What are the best cities to visit in South America? I lived in South America for more than two decades, and have had the privilege –and luck- of being able to travel all around it, both for work and leisure. As any other region in the world, South America has a wide variety of great, gorgeous, awe-inspiring sceneries for you to enjoy, from crystal-clear seas and lakes, to some of the highest mountains on Earth.
In this article, in particular, I will look into 13 cities in South America that you need to see before you die. These cities are not just beautiful, at times beyond imagination, but also incredibly interesting culturally. Previously we covered the best travel destinations in South America.
Warm people, nice weather, great food, great drinks, astonishing views, tons of fun things to do, hundreds of museums, and an incredible nightlife are just some of the attributes of these unique –and very different- South American cities.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A must see; Buenos Aires seems to have it all. Eclectic as few others, it’s just huge. More than 3 million people live in the city alone, and roughly 13 million in all of the metropolitan area (the city and its suburbs); so you can figure, there’s a lot going on.
Some of you might know a few things about this city: barbecues (asados, grilled meats, the best! And great wine too!), Tango, nightlife, lovely women and men… But there’s much more to it. Its architecture can astonish even the most-travelled, and remind of Paris or Rome at times. Hundreds of museums can fulfill the most voracious of cultural appetites; thousands of bars, pubs, and nightclubs will prevent you from getting bored; and tons of other cultural events (theatre plays, art exhibits, concerts, etc.) will surprise you every day.
A little extra tip: bring some extra money to check out the thriving restaurant scene; you won’t regret it!
La Paz, Bolivia
If Buenos Aires can remind you of Paris, Rome or even New York, at times, La Paz can take you back to Bangkok: its streets are crowded, traffic is constantly jammed, and street vendors are really good (yet insistent). “My friend, my friend, cheap, cheap” is replaced by “Amigo, amigo, baratito, lleve” (my friend, this is cheap, take it).
There is nothing remotely similar to La Paz in the U.S. or Europe; this is a city with loads of culture and history, which keeps in touch with its native Bolivian roots. Awe-inspiring, interesting, different, old but current… You really have to check this out (and while you’re at it, visit Lake Titicaca, which is often said to be the highest navigable lake in the world, with a surface elevation of 12,507 ft.).