For a first time traveller the thought of navigating a land-border crossing in South America can be a pretty scary idea. We’ve all heard the horror stories of crooked border patrol agents in shady, isolated border towns giving foreigners a tough time. We’ve now crossed 11 borders by land in Latin America and, take it from us, it can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
What makes for the perfect romantic holiday destination? How about a beautiful island surrounded by seemingly endless sea glistening brightly in the sun. An island with Greek style stone houses lining its cobblestone streets. An island draped in natural charm and beauty where you can spend hours strolling amongst the olive trees. The island of Cunda seems too good to be true and from the moment we first set foot upon it, we were in love.
Brazil is the biggest country in South America covering almost half of the continent. A country rich in stunning natural beauty, Brazil has something for everyone. Incredible wildlife in the Amazon and Pantanal, thriving nightlife in Rio and São Paulo and golden beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Brazil is one of our favourite countries in the whole of the Americas and, hopefully, our guide will help you enjoy it as much as we did.
Cuba is one of those places that evokes a curiosity too strong to ignore. For many Cuba will forever remain nothing more than a mystery, but those who make the journey will find a land stuck in limbo between two eras. From the bustling capital of Havana to the sprawling, prehistoric foothills of Vinales, Cuba is full of history and culture that is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Mexico is larger than life in many ways other than its sheer size. Rich in culture, history, cuisine, colour, energy and some of the most amazing people. With pretty much every time of landscape imaginable, choosing where to start your Mexican adventure is a challenge in itself. The bustling metropolis of Mexico City? The cultural hub of San Cristobal? Or maybe the white sand beaches of the Caribbean coast? Whichever you choose you’re in for the journey of a lifetime.
Peru is a land of mystery, magic and enchantment. Long a highly coveted destination for seasoned and amateur travellers alike, Peru leaves all in awe of its beauty. Peru is undoubtedly the most backpacker-friendly country on the continent and its bus network makes it super easy to get around. The historical wonders of Machu Picchu, the beautiful beaches of Mancora and the jungle wildlife of Iquitos are merely a small taste of what’s on offer.
Chile has nearly 4,000 miles of coastline stretching from the deserts of the north to the Patagonia region in the south. Long and thin, Chile is easy to travel and much like neighbouring Argentina, Chile is rich in scenic beauty, culture and friendly people. You certainly won’t be short of entertainment here. Hit the beaches on the coast’s surf towns, feel the European vibes in Santiago and explore the maze-like cerros of Valparaiso. Our Chile backpacking guide will help you to have the trip of a lifetime.
Argentina offers quite possibly the most sensational natural beauty in the world, yet is less frequented by backpackers than other countries in South America. Cries of it’s too big or too expensive ring loud around many hostels on the continent. But take it from us, skipping Argentina would be a massive mistake. Take in the madness of Buenos Aires, drink your way around the wineries of the north and cap it all off with the adventure of a lifetime to Patagonia. Our guide to backpacking Argentina will inspire you to make the trip and help you along the way.
Colombia is the most popular country in South America for us backpackers. Long covered in cloud of mystery since its days as a no-go zone for tourists due to civil and drug wars, Colombia is now wide open and prime for exploration and adventure. Whether you opt for the concrete jungles of Bogota and Medellin, the natural beauty of Minca or the hardcore hike to The Lost City Colombia will leave you coming back for more.
Ecuador is quite often overlooked by travellers who instead opt for its neighbours Peru and Colombia. We hadn’t given it much thought either, but turned out to be the surprise highlight of our time in South America. Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse countries on earth with a wide range of landscapes and wildlife. Explore the jungle towns of Tena and Banos, trek the stunning Quilotoa Loop or chill on the beautiful beaches. Just be sure not to skip this little gem.