South America Itinerary Ideas

Stretching from Atlantic to Pacific, and from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the frigid Drake Passage, South America is a diverse land overflowing with variety. You’ll be spoiled for choice as you explore colonial cities, bustling metropolises, deep jungles, and scorching deserts spread across 12 independent nations. Check out these three South America itinerary ideas, created with Inspirock’s free South America trip planner, to get inspired for your adventures around the continent.

The Caribbean Coast South America Itinerary

2004.04: Los Roques, Venezuela by Rodrigo Accurcio (CC)
2004.04: Los Roques, Venezuela by: Rodrigo Accurcio (CC)

Maracaibo and its modern amenities, nestled between lake and sea, makes for an excellent start to your coastal journey. Los Roques National Park shows off some of Venezuela’s best scenery, including white sand beaches and crystal-blue waves. In Colombia, you’ll have the stunning architecture of Cartagena and exquisite diving around Santa Marta. For a change of scenery, head out to the deserts of La Guajira to see Punta Gallinas and Cabo de la Vela, the northernmost point of the entire continent. Cap off your trip in Paramaribo, Suriname’s sleepy capital (and only real city), boasting a World Heritage-listed old town and good access to the dense jungle farther south.

This sample itinerary for the Caribbean coast features an array of beaches and fascinating sights:

The Best of Patagonia South America Itinerary

CERRO FITZ ROY ( EL CHALTEN ) 3.405 MTS by RIOMANSO (CC)
CERRO FITZ ROY ( EL CHALTEN ) 3.405 MTS by: RIOMANSO (CC)

The wild expanses and jagged mountains of Patagonia have inspired many an adventurer throughout history, and these days it’s no different, as thousands of visitors each year flock to this region shared between Chile and Argentina. Start off in cosmopolitan Santiago to get your bearings before heading south to the awe-inspiring peaks of El Chalten, Los Glaciares, and Torres del Paine National Park, where snow-capped summits rise above wide-open plains. The distinctive shape of Cerro Fitz Roy is particularly iconic and worth a visit. Finish off with a stop in Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, two of the southernmost cities in the world, before heading to sophisticated Buenos Aires.

Check out this itinerary for an adventurous Patagonia tour:

Epic South America: The 60-Day Itinerary

Machu Picchu by Dan Merino (CC)
Machu Picchu by: Dan Merino (CC)

One of the finest ways to experience this fantastic continent is by embarking on an epic journey spanning the entire landmass, taking you on a voyage around South America’s biggest hot spots. Get the party started in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s best-known metropolises, and then make your way down to Iguazu Falls, a stunning cascade that ranks as the largest waterfall system in the world. Buenos Aires, perhaps the continent’s most “European” city, definitely merits a few days for the tango alone. As you cross to the western seaboard, the fantastic colonial architecture of Santiago, Sucre, Cusco, and Cuenca—to name a few—impresses with its dilapidated-yet-stately charms, while the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni amaze with a near-unfathomable vastness. Hike to the legendary Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail, explore the jungles of Alto Paraiso de Goias, and finish off your odyssey with the shimmering sea, white sands, and energetic atmosphere of historic Cartagena in Colombia.

Browse this sample 60-day South America itinerary to plan your continent-spanning adventure:

The Endless Diversity of South America

DSC00040/Brasil Rio De Janeiro/Down Town and Favéla/ Sugarloaf/Pain de Sucre by dany13
DSC00040/Brasil Rio De Janeiro/Down Town and Favéla/ Sugarloaf/Pain de Sucre by: dany13 (CC)

A fusion of untamed wilderness, cosmopolitan cities, and just about everything in between, South America offers something for every traveler. Save yourself some headaches and hassles by planning your vacation in the southern hemisphere using the free trip planner from Inspirock. You can customize your South America itinerary to suit whatever travel experience and sightseeing style you choose, and then delve into this majestic southern land.

Alex

Alex

A Seattle-area native, Alex recently returned home after several years living in the Netherlands, Lithuania, the UK, Serbia, and Georgia. His travels in between have ranged from Calcutta to Krakow, with more on the way.
Alex

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