21 Less-traveled Destinations that will make you visit South America

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 1st, 2015 Posted in South America & Antarctica, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 6 Comments

You’ve snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, you went on a sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands and you took pictures of the legendary Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback. You did island hopping in Thailand and enjoyed the view from one of the massive skyscrapers in bustling Bangkok. In Berlin you had a few beers while attending a pubcrawl night and finished your backpacking trip with an Angkor Wat temple tour in Cambodia.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Great Barrier ReefAyers Rock, Bangkok, Berlin and Angkor Wat.

You’re coming home, you say hello to friends and family and after a few weeks you want to pack your bag again.

You hop on a plane, you’re back in business! But where are you going?

One of the best travel destinations for long term backpacking is South America. Sounds good to me: soccer, beautiful women, a not so difficult language and popular cities like Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Bogota. But let me tell you something: South America has more to offer than big cities and the things I just mentioned. A journey from North to South, South to North or simply cross country and back and forth is probably the most varied backpacking trip of your life! You need an example?

Today, you gaze legendary Machu Picchu after a tiring hike through the lush cloud forests in Peru. Tomorrow you are sliding down sand dunes on a snowboard and the day after you enjoy the gentle ocean breeze of the Pacific laying in a hammock at the beach. That’s only been three days! What do you expect from this amazing continent if you decide to go on a backpacking trip around South America?  Take a look at the pictures and make your dreams come true! Related Article: Here is the list of different cheap backpackers hostels in South America.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Machu Picchu and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

1. Aguas Calientes (Peru) – Gateway to the world wonder of Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes - Gateway to the world wonder of Machu Picchu

2. Arequipa (Peru) – Just another UNESCO World Heritage Site

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Arequipa.

Arequipa Main Plaza

3. Banos (Ecuador) – Capital for the adrenaline junkie.

Banos - Capital for the adrenaline junkie

4. Cabanaconde (Peru) – The Do It Yourself gateway to Colca Canyon

Cabanaconde Colca Canyon

5. Cartagena (Colombia) – Colonial city with a Caribbean touch.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Cartagena / Cartagena.

Cartagena - Colonial city with a Caribbean touch

6. Copacabana (Bolivia) – Sailing the Titicaca Lake.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Copacabana and Lake Titicaca.

Copacabana - Sailing the Titicaca

7. Cuenca (Ecuador)- Laid back colonial city.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Cuenca / Cuenca.

Cuenca - Laid back colonial city

8. Huacachina (Peru) – Oasis of joy!

Huacachina - Oasis of joy

9. Huaraz (Peru) – A hikers dream! 

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Huaraz.

Huaraz Santa Cruz Trek

10. Iquitos (Peru) – The biggest rural city in one of the most remote areas in the world!

Iquitos - The biggest rural city in one of the most remote areas in the world!

11. Mancora (Peru) – Backpacker invaded beach town for the party animal.

P1130446

12. Minca (Colombia) – In the heart of the Sierra Nevada.

Minca Sierra Nevada

13. Ollantaytambo (Peru) – This is not just a train station!

Ollantaytambo - This is not just a train station!

14. Palomino (Colombia) – Caribbean beach town at its best!

P1160221

15. Paracas (Peru) – Cliffs, sea lions and fishermen.

Paracas - Cliffs, sea lions and fishermen

16. Potosi (Bolivia) – A life for the mountain.

Potosi - A dedicated life for a god nobody knows

17. Puno (Peru) – Floating islands and straw boats.

Puno -

18. Santa Cruz (Bolivia) – Where the time stands still. 

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Bolivia

19. Santa Marta (Colombia) – This is not a postcard!

Santa Marta Tayrona El Cabo de San Juan

20. Sucre (Bolivia) – Whiter than sugar!

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Sucre.

Sucre - Whiter than sugar!

21. Taganga (Colombia) – Divers, sharks and hammocks.

Taganga

So what are you waiting for? South America is not just another beautiful continent with loads of crazy activities; a handful of the worlds best hikes, warm-hearted and welcoming people, a great language, tasty food and on top of that it’s amazingly cheap which makes it perfect for the budget backpacker!

Monkey DividersAbout the author: 

I am Robin, a 28-year-old German traveling the world since 2 years. After I have finished my studies in early childhood education I have decided to break out for a little while heading off to Australia as my first country I visited long term. After that I went to South East Asia getting more and more into the lifestyle of backpacking, aiming for better photos, proper stories to share on my blog www.rbnsworld.de ending up spending the summer with friends back home to continue traveling the west side of the globe for 5 months. 

Robin and Jon in Lima
Robin and Jon in Lima, Peru

Monkey Dividers

21 Less-traveled Destinations that will make you visit South America

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6 thoughts on “21 Less-traveled Destinations that will make you visit South America

  1. So much nice memories of SA. I did whitewater rafting in Banos after attempting to climb mt Cotopaxi. So much to do in SA. Great article, I’m feeling nostalgic reading it 🙂

  2. Great write up , Missed a lot of amazing places in Bolivia though , Samaipata which is 3 hours from Santa Cruz Bolivia has amazing sights , best Condor viewing in the world, amazing waterfalls, and is the base for Amboro National Park , Sandboarding in Lomas de Arena is amazing and looking for Jaguars in Madidi and Kaa Iya National Parks are a must while in Bolivia.

  3. I loooove Arequipa and Potosí! Such wonderful places 🙂 but I think that the places on this list are not less travelled. Most of them are on the list of most travellers in South America….

  4. Huaraz has some fantastic hiking opportunities. I’m not sure I agree about Puno though- bit of a tourist trap!

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