South America is home to 422 million people in 12 countries and several territories. When it comes to popular travel destinations in South America, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru are at the top of many travel bucket lists. The vast majority of South Americans speak either Spanish or Portuguese, so if you plan to visit a travel destination in South America, check out these tips on overcoming language barriers. Even when you can communicate in English, knowing these few, key phrases in the local language will enhance your experience when you travel abroad.
Fun Fact: South America is home to the world’s longest river (the Amazon River), the world’s longest mountain range (the Andes Mountains), and the driest place in the world (the Atacama Desert).
Encompassing most of the southern tip of South America, Argentina is a large country of glaciers and grasslands. In terms of glaciers, Argentina is home to Los Glaciares National Park, one of the most visited places in Patagonia.
From the Christ the Redeemer statue on Mount Corcovado to the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, South America’s largest country has a lot to offer travelers. Add in the floats, costumes, and music of the gigantic, annual Carnaval festival just before Ash Wednesday, and it’s easy to see why Brazil is a top travel destination in South America.
Brazil is also home to the historic Pelourinho neighborhood in Salvador, famous for its pastel-colored houses and cobblestone streets. Once the city’s center during the Portuguese colonial period, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With the Isthmus of Panama serving as the dividing line between North America and South America, Colombia is the northwestern most country in South America. From the fishing village of Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast to the colonial, cobblestoned city of Villa de Leyva, Colombia is full of color, culture, and history.
When it comes to colorful cities, Guatape is one of the most popular travel destinations in South America. This resort town about two hours east of Medellin is known for its brightly colored buildings as captured in the Everyday Postcard image above.
On South America’s west coast, Peru has climates ranging from arid planes to the peaks of the Andes Mountains to tropical rainforests. Striped with ribbons of gold, lavender, turquoise, and gold, Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is one of the most popular travel destinations in South America.