South America 10-Day Itinerary

Ten Day South America Itinerary [5 Fantastic Routes]

10 days in South America really isn’t a long time, so it’s about finding the shortest and most efficient route so that you can see as much as possible. Here are 4 perfectly planned ten day South America itinerary options to suit every traveller.

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How To Spend 10 Days In South America

Picking a ten day South America itinerary can be tricky. 

 

I recommend sticking to areas close to the borders between countries, so you can easily fly or bus over and be in another great place without losing too much time on travel.

 

Each of these itineraries stick to two countries each. This gives you approximately 5 days in each country which is more than enough to see the best things in each place. 

 

Here are all the different options I think fit well with 10 days in South America:

 

  • Patagonia – Starting in Chile and ending in Argentina
  • Peru and Bolivia – Cusco, La Paz & The Salt Flats
  • Ecuador and Peru – stick to the Pacific coast and the beautiful beaches
  • Argentina and Brazil – Buenos Aires To Iguazu Falls
Laguna Del Los Tres, El Chalten (Argentina)

10-Day South America Itinerary: Chile & Argentinian Patagonia

This is the perfect itinerary for hike enthusiasts and those that want to see the most pristine and untouched nature in all of South America.

 

You’ll see the two capital cities of Chile and Argentina and do two of the best single day hikes on the continent.

 

Here is the complete 10-day South America itinerary that includes Chile & Argentinian Patagonia:

 

  • Day 1 – Santiago
  • Day 2 – Puerto Natales
  • Day 3-4 – Torres Del Paine
  • Day 5-6 – El Calafate and Puerto Merino Glacier
  • Day 7-8 – El Chatlen
  • Day 9-10 – Buenos Aires

Day 1 - Santiago

Wherever you’re flying in from, once you land in Santiago, you have one day to explore Chile’s capital.

 

The best thing to do is join a free walking tour. I’d recommend Strawberry Walking Tours. They take you to several places in the city including Santa Lucia Hill to discover where Santiago’s history began, and through the Plaza de Armas to enjoy cosmopolitan Santiago. 

 

In the evening, head up to the top of the Sky Costerna, Santiago’s tallest building, to find the best views of the city.

Day 2 - Puerto Natales (Chilean Patagonia)

Puerto Natales is the closest town to Torres Del Paine National Park so it’s best to fly straight here from Santiago.

 

The flight takes 3 hours 45 minutes and will cost between $100-200 depending on the time of year you visit.

There’s not much to do in Natales. Take one day here to get your bearings, buy any last-minute gear for hiking, and prepare for the next couple of days hiking in the park.

 

In Puerto Natales, I stayed at the Singing Lamb Hostel which was super cosy. They have a huge lounge area with sofas and tables, and the shared dorms had comfortable beds.

If you have longer than 10 days, then head to the post below to see how to turn this itinerary into a full month of incredible travel:

 

 

Joe from 'Shall We Go Home Travel' at Grey Glacier, Torres Del Paine (Chile)

Day 3-4 - Torres Del Paine National Park

Trekking in Torres Del Paine National Park is a hikers dream and there are so many single day hikes to choose from. As you only have a couple of days here, I would recommend the Lago Grey / Grey Glacier trek.

 

The trek takes its name the large glacial lake located at the southern end of the park. This is one of the best treks in South America due to the scenery on offer: on one side, the Patagonian mountains and on the other side, the bright blue Lake Gray.

 

You can spend one day trekking to the campsite at Grey Glacier, stay overnight and then trek back the next day before catching the bus back to Puerto Natales.

For a full list of the best single-day hikes in South America, head to the post below:

 

 

Day 5-6 - El Calafate (Argentinian Patagonia)

You are a 5-hour bus and border crossing away from Argentina and the town of El Calafate.

 

Take an early morning bus from Puerto Natales so you arrive early afternoon. From here you can visit Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and the epic Puerto Morena Glacier.

 

You can take in the views of this huge chunk of ice from the visitor centre or take a boat to get a up close and personal. If you are lucky, you may catch a chunk of ice falling off and crashing into the water below.

 

All hotels and hostels in El Calafate offer tours that include both a boat trip and time at the visitor centre. So, one day will be spent travelling and the second day can be spent on a tour.

To see some alternative itineraries for this region, head to the post below:

 

 

Joe from Shall We Go Home Travel on the boardwalks behind Perito Moreno Glacier

Day 7-8 - El Chalten

After a short stay in El Calafate, head north to the small hiking town of El Chatlten, known as the “Trekking Capital of Argentina”.

 

From here you can plan more epic hikes into the beautiful Patagonian wilderness and Glacier National Park.  

 

From El Chalten, you have your pick of hikes take you to some of the best sights in Patagonia.

 

One of the most iconic single day hikes in Argentine Patagonia, is the Laguna de los Tres hike, popular for the sublime panoramic views it offers of Glaciar de Los Tres and Mount Fitz Roy. 

 

You can hike out-and-back to Laguna de Los Tres from El Chaltén in one day, but a popular option is to camp overnight near the lagoon and witness a fantastic sunrise the following morning.

 

The Laguna de los Tres trek is one of the best in Argentina as well as South America, and if you can only do one single day hike in Argentina’s Patagonia, this should be it.

If you are interested in spending more time in Chile and Argentina, check out the post below to turn this 10-day itinerary into a month:

 

 

Day 9-10 - Buenos Aires

From El Chatlen, you will need to catch a flight up to Buenos Aires to enjoy a few city days before flying home and you are done – ten incredible days in Chile and Argentina complete.

 

For more information on Argentina and why you definitely need to spend some time in Buenos Aires, head to the post below:

 

 

Joe from 'Shall We Go Home Travel' At Laguna Torre, El Chalten (Argentina)

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Joe from Shall We Go Home Travel on the boardwalks behind Perito Moreno Glacier

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10-Day South America Itinerary: Peru & Bolivia

This is the perfect itinerary travellers who want to see one of the best sights in all of South America – Machu Picchu.

 

You’ll also get a choice of a great tour at the end to finish it off – either visiting the Bolivian Amazon or seeing the Uyuni Salt Flats.

 

Here is the complete 10-day South America itinerary that includes Peru and Bolivia:

 

  • Day 1 – Lima
  • Day 2 – Cusco
  • Day 3-4 – Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu
  • Day 5 – Cusco
  • Day 6-7 – La Paz
  • Day 9-10 – The Amazon or Uyuni

Day 1 – Lima

Miraflores has an abundance of trendy cafes and great restaurants to check out. In the evening, walk along the seafront and enjoy the ocean views.

 

Just make sure you’re here at sunset as you are in for a treat.  Grab a spot near the edge of the cliffs and watch the sun go down as paragliders circle above and surfers catch the last waves of the day.

 

I’d recommend one day here as the rest of Peru deserves more of your time.

If you need more information on why Cusco is better for backpackers than Lima, head to the post below:

 

 

Day 2 – Cusco

Fly directly to Cusco in the morning and spend the day. I would recommend taking this day to adjust to the altitude as you are now at 3200m above sea level.

 

A free walking tour is always the best way to do this, and I would recommend Inkan Milkyway. They have the best walking tours that don’t take you to any tourist traps and focus only on the history of the city.

 

After a few hours of walking around the city and seeing how you deal with the altitude, you have several options for evening activities.

 

Why not go to one of the many backpacker hostels for an evening of partying?

Cusco has many great hostels, some relaxed and some geared towards partying. For more information on the best ones, head to the power below:

 

 

Cusco City (Peru)

Day 3 – Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes is the town closest to Machu Picchu and the main hub for travellers before they start their trek up to the mountain.

 

On day 3, you have two options: taking the train or the bus to Aguas Calientes. The train takes 3 hours from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and I would recommend this as you only have limited time. The bus takes 8 hours and will be better if you are on a budget, but this means the whole day will be spent on transport.

 

Once you are in Aguas Calientes you can explore the town a little, relax and have an early night. You’ll be up early in the morning for a 4.30AM start!

For more information on booking the train, head to the post below for everything you need to know:

 

 

Day 4 - Machu Picchu

It’s finally time to climb the 1,600+ stairs up to Peru’s most popular tourist attraction.

 

When you need to leave depends on what time ticket you purchased. However, I would recommend trying to get a 6:00 AM ticket which is the earliest entry possible. Most people wake up around 4.30AM and wait outside the gates from 5:00 AM.

 

When the gates open you can start the hike up. The alternative is to wait and take the bus which will get you to the top quicker but I recommend the climb as it feels like more of an achievement.

 

Either way, you’ll be one of the first people into Machu Picchu, catching the sunrise and largely having the place to yourself (at least for half an hour, until it eventually becomes packed as more and more tour buses turn up).

 

Getting up early also means you will be able to make it back to Cusco on the same day. Once you’ve climbed back down the steps, head to the train station and take the train back to Cusco.

For more information on how to visit Machu Picchu:

 

 

Machu Picchu (Peru)

Day 5 – Cusco

For your final day in Cusco, I would recommend a massage to help those aching legs. Massages in Cusco are cheap, and you have several options from Swedish to deep tissue.

 

In the evening, you should make a reservation at Limbus Resto-bar which has one of the best views in the city. Try to get a booking around sunset and out on the terrace for incredible golden hour views of Cusco.

Head to the Cusco backpackers guide linked below for all the information you need:

 

 

Day 6-7 – La Paz

On the morning of Day 6, take a flight from Cusco to La Paz which takes just over an hour.

 

In La Paz, you have an endless list of things to choose from such as biking down Death Road, trekking in the Valley of the Moon, or climbing Huayna Potosi.

 

Aside from all the adventure activities, the city is also an incredible place to explore. When wandering around you will see the impressive cable cars and their lines stretching out to every corner of La Paz.

 

Some routes will go as high as 4,000m (13,000 ft) above sea level, and it’s a great see more of La Paz and get incredible views of the city.

 

2 days is a good amount of time to cover it all. I would recommend riding down Death Road one day and then using the others to explore in and outside of the city.

Cable Cars Of La Paz (Bolivia)

Day 8-10 – Amazon Or Uyuni

You have two options here that include two of the best tours in South America: visiting the Amazon or visiting the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Amazon

Visiting the Amazon in Bolivia is much cheaper and easier compared to other countries in South America. You can fly from La Paz to the town of Rurrenabaque, which is where most Amazon tours embark.

 

The Pampas tour is the most popular among backpackers as you see much more wildlife.

 

You will spend 2 days winding through the tributaries of the Amazon on a longboat searching for caimans, anacondas, and exotic birds. You can even go swimming with pink river dolphins!

 

This is one of the best tours in Bolivia and it costs a fraction of the price compared to countries like Brazil or Colombia. It was one of the best experiences I had whilst backpacking in South America, and I highly recommend it.

The complete guide to booking an amazon tour in Bolivia can be found here:

 

 

Uyuni

The 3-day Salar De Uyuni tour will take you from one unique landscape to the next, starting with the white expanse of the salt flat to the high-altitude desert of the Andes.

 

The first day of the tour is spent on the actual salt flat taking the popular perspective and reflection photos for the gram.

 

On the second day, the tour heads out across the high-altitude desert known as the Altiplano to see even wilder landscapes such as volcanoes, geysers, and lakes full of flamingos.

 

Your mind will be blow by all the incredible scenery and you will leave on a high – the perfect way to end these 10 days in South America!

 

I recommend Salty Desert Adventures for their excellent guides and competitive prices.

 

They won Trip Advisor’s Travelers Choice Award in 2023.

The Uyuni guide linked below has all the information you need for planning this part of the journey:

 

 

The high Altitude Lakes of the Salt Flats, Bolivia

Preparing for your first trip to South America? 

Here are 22 FAQ’s to help you prepare for the trip of a lifetime: 

10-Day South America Itinerary: Ecuador and Peru (Pacific Coast)

This is the perfect itinerary for travellers who love the beach and don’t want to do much else apart from surf and party.

 

Montanita and Mancora are two of the most popular party beaches in South America and they are only 10 hours apart.

 

Here is the complete 10-day South America itinerary that includes Ecuador and Peru:

 

  • Day 1-5 – Montanita
  • Day 6 – Travel Day To Mancora
  • Day 7-10 – Mancora

Day 1-5 – Montanita

This is a simple 10-day itinerary that only includes two places!

 

Make sure you book a flight directly to Guayaquil International Airport, and as soon as you land you can take a 4-hour bus to the beach town of Montanita.

 

It will be a long day of travel (depending on where you’ve flown from) but it will be worth it as tomorrow morning you can wake up and hit the beach.

 

Montanita is the surf and party capital of Ecuador. It draws in travellers and locals alike looking for good swells and beachside dance floors that stay open late into the night.  It’s not all just surfing and boozing though, and the town has a lot more on offer from immersive language schools to tranquil yoga retreats.

 

Spend your 4 full days here learning to surf, learning some Spanish and partying the nights away!

a longboard sign on the beach in Montanita

Day 6 – Travel Day

To squeeze another country into this South America itinerary, you’ll need to spend a whole day travelling on day 6.

 

From Montanita, take the bus back to Guayaquil. And then from Guayauqil, you can take a 6 hour bus across the border to Peru to reach the beach town of Mancora.

 

The Ecuador to Peru border crossing at Aguas Verdes is one of the simplest in South America.

 

The great thing about this border crossing is that an international bus will take you directly from your starting point in Ecuador to the final destination in Mancora. The company to book with is Cruz Del Sur. You’ll have to get off once at the border to have your passport check and then you’ll be back on your way.

I used Bus Bud when travelling by bus in South America. It’s the best way to book bus tickets in advance and they have a loyalty programme so you get your 6th booking for free!

Day 7-10 – Mancora

If there is one word to describe Mancora it would be wild. This beach town is filled with locals, backpackers and other tourists wanting to do two simple things: surf and party.

 

The hottest places to let loose are the Loki and Wild Rover hostels, but to be honest any of the other backpacker hostels in town which double up as bars and clubs will lead to a wild night.

 

Once the party is over, it’s time to jump in the ocean and get rid of that hangover.

 

It’s is a great place for beginners who have never been on a board before, as well as intermediate and advanced surfers, and the continual waves, calm water and warm weather culminate in the perfect conditions for surfing.

For more on why Mancora is such a great place to visit, head to the post below:

 

 

surfing in Montanita

10-Day South America Itinerary: Argentina and Brazil

This is the perfect itinerary with a balance of big cities and nature too. Buenos Aires To Iguazu and then on to Brazil is a popular route with many ways to customise it to fit your needs.

 

Here is the complete 10-day South America itinerary that includes Argentina and Brazil:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 5-6 – Iguazu
  • Day 7-10 – Sao Paulo or Rio

Day 1-3 – Buenos Aires

Start this itinerary with 3 days in one of the best capitals on the continent. The capital city of Argentina is known as the “Paris of South America,” as it feels like visiting a European capital.

 

Here some great things to do whilst in BA:

 

  • Tango – Visitors can also experience the city’s famous tango dancing and enjoy its delicious cuisine.
  • Visit La Boca: This colourful neighbourhood is known for its vibrant street art, tango shows, and its famous soccer team, Boca Juniors. Visitors can explore the colourful streets, take pictures and enjoy traditional foods.
  • San Telmo: spend a day antique shopping at this famous market
Plaza De Mayo from above (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Day 4-5 – Iguazu

These breath-taking falls are made up of 275 individual cascades, which stretch over 2 miles and create a stunning natural barrier between Argentina and Brazil.

 

The most famous part of the falls is known as ‘The Devil’s Throat’, a U-shaped waterfall that is over 82 meters high and 150 meters wide. This massive waterfall is the largest and most powerful of the falls and is a must-see for any visitors.

Here’s one of the best tours that I recommend you do from the Argentinian side.

 

This full day tour includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, will take you to along the boardwalks, through the jungle via 4×4 and then via boat so you see the falls from every angle!

Iguazu Falls (Argentina) / waterfalls in Argentina with lookout points

Day 6-10 – Rio

From Iguazu, you can take a flight into Brazil.

 

You have several options here:

 

  • To the north, Sao Paulo is a 1 hour 40-minute flight, or Rio is 2 hours.
  • Or if you want some beach time, head east to the Atlantic coast to Florianopolis.

If you’ve never been to Rio before then best to start here. 4 days in Brazil’s capital is more than enough to visit Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer and Copacabana beach.

If you want to see what a longer itinerary in Brazil looks like, check out this month long route:

 

 

Rio De Janeiro views

10-Day South America Itinerary: Caribbean Coast

This is the only single country 10-day itinerary on the list but it packs a lot in!

 

We are off to Colombia to explore the Caribbean Coast!

 

Here’s the complete 10-day South America itinerary along Colombia’s Caribbean coast:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Cartagena
  • Day 4-7 – Santa Marta
  • Day 8-9 – Palomino
  • Day 10 – Cartagena

Day 1-3 - Cartagena

Cartagena is a real highlight of any Colombia trip, so you’re going to start your adventure ins style. Turn up the heat and get ready for some serious Caribbean flavour.

Here are some of my favourite things to do here:

 

 

  • Lounge on white sandy beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and maybe even indulge in a beachside massage or seafood lunch at Playa Blanca.
  • Indulge in a peculiar mud bath and interesting mangrove tour at Totumo volcano
  • Take a boat tour to the San Bernardo Islands

For even more Cartagena ideas on what to do whilst here, check out my Cartagena post

Cartagena Rooftops (Colombia)

Day 4-7 - Santa Marta

Santa Marta is great city for exploring more of the Caribbean coast.

 

I recommend:

 

  • A short 30 mins drive from Santa Marta, Minca is a magical mountainous world of coffee plantations, waterfalls and eco-hostels. Spend a day here exploring to your heart’s content
  • A trip to Santa Marta would not be complete without a stay at Dreamer Hostel. With air conditioned dorms and a DJ pool party once a week, it’s every backpacker’s dream stop…! Or if you want to be on the beach stay at La Brisa Tranquilla
  • Go hiking in Tayrona National Park and sleep on the beach in a hammock! Speak to member of staff in your hostel who will help you arrange your overnight trip.

If you want to stay longer then check out the full itinerary post here.

Cabo San Juan Beach, Tayrona National Park (Colombia)

Day 8-9 - Palomino

Time to escape the big cities and get off the beaten track.

 

With white sand beaches, river tubing and the odd full moon party, you’ll have a great time in Palomino.

 

Here are some great things to do here:

 

  • Learn to surf with Tide Escuela De Surf. The instructors are known for being professional, patient and passionate about what they do which always makes for the best learning conditions.
  • Think lazy river, with booze…! That’s it: RIVER TUBING! This is one of the most fun things you can do in Palomino so don’t miss out! It costs around 45,000 COP and takes three hours 

Read the full Palomino guide here.

Day 10 - Cartagena

You’ll need to return to Cartagena before you fly home. 

 

It’s about a 4 hour bus back along the coast so you can either spend the morning on the beach in Palomino, or leave early and spend one more day exploring Cartagena.

Keep reading for my 10 top reasons why you can’t miss Cartagena:

 

 

Palomino Beach (Colombia)

10-Day South America Itinerary: Bolivia And Chile

Another easy route that can be done in 10 days is travelling south through Bolivia and then into Chile. 

 

Here’s the complete 10-day South America itinerary in Bolivia and Chile:

 

  • Day 1-2 – La Paz
  • Day 3-5 – Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Day 6-8 – Atacama
  • Day 9-10 – Santiago

Day 1-2 - La Paz

In La Paz you have an endless list of things to choose from such as biking down Death Road, trekking in the Valley of the Moon, or climbing Huayna Potosi (known as the easiest 6000m mountain to climb in the world).

 

As you only have two days here, it’s best to try and see as much as possible.

 

I suggest one day in the city exploring and then the other day on a day trip. 

 

If you want to see Lake Titicaca then it’s only a 4 hour bus ride from La Paz. That might seem like a long time, but with only 10 days in South America, you don’t have many options.

 

This tour will take you to Lake Titicaca and back in a day. 

Day 3-5 - Uyuni Salt Flats

Your next stop is to the town of Uyuni, most famous for the beautiful Salt Flats.

 

You’ll need to leave one day for arrival and then the second two days will be spend on the tour.

 

As mentioned, I always recommend Salty Desert Adventures for their excellent guides and competitive prices.

For more on why the Uyuni Salt Flat is well worth your time, head to the post below:

 

 

Joe from 'Shall We Go Home Travel' with a friend on the Salt Flats (Bolivia)

Day 6-8 - Atacama Desert

One of the great things about a salt flat tour is that it also includes your transportation to Chile!

 

The tour ends on the morning of the third day and drops you at Chilean border which works perfectly for this 10-day itinerary.

 

From the border you can take a short 45-minute bus to the town of San Pedro De Atacama where your next adventure awaits. Easy!

 

When your settled in Atacama, I always recommend renting a 4×4 and going for an adventure in the desert.

 

It’s much more fun that booking yourself onto loads of different tours!

See how you can spend epic 3 days in Atacama with the post below:

 

 

Joe from 'Shall We Go Home Travel' on the back of an off-road car in the Atacama Desert

Day 9-10 - Santiago

Santiago is a long drive from Atacama so best to take a short 1-hour flight down south instead.

 

Once in the capital you can start with the walking tour to get your bearings and then head to the top of the Sky Costerna building for the best views of the city.

 

For any extra days you wish to stay, you can take day trips outside of the city to Valparaiso, go trekking in the mountains or head to one of the many vineyards to try the best of Chilean wine.

For more South America backpacking itineraries to help inspire and plan your trip, check out some of our most popular posts:

 

 

Santiago, Chile - Sky Costerna

How Much Money Do You Need For 10 days In South America?

A good rule of thumb for travelling South America is a budget of $50 a day.

 

So, for 10 days travelling around South America, I would start by budgeting a minimum of $500.

 

 

However, most of these ten day South America itineraries include two countries with:

 

  • One flight or long bus ($100-150)
  • Tours ($100-150)

 

These will cost extra and add to your budget so for 10 days in South America I would recommend budgeting $800

 

Here’s a breakdown of three different budgets for 10 days in South America:

Budget Realistic Flashpacker
Daily Budget
$35
$50
$75
Ten Day Budget
$350
$500
$750
Flights and Tours
$300
$300
$300
Total Ten Day South America Itinerary Budget
$650
$800
$1050

How To Prepare For A Trip To South America

1. When's The Best Time To Visit South America?

South America is a big place with a variety of landscapes and micro-climates, from misty cloud forests in Ecuador to low lying deserts in Peru.  

 

Due to such variety, there isn’t one specific month that’s optimal for visiting.

 

However, the best time to visit in general to visit South America is between May-October where most of the countries have their dry seasons.

Downloadable PDF timetable demonstrating the best time to visit south America

When's The Best Time To Visit South America?

Sign up for a FREE PDF outlining the best months to visit every country:

2. What Should I Pack For South America?

You need to pack for summer and winter when visiting South America due to the variety of micro-climates.

 

With the Andes going through seven countries, one day you can be enjoying warm weather and sunny skies at sea level, and the next, you’ll be cold and wet in a high-altitude mountain town.

 

You’ll need shorts, sandals and vests for when you’re at the beach.

 

And then base layers, hiking boots, a thermal jumper and a waterproof windbreaker for when you’re in the mountains.

 

Even if you aren’t into hiking, you’ll still want some decent shoes, trousers, a warm jumper and a rain jacket for when you’re in high altitude cities like La Paz or Quito as they are much colder.

 

Here’s my hiking loadout that ticks all these boxes:

  • Hiking boots – fully waterproof and ankle high are essential for trekking in the Andes. I went into my local Mountain Warehouse and picked up a pair of these and they haven’t let me down since. 
Best Hiking Boots For South America: Mountain Warehouse Hiking Boots
  • Mid-layer fleece – a fleece is lightweight but warm, perfect for whipping on and off when trekking to regulate your temperature. Great in the evenings as well when it’s much colder. I go with R1 Zip-Neck from Patagonia. Mens | Womens
Best Mid-layer Fleece For South America: Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover
  • Waterproof windbreaker – much needed when trekking in the Andes to deal with the biting winds and rapidly changing weather. I like to use the Patagonia TorrentShell 3L. Its lightweight, warm and packable. The jacket self-stuffs into one of the handwarmer pockets with carabiner clip-in loop. Mens | Womens
Best Waterproof for South America: Patagonia 3L Torrentshell Waterproof
  • Hiking Socks – a few pairs of sturdy merino wool socks that don’t rub. There’s nothing worse than getting a blister whilst hiking. If you are from the UK, try these on Amazon.
Best Hiking Socks For South America

3. What's The Best Backpack For South America?

The best backpack for South America is the Osprey Farpoint 50-70L.

 

It’s reasonably priced and perfect for first time backpackers visiting South America.

 

It also comes with a 15L detachable day pack.

 

This is great for two reasons:

 

1) You can attach them together when on the move and check them both as one back for flights.

 

2) You can then detach the smaller pack when you’re in one place to use it as a day pack  when exploring.

For the full breakdown comparison between backpacks, suitcases and hybrids, along with my suggestions for the best options in each category, head to the post below:

 

 

Best Backpack For South America (Osprey Farpoint)
Best Backpack For South America (Osprey Farpoint)

4. What Are Some Other Travel Essentials For South America?

Here are 4 travel essentials for South America that I always bring with me:

 

  • Portable Charger – a portable charger always comes in handy on long buses. It’s also useful in hostels as it’s difficult to find a plug socket sometimes, especially if you’re in a big dorm with only one outlet. Anker are my favourites.  
  • Travel Adapterthis one is my favourite. It’s lightweight and holds firmly into most sockets.
  • Extension Lead – taking an extension lead is a great little travel hack. You can use your travel adapter to plug it into the mains and then plug in all your home appliances to the extension lead. This one is is my favourite as it packs better compared to the long ones.
  • Hydroflask Trail Series Water Bottle – I always take this water bottle with me when I travel to South America. It’s 20% lighter than their other bottles and my back appreciates it when I’m on a long hike! It’s also durable, easy to clean and keeps drinks cold for 24 hours!
Best Water Bottle For South America: Hydroflask Trail Series

5. What's The Best Way To Get Around South America?

The best way to get around South America if you’re on a budget is by bus.

 

Buses are cheap and the services are good quality. Some of the distances are long which require an overnight bus but I always found these comfortable and easy to sleep on.

 

To this day I continue to use Busbud to find the best prices and times.

 

However, you don’t always need to book online. For most places in South America, you can simply go to the bus station the day of your departure and hop on the next bus.

However, flights won’t break the bank in South America either. 

 

However, they will start to add up if you have to keep flying from country to country. 

 

I’ve been using WayAway Plus to book all my flights whilst travelling around South America.

 

You get cashback on:

 

  • Flights – finds the cheapeast flights and gives you 5% cashback on all flights booked
  • Accommodation – up to 20% cashback on selected deals with Booking.com and 6% with HostelWorld
  • Tours – up to 8% cashback with GetYourGuide and 6% with Viator

6. What's The Best Sim Card To Get For South America?

If you are travelling to multiple countries in South America, I would recommend getting an eSIM (digital SIM card) instead of a physical SIM card.

 

An eSIM is better than a physical SIM card for a couple of reasons:

 

 

  • Firstly, you can access the Internet from any country in South America without having to pay excessive roaming charges.
  • Secondly, you don’t waste time looking for a local physical SIM cards. An eSIM can be activated either immediately after installation or upon arrival at the your destination.

 

I now use Airalo. Simply download the app, buy the digital sim, and then use the app to switch sims when you reach your destination and you’ll have data on the go.

The Road To El Chalten (Argentina)

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