South America | Destination Guides

7 reasons that prove South America is the most exciting continent on Earth

Home to the most spectacular landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and vibrant cultures, South America is the most exciting continent on earth. From the soaring peaks of the Andes to the lush Amazon rainforest, this fascinating, diverse continent has captured the imagination of travelers for centuries.

Featuring destinations you can actually visit with Trafalgar, here are 7 ways you’ll unlock thrilling adventures and lifetime memories in the most exciting continent on earth.

1. Diverse landscapes

Man walking along mountain range in Peru

South America is the best continent for travel aficionados who like to explore diverse landscapes. From forests to deserts, mountains to jungles – there’s no end to the amazing biomes you can explore. Not to mention some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, including the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, and the incredible Amazon Rainforest. So, whether you’re looking for tropical beaches or snow-capped peaks, South America has it all.

If you want to unlock the best of South America’s beautiful landscapes, we recommend seeing several countries rather than just one. Like on our South America Landscapes tour, which takes you through the wonderful topography of Chile, Argentina and Brazil. You’ll pass snow-topped volcanoes, white-sand beaches and wet and wild rainforests.

Discover the diverse beauty of South America Landscapes

2. Fascinating cultures

Argentinian cowboys - one on a horse  looking to camera, and the other on foot, leading his horse into the distance

South America is home to some of the world’s most vibrant cultures. You’ll find indigenous communities across the Andes, Afro-Caribbean rhythms in Brazil and Colombia, and traces of Europe in Argentina. You’ll notice this diversity in the foods you eat, languages you hear and the stories you’re told. This melting pot of traditions, languages, and customs undoubtedly makes South America the most exciting continent on earth.

Like the diverse landscapes, the best way to experience South America’s cultural richness is to travel across many countries. You’ll want to cover more distance over a longer period of time so you can meet as many unique cultures as possible. That’s best done with the 21-day Icons of South America tour, where you’ll uncover Peru’s ancient cities, Chile’s folk traditions, Argentina’s European heritage and Brazil’s passionate vibrancy.

Discover fascinating cultures on Icons of South America

We think you’ll like: 6 ways to support locals in Latin America

3. Incredible wildlife

beautiful tropical bird with large orange beak and black feathers

South America is home to some of the world’s most unique and fascinating wildlife, with everything from jaguars to anacondas to caimans. Though, you may feel slightly more comfortable in the company of the continent’s incredible birds. South America is a bird-watcher’s paradise – macaws fly through rainforests, condors circle the Andean highlands – and with over 3,000 species to spot, do remember to pack your binoculars.

South America’s avian wildlife shines best in Colombia, home to the most diverse range of birds in the world. Here you’ll find everything, from iconic flamingos and toucans, to some of the rarest bird species ever recorded. That’s not to mention all the other weird and wonderful wildlife like capybara, ocelots and giant anteaters.

Discover incredible wildlife on Best of Colombia

We think you’ll like: 8 tips to avoid looking like a tourist in South America

4. Delicious cuisine

a group dining outside in Argentina, laughing. it's a sunny day

The vibrancy of the South American plate is just another reason why this is the most exciting continent on earth. Get ready for a range of bold flavors, unique ingredients and diverse influences. Here you’ll find some of the world’s most loved dishes, from ceviche in Peru to empañadas in Argentina. One day you might be seeking out street food, the next dining in a high-end restaurant; either way you’ll find South America to be a food lover’s paradiso.

To really get a great taste of South America, you have to travel across borders to see how the flavors change, like on the South America Revealed tour. As you go from fresh Açaí bowls to Argentinian steak to Peruvian cuy, you’ll really see how rich in sensation this continent truly is.

Discover the flavors of South America Revealed

You may also like: What makes Argentinian steak the best in the world?

5. Incredible history

Macchu Picchu from an interesting angle, with pink clouds and blue skies

South America has a rich and complex history filled with ancient civilizations, colonial battles, and independence movements all shaping the continent’s identity. From exploring the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu to the colonial architecture of Cartagena, this corner of the world offers a unique glimpse into a fascinating past.

There are few countries more historically captivating than Peru. Exploring remnants of the incredible Inca empire boggles the mind, especially when you see just how advanced their civilization was. Uncover this incredible culture and its clash with Spanish colonialists on these two amazing Peru tours, which operate at different paces.

Discover Peru’s rich history on Land of the Incas or In the Footsteps of the Incas

You may also like: Icons, locals and beyond – our top places to visit in Peru

6. Welcoming people

South Americans are known for their warmth, hospitality, and friendliness. No matter where you go, you’re sure to encounter locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. And there’s no better place to experience South American hospitality than in the continent’s bustling cities.

Two of South America’s most vibrant cities are undeniably Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, and Buenos Aires in Argentina. Here, you can almost feel a tangible energy in the air, making the world’s most exciting continent all the more thrilling. The best way to unlock doors into these iconic cities is through the Impressions of South America tour, which has you spending days on end in both cities. Plus, using Trafalgar’s network of connections, you’ll be able to meet and break bread with genuine locals.

In Rio, you’ll chat with dancers and musicians in a local Samba school as they prepare for Carnaval. In Buenos Aires, you’ll dine with a local family in the bohemian neighborhood of Palermo Soho. Experiences like these connect you with local communities and give you a broader perspective of this world we call home.

Discover Rio and Buenos Aires on Impressions of South America

You may also like: Incredible types of music to enjoy in Latin America

Adventure activities

Cleopatra's needles in Patagonia, Chile. Sights like these make South America the most exciting continent on earth.

South America is an adventurer’s dream, with countless opportunities for hiking, rafting, surfing, and more. Try climbing a mountain in Patagonia, or exploring the Amazon by kayak. However you do it, the most exciting continent on earth offers endless opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping.

One of the best adventure travel destinations in the world has to be Patagonia. You’ll navigate barren tundra, sprawling steppes and colossal mountains. Explore caves of marble, pass fields of glaciers, sail through imposing fjords, and ride horses with Argentinian cowboys – the baqueanos. Memories like these are sure to last a lifetime.

Discover adventure on Wonders of Patagonia

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter and receive $250 of FREE Trafalgar travel credit

"*" indicates required fields

Terms and Cons*
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in excerpt
Search in content