🇧🇷Brazil
Major City

Rio 8 days

Flanked by gorgeous mountains and white sand beaches and verdant rainforests fronting deep-blue sea, Rio occupies one of the most spectacular settings of any metropolis in the world. Tack on one of the sexiest populations on the plant and you have an intoxicating tropical cocktail that leaves visitors punch-drunk on paradise.

🇧🇷Brazil
Island

lha Grande days

The fabulous island retreat of Ilha Grande owes its pristine condition to its unusual history. For centuries, the island’s unsavory reputation – first as a pirate's lair, then as a leper colony and penitentiary – kept developers at bay. Consequently, beautiful tropical beaches and virgin Atlantic rainforest (now protected as state parkland) abound, and the island still has only a handful of settlements.

🇧🇷Brazil
Coastal Town

Paraty 4 days

Backed by steep, jungled mountains plunging into an island-studded bay, Paraty enjoys one of Brazil’s most spectacular settings and an exquisitely preserved colonial center, recognized as a National Historic Site since 1966. The town's pedestrianized streets are lined with elegant white buildings adorned with fanciful multihued borders and latticed windows that blend harmoniously with the natural beauty that envelops the town – it's a joy to explore.

🇧🇷Brazil
Major City

Sao Paulo 4 days

São Paulo is home to 20 million fiercely proud paulistanos, all of whom will happily tell you at length to you how they'd never live elsewhere. Spend time with them and the reasons will soon unfold. Maybe they will introduce you to the city’s innumerable art-house cinemas and experimental theaters. If they’re gourmands, they’ll focus on the smart bistros and gourmet restaurants that make the city a world-renowned foodie haven. If they’re scenesters, follow them on a raucous tour of underground bars and the 24/7 clubbing scene.

🇧🇷Brazil
National Park

Foz de Iguaçu 3 days

There is little about the town to get excited about, but it works perfectly fine as a base for exploring Iguaçu Falls in both Brazil and Argentina as well other attractions in the area such as Itaipu Binacional and Parque das Aves.

🇧🇷Brazil
Beach Town

Porto Seguro days

🇧🇷Brazil

Ilheus days

🇧🇷Brazil
Big City

Salvador de Bahia days

Salvador da Bahia has an energy and unadorned beauty that few cities can match. Once the magnificent capital of Portugal’s New World colony, today Salvador is the pulsating heart of the country’s Afro-Brazilian community. Its brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th- and 18th-century architecture and gold-laden churches. Wild festivals happen frequently, with drum corps pounding out rhythms against the backdrop of colonial buildings almost daily.

🇧🇷Brazil
Beach Town

Itacaré days

It would be almost criminal not to bask in some of Bahia’s exceptionally laid-back beach vibes while in Brazil. The state is lined by a long coastline that is sparsely developed and hypnotically beautiful. Choose between the surf and party town of Itacaré, backpacker island Morro de São Paulo, or its slow and scenic neighbour Boipeba, to make your home for a few days. Early morning beach runs, yoga and surf lessons, days of tanning and reading, and evenings of meals of freshly caught fish, fruity caipirinhas, and barefoot dancing till dawn will have you hooked.

🇧🇷Brazil
Small City

Natal days

Rio Grande do Norte's capital is a clean, bright and rather bland city that has swelled as a hub for coastal package tourism, much of it catering to Brazilian families. Its main attractions are touristic beaches, buggy rides and other organized excursions, restaurants and nightlife – it won't appeal too much if you seek museums, theater or wild empty strands.

🇧🇷Brazil
Island

Fernando de Noronha days

21-island Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Located in the Atlantic, 525km from Recife and 350km from Natal, Noronha's natural beauty holds its own against any tropical locale in the world. With crystal-clear waters, rich marine life – including the highest known concentration of resident dolphins in the world – and spectacular tropical landscapes, it’s in a Brazilian class all of its own. The country’s ‘beach bible,’ Guia Quatro Rodas Praias, awards five stars to just five beaches in the whole country – and three are right here.

🇧🇷Brazil

Praia da Pipa days

Continuing the dreamy beach resort theme, head to Praia da Pipa near Natal. It attracts surfers, travelers, turtles, and pink dolphins to its idyllic beaches. The town is on the cliffs above, and caters for everyone from scruffy backpackers on a budget to honeymooners with cash to splash. Spend peaceful days walking between the beaches, take a buggy bombing down the coast, or save your energy for the fun that unravels at night, beginning usually with samba or forró on the main street and finishes in the club Calangos.

🇧🇷Brazil
Coastal Town

Recife & Olinda days

🇧🇷Brazil
Mountain Town

Ouro Preto days

Of all the exquisite colonial towns scattered around Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto is the jewel in the crown. Significant historically as a center of gold mining and government, and as the stage for Brazil’s first independence movement, the city remains vital in modern times as a center for education and the arts, and is one of Brazil’s most visited tourist destinations.

🇧🇷Brazil
Mountain Town

Tiradentes days

Perhaps nowhere else in Minas do the colonial architecture and picturesque natural setting blend so harmoniously as in Tiradentes. Quaint historic houses, fringed by exuberant wildflowers, stand out against a backdrop of pretty blue mountains threaded with hiking trails. If you can, visit midweek, when the town’s abundant attractions are most easily appreciated. On weekends, the swarms of visitors who come to gawk at Tiradentes’ antique stores and boutiques can make the place feel a bit like a theme park, and the sudden increase in horse-drawn carriages creates some strong aromas!

🇧🇷Brazil
National Park

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park days

From Pipa, bounce from Natal to Fortaleza to visit Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Tucked away on a wild stretch of isolated Atlantic Coast, it is a huge field of rolling, slipping, blowing sand dunes of dazzling white, pale greys, and yellow hues. Most of the year fresh-water lakes fill the dips between dunes, providing much-needed cooling off opportunities as you walk barefoot across the lunar-esque landscape. The park is accessed either from Barreirinhas or from Atins.

🇨🇴Colombia
Small City

Medellin 13 days

Situated in a narrow valley, Medellín packs the punch of a city twice its size. Its skyline reaches for the heavens, setting high-rise apartments and office buildings against a backdrop of jagged peaks in every direction. Its pleasant climate gives it its nickname – the City of Eternal Spring – and the moderate temperatures put a spring in the locals' steps, at work and at play. It's a bustling place of industry and commerce, especially in textile manufacturing and exported cut flowers. On weekends Medellín lets its hair down, its many discos attracting the beautiful people.

🇨🇴Colombia
Town

Jardin 1 days

The self-proclaimed most beautiful town in Antioquia, Jardín lives up to its name. Festooned with greenery, its brightly painted two-story houses are surrounded by small coffee farms that cling to the slopes of green mountains.

🇨🇴Colombia
Mountain Town

Salento 3 days

Salento was by far one of my favourite places in Colombia…and not just because it’s in the coffee region (though that certainly helped). Surrounded by rolling green hills and stretching countryside, it was nice to take a deep breath of (thin, altitude) air in Salento. Part of Zona Cafetera. Small town, lots of backpackers and some stunning surrounding countryside.

🇨🇴Colombia
Small City

Medellin (stop 2) 3 days

Situated in a narrow valley, Medellín packs the punch of a city twice its size. Its skyline reaches for the heavens, setting high-rise apartments and office buildings against a backdrop of jagged peaks in every direction. Its pleasant climate gives it its nickname – the City of Eternal Spring – and the moderate temperatures put a spring in the locals' steps, at work and at play. It's a bustling place of industry and commerce, especially in textile manufacturing and exported cut flowers. On weekends Medellín lets its hair down, its many discos attracting the beautiful people.

🇨🇴Colombia
Day trip

Guatape days

Less than 2 hours away from brustling town Medellin, Guatape is a famous weekend getaway for paisas(locals) looking for some quiet time in the countryside. But for some reason, it still remains off the track of most tourists. 4 years ago, there were still no hostels there. Trust me, add a stop in Guatape on your Colombian itinerary, you will not regret it!

🇨🇴Colombia
Beach Town

Santa Marta 1 days

Where locals go when they want sun on their backs and rum in their hands. Famous colonial past. Pleasant enough seaside town. Mixed reviews.

🇨🇴Colombia
Beach Town

Taganga days

Tiny fishing village that doesn't know what hit it. Mostly backpackers. Mixed reviews. Cheapest place for scuba driving. Day trip to National park Tayrona. Once a tiny fishing village, Taganga seemed to have hit the jackpot when it became a big backpacker destination in the early 2000s. It drew a diverse crowd of locals and travelers, and quietly boomed. Hostels and restaurants prospered with the endless stream of visitors.

🇨🇴Colombia
National Park

Tayrona National Park 1 days

A magical slice of the Caribbean coast, with stunning stretches of golden sandy beach backed by coconut palms and thick rainforest. Behind it all rise the steep hillsides of the Sierra Nevada, the world's highest coastal mountain range. The park stretches along the coast and covers some 12,000 hectares of land and 3000 hectares of coral-rich sea. Daily speed boat from Tanganga. Accommodation in hammock, camping or bungalows.

🇨🇴Colombia
Big City

Cartagena 5 days

A beautiful Spanish Colonial walled city with high-end restaurants and plenty of sights, make sure you have enough days to explore Cartagena. The undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a historic city of superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage Site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across leafy plazas.

🇨🇴Colombia
Beach Town

Capurganá 1 days

Capurganá is a remote, car-free village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, accessible only by air or water. It’s known for quiet bays backed by dense rainforest and its abundant dive sites. Nearby, Aguacate Beach, or Avocado Beach, is named for its green water. Up the coast is Sapzurro village, with its circular bay and forest trails. Palm-fringed La Miel Beach is farther northwest, over the Panama border

🇵🇦Panama
Island

San Blas Islands 3 days

🇵🇦Panama
Big City

Panama City 1 days

🇨🇴Colombia
Major City

Bogota days

Bogotá is Colombia's beating heart, an engaging and vibrant capital cradled by chilly Andean peaks and steeped in sophisticated urban cool. Carefully preserved colonial buildings, home to museums, restaurants, hotels and bars, peppered amid 300-year-old houses, churches and convents.

🇨🇴Colombia
Town

Villa de Leyva days

A beautiful colonial settlement that has been preserved in it's entirety. Near Bogota. Popular on wkends with locals, quiet midweek.

🇨🇴Colombia
Mountain Town

San Gil days

Adrenaline junkies paradise with cheap and excellent rafting, paragliding, hydrospeeding and waterfall abseiling.

🇨🇴Colombia
Town

Mompox days

Mompós is one of Colombia's most perfectly preserved colonial towns. Remotely located deep inland on the banks of the Río Magdalena, the town has essentially been in decline since river transport patterns changed in the mid-19th century, leaving it – quite literally – a backwater. The 21st century finds this forgotten gem rising again, with a steady proliferation of boutique hotels and restaurants in recent years. It's easily the most charming town in northern Colombia, its decaying facades and multicolored churches reminiscent more of Havana's old town than of polished-and-buffed Cartagena.

🇨🇴Colombia
Small City

Cali 3 days

Colombia’s salsa city. It's a hot, gritty city with a real zest for life that draws you in and stays with you long after you leave town. Beyond a handful of churches and museums, Cali is light on sights – but the city's main attraction is its beguiling, electrifying atmosphere. If you make the effort you will find great nightlife, good restaurants and plenty to do, especially in the evening, when a cool mountain breeze dissipates the heat of the day.

🇨🇴Colombia
Town

Popayan days

Perhaps the most attractive of Colombia’s old towns. Lots of churches and pretty white buildings.

🇨🇴Colombia
Mountain Town

San Agustin days

Gallop around ancient sites & statues. This small, attractive colonial town basks in refreshing, springlike weather year-round and is the gateway to one of the most important pre-Columbian archaeological sites on the continent.

🇨🇴Colombia
Town

Barichara days

Barichara is a town in northern Colombia known for its cobbled streets and colonial architecture. In the center, the sandstone Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción features a gold-leaf altar. Other significant churches include whitewashed Capilla de San Antonio, built in the 19th century, and hilltop Capilla de Santa Barbara. On the town’s western outskirts, Cementerio Barichara is a cemetery with ornate tombs.

🇨🇴Colombia
Trek

Sierra Nevada days

🇨🇴Colombia
Mountain Town

Leticia days

🇨🇴Colombia
Trek

El Cocuy National Park days

WIth snowcapped peaks, alpine lakes and glorious green valleys, one of Col. most spectacular protected areas.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Town

Otavalo 2 days

Famous for its gigantic Saturday market, friendly indigenous people and lots of men sporting dresses and ponytails! The setting is fabulous, and the entire experience remains enchanting.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Mindo 3 days

Breathtaking setting surrounded on all sides by steep mountainsides of cloud forest, tiny Mindo has become something of a backpacker buzzword. Entered by a dramatically steep and curvy hillside descent that takes you down past dozens of hotels and lodges to a sleepy town center.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Quilotoa Loop 6 days

The Quilotoa Loop is a bumpy, ring-shaped road that travels from the Panamericana far into the backcountry of Cotopaxi province. Along the way you’ll encounter colourful indigenous markets, a crystal-blue lake that the local people believe has no bottom, a community of painters who are preserving the legends of the Andes, and ancient trails that meander in the shadow of snowcapped volcanoes. The isolation of the loop brings you into contact with lots of Kichwa-speaking indigenous people and their centuries-old way of life.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Beach Town

Montanita days

Blessed with the countries best surf - and more budget hotels than you can shake a board at - Montanita means baggy shorts, surf and scene. Some dig it, others despise it. Mellow & friendly. Head to the full-moon parties in Montanita for some moonlight raving.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Small City

Quito 1 days

Warm and relaxed, traditional Ecuadorian Sierra culture – overflowing market stands, shamanistic healers, fourth-generation hatmakers – mixes with a vibrant and sophisticated culinary and nightlife scene. Head to the Marsical for an all action international area bursting with backpackers, loads of hostels and lively westernised clubs.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Parque Nacional Cotopaxi days

Stunning National park with the giant, freezing cold & breathtaking 5900m Volcano Cotopaxi at the centre of it. Ecuador's 2nd highest peak. Can't enter without a guide

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Tena days

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Banos days

Hemmed in by luxuriant green peaks, blessed with steaming thermal baths and adorned by a beautiful waterfall, Banos is one of Ecuadors most enticing and popular tourist destinations. Touristy as it is, a wonderful place to hang out for a few days.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Mountain Town

Riobamba days

Deemed the sultan of the Andes, Riobamba is an old-fashioned, traditional city that both bores and delights travellers. It's sedate yet handsome, with wide avenues and random mismatched shops tucked into imposing 18th and 19th century stone building.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Island

The Galapagos Islands 8 days

🇪🇨Ecuador
Small City

Guayaquil days

Guayaquil is not only the beating commercial heart of Ecuador but a vibrant sprawling city, growing ever more confident. A half-dozen high-rises give it a big-city profile, and several hillsides are engulfed by colorful favelas, but it’s the Río Guayas’ malecón (the riverfront town square) that defines the city’s identity. Transport for Galapagos.

🇪🇨Ecuador
Small City

Cuenca 3 days

Popular riverside city full of colonial buildings, cafes and art galleries. After Quito, Cuenca is Ecuador’s most important and beautiful colonial city. But don’t say that to the locals, who insist that their laid-back culture, cleaner streets and more agreeable weather outclass the capital, hands down.

🇵🇪Peru
Beach Town

Mancora days

Popular beach resort full of drunk gap year students, surfers and an unfortunately high number of thieves.

🇵🇪Peru
Mountain Town

Kuélap days

Off the beaten track

🇵🇪Peru
Beach Town

Huanchacho days

🇵🇪Peru
Mountain Town

Huaraz days

Huaraz is the restless capital of this Andean adventure kingdom and its rooftops command exhaustive panoramas of the city's dominion: one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world. It isn’t going to win any Andean-village beauty contests anytime soon, but it does have personality. Another altitude spot of natural beauty in Peru’s central Sierra. Surprisingly lively nightly entertainment including a decent choice of live music.

🇵🇪Peru
Major City

Lima days

After Cairo, this sprawling metropolis is the second-driest world capital, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs. To enjoy it, climb on the wave of chaos that spans high-rise condos built alongside pre-Columbian temples and fast Pacific breakers rolling toward noisy traffic snarl-ups. Think one part southern Cali doused with a heavy dose of America Latina.

🇵🇪Peru
National Park

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 1 days

🇵🇪Peru
Small City

Cusco days

Welcome to the navel of the world. The undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, Cuzco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and the gateway to Machu Picchu. Cosmopolitan Cuzco (also Cusco, or Qosq’o in Quechua) thrives with a measure of contradiction. Ornate cathedrals squat over Inca temples, massage hawkers ply the narrow cobblestone passages, a rural Andean woman feeds bottled water to her pet llama while the finest boutiques sell pricey alpaca knits. Laid back, traveller friendly

🇵🇪Peru
Town

Huacachina days

Much fun to be had here in the giant sand dunes with options including sandboarding and bumpy buggy tours.

🇵🇪Peru
Town

Nazca days

Famous for its mysterious lines as featured in Indiana Jones. Unfortunately fly-overs are out of the budget of most backpackers.

🇵🇪Peru
Town

Arequipa days

Surrounded by volcanoes & canyons. Other Peruvians joke that you need a different passport to enter Peru’s second-largest city. One-tenth the size of Lima, Arequipa is its pugnacious equal in terms of cuisine, historical significance and confident self-awareness.

🇵🇪Peru
Town

Puno days

With a regal plaza, concrete-block buildings and crumbling bricks that blend into the hills, Puno has its share of both grit and cheer. It serves as the jumping-off point for Lake Titicaca and is a convenient stop for those traveling between Cuzco and La Paz. But it may just capture your heart with its own rackety charm.

🇵🇪Peru
National Park

Puerto Maldonado days

🇧🇴Bolivia
Town

Copacabana days

the other side of Lake Titicaca – Isla del Sol overnight

🇧🇴Bolivia
Island

Isla Del Sol days

https://www.alongdustyroads.com/posts/2017/1/3/isla-del-sol-hike-guide-hostels-titicaca-bolivia

🇧🇴Bolivia
Major City

La Paz days

One of the smallest and safest capitals on the continent. Street markets, the Coca Museum and the infamous San Pedro prison are very popular with backpackers here.

🇧🇴Bolivia
Small City

Sucre days

It is probably the most attractive city in the country.

🇧🇴Bolivia
Small City

Potosi days

Take a trip down the shockingly dangerous working mines in what is the highest city in the world. A depressing but unforgettable place.

🇧🇴Bolivia
Town

Uyuni days

The world’s largest salt flat is a weirdly charming place and an increasingly popular stop on the South America backpacker trail. You will probably need to do an organised tour here, which can last several days.

🇧🇴Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni days

🇧🇴Bolivia
Town

Rurrenabaque days

🇧🇴Bolivia
Mountain Town

Samaipata days

Explore nearby El Fuerte ruins. F Forested mountains, archaology; near La Higuera, where Che Guevara was executed

🇧🇴Bolivia
Town

Tupiza days

horse riding in Butch Cassidy country and the base for the Salar de Uyuni tour

🇧🇴Bolivia
Small City

Chiquitana days

Jesuit missions circuit

🇧🇴Bolivia
National Park

PN de Medidi days

🇦🇷Argentina
Major City

Buenos Aires days

Fantastic city take in a passionate football match, the vibrant streetlife, super shopping and lively clubs that party well past dawn. Many travellers view the giant Argentinean capital as their favourite city in all of South America.

🇦🇷Argentina
Big City

Mendoza days

Excellent wine produced here and it’s also not far from Mount Aconcagua, the tallest on the continent. Renting bikes and winery maps, and spend a sunny day cycling to winery after winery.

🇦🇷Argentina
Mountain Town

Bariloche days

The Lake District, ski in June, July, August. The charming Swiss ski-resort feel takes a little bit of a kitsch nose-dive here, but if you just embrace it and enjoy the view you'll be fine. Definitely advise renting a car and driving round the Circuito Chico, a scenic drive with one jaw-dropping view after another.

🇦🇷Argentina
Town

El Calafate days

Stunning Perito Moreno Glacier; ice trekking)

🇦🇷Argentina
Mountain Town

Salta days

Multicoloured mountains and leafy plazas

🇦🇷Argentina
Mountain Town

El Chalten days

on the edge of Los Glaciares national park with views of the peaks of Monte Fitz Roy)

🇦🇷Argentina
Town

Alta Gracia days

Small country town outside of Cordoba. The main attraction in Alta Gracia is Che Guevara’s childhood home, which is now an excellent museum.

🇦🇷Argentina
Big City

Rosario days

Interesting big city which includes riverside beaches with an alternative vibe.

🇦🇷Argentina
Town

Puerto Madryn and the Peninsula Valdes days

great penguin, sea lion and orca watching

🇦🇷Argentina
Town

Puerto Iguazú days

🇦🇷Argentina
Town

Peninsula Valdes days

Whales, elephant seals

🇦🇷Argentina
Mountain Town

Humahuaca days

🇺🇾Uruguay
Town

Colonia days

A short hop across Rio de la Plata from BA, this cobblestone town with lively bars is a great if a little touristy introduction to Uruguay.

🇺🇾Uruguay
Small City

Montevideo days

Small and very pleasant by the standards of capitals in Latin America. Popular with artists and architecture lovers.

🇺🇾Uruguay
Beach Town

Piriapolis days

Budget beach resort with fun stuff including jet skiing, windsurfing and banana boating.

🇺🇾Uruguay
Beach Town

Punta Del Est days

Most popular beaches in the region and some banging nightlife! https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jan/20/punta-del-este-uruguay-elitest-gated-city-urban-future-st-tropez-south-america

🇺🇾Uruguay
Beach Town

Cabo Polonio days

A tiny coastal village with sea lions, penguins, whales, rustic hostels and lots of hippies.

🇺🇾Uruguay
Small City

Sacramento days

🇨🇱Chile
Major City

Santiago days

Capital city with so much to do in and around it. Skiing in the Andes, nice beaches and interesting towns all very close to what is the beating heart of this country.

🇨🇱Chile
Town

San Pedro De Atacama days

Stunning landscape around the laid back but somewhat pricey town. See it on a horse or bicycle. Geysers, mountains, sand boarding, star gazing (it's one of the best places on Earth to see the stars) and more

🇨🇱Chile
Town

Puerto Natales days

Probably can't go

🇨🇱Chile
Town

Copiapo days

Sleepy town which burst into the global spotlight in 2010 with the dramatic and very moving rescue of 33 trapped miners.

🇨🇱Chile
Beach Town

Vina del Mar days

Best beaches in the country with awesome music festival every February.

🇨🇱Chile
Town

Valparaiso days

Colourful town with a vibrant bohemian culture. A real gem.

🇨🇱Chile
Town

Puerto Montt days

🇨🇱Chile
Island

Chiloé days

Penguins, seascapes

🇨🇱Chile
Beach Town

Iquique days

🇨🇱Chile
Beach Town

Arica days

🇨🇴Colombia
Day trip

Isla Baru days