South America is a land of mystery and adventure which has been luring in travelers for many years. It is the perfect destination for not only backpackers but for those looking for luxury as well. You can say, it has the best of both worlds.
The massive continent has an endless amount of terrain that can be explored and has something for everyone to enjoy – from the Andes mountains to the many coastal beach towns. Aside from its captivating beauty, if we’re being honest, many people visit because it’s cheaper than many other places and who doesn’t like saving a bit?
South America is already calling your name but before you book your flight and pack your bags, there are a few key things you must take note of before jetting off.
Being Aware of the Seasons
For those who don’t know, South America is in the southern hemisphere so it’s important to take notice of the seasons especially those who live in the northern hemisphere. If you plan on coming in the summer, know that the warmer months go from November to February while the winter starts in June until September.
Although the Caribbean area, which is in Colombia and Venezuela, stay warm and humid all year round. La costa, or the coastal regions, are also warmer but it depends on how close the country is to the equator. The further south you go, water tends to be colder and can get breezy.
Diversity in Landscape and Culture
It was mentioned, and it will be mentioned again. South America is massive so you can expect a lot of diversity as you travel. One minute you will be in the mountains and the next, you might reach the desert. It can happen.
Due to its rich diversity, you must know what you are looking for whether it be the countryside, mountains, glaciers, beach, jungle or desert. Doing research on each country is pivotal because they all have something different to offer, though some countries have a bit more of a variety in landscape.
South America is known to have some of the greatest natural worlds wonders as well, like the Amazon River, Machu Picchu, the Iguaza Falls and so much more. You can definitely learn about the country’s history and culture by going to the incredible sites.
Just like the landscape, South America is diverse in its culture and people. It can be a bit of a culture shock and might break the image of what you think South American people look like. Due to the continent’s history, you might encounter the Indigenous people from the mountainside or jungle or those of African, Asian, or Europe ethnicities. Regardless, they will welcome you with open arms.
Checking for Visas
Majority of the countries in South America aren’t strict with the visa regulations to enter, depending on your passport, but there are a few that always require a visa.
Before you embark on your journey, if you plan on entering Brazil, Chile, and Easter Island, you will need a visa. As for Bolivia, you will need to purchase a visa upon arrival.
Regardless, it’s always best to check with visa beforehand so you won’t encounter any issues.
Always Practice Precaution
South America has a bad reputation for violence, crime, and many other negative connotations. It does have these unfortunate actions occur, like any other place, but being aware and practicing common sense will keep you safe.
If you flaunt, you’re setting yourself up as a target. It’s best to always try to blend in with the locals even if you physically look different. This goes with carrying what you need and keeping the valuables in a safe area.
To help you out on your trip itinerary, here are some recommended places to start or add onto your adventure.
Many people head to Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo when going to Brazil but if you want to experience the heart of Brazil, head to the northeastern city. It’s home to Carnaval so if you happen to be traveling during the month of February, you won’t want to miss out on the festivities.
The heavily African-influenced city offers a different vibe in comparison to the rest of Brazil but it shows authenticity.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A South American city with a European essence. Buenos Aires will have you captivated with its beautiful colonial architecture, delicious parrillada, and vibrant nightlife.
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
One of the most biodiverse islands on the planet is the Galapagos Islands. If you’re looking to see unique wildlife, this is the place to be.
The Caribbean city is filled with culture, life, and energy. Cartagena is one of the first stops many people visit before exploring the rest of the Colombian Caribbean and it’s an amazing starting point.
The city is filled with colorful colonial buildings with women dressed in traditional clothing. People dance and play in the streets which will make you feel like you’re in some sort of movieCheap flights to Cartagena
South America is a beautiful continent rich in culture and natural wonders. It is a relatively inexpensive place to travel around. The culture is colorful, diverse, and inviting. There are many travel options from inexpensive to luxury.
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