Top 5 Best Cities in South America
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Top 5 Best Cities in South America

4 min read

Nov 3, 2015


By Izabela Zielinska

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Last updated on December 8th, 2020 at 11:23 pm

The 5 Best Cities in South America for Happiness

There are 55 major cities in South America and choosing which to visit can be difficult. Why not choose the cities that have the happiest residents? We’ve created a list of the best cities in South America to relax, be happy, and free just like the locals.



Rio de Janeiro is one of the most famous cities in Brazil, it is the perfect destination for sun, sand & ocean. There are long beaches that never seem to end, blue skies, sunshine, ocean breezes, colorful drinks, and palm trees, these are only a few elements of the local paradise.

Cariocas – inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro – definitely know how to have fun and enjoy the day from dawn to dusk. They can show you how to dance the samba and how to enjoy the simplest things like drinking fresh coconut water or admiring the beautiful sunset on the beach. Carioca is a lifestyle that revolves around being happy and relaxed without the unnecessary stresses of everyday life. No wonder this “Cidade Meravillosa” (Marvellous City), hosts the world-famous Carnival where the only thing to do is dance the best you can and be blissfully happy.

View our Rio Carnival Tours

2. CARTAGENA, Colombia


This Caribbean city looks like it was taken right out of a movie – colorful colonial houses with flowered balconies, cobblestone streets, sounds of salsa, and colorfully dressed women selling fruit on the streets. This all makes for the best city on our list. The variety of delicious foods and drinks you can find in Cartagena is mind-blowing. It’s an endless feast for your eyes and your palate.

Colombians are some of the happiest people on the planet because of their love for food, friends, family, and dancing. Cartagena is certainly a great gateway for honeymooners with its romantic places. Just walking through the city you can feel the passion, it is so intense it is almost hypnotizing.

View our Cartagena Tours

3. CUENCA, Ecuador


Ecuador has been ranked the 3rd happiest country in the world and the best country in South America for ex-pats. Many foreigners have chosen Ecuador as their second home due to the low cost of living, good health-care, hospitality, favorable climate, and general happiness and tranquility that emerges from the people and destinations in Ecuador.

One of the most popular tourist and expats destination is Cuenca, located approximately 187 miles south of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. In Cuenca, you have the freedom to follow the peaceful rhythm of the day without facing the frustrations of a big city. Mingle with locals as you walk through the street, they are always ready to give a helping hand. Cuenca is one of the best places where the “Joy to Life Ratio” is higher than expected.

View our Cuenca Tours

4. PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay

PUNTA DEL ESTE-happiest-cities-in-south-america

This small South American country boasts as one of the most democratic systems in the continent, which provides its inhabitants with comfortable living, stability, and a sense of liberty. Uruguay is a progressive, modern country that doesn’t seem to have issues with an abundance of poverty, crime, and economic instability.

In general, life is very good in Uruguay. One of the most visited places in Uruguay during the summertime is Punta del Este, a city located by the Atlantic Ocean. Here, you can easily notice the vibe is different from what you will experience in Brazil. It’s all about peace and quiet. Uruguay is a slower pace of life, fun outdoor activities, and the feel of a small town.

See our best Punta del Este, Montevideo and Colonia Tour

5. ASUNCION, Paraguay


Paraguay was claimed to be the happiest country in the world by the Gallup Poll on well-being. This is quite a surprise considering it is one of the poorest and most rural countries in South America. You shouldn’t expect high standards and great tourism infrastructure while visiting Paraguay. However, expect the friendliness of local people, a peaceful lifestyle, calm attitudes, and traditions.

It looks like money cannot buy happiness in this case. The most important thing for Paraguayans is to find a balance between work, family, and friends. If this is what you are searching for while vacationing you can learn a lot from the people of Paraguay.

See our Paraguay Tours.

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Last updated on December 8th, 2020 at 11:23 pm

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