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7 of the best countries to visit in South America in 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

From the towering Andes mountains and the vast Amazon rainforest to the alluring lakes of Patagonia, South America has gained a reputation as an enthralling place to visit.

Such is the continent’s wealth of natural sites that almost every country is blessed with landmarks that are not only incredible but also totally unique. It is a land of superlatives, where each country contains something in the ‘world’s most’ category, from the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia to Chile’s Atacama desert.

Add to this a slew of enchanting cities, from the European charm of Buenos Aires to the infectious atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro and the buzz of Medellín, and you can begin to see why this continent appeals to a broad range of holidaymaker.

But with so much to see and do, it’s hard to know which region to explore first. To give you somewhere to start, we’ve rounded up a list of the best countries for travellers in 2024.


Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world

(Getty Images)

Argentina may initially appear difficult to explore due to its size, but it offers a spellbinding array of towns, cities and natural regions to explore.

Buenos Aires is a sensible starting point. Known as the ‘Paris of South America’, it is a lively mix of beautiful 19th-century buildings in tango-fuelled barrios and football. It is also the jumping-off point for journeys to places like the incredible Iguazu Falls and cities including Cordoba and Rosario.

Almost directly west of the capital, not too far from the border with Chile, lies Mendoza, perhaps the continent’s most famous wine-producing region. Surrounded by the Andes mountain range and a series of flat plains and vineyards, this region is delightfully picturesque and a must-visit for lovers of malbec.

That Mendoza is not Argentina’s most scenic region is testament to the natural beauty of the Argentinian section of Patagonia. Towns such as San Martin de los Andes, Villa la Angostura and Ushuaia sit on glacial lakes surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes, with the potential for outdoor activities feels almost limitless. For one of South America’s bucket-list experiences, try driving the Ruta 40, a 3,246-mile road that runs from Patagonia all the way up the country.

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