More and more adventure seekers and backpackers are heading to South America and why not? South American countries have an incredible amount to offer and are extremely diverse. Here you will find everything: from tropical dream beaches to spectacular landscapes and green rainforests to vibrant cities – all this is South America.
But there is so much more travel to discover! For example, did you know that Peru for the fifth consecutive year has been named the world’s #1 culinary destination? That Medellín in Colombia, known to many only for drugs and Pablo Escobar, has now been named the most innovative city in the world? Or that, in addition to the largest rainforest on earth and the world’s longest mountain range, the world’s driest desert – the Atacama Desert – is also located in South America?
No matter what type of holiday you are – South America is an absolute dream destination for everyone. Here we have the right ideas, deals & cheap holiday offers for you! Browse through our deals and discover your new favorite country.
General information about South America
With its size, South America is the fourth largest continental land area on earth and thus has an unlimited range of cities, countries and landscapes worth seeing. From the paradisiacal islands in the Caribbean, to the spectacular flora and fauna of the Amazon, to the incredible expanses of the Andes, to cosmopolitan cities like Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro, a holiday in South America has everything to offer. Let yourself be infected by the joie de vivre on the continent and let yourself be carried away by the warmth of the locals.
With its multifaceted landscape, pulsating metropolises and blooming nature, South America casts a spell over every holidaymaker. During your holiday in this continent, you will immerse yourself in a culture all of its own. In addition, the southern part of the double continent is characterized by extremely warm hospitality. Around 418 million people live here. The continent covers an area of almost 18,000,000 square kilometers, making it the fourth largest land area in the world. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the east of South America and the Pacific Ocean borders the western side.
Cheap flights to South America
South America flights are not exactly a bargain. You should look therefore carefully browse through the common flight comparison sites and for cheap offers from the airlines. cheap flights Of course, the best way to get is outside of the high season in October, November, April and May. Prices tend to be higher during the summer holidays, New Year’s Eve and Christmas. It’s also highly advisable to be flexible about your departure location. For example, with the airline Iberia you can sometimes find very good prices for flights from Madrid to countries like Peru, Chile and Brazil.
Where to go on vacation in South America?
A total of 13 countries belong to South America. For a holiday in this region you have to make a pre-selection.
The top travel destinations in South America
1. Brazil, the diversity of South America
A holiday in Brazil is a real classic on a trip to South America. This largest country on the continent is also the most populous. More than 200,000,000 people live here. Let yourself be infected by the typical Brazilian joie de vivre ! Due to its size alone, this country is also very diverse. Many fantastically beautiful beaches invite you to swim, the modern cities inspire with an exuberant range of leisure activities and a boisterous nightlife
2. Colombia, diversity between jungle and white beaches
If you want to have a multi-faceted holiday, then Colombia is the place for you. To the west you have the Pacific, to the north the Caribbean Sea, and inland part of the longest mountain range in the world. Whether tobacco plantations, the mountains of the Andes, Caribbean islands or lively cities like the beautiful Cartagena or the capital Bogota – you will find all of this in Colombia. And all this coupled with warm-hearted people and the exciting history of South America’s colonial era.
3. Peru, in the footsteps of the Incas
Peru is the land of the Incas and nestles directly on the Andes in South America. Here you can really experience something: Discover the country on your own with a tour of Peru or climb the mountain at Machu Picchu, the old ruined city. But there is much more to discover here: Haven’t you always wanted to swim with pink dolphins in the Amazon or hike through the Rainbow Mountains? Then you should not miss a holiday in Peru!
4. Argentina, Europe in South America
Argentina is located in the middle of South America, but scores with European charm. It is the second largest country on the continent and has a rich nature. The differences are amazing when you vacation in Argentina: In the north you can discover real desert landscapes, and there are also tropical regions here. The central part of the country is characterized by vibrant metropolises – for example the capital Buenos Aires. Barren landscapes lie further south, with the beautiful Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the very south. Read more about Holidays in Buenos Aires or Holidays in Patagonia here.
5. Bolivia, the land of superlatives
You will discover many new things on holiday in Bolivia : Bolivia has the most dangerous road in the world, the highest seat of government in the world and, at 10,000 km², the largest salt pan on earth. A holiday in Bolivia is worthwhile for this alone. In addition, Bolivia has almost all climate zones and is cheaper than many other South American countries. But this interesting, diverse country, which is famous for its name, has much more to offer: For example, Lake Titicaca and a red-colored lagoon full of flamingos. A real land of superlatives!
6. Ecuador, a beastly good holiday destination
Most people associate a holiday in Ecuador directly with the unique Galapagos Islands, an absolute must for all nature lovers ! In addition to the unique flora and fauna, there are also interesting animals such as iguanas, penguins, rays, seahorses, lizards and of course the giant Galapagos tortoises. But the rest of Ecuador also has a lot to offer and is definitely worth a visit.
7. Chile, off to the magical land
The top travel destination Chile could also be on another planet, because you will find everything here: mountains and sea, desert and icebergs, volcanoes and glaciers. From the driest desert in the world to southern Chile where it rains almost continuously. Not forgetting the most remote islands in the world! Chile is simply breathtaking, unbelievable and almost magical at the same time.
8. Venezuela, scenically unique
A holiday in Venezuela means a trip to a country with a unique landscape. Over 60% of the country is considered protected, giving Venezuela the highest percentage of protected areas in the Americas. Venezuela also offers the highest free-falling waterfall on earth with the “Salto Ángel”.
9. Uruguay, small but mighty
, Uruguay Due to its political stability is considered the safest travel destination in South America. The northern part, bordering Brazil, consists of hill ranges, the south is very flat. The Atlantic coast borders the country on the east, Argentina on the west. On an area half the size of Germany, Uruguay has only around 3.4 million inhabitants. The small country in South America has a lot to offer in terms of tourism. Spend your vacation in Uruguay and experience beautiful landscapes, relaxed bathing resorts and the European culture of the country.
10. Paraguay, land of water
Paraguay is a country dominated by water. It is famous for a huge waterfall and is home to one of the longest rivers on earth. Even the name Paraguay means “water that goes to the water” in the Guarani language. It is all the more paradoxical that, alongside Bolivia, Paraguay is the only country in Latin America without access to the sea. But it doesn’t have to be, because a holiday in Paraguay inspires in its very own way.
11. French Guiana, a little bit of France in South America
French Guiana is a small, relatively unknown country in northern South America. More precisely between the Amazon and the Atlantic Ocean. It fascinates with tropical landscapes, diverse wildlife and interesting culture from indigenous people to French heritage. A holiday in French Guiana is always worthwhile, as this country is also one of the last insider tips in South America. Another plus point: if you don’t speak Spanish but are good at French, then you’re in good hands here. The official language in French Guiana is French.
Vacation in South America with children?
In general, safety standards on the continent have improved significantly in recent years. The regions where the distances between the individual stops are not too great are ideal for a holiday with children, because the long crossings can sometimes be quite difficult for kids.
The safest countries in South America today include Chile and Ecuador, for example. Of course, you should not let children play unsupervised on the street.
Decide on a region close to the beach. Many of the playas are family-friendly and score with a that slopes gently into the water beach. You can also go on excursions into the jungle with the children in different countries and give them an unforgettable experience.
Best time to travel to South America?
Due to the size of the continent, a recommended travel time can hardly be given – the climate differences between the countries are also too great. Basically you can say: In winter the south is recommended, to the north in early summer. you should travel
Tropical hot and humid conditions predominate. The mountain ranges of the Andes keep the humid air out of the Amazon region, so that the dry deserts are to the north of the mountains.
Entry into South America
With a German passport you can easily travel to South America. However, this should be valid for at least another six months. It is also advisable that the ID document has enough space for stamps, after all you will be crossing several borders during your stay.
The magnificent landscapes and the megacities on the continent will cast a spell over you. The round trip by long-distance bus and plane is recommended.
South America top destinations
- Machu Picchu (Peru)
- Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil)
- Uyuni Salt Flat (Bolivian)
- Amazon (Brazil, Colombia and Peru)
- Rio de Janeiro’s sights such as Copacabana, the Sugar Loaf or the Christ Statue (Brazil)
- Galapagos Inseln (Ecuador)
- Cartagena de Indias (Kolumbien)
- Atacama Desert (Chile)
- Perito Moreno Glacier (Argentina)
- Angel Falls (Venezuela)
- Torres del Paine Nationalpark (Chile)
- Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina)
Highlights in South America
The imposing ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru date back to Inca times. It is located in the middle of the country’s jungle. This building was only rediscovered almost a hundred years ago. It is built in terraces at an altitude of around 2,400 meters into a ridge and can be visited via several paths. This site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983. You can reach Machu Picchu with the newly built train line that starts in Cusco. The final stop is in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the mountain. From here, a bus will take you up the serpentine road.
The mighty granite mountain Cerro Torre in Argentina reaches a height of over 3,100 meters at its highest point. It rises majestically from Los Glaciares National Park. The sheer granite cliffs are very smooth and make it almost impossible to climb to the top. Only about four kilometers away is the Fitz Roy, which is also one of the most difficult peaks in the world to conquer. You don’t have to do climbing tours in Los Glaciares National Park – but the hikes at the foot of the mountains are recommended. Around the Fitz Roy you undertake a circular hike that takes you to the picturesque Laguna de los Tres Roy and in between offers breathtaking views of the icy peaks of the mountain. During the hikes around Cerro Torre, you will rest at the viewpoints before finally reaching Laguna Torre. Even if you are not a mountaineer, sturdy shoes are a must for these excursions.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. Here you can admire sights such as
- the sugar loaf
- the Christ statue
- die Copacabana
Our pirate tip: You can immerse yourself in the nightlife, for example, in the Baixo Gavea bar district in the Bar O Plebeu in a large yellow house or in the Club Circo Voador.
Are located in the border area between Brazil and Argentina The well -known Iguazú Falls. This attraction consists of twenty large and over 250 small waterfalls. A beautiful sight that you will probably never forget. The entire area stretches over 2.7 kilometers. The largest waterfalls are more than 80 meters high. The natural spectacle is embedded in the national parks on both sides. The waterfalls can be easily reached by coach: the bus station in Brazil is called Foz do Iguaçu, the bus stop on the Argentine side is called Puerto Iguaçu.
recent years In Peru, the Rainbow Mountains have been attracting vacationers in. These mountains surprise with their bright colors in iron-red, sulfur-yellow and copper-green – almost like a rainbow. Be prepared for an adventurous journey over bumpy roads from Cusco. In addition, you have to cover an extensive hiking distance before you reach your destination. You will be rewarded with impressive photo motifs.
Other highlights of South America holidays are:
- the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador
- the beautiful flora and fauna of the Amazon region in Brazil, Colombia and Peru
- the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina
Tour of South America
For a round trip through South America you can rent a car to be particularly independent and to design the route individually. However, since you have to cover very long distances on a tour of this region, we recommend using public transport. This makes the road trip completely relaxed.
South America does not have a well-developed rail network. And you won’t find cheap flight connections in South America, like there are between many big cities in Europe. Instead, long-distance bus services are used for longer distances. Anyone who now thinks of uncomfortable seats and narrow spaces is wrong: the coaches in South America score with a high degree of comfort. And the great thing is that the bus ride is also cheap. You choose between first class (cama) and second class (semi cama).
A great round trip through South America
For example, you start your trip in Rio de Janeiro. From there it goes to the beaches of Paratay and the metropolis of Sao Paulo. at the Iguazu Falls Cross the border into Argentina. You can take the plane to Buenos Aires. A stopover in neighboring Uruguay is a good idea after a few days in the capital. This is followed by a flight to Argentina’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, for a glimpse of the Tierra del Fuego landscape. Head north to Punta Arenas, Chile. The further tour takes you to Puerto Natale and back to Argentina to the city of Bariloche. Other stops on the trip are
- San Pedro de Atacama
Afterwards you travel to Bolivia, to the capital Sucre and the metropolis La Paz. The next bus ride takes you to Lake Titicaca. is now Peru on the agenda. You make a detour to the Inca ruins and take a tour of the Nazca Desert with its mysterious Nasca Lines. in the coastal city of Paracas You can relax before the route ends in Lima.
Tour of Brazil: Discover the diversity of the country
Anyone planning a smaller road trip should take a tour of Brazil. This country is very diverse and on the drive you will see some of the most beautiful areas in South America. You also start in Rio de Janeiro and take the bus south to Angra dos Reis. Destinations include the paradise island of Ilha Grande and Paratay before returning to Rio. From Rio you can take a flight to Florianópolis and from there take a flight to Iguazu Falls. These form the imposing end point of the journey.