Discover the captivating beauty and rich cultural heritage of South America continent with our guide to the 12 best places to visit in South America. From the lush Amazon rainforest to the rugged Andes Mountains, South America is a land of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and unforgettable experiences. To help you make the most of your journey, we’ve provided links to in-depth and up-to-date travel guides for each of these incredible destinations. So, let your sense of adventure guide you as we explore the wonders of South America!
Brazil is a vast and diverse country, offering everything from iconic landmarks like Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain to the awe-inspiring Amazon Rainforest and the thundering Iguazu Falls. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Brazil’s cities, or soak up the sun on the golden sands of Copacabana beach. Brazil is truly one of the best places to visit in South America.
Must-visit cities in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador Da Bahia, Brasilia, and Florianopolis.
Argentina is a land of stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Marvel at the towering Andes Mountains, witness the majestic glaciers of Patagonia, or immerse yourself in the tango culture of Buenos Aires. Don’t forget to savor the delicious Argentine cuisine, including world-renowned beef and Malbec wine.
Popular cities in Argentina: Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Bariloche, Cordoba, and Salta.
Peru is a must-visit destination for history and culture enthusiasts. Discover the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, wander through the vibrant streets of Cusco, or explore the mysterious Nazca Lines. Peru’s diverse landscapes, from the Amazon Rainforest to the high Andean peaks, make it one of the best places to visit in South America.
Renowned cities in Peru: Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, and Puno.
Chile is a land of diverse landscapes, stretching from the Atacama Desert in the north to the icy glaciers of Patagonia in the south. Explore the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama, hike the rugged Torres del Paine National Park, or taste world-class wines in the Central Valley. The vibrant cities of Santiago and Valparaíso offer a rich cultural experience.
Top cities in Chile: Santiago, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas.
Colombia is a vibrant and diverse country, known for its lush landscapes, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Discover the colorful streets of Cartagena’s Old Town, trek through the lush Cocora Valley, or dance the night away in the salsa capital of Cali. Colombia’s warm and welcoming people make it an unforgettable destination.
Best cities in colombia: Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla.
Ecuador is a small but diverse country, offering stunning natural beauty and fascinating cultural experiences. Explore the historic center of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, discover the unique wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, or venture into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Ecuador is truly one of the best places to visit in South America.
Popular cities in Ecuador: Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Banos, and Galapagos Islands.
Bolivia is a captivating destination, boasting breathtaking landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. Discover the otherworldly beauty of the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, explore the colorful markets of La Paz, or delve into the fascinating history of Potosí. The diversity of Bolivia’s landscapes and its unique cultural experiences make it an unforgettable destination.
Must-visit cities in Bolivia: La Paz, Sucre, Potosi, Cochabamba, and Oruro.
Uruguay is a charming and often overlooked South American gem, known for its beautiful beaches, rolling countryside, and vibrant cities. Stroll along the picturesque streets of Montevideo’s Old Town, relax on the sandy shores of Punta del Este, or discover the historic charm of Colonia del Sacramento. Uruguay offers a laid-back and authentic travel experience.
Popular cities in Uruguay: Montevideo, Punta del Este, Colonia del Sacramento, Tacuarembo, and Carmelo.
Paraguay is a landlocked country offering a mix of natural beauty and rich cultural history. Explore the colonial architecture and vibrant markets of Asunción, discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jesuit missions, or take a boat trip along the mighty Paraná River. Paraguay provides a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for those seeking adventure.
Key cities in Paraguay: Asuncion and Encarnacion.
Guyana is an undiscovered gem in South America, boasting stunning natural beauty and a unique blend of cultures. Discover the pristine wilderness of the Iwokrama Rainforest, spot the elusive jaguar, or visit the impressive Kaieteur Falls, one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls. Guyana offers an unspoiled and authentic travel experience for nature lovers.
Must-visit cities in Guyana: Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam and Port Mourant.
Suriname is a small but diverse country on the northeastern coast of South America, known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Explore the vibrant city of Paramaribo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, venture into the pristine Amazon Rainforest, or discover the unique flora and fauna of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. Suriname is an off-the-beaten-path destination waiting to be explored.
Popular city in Suriname: Paramaribo.
12. French Guiana
French Guiana, a mesmerizing overseas department of France located in South America, offers a unique blend of European and South American influences. Its rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and untamed rainforests make it an off-the-beaten-path destination for adventurous travelers. Discover the intriguing history of the Îles du Salut, a group of islands that once housed the infamous penal colony of Devil’s Island, or explore the bustling capital of Cayenne, with its vibrant markets and colorful colonial architecture.
Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the pristine Amazonian rainforest, home to a wealth of flora and fauna, as well as the opportunity to witness the Ariane rocket launches at the Guiana Space Centre. French Guiana is a hidden gem that promises a truly unforgettable South American experience.
Popular areas in French Guiana: Kourou, Saint Laurent Du Maroni and Cayenne.
Conclusion: South America is a continent filled with incredible destinations that cater to every type of traveler. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural experiences, it’s no wonder that South America is home to some of the best places to visit in the world. We hope this guide to the 12 best places to visit in South America has inspired you to start planning your next adventure!