If Central Asia was the backpacking Mecca of the 1970s, and south east Asia the best place to travel in the 1990s and onwards, then you also have to consider South America as a true haven for backpackers young and old alike as we move forward into the 2010s. When travelling around this vast continent, you will encounter all kinds of people, most of whom are very friendly towards budget travellers. So let’s take a look at 5 of the friendliest nations on the continent…
5. Paraguay may not be on the radar of many backpackers, but there’s no doubt that the people there are very friendly towards tourists. The streets of Asuncion are littered with locals that are happy to help you find directions and even call a taxi (in my case!). Although I only spent 2 days in Paraguay, it is a country that remains at the forefront of my memory.
4. Peru does not always get a good reputation in Europe, as a lot of crime is reported there, however in my experience the country was a joy to travel around. The country is so diverse, with the Amazon in the north and of course the wonders of Cusco and Machu Picchu in the centre, but wherever you go you cannot help but be charmed by the majority of Peruvians who welcome you to their home.
3. Guyana is certainly not easy to get to, and the average traveller will probably not want to visit here anyway, but if you have spent some time on the South American continent then you will have learned about the reputation of Guyana and its people. You cannot come here and NOT have fun – and the great thing is that most of the locals will help you in your quest to enjoy yourself!
2. Bolivia ranks above Peru for me, as I didn’t have any bad experiences at all when travelling throughout this landlocked state. Bolivians are among the warmest people I have encountered anywhere in the world, especially in the capital La Paz.
1. Brazil, however, has to rank at the top of this list, and I don’t think that will come as a surprise to many people reading this. While there are some dodgy areas of Rio de Janeiro, the majority of the city is full of fun-loving Brazilians who will be delighted to help you have a good time (especially if there’s a carnival in town!). Even further north in places like Manaus and Jericoacoara, I found Brazilian people to be very sociable and a great credit to their country.