Places to visit in South America

Make the most of your holidays or gap year and head somewhere that will challenge your senses and amaze you at every turn. The breathtaking scenery, relaxed atmosphere and unique culture make South America a popular choice for those looking for somewhere a little different.


Why South America is a great place to travel

South America is a backpacker’s paradise, offering budget-friendly travel options and experiences. Although this is ideal for student travel, South America has so much more to reward those who take the chance and explore this stunning continent.

From the Amazon jungle to the peaks of the snow-capped Andes, endless stretches of white sandy beaches, ancient Inca ruins, traditional villages and cosmopolitan cities where music pumps all night and people dance to their own beat, picturesque South America is the place to see something completely different and escape everything you know. Meet new people and share experiences that will last a lifetime.

Places to visit in South America

There are many fun and interesting things to do and places to explore while you travel South America. Here are a few ideas to help make your trip one to remember:

  • Rio  de Janeiro, Brazil: See the famous Christ the Redeemer  (Cristo Redentor) high on Corcovado Mountain, soak up the Brazilian  culture and practice your Portuguese, sip a caipirinha and spend time people-watching at the famous Copacabana beach, experience the Lapa street party or even take some Samba lessons. Eat, drink, dance and enjoy the  electric vibe.
  • Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina border: Do not miss experiencing the beauty and rush of water at one of the world’s  most spectacular waterfalls.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: Known for its love of tango, delicious wines and exceptional steaks. This Latin American city, with a subtle European flavour, has vibrant nightlife and friendly  people. 
  • Glaciar Perito Moreno, Argentina: Located in LosGlaciaresNational Park, this is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. Witness the suspense and excitement as massive sheets of ice crack and fall into the freezing ocean below – this stunning blue-hued glacier is one of few in the world that are growing. 
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia: Take a tour across the world’s largest salt flat and explore this extraordinary area. Also see volcanoes, flamingos and coloured lakes in the stunning south west corner of Bolivia.
  • Machu Picchu, Peru: This ancient Inca city is breathtaking. Arrive early to see the sun rise and the first rays of light strike the site. Trek the 4 day Inca Trail, take a jungle bike and hiking tour, or catch a train from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo.
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: Swim with sea lions, penguins and turtles as you sail around these remote and spectacular volcanic islands. Witness some of the world’s most unique and fearless animals.
  • Cartagena, Colombia: Walk through the winding cobbled streets of the old town, marvel at the colours of the  buildings, and relax and people-watch in the cafes of this coastal town. Take a trip out to the striking white sand beach Playa Blanca and relax in a hammock. Or for something really different, head to Volcan de Lodo El Totumo for a mud bath in the top of a volcano!


While these are only a few of the highlights you can experience while travelling in South America, it is the whole package that makes this continent extra special – it’s the eclectic mix of people and their laidback attitude to life that really sticks with you.

Have fun, a sense of responsibility and open your mind to adventure and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.

Check out your options for travel with Student Flights Australia.

About the author: Lea Phillips+ is a photographer and writer who loves to travel. With a backpack and keen sense of adventure, Lea spent 4 months, and many crazy times, independently travelling South America and fell in love with this amazing continent.


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