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Are you planning to visit Colombia, Chile, Argentina? Check out our Ultimate South America Travel Guide to know more about South American destinations, including essential information and helpful travel tips.

Do you love culture and natural wonders? South America is the ultimate travel destination for you.

This continent is filled with well-loved tourist spots such as the Galapagos Islands, Rio de Janeiro, and Patagonia. There are also hidden gems waiting to be discovered by globetrotters, one of which is Peru’s Ayacucho.

South America is also teeming with good local food – think Tucomanas of Buenos Aires and fine chocolates from Ecuador!

Whichever part you end up visiting, make sure to check out all the best things to do in the area right here in our Ultimate South America Travel Guide.

If you need a shortlist of all the best accommodations in South America, check out our hotel features in every destination category.

From luxurious villas to glamping tents, you are sure to find the one that fits your idea of a South American getaway.

Destinations in South America

RIO DE JANEIRO

PATAGONIA

BOLIVIA

PERU

LIMA PERU

CUSCO PERU

ECUADOR

QUITO ECUADOR

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

MEDELLIN COLOMBIA

BOGOTA COLOMBIA

BUENOS AIRES

SANTIAGO DE CHILE

Best Adventure Tours in South America

VISITING THE SALT FLATS OF BOLIVIA

CYCLING THE DEATH ROAD

TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK

Machu Picchu

HIKE THE MORRO DIOS IRMAOS

HELICOPTER TOUR IN RIO DE JANEIRO

COLCA CANYON PERU TREK

CRUISING DOWN THE AMAZON RIVER

Book your vacation now!

All the companies and products below are helpful to plan your trip. The travel experts of Universal Traveller use all of them because they make their lives easier.

  • AgodaAgoda is an amazing website to book hotel rooms. When we are traveling in Asia we do not use any other website.

  • Booking.comBooking is another great platform to look for hotels. Low prices, great selection, and an easy-to-use interface!

  • HostelworldHostelworld is in our opinion the best website to search for hostels. You can find rooms and beds of more than 35.000 accommodations in 180 countries.

  • Get Your Guide helps you to find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s normally the first website that we check when we plan a trip to a new place.

  • RentalCarsRentalcars compares 900 companies at over 53,000 locations to guarantee you the best price.

  • Momondo – Momondo is the first website we use when we are looking for a cheap flight.

The Best Galapagos Islands Hotels

Galapagos Islands Hotels – I traveled to the Galapagos Islands on my own. Instead of sleeping on a boat, I booked hotels on the three main Islands Isabela, Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. The Galapagos Islands offer not only spectacular nature but also very nice hotels to make your vacation even more special. During my …

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Top things to do on San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

San Cristobal Island rises from the water some 50 kilometers east of the other Galapagos islands. Find here the best things to do in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. Though not as large as Isla Isabela or as populated as Isla Santa Cruz, San Cristobal is definitely worth a stop. This island is actually one of …

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Top things to do on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands

Isla Isabela is the biggest island in the Galapagos. It actually accounts for over half of the entire archipelago’s landmass. Find here the best things to do on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands. But even so, the island is one of the least trafficked by travelers, and it’s home to just over 2000 of the 25,000 …

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Top Things to do on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

Santa Cruz is the second-largest island in the Galapagos and holds the islands’ largest village, Puerto Ayora. Check out the best things to do on Santa Cruz Island. The island was formed by a now dormant volcano left behind a stunning lava tunnel, which stretches a full two kilometers beneath the island’s surface. I spent …

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Best things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro may well be the most famous city in Brazil—and maybe even in all of South America. Find here the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro. Many travelers actually mistake this majestic coastal city for the capital of Brazil. And that assumption’s not completely unfounded. The city was the capital of …

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Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia

Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is one of the greatest adventures in South America. You can choose between different Torres del Paine national park hikes and enjoy breathtaking views. Written by Steph from Worldly Adventurer It’s the final few steps as the path careers back on itself and over the brow …

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Cruising Down the Amazon River on a Slowboat

Cruising down the Amazon River on a slow boat is a unique way for travelers to experience nature on the world’s largest river. This journey is an awesome adventure but is not the kind of adventure travelers often picture. There are not many roads crossing through the dense jungle of the Amazon, and the river …

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Hike the Morro Dios Irmaos in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with an abundance of things to do. It has miles of beautiful white sand beaches, beautiful people, amazing history, culture, and gorgeous mountains surrounding it. Read also: Best Adventure Tours & Trips. One of the best hikes in Rio De Janeiro is …

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Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

Where are the Galapagos Islands located, and what makes them so unique? This post explains the Galapagos Islands’ location. If you are thinking about traveling to the Galapagos Islands, you probably want to know the exact location of the Galapagos Islands. This post will show you where the Islands are and tell you why this …

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10 Day Land Based Itinerary Galapagos Islands

Ultimate 10 Day Land-Based Itinerary Galapagos Islands including Galapagos Hotels and best Galapagos Tours. The Galapagos Islands are almost as famous as their name is fun to say. Some 1400 hundred miles off the coast of its mother country, Ecuador, this one-of-a-kind archipelago juts up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. The islands’ isolated …

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Helicopter Tour Rio de Janeiro

When you imagine Rio de Janeiro, your mind might not jump to spinning blades and the familiar whir of a hovering helicopter. Instead, you probably picture one of the countless iconic views of the city—from the Christ Redeemer to Copacabana Beach and the picturesque mesh and weave of urban sprawl with jungle wilderness like nowhere …

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The most beautiful Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Lined with golden sand along the eastern and southern extremities, Rio de Janeiro beaches, among them the Ipanema beach and Copacabana, inform its social make-up, fashion, and leisure. A stream of vendors hauls from barbecued cheese and iced tea to trays of cocktails, maintaining the buzz much alive. Jogging, beach volley, surfing, swimming, and an …

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What’s It Like Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road?

Deep within the Andes, Death Road, Bolivia winds its way along with narrow cliff faces and harrowing blind curves. Sheer rock and mountain climb hundreds of meters into the air to one side of the narrow pass. On the other, there’s nothing but empty air and a kilometer drop; no one can survive. Death Road, …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Bolivia

Bolivia lies landlocked between Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Paraguay. But even without an attractive coastline or beaches, the country holds countless things for savvy travelers to see and do. Ecologically, the country holds an almost unbelievable array of environmental diversity, especially for a country its size: it is home to the rich Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped …

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2-Day-Itinerary Baños, Ecuador

If you’re in Ecuador and looking for an adventure (or at the very least, a very lively weekend), I recommend a visit to Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador. This jungle mountain town is named for its thermal baths. Each day, hundreds of locals and travelers flock to these healing mineral waters to enjoy their soothing …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Patagonia

Show someone a picture from Patagonia—perhaps a snapshot of the imposing Monte San Valentin or precious Perito Moreno Glacier, and chances are they’ll guess it’s a photo from somewhere else: British Columbia, maybe, or the Alps or Himalayas. Fair or not, South America isn’t the first place most of us think of when we picture …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The city’s first European settlers and sailors named Buenos Aires, or “good airs,” chose the name thanks to the strong winds that brought them to the South American continent. As the capital of Argentina, some 14 million people call Buenos Aires home. It’s actually the second most visited city in Latin America (and the first …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Ecuador

I asked a bunch of travel bloggers for their ultimate best things to in Ecuador and Ecuador tourist attractions. The Republic of Ecuador is a country that has long captivated travelers. The first indigenous peoples settled here around 12,000 years ago, and since then, the land has hosted a rich human history. Today the artifacts …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Quito, Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador, is a sprawling city that lines the rolling hills and slopes of the Guayllabamba basin. At nearly 3000 meters above sea level, Quito is one of the highest national capitals in South America and the world. Home to nearly 3 million inhabitants and 32 districts, Quito has a rich history. The city was …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Santiago Chile

There are many fun things to do in Santiago, Chile. Like most large cities, Santiago has great food and some awesome things to see and do. If you’re spending a few days in Santiago and are looking for some great experiences, we’ve got you covered. Nestled within the Santiago Valley and surrounded by majestic snow-capped …

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Different ways to get to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is, hands down, one of the coolest places on the planet. Nestled high in the Andean mountains some eighty miles from Cusco, it’s perhaps the most recognizable archaeological site in the world. Machu Picchu was once used as a retreat for the Incan royal family, and the height of the site’s occupation was …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Lima, Peru

Lima has been deemed the gastronomic capital of the Americas. And that’s for a good reason — the Peruvian capital city has three of the world’s 50 best restaurants. But Lima has so much more to offer than great eats: stunning ocean views, opportunities for unforgettable adventures, and an immersive history seen nowhere else. The …

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Ultimate List of Best Things to do in Peru

Peru is a stunning country rich in both cultural history and natural wonders. Those looking for the best things to do in Peru will find that the country holds a bit of everything, from sand dunes and desert caravans to one-of-a-kind ecology and island life and a truly unique cultural heritage. Those familiar with Peru’s …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Cusco, Peru

Cusco is an ancient and intriguing city. One of the only major cities in the world located at above 11,000 feet, the city would be a marvel in modern times. But Cusco’s history makes it even more impressive. Cusco is an ancient capital. Nestled high in the Andean mountains, it served as the seat of …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Medellín, Colombia

Medellín, Colombia, a city nestled high within the Colombian mountains, has a rich cultural history. Its architecture is stunning, spanning from Spanish colonial to works of modern renown. The city has also received acclaim as an emerging eco-tourism hotspot. But, unfortunately, when most international travelers think of Medellín, they jump to the city’s darker past. …

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Ultimate List of Best things to do in Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá is the heart of modern Colombia and, with 8 million inhabitants, the largest and most populated city. It was regarded as unsafe for tourists and is now home to a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene, a beautiful colonial quarter with impressive architecture, and world-class museums. I have asked a bunch of bloggers about their …

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Why Colombia Should be Your Next Travel Destination

I just finished traveling around South America for ten months. Besides the fact that the entire experience was incredible, one country really stood out for me – Colombia! Colombia is a country that has managed to shed its previous reputation by welcoming travelers with open arms to explore what is not only a beautiful place …

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Diving at Rosario Island Nationalpark

What to do in Cartagena besides exploring the historic city center? Escape from the colonial city and go diving! The magnificent archipel Rosario Island Nationalpark is one of the 46 Nationalparks of Colombia. It consists of about 30 small islands and is located around 1 hour bout ride away from them mainland. Secluded beaches and …

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Luxury Hotel Review – LM Luxury Boutique Hotel Cartagena, Colombia

Over the years, Cartagena de Indias became a favorite destination for romantic weekends with its cobbled streets, historic center, romantic sunsets, and colorful buildings. Staying in a Boutique Hotel will round off your romantic experience in Cartagena. Read here my Luxury Hotel Review – LM Luxury Boutique Hotel Cartagena. Behind white immense wooden walls of the …

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