Travelling to South America can be fun, but if it’s your first time visiting this amazing land, you’ll find a whole new continent with different idiosyncrasy, traditions, health habits, foods and safety conditions. You should be aware of the following South America travel tips to make your trip the best experience possible.
South America Travel Tips to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises in Your Trip
Do your research. Have a plan
Regardless of where you’re travelling to, make sure that you properly research the area beforehand to give yourself the best chance of enjoying your trip in peace without any unexpected problems. You should be intimately aware of the local currency and language and brush up on the history of the area so that you can plan your routes ahead of time.
Know your expectations and limitations
The local cuisine and cultural differences found throughout your South American tours may be vastly differently from what you have grown accustomed to. Are you prepared to eat insects or food that was cooked in less than desirable conditions? Are you willing to climb mountain peaks or travel through dangerous areas in order to get to where you’re going? Try to get an idea of the things you’re comfortable with before you embark on your trip or you’ll be faced with some rather unsettling decisions to make.
Monkey see, monkey do. Follow the locals
A rule of thumb in any area is to blend in with the locals as much as possible. If the native people of the area you’re visiting are queasy about a particular dish, you’d be better off to skip it too. Likewise, if the locals are running for their lives, you’d be best to follow suit as well. Stay on the lookout for tell-tale signs that you’re doing what you should be doing and you’ll be ok.
Some parts of South America may not be safe to travel to. Research the crime rates of the areas you’re travelling through and watch out for unexpected activities that don’t seem safe. As a general rule, you should always stay in large groups and avoid travelling alone whenever possible. When you do travel, try not to wear anything too flashy or advertise that you’re a foreigner. South American cities are often more dangerous than rural areas, although bandits can be found anywhere. Stay vigilant and stay safe.
Watch your health
South America isn’t an inherently unhealthy place, but it does have viruses and other germs that foreigners may not be immune from. Always make sure that your food is properly cooked and try to avoid sick people as much as possible. You should also make sure that you’re up-to-date on all of your shots (yellow fever, tetanus, hepatitis, etc.) before travelling to South America and get checked out by a doctor if you suddenly become ill during or after your trip.
The most important of all South America travel tips, enjoy your trip. South America is a very beautiful place to visit and will give you many happy memories to reflect back on for years to come. Invest in a high quality camera before your trip, so that you can properly record your adventure, and get a light souvenir from each city you visit for your collection.