowds. This is why it’s important to protect yourself and your belongings by having these best travel accessories that you can take on any trip abroad! 

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia is a destination where you can explore nature in its purest forms. Patagonia is home to over 500 animal species and 17,300 glaciers and is a must-visit destination for any wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts.

While in Patagonia, you must visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This massive ice formation, located in the Los Glaciares National Park, is one of the few glaciers in the world that’s still growing every year. 

You can even hike on some parts of Perito Moreno Glacier. 

If you have never done glacier hiking before, let me tell you that it is one of the best experiences that you will ever have and I highly recommend it for any adrenaline junkie! 

If you love photography then you must capture the stunning views of Fitz Roy Trek near El Chaltén. This 6-8 hour hike is well worth the distance as throughout your route you can enjoy stunning views of nature alone with the unique opportunity to spot wildlife.  

If you prefer to hike an easier trail, then you can hike along Mirador Cuernos in Torres Del Paine National Park. This hike is less than 2 miles long and is not overpopulated with tourists, so you can enjoy the beautiful views by yourself! 

If you want to enjoy the city life in Argentina, then I highly suggest exploring Buenos Aires. 

Here, you can experience a great nightlight with rich culture and history. Plus, Buenos Aires is one of the best cities for digital nomads to explore, so you can travel across this beautiful country while working remotely! 

It is no wonder why Argentina is one of the best places to visit across South America. 

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast known for its colorful streets and cobblestone streets. By the sea is the walled Old Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its cultural heritage and significance. 

The walled old town was initially founded in the 16th century and the wall was built to protect people from foreign invasion in the early 1540s.

While in Cartagena, you can enjoy exploring Convento la Popa del la Galera which is a viewpoint at the top of a 500-foot hill where you can take pictures of the panoramic view of Cartagena. 

If you are a big foodie, then you will be impressed by Cartagena’s explosive taste in a wide array of delicious cuisines. Specifically, the Getsemani neighborhood is a vibrant area known for its street art, lively music, and delicious street food. You can dine on local dishes like Arepas (which is my personal favorite), ceviche, and empanadas. 

At night this town comes to life with salsa clubs, award-winning bars, and fun vibes. 

Regardless of whether you are a history buff, foodie, or love to dance, Cartagena offers something for everyone.  

Managua, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is one of the best places to visit across South America due to its pristine landscapes and thrilling outdoor adventures! 

Just a short 30-minute drive from Managua, you can experience one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, Granada. Here this city is known for its colonial architecture and vibrant color building colors dating back as old as 1580’s and is still a hotspot for tourists today. 

While in Granada, you can kayak around the Isletas de Granada which offers peaceful views of the nearby Mombacho Volcano.

If you love outdoor or water activities then you are in luck as Nicaragua offers some of the best scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, and surfing opportunities across South America. With over 560 miles of coastline, you can enjoy some of the best beaches to surf in Nicaragua and catch over 15-foot tall waves within the major swell season.  

You can enjoy suffering year round, however, the best time to catch major waves is during the wet season from around April through October. 

If you are like me and love being in nature, then you must visit Masaya Volcano National Park. This is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and offers a rare opportunity for a lava lake.

You can even take a night tour where you can see the lava’s glow against the night sky and city lights off into the distance! This is truly a great experience for everyone to enjoy! 


From the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the lush beaches in Nicaragua, wherever you go you are sure to have a great vacation at one of these best places to visit across South America. 

About The Author:

Daisy Valdes is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, blogger, and avid world traveler. From solo traveling to adventurous destinations, her blog helps all kinds of travelers on their journeys. So join Daisy on her mission to inspire positive change through sustainable adventures!

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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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