Okay hands up who hasn’t looked at a photo of the mighty Christ the Redeemer in Brazil and thought ‘I want to go there’? Or the first time they saw a view of it, immediately added the magical Machu Picchu to their bucket list? No? I’m afraid, we don’t believe you!
Twelve countries spanning one of the most ethnically and geographically diverse parts of the world - if you’re into your travel, South America is a dream of a destination. Here’s 6 reasons to buy that ticket to South America.
1. Interesting culture
Each country has it own kinda flavour going on. Blending elements ranging from colonial European influence, African traditions brought by the slave trade and deep rooted indigenous heritage, South American culture is rich and diverse.
And if you’re into your music and love a good party, a trip to South America will be right up your street. Because from the carnival capital of Barranquilla in Colombia to Tango fanatical Buenos Aires in Argentina, you won’t be stuck for a good night out.
2. Crazy climate
As varied as the culture across South America, is the climate. So whether it’s tropical beaches or icy glacier experiences that you’re hankering for, you’ll find them on this continent. From the sweltering canopy of the amazon rainforest to the cutting cold of the high altitude cities cut into the Andean mountain range, a trip here is an adventure of the grandest of scale.
3. Cracking cuisine
From barbecued Argentinian steak and mouthwatering Chilean ceviche, to rich Brazilian fish stew and fried Colombian buñuelos, the South American cuisine is abound with rich and flavorful dishes. Then of course if you’re feeling brave there’s the more obscure classics such as the popular Peruvian meal of marinated grilled Guinea Pig.
Not to mention the plethora of liquid refreshments. Like the national obsession of the green tea-like yerba mate drink in Argentina and Uruguay. Plus, will you have even been to South America if you haven’t tested out an authentic Pisco Sour in Peru, or a real deal Caipirinha in Brazil? And if you’re fan of the vino, be prepared to lose yourself in Argentina’s wine region.
4. Countless natural wonders
There’s Iguazu, with it’s expanse of 275 waterfalls spanning nearly 3km. The soaring snow capped mountains and bright blue glaciers that is Torres del Paine National Park. The barren Atacama desert, so dry that parts of it have never seen a drop of rain. Ever. Then the otherworldly, blinding white expanse of the Bolivian salt flats. And that’s just to name a few.
If the chance to see those natural wonders up close and personal doesn’t get your adventure senses tingling we don’t know what will.
5. Affordable travel
Okay, time to get practical about why you should pack your bags for South America. Most people think that South East Asia is the place to head for budget backpacking. And while it’s true travel is cheap there, it’s not the only place in the world where your money will stretch further. South America can be seriously easy on your travel wallet if cost is one of the major factors in choosing your next destination.
In the lesser developed countries such as Bolivia and Paraguay, you can easily limit your daily budget to £20 and have more than enough. In the rest of the countries such as Argentina and Chile you can still have a blast on around £30 a day. That’s all in. Accommodation, food, activities, transport, the lot.
6. Safer than you think
Not many people realise this, but some South American countries rank higher on the Global Peace Index than the UK. Uruguay, Argentina and Chile are extremely safe, with Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay not far behind them.
And Colombia is increasingly becoming recognised for tourism safety, having worked hard over the last decade to shred it’s rep as a ‘dangerous’ country. So if travel safety is concern of yours, or maybe it’s your first backpacking trip, South America comes up trumps.
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