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How to backpack through South America?

If you are planning to backpack through South America, here are some useful tips for you. A good preparation is the key to having an amazing experience. South America is a continent that offers many learning opportunities. The culture and the local “Latino spirit” are really unique. You will appreciate their lust for life as they dance, sing and hold celebrations in the street. You will discover the cultural wealth and the diverse population from one country to the next, in this giant melting pot that is waiting to be discovered!

1. Plan your trip beforehand

A city map held in two handsIt is best to plan your trip before going off to backpack through South America. By learning the history and the traditions of the countries of this amazing continent, you will be in a better position to understand the cultural norms and fit in with locals. The corruption is quite important in some parts of South America, so it is good to be aware beforehand and be careful. There are many places where you can find information about the countries you will be travelling to. You can also ask us at Bamba Experience and we will be more than happy to help you out.

2. Be alert

A woman in white shorts from the shoulder down, sitting on a bench with a camera on her lap.As you are travelling through South America, since you are not in your own country, be careful about your appearance and try to blend in as much as you can. Do your best not to show that you are an easy target. You do not want to get unwanted attention so be careful about showing your money or any valuable items (cellphones, credit cards, mp3’s, computers, etc). Please remember that the major part of the population lives beneath the poverty line in these countries.

3. Interact with the locals

Amantani Home StayWhen backpacking, this point is quite important. The interaction with locals, meaning interacting with them and understanding their culture and their traditions, is part of the backpacker spirit. There are a lot of options available along the way like spending the night with a local family on the remote Amantani island of Lake Titicaca, visiting Sucre with a local, learning salsa in Quito and discovering a favela in Rio. These are some activities Bamba Experience offers to help you discover the local culture more in-depth. Mostly, locals will be pleased to help you and show you their way of life. Just be interested, and show yourself in your best light! You will enjoy talking with them and discovering the differences between your country and their country. This exchange is essential and it is part of the backpacker’s journey. It will help you to open your mind and to get a better understanding of the world.  

4. Purchase travel insurance

Travel insurance - a man, covered in bandages looks sad while drinking a cocktail on the beach.When you travel through countries in South America it is very important to have travel insurance, and even more when you are a backpacker. In the unlikely event that you require medical care while travelling, you will want to go to a private hospital (which can be really expensive in South America). Bamba Experience can help you buy your insurance, please click HERE for further information.

Backpacking through South America is really one of the best ways to discover the heart of any country and meet amazing people along the way. Just follow your instinct, and be careful wherever you go. Respect the locals and do not forget that you are not at home! Appreciate each country as it is and let yourself be immersed in amazing cultures.