If you’re looking for an adventure that steps away from traditional tourism while also promoting sustainability, then consider a car-free vacation in South America.

The continent boasts some of the most spectacular landscapes and cultures in the world, and what better way to immerse yourself in them than by getting around as the locals do?

Car Free Vacation Spots In South America [Must Visit]

By choosing public transport, cycling, or walking, you not only minimize your carbon footprint, but you also get to discover the beauty of these locations in a way that you wouldn’t from behind the wheel of a car.

Top 5 Car Free Vacation Spots in South America

1. Cartagena, Colombia

One of the most vibrant cities in South America, Cartagena’s old town is perfect for a car-free vacation. The streets are narrow and meandering, best explored on foot to truly appreciate the colonial architecture and colorful buildings.

What to do: The Walled City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s easy to see why. You can spend hours just wandering the cobbled streets, taking in the beautiful colonial buildings and plazas. Don’t forget to visit the Clock Tower Gate, the entrance to the old town, and the imposing San Felipe de Barajas Castle.

How to reach: Cartagena has an international airport. From there, you can reach the city center by bus or taxi. Once in the city, walking is the best way to get around. For longer trips, taxis are affordable and plentiful.

2. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, with its broad sidewalks, grand avenues, and vibrant street life, is one of the most walkable cities in South America.

What to do: Start your journey in Plaza de Mayo, the city’s historic center. Visit the iconic Obelisco and enjoy an Argentine steak at a local Parrilla. End your day with a tango show in the lively San Telmo neighborhood.

How to reach: Ezeiza International Airport is well-connected with the city center. You can take a bus, taxi or the airport shuttle. Once you’re in the city, use the Subte (subway), buses or simply walk.

3. Cusco, Peru

Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, is a city where you can easily explore on foot, with lots to discover.

What to do: Visit the Plaza de Armas, Sacsayhuaman, and the Sacred Valley. You could also take a guided walking tour to learn more about the Inca Empire.

How to reach: Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport has connections to Lima. The city center can be reached by taxi or on foot if you’re staying nearby. To reach Machu Picchu, take a train from Poroy Station, about 20 minutes from Cusco.

4. Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso is a colorful coastal city with a bohemian vibe. Its labyrinthine hills and artistic culture make it ideal for a car-free visit.

What to do: Take one of the city’s many funiculars to the top of a hill for stunning views. Visit the La Sebastiana museum, once the home of poet Pablo Neruda.

How to reach: Santiago’s airport is the closest international gateway. From there, you can take a bus to Valparaiso. Once in the city, the public transportation system is reliable, or you can easily walk.

5. Quito, Ecuador

The capital city of Ecuador, Quito has a well-preserved historic center, stunning landscapes, and is extremely walkable.

What to do: Visit the Old Town, the Equator Line and the Cotopaxi National Park. A ride on the TeleferiQo gondola to the top of the Pichincha Volcano offers panoramic views of the city.

How to reach: Quito has an international airport. Taxis and buses can take you to the city center. In Quito, the EcoVia and Metrovia bus lines are efficient and easy to navigate.

Hey there, fellow wanderers and welcome to my website! I’m Paul, but my friends affectionately call me Pablo.

My adventures are all about exploring the world without wheels and leaving a positive impact on the places I visit or write about.

Hailing from a small town in the UK with big dreams, my heart beats for the thrill of discovering new horizons and immersing myself in diverse cultures. While others might be zooming by in cars, I’ve found my joy in exploring places on foot, breathing in the soul of each city, and capturing moments that transport you through time.

Allow me to give you a glimpse into some of the footprints I’ve left across the globe.