My South America adventure

My South America Adventure

I’ve been planning my trip around South America for the last few months now and its finally coming together.  I just booked my tickets today for my South America Adventure!  Nothing like waiting till the last minute as I leave in four weeks!  That’s next month!?!

The plan is to visit every country in South America (all 12 that’s why I’m calling it my South America adventure) and then visit a few islands in the Caribbean on the way to the States.  Here’s the planned route for my trip starting in Buenos Aires and finishing in the Dominican Republic.

Check out this South America Bucket List post.

south america adventure

As you can see there are some places missing from this trip.  That’s because South America is a big place.  I mean huge!  So there are a couple of places I left out so that I can spend some quality time there on my next visit.  I figure I can go to Patagonia when I take a trip to Antarctica.  And Brasil is just massive.  That will require a few trips especially if I am going into the Amazon.

South America adventure Buenos Aires at night by Sarah Funky.

Argentina and Uruguay

My first stop is Buenos Aires where I will spend the week exploring and recovering from jet lag.  My plan is to eat steak, learn to tango, take a bike tour of the city and chill.  I also plan to take a day trip to Colonia del Sacremento in Uruguay.

Uruguay beaches by Globetrotting Blonde.

Chile and Paraguay

From there I am flying to Santiago, Chile.  I plan to spend some time in Santiago and Valparaiso along the ocean.  I wish I had time to go to the Atacama desert but I do not.

From Santiago I will head to Rio de Janeiro via Paraguay.  Asuncion will only be a short stopover to get the visa and then I will explore it further when I get to Foz de Iguazu.

Brasil and Bolivia

In April I will arrive in Rio and I will have four days to spend there before my tour starts.  I plan to check out the beaches, take a cooking class, go paragliding and of course check out the sites.  I will then spend two weeks in Brasil visiting Paraty and the Pantanal THE PLACE TO GO for wildlife.

South America Adventure Salar de Uyuni by Travelling K

After Brasil I will head to Bolivia to explore the salt flats of Uyuni.  This will be the highlight for me and I’m very excited to spend three days there.

Peru and Ecuador

In May I will head to Peru to visit the famed Machu Picchu!  Another highlight that I am looking forward to.  I am hoping to go to the Amazon in Peru as well but I haven’t booked this yet.

Machu Picchu by Becky the Traveller.

Next stop will be the Galapagos and I am so looking forward to this.  An untouched area full of wildlife.  I haven’t decided where else in Ecuador to go and my plans from here are not finalised.  Check out this itinerary for Ecuador.

Colombia and Venezuela

In June I plan to continue onto Colombia which is a country I’m very excited to explore and will spend a few weeks there.  I’ve seen so many photos of Colombia and I’m really excited to see the country for myself.  From there I will go beach hopping in Venezuela.  I plan to make it to Angel Falls as well the tallest falls in the world.

South America Adventure
Cartegena by Cali on the go

Guyana and Suriname

After that I plan to go to Guyana and Suriname.  That will finish off South America adventure and from there I will island hop through the Caribbean.

The goal is to make it to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of July and tour the island for two weeks before heading back to the States.  I may make it over to Haiti as well it just depends on the timing.  As I said before I do not want to rush this trip as there is so much to see and do.

South America Adventure

My last big trip like this was in 2015 went I travelled from Cairo to Cape Town and visited 15 countries in Africa.  This trip will be a lot of travel and I’m glad I’ve broken it up as time on my own to explore and also on some tours so I can leave the planning to someone else!

There is still a bit to plan and I want to leave plenty of flexibility because we all know that travel does not go to plan and I may change my mind about specific places along the way.  That’s why I have one ‘check point’ per month.  A date and a place I need to be for a tour or a flight.

Have you been to South America?  Any advice for me?  Anywhere I must see?

If five months is too long for you check out this 30 day backpacking itinerary for South America.


Nicole LaBarge is a travel expert who has been traveling internationally for over 25 years and she has visited over 115 countries all while working a 9-5. She has lived in England, Scotland, Japan and New Zealand. Check out her detailed destination guides and travel product guides.

25 thoughts on “My South America adventure

  1. Uruguay montevideo 340 km beaches to chui
    Cabo, jose iglacio punta del este pennisula and city
    Punta del diablo, piriapolis,salto the people the culture the art the Food so chill so relaxing should not be missed. So family so unique loved it! Would live or retire there

  2. Wow! Epic journey. How long do you expect to go? And you have 2 things on my adventure of a lifetime. Sometime I hope in the next 5 years to visit Machu Picchu and then go to the Galapagos Islands. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures. South America. Great destination.

  3. Great itinerary! I hope you have a wonderful time. My time backpacking South America was probably the best year of my life.

    As you haven’t finalised where to go in Ecuador I can recommend Otavlo for a starting point (the markets are great) for a night before heading to Quito which is a great city. From there I highly recommend Baños for some adventure sports and hot springs and then on to Montanita for chilling by the beach/partying.

  4. Great plan….I won’t miss Cuenca in Ecuador; the most beautiful city and great people. Avoid Venezuela on your trip; the most unsafe country in SA.

  5. My boyfriend and I really want to take an extensive trip through South America but aren’t really sure where and how to start. I have never planned this long of a trip before. I’ll be interested to see how you figure out the details along the way. It sounds like such a great adventure!

  6. Thanks for sharing!!! I hope you have an amazing time. I have only been to Ecuador and Peru, but I enjoyed both and am so jealous that you are exploring the whole continent!! Can’t wait to read about all your adventures. I really want to see the Amazon. I didn’t have my malaria pills when I went so I hope you get to make it there. Have fun!!

  7. What a fabulous itinerary! I went to South America for 10 days to visit Easter a Island with a few days pre in Santiago and post Lima. I started my blog after that trip.
    Definitely try to get to Easter Island it’s an amazing place and you are so close!
    Lima highlights – cooking class at Sky Kitchen and visiting the Water Fountain park
    Santiago – bike tour of wineries

    Look forward to reading about your journey as my quick trip made me want to go back and explore

  8. I spent a year travelling South America and my favourite country was Colombia! If you have time definitely do the Lost City Trek (Ciudad Perdido) and also go to Parque Nacional Tayrona – you can get a boat there from Taganga!

    Bariloche in Argentina, Banos in Equador,Potosi in Bolivia and of course Los Llanos in Venezuela were also highlights for me! Enjoy!

  9. Looks like you are going to have a full and amazing experience. I’m planning to do something similar one day but there is just so many places around the world I want to visit too. Love discovering other people’s itineraries around the net. Makes it easier to plan my own travels! Have an amazing time!!!!

  10. Hey, this has given me some awesome ideas for when I get to the south! Currently in Antigua and will be here for a few months working and learning Spanish.

    I hope you have an amazing trip!

  11. In my opinion this trip is kind of perfectly planned. Totally agree, the biggest challenge is obviously the sheer size of this continent that makes it nearly to plan such a “all in one” trip. But I am sure, the impressions and experiences that you will have from this trip is worth anything. I will stop by here regularly and check what you will share with us 🙂

  12. Thanks for this great overview of the South America countries; really liked the layout of this post. We are planning a trip there during this year and we can’t wait!! We love your photos too much, thank you for sharing them 🙂

  13. This sounds like a dream! I am taking my first trip to South America in May. I’ll be visiting Buenos Aires on a solo trip. This is definitely a trip I would like to follow! 🙂


  14. This sounds EPIC! I have dreamed of backpacking around S. America but never did it before children. Maybe I need to buy 5 backpacks and just go. Great plans!

  15. Hi!!after you leave Paraty in rio, you should drive down along the coast towards SÃO Paulo, you will see amazing coastal towns right next to the mountains!
    The Brazilian coast is enormous and simply beautiful!
    Everyone talks about rio as it’s the only place in brazil where the beaches are nice but trust me , there are plenty more , specially on the SÃO Paulo north shore !! Have fun

  16. I am going to nerd out following your journey. Peru is one of my favorite countries. I could spend a lifetime exploring there! Next year I plan on going to Argentina and Chile (mainly for Patagonia) so I’m really looking forward to seeing what you find in those places!

  17. Did I do my math correct, you will be traveling South America and the Caribbean Islands for 4 months!?!?! That is amazing! How are you able to do that? Do you work remotely or did you just take time off? Since I follow your other posts I know you love animals and it is great to see that you will be able to encounter some more wild animals. I cannot wait to hear and see your journey. Travel safe!

  18. Oh wow! What an adventure you have planned! I’ve been in South America for the past 7 months and wasn’t organised enough to visit every country! A little jealous to be honest. I’ve got maybe another month or two left, but it is a continent that I definitely need to return to! One this you have to do when you are in BA, the Sunday Market in San Telmo, followed by the FREE outdoor milonga in the square! Happy to give you any other tips if you want to get in touch!

  19. Hi Nicole,
    This sounds like such a beautiful adventure!
    Being somebody, who never really does a lot of travel planning (certainly not months in advance…) — and luckily doesn’t have to because I’m living a nomad lifestyle, I am always amazed by people, who have it all set out way in advance.
    I wish you all the best & hope you collect many brilliant memories!

    Happy travels – buon viajo,

  20. It sounds like really something! I haven’t been in South America yet and have a quite vague idea about places to visit. It would be great to know how it goes. I hope that all your plans will turn into awesome reality. Have safe travels!

  21. Wow, such a delight seeing the salt flats of Uyuni and Galapagos I wonder what it feels when you’re in the area.

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