By Vincent Stokes
South America has diverse collections of both natural and urban wonders. This is the reason it is a destination that can appease any traveler, be it a student, couple, or a family that wants to expose their children to cultures that are fascinating, or retirees who want to explore. The continent has something for everyone; lush islands, endangered wildlife, world cuisine, and a mixture of cultures. Here is how you can explore its fascinating countries with ease.
Learn the Local Phrase
Learning of some of the local phrases before visiting South America will help you a great deal. In case you plan on visiting some countries that speak Spanish, find somewhere you could learn a few phrases while at home, which will help you communicate with the locals. However, you have the option of hiring a guide once you reach your destination country.
Understand the Visa Guidelines
Each Country in this region has its visa regulations. Thus, you have to find out about the requirement before making the trip. Some countries have an open border for American citizens while others like Brazil will require passport holders to obtain visas.
What to Expect
The media emphasizes on the gloom and doom abroad, and most people might overlook South America as a safe travel destination. However, it is safe, but just like visiting any other place, one has to make sure that they get current information on what is going on. When traveling, make sure you hide precious items and documents from the public. Do not leave valuables on tour buses and ensure to take advantage of the hotel safe to store your belongings. However, it is best to consider taking medical insurance as anything can happen when you are traveling.
Time your Trip
This continent is one of the largest and most diverse, thus it is paramount for you to plan when to visit. The best times vary, depending on where one plans to go and the activities they want to partake in. For instance, spring and fall are ideal for exploring the Torres Del Paine in the Patagonia of Chile and Argentina. The carnival in Brazil takes place in December and for those who do not mind crowds, they are bound to have a good time if they participate in its activities.
The is one thing that is for sure- visitors never get bored when they visit this continent as there are many fun activities to participate in. Get to enjoy some time on the beach, road tripping or mountain climbing in Santiago, camping in Patagonia, and enjoy the dramatic landscapes of the Uyuni Desert, among others. In fact, it is hardly possible to exhaust all the fun activities in just one trip. It is best to prioritize the activities depending on what one likes. To take part in all these activities comfortably, the mode of dressing you adopt is important, so pack outfits like yoga leggings if you plan to do more active activities, or other clothes appropriate for where you will be spending time. If you plan to spend more time outside and walking, try as much as possible to have comfortable shoes.
Understand the Local Currency
The U.S. relies on one currency but this is not the case with South America. There is a variety of currencies used throughout the continent and each has different rates of exchange. The rates keep on changing, and it is advisable to check those that are prevailing if the destination you are intent to visit has ATMs. If you plan to be in the forest or mountains, have some local money as you might not get ATMs in these areas.
Food is well prepared, and you will get to enjoy gourmet meals; however, make arrangements if you have allergies. If one has a tight budget or is wary of street food, it is advisable to carry snacks that will help them get the fuel they need in between meals. This is especially for those taking part in strenuous activities like climbing, hiking, or biking. The South American Cuisine is the most eclectic, and each region has its specialty, which is worth sampling. Tasting the many different cuisines is one of the activities that will make the trip fun.
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