10 of the coolest things to DO in South America

Favela Rio
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And now for the best things to DO in South America…
Patagonia Chile

Hike in Patagonia

Even for serious hikers, Patagonia is an exciting, enriching experience to last a life time. Some of the world’s most captivating scenery is here in Patagonia, shared by Argentina and Chile, and as such it is home to some of the world’s most visually pleasing hiking terrain. Be sure to give yourself at least a week here, particularly if you intend on embarking on the 7 day “W” trek.

favela rio

A favela tour in Rio de Janeiro

For sure one of the most enriching experiences I encountered during my time in South America was a tour of one of Rio’s favelas. Also known as ‘the slums’ or ‘shanty towns’, the favelas are home to some of the country’s poorest citizens and it is a true sight to see when you witness just how happy and welcoming these people are to have you visit and see their homes. Of course, it was not always like this. Prior to the Brazil World Cup the favelas were much more dangerous and considered highly unsafe for travellers to visit. But nowadays it is safe, just be sure to go with a tour guide – read more here about my favela tour.

Soccer Rio de Janeiro

Go to a local football match

If there’s one thing I almost missed doing whilst in South America, it was going to a football match. This one completely slipped my mind but boy am I glad I made it happen last minute! The atmosphere inside the stadium is absolute chaos, mayhem, madness! It was everything I imagined it to be and more!

Valle Nevado

Ski/Snowboard in the Andes Mountains

While I may not have done it well, I can always say I learned to snowboard in the Andes Mountains. This is a magnificent mountain range that is particularly pleasing to the eye, and offers some very affordable skiing opportunities (particularly in comparison to the likes of the French or Swiss Alps).

la pa death road

Bike Ride Death Road in Bolivia

I’m still not sure if this was the best thing I’ve ever done, or the worst. Maybe it was both. You can read the full article here about my 4-hour ride along the world’s most dangerous road (that yes – still kills hundreds of people per year). But still, hundreds of riders descend down the road each week. It’s one for the grand children!


Trek Huayhuash in Peru

Although less famous than its neighbour, the Inca trail, Huayhuash is highly popular among serious trekking enthusiasts and offers stellar scenery.


Go deep into the Amazon Forest 

Okay, so, it needs no introduction. BUT did you know the Amazon is no less than 5,500,000 square km!? I mean, that’s a whole lotta leaves going on right there. But there are also frogs, plenty of birds, tribes (of humans, yes!), jaguars, cougars (the animal kind), anacondas…. and oh, so many more things that can eat you alive.


Swing at the Edge of the World, Ecuador

Situated in Banos, this rickety old tree house (or palace of dreams, depending which way you look at it) has quickly become an overnight phenomenon thanks to social media. When you swing, you actually look as if you are at the end of the world – weather pending. Image via weheartit.


Hike through El Calafate, Argentina

At one point in my trip to Argentina and Chile I realised that I was so far south that I might as well be in Antarctica. Well, as it turns out, the terrain down there is pretty similar the further south you go, especially in the winter months. El Calafate in Argentina is considered to be one of the most scenic hikes in the entire world – not that the image needs any further explaining to convince you. Image via


Fly over the tallest waterfalls in the world – Angel Falls, Venezuela

Oh you know, just the tallest waterfalls in the world. But what’s better? Hardly anyone visits them in comparison to other natural wonders around the world. So go on, what are you waiting for! Helicopter tours give the best overall view of the falls from above. Image via

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    Gilles Barbier
    September 10, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Great list, but I am surprised not to find the Salar de Uyuni / Southwest Loop in Bolivia. This was one of the most stunning expedition I did in South America.
    Cheers, Gilles

    Rachel Ang
    May 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    OMG at swing at the edge of the world! I want to do that!

    Rachel x

    Bart I Hasta la Proxima
    May 3, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I am currently living in Montevideo (Uruguay) as en expat. The end of May planned a trip in Patagonia. Going for El Calafate as well. If there is snow we are trying to Ski/Snowboard there! Actually I really want to go for Antarctica – but time is limited. Still am at Ushuaia – the END of the world. So excited!!!

    Luka Reedy
    May 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hahaha I seriously lost it laughing! Hilarious!! If I do find some of the human type, you will be the first to know! Lol

  • Brooke Saward
    May 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Great additions thank you Sara! 🙂

    Dave | Jones Around The World
    May 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Awesome list! I’m dying to get down to Patagonia the most. It’s been at the top of my bucket list for so long now! Hoping to cross off a few of these next year sometime! Amazing photos as well!

    Dave | Jones Around The World
    May 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Amazing list! Patagonia is at the very top of my bucket list right now! Hoping to make it down to South America and cross off a few these sometime next year!

    May 1, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve been to South America five times but I only cycled down the Death Road and went to the Amazon jungle… so many more things to do!
    It’s such an amazing continent!

    May 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Living in Santiago for over 3 years next made it to a soccer game. Definitely will have to add on my next adventures and Califate. Great recommendations

    Luka Reedy
    May 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Firstly, huge fan of WOW. Secondly, bummed that there is none of the human type cougars in the Amazon!!!! 😉

    In all seriousness, this has me pumped for South America!! Thanks…

    • Brooke Saward
      May 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      hahahaha I LOVE this comment and that you read that – boom clap! Enjoy Sth America 🙂

    May 1, 2015 at 7:44 am

    all of it looks amazing!

    Roney Haarengl
    May 1, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Actually, a favela tour it’s not something that cool. I’ve been living in Brazil for eleven years now, and after this time I’m able to say that doing this might seem pretty rude. It’s not about safety (although a great part of the favelas aren’t safe like you wrote, you have to be careful), but the main concern is that a favela it’s a part of the city, and not some safari. Those are real people in their real life, not jungle animals for people watch and take pictures. I’ve been to some of them, I also had great experiences, but people should never forget what’s about. Love World of Wanderlust, one of my favorites about travels! Regards from Brazil xx.

    Daisy @ Simplicity Relished
    May 1, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I’m swooning! Can’t wait to ride the swing at the end of the world this summer! xo