I have always dreamed of backpacking throughout South America. I wonder about its never-ending landscapes, I want to interact with its friendly people, and I want to discover what makes each of its countries unique from one another.
Where does one even begin when planning a backpacking trip to South America? For starters, one could rank the cost of living in various countries, to be sure that their budget coincides with their plans. For example, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia are considered the least expensive countries on the continent, whereas Brazil, Chile, and Argentina tend to reach the prices of Western standards. An appropriate budget for a backpacking trip in South America would be an average of about $50 a day for a bed in a hostel and food. Not only should you budget, but there are also many other important factors to consider when planning a backpacking trip to South America.
It is highly recommended for tourists to have a decent level of Spanish if they plan on touring South America, for it can help you interact with locals, prevent you from getting lost, and most importantly, demonstrate your awareness.
Always be alert
Indeed South America is a wonderful place full of adventure, however there are countless areas that suffer from high poverty and violent crime. You never know when a dangerous situation may present itself, so always be aware and protect yourself and belongings. If you are traveling alone, this is especially important.
In order to fully experience South America, try all the different foods that you can! Expose your palate to new flavors, but also try not to go overboard, as food poisoning while traveling can be a bummer.
Research your activities in advance
In order to get the best deals, try to research your big adventures in advance. South America is known for its carnivals, so see if you can catch any! If you want to trek Machu Picchu or the Galapagos Islands, book in advance to secure your spot!