Travelling through South America: Lima, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires

South America is home to lands of fierce mountainous beauty, traces of ancient civilisations, superb tropical coastlines, alluring food and music, and pulsating festivals – in short everything your need for the ultimate travel experience.


Peru’s sprawling capital sits in the center of the country’s desert coastline. It’s a grimy, polluted place but one of charm and friendliness with a wealth of compelling architecture and great museums.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Lima’s Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Ch├ívez services most international and domestic flights. The airport is best served by taxi as buses tend to be crowded.

Buses connect Lima with Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador as well as all over Peru. They are slow and can be uncomfortable.

Ocean liners berth at Lima’s port of Callao.

Lima is a sprawling congested city and public transport is disorganised. Taxis are plentiful but unregulated. Fares must be negotiated which is difficult if you don’t speak Spanish and taxis can be dangerous.

Micro and combi buses are cheap and the destinations are placed in the windshield. This makes things difficult if you’re not familiar with the city.

Lima is not pedestrian-friendly owing to congestion and pollution. Walking is only advised within neighbourhoods. Between neighborhoods a taxi is necessary.


Hot and humid all year round with little rainfall.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Lima hotels

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

*Semana de Lima between 12-19 January celebrates the founding of Lima in 1535.
*Carnaval is celebrated on the last few days before Lent with music, dancing and water fights.
*Semana Santa in March-April is marked by processions throughout the city.
*Independence is celebrated on 28-29 July. Large rock concerts are popular around this time.
* Festival of Santa Rosa de Lima is on 30 August at the Santa Rosa Monastery.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio sits between imposing mountains and the glorious beaches washed by the warm waters of the Atlantic and is a true hedonistic heaven. The rhythm of the samba is rarely absent from this city in which every day is a celebration.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Flights connect Rio with all of Brazil and Latin America, as well as many other major cities. Buses depart for most destinations from Novo Rio Rodoviaria.

City buses are often crowded and struggle through Rio’s traffic. Rio has an excellent, air-conditioned subway system but it only covers points north of Botafogo.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

*Carnaval is the five-day internationally-famous extravaganza beginning at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. Dancing, parades, head-dresses and flaunted bodies make up this unforgettable spectacle.
*The Fiestas Junina’s is celebrated in public squares throughout June.
*August 15 sees music, colorful stalls and a parade celebrating the Festa de NS da Gloria do Outeiro.
*Festa da Penha is one of the largest religious festivals in the city. It’s held every Sunday in October.

Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires is unique among South American cities in that it radiates the ambiance of the Europe of a more gentile age. But don’t be fooled. You’ll quickly find it also has a trendy chic side and a population that makes flair into an art form.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Buenos Aires is a major transport hub for the southern part of South America and has two airports. Regular ferry and hydrofoil services connect Buenos Aires with Uruguay.

Getting around Buenos Aires is easy. The city boasts an efficient underground known as the Subte and a round-the-clock bus system. Plus the major tourist attractions are near each other so it’s well worth exploring on foot.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Buenos Aires.

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

* Buenos Aires Tango is a tango festival that takes place between late February and early March all over the city.
* The Feria del Libro annual book fair celebrates Latin American literature in April at the Centro Municipal de Exposicions.
* Mid-May sees the art fair, Arte BA.
*More tango related activities on June 24 when aficionados remember Carlos Gard el, the man who made the tango famous.
*December features the Campeonato Abierto Argentino de Polo.