Should i travel to south america right now

Quito's Old Town Has a Brand-New Face

Quito’s Old Town Has a Brand-New Face

No longer just a crossroads for U.S. travelers heading to the Galapagos or Amazon, Ecuador’s historic capital city Quito is experiencing something of a rebirth these days. Enshrined as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978, Quito’s renaissance has only taken root over the past decade—fueled largely by a $500 million investment in renovations to the city’s historic Old Town.

The star attraction of Quito’s delightfully dizzying warren of cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture is Casa Gangotena, a newly restored mansion-turned-boutique-hotel with sweeping views of the photogenic Plaza San Francisco. Casa Gangotena sports page after page of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor and a central location that simply can’t be beat. It’s also committed to working with residents and neighboring businesses. Casa Gangotena participates in a local initiative called Heritage Guardians, through which guests meet locals and experience their lives and traditions during special “life-seeing” experiences. And since 2009, the hotel has shared costs with a neighboring museum to pay for the daily upkeep of Plaza San Francisco and Calle Cuenca.

Why Now: Because Quito’s old airport was located in a residential area nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, U.S. airlines were skittish about flying directly into it. The recent opening of Quito’s new international airport, located about an hour away from the city proper, has changed all that for the better.

Quito's Old Town Has a Brand-New Face

Quito’s Old Town Has a Brand-New Face

No longer just a crossroads for U.S. travelers heading to the Galapagos or Amazon, Ecuador’s historic capital city Quito is experiencing something of a rebirth these days. Enshrined as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978, Quito’s renaissance has only taken root over the past decade—fueled largely by a $500 million investment in renovations to the city’s historic Old Town.

The star attraction of Quito’s delightfully dizzying warren of cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture is Casa Gangotena, a newly restored mansion-turned-boutique-hotel with sweeping views of the photogenic Plaza San Francisco. Casa Gangotena sports page after page of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor and a central location that simply can’t be beat. It’s also committed to working with residents and neighboring businesses. Casa Gangotena participates in a local initiative called Heritage Guardians, through which guests meet locals and experience their lives and traditions during special “life-seeing” experiences. And since 2009, the hotel has shared costs with a neighboring museum to pay for the daily upkeep of Plaza San Francisco and Calle Cuenca.

Why Now: Because Quito’s old airport was located in a residential area nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, U.S. airlines were skittish about flying directly into it. The recent opening of Quito’s new international airport, located about an hour away from the city proper, has changed all that for the better.

Brazil Gears Up for the World Cup and the Olympics

Brazil Gears Up for the World Cup and the Olympics

Brazil will be front and center on the world stage in the coming years, with the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. The county has already invested a reported $13.3 billion in infrastructure improvements for World Cup-related projects, including stadium and airport renovations.

City and state governments, meanwhile, are reportedly putting more than $12 billion into Olympic-related improvements. A much-needed new rapid bus transit system in Rio de Janeiro, the TransCarioca, is expected to start operating soon.

Why Now: The FIFA World Cup and corresponding infrastructure improvements make Brazil is the South American country to visit in 2014.

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Explora's Two Decades of Luxury Adventure

Explora’s Two Decades of Luxury Adventure

With luxe lodges in some of South America’s most remote and unspoiled terrain—Patagonia, the Atacama Desert, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui)—Explora dominates the world of upscale adventure experiences on the continent. Last year marked the company’s 20th anniversary, but the Explora experience remains as fresh as ever.

Why Now: With the Explora Passport program, you will receive a 10–15 percent discount if you visit more than one lodge or program on your trip.

Peru's Sacred Valley Remains Relatively Uncrowded (for Now)

Peru’s Sacred Valley Remains Relatively Uncrowded (for Now)

Arrivals at Machu Picchu surged from 1.7 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2011, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism. And while visitors to the mysterious ruins are capped at 3,500 people per day to protect the site, the rest of the Sacred Valley is not so well protected.

Now a new international airport set to be located between Machu Picchu and Cusco is stirring fears that the region will swell with more visitors than it can handle sustainably. The airport’s detractors also express concern over local corruption and potential environmental damage to the area’s delicate ecosystem.

Why Now: Chinchero-Cusco International Airport could open as soon as 2017, which gives you a relatively short window to explore Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley sustainably, before it’s completely overrun with tourists.

The Clouds Are Waiting for You

The Clouds Are Waiting for You

Central and South America have well-deserved reputations for producing top-notch eco-lodges. We’ve already mentioned Explora, but another luxe lodge that deserves your attention is Ecuador’s Mashpi Lodge, nestled deep inside a 42,000-acre protected reserve in the Andes.

This self-described “cocoon in the clouds” puts you right in the middle of a biodiversity hot spot. The allure, of course, is the opportunity to observe the cloud forest’s unique ecosystem up close.

Why Now: May, September, and some December bookings are currently being offered for 25 percent off the regular price.

The Skies Are Opening in Colombia

The Skies Are Opening in Colombia

Last January, the United States and Colombia jointly implemented a new open-skies agreement that will rapidly grow travel between the two countries.

Why the big fuss about Colombia? It’s a country on the rise in both raw tourism numbers (it saw an 8 percent increase in air passengers through the first 10 months of 2012) and in prestige. Last year, the port city of Barranquilla was awarded the title of 2013 American Capital of Culture, making it the first Colombian city to earn such an honor.

Why Now: The open-skies agreement has made it easier than ever for U.S. travelers to visit Colombia.

TAM Joins Oneworld Alliance

TAM Joins Oneworld Alliance

Two of South America’s biggest airlines, Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM, have formed a mega carrier serving virtually all of the continent’s major tourist destinations.

The newly formed LATAM Airlines Group (the holding company created for the merger) will bring the entire LATAM group to the Oneworld alliance. TAM will join on March 31.

Why Now: If you’re a Oneworld member, the second quarter of 2014 and beyond looks like a good time to head south on the newly merged mega airline.

The Dreamliner Takes Off at Last

The Dreamliner Takes Off at Last

Only a handful of airlines in the world fly Boeing’s newest “it” plane, the 787 Dreamliner, and South America’s LAN is one of them. The 787 is designed to fly nonstop on routes that previously required a connection, cutting flight times by about two to four hours.

Why Now: With the Dreamliner reducing flight times on long-haul routes, travel to South America is becoming increasingly convenient.

The Dollar Is Still Strong in South America

The Dollar Is Still Strong in South America

In South America, you can live and travel a little more cheaply than in other popular hot spots like Europe and Asia. Countries such as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Ecuador are high bang-for-your-buck destinations where the cost of traveling is low compared to the return on investment. Spectacular scenery, ancient ruins, a vibrant culture, and (if you’re so inclined) luxury can all be had for a lot less than comparable experiences in many other destinations.

Why Now: Exchange rates fluctuate and inflation can change the economic outlook quickly, but right now South America remains a real bargain for U.S. travelers.

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Moving to South America

buenos aires

South America is the continent you’ve always wanted to visit. Better than that, it’s a place you can decide to move to permanently!

Why not? The cost of living in some of these countries is extremely cheap, and even just a year abroad wouldn’t hurt anyone would it?

Some countries for living below include Ecuador and Uruguay, but there are also some countries you may want to do further research on.

Table of Contents

Reasons to Move to South America

See this list of reasons why you should consider moving to the great South American continent. Let’s jump in, shall we?

There were lots of ideas floating around when it came to this list, but after considering the main points this is the condensed version.

south america budget

Give or take based on each country (e.g. Spanish isn’t needed in Brazil), these are the 8 main reasons to live in a South American country:

Easy Access to the States and Canada

If you decide to move abroad, the possibilities seem endless.

However, when it comes to visiting family over the holidays and thanksgiving, suddenly the prospect of living in New Zealand doesn’t seem as great.

You don’t want to have to pay for expensive and lengthy flights at least twice a year. Or, get held a prisoner in your chosen ex-pat location.

chichen itza vs tulum ruins

So the best option is to live somewhere exotic enough to feel fresh and different, but close enough to fly less than 15 hours home. The answer? South America!

Direct flights from Atlanta to Buenos Aires are as short as 10 hours. Compare that to a flight to Rome lasting 11+ hours.

Friendly People and Culture

You may claim to live in the country with the friendliest people on Earth, but maybe you’ve never visited South America.

Countries such as Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, are all considered some of the friendliest countries in the world by most visitors.

locals in colombia

It is worth mentioning, that some of these countries can be unfriendly at times, but this continent is full of people friendly to foreigners.

This part of the world also has some of the most welcoming and wholesome indigenous groups, accommodating some of the most colorful cultures in the world.

Try a traditional gathering such as a Yerba mate ceremony in Argentina where it normal for you to get together with friends and share life.

International Airports

There are up to sixty popular international airports in South America.

Some are definitely larger than others, but on the whole, they are all widely accessible via major international hubs.

what to do in medellin rio negro airport

This includes Atlanta, LAX & O’Hare for America and Toronto & Vancouver in Canada.

The busiest airports in South America are as follows:

    – São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport
  • Bogota, Colombia – El Dorado International Airport
  • Lima, Peru – Jorge Chávez International Airport
  • Santiago, Chile – Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
  • São Paulo, Brazil – Congonhas-São Paulo Airport

You may find yourself either using these airports directly or using them for connections.

Affordable Cost of Living

For most people looking to emigrate, the cost of living is a huge factor.

There are many retirees, digital nomads, and people who do online travel jobs that benefit from lower costs of living and tax breaks to aid their careers and find interesting career connections.

learning spanish in quito

Where better to do all these things than in the bustling streets of Quito? Or, if you prefer a faster pace of life, comparing the heights of Bogota vs Medellin in order to find your perfect destination?

This blog contains plenty of articles about the cost of living in some of these countries, but always do your own research on your ideal location’s living conditions.

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It is often inspiring to hear the incredible stories of people living in South America living on half the budget of a major American city.

Good Healthcare

When it comes to traveling to Latin countries, healthcare should be high on your list of priorities.

healthcare south america

Finding the most beautiful and cheapest places in South America can have its benefits, but a flawed universal healthcare system could put a spanner in the works. What are the healthcare systems like?

I found that Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia prefer their expats to have private cover, so I’d suggest doing the same in other countries. However, universal healthcare is available for emergencies.

The two countries in South America known to have the best healthcare infrastructures are Brazil and Argentina.

Retiring in South America

South America has lots to offer for retirees looking to relocate for their retirement.

South America gives retirees the opportunity to explore regions of great cultural diversity, both Spanish-inspired and indigenous.

chichen itza vs tulum ruins

The whole continent has some incredible examples of geology, biodiversity, and general greenery. The more remote you can get your quality of life increases.

It is very important to consider the cost of living, cultural variations, immigration laws, and lifestyle when considering retirement. Even more so than a digital nomad or a young family.

There are thousands of expats in South America who are retired, all the more reason to at least give it a go.

Access to Exotic Fruits And Healthy Lifestyle

High-quality fruits and organic vegetables are the gifts of mother nature that we all deserve to have access to.

fruits of colombia medellin

According to many expats living in South America, a major benefit is healthy living.

An article from International Living featured one expat that had lost weight without even trying:

“When I first moved to Ecuador, I weighed 350 pounds,”

Says Warren Sklar who lives in Cotacachi.

“After being here for a few months, I started to lose weight, because of walking everywhere and eating healthier with all the fresh produce. I lost 40 pounds without even trying.”

Here are some of the fruity favorites found in the continent:

  • Araza (Amazonian Pear)
  • Cherimoya (Custard Apple)
  • Spondias Mombin (Hog Plum/Yellow Mombin)
  • Curuba (Banana Passionfruit)
  • Maracuya (Yellow Passion Fruit)

By spending months in South America and sampling many Exotic Fruits you’ll start to see the health benefits that come with getting your daily intake the necessary of minerals and vitamins.

Learn Spanish

When you think about it, Spanish is not exactly a limited language with a small number of speakers.

It’s the second most spoken native language in the world, with most of the Latin world speaking it. See these safe Spanish speaking countries in South America for ideas on which accents/dialects you may like best.

spanish school is cool

When it comes to learning the language of Spain, it turns out the best continent to travel to is in fact South America!

Other than Guyana (French) and Brazil (Portuguese), all of the countries in South America have their own style and dialect of Spanish. Not to mention learning Spanish in South America is very rewarding.

If you were to brush up your skills whilst learning a new culture, I’d say that backpacking South America and Latin America is the best experience imaginable.

Moving to South America

All in all, there are many personal reasons for someone to consider moving to South America.

Many people plan to move to South America for a healthier lifestyle and to learn Spanish faster, but others may prioritize the low cost of living and access to international travel.

You may have your own reasons, but it is recommended that you plan your future in South America today!

If you’re concerned about safety in the countries mentioned, see this list of safe countries in South America for more ideas on where to go.

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moving to south america

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Did this simple guide to moving to South America give you any ideas?

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After spending years on the road Dan is now offering to help you find your feet in Latin America; inspire you to learn Spanish and get you started on your adventures. Learn how to travel longer and stronger!

Source https://www.smartertravel.com/nine-reasons-to-visit-south-america-right-now/

Source https://www.layerculture.com/blog/moving-to-south-america/

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