Blake Walsh

5 New Things Americans Should Know About Traveling To South America In 2024

  • Published 2024/01/08

South America, a continent rich in diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and hospitable locals, continues to captivate American travelers. As we move into 2024, the region offers new and exciting prospects for tourists from the United States. This article serves as your essential guide to the latest developments and must-know information for traveling to South America in 2024.

Expanded Access to Machu Picchu

Expanded Access to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, Cusco,Peru: Overview of the lost inca city Machu Picchu, agriculture terraces and Wayna Picchu, peak in the background,before sunrise

Machu Picchu, a symbol of the Incan civilization’s ingenuity, is set to welcome more visitors in 2024. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, perched atop the Peruvian highlands, offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into pre-Columbian history. For travelers eager to explore this wonder, there’s good news regarding accessibility.

The Peruvian Ministry of Culture has announced an increase in the daily visitor limit for Machu Picchu. Starting January 1, up to 4,500 guests can be accommodated daily, with the number rising to 5,600 on peak days. This expansion means more travelers will have the opportunity to experience the iconic site without the stress of securing a spot on a tour or planning months in advance.

Machu Picchu’s expanded access is a significant development for tourism in South America, promising a more inclusive experience for global explorers in 2024.

Visa Requirements for Brazil Reintroduced

Visa Requirements for Brazil Reintroduced

In a significant policy shift for 2024, Brazil reinstates visa requirements for American travelers. This change reflects a reciprocal response to U.S. visa policies for Brazilian citizens. Understanding these new regulations is crucial for U.S. tourists planning to visit Brazil’s vibrant cities and lush landscapes.

The process, while digital, echoes traditional visa applications in its complexity. Applicants must submit a comprehensive set of documents, including a completed form, passport details, a digital photo, and proof of financial means. The cost of the application is $80.90, handled through VFS Global’s platform.

This policy marks a departure from previous years’ more relaxed entry rules. However, the silver lining is the long validity of these visas. Once obtained, Americans can use their Brazilian visa for multiple entries over a decade, providing ample opportunity to explore the vast and diverse country.

Buenos Aires: An Affordable and Safe Destination

Buenos Aires An Affordable and Safe Destination
Warm summer panorama views over the magical city of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, the enchanting capital of Argentina, is more than just a city; it’s a celebration of culture and history. In 2024, Buenos Aires stands out as both an economical and secure destination for American travelers. The city’s European-esque architecture, sprawling parks, and a culinary scene that rivals the world’s best make it a must-visit.

The city’s allure is enhanced by its affordability. Thanks to the ‘tourist dollar’ scheme, your U.S. dollars stretch further here, offering exceptional value. This financial incentive, coupled with Argentina’s already reasonable living costs, means that a trip to Buenos Aires can be surprisingly budget-friendly.

Safety in Buenos Aires is another compelling factor. The city’s streets, known for their vibrant tango performances and delectable empanadas, are also recognized for their security. Buenos Aires enjoys a Level 1 safety status from the U.S. State Department, putting it on par with some of the world’s safest destinations.

Eco-Tourism Initiatives Across South America

Eco Tourism Initiatives
A wooden path in a jungle lodge surrounded by the green lush vegetation of the amazon rainforest in brazil, south america

In 2024, South America is not just a destination but a pioneer in eco-tourism. Countries across the continent are launching initiatives that promote sustainable travel, ensuring the preservation of their natural wonders and cultural heritage. These efforts provide travelers with a unique opportunity to experience the continent in an environmentally responsible way.

From the Amazon rainforest in Brazil to the Patagonian wilderness in Argentina, these eco-tourism projects offer immersive experiences that are both enlightening and respectful of the local ecology. Travelers can engage in activities like wildlife watching, guided nature walks, and community-based tourism, all designed to minimize environmental impact.

These initiatives reflect a growing trend in global travel, where sustainability and conservation are paramount. As South America leads the way, travelers in 2024 can look forward to journeys that not only inspire but also contribute positively to the planet.

Increased Safety Concerns in Colombia

Increased Safety Concerns in Colombia
Panoramic view to Medellin, Laureles and El Poblado districts, Colombia, sunny day with clear blue sky,

2024 brings a contrasting picture for Colombia, a country with a rich history and diverse landscapes. Despite significant efforts to improve safety, recent developments have raised concerns for American travelers. The U.S. State Department’s issuance of a Level 3 warning for Colombia underscores the need for heightened caution.

Colombia’s journey towards safety has been notable, but the resurgence of crime, particularly in cities like Medellin, is a cause for concern. Tourists, especially those from the U.S., are advised to be vigilant due to increased targeting by criminals.

For those traveling to Colombia in 2024, it is crucial to maintain high situational awareness. Avoiding solitary walks at night and keeping valuables secured are essential practices. Being informed and prepared can significantly reduce the risks associated with travel in Colombia.

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