The land of mythical legend, sensual dances and world-renowned festivals that go on for days, South America is a captivatingly colourful continent that has the power to lure the eager traveller with its promise of mystery and adventure.

From the highest capital city in La Paz, Bolivia, to the world's southernmost city, Ushuaia, in Argentina, South America is a land of extremes. The colonial influence, African slave history and diverse indigenous communities have resulted in a mix of important cultural, ethnic and racial histories that together have formed the eclectic combination we have today. This has resulted in a mix of architecture, artifacts and spiritual sights of significance throughout the region.

Between pink dolphins and piranhas of the Amazon River, Guatavita Lake, where the legend of El Dorado’s buried treasure originates, the mystique of Easter Island in Chile, the unique páramo ecosystem of the Andes, more than 3,000 species of bird or the mighty Iguazu Falls, South America is equally a place of natural splendour.

While some countries may be synonymous with sordid tales of drug trafficking, violence and poverty, many regions and countries are taking strides toward sustainable and safe tourism in order to provide hope and opportunity to their communities.

Travel through much of South America can be unpredictable and uncertain, but often it is that element of the unknown and the unpolished that brings people here in the first place.

One of the most well-known destinations in South America for over-60s may be the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, but let this destination be the springboard for an exciting adventure that will find you exploring the glaciers of Patagonia, the untouched islands of the Galapagos or the dry red deserts of Tatacoa.

If you have two left feet and expect to make your way across this continent without having a dance, then we have some news for you because here dance is life. Children can boogie as soon as they are able to balance on two feet and this continues through to adulthood.

Expect to be pulled up onto the dance floor, especially if you’re seen loitering nervously at the edges. With this love of dance has come an exciting mix of music genres that have evolved over time and influenced by the introduction of different styles.

Dance and music on the Caribbean coast, for example, is completely different from those found high in the Andes. And while salsa might be the favourite dance throughout the continent, apart from Brazil, which is famous for its playful Samba styles, there is a myriad of other genres from salsa choke and cumbia to merengue and forró. Soak up the colour and culture and get ready to be overwhelmed by old-fashioned hospitality while you're here, too.

What matters in life is not what happens to you, but what you remember and how you remember it.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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When to Visit
When to visit icon

Given that much of South America strongly identify as Catholic, the best time to visit many countries in the region is in the lead up to Easter. This is the time of year that you’ll come across the world-famous Carnaval festival in Brazil and other processions, parades and ceremonies in many... view

Travel Cost
Travel cost icon

Be aware that while costs can be relatively low in many countries in South America, flights between countries can be expensive. Domestic flights are generally more economical with an increase in airline competition, but flights between countries, for the moment, remain high. The cheaper... view