Travelling South America alone can be extremely rewarding. You will get an insight into different cultures from the indigenous communities at Lake Titicaca, Peru to the gauchos that herd cattle in Argentina’s wild plains. Our group tours are a great option for solo travellers. You will be travelling in a group of like-minded people, led by one of our Tour Leaders who are fluent in Spanish to help get you from A to B. On our group tours in South America you will be staying in locally-owned hotels. In most cases we do not change a compulsory single supplement for solo travellers in South America.
Best cities in South America for Solo Travellers
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Whilst it may not be the capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro packs a punch and is perfect for solo travellers who want to experience the vibrancy of South America. Home to the world-famous Rio Carnival it is a mecca for solo travellers wanting beautiful beaches, iconic sites like Christ-the-Redeemer and the sounds of samba. Visit Rio Carnival on our tours to Brazil.
Peru’s capital city, Lima is a mix of beautiful architecture, renowned restaurants and fantastic museums. With it’s melting pot of colonial buildings and leafy plazas, it’s easy for a solo traveller in South America to spend the day sightseeing. Don’t miss the Catacombs underneath the San Francisco Church and watch the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace.
Nestled high in the Andes, Cusco is the hub for people wanting to visit Machu Picchu. Discover cobbled streets and Inca ruins on every turn. Solo travellers can get lost in the markets where Andean locals sell brightly-coloured knitware with a llama or two in tow.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Another South America powerhouse city, the capital of Argentina is electriifying. From the sounds of tango to delicious food Buenos Aires has entertainment for everyone. Take a walking tour of La Boca with its colourful, corrugated buildings or explore the iconic Recoleta Cemetery.
Colombia’s sultry city found on the Caribbean Coast is eye-wateringly beautiful and a mecca for solo travellers travelling to South America for the first time. Colourful, colonial buildings adorned with flower-filled balconies line the streets and a fiesta is easily found. Take a trip to the nearby Rosario Islands for a taste of beach life.
Colombia’s capital is different from it’s Afro-Caribbean sister further up the coast. It is an urban city, situated in the Andes and popular with Colombia’s university students. Admire the street art and visit the many museums. Travelling to Colombia on a group tour is a perfect way to see the country for solo travellers as you will be with an expert Tour Leader.
The second highest capital city in the world, Quito in Ecuador stands at 2,850metres above sea level. It has some of the best historical centres in South America and it is also perfect gateway for solo travellers wanting to explore the Galapagos Islands.
La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivia’s city and defacto capital is located high up in the Andes. Famous for its Witches Market, get lost in maze of stalls where local indigenous cholitas sell anything from herbal remedies to dead llamas. La Paz is a fascinating and sometimes chaotic city for solo travellers in South America to explore.
Why South America is perfect for Solo Female Travellers
A trip round South America should not put you off as a solo female traveller. Travelling on your own is a hugely rewarding experience and you will be surprised with how much it will teach you about yourself. If you are nervous or a first-time solo female traveller in South America then going on a group tour is a fantastic way to start. You will be with like-minded individuals, sharing a room with someone of the sex. Not only will you have new friends from all over the world, you will also have a Tour Leader who will help you get from A to B.
Like any destination, normal safety cautions should be exercised when visiting South America regardless whether you are a solo female traveller or not. Do not go out late on your own in places you are not familiar with and avoid wearing flashy jewellery or watches. If you are in a nightclub or bar in South America ensure you always keep hold of your drink – just as you would when you go out in your home city! Trust your instincts and respect the cultures you are visiting and you will make the most of solo holiday.
On the whole, travelling the world on your own as a woman is a really fantastic experience. You can choose what you want to do and see and on Tucan Travel’s group tours the itineraries have a combination of free time and included activities.
Top Tips for Solo Travellers in South America
Whether it’s your first time as a solo traveller in South America or are a returning visitor to this corner of the world, it’s always good to be prepared before you travel. Below are some of our top tips for travellers wanting to travel on their own to South America.
Have your budget and time frame in mind
Believe us when we say South America is big. Brazil is bigger than Australia and that’s just one of the 12 countries in South America. When planning a solo holiday make sure you work out exactly what you want to see and how long you want to travel. Many of our group tours in South America are multi-country trips, allowing you to see a vast amount of the continent in a short space of time. Our South America Highlights tour will take you through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil in just over a month. Alternatively, we also offer trips that are perfect for solo travellers where you can see one country in detail like our Colombia Encompassed or Peru Completed tours.
2) Learn Spanish (and a bit of Portuguese)
Spanish is the overriding language across the majority of South America. It is always useful to know a few helpful phrases especially if you travelling alone in the continent. Remember in Brazil they speak Portuguese, it can be handy to download a translation app which will help you if you are taking a multi-country trip in South America.
3) Pack layers
From the tropics of the Amazon Jungle to the dizzying heights of La Paz, South America is a multi-climate continent. If you are planning on taking a solo travel holiday across different countries we recommend packing a few layers of clothing if possible. A fleece or jumper will protect you from cool Andean evenings whereas shorts and swimwear is perfect if you are planning on hitting the beaches of Rio.
4) But pack light
This is especially important for first-time solo travellers in South America. You will be surprised with what you can buy whilst you are travelling, from llama-wool ponchos in Peru to even a samba costume in Brazil! On our group tours you will be mainly travelling on local transport and staying in small local hotels so make sure your bag is easy to carry around and will fit new items you may buy at the markets!
5) Don’t leave common sense at home
Negative travel experiences can happen all over the world including on your own doorstep. When travelling on your own in South America make sure you exercise the same safety measures as you would anywhere else! Let people know where you going and don’t wear expensive items of clothing or jewellery especially in big cities like Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro. And always remember to book travel insurance before you go!