Your guide to backpacking in South America

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A guide to backpacking in South America

Last updated 16 April 2024
Written by Tiana Lee-Collins
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Choosing the right travel insurance for backpacking in South America

Due to the range of countries on the South American continent, things like the standard of medical care, potential natural disasters and risk of theft can vary. That’s why Compare the Market’s travel insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has some tips on choosing a travel insurance policy to accompany you on your journey.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Protect your pre-paid bookings

It’s important to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy as soon as you pay any deposits for your trip. That way, if an unforeseen event means you need to cancel some or all of your trip, you may have access to cancellation cover.

Ensure you’ve got the cover you need

Backpacking can come with the risk of injury of illness while travelling. Often, medical expenses can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, especially when you’re overseas without Medicare or private health insurance and need repatriation or emergency evacuation. Your policy can also cover cancellations, luggage, rental vehicle excess and the option for extra cover for snow and adventure sports.

Compare policies with COVID-19 cover

When searching for a policy using Compare the Market’s comparison service, look for the COVID-19 icon. This will allow you to compare products that will cover you for COVID-19 related losses. Keep in mind, this cover may only be available with top tier policies.

Understanding how to backpack in South America

What to know about backpacking in South America

Backpacking in South America on a budget

What to pack for backpacking in South America

Keeping safe while backpacking in South America

Places to visit in South America

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

Ecuador

Peru

Venezuela

The lesser-known South American countries

Meet our travel insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor believes in educating customers about the importance of travel insurance so that anyone can kick back and make the most of their time away from home. While no one wants a disrupted holiday, a suitable travel insurance policy can provide a financial safety net for yourself, your belongings and your trip in case things go wrong.

1 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Argentina. Last updated October 2022. Accessed March 2023.

2 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Bolivia. Last updated February 2023. Accessed March 2023.

3 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Brazil. Last updated February 2023. Accessed March 2023.

4 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Chile. Last updated February 2023. Accessed March 2023.

5 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Columbia. Last updated October 2022. Accessed March 2023.

6 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ecuador. Last updated February 2023. Accessed March 2023.

7 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Peru. Last updated February 2023. Accessed March 2023.

8 Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Venezuela. Last updated January 2023. Accessed March 2023.