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These Are The Top 10 Most Popular Destinations For Solo Travelers In South America

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South America is currently the solo travel hotspot of the world.

It's no secret solo explorers are more conscious about their budget, and they tend to go not only where they feel most welcome but where their hard-earned dollars stretch further, making the Global South their go-to pick.

Aerial View Of Matadouro Beach, Near Florianopolis, In The Southern Brazilian State Of Santa Catarina, Brazil, South America

A fascinating continent of 12 countries, it boasts a rich Luso-Hispanic heritage, owing it to colonization efforts by Spain and Portugal, as well as other European powers, and the kind of natural wealth that can't be so easily rivaled, even by the United States.

On top of its impressive diversity, South America can be incredibly affordable compared to the Northern Hemisphere, with a majority of states in the region having weaker national currencies and thus, lower consumer prices.

If you're dreaming of finally going on that inaugural South American getaway, yet you're not entirely sure where to be headed, the latest research may offer some much-needed guidance.

The Top 10 South American Destinations For Solo Travelers

Ipanema Beach, An Upscale Sandy Stretch Bounded By High-Rise Luxurious Apartment Buildings In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

The popular CV builder has unveiled its top 10 destinations for digital nomads in South America based on social media impressions, and while it applies to a different category, there are some obvious correlations between remote workers and solo travelers.

These two groups often stay in a single place for much longer than ordinary vacationers, and they tend to immerse themselves deeper in the local culture. In a way, both are adept at ‘slow' traveling and gravitate towards destinations known for their uniqueness and lively social scene.

Including some tried-and-true vacation classics and other lesser-known spots, these were the destinations solo adventurers are flocking to the most in South America:

Medellin Cityscape, Antioquia, Colombia, South America

10. Florianopolis, Brazil

The capital of the Brazilian Southern state of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis is one of the country's most-developed coastal hubs, enjoying the third-highest Human Development Index and standing among the safest cities in Brazil.

As it is comprised of many small islands, the city is connected by bridges and ferry boats, and it has a temperate climate year-round, offering access to unspoiled marine reserves and sandy Atlantic beaches. It is also full of well-preserved colonial gems and an imposing Portuguese fort.

Aerial View Of Florianopolis, Capital Of The Brazilian Southern State Of Santa Catarina, Brazil, South America

9. Bogota, Colombia

The capital of Colombia and its largest and most cosmopolitan city, Bogota has been dubbed ‘Athens of the South' due to its enviable collection of world-class museums, where remnants of pre-Columbian civilization, as well as Spanish-era treasures, are exhibited.

It is easily distinguished for the striking contrast between the cobbled, traditional Candelaria district and the more developed, skyscraper-dotted financial districts, other than being famous for its riotous, taboo-free nightlife: it is where the largest LGBTQ club in South America is located.

Colonial Era Dome And Spires In Bogota, Capital City Of Colombia, South America

8. Quito, Ecuador

The Ecuadorian capital, Quito is one of the most picturesque cities in South America, with a skyline dominated by a majestic colonial cathedral that wouldn't look out of place in Iberian Europe and a sea of red-roofed colonial mansions.

When visiting Quito, tourists have highlighted as top attractions the ‘Middle of the World', the exact spot where the equatorial line passes, the Basilica del Voto Nacional, the Spanish-built Independence Square, and Cruz Loma, a lookout point accessible via the TelefériQo gondola lift.

Skyline Of Quito, Capital Of Ecuador, South America

7. Santa Marta, Colombia

A small Colombian city straddling the Caribbean Sea, Santa Marta is most popular among sun-seekers and nature enthusiasts, as it is considered the gateway to the Tayrona National Park, Colombia's most emblematic, and where some of its cleanest, most unspoiled beaches are found.

Besides the relaxed atmosphere and young demographic, Santa Marta can be used as a base for exploring the lost city of Minca, an ‘El Dorado' of the sorts established by the indigenous Tayrona peoples prior to the arrival of the European settlers.

A View of the Beach at Tayrona National Park Near Santa Marta, Colombia

6. Santiago de Chile, Chile

Though it is often overlooked by visitors to South America, as it is neither a tropical destination nor does it border the ocean, Santiago de Chile is a vast metropolis notorious for its high-rise developments, backdropped by the snow-capped Andes, and stately civic buildings.

Chile is the most developed country on the continent. Needless to say, you should expect a better infrastructure and higher safety levels when visiting Santiago, which makes it a great starting point for traveling South America, especially if it's your first time down there.

Skyline Of Santiago Del Chile, Capital of Chile, South America

5. Cartagena, Colombia

Ranking fifth for the most social media tags, Cartagena is the unofficial capital of the Colombian Caribbean and the country's second entry on this list. Unlike Santa Marta, however, Cartagena is more of a cultural destination than it is a beach getaway.

As the sands lining the city's coast are volcanic, they are not as immaculate white, nor are the waters as clear as you'd expect. But on the other hand, Cartagena has a beautiful walled colonial core, and it's a UNESCO World Heritage jam-packed with historical landmarks.

cartagena old town in colombia

4. Sao Paulo, Brazil

There is more to Sao Paulo than the endless rows of Brutalist apartment blocks and financial towers, and after years of being bypassed altogether by tourists on their way to the pristine Brazilian coast, they seem to be finally warming up to this chaotic, yet awe-inspiring megalopolis.

A cultural melting pot, Sao Paulo is made up of several migrant communities, including Italians, the Japanese, Middle Eastern groups, and several others, and its delicious cuisine, as well as youthful, Bohemian atmosphere make it an incredibly exciting place to navigate.

Aerial View Of Avenida Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil

3. Medellin, Colombia

Cracking the top three, Colombia's fourth entry, Medellin is the country's highest-charting, as well as its best-positioned city break. As it is home to a large expat community and several co-working spots, Medellin has become a favorite among nomads and solo travelers alike.

Its iconic ‘metrocables' are a major point of interest, connecting the deep-valley city to other hilltop barrios and hovering above the busy streets; the picturesque Pueblito Paisa, an open-air museum built to resemble a colonial settlement, is not to be missed, either.

View of Medellin, Colombia buidlings and mountains

2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil's most easily-recognized postcard – a sprawling Latin American metropolis bounded on one side by tropical forests and majestic peaks and the azure Atlantic on the other – Rio de Janeiro takes the runner-up slot for most mentions on social media among lone explorers.

It is not the most affordable destination, with travelers spending on average US$111 daily, but it is certainly thrilling. Whether you're partying with locals in a comunidade or admiring the ocean view from a rooftop bar, trust us when we say Rio will leave you with a deep sense of saudade once you leave.

Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car, Rio de Janeiro, South America, Brazil

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

The number one destination for solo travelers in South America, Buenos Aires is the Argentinian capital and the aptly-titled ‘Paris of the South', filled with stunning Haussman-style buildings that are evocative of Europe and featuring a diverse cuisine.

Coincidentally, it ranks number one for the safest South American capital, too, with the State Department enlisting it as a Level 1 destination. This means Americans are not advised to exercise greater caution when visiting nor avoid Buenos Aires on their trip to the nether half of the Americas.

Congress Square, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Rob Beltran

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

South america is dangerous, solo travel, specially women is a crazy recommendation.... Brazil, Colombia, no way