Noah Holtgraves is a data journalist at Trips to Discover, where he utilizes his expertise in analyzing extensive datasets to derive significant implications and subtle differences in the hospitality industry that he presents in an easily understandable manner. He joined the team in June 2021 and has since been instrumental in creating insightful travel data reports.
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South America is the fourth-largest continent in the world and sits in the Western Hemisphere. The continent lies south of North America, sharing a land border via Panama and Colombia. The Caribbean Sea is northwest, bounded by Colombia and Venezuela. The North and South Atlantic Oceans sit northeast and east of the continent, respectively. The South Atlantic Ocean also borders much of the South. The Drake Passage waterway lies directly south of the continent, bridging the 600 miles between Chile and Antarctica. To the west lies the North and South Pacific Oceans.
Here is everything you will find in this overview:
The two major travel hubs in South America are the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia, and the São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport in Guarulhos, Brazil. They are in the top 50 busiest airports in the world by passenger traffic. The Guarulhos airport serves the city of São Paulo, Brazil, the largest city on the South American continent by population. Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; and Bogotá, Colombia, are the continent’s following most populous cities, respectively.
South America is rich in natural wonders and cultural landmarks with many of the world’s top tourist destinations, including:
Local Etiquette: South America is diverse, yet some social norms are widely observed.
South Americans tend to be open, friendly and interpersonal people.
Kissing on the cheek is a common greeting in much of the continent.
Tipping in South America is not considered “mandatory,” but it is appreciated!
Unlike some of Central America, having a rudimentary understanding of Spanish is a good idea.
South America’s cultural landscape heavily intertwines with the natural environment. Home to the 1.35 billion acre Amazon Rainforest and the Atacama Desert — the continent hosts the largest river and the driest desert in the world. Much of South America’s deep ties to the environment stem from indigenous peoples who comprise a large share of the continent’s population, especially in Bolivia and Peru. The continent brings together the rich culture and traditions of indigenous, Iberian and African peoples, resulting in some of the world’s best food, dance, literature, festivals and ceremonies.
The U.S. dollar stretches far in South America, making travel within the continent relatively affordable. The U.S. dollar has the strongest purchasing power in the following safe-to-visit countries, and how much cheaper things are in that country compared to the U.S.
Bolivia: 60-70% Cheaper
Brazil: 40-50% Cheaper
Ecuador: 40-50% Cheaper
Chile: 40-50% Cheaper
Local Governance and Politics
Safest: The following countries are safest to visit in South America with the lowest level 1 designation by the U.S. State Department: