With a landmass of 17,840,000 km2, South America is the fourth largest continent in the world.
The continent is made up of 12 countries Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela, as well as three non-sovereign territories Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and French Guiana.
For many of us in the Asian region, a trip to South America requires a lot of planning and savings. Air tickets to the region is expensive so most people would rather spend a long period of time there than go on a short jaunt.
Instead of waiting for a few years before you plan your trip to South America, here are a few reasons why you should start planning your trip now and visit the continent within three years’ time.
Here are the five reasons you should go there soon:
1. Be at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics
The 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. In 2016, the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 5 to 21 August. This is the first time that a South American country is the host to the Summer Olympics.
By traveling to South America for these two sporting event, you will have an excuse to explore the rest of the region.
2. See amazing natural landscape and man-made architecture
For nature lovers, South America has amazing natural landscape, such as:
- The Amazon rainforest which has the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
- Paradise Falls which inspired the dream destination of Carl and his wife in Disney’s Up.
- Patagonia which has snow-dotted mountains throughout the year.
- Iguazu Falls which is a one of the biggest waterfalls in South America and marks the borders of Argentina and Brazil.
If man-made feats are more of your thing, South America has a collection of old and new architectures:
- Machu Piccu in Peru built by the Incas
- Nasca lines carved into the ground and hills
- Christ the Redeemer in Rio
- European cathedrals scattered throughout cities and towns
3. See, wear and eat super cute animals
Sure baby elephants are cute but have you seen baby alpacas or baby llamas? These animals are even more adorable.
On top of being cute, the wool from alpacas and llamas can be used to make clothing. These woolly clothes help keep warm during the winter months or our trek to Machu Picchu.
If you are curious, these animals can also be eaten. However, their meat is rather gamey so it’s not for everyone.
4. Pick up Spanish, Portuguese or French cheaply
Are you planning to go to Europe to pick up a new language? It would be cheaper in the long run if you learn Spanish, Portuguese or French in South America since living expenses in South America’s towns are cheaper than in Europe.
Your multilingual skills will open a lot of portas (“doors” in Spanish) so you can make more moneda (“money” in Spanish).
5. Eat South American food everyday
If you love meat, South America is the right place for you. Beef in Argentina is spectacular while Peru serves good roast chicken with fries. Seafood stew can be found in many locations and the South American version of sashimi–ceviche–is a must eat.
Things might get a little tougher for vegetarians but there are still vegetarian empanadas or sandwiches to choose from.
If you are doubtful about how tasty South American food is, you can try out the dishes out at PISCO at Resorts World Sentosa. Once you’re hooked, you’ll surely book your tickets to fly over to South America.
¡Buen viaje! (That means “Have a good trip!” in Spanish.)
Are you planning a trip to South America? When are you leaving? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.