Brazil Beach

South America is a traveler’s paradise. There are beautiful cultures, sunny beautiful beaches, fantastic food, friendly people, and vibrant cities to explore. But, South America is so large, it can be challenging to figure out where you should go first. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the six best sunny destinations to visit in South America. 

1. San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina is one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations. Commonly shortened to “Bariloche,” this city is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains and is known for its large glacial lake. It’s also known as Argentina’s Capital of Chocolate!

In the summer, most travelers come here to spend time on the lake going sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing, paragliding, scuba diving, and more. When you’re not on the water, you can go hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, mountain biking, and more. In the evenings, explore the town’s amazing restaurants and bustling nightlife scene. Come here for a beautiful lake getaway full of adventure. 

Bariloche isn’t sunny all year long – it does have a relatively cold winter season. The best time to visit for a sunny adventure is between late December to late February, when temperatures hold at an average of 72 F. 

San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, South America

2. Banos, Ecuador

Consider visiting Banos, the medium-sized city in the Province of Ecuador. This city has the nickname of being “the gateway to the Amazon,” as it’s the last city located in the mountain region before officially entering the jungles of the Amazon. 

Banos is set on the edge of an active volcano and is a popular destination with adventure-seeking travelers. We strongly recommend checking out Ruta de las Cascadas which has seven beautiful waterfalls along the route. You can also go ziplining through the jungle or white water rafting on the Rio Pastaza river. 

Outside of the adventure activities, there’s also fantastic shopping, delicious local food (Ecuadorian hot chocolate!), the zoo, and the La Aldea Magica amusement park. 

The best time to visit Banos is between January to April or September to December when temperatures range between 68 °F and 77 °F. If you can come during these months, you’ll enjoy the warm, sunny climate South America is so well-known for. 

Banos, Ecuador has stunning waterfalls

3. Cartagena, Colombia

If you hear of a sunny destination in South America and automatically think of a beach vacation, Cartagena in Columbia is the spot for you. This port city is known for its tropical climate, palm trees, and white-sand beaches. 

Cartagena has more than five island complexes with more than 20 beaches to visit. Most agree that the best beaches are on the islands of Rosario, Baru, and San Bernardo. You can spend your entire vacation lying on the beach, tanning, and enjoying a cocktail. Or, you can get out on the water for some sailing or water activities. 

At some point, you’ll want to get away from the beach and explore Cartagena’s “Old Town” district, which was originally built in the 16th century. Old Town is full of cobblestone roads, century-old buildings, and historic churches. You’ll love walking through here, occasionally stopping at places to get a bite to eat or purchase a souvenir to take home. 

The weather in Cartagena ranges from 75 °F to 88 °F and the best time of year to visit for hot-weather activities is from late December to mid-March.

Old Town in Cartagena, Columbia

4. Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela 

Another perfect sunny beach destination in South America is the Los Roques archipelago in Venezuela. This archipelago includes more than 300 islands and cays and surrounds a 400-square kilometer lagoon. 

Come to Los Roques for a fantastic beach getaway. One popular activity here is to snorkel or scuba dive to take in the views of the incredible Caribbean coral reefs. You can also lay by the beach and spend your time windsurfing, sailing, and fishing. 

Los Roques is a tropical destination, so you can expect warm weather all year long. If you’re looking for the higher temperature months, go from July to October when the average temperature reaches 88 to 90 °F. 

Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela, South America

5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil is beautiful all year round, and Rio de Janeiro is easily one of South America’s jewel destinations. Can’t decide between a fun beach vacation or a thriving city to tour? Rio de Janeiro gives you both. Spend half of your time relaxing by the beach, surfing the waves, and parasailing. When you’ve had enough of the beach, venture out into the city to go hiking on Sugaloaf Mountain, book some adventures (4×4 tours or zip-lining) in the rainforest, and spend your evenings in the rowdy Brazilian nightlife scene. 

The average daily temperature in Rio de Janeiro year-round is 86°F. You don’t have to avoid a “cold season” so much as you want to avoid the months where the heat is muggy and unbearable. The best time to visit is between mid-May to late September. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

6. Ushuaia, Argentina

Argentina is such a fun destination in South America that two of its cities make our list. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world known for everything luxury. The city is full of fine dining restaurants, luxury hotels, and amazing casinos. This sunny destination will give you everything you could want – luxury and fun activities. 

Visit Ushuaia Golf Club to play a round here and say they’ve played golf “at the end of the world.” We also highly recommend booking a sailing Beagle Channel where you can see sea lions, dolphins, whales, and wild birds from the boat. Don’t miss out on visiting the island known as Isla Martillo, where large populations of penguins roam around. 

Visit between March and May when average high temperatures range from 57.9°F and 41.4°F.

Ushuaia, Argentina

So, which sunny South America destination has caught your eye?