Get to know South America
I might not have traveled everywhere in the world, yet, but I can confirm that I fairly know South America and its people’s custom and habits.
Having traveled through South America in the past 10 months, I have seen amazing places: from evergreen landscapes to idyllic beaches, from the fearless of the Ocean to the most intricate paths of the Amazon.
Furthermore, I have got the chance to meet people from whom I have learned a lot and I will always be grateful for. Learning how to cook Colombian
Once you mingle with local people you can really confirm that you live the real life: you stopped to be a tourist and even a traveler. You become part of the community.
Thanks to all this, I have collected some facts about South American countries I would like to talk about, and some of them might be considered quite quirky.
DO NOT RUSH WHEN YOU VISIT SOUTH AMERICA
Even if the house of only 12 countries, we are talking about one of the biggest extension lands worldwide. So if you are thinking to visit South America on a long-term trip, try to take it easy and pay each country right time.
True, not all of us have a sabbatical year for traveling nor the possibility to work remotely and remain longer in each country, but we can still find the way not to rush.
Perhaps you could pick only 1 country in your holiday, even if it looks small, like Ecuador. You will be surprised at how much this little country can offer you. Otherwise, you can pick only one region if you choose a bigger country like Brazil. Did you know that majority of South America countries are the most bio-diverse in the world?
LESS RESTAURANT MORE STREET FOOD
Not really a stone-rule but in many of South America countries, you would better enjoy street or market food rather than take a seat in a restaurant. Nevertheless, food is cheaper (which means you will be easily surrounded by local people), but food taste great!
Don’t be afraid to venture into the food market and street market, and taste the strangest things that come in front of your eyes. My favorite things to taste is always fruit: I have tasted the most different and strange-shaped fruit like Pitaya roja in Brazil, and become addicted for.
I still can remember the sweet flavor of Acai, a sort of Brazilian sorbet topped with Granola or Tapioca, typical of Amazon.
Best food market visited tough is Mercado 16 de Julio in La Paz, Bolivia. Whatever you need you’ll find it here: with a big variety of local food such pastry and main dishes like Pique Macho!
AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE DANCE IN THE STREET
In some countries like Colombia and some Brazilian regions, is very common to bump into people happily dancing in the street. Whether is Salsa or Cumbia or Samba or Capoeira, people of every age will keep entertained dancing everywhere, not just at dance halls.
Don’t be too shy: get some moves yourself and follow the beats. You will have plenty of fun and you might end up taking classes once yo go back home
SNACK AND HOT DISHES SOLD ON BOARD OF BUS
Yes, you’ve heard it right! Both on the city and regional bus, you will never starve, as plenty of people will get on board selling food. From quick snacks like crisp or chocolate or local dry fruit to proper hot dishes like vegetable or chicken soup and meaty traditional dishes.
Don’t worry you can always wash them down with juices and soft drink.. you have it all!
Keep always some change into your pocket, as sometimes you’ll bump in food that you will never find in your life a 2nd time.
BECOME A PROFESSIONAL NEGOTIATOR
Whether are you buying something in the street or in a market or sometimes even some shops, be ready to negotiate on the final price! This must be applied to taxi driver as well!
Is not that they want to cheat on you: is about culture. Latinos pretty much expect us to ask for a bargain and because of this, they will be happy to give us a discount.
Said this tough, be considered and try to consider case by case: sometimes you will avoid negotiating much on the price because of the very little price itself. Also, some of this people have nothing to bring home than these few dollars gained daily selling goods, so you might want to skip the negotiation in this cases and be more sensitive.
DO NOT THROW TOILET PAPER INTO THE TOILET
If you are a European or an American reader, what I am going to write will sound weird and funny, but it is actually true. For a majority of South American countries, it would not be recommended to throw toilet paper into the toilet.
It is not difficult to guess that in some countries pipeline is not working 100% efficiently, so in order to avoid toilet-clogged, it is highly suggested to throw the paper into the bin.
Quite common use for local people, you will find an alert in each hostel’s toilet as a reminder, but you might not know if you are visiting people right?
Well, from now on, you have no excuse! Whether you are doing the number 1 or number 1: paper goes into the bin!
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