south america

South America

Women Safety in South America

Although South America has a pretty macho and chauvinistic culture, the main problem women travelers will face is crime. As one of the poorest continents, petty and violent crime is a problem, and you do need to be on guard. Other than crime, women travelers may also experience some sort of hassle at some point, especially if you are wandering around by yourself. Lesser-known and smaller cities and villages are usually much safer than the big cities.

South America in a nutshell

South America is a must visit for outdoor lovers. Go hiking and glacier trekking through Patagonia, complete the Inca Trail in Peru and kayaking through the Amazon.

Getting around South America

Every traveler traveling through South America will undoubtedly spend time on a bus. Buses range from overnight coaches with bunks to old school buses turned into crowded “chicken buses”.

Unlike Europe or Asia, there is limited regional air network here and flights are expensive. Most of the budget airlines are found in Venezuala. While Bolivia's airlines aren't exactly low-cost carriers, their prices tend to be some of the lowest on the continent. Several of Brazil's budget airlines offer airline passes within the country, however you'll typically have to fly into South America on particular airlines. Colombia (VivaColombia) and Chile also has a few budget carriers. If you are planning on flying to a few cities across South America, an option would be to purchase a South America air pass, which can be more cost-effective than the lump sum of all your flights.

Cross-country trains are non-existent except in Argentina and Chile, with a few odd rail lines in Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Brazil. Most journeys must generally be made by long-distance bus or plane.

Digital Nomad Scene

The digital nomad scene varies from country to country. Santiago, Chile is a cosmopolitan city with great internet and numerous coworking spaces. Medellin has a sizeable digital nomad scene and lots of coffee shops with great internet speeds. Buenos Aires is a sprawling city with lots to do and see, bureaucracy is bad, internet speed is not the best, but there are coworking spaces available. Montevideo has inexpensive and fast internet, and lots of networking opportunities as it houses a significant portion of Uruguay’s economy.

Women Necessities

Peru: Tampons are not readily available because they are not very popular in Peru. In Lima, you'll be able to find them in supermarket chains like Santa Isabel or Wong or at drug stores/chemists, known as farmacias and boticas. Nonetheless, it is advisable to bring some with you. Prescription is not needed for birth control pills and morning-after pills, and can be purchased at pharmacies.

Colombia: Tampons are not readily available. It is advisable to bring some with you. Prescription is not needed for birth control pills (between 18.000-20.000 pesos) and morning-after pills, and can be purchased at the local drugstore.

Brazil: Tampons without applicators can be found at most supermarkets and pharmacies. The cost of tampons are expensive. You do not need to have a prescription in order to buy birth control pills in Brazil. A recommended brand is called Harmonet. The morning-after pill is also readily available in many drugstores, called “pílula do dia seguinte.”

Chile: Tampons with applicators are becoming more common but are expensive, and it’s nearly impossible to find applicator-free tampons. Birth control pills are available over the counter. Be aware that the morning after pill, although recently legalized in Chile, is often hard to find.

Argentina: Tampons without applicators are readily available. You can buy birth control at the counter at any pharmacy without prescription. Ask for Pastillas Anticonceptivas. The morning-after pill can be purchased at pharmacies such as Farmacity without prescription (around AR$40).

Ecuador: While you can find tampons without applicator in a supermarket or pharmacy, it is not as readily available. Birth control pills can be bought over the counter without prescription. Morning-after pills can be readily available in some places, but in others you need a prescription.

Bolivia: Tampons are not as readily available as pads. You might find tampons without applicators in a major supermarket or pharmacy but choices are limited. Birth control pills and morning-after pills can be bought over the counter at pharmacies without prescription.


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