South America

Travel Guide
Puerto Madero showing a skyscraper, night scenes and a river or creek

Sunbathe on gorgeous beaches, ski, watch exceptional soccer and appreciate the fascinating customs of indigenous cultures.  

South America is a land of contrasts, with equatorial rainforests and snow-capped mountains, thriving modern cities and ruins of ancient civilization. Spend days or weeks in multiple countries to experience the culture, beauty and excitement across the continent.

Enjoy modern art and architecture and historic indigenous and European roots in one of the world’s great cities, Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. Practice your Spanish and watch a tango, with a timeless expression of emotion via dance. For outdoor excitement, hike and ski in the jagged mountains of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, the region that includes parts of Argentina and Chile.

Brazil occupies nearly half the continent. Its Atlantic beaches include Rio de Janeiro’s famous Ipanema as well as less celebrated gems, such as Baia do Sancho and Lopes Mendes. Inland, the mighty Amazon River offers rainforest trekking, whitewater adventures and ecotourism. Surprisingly deep in the rainforest, the Renaissance opera house built in Manaus in the late 1800s now hosts a philharmonic orchestra. Watch soccer in the country where Pelé, Ronaldo and other great football players were born.

Explore history at the Jesuit ruins of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná in Paraguay, pre-Columbian ruins in El Fuerte de Samaipata in Bolivia, the walled early colonial city of Cartagena in Colombia and the high-altitude fortress of the Incas in Machu Picchu, Peru.

Exceptional natural experiences abound. Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park features mountains and waterfalls. Lake Titicaca lies high in the Andes Mountains between Peru and Bolivia. Venezuela’s Angel Falls drops an incredible distance. Stand with your feet on either side of the equator in Ecuador and see if you feel dizzy.

Appreciate the mix of culture, tradition, music, costumes and food from Quechua, Guaraní and hundreds of other indigenous peoples throughout the region. South American food specialties include Argentine beef with a delicious dessert of flan with a sweet dulce de leche syrup. In Brazil, eat all you want at a churrascaria with a dozen varieties of meat. Accompany your meal with a caipirinha made from a spirit distilled from sugar cane. Have feijoada, the Brazilian black bean stew served every Sunday.

History, nature and culture come alive in South America. Enjoy interacting with the warm people of the continent throughout the year. Visit for the special celebration of Carnaval in the spring.

Popular cities in South America

Rio de Janeiro which includes general coastal views, a sunset and mountains
Rio de Janeiro
Known for Beach view, Sea and Scenery
Celebrate Brazilian culture in the city where the samba was born and enjoy the stunning natural wonders right at its doorstep.  

Reasons to visit

  • Museum of Tomorrow
  • Copacabana Beach
  • Ipanema Beach
Buenos Aires featuring a city and a high rise building
Buenos Aires
Known for Dining, Shopping and Tours
The capital city of Argentina combines a European flavor with a rich history and energetic nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Galerias Pacifico
  • Obelisco
  • Plaza de Mayo
Buenos Aires featuring art
Buenos Aires
Known for Shopping, Tours and Cafes
Buenos Aires awaits: its cafés, museums, entertainment, and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Galerias Pacifico
  • Obelisco
  • Plaza de Mayo
Monserrate featuring tranquil scenes, mountains and landscape views
Bogotá
Known for Dining, Shopping and Museums
Bogotá is a colossal city in the sky. Its cultural and recreational activities provide diverse entertainment with an exciting South American flair.

Reasons to visit

  • Plaza de Bolivar
  • Gold Museum
  • Bogota National Capitol
Exposition Park featuring a fountain and a park as well as a large group of people
Lima
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Spanish colonial houses, exquisite food, musicians in traditional dress, oceanfront entertainment and fine museums make the Peruvian capital a feast for the senses. 

Reasons to visit

  • Plaza San Martin
  • Plaza de Armas de Lima
  • Government Palace
Bank of Brazil Cultural Center showing heritage architecture and street scenes as well as a large group of people
Sao Paulo
Known for Museums, Art and Cultural activities
Experience the diversity of this megacity’s cultural offerings, visit religious buildings or practice Portuguese with locals in nightclubs or shady parks.