Are you planning a solo backpacking trip to South America and you are not sure what to expect? So was I! But after traveling for 2 years all by myself I learned a lot about what it’s like to travel alone.
Traveling alone in South America is never lonely! When you are here you will see there are a lot of people like you that are in the same boat. Here are some of my thoughts to help you make the most of your solo backpacking adventure!
Solo female travel in South America
I followed this group on facebook called South America backpackers and the question I saw the most is: Can Women travel to South America alone? The answer to this question is most definitely YES!
I met a lot of solo female travelers here in South America and they all say it’s safe and a lot of fun.
Of course, you always have to use common sense when you are alone. You should, for example, avoid traveling alone at night in an area you don’t know.
Also if you are booking hostels look at the ones that have positive reviews. A solo traveler should always pay extra caution when Couchsurfing or hitchhiking.
Solo male travel South America
Since I’m a solo male traveler in South America I can more relate to this topic. And it’s actually quite straight forward. Traveling solo as a male here is very easy and in my experience not dangerous at all.
Just like for solo female travelers one should always pay attention to the surroundings. Don’t go to places at night that you don’t know…
Solo travel destinations South America
South America is huge so it can be hard to find the best places for a solo backpacker. Here is a list of my favorite travel destinations in South America:
1. Val Paraiso – Chile
Val Paraiso is a colorful and buzzing city in the middle of Chile. It’s a city located next to the beach and an absolute backpackers paradise. There are a lot of fun hostels to stay and you will definitely have a great time as a solo traveler here!
2. San Pedro de Atacama – Chile
San Pedro de Atacama is a small town located in the desert of northern Chile. This place is great for solo travelers because there are lost of things to do in this area.
3. Cusco – Peru
Cusco is a big city with a lot of things to see. There are beautiful monumental buildings in the center and breathtaking mountains on the edges of the city. It’s a backpackers hotspot and almost everyone who visits Peru will at one point pass by Cusco.
There are a lot of party hostels and bars in Cusco, the best place to meet other solo travelers. If you are backpacking alone I’m sure you will have a great time here!
Meeting new people when you are traveling alone
When you travel to South America by yourself it’s a great time to meet some new people! Be open and you will see you are actually never alone in this amazing continent.
A lot of people start their journey in the south and travel towards the north of South America. If you like to meet a lot of people I suggest going this way. However, if you go in the south direction there are still plenty of people taking this way too.
Everyone in South America speaks Spanish so if you are traveling here it’s good to know a word or two.
Sleeping in hostels
There is a big difference between hostels in South America. Some are really quiet and some are more like bars with sleeping rooms. It’s important that you pick the right one.
Hostels are a great place to meet people and have a chat with other solo backpackers.
Traveling with public transport
Public transport in South America is actually really organized and safe! There is always someone putting your luggage on the bus, giving you a unique ticket for your bag. This way no one can take your bag when the bus arrives at its destination.
The people from south America are really friendly and helpful.
If you want to be extra safe there are a lot of tour companies that offer bus rides too. For example, in Peru, you have a company called Peru hop. Those busses are only for tourists.
Volunteer to meet new people
A great way to meet new people when you are traveling solo is by doing some volunteer work. Here in South America, there are A LOT of places that offer the opportunity to work in exchange for food and accommodation.
Not only is volunteer work a fun way to travel. it’s also great to meet cool new people. When you work in one place you will see that new contacts form in no-time.
Nightlife in South America
There is definitely a very pleasant nightlife scene on this continent. A lot of buzzing places to drink a beer and have a good night out. However, you should be careful when you are alone.
When you want to go to a party try to always find people that are going with you. If not, go to a place where you have been before and know the people in charge. This way you minimize the risk of an unwanted situation.