Travel in Style

DESTINATION South America

Cusco, Peru

Cusco or Cuzco? This southeastern city in Peru nestled in the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range is spelled both Cusco and Cuzco. So if arguing this point, you are both right. People infamously come here before heading up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. So sit back and get ready to enjoy a cup of coco leaf tea and get ready for your Cusco adventure. Be Wary of

Continue reading…

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Rio Travel Tips One of my life’s personal highlights is experiencing Rio de Janeiro from a local’s perspective. My girlfriend is from South America. She has a friend who graciously lent us his gorgeous flat on the beach in Leblon. It’s typical for Brazilians to work in the financial capital, Sao Paulo, and have a house in Rio, where they spend weekends and holidays. Great Party Places in Rio Rio

Continue reading…

MACHU PICCHU, PERU

In 1450, at the height of the Incan empire, King Pachacuti ― the ninth Inca ruler ― began expanding his empire and constructing a royal estate deep in the mountains of Peru, where the sacred Urubamba river snakes around a bend. It is said Machu Picchu was built because of the King’s spiritual connections to the site. The city was abandoned a century after its construction during the Spanish conquest,

Continue reading…

FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL

Things To Do In Florianopolis With more than 40 pure white beaches stretched along 33-miles of island, the city of Florianopolis ― affectionately dubbed “Floripa” ― is one of Latin America’s hottest destinations. With the city’s beaches, fresh seafood, relaxed party ambience, and handsome locals who speak the romance language Portuguese, it’s easy to see why. “[Florianopolis is] a mixture of St. Tropez and Ibiza, without the attitude and without

Continue reading…

South America Travel Tips

With its stunning geography, a rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine, South America provides a wealth of vacation opportunities. Whether you are the outdoorsy sort looking for a backpacking trip through Chile, or more interested in checking out the Carnivale festivities in Rio, our globe-trotting experts have put together South American travel tips to help you get the most out of your adventure.

No matter what country you choose—from the vineyards of Argentina to the mountains of Bolivia, the rainforests of Brazil to Patagonia Summit—South America is bountiful in amazing food, gorgeous vistas, and a fascinating history.

Why You Should Go Before You Die

South America features landmarks that are unlike anything else you will find anywhere in the world. Visit Cusco, the former capital of the Incan empire, one of the most advanced early civilizations. Tucked away in the Peruvian Andes, Cusco boasts impressive archeological edifications as well as beautiful Spanish Colonial architecture from Peru’s more recent history.

Want a solid South American travel tip? Plan a journey to Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, the famous archipelago where Charles Darwin once made some pretty enlightening observations. A spectacular beach destination, the Galapagos offers world-class snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities for marine enthusiasts, and the volcanic mountains provide a plethora of hiking options.

Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the world for a reason. Summiting Machu Picchu requires four days of hiking—but it’s well worth it. The historical ruins of the Incan civilization, built into the side of the mountain, are a once in a lifetime sight.

If you are more of a city slicker, the hustle and bustle of Florianopolis, Brazil, might be the South American travel destination for you. Exquisite beaches paired with unbeatable nightlife, Florianopolis is an action packed city.

Lara’s Advice

My biggest South America travel tip is to rent a motorcycle! Zip through crowded roads the way the locals do, and enjoy the warmth of the South American sunshine against your skin. Just make sure you wear a helmet—and try to keep the caipirinhas to a minimum.

Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track. Every tourist will make the hike up Machu Picchu, but Huayna Picchu is slightly more difficult.  Make sure rain or shine bring a poncho.

The peaks of Patagonia are reserved for the more free-spirited adventure seekers.  Make sure you allow yourself 2 weeks for this excursion due to driving time.

Last but not least, remember to bring the insect repellant. Tropical climates come hand in hand with mosquitos, which can carry potentially serious diseases, so be sure to take proper precautions to protect yourself from bug bites.

What To Pack

Embrace the tropical, laid back vibe of South America with packing list inspired by the humid climate of the rainforest and the cooler nights near the beach. Our curated packing lists include the Totes rain ponchos, a pair of stylish yet comfortable Puma sneakers, the handy-dandy Pioneer Hiker Day Pack, and an essential Jay Godfrey Alexander ivory dress.

Read our specific destination guides for more South American travel tips and packing advice, and start planning your South American adventure today with Packed Perfectly!