South America


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.

South America Articles

This luxe panoramic train in Peru will make you rethink hiking to Machu Picchu

Argentina is the best destination for the solo female traveler. Here’s why.

10 things I wish I’d known before visiting Easter Island

Chile’s rivers are in danger of exploitation. Here’s how Chileans are saving them.

10 things you need to know before visiting Patagonia

Blindly trusting strangers at a border crossing gave me back faith in humanity

How to be fully prepared for Patagonia’s W trek

Colombia’s Casa en el Agua: A hostel you’ll never want to leave

How to visit Bolivia’s Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna)

How to hike Machu Picchu: Everything you need to know

How to visit El Peñon de Guatapé in Colombia

Huacachina: How to visit Peru’s desert oasis

12 reasons why you should visit Patagonia this winter

The 12 most incredible underwater environments on earth

The 10 road trips you have to experience before you die

Stay for a while: the 12 best countries for a radical sabbatical

15 of Bogota’s most delicious foods and drinks

Border run! 6 awesome international cities only a quick flight from the East Coast

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