7 Best Places to Travel in South America in December

Best Places to Travel in South America in December

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The best places to travel in South America in December are Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Machu Picchu. Escape the winter chill and head to South America in December to explore vibrant cities, soak up the sun on stunning beaches, and discover ancient wonders.

Rio de Janeiro, with its iconic beaches and festive atmosphere, is the perfect destination to celebrate the holiday season. Buenos Aires offers a unique blend of European architecture, tango dancing, and delicious cuisine. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru is a must.

Whether you’re looking for cultural experiences, natural beauty, or adventure, South America has it all in December. Don’t miss the chance to create unforgettable memories in these incredible destinations.

Best Places to Travel in South America in December

1. Exploring The Vibrant Landscapes Of Patagonia

December is a wonderful time to experience the breathtaking beauty of Patagonia, a region renowned for its stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Located in the southernmost part of South America, this vast area encompasses both Chile and Argentina, offering a wealth of natural wonders to explore. From towering mountains and icy glaciers to shimmering lakes and vast grasslands, Patagonia is truly a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the splendor of this region is by embarking on a trekking adventure through the famous Torres del Paine National Park and witnessing the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier.

Trekking Through Torres Del Paine National Park

For hiking enthusiasts, Torres del Paine National Park is an absolute dream come true. With its dramatic mountain peaks, shimmering lakes, and enchanting valleys, this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve offers a multitude of trekking routes that cater to various skill levels and time constraints. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner looking for a memorable experience, there’s something for everyone in this renowned national park.

One of the most iconic treks in Torres del Paine is the famous W Circuit, named after the shape of the route. This 50-mile trail takes you through a mesmerizing array of landscapes, including the majestic granite peaks of the Torres del Paine mountains, sparkling turquoise lakes, and peaceful beech forests. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to capture incredible photographs, encounter diverse wildlife such as guanacos and condors, and experience the raw beauty of nature.

For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the O Circuit offers an extended journey around the entire national park, lasting around 8-10 days. This trek takes you deeper into the wilderness, where you’ll witness untouched vistas, hidden valleys, and remote glaciers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in Patagonia’s natural wonders.

Witnessing The Breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier

No trip to Patagonia would be complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier. Located in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, this massive glacier is a true marvel of nature. With its towering ice walls and vivid blue hues, it’s a sight that will leave you speechless.

One of the best ways to appreciate the grandeur of the Perito Moreno Glacier is by taking a boat tour that allows you to get up close and personal with this natural wonder. As you navigate through the icy waters of Lake Argentino, you’ll be able to witness enormous chunks of ice calving off the glacier and crashing into the lake with a thunderous roar. It’s a truly mesmerizing spectacle that will make you appreciate the raw power of nature.

For the more adventurous travelers, a guided ice trek on the glacier itself is an unforgettable experience. Equipped with crampons and led by experienced guides, you’ll explore the glacier’s crevasses, hike through its icy terrain, and even have the chance to step foot on its icy surface. It’s an adventure like no other, allowing you to truly connect with the magnificence of this natural wonder.

December offers favorable weather conditions for visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, with temperatures averaging around 50-60°F (10-15°C). The longer daylight hours provide ample time to explore this icy wonderland and capture stunning photographs.

The Benefits of Exploring Patagonia in December:
1. Favorable weather conditions for trekking and outdoor activities
2. Longer daylight hours for extended exploration
3. Lower tourist crowds compared to peak season months
4. Opportunities to witness wildlife in their natural habitat
5. Chance to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Perito Moreno Glacier

Overall, December is an ideal time to visit Patagonia and immerse yourself in its vibrant landscapes. From trekking through the majestic Torres del Paine National Park to witnessing the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier, this region offers a wealth of natural wonders waiting to be discovered.

2. Immerse In The Rich History Of Machu Picchu

Hiking The Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by hiking the renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This ancient trail, with its breathtaking scenery and fascinating history, has become a must-do for avid adventurers and history enthusiasts alike.

The Inca Trail is a 26-mile long trek that takes you through varying landscapes, from lush forests to rugged mountain passes, ultimately leading you to the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. As you hike along this ancient path, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the Andes Mountains, breathing in crisp mountain air, and absorbing the tranquility of the untouched nature around you.

But it’s not just the natural beauty that makes this hike so appealing. Along the Inca Trail, you’ll have the opportunity to discover hidden archaeological sites, witness stunning panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Inca civilization. As you navigate the stone pathways and staircases, each step will unveil a piece of the past, allowing you to experience the journey of the Incas firsthand.

Uncover the mysteriesExplore ancient ruinsExperience breathtaking scenery
Discover the secrets of the Inca civilization as you explore the ruins along the trail.Step foot into the ancient city of Machu Picchu and witness its impressive architectural marvels.Marvel at the stunning landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to lush valleys.
Learn about the Inca traditions and rituals that took place in these sacred sites.Visit the Sacred Valley and appreciate the intricate stone masonry of ancient Inca buildings.Be captivated by the diverse flora and fauna that thrives in this unique ecosystem.

Embarking on the Inca Trail requires a certain level of physical fitness, as it involves several steep ascents and descents. However, the rewards are well worth the effort. As you reach the Sun Gate and catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, a sense of achievement and wonder will wash over you. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever.

Uncovering The Mysteries Of The Ancient Ruins

Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Exploring this ancient citadel is like stepping back in time, as you uncover the mysteries and marvels left behind by the Inca civilization.

The ruins of Machu Picchu were built in the 15th century and abandoned just over a century later, making it a truly remarkable archaeological site that remained hidden from the world until its rediscovery in 1911. The purpose and significance of this ancient city are still shrouded in speculation, adding an air of mystique to the experience.

As you wander through the stone terraces, temples, and residential areas of Machu Picchu, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. The precision and skill with which the stones were carved and fitted together is a testament to the advanced engineering capabilities of the Inca civilization.

While some theories suggest that Machu Picchu served as a royal estate or a ceremonial center, the truth behind its purpose remains elusive. This ambiguity only adds to the allure of this sacred site, leaving visitors to ponder the secrets that still linger within its walls.

One of the most iconic features of Machu Picchu is its commanding location on a mountain ridge, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Standing at the Intihuatana stone, believed to be an astronomical observatory, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the Andean landscape that stretches out before you in all its grandeur.

Exploring Machu Picchu in December provides a unique experience, as this time of the year coincides with the beginning of the rainy season in Peru. While the weather may be unpredictable, the lush greenery and fewer crowds add to the enchantment of your visit. So, pack your rain gear and embark on this incredible journey to immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating ambiance of Machu Picchu.

3. Enjoying The Festive Spirit In Rio De Janeiro

Experiencing The Vibrant Carnival Atmosphere

In December, Rio de Janeiro comes alive with a vibrant and exciting atmosphere as the city gears up for the famous Carnival. Known as the world’s biggest party, Rio’s Carnival is a spectacle of colorful costumes, energetic samba dancing, and pulsating music that fills the streets. Immerse yourself in the infectious energy as you join the locals in celebrations, parades, and street parties. From the moment you step foot in Rio, you’ll be captivated by the joyful spirit that permeates every corner of the city during this festive season.

Relaxing On The Stunning Beaches Of Copacabana And Ipanema

When you need a break from the lively Carnival atmosphere, head to the breathtaking beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. These world-renowned stretches of golden sand and azure waters provide the perfect spots to unwind, soak up the sun, and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze. Whether you prefer lounging under an umbrella, indulging in water sports, or taking leisurely strolls along the shoreline, Copacabana and Ipanema offer something for everyone. Plus, the vibrant beachfront scene provides a great opportunity to mingle with locals and fellow travelers, creating unforgettable memories as you relax in paradise.

With Copacabana Beach stretching for 2.5 miles and Ipanema Beach known for its picturesque sunsets, you’ll have plenty of space to find your own slice of paradise. Take a dip in the cool waters, build sandcastles with your loved ones, or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings. As you sip on a refreshing caipirinha, the iconic Brazilian cocktail, you’ll understand why these beaches have become symbols of relaxation and enjoyment.

4. Discovering The Diverse Wildlife Of The Galapagos Islands

When it comes to incredible wildlife experiences, the Galapagos Islands are in a league of their own. Located off the coast of Ecuador, these volcanic islands are a haven for unique and diverse species found nowhere else on earth. Each year, in the month of December, travelers flock to the Galapagos Islands for an unforgettable wildlife adventure. Here are some of the highlights you can expect during your visit.

Snorkeling With Sea Turtles And Marine Iguanas

Imagine diving into the crystal-clear waters of the Galapagos Islands and finding yourself surrounded by graceful sea turtles and curious marine iguanas. The Galapagos Islands offer some of the best snorkeling spots in South America, and December is the perfect time to explore the underwater world. Snorkel alongside these gentle giants and get up close and personal with the marine iguanas as they swim effortlessly through the turquoise waters. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of the incredible biodiversity of the Galapagos.

Spotting Unique Species Such As The Galapagos Penguin And Blue-footed Booby

The Galapagos Islands are home to some truly remarkable and exclusive species. In December, you’ll have the chance to spot the adorable Galapagos penguin, one of the smallest penguin species in the world. These pint-sized birds can be found waddling along the volcanic shores, providing a truly unique sight. Another iconic resident of the Galapagos is the blue-footed booby, known for its vibrant blue feet and elaborate courtship dance.

During your visit to the Galapagos Islands in December, keep an eye out for other fascinating creatures such as the giant tortoise, marine mammals like sea lions and dolphins, and a variety of colorful birds. The islands are a nature lover’s paradise and offer endless opportunities to witness wildlife up close and personal.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience, put the Galapagos Islands at the top of your travel list. With pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an abundance of unique species, it’s a destination like no other. Don’t miss out on the chance to snorkel with sea turtles and marine iguanas, and to spot magnificent creatures like the Galapagos penguin and blue-footed booby. Book your trip to the Galapagos Islands in December and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

5. Indulging In The Flavors Of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a food lover’s paradise. From the succulent Argentinean steaks to the mouthwatering empanadas, the city offers a gastronomic experience like no other. When you visit Buenos Aires in December, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to indulge in these delectable flavors and explore the vibrant neighborhoods where these culinary delights flourish.

Trying Delicious Argentinean Steaks And Empanadas

One cannot visit Buenos Aires without savoring the famous Argentinean steaks. Known for their tenderness and incredible flavor, these steaks are a meat lover’s dream come true. Paired with a glass of fine Malbec wine, it’s an experience that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

In addition to the steaks, another must-try dish in Buenos Aires is the traditional empanadas. These savory pastries filled with various ingredients such as beef, chicken, cheese, and vegetables offer a burst of flavors in every bite. Whether you enjoy them as a quick snack or a full meal, empanadas are a staple of Argentinean cuisine.

Exploring The Vibrant Neighborhoods Of San Telmo And Palermo

When you’re in Buenos Aires, take the time to immerse yourself in the vibrant neighborhoods of San Telmo and Palermo. These districts are known for their lively atmosphere, artistic flair, and an abundance of delicious food options.

In San Telmo, wander through the cobbled streets lined with charming cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss the famous San Telmo Market, where you can taste local delicacies and explore colorful stalls selling handmade crafts and antiques.

Palermo, on the other hand, offers a trendier and more modern experience. This neighborhood is home to a wide array of restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it a hot spot for food and nightlife. Take a stroll through Palermo Soho, known for its bohemian vibes and trendy bistros, or visit Palermo Hollywood, famous for its diverse culinary scene.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking to explore new flavors, Buenos Aires is a destination that will delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Indulge in the incredible Argentinean steaks, treat yourself to mouthwatering empanadas, and discover the vibrant neighborhoods that add to the culinary charm of this amazing city.

6. Unwinding In The Tropical Paradise Of Costa Rica

When it comes to unwinding in a tropical paradise, Costa Rica is undoubtedly a top contender. This Central American gem offers a diverse array of natural wonders and thrilling adventures, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable December getaway. Whether you’re interested in exploring lush rainforests and encountering exotic wildlife or simply relaxing on pristine beaches and enjoying water activities, Costa Rica has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Discovering Lush Rainforests And Exotic Wildlife

Costa Rica is synonymous with rich biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes. Its rainforests are a true haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure-seekers alike. Imagine waking up to the symphony of howler monkeys and rare bird species while immersing yourself in the lush greenery of the Amazon and cloud forests.

Embark on guided hikes through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve or the Manuel Antonio National Park to witness firsthand the incredible array of wildlife that calls this place home.

From vibrant poison dart frogs and playful sloths to resplendent quetzals and elusive jaguars, Costa Rica’s rainforests are teeming with life. Explore hidden trails, cross suspension bridges, and keep your eyes peeled for remarkable encounters with nature that will leave you in awe.

Relaxing On Pristine Beaches And Enjoying Water Activities

Costa Rica boasts a breathtaking coastline that stretches for miles, showcasing pristine beaches surrounded by turquoise waters and lush palm trees. If you’re in search of relaxation, sun-kissed beaches such as Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, and Santa Teresa are the perfect spots to unwind and soak up the sun.

Savor the tranquility as you lounge on soft, white sands and take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific or Caribbean coasts.

If you’re up for some adventure, Costa Rica offers an abundance of water activities to keep your adrenaline pumping. Dive into the world-renowned surf breaks of Playa Grande or Jaco, where seasoned surfers and beginners alike can ride the waves.

For a mesmerizing underwater experience, head to destinations like the Manuel Antonio Marine Park and engage in snorkeling or scuba diving, where vibrant coral reefs and exotic marine life await.


In conclusion, Costa Rica is an unrivaled destination for those looking to unwind in a tropical paradise. Immerse yourself in the country’s lush rainforests and encounter its exotic wildlife, or relax on pristine beaches and partake in thrilling water activities. A December trip to Costa Rica will surely leave you with unforgettable memories and a renewed sense of tranquility.

7. Experiencing The Cultural Heritage Of Cusco

7. Visiting The Historic Sites Of The Sacred Valley

Cusco, a city bursting with rich cultural heritage nestled in the heart of South America, offers visitors a chance to dive into the fascinating historical sites of the Sacred Valley. As you explore this ancient city, make sure to prioritize a visit to the captivating historic sites that dot the region. Start your journey at the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Inca civilization. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an architectural marvel that will leave you in awe. The intricate stone temples, terraces, and panoramic views transport you back in time, offering a glimpse into the ancient world.

Don’t forget to bring your camera, as every angle of Machu Picchu is picture-perfect. From there, make your way to Ollantaytambo, a living testament to the Inca civilization’s mastery of stone. Its massive stone terraces showcase the incredible precision and skill of the ancient builders. As you walk through the narrow streets, you’ll feel the whispers of history echoing through every corner.

Exploring The Colorful Markets And Traditional Crafts

No trip to Cusco would be complete without immersing yourself in the vibrant markets and experiencing the creativity of local artisans. The city’s colorful markets, such as the Pisac Market and San Pedro Market, are a feast for the senses. Here, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of colors, exotic fruits, and traditional textiles that capture the essence of Peruvian culture. 

Take your time as you explore the market stalls, admiring the intricate handwoven textiles made by skilled artisans using age-old techniques.

From vibrant alpaca wool sweaters to intricately embroidered pillows, these unique crafts make for perfect souvenirs. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit – it’s all part of the fun! For an even deeper dive into the world of traditional crafts, consider visiting the Chinchero village. This charming town is known for its ancient weaving traditions and offers visitors the opportunity to learn from local weavers.

From dyeing the wool with natural materials to using traditional backstrap looms, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry and cultural significance of these crafts. So, if you’re looking to travel to South America in December, be sure to add Cusco to your itinerary.

By immersing yourself in the cultural heritage of this enchanting city, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. From walking in the footsteps of the Incas at Machu Picchu to getting lost in the bustling markets, a visit to Cusco promises an authentic and enriching experience.

8. Marveling At The Majestic Iguazu Falls

In South America, few natural wonders can match the breathtaking beauty of the Iguazu Falls. Located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, these magnificent waterfalls are a sight to behold. If you’re planning to travel to South America in December, make sure to include a visit to the Iguazu Falls on your itinerary. From exploring the impressive network of waterfalls to taking a thrilling boat ride, there are plenty of unforgettable experiences awaiting you.

Exploring The Impressive Network Of Waterfalls

When it comes to waterfalls, the Iguazu Falls are more than just a singular cascading drop. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts an extensive network of 275 individual falls, spanning nearly 2 miles in width. As you stroll along the scenic walkways, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the sheer power and beauty of these cascades. Marvel at the massive volume of water rushing down the cliffs and feel the mist on your face, creating a refreshing and immersive experience.

Taking A Thrilling Boat Ride To Feel The Mist On Your Face

To truly appreciate the grandeur of the Iguazu Falls, you must get up close and personal. A thrilling boat ride is the perfect way to do just that. Hop aboard the specially designed boats that will take you on a heart-pounding adventure, navigating the rapids and bringing you face to face with the thundering falls. Feel the sheer force of nature as the mist splashes against your skin, leaving you exhilarated and awestruck. It’s an experience that will leave a lasting impression and create memories to cherish forever.

Whether you choose to explore the network of waterfalls on foot or embark on a thrilling boat ride, visiting the Iguazu Falls is an unforgettable experience. The sheer power and beauty of these cascades are sure to leave you in awe. So if you’re planning a trip to South America in December, make sure to include the majestic Iguazu Falls on your travel itinerary.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Best Places To Travel In South America In December

Is December A Good Time To Visit South America?

Yes, December is a good time to visit South America. The weather is warm and it’s the beginning of summer. You can explore popular destinations and enjoy outdoor activities. Some countries have festivals and celebrations during this time, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

Where Is It Warm In South America In December?

In December, South America offers warm weather in destinations like Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.

How Is The Weather In South America In December?

The weather in South America in December varies across the continent. Generally, it’s summer in the southern regions like Brazil and Argentina, with warm temperatures and occasional rain. In central areas like Peru and Bolivia, it’s dry and warm. In the northern regions like Colombia and Venezuela, it’s generally warm and rainy.

Which Is The Best Country To Visit In December?

December is a great time to visit Thailand! From stunning beaches to vibrant city life, the country offers a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. Embrace the warm weather, indulge in delicious cuisine, and explore the rich cultural heritage of this Southeast Asian gem.


In a nutshell, South America offers a plethora of enchanting destinations to explore in December. Whether you seek adventure or relaxation, this diverse continent has it all. From the vibrant cities and ancient ruins of Peru to the stunning landscapes of Patagonia in Argentina, there is something for everyone.

Don’t miss the breathtaking beauty of the Amazon rainforest or the opportunity to witness the majestic Iguazu Falls. So start planning your South American getaway now and create unforgettable memories in this captivating part of the world.

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