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South America

Overview

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.

Articles

10 things I wish I knew before visiting Machu Picchu

Laguna 69: A stunning mountain lake in the Peruvian Andes

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

Back to nature: 13 of the world’s richest national parks

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9 reasons Chile is one of the top adventure destinations in the world

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18 awesome Uruguayan expressions to know before you go

A guide to the legendary parrillas of Buenos Aires: Where to go, what to order

Beyond Palermo: The 3 hottest up and coming neighborhoods in Buenos Aires

12 images that show Peru’s Cloud Forest for the awesome adventure it is

How to road trip South America

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