You can’t put a price on travel. It’s our greatest natural teaching tool. It opens our eyes to new experiences. It expands our minds and changes our perspective of the world.
It inspires us. And in the process, it makes us citizens of the world. And within the realm of traveling, solo travel takes those experiences and puts them on another level. When we travel alone, we not only have the unique ability to experience the world around us—but we get to use those experiences to grow as individuals, too.
Of course, the hardest part of planning your own adventure is trying to figure out where to travel solo. Take a look at our favorite spots for solo travel in South America below, and make your travel experience one for the books.
Belize has always been known for its stunning landscapes and dream-worthy views—but did you know parts of it are also a hotspot for solo adventure travel? One such spot is Ambergris Caye, the largest of the country’s 200+ cays, which is a tropical paradise bursting at the seams with beautiful beaches, rainforests, barrier reefs and even Mayan ruins just waiting to be explored. As an added benefit, while this shouldn’t be a determining factor in your travel planning, Belize is also an English-speaking country; making it easier for solo travelers who don’t speak Spanish to navigate its deepest corners.
This tiny beach town, which sits on the Pacific northwest coast of Costa Rica, is a prime starting point for all kinds of adventure travel. Most known for having a world-renowned surf break that attracts surfing aficionados from across the globe, Tamarindo is also a top spot for water sports in general: like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, offshore sportfishing and more. Don’t want to stay along the coast? Head inland to explore natural caves, zipline through rainforests, hike nature trails, birdwatch, steep in geothermal hot springs, go ATV and horseback riding, and even try your hand at whitewater rafting. In Tamarindo, there’s a world of adventure for every adrenaline-seeking solo traveler.
Bocas del Toro is actually an entire archipelago, one with both a mainland area and nine main islands. The only way to travel through it is by bicycle or boat traffic, and its landscape of endless waterfront restaurants, bars, hostels, hotels and gorgeous beaches are perfect for visitors looking to mingle with the province’s friendly locals and other travelers alike. Bocas del Toro is the ideal vacation spot for the free-spirited solo traveler, as it has distinctly Caribbean vibes and is pretty affordable, safe and fun.
When deciding where to travel solo, this bustling city is perfect for two reasons: it’s a starting point for exploring exotic Patagonia, and it has an interesting culture that’s distinctly its own. The latter of these two attributes has become obvious more recently, as visitors to Santiago have begun to uncover its community of great cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, museums, parks, and other cultural landmarks, like Cerro San Cristóbal—a hill, in the middle of Santiago, with an iconic statue of the Virgin Mary and one of the best panoramic views of the city. On top of all that, Santiago has a great public transportation system, is easy for first-time visitors to navigate and has accommodation options for every travel budget. Insider tip: Stay in “Barrio Bellavista,” a bohemian neighborhood, where you’ll find laidback locals, a raging nightlife scene and cozy, colorful vistas that pretty much beg to be Instagrammed.