Travel > South America

South America

Enchanting Traditions and Natural Wonders

South America unfolds as a vibrant tapestry, where cultural riches intertwine with breathtaking landscapes. Peru's legendary Machu Picchu enchants, whispering stories of the Inca Empire's ingenuity. Immerse yourself in the colonial heritage of Cusco's charming streets and feel the thunderous cascades of Argentina's Iguazu Falls, a natural wonder that will leave you in awe of nature's majesty. In Buenos Aires, sultry tango rhythms and vibrant street art promise a cultural extravaganza tailored to your discerning taste. Note, when booking your South America vacation, remember the seasons in the Earth's southern hemisphere are reversed.


Aerial view of Buenos Aires at twilight
Photo by Bernardo Galmarini / Adobe Stock
Argentia offers a wonderful opportunity to explore vibrant cities like Buenos Aires, the "Paris of South America," offers a diverse array of attractions. Immerse yourself in the city's passionate tango culture through dance lessons and live performances, savor traditional Argentine dishes and marvel at the grand architecture, from ornate palaces to renowned museums like Malba and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Visit one of the many beautiful parks and gardens, such as the Parque Tres de Febrero and the Jardín Botánico.
Buenos Aires also has exceptional museums like the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo Evita. For some fresh air, take a boat ride on the Rio de la Plata and see the city from a different perspective or stroll through the beautifiul Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of many famous Argentinians, including Eva Perón and Jorge Luis Borges. Mix with the locals at the trendy Palermo Soho neighborhood, home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants or visit the San Telmo Market, an open-air market where you shop for souvenirs and handicrafts. . You can also consider attending a tango show, indulging in shopping from upscale boutiques to street markets, and exploring other attractions.


Photo by Estebran / Adobe Stock
Salvador, was founded in 1549 by the Portuguese and was the capital of Brazil until 1763, and today is the capital of the state of Bahia. It offers spanish colonial charm and colorful streets filled with music, dance, and delicious cuisine. Explore Pelourinho, a historic district in Salvidor that was onnce a center for the slave trade. Today it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and a living museum of Afro-Brazilian culture.
You can find capoeira schools, samba bars, and traditional restaurants in the district. Participate in a Capoeira workshop to learn the martial art infused with dance and music, or attend a traditional Candomblé ceremony to experience the spiritual side of Brazil. Beach lovers will enjoy exploring the beaches of Itapuã and Porto da Barra.


Torres del Paine National Park
Photo by Jmarti20 / Pixabay
Chile, South America, offers a wonderful scenic destination of Torres del Paine National Park, part of the Patagonia region with a panorama of breathtaking mountains. For a taste of urban allure, Santiago, the capital city, beckons with its historical charm and vibrant cultural scene, showcased through its museums, theaters, and eateries. The Palacio de la Moneda, the presidential palace, offers insight into Chile's political history.

Galápagos Islands

Beautiful coastline of Galápagos Islands
Photo by jkraft5 / Adobe Stock
The Galápagos Islands, a province of Ecuador are located roughly 621 miles off the coast of South America, in the Pacific Ocean. An ecological marvel, the Galápagos Islands offer a realm of untouched landscapes where rare wildlife thrives harmoniously. For travelers seeking a deeper connection with nature, the Galápagos Islands provide an intimate encounter with giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and marine iguanas. This otherworldly destination paints a living portrait of evolution and conservation, making it a profound, unforgettable destination.


Machu Picchu
Photo by LoggaWiggler / Pixabay
Peru offers a treasure trove of experiences beyond iconic Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in Cusco's colonial charm, wander the fertile terraces of the Sacred Valley, or cruise the world's highest lake, Titicaca. From Nazca's enigmatic desert etchings to Lima's mouthwatering fusion cuisine, Peru is perfect for travelers seeking a slower pace and awe-inspiring encounters.
South America's allure lies in its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. Retirees who venture to these top destinations can expect a memorable journey filled with cultural enrichment, natural wonders, and unforgettable memories.

South America Travel Planning Tips:

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit South America varies by region and activity. For travelers over 50, consider the dry season, which typically falls between May and September. This is an ideal time for outdoor exploration, sightseeing, and cultural experiences. However, keep in mind that the southern hemisphere's seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere.


Getting around: South America offers diverse transportation options catering to various preferences. Buses are a popular choice for their affordability and accessibility, connecting major cities and towns. They provide an opportunity to engage with the local culture and fellow travelers. Domestic flights can be a convenient option for covering long distances, especially for those looking to save time. Trains are available in certain regions and offer scenic journeys, such as the famous train ride to Machu Picchu in Peru. Car rentals are also an option for exploring more remote areas at your own pace, allowing you to create a personalized itinerary.

Health and Safety Tips:

  • Exercise caution regarding your personal belongings to prevent theft, especially in crowded tourist areas.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or displaying valuable items to minimize the risk of attracting unwanted attention.
  • When crossing streets, be vigilant as traffic regulations might not be strictly enforced.
  • Opt for bottled water to stay hydrated and avoid consuming tap water, which may not be safe.
  • Take precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever. Use insect repellent and wear protective clothing to reduce the risk.
  • Choose reputable transportation services or arrange transfers in advance, particularly when arriving at or departing from airports.
  • Stay informed about the safety conditions in the regions you plan to visit and follow advice from local authorities.
  • Respect visa regulations and adhere to permitted stay durations to avoid legal complications.

Travel Visa Requirements

It is crucial to adhere to immigration regulations and visa requirements while traveling in South America to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Overstaying your visa can lead to serious consequences in some countries. Here are some tips to help you avoid any issues related to overstaying your visa:
  • Know Your Visa Requirements: Before traveling to South America, thoroughly research the visa requirements for the specific countries you plan to visit. Each country has its own rules regarding entry, duration of stay, and visa extensions. Familiarize yourself with the visa regulations and ensure that you meet the necessary criteria.
  • Check Visa Validity Period: Carefully review the validity period of your visa and make sure you understand the maximum duration of stay allowed. Some visas may have specific conditions or restrictions, such as a limit on the number of days or requirements for visa extensions. Be mindful of these details to avoid overstaying.
  • Plan Your Itinerary: Plan your itinerary in advance and make sure it aligns with the duration of your visa. Consider the time you intend to spend in each country and calculate the number of days you will be staying. Allow for some buffer time to account for unexpected delays or changes in your travel plans.
  • Monitor Your Visa Expiry Date: Stay vigilant about the expiration date of your visa. Mark it on your calendar or set reminders to ensure you are aware of when your visa is due to expire. Avoid leaving it until the last minute to address any necessary visa extensions or depart the country within the permitted timeframe.
  • Seek Visa Extensions, if Needed: If you find yourself in a situation where you need to extend your visa due to unforeseen circumstances or changes in travel plans, contact the local immigration authorities or embassy of the respective country. Follow the proper procedures for visa extension and submit the required documentation within the designated timeframe.
  • Consult with Local Authorities: If you have any doubts or questions regarding your visa status or duration of stay, seek assistance from local immigration authorities or reputable legal professionals. They can provide accurate information, guidance, and support to help you navigate the visa regulations effectively.
  • Respect Local Laws and Customs: While traveling, it is essential to respect the local laws, customs, and regulations of the countries you visit. Engaging in any illegal activities or violating visa rules can have severe consequences. Stay informed about the local laws and abide by them to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
  • Travel Advisories Stay updated on current events, local regulations, and any travel advisories when traveling abroad. Visit the US Government State Department Travel Advisories web site to check on the status of your destination.
  • Enroll in the STEP Program: Travelers are also urged to enroll in the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and to make it easier to locate them in an emergency. The Department uses these security messages to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate or call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries.

Remember, visa regulations and enforcement can vary from country to country. It is your responsibility as a traveler to comply with the immigration laws of the countries you visit. By being knowledgeable, proactive, and respectful of visa requirements, you can avoid any issues related to overstaying your visa and ensure a positive travel experience throughout South America.


Photo by Alex Wolf

Machu Pichu Photo by Alberto Capparelli

South American woman Photo by Julia Volk

Back to Top