Many people are very wary about visiting South America and the majority of people don’t ever visit. I recently spent some time in Colombia and I totally loved every second of my trip, it was unlike anywhere I had ever visited before.
Some South American countries have reputations throughout the world as being dangerous, poor and countries that no one wants to visit. Although this reputation is somewhat true, it’s the same with any other country- every country has dangerous parts and problems.
The media is a very useful tool but it can also be a very biased tool. For example, when I was in Colombia my dad called me and told me he saw a news story on TV about Colombia and drug gang related violence, he then told me to be careful. To this I replied ‘dad the place that it’s happening in is an 11 hour drive from where I am, the whole country isn’t violent!’. America has some of the most dangerous cities in the world and the media doesn’t say the whole of America is dangerous.
I believe that South America is home to some of the nicest, kindest and happiest people in the world, from what I could see everyone was content with what they had even if it was only very little and people made the most out of the situations in which they found themselves in. Yes the people had aspirations and dreams but they also never complained about what they didn’t already have as South America isn’t a consumer society.
Visiting Colombia has made me want to visit other South American countries. South American countries are very beautiful and are some of the most diverse places in the world as they are surrounded by two oceans and have everything from rainforests and mountains to salt flats and desert plains. Colombia offers everything, I believe in 5-10 years time South America is going to be a major tourist destination, with companies increasing flights and large companies buying new flight routes, the continent will boom. South America offers very cheap services as the currencies have fallen dramatically in the last year meaning the dollar is very strong and everything is cheap.
The safer and more established the countries become the more tourist friendly they become too. Colombia has a large amount of small islands in the Caribbean, which are mostly unhabited, providing ideal tourist destinations.
My advice would be: Don’t listen to the media, listen to the people who have been there, what they thought of it and what they did. I have never heard of anyone who has been to South America talk badly about it! Take a chance and see for yourself!