South America is home to lands of fierce mountainous beauty, traces of ancient civilizations, superb tropical coastlines, alluring food and music, and pulsating festivals – in short everything your need for the ultimate travel experience. Today we are going to talk about three cities from Southamerican nations: Lima (Peru), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
Peru’s sprawling capital sits in the center of the country’s desert coastline. It’s a grimy, polluted place but one of charm and friendliness with a wealth of compelling architecture and great museums.
Lima’s Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez services most international and domestic flights. The airport is best served by taxi as buses tend to be crowded.
Buses connect Lima with Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador as well as all over Peru. They are slow and can be uncomfortable.
Lima is a sprawling congested city and public transport is disorganized. Taxis are plentiful but unregulated. Fares must be negotiated which is difficult if you don’t speak Spanish and taxis can be dangerous.
Micro and combi buses are cheap and the destinations are placed in the windshield. This makes things difficult if you’re not familiar with the city.
Lima is not pedestrian-friendly owing to congestion and pollution. Walking is only advised within neighborhoods. Between neighborhoods a taxi is necessary.
Subtropical desert in Lima has a hot and humid winter season from December to April, followed by a cool rainy summer season from June to October. The months of May and November serve as a transitional period.
The Humboldt ocean current, which originates about 12 degrees south of the equator, provides the city with an arid and mild climate despite its location (or Peru current).
Gara, or a kind of mist that floats over the ground during the winter months from June to September, is a common occurrence. Lack of sunlight and high humidity contribute to the feeling of cold, which is exacerbated by the lack of heating in homes. Despite its proximity to the ocean, pollution accumulates on the ground due to a thermal inversion.
Summer, from December to April, is a time of year when the sun is most prevalent, but fog can still form in the early morning hours. Banks of low clouds can still form, albeit less frequently, even now in the fall. It’s a pleasant temperature.
Lima is a large city with many neighborhoods with different characteristics and suitability for tourists. Here is a breakdown of areas in Lima for your visit:
- Central Lima – central Lima has many options for budget travelers and here you can find many cheap stays. Ideal for backpackers and nomads.
- Miraflores – Most of the tourists stay in this neighborhood, it is popular and safe, and there are many lodging options.
- Barranco – For younger travelers who want to explore Lima’s nightlife, this area is the best, many places to go out at night
- Pueblo Libre – quiet and safe area that is family-friendly and very popular with families with kids
- San Isidro – Another popular area for families with children
- Chorrillos – Relaxing area for people who want to chill.
- Punta Hermosa – This is a beach area and if you are coming to enjoy the sea, this is the best neighborhood
- Punta Negra – For surfers and other watersports lovers, this is a very popular area
- San Bartolo – For any water sports activities, San Bartolo is the best neighborhood for you
- Lima Airport – If you are in transit and want to be near the airport for your next flight, you can have accommodation near Lima Airport.
Here is a list of the most popular hotels in Lima with deals from Hotelook:
What’s on and what’s hot?
- Semana de Lima between 12-19 January celebrates the founding of Lima in 1535.
- Carnaval is celebrated on the last few days before Lent with music, dancing, and water fights.
- Semana Santa in March-April is marked by processions throughout the city.
- Independence is celebrated on 28-29 July. Large rock concerts are popular around this time.
- The Festival of Santa Rosa de Lima is on 30 August at the Santa Rosa Monastery.
And last but not least, you can attend cooking classes:
- Visit one of Lima’s symbolic markets to appreciate the amazing variety of local ingredients
- Watch as the chef of a renowned restaurant demonstrates how to prepare Peru’s main dishes
- Learn how to make an exquisite typical Peruvian dish yourself
Rio de Janeiro
Rio sits between imposing mountains and the glorious beaches washed by the warm waters of the Atlantic and is true hedonistic heaven. The rhythm of the samba is rarely absent from this city in which every day is a celebration.
Flights connect Rio with all of Brazil and Latin America, as well as many other major cities. Buses depart for most destinations from Novo Rio Rodoviaria.
City buses are often crowded and struggle through Rio’s traffic. Rio has an excellent, air-conditioned subway system but it only covers points north of Botafogo.
If you are taking buses, do it during the daytime, since it is not that safe in the evenings.
The climate in Rio de Janeiro is tropical and has two distinct seasons: the cool season from May to October and the sweltering season from December to March.
South Brazil’s southernmost city is named for the state in which it is located and is a major economic and cultural center. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Guanabara Bay on the other, the city of Rio de Janeiro sits on a cliff overlooking the two most famous beaches in the world: Copacabana and Ipanema.
This city is surrounded by forests of about a thousand meters (over 3,300 feet) above sea level. Because Mount Corcovado (also known as Monte Cristo) stands at a height of 710 meters (2,329 feet), the temperature at the summit drops by about 4 degrees Celsius (7 °F) compared to sea level. A cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountain, located at the bay’s entrance with an incredible view, is 396 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level.
The daily average temperature ranges from a low of 22.5 degrees Celsius (72.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to a high of 27.5 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in July and August.
There are many places and neighborhoods you can stay in Rio de Janeiro, based on your interests, budget, and needs. Here is the list of the most popular ones:
- Copacabana: the center of the action in Rio – around the clock. This is the world’s most famous beach, and for a good reason, it is non-stop fun and entertainment.
- Botafogo: located south of downtown Rio and north of Copacabana, this neighborhood is becoming increasingly popular and it has reasonably priced accommodation.
- Ipanema: equally popular as Copacabana, but less crowded and with more high-end amenities, this beach area is also very popular
- Leblon: beautiful beachfront area with fewer crowds and with high-end dining and shopping.
- Santa Teresa: a hilltop neighborhood with beautiful views and a bohemian lifestyle. Popular with younger visitors looking for local arts and culture.
- Centro: Rios’s downtown, the oldest part of the city with access to popular museums and city architecture.
- Lapa: south of downtown, this neighborhood is becoming very popular and it offers reasonably priced accommodation and entertainment
- Jardim Botânico: a quiet residential area with lots of greenery and a large botanical garden.
- Urca: if you want to escape Rio’s hectic lifestyle for a while, this is the best place to be – quiet and with the best views.
- Lagoa: a laidback lakefront area that also offers water activities in a high-end neighborhood.
Check latest offers from Hotelook:
What’s on and what’s hot?
- Carnaval is the five-day internationally-famous extravaganza beginning at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. Dancing, parades, headdresses, and flaunted bodies make up this unforgettable spectacle.
- The Fiestas Junina’s is celebrated in public squares throughout June.
- August 15 sees music, colorful stalls, and a parade celebrating the Festa de NS da Gloria do Outeiro.
- Festa da Penha is one of the largest religious festivals in the city. It’s held every Sunday in October.
And last, but not least, experience genuine Brazilian football match:
- The 4 Most Powerful Teams in Rio – Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama
- The Excitement of Brazilian Soccer Game
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires is unique among South American cities in that it radiates the ambiance of the Europe of a more gentile age. But don’t be fooled. You’ll quickly find it also has a trendy-chic side and a population that makes flair into an art form.
Getting around Buenos Aires is easy. The city boasts an efficient underground known as the Subte and an around-the-clock bus system. Plus the major tourist attractions are near each other so it’s well worth exploring on foot.
You can use taxis to move around quickly and at an affordable price, but have to be careful to take the official taxis from established brands, such as Radio Taxi, due to safety.
Temperatures in Buenos Aires are mild in the winter and hot during the hottest months of the year. Despite its Mediterranean-like temperatures and rainfall pattern, winter in this region is relatively dry, while summer is the wettest time of year (although this happens mainly due to afternoon thunderstorms, which do not reduce the hours of sunshine by much).
River Plate (Rio de la Plata) is the estuary of the Uruguay and Paraná rivers, which, after meeting, widening toward the sea. Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and is located in the north-central part of the country, on the banks of the River Plate.
The coldest month (July) averages 11.4 °C (52 °F), while the hottest month (January) averages 25.1 °C (77 °F).
Buenos Aires is a large city and there are many different neighborhoods where it is great to stay and it all depends on your travel needs and your budget. Here is a list of the most popular areas:
- Recoleta – one of the best and safest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. May accommodation and restaurant options.
- Palermo – Equally popular as Recoleta, Palermo has many things to offer to travelers, and especially a nightlife
- Belgrano – The best family-friendly neighborhood in Buenos Aires, with many things to do and see.
- San Telmo – The oldest area of the city with amazing architecture and many options for budget travelers.
- Villa Crespo – close to Palermo, this area offers a more local feel, with less tourist and local art scene.
- Las Cañitas – Located within the Palermo area, this neighborhood is famous for its nightlife.
- Puerto Madero – Close to the city center, this former port area is a great choice for first-time visitors to Buenos Aires.
- El Centro – The downtown area is a good choice if you want to stay in one of the brand hotels and have easy access to other areas, restaurants, museums, and shops.
- Caballito – If you want to avoid city dynamics for a while and have a few days to chill, this area is the best.
- Almagro – If you want to experience Buenos Aires like a local, this is the best neighborhood and it is great if you are staying longer.
- La Boca – Famous for football lovers, this working-class neighborhood is a must for music and tango lovers.
- Barracas – It’s a great area to visit for the authentic experience of the city and see some popular street art.
Check the latest offers for hotels in Buenos Aires:
What’s on and what’s hot
- Buenos Aires Tango is a tango festival that takes place between late February and early March all over the city.
- The Feria del Libro annual book fair celebrates Latin American literature in April at the Centro Municipal de Exposicions.
- Mid-May sees the art fair, Arte BA.
- More tango-related activities on June 24 when aficionados remember Carlos Gard el, the man who made the tango famous.
- December features the Campeonato Abierto Argentino de Polo.
And of course, this tour is not to be missed:
- Learn the rich history of Football in Buenos Aires
- Discover two local teams and stadiums
This was just a quick taste of three cities n South America and there are certainly many more to explore. We hope this will be useful during your next trip to this part of the world. South America is a very diverse continent with rich culture and history and it is a travel paradise for decades.