Includes Quotes About Latin American Travel

Best South America Travel Quotes


I (Paul Heller) love collecting the Best South America Travel Quotes for my Fifty Plus Nomad blog. I spend hours searching to find quotes that:

  • Reflect how I feel about a place or a travel-related issue
  • Add a new or interesting perspective to a discussion about a place or issue, even if I disagree with the author’s viewpoint.
  • Make me laugh, cry, or smile.
  • Perfectly capture a place, emotion, or issue.

I don’t include quotes about unknown places or travel experiences.

All my blog posts lead off with a quote relevant to the post’s subject. I frequently post quotes on my Facebook group: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over 50.

In addition, I have added several previously unseen quotes I discovered while putting together this page.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Let me know if you have any additional quotes to add to this page.

4 Best South America Travel Quotes

“The activities of La Condamine, Humboldt, Wallace, Bates, and other such explorers touched on only the tiniest fraction of the vastness of a world so expansive as to be impervious to harm. But today, the Amazon River Basin, occupying more than 2.7 million square miles is at our fingertips and is considered one of the most ecologically threatened regions of the world.”
Kurt Johnson, Nabokov’s Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius

“Like the legends of Kon-Tiki Viracocha […], the South American civilizing hero, white-skinned and bearded like Quetzalcoatl and the Apkallu sages […], who was said to have come to the Andes during a terrifying period, thousands of years in the past, “when the earth had been inundated by a great flood and plunged into darkness by the disappearance of the sun.” (Exactly like Quetzalcoatl in Mexico, and the Apkallu sages in Mesopotamia, Viracocha’s civilizing mission in the Andes had been to bring laws and a moral code to the survivors of the disaster, and to teach them the skills of agriculture, architecture and engineering.”
Graham Hancock, Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization

“Pope Francis announced that next year he is coming to the United States, or as Fox News is reporting it, ‘Obama lets in yet another guy from South America.”
Conan O’Brien

“You must not judge people by their country. In South America, it is always wise to judge people by their altitude.”
Paul Theroux

4 Best Argentina Travel Quotes

“I don’t spend a lot on holidays, but have been very fortunate to travel extensively through doing various challenges around the world. The best place I’ve ever been is Argentina.”
Ian McKeever

“The tango is really a combination of many cultures, though it eventually became the national music of Argentina.”
Yo-Yo Ma

“That’s what they do in Argentina. Have a little wine and talk. Then have some coffee and talk. Then, go back to the wine.”
Grace Jones

“My poor Niagara!”
Attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt after visiting Iguazu Falls

4 Best Bolivia Travel Quotes

“La Paz, Bolivia, is the most extraordinary city.”
Phil Keoghan

“Perhaps no country in Latin America is more picturesque than Bolivia, and the memorable Bolivian city is Potosi.”
Nicholas Kristof

“Bolivians die with rotted lungs so that the world may consume cheap tin.”
Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

“Bolivia is a majority indigenous nation, but that majority has always been excluded.”
Evo Morales

6 Best Brazil Travel Quotes

“Brazil is not what you see but what you feel. Once you spend time here – a week, two weeks – you get in the vibe. It’s really intoxicating.”
Francisco Costa

“Brazil is bigger than Europe, wilder than Africa, and weirder than Baffin Land.”
Lawrence Durrell

“Brazil was, is, and will be in fashion.
Gilberto Gil

“Look at me and tell me if I don’t have Brazil in every curve of my body.”
Carmen Miranda

“It is said the sesta is one of the only gifts the Europeans brought to South America, but I imagine the Brazilians could have figured out how to sleep in the afternoon without having to endure centuries of murder and enslavement.”
Ann Patchett

Samba rhythm is a great one to sing on, but it’s also got some other suggestions in it, an undercurrent of being primitive – because it is a primitive African, South American, Afro-whatever-you-call-that rhythm. So to white people, it has a very sinister thing about it.”
Mick Jagger

Brazil banknotes. South America travel quotes often reflect the continent's crazy economies.(pxfuel)
Brazil banknotes. South American travel quotes often reflect the continent’s crazy economies.(pxfuel)

4 Best Buenos Aires Travel Quotes

“Buenos Aires is easily one of the most stylish cities in the world with its eclectic collection of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm.”
Ben Elliot

“It isn’t the architecture you’ll be drawn back to, the acres and acres of the city set aside for woods and parks, or the fabulous meals of traditional grilled meats. What will entice you is the Latin sizzle, the soul of the portenos, and the genuine warmth and humor of the people you’ll meet. It will be the automatic camaraderie you feel at a sidewalk cafe (even if you don’t speak Spanish), the thrill you get from watching a couple performing a tango on a San Telmo street corner, the smile of a child wearing a Boca Juniors T-shirt. Whatever it is, we promise: You’ll be hooked..”

“Buenos Aires has been graced with superlatives during its reign as South America’s leading city: ‘the Paris of the South,’ ‘the most European city in South America,’ ‘Manhattan in the southern hemisphere.’ All of these are justified. But I prefer to interpret its great author and native son Jorge Luis Borges – Buenos Aires itself is a superlative.”
Travel with Pen and Palate Blog

Buenos Aires has been graced with superlatives during its reign as South America’s leading city: ‘the Paris of the South,’ ‘the most European city in South America,’ ‘Manhattan in the southern hemisphere.’ All of these are justified. But I prefer to interpret its great author and native son Jorge Luis Borges – Buenos Aires itself is a superlative.”
Paul Theroux

4 Best Chile Travel Quotes

With its deserts and glaciers, Chile is a country of extremes–and the perfect destination for adventurers. Find out all this South American gem has to offer.”
Boots-n’-all website

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”
Pablo Neruda

“Before the military coup in Chile, we had the idea that military coups happen in Banana Republics, somewhere in Central America. It would never happen in Chile. Chile was such a solid democracy. And when it happened, it had brutal characteristics.”
Isabel Allende

“Finding fresh seafood in Chile is like finding Chlamidia at Burning Man….it’s everywhere!”
Anthony Bourdain

3 Best Colombia Travel Quotes

“Well, in Colombia everybody’s very voluptuous, and you’re supposed to be. You don’t want to be skinny when all of your cousins are mermaids. You grow up thinking that’s how beauty is.”
Sofia Vergara

“It’s ludicrous this place exists and everyone doesn’t want to live there.”
Anthony Bourdain

“Truth can be stranger than fiction in Cartagena, the Colombian city whose real-life blend of seediness and charm has been an important inspiration for one of the most imaginative writers of the modern era, Gabriel García Márquez. It is a city so pregnant with the near magical that, when Mr. García Márquez took a visiting Spaniard on a tour one day that included a Creole lunch and a stroll through the old city, it lowered his opinion of Mr. García Márquez’s talents. The Spaniard told Mr. García Márquez, as he would later record in an essay, “You’re just a notary without imagination.”
New York Times

4 Best Ecuador Travel Quotes

The Galapagos Islands are probably the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world. And no wonder – it’s almost impossible to exaggerate the sheer spectacle of the place that provided inspiration for Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of natural selection.”
Mark Carwardine

“Tortoises can survive for weeks without food or water, easily long enough to float in the Humboldt Current from South America to the Galapagos Islands.”
hard Dawkins

Anybody who has been to Ecuador wants to go back because it’s beautiful out there.”
Michael Steger

“It so chanced that the doubloon of the Pequod was a most wealthy example of these things. On its round border it bore the letters, REPUBLICA DEL ECUADOR: QUITO. So this bright coin came from a country planted in the middle of the world, and beneath the great equator, and named after it; and it had been cast midway up the Andes, in the unwaning clime that knows no autumn.

Zoned by those letters you saw the likeness of three Andes’ summits; from one a flame; a tower on another; on the third a crowing cock; while arching over all was a segment of the partitioned zodiac, the signs all marked with their usual cabalistics, and the keystone sun entering the equinoctial point at Libra.”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

5 Best Peru Travel Quotes

“Few romances can ever surpass that of the granite citadel on top of the beetling precipices of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land.”
Hiram Bingham

“Going to Peru is, well, if you ever have an opportunity in your life to go there, you should do it because it is absolutely mind boggling.”
Dean Stockwell, actor

Separating fact and fiction in Inca history is impossible, because virtually all the sources available are Spanish accounts of stories that had already been vetted by the Inca emperors to highlight their own heroic roles. Imagine a history of modern Iraq written by Dick Cheney and based on authorized biographies of Sadam Hussein published in Arabic, and you’ll get some idea of what historians face.”
Mark Adams, Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

“The world of cuisine was looking for diversity and they discovered Peru as the country with the most diversity. People wanted to taste what we have in Peru and it was then we decided to become a movement for this change and after a couple of years we came up with a strategy. We decided we will cook as Peruvians to put a value on our own ingredients, culture, traditions.”
Gastón Acurio

“Being Peruvian means to come from the farthest place possible to get to Europe. Peru is the land of the Incas. It was the capital of South America; it was where the Spanish founded their empire and took over the Inca Empire and made it into a colony of Spain.”
Mario Testino

4 Best Rio de Janeiro Travel Quotes

“The city of Rio de Janeiro is setting an example to the world of how to recover quality urban spaces through drastic intervention and the creation of cultural facilities such as the Museum of Tomorrow.”
Santiago Calatrava

“I’m moving to Rio permanently with my family. It’s one of the places left in the world where people still live with a big charge of poetry on a daily basis. I feel we’ve kind of lost that here in Europe.
Vincent Cassel

“Rio’s a beautiful city, a vibrant place, special place.”
Eduardo Paes

“You walk off the plane in Rio, and your blood temperature goes up. The feel of the wind on your face, the water on your skin, the taste of the food, the music, the sexuality; Brazilians are very comfortable in their sexuality.”
Amy Irving

6 Best Latin America Travel Quotes

“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.”
Marlene Dietrich

When Harvard University opened its doors in 1636, there were already well-established universities in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
Oscar Arias

You have to think of Latin food as a couple of culinary superpowers: the Caribbean-African influence and the Central American corn, rice and beans. And from South America comes fresh seafood; Peru, the birthplace of potatoes; and in Chile and Argentina, you see the European influence.”
Aaron Sanchez

“I wasn’t born in Mexico – I was born in Nicaragua – but I know that, when somebody like Donald Trump says ‘Mexicans,’ he means all of us. He means anybody who comes from south of the border.”
Ana Navarro

“There are hundreds of miracles within a single machine. Americans calmly explain these with mathematical formulas. Our difficulty is to learn, theirs to appreciate. We Latins, even the most intelligent of us, still count on our fingers and toes. But once we do learn, we shall surpass the Americano, because we understand the spiritual significance of a machine. We see the beauty of combining gas, grease and steel into a powerful, exact movement. We appreciate the material destiny of the universe.”
 Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

“There is a kind of alchemy in the transformation of base chocolate into this wise fool’s-gold, a layman’s magic that even my mother might have relished. As I work, I clear my mind, breathing deeply. The windows are open, and the through-draft would be cold if it were not for the heat of the stoves, the copper pans, the rising vapor from the melting couverture.

The mingled scents of chocolate, vanilla, heated copper, and cinnamon are intoxicating, powerfully suggestive; the raw and earthy tang of the Americas, the hot and resinous perfume of the rain forest. This is how I travel now, as the Aztecs did in their sacred rituals: Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia. The court of Montezuma. Cortez and Columbus. The Food of the Gods, bubbling and frothing in ceremonial goblets. The bitter elixir of life.”
Joanne Harris, Chocolat

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Additional Round the World, Long Term Travel, and Expat Life Quotes From Fifty Plus Nomad

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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