South America is massive. There’s no arguments there, and when it comes to huge areas of land to explore, its hard to decide where to go and what to experience. Like anywhere in the world, there are good bits, and bad bits, but without doing a huge internet search, and taking into account many different opinions, the only way to really decide is with your own eyes.
Despite that, here are a few common pluses and minuses of the most popular of the South American countries.
Huge and diverse. Is there any other way to describe it? The pluses are of course the Rio carnival, huge rainforests, Christ the Redeemer, and the colourful atmosphere. The downsides? It’s quite touristy, especially in Rio, and the main parts can get very busy.
Put your thoughts aside, things are changing. The pluses? If you’re into nature, particularly bird watching, then this is the place for you, and the natural settings of forests and waterfalls will leave you in awe. The downsides? Well basically you have to be careful. Although things are getting better, there are still safety concerns to take into account.
The tango! Of course, there’s more to Argentina than simply dancing, but Buenos Aires is becoming a very popular place to visit, not only for tourism, but also as a base for digital nomads. The best bits are about the nature again, which is often the case with South America. Iguazu Falls are a huge pull, as well as the vibrant nature of the city. The worst bit is probably the distances around the country, if you’re wanting to get somewhere quick, and the beaches, which aren’t particularly the best in the area.
Massively popular, probably due to the tourist and historic sights. The major pull, and therefore the plus to Peru, is Machu Picchu. You can’t go there and not trek the Inca Trail, it’s just not possible to miss it. The downside? Because of that massive tourist pull, there are crowds, and it can be a little overly touristy in parts.
I feel I’m repeating myself, but again, the plus is the scenery, particularly the mountain scenery around the area. Huge and imposing, there are some seriously good photos to be had here. The downside is the safety element, and you do have to be careful, particularly if you’re travelling alone. The advice in that case is simply to heed advice and have your wits about you.
Oh the food! The wine! The major upside of Chile has to be the culinary and vino side of things. Around Santiago you will find fantastic wine to try, and the coast is simply stunning. The downside? There isn’t a huge amount to see other than that. Of course, the landscapes are beautiful, so for sheer scenery you’re in for a treat.
Ecuador has some of the most breathtaking and scenic volcanic landscapes in the world, and Cotapaxi is the world’s most active currently. For that, you’re looking at dramatic scenery. The major downside is that getting around isn’t easy, and isn’t particularly comfortable.
Again, we have amazing landscape, which here is quite rugged, possibly more so than any other of the South American countries, because it’s one of the lesser travelled countries. The problem is that getting to see said landscapes is a little difficult as getting around isn’t the easiest. If you’re basing yourself in a town or city, you’ll find that nightlife is pretty non-existent too.
Paraguay is worth a visit, but it’s not going to win any scenery awards, and there isn’t a lot there otherwise. Despite that, for a good city break within this area of the world, head to Asuncion, with a real authentic way of life quite evident.
Without a doubt, one of the huge positives of a visit to Uruguay is the food. Traditional cuisine is very heavy on meat, and it is cooked to perfection. Any foodies will particularly love their evening chow down. On the flip side, the scene for enjoying yourself after food isn’t particularly vibrant or plentiful, so you will have entertain yourself.