south America is a special place for a backpacking holiday, with an incredibly diverse array of things to see and do, which will cater to everyone. Each country you visit offers unique and memorable experiences; from joining the carnival in Brazil to climbing the world’s second highest mountain range in the Andes or surfing in Ecuador, you can do it all and then some! Read on for our guide to seven of the best backpacking destinations in South America that shouldn’t be missed…
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
There’s something truly special about Rio de Janeiro, which is unlike any other major city in the world. One day you could be relaxing on the shores of Copacabana beach, and the next you could be taking in the views from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain or visiting the favelas that are home to more than 1.5 million people across the city. Backpackers should also spend an evening at Lapa Square, where you can join the crowds in sipping caipirinhas and dancing in the street. A fun and fabulous way to make new friends and immerse yourself in the Brazilian culture.
One of Peru’s most popular party destinations, Cuzco is the place to come if you want to let your hair down. Head to Plaza de Armas – the city’s central square – to discover a number of pubs, restaurants and cafés, which are great places to socialise and meet new people. Or if you’re going to tackle Macchu Picchu, this is the place to start. Known as the gateway to the lost Inca city, from Cuzco you can either take the train, hike or follow the classic Inca trail, which is around a four or five day walk.