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10 Reasons You Should Visit South America At Least Once

South America is a continent made up of 12 countries and several independent territories. It’s a land of diversity that is rich with stories of ancient cultures and civilizations. It also has some magnificent scenery on a scale you won’t find in many other locations. The culture is sprinkled with some incredible dance, music, and carnivals. In addition, the cuisine is so varied that you’ll have no problem finding something different to sample every day. 

If these factors have already whet your appetite, let’s give you some more reasons to visit South America at least once in your lifetime, whether you’re looking for a continental adventure or more localized Peru tours

Discovering Peru
Discovering Peru…

1. In South America, They Love a Celebration

South America loves to celebrate and knows how to do it with style and enthusiasm. You’ll find numerous opportunities to participate in summer festivals, days of local food and craft showcasing, processions, carnivals, religious festivals, and much more.

The noteworthy carnivals are:

  • The Inti Raymi Festival Sacsayhuaman, Peru
  • Feria de las Flores, Medellin, Colombia
  • Aymara New Year, Tiwanaku, Bolivia
  • Fiesta de Nieve, Chile, Argentina
  • Bumba-Meu-Boi, throughout Brazil  

2. It Has a Rich Cultural Heritage

Woven into the fabric of this continent are years of tradition and multiple influences that have shaped not just the language, but the architecture, folklore, food, and music. 

Woven into the mix are influences from African cultures which arrived with Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors, and European immigration from France, Italy, and Spain.

There are also many leftovers from the Inca Empire and other indigenous cultures.  

3. The Cuisine is Sure to Make You Go Mmm

The enormous number of cultural influences the South American countries have seen means the cuisine is incredibly diverse. Flavors of the many countries have been combined with those from Spanish and Portuguese colonists, the descendants of African slaves, and European immigrants.

Each of the continent’s countries is known for one or two special dishes. For example, Peru is known for its guinea pig dishes or its ceviche. Uruguay and Argentina have a reputation for serving barbecued meats, while in Venezuela it is the Arepa, a flat-bread sandwich.  

4. 100 World Heritage Sites

South America is home to 100 World Heritage Sites. These are places that are protected on an international level because they are so special. The most well-known one is the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. 

Also included in the list of sites are national parks filled with fauna and flora, as well as some rare and protected whole cities. 

5. You Can Enjoy it on a Budget

You’ll hear many people say that South America is not a cheap destination, but that’s not true overall. Some destinations do require a sizable budget, but not everywhere is the same. 

In general, the less developed a country is, the cheaper it will be. The most expensive countries are Argentina and Chile. While Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Paraguay are more budget-friendly.  

6. Amazing Landscapes and Natural Wonders

In South America, you’ll find some spectacular scenery and almost every type of geographical terrain you can think of. Some of the landscapes and natural wonders you can enjoy include:

  • Vast deserts
  • Soaring mountains
  • Idyllic beaches
  • Blue-hued glaciers
  • Vast lakes
  • Dense jungle
  • Volcanic islands
  • Canyons
  • Endless salt flats

Must visit locations you should consider including in your travel itinerary include:

  • Angel Falls, Venezuela
  • Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, and Peru
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Iguazu Falls, Brazil, and Argentina
  • The Amazon Rainforest
  • The Andes
  • Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

7. Stress-Free and Safe Travel

There are places in this continent that are better steering clear of, but overall, you can expect a hassle-free and safe vacation in South America.

The safest country to visit, according to the Global Peace Index, is Chile, closely followed by Uruguay. Colombia is another safe destination, despite a reputation for being a no-go area. The current government has worked hard to make it a much safer destination for travelers.  

8. Biodiversity is Incredible

South America is rich in natural wildlife. There’s the mighty Amazon rainforest at the heart of the sub-continent, covering several countries. It’s one of the most biodiverse rainforests on the planet and is home to billions of trees. These provide the perfect habitat for thousands of species of mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. 

9. Dance is Woven Into the Culture

Dance is not just common in South America, it’s woven into the continent’s very fabric. You can watch experts doing their thing in one of the many displays or performances taking place. 

On the other hand, you can participate in a street parade, join in with a spontaneous dancing outburst, or hit one of the local hotspots.

Some of the more iconic dance styles you’ll find in South America include:

  • Salsa
  • Samba
  • Caporales
  • Tango
  • Pasillo
  • Cueca
  • Danza de la Botella 

10. It’s Full of Adventure

South America is a vast and diverse natural playground where you can take part in a host of incredible experiences and adventures. 

You can choose from more sedate experiences in which the focus is on the wonders of the continent’s nature, history, and culture. Alternatively, you’ll find adrenaline-fuelled, high-energy exploits if you’re looking for something a little more full-on. 

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