The 10 must-see destinations in South America
Spanning nearly 18 million square kilometres, travelling South America can be a formidable task. But the Nomadic Boys – Sebastian and Stefan – have you covered.
Let them show you how.
We spent 15 months travelling in South America and absolutely loved it.
Most countries are extremely gay-friendly, especially Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Others like Chile, Peru and Ecuador may not be as outwardly gay-friendly as their neighbours, but we still felt welcomed.
These are our 10 favourite highlights from travelling South Africa as a gay couple:
1. Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Peru)
At 27 miles (44km) long, the trail was initially part of a highly advanced network of around 40,000 trails built by the Incas to connect the distant corners of their kingdom.
It’s a tough four days trek through the Sacred Valley, reaching altitudes of up to 4,215m (13,828 ft).
The real highlight is on the final day when you finally reach Machu Picchu, seeing the town in all its glory.
2. The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Galapagos, a group of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, was always high on our bucket list.
Each island has a unique and dramatic landscape, crying out for a square in your Instagram gallery.
The best way to see the Galapagos islands is with a cruise.
There is a range of cruise operators for all budgets offering tours in the Galapagos, and even a few gay ones.
3. Dancing same-sex tango in Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Argentina/Uruguay)
Tango is the famous Italian-inspired dance from Argentina and Uruguay.
At its inception in the 1880s, the tango was danced between two men.
It was particularly popular amongst the Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and in Montevideo (Uruguay).
The same-sex element was slowly lost over time, but today there are several ‘milongas’ (tango halls) in both cities which offer same-sex tango classes.
Once we mastered the basic steps, dancing the tango as a gay couple was one of our favourite memories. It was so romantic!
4. Trekking in Torres del Paine (Chile)
Patagonia is synonymous with adventure and mountaineering.
If you love trekking, then Torres del Paine in Chile should be high up on your bucket list of places to visit in South America.
Torres del Paine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also voted one of the Eight Wonders of the World by VirtualTourist.com in 2013.
The W Circuit is the trek most do here. It climaxes at the base of the Paine towers and has a volcanic lake in front of it.
5. Party at Theatron in Bogota (Colombia)
Theatron in Bogota, the Colombian capital, is famous for being the largest gay club in South America.
Theatron is split into 13 small clubs, spread across five floors. Each one has its own theme, from a salsa room to a ‘women only’ room.
Theatron was one of our favourite ever club nights. We’d return to Bogota just to party there again.
For more, check out our gay guide to Bogota.
6. Foodie paradise in Peru
A melting pot of cultures from China, Japan, the Afro-Caribbean, Europe, and from all over Latin America, Peru is the culinary capital of South America.
According to the World Travel Awards, Peru was voted the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 2016, and has won the award every year since 2012.
There are many culinary highlights in Peru to try, and some of our favourites include the chaufa, Chinese-inspired cuisine, ceviche, pisco sour cocktails, and grilled alpaca meat and tacu tacu (Creole-inspired rice and beans).
7. The largest gay pride in the world – Sao Paolo (Brazil)
Sao Paolo in Brazil is famous for having the largest gay pride in the world.
In June 2017, it had a record five million people attend.
It’s also famous for being featured in Sense8 as part of Lito’s big coming out moment.
8. Hiking across the Perito Moreno Glacier (Argentina)
Have you ever hiked across a massive glacier before?
We hadn’t until we visited the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate in Argentina.
This is a not-to-miss highlight from South America, which you can tie in with your trip to Patagonia.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is huge: 22 miles (35km) long and with a depth of 590 feet (180m).
We hiked across it as part of a tour, but finishing it with a glass of whiskey, with ice freshly carved out from the giant glacier, topped it all off!
9. Getting up close to the magnificent Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil)
Voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in 2011, the Iguazu Falls is a bucket list destination for all travellers visiting South America.
Standing there admiring it is a truly mesmerising experience.
The best part is the Devil’s Throat platform on the Argentinian side, where you get right up close to the spray of the waterfall.
The Iguazu Falls straddle the Argentinian and Brazilian border. Most travellers head there from Buenos Aires, then go north to Rio.
10. Gorgeous landscapes of San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)
The San Pedro de Atacama desert in northern Chile has some of the most stunning landscapes we’ve ever seen.
Our favourite was the Capur Salt Flats, which has a mix of colours all merging into one perfect landscape painting.
Another beautiful scene worth visiting is the Moon Valley (El Valle de la Luna), which also has the Cordillera de la Sal mountain range.
Walking in the Moon Valley was surreal – it felt like we were exploring the surface of the moon.