Backpacking in South America

Backpacking in South America is one of the most popular backpacker destinations, after Australia and Southeast Asia.

There are plenty of incredible experiences and countries on offer to any traveller wanting to go there, as well as many different South America backpacking routes.

South America has huge amounts of culture and a well-developed backpacking route, so you're always meeting new people having good times and exploring new countries.

With Xtreme gap year you can go backpacking throughout the continent, or spend some quality time in many of the most exciting destinations to develop a new passion or pick up a new skill like learning Spanish, or becoming a surf god in Ecuador. Contact us and ask us about our South America packages to to get the best advice before you travel.

Learn Spanish in Argentina - From USD 499

Always wanted to learn Spanish? Well, how about learning Spanish in Argentina while meeting like-minded people and having the trip of a lifetime. Culture, history and good times!

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Xtreme South America Experience - From USD 3249

Adventurous group gap travel at its best in South America. Join us on the 4 week Xtreme South America. Featuring two of the most epic backpacking destinations in the South American continent: Ecuador and Peru. Brush up on your Spanish and trek to Machu Picchu before getting involved in the jungle animal sanctuary.

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South America Xplorer - From USD 4209

Adventurous group gap travel at its best in South America. Join us and the rest of the team and travel through South America and eight glorious weeks. Featuring two of the most epic backpacking destinations in the South American continent Ecuador and Peru. Brush up on your Spanish and trek to Machu Picchu before getting involved in the jungle animal sanctuary. All the while you will be immersed in ancient Incan culture. 90% of our travellers travel alone so this is a great way to join a group travel programme in South America.

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Xtreme Marine Conservation & Dive Hero Belize - From USD 1229

Hang loose and protect the world's second-largest barrier reef clearing it of lionfish. Staying on an idyllic tropical island, join the Xtreme marine team to protect Whalesharks, Queen conch, lobster and eradicate invasive species. The perfect Caribbean Marine conservation and diving getaway.

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Maya Adrenaline Overload Mexico - From USD 799

Imagine crystal clear water and perfect white sandy beaches. Now imagine that rushing towards you at 180 mph. How yes it's Xtreme gap Maya Adrenaline Overload! The Mexican Riviera is the base for a proper adrenaline adventure courtesy of Xtreme gap. From skydiving, para motoring, free diving in the cool fresh waters of underground cave systems. Blast through the jungle on an all-terrain vehicle and kick back and relax at the end of your butt twitching day on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

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Rio ConneXion Brazil Arrival Pack - From USD 389

Spend two days in Rio de Janeiro with Xtreme Gap Year and check out what the city has to offer. This marvellous city is one of the best places to visit in South America, and we will show you it in its full glory over a two-day period. A favela tour and Rio de Janeiro city tour is included as well as airport pick up from two nights hostel accommodation. The perfect way to finish all start your South America trip and a great stopover in Rio de Janeiro.

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Spanish And Surfing In Ecuador - From USD 989

Surfing and Spanish is a wicked combination if you are heading out on a South America Gap Year. No boring classrooms, but learning Spanish on the beach. You will be staying in Montanita, a funky beach town and the capital of surfing in Ecuador. You become a great surfer as you will be taught by worlds best competitive surfing champions. No surf experience is needed.

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Lima Surf ConneXion - From USD 235

A fun arrival pack in Peru with a difference, you get to hang out with our English-speaking surfer dude guides and see Perus capital city through the eyes of the local. Normal run-of-the-mill city tours this is not, this is about discovering the exciting underbelly of Lima and definitely not following the usual tourist trail. Choose two out of four day trips, take a surflessons and enjoy a friendly warm welcome with a homestay on your firts two nights, with airport pickup included.

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Learn Spanish in Playa del Carmen - From USD 849

Playa del Carmen in Mexico is an enchanting place and a popular beach town located on the Mayan Riviera, with beautiful white beaches and a thrilling night life. You will learn Spanish every morning at an award winning language school, located 10 minute walk from the beach, in cool open air palapas instead of a boring bright lighted class room. It is an intensive course that will have you ordering tacos and getting into the Mexican swing in days! Besides going to classes you are free to enjoy the laid back beach life or go explore Mayan ruins, go diving, visit one of the beautiful under water caves (cenotes) and enjoy the Mexican hospitality.

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Xtreme Bolivia Experience - From USD 789

Cycle the infamous death road, explore the worlds highest city La Paz and check out the surreal, mirror like salt flats of Salar de Uyuni by jeep. Check out geysers, hot pools and vast desert landscapes. Bolivia is the Xtreme Teams favourite country in South America, you do not want to miss out. The time to visit is now because the vast majority of the world's lithium reserves have been discovered under the lakes. They won't be there for long.

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Ecuador Conservation Experience - From USD 620

Visit cloud forests, coastal mountains, mangroves and beaches. Help protect the Amazon rainforests with reforestation projects and interact with the local Indian communities. It is all about getting back to nature with exposure to a huge range of Flora, reptiles, birds and mammals on four different diverse nature reserves. If you want the ultimate biological conservation project and want to spend your gap year giving plenty back to mother nature then this trip is for you!

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Ecuador Adrenaline Overload - From USD 919

Get ready to hit Ecuador with a vengeance. White water raft along a thundering river in the Andes, explore the Avenue of the Volcanoes on horse back and get a dose of culture in the historic Quito. Action, adventure and an impressive start to any South American trip. Seven days of adrenaline!

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Trek The Inca Trail - From USD 1299

Trek the Inca Trail Trekking the Inca Trail is the ultimate backpacking rite of passage. An unreal journey that takes you 4 days to complete, trekking high up in the Andes in search of the lost city of Machu Picchu. Not for the faint hearted, this trail leads you through steep mountain passes, with dramatic scenery culminating in a magnificent view of the Incan Citadel, through the infamous Sun Gate.

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Galapagos Conservation Project - From USD 769

The ultimate conservation experience in the worlds most diverse and naturally rich islands. The Galapagos. Spend up to a month here volunteering on a research project. This program offers a broad and balanced introduction to the forestry conservation projects currently underway on the Galapagos, and will put volunteers right in the thick of it, with hands-on responsibilities, at a central location on San Cristobal.

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Rio Xtreme Party Week -

Spend 7 days in Rio de Janeiro with on the Rio Party week and check out what the city has to offer. Xtreme Gap Year's exciting party week in Rio de Janeiro Brazil: This marvellous city is one of the best places to visit in South America, and we will show you it in its full glory over an 7-day period

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The Inca Trail is a definite rite of passage for any backpacker, although you do have to book your permits well ahead and set start date it is definitely worthwhile. Don’t be convinced to just take the train to Machu Picchu, give yourself a real adventure with a trek through the high mountain passes lasting several days before arriving at velocity of the Incas. If you want to add the Inca Trail into your itinerary have a look at our free guide to backpacking the Inca Trail.

Everyone speaks Spanish and South America so you had better learn as well, what better way to do this and do this in the cool beachside town of Montanita. Montanita has a very cool backpacking vibe, it’s also a great place to learn to surf. You can spend up to 12 weeks here surfing, studying and partying be warned though its addictive place, so make sure you allow enough time to visit other exciting destinations in South America.
Hands down one of the most popular backpacking routes, this awesome trio of culture, adventure and amazing landscapes will make the travel bug bite hard. Check out the backpacking in South America program or the round the world South America programme for these exciting destinations.

What could be better than hanging out in the Paris of the South, Buenos Aires and learning some Spanish with our award-winning language school. Travelling in South America gives you the perfect opportunity to learn the worlds most widely spoken language (after English). It also helps you get by as you travel, as English is not widely spoken in South America. You don’t need to study for long, a couple of weeks will have you pretty advanced, but obviously the longer you spend their the more you learn. Staying put in one location learning the lingo is a great way to meet people and get a deeper understanding of what it is like to live in another country rather than just travel through it.

Backpacking South America routes.

There are several different backpacking routes favoured by backpackers travelling through South America. The most popular usually involves flying into either Ecuador (Quito), Peru or Buenos Aires.

Our backpacking in South America trip starting Quito taking in the most popular countries in Ecuador Peru and Bolivia in Chile. You can see how much distances covered in the interactive map below, however there are plenty of different routes available to you and these are made easy with our South America travel passes. The perfect route for you really depends on what you want to see, so get in contact with us and we can offer the best suggestions for you. But some of the highlights of South America would include things like the Inca Trail in Peru, the salt lakes in Bolivia, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil (the biggest in the world in terms of water volume), the Nasca lines in Peru, the Amazon rainforest and Lake Titicaca. Then you have some amazing cities that you really can’t miss, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, Cuzco in Peru and Quito in Ecuador.

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