• 10 January 2020

If being able to travel around South America has always been your dream, but you’ve hesitated for a number of reasons, we’re here to put your mind at ease and answer all those questions you may have.

Whether you’re creating the ultimate South American bucket-list, or you just plan on exploring one country, this helpful travel guide will inform you of everything you need to know about travelling to South America.

South American weather

If South America is high on your list of places to visit, you’re going to need to know when you should be going. South America is a large continent with 12 countries all consisting of a variety of different weather patterns and climates. 

Before heading off on your South America trip, you should take a look at a South America climate planner that can help you better assess the different weather patterns in each country. 

To give you a better idea – if you’re going on a mid-year vacation, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay will be the best countries to visit. Whereas if you’re planning an end/beginning of the year vacation to South America, Chile and Columbia are better options.

Research weather before travelling
Research weather before travelling
Is South America safe?

On the whole, yes, South America is a safe continent. But just like every other country in the world, there are certain places that are dangerous, so it’s important to take precautions no matter where you travel in the world.

Safest South American countries

The safest countries in South America are generally Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, but no matter where you go on the beautiful continent, you can’t go wrong.

It’s important to remember to always be cautious during your travels, even when you’re visiting some of the safest countries on the continent. To err on the side of caution, here are a few general rules to remember:

  • Leave your valuables in the hotel (in a safe) or at home. There’s no need to bring expensive jewellery and other unnecessary valuables with you on your trip around South America. 
  • Research areas before you visit South America. Know where the unsafe areas are, and be alert if you find yourself in them, especially during the nighttime.
  • Don’t carry huge daypacks. It shows that you’re carrying a lot on you and makes you a target for theft.
  • Instead of venturing out on your own, take organised South American day trips. This way you’ll lean on the knowledge of your clued-up guide and you’ll have the safety of your group around you.  
  • Be alert while you’re travelling in South America. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings – just keep your eyes open for suspicious activity.
Vaccinations 

There are a few countries that require you to have a yellow fever vaccine to enter the country. However, there are a few others that you should consider getting as a precaution anyway when travelling through South America.

Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines are recommended. These diseases can be contracted from food and water in many of the countries in South America. Tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis vaccines are recommended for children who plan to travel in South America.

For those who want to travel in South America for an extended period of time, be sure to get a vaccine for hepatitis B, rabies and meningococcal meningitis.

International certification for vaccinations
International certification for vaccinations
Cost of travelling South America

As you can imagine, the cost of South America travel highly depends on which country you’re going to and what sorts of activities you’ll be taking part in. Depending on the number of days and/or countries your tour to South America has – the price will differ.

Of course, these amounts will vary from person to person, and depend on what level of luxury you’d like to enjoy in South America. Be sure to take note of what’s included and the prices of the optional excursions you’d like to join.

Currencies

When deciding where to travel in South America, you’ll need to take into account the currency of each country you’d like to travel to in South America. In most South American countries you can easily exchange US Dollars but it is better to work in the local currency as you’ll get a better exchange rate.

Ecuador uses the US dollar, but all other South American countries use their own currency. 

Argentina uses the Argentine Peso, Bolivia uses the Bolivian Boliviano, Columbia uses the Columbian Peso, Guyana uses the Guyanese Dollar, Paraguay uses the Paraguayan Guarani, Peru uses the Peruvian Nuevo Sol, Suriname uses the Surinamese Dollar, Uruguay uses the Uruguayan Peso, and Venezuela uses the Venezuelan Bolivar.

We recommend you start checking the South America exchange rates well before your trip so that you get an idea of what a good and bad exchange rate is for each country you’re visiting in South America. This way you can hop on the chance to exchange your currency when you’re getting the most for your money.

Various South American currencies
Various South American currencies

Now that you have a better idea of how to travel around South America, find the ultimate tour with Expat Explore and get ready for your South American holiday!

The continent is known for its wide variety of exciting and vibrant cultures as well as its many beautiful landmarks. South American tourism really is something you need to explore if you have any kind of adventurous spirit.

Take a look at some of the very best South American tours.

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