en
en es
  • South America

Photo: Oomka/Shutterstock

Contents

Introduction

Many people, especially from North America and Europe, describe their first experience of South America as a feeling of just being overwhelmed. The sheer scale of the landscape, the size of the cities, the distance between places, the vast tracts of wilderness are not only present in but often define the experience of whatever place you're in or traveling through.

This is the continent with the longest mountain range (the Andes), the highest waterfalls, the largest river (Amazon), the largest rainforest, and the highest capital city (La Paz).

Compared to other continents it's incredibly diverse both terrain-wise and culturally: in the same continent you have both Caribbean coast and culture and glacier-locked fjords. There are dozens of indigenous cultures - some making up more than half of their country's population - and still uncontacted tribes in the Amazon.

The dynamic scale of everything even seems to play into cultural elements: from Carnaval, the largest street party in the world, to the way Buenos Aires nightlife goes all night, and then through the morning, and extends into the next day (there are after-after party clubs).

As you'll find below, Matador’s community of expats and travelers, many of whom are based in South America, is continually adding study abroad and volunteer guides, narratives, photo essays, and more.

Featured Countries

South America

Argentina

South America

Chile

South America

Brazil

Videos

UP NEXT
Autoplay

Latest Articles

The most kid-friendly destinations in South America

The ‘poor man’s Galapagos’ is actually an incredible, affordable alternative

Chile’s Lake District: The underrated alternative to southern Patagonia

How to experience the best of Japanese culture in São Paulo

The new Machu Picchu regulations you need to know

The most gorgeous sights along the W Trek in Torres del Paine

Ecuador packs the most adventure into a small space better than anywhere else in South America

10 things you can do in the Galapagos Islands other than look at tortoises

Chile’s new Route of the Parks in Patagonia is the most beautiful road in the world

If you hate crowds, you need to travel to French Guiana this year

Escape the rest of winter on the beaches in Uruguay

8 sweet, fruity, and savory Brazilian desserts you need in your life

What it’s like to eat guinea pig in Peru for the first time

How former gang members are rebuilding Bogota’s most violent neighborhood

Brazil’s new president is a threat to the environment. Here’s what you can do about it.

Why you should visit San Andrés, Colombia, over any other Caribbean island

Load More
We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. For more information on how we use cookies consult our revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Disable Cookies I accept