Thanks to dropping airfares, improved infrastructure and some imaginative marketing, South America has become one of the most fashionable places for the 21st century traveller to visit.
So which South American nations are winning the battle to become the continent’s most popular tourist destination?
The beautiful nation of Brazil has maintained its incredible popularity with 6.6 million tourists visiting the nation in 2016. Much of this can be attributed to the success of the Olympic Games, as well as the fun-loving reputation of the country that’s best witnessed at the Rio Carnival.
It’s been a touch challenge for Brazil to maintain these impressive figures in light of ongoing political instability and the Zika virus. Plus popular activities like gambling are still illegal in Brazil, and so fans of the likes of LadyLucks might need to look elsewhere if they are seeking for a real-life equivalent for the jackpots that can be found at the gaming site.
Close behind is Argentina who enjoyed 5.9 million foreign visitors coming to the country in 2015. With a wide range of climates that range from polar expanses in the south, to tropical areas in the north, the country has become a real hotspot for more adventurous travellers.
But with cities like Buenos Aires becoming one of the hippest places on Earth, it seems that Argentina is also starting to attract a broader range of tourists.
Tourism figures for Chile showed a massive 26% growth in 2016, and many of these visitors were from as far afield as Australia and China, plus the arrival of the first direct flights from the UK to Santiago encouraged plenty of British visitors.
Whilst its relative isolation has been a problem for Chile in the past, it could now prove to be a real advantage. This is because the 5.6 million visitors were keen to explore the stunning wildernesses of the Andes mountains as well as the otherworldly landscapes of Patagonia and the chic colourful seaside towns like Valparaíso.
And finally it’s good to see how Peru is still enjoying a growth in tourism figures with 3.5 million visitors flocking to the mountainous country in 2015.
Whilst many of these tourists come to see the likes of the Machu Picchu ruins, it’s also been apparent that ecotourism is playing a large part in Peru’s success with places like the Manú National Park giving foreign visitors an excellent place to hit the jackpot by seeing the elusive giant armadillos, jaguars and capybaras in their natural environment.