South America Travel

Trip Planning Overview

Travel Map of Argentina South America draws thousands of visitors each year. Some come for the extravagant fiestas, while others are drawn to the stunning scenery or to mysterious remains of ancient civilizations. Whatever type of trip you want to take, this section can help you prepare for your upcoming adventure.

When to Go
Most of South America is near the equator, making the winter and summer the same mild temperature. There are rainy seasons to consider, however, which could make traveling uncomfortable. In the Amazon and Colombian Pacific Coast, for example, it is common for it to rain everyday, but traveling there would only be hampered if the roads get washed out.

The climate changes from the tropics when you get into the high altitudes of the Andes. If the humidity of the tropics is too much for you, the cooler, spring-like weather of the highlands are close by in some regions. The "Southern Cone," which consists of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil, has more changes in temperature than the tropical regions. Their seasons are similar to the northern hemisphere but occur in reverse.

Types of South America Trips
South America offers many opportunities for all types of outdoor and cultural activities, making it possible to plan your trip around a particular interest.

Tourism Vacation
Having a wide variety of cultural sites, architectural wonders and natural highlights, South America is a major tourist destination of the world. Whether you are drawn to the spectacular scenery or the vibrant city culture of Rio or Buenos Aires, there is no shortage of things to see and do.

Nature and Ecotourism Vacation
South America's diverse terrain and dense expanse of rainforests make it a wonderland for nature lovers. Some of the most popular destinations for spotting exotic wildlife are the Amazon, the Patanal, Los Llanos, and the Galapagos Islands. For more details check out the South America Wildlife section.
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Family Vacation
The natural highlights and the rich culture and history of South America make it a great place to travel with children. South Americans love kids and often go out of their way to be helpful. There are some factors to consider when traveling with children.
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Group Travel
The variety of activities featured in South America makes it a great place for trips with groups. A large group can be challenging to arrange, making a travel professional indispensable when planning this type of trip. There are also other factors to consider when planning your vacation.
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Sports Vacation
South America's diverse terrain makes it a great place for trekking and hiking, particularly in the Andes Mountains, the ancient Inca ruins, and Patagonia. There are also great places for skiing, whitewater rafting, snorkeling, and surfing.

Combining Countries on a trip to South America
Argentina and Brazil Tour
Combining Argentina and Brazil
It is quite easy and convenient to combine your vacation to Argentina with a visit to Brazil. There are a number of flights daily between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro that allow to comfortably combine both destinations. You can also use the continent's most popular destination, Iguazu Falls, as a great stepping-stone to cross over into Brazil and continue exploring the diverse landscape and the exciting Rio de Janeiro.
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Combining Argentina and Chile:
Get the most out of your South America trip by combining a trip to Argentina with a visit to Chile. Because the countries run parallel to each other, there are a number of locations that offer excellent connections between Argentina and Chile.
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Combining Peru and Bolivia:
If you are interested in ancient civilizations, visiting Peru and Bolivia may be very interesting for you. Moreover, the country of Ecuador may provide an interesting addition to this trip.
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The Necessities
Entry Requirements:
Some countries only require a passport if you are from the US, Canada, or the UK. However, some countries now require visas. Check the appropriate consulate or embassy before your departure. Most countries allow visitors to stay for a maximum of 90 days. If you want to stay for any longer you can apply for an extension at the nearest immigration office. Vaccinations: Most countries don't require vaccinations. Though if you plan on venturing into the Amazon or other high-risk areas you might be required to get vaccinated for yellow fever, malaria, and other diseases. It is best to get vaccinated three months before your trip.

Money Matters
ATMs machines are widely available in most towns and cities in South America and credit cards are also commonly accepted at stores and restaurants. Just in case, it might be a good idea to bring a few hundred dollars in cash for when you first arrive.

What to Bring
Especially if you are on a trekking trip, it would be advisable to travel lightly. Personal items are available at most pharmacies, but it might be more convenient to bring your own.

What Regions to Visit
Since there are so many amazing spots to visit in South America it can be a challenge to find the region that best fits your interests. To help you choose your destination, you can find a detailed description of the most interesting regions in South America section.

After planning your perfect vacation, take a good guidebook with you. A book that has a language guide will be extremely helpful if you aren't fluent in Spanish or Portuguese. Also, try to pick one that chooses restaurants and hotels that are close to your budget.

South America: Overview | Destinations | Highlights | Trip Planning
Countries: Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Peru | Ecuador

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