Machu Picchu, Peru

South America. Give It A Try. You’ll be Very Glad You Did

Kerwin McKenzieTravel Information 2 Comments

South America. You Really Should Give It A Try

Originally published April 2020

Most of us fly northeasterly from North America all the time as its most popular, but South America is not to be overlooked, you should really give it a try.

The countries on the continent are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

I still have three more to visit down there. How about you?

Health and Visa Requirements

Before you visit any country, its essential that you check health and visa requirements. The Passsrider Health page can help you here. Yes, some countries do require a visa and have health requirements. Some of these requirements are waived for U.S. citizens so most of you are in luck. You can find detailed information on the U.S. State Department‘s Web site. You may also get the information from the Timatic Web site.

At present, countries requiring visas for U.S. citizens are Bolivia and Brazil (starting in 2024)

Airlines Serving South America

Several airlines have nonstop service from the U.S. to South America. The flying times from say Houston, TX to select South American destinations is just about the same as Houston to Europe 🙂 and the vacation cost is cheaper and the time change may be just an hour or two. Just remember that the seasons are flipped in comparison to the Northern Hemisphere.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

One thing to remember too, is that oftentimes the airlines have what’s called tags between major cities in different countries. For example, you can fly KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) from Santiago, Chile (SCL) to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) as the flight is heading back to Amsterdam Schipol, Netherlands (AMS). Air Canada (AC) also flies this route as a tag.

However, you may not be able to passride on a flight from say Sao Paolo, Brazil (GRU) to Rio, Brazil (GIG) as that violates the cabotage rights if the carrier is not local to Brazil.

Copa Cabana Beach, Brazil

Copa Cabana Beach, Brazil

Other carriers on this route are Santiago-based low cost carrier SKY Airlines (H2) and Buenos Aires-based carrier Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) and Santiago-based LATAM (LA) and Brazil-bases Azul (AD).

Head over to the Advanced Schedule section of for more details.

The following carriers have service to the major South American cities from one or more of their hubs:

AeroMexico (AM), Air Canada (AC), air europa (UX), Air France (AF), Air New Zealand (NZ), American Airlines (AA), Avianca (AV), Azul Brazilian Airlines (AD), British Airways (BA), Copa Airlines (CM), Delta Air Lines (DL), Eidelweiss (WK), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Emirates (EK), GOL (G3), Iberia (IB), interJet (4O), JetBlue (B6), KLM (KL), LATAM (LA), Lufthansa German Airlines (LH), Qantas (QF), Qatar Airways (QR), SKY Airlines (H2), Spirit Airlines (NK), TAME (EQ), Turkish Airlines (TK) and United Airlines (UA).

Departures at Santiago, Chile Airport (SCL)

Departures at Santiago, Chile Airport (SCL)

Larger Cities in South America

Here’s a list of the larger cities in South America. So you can plan on flying into these cities and then taking a local flight to your next destination. As the countries are in close proximity of each other, the flights are short. If you like you may also look into taking buses:

  1. Asuncion, Paraguay (ASU)
  2. Bogota, Colombia (BOG) – home of Avianca (AV)
  3. Buenos Aires, Argentina (AEP, EZE) – home of Aerolineas Argentinas (AR)
  4. Georgetown, Guyana (GEO)
  5. La Paz, Bolivia (LPB)
  6. Lima, Peru (LIM) – home of LATAM Peru (LA)
  7. Rio de Janiero, Brazil (GIG, SDU)
  8. Montevideo, Uruguay (MVD)
  9. Paramaribo, Suriname (PBM)
  10. Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI)
  11. Santiago, Chile (SCL) – home of LATAM (LA)
  12. São Paulo, Brazil (CGH, GRU)
  13. Quito, Ecuador (UIO) – home of TAME (EQ)
Tobalaba Train Station in Santiago, Chile

Tobalaba Train Station in Santiago, Chile

Where have you been in South America?

Comments 2

  1. Hi Kerwin,
    now that we have our wings clipped, dreaming of South America is bittersweet. My wife and i have been many times to Uruguay – I love the people and their justified pride of their country.Have also visited Ecuador (the suffering there is terrible just now). It’s breathtakingly beautiful. And I have been to Chile but sadly only Santiago. You will gather that I think that South America is worth it. Be flexible and don’t cart valuables with you. As soon as this calamity is behind us we’ll be on the move.
    Thanks Kerwin for all the work and service – you’re a champ!

    1. Peter,
      You’re welcome and thank you.
      Yes, I can see that you have enjoyed some great parts of South America. You got it right on flexibility. Glad you’ll be on the move and explore more as soon as we can. I can’t wait either. Thanks for the support, I appreciate it alot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.