Top 5 Cities to Visit in South America
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Top 5 Cities to Visit in South America

4 min read

Sep 11, 2015

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By Christina Schranz

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Read our Top 5 Recommended Cities and the most Popular South American cities to Visit in South America from travel consultant Christina Schranz.

# 1. Buenos Aires, Argentina Cities to Visit in South America

Buenos Aires, often called “The Paris of South America” has it all – architecture, culture, history, European flair, excellent wines, steak houses & tango! Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina with a population of 3 million making it an energetic city, split into numerous neighborhoods, each with their own characteristics. Recoleta, Palermo, San Telmo, La Boca, Microcentro & Puerto Madero are all charming and worth visiting. In addition, Buenos Aires is the gate-way to Argentina – if you are on your way to the end of the world, El Calafate, Bariloche or Iguassu, a stop in Buenos Aires will be first on your list.

Travel Tip: A stay in Buenos Aires is not complete without visiting the EL GRAN ATENEO bookstore on Santa Fe Avenue. This is located inside an old theater and was voted one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

Must see Sites in Buenos Aires: Recoleta Cemetary, La Boca, San Telmo, Palermo, Casa Rosado, Teatro Colon, Museo Evita, El Tigre etc. Read More: Top 5 Best Steak Restaurants in Buenos Aires

# 2. Cuzco, Peru Cities to Visit in South America

Cuzco, the ancient city that was once the capital of the Incan Empire, known for its colonial architecture and museums, but also for being the gateway to world-famous Machu Picchu. Cuzco is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of Peru’s most visited destinations. The cobblestone streets, churches, and archeological sites make it a truly picture-perfect destination. It is worth it to spend a few extra days before/after visiting Machu Picchu in order to truly get a feel for the city. Travel Tip: Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest when you first arrive in Cuzco. This will make it easier on your body to adjust to the high altitude. Must-see sites in Cuzco: Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Sacred Valley, Pisac Market, Maras Salt Mines, Moray

# 3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Cities to Visit in South America

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second-largest city is best known for its beaches, football, music & epic celebrations (New Years & Carnival). Locals – who never seem to stop smiling – Caipirinhas and sand between your toes are icing on the cake. Of course, no trip to Brazil is complete without visiting Rio de Janeiro – it is THE most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere & it is easy to understand why.

Travel Tip: Enjoy some coconut water (agua de coco) while people-watching in Copacabana. Must-see sites in Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer statue), Sugarloaf, Tijuca Forest, Botanical Garden, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, Petropolis Read More: 9 Unique City Tours in Rio de Janeiro

# 4. Santiago, Chile Cities to Visit in South America

The capital of Chile is nestled between the snow-capped Andes and the coastal range. The rich cultural life, great wines, and its central location make it the perfect base to visit other parts of Chile. In recent years it has developed into a sophisticated city that has gained a reputation for being cosmopolitan, energetic, and very clean. Travel Tip: Enjoy a drink at the roof-top bar in the W Hotel in Santiago (open from September to April). Take in spectacular views of the Andes and the Santiago cityscape. Must-see sites in Santiago: Historic Center of Santiago, Cerro San Cristobal, Santa Lucia, Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, Vineyards Read More: Explore Santiago on Foot

# 5. Lima, Peru Cities to Visit in South America

Lima, the capital of Peru, has been overlooked way too long as a travel destination in and of itself. Often just used as a “stop-over” on the way to Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and other parts of Peru, it does not get the credit it deserves. Recently it has gained the nickname of being the “culinary capital of the world” – the Peruvian cuisine uses a wide variety of ingredients from the mountains, coast and Amazon regions. It also boasts excellent museums, elegant cathedrals, and ancient archeological sites. Travel Tip: Try the ceviche – this is Peru’s most popular dish! Must-see sites in Lima: Plaza de Armas, Larco Herrera Museum, Parque Kennedy, San Isidro, Miraflores, Barranco, Pedro de Osma Museum & Dedalo Gallery, Circuito Magico del Agua Read More: Peruvian Cuisine & Lima Cooking Classes

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