Are you ready to travel through time?
Historians show evidence of human life in South America dates all the way back to 9000 BC. Visitors enjoy exploring ancient civilizations, archaeological sites, incredible jungles, and so much more.
Recently, international arrivals in South America grew when 96.6 million tourists came to the region. As popularity grows, tourists are looking for ways to maximize their vacation experience.
Planning ahead, and knowing what to bring, are just two ways to guarantee you’ll have an exciting adventure. Before you board your flight for fun, read on to learn more about traveling to South America.
1. Traveling to South America Checklist
Are you an experienced traveler? Whether you’re new to traveling to South America, or a seasoned pro, you’ll want to create a checklist.
Having a handy checklist is a quick way to double check you’ve packed all of the essential items. Depending on when you’re traveling, you’ll have to prepare for extreme climate changes.
Did you know, on certain days the temperatures in South America can reach up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit? Keep yourself and your fellow travelers safe by preparing for any type of situation.
Here are a few things you should make sure to come with you:
- Multiple pairs of shoes (flip-flops, hiking shoes, sandals, slippers)
- Travel towel
- Sweater for cold plane
After creating your checklist, you’re ready to start researching your travel destinations.
2. Stay Safe
No matter where you’re traveling, safety is key. Without safety, a fun, happy time can quickly turn into a nightmare. Checking your equipment before an outing, and researching the country ahead of time, are easy ways to keep you safe.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:
Check All of Your Equipment
Before you take off on a hiking or backpacking excursion, make sure your water bottles working properly, and your phone’s charged. If you’re doing an outdoor activity like hiking or rafting, have a reputable guide lead you.
Ideally, the guide you use will be recommended to you by someone you trust. If that’s not an option, you can select a guide who has a good reputation in his area. It’s perfectly acceptable to request a guide to provide you with their qualifications and experience.
Research the Country
What countries will you be visiting in South America? If Ecuador’s on your list, learn about Ecuador safety before you arrive.
Conducting research ahead of time will help you plan your activities around any special holidays or events. You’ll also be able to learn more about that country public transportation system.
3. Have the Right Passport
You’ll have a few different options when choosing your passport. In total there are 4 different kinds of passports. The four types of passports are; regular, official, diplomatic and passport card.
Passport cards work for regular citizens, however, they don’t allow you to travel internationally by air. Passport cards will only work for land and sea border crossing between the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
This is why you’ll most likely be using a regular passport. If you don’t already have a passport, you should start the application process today.
After gathering all of the necessary papers, you’ll have to schedule a passport appointment. Once you complete your appointment, it’ll take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to process your request. In some cases, you’ll have to wait longer than 6 weeks to receive your regular passport.
4. Vaccinations and Health
It’s highly recommended you vaccinate before traveling to South America. Here’s a list of some of the travel vaccines you should consider getting:
- dTP-IPV (Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio vaccine)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
If you’re traveling with elderly parents, or young children, vaccines are even more crucial. Now, let’s move on and talk about all of the fun things you can do in South America.
5. Customize Your Experience
Before you can plan the perfect vacation, you have to know what you want. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and those you’re bringing with you.
- Do you want to visit historical sites?
- Are you interested in seeing different cities?
- Would you like to spend time in nature?
- What type of animals would you like to see?
With everyone’s goals in mind, you can start to make a plan.
If you have a history buff in your crew, you’ll have a plethora of spots to visit. Probably one of the most popular historical sites is Machu Picchu, Peru. Founded in the 1400s, this archaeological site tells the story of the Incan Empire.
If seeing the cities is at the top of your list, make sure you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina. This city is hands down one of the best places to enjoy art, architecture, music, nightlife and more.
If you love being out in nature, put the Amazon Rainforest at the top of your to-do list. Along with beautiful plants and animals, you’ll also meet countless bizarre bugs you’ve never seen before. The massive, tropical rainforest, is home to 2.5 million species of insects.
Learn More Travel Hacks
Finally, learn a few words to help you communicate with the locals. The main language of South America is Portuguese. Spanish, is also a predominant language you’ll hear locals using. Even if you can’t speak either language fluently, you’ll have a better time if you can ask a few basic questions.
If you want to have the best time traveling to South America, stay up to date on all of the recent travel hacks. Hi, I’m John and I created Wun Wun to help travelers just like you.
Are you planning on backpacking or walking a lot during your visit to South America? If you don’t want your feet to hate you, spend some time finding the perfect walking shoes. Check out my latest article about choosing the best walking shoes for long travel days.