The best cities in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean The best cities in South America

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1. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I'm looking for opinions on where to live. After being dissapointed by Santiago de Chile, I'm looking forward to teaching English in another city that speaks spanish, isn't too big and has life.



2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I would really recommend Cordoba. If you dont want to live somewhere too big like Buenos Aires (although BA is great!), I think Cordoba is the right balance. It's a lovely city, has a real student vibe and a lively bustling nightlife! The architecture there is very pretty.

At weekends, you can escape out into the Sierras to visit lots of interesting little mountains town, including Alta Gracia, where Che Guevara spent his childhood.

Cordoba is located in the centre of Argentina and is a great place to base yourself because from there you can visit the following places:

Mendoza (not to be missed!)
Buenos Aires
.....the list goes on and on

Also, Chile is accessible in 2 days by bus, as is Bolivia.

I remember fantastic bars and restaurants in Cordoba, and the people there were really welcoming. I know if I was going to teach English anywhere in Argentina, this would be my first choice for lots of reasons, chief among them the fact that it is a university city and so would have good employment opportunities for English teaching.

Hope that helps ;)

3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Try Sucre, Bolivia. It's cheap, beautiful, and your chances of drawing enough students to get by are on the whole larger than in Argentina, which has been colonised by Europeans and Americans eager to teach English.

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Unfortanately, rates of pay for teaching English in Peru and Bolivia are generally a lot less than you will get in Chile or Argentina, so while there is a lot of competition in large cities like Santiago and Buenos Aires for jobs, there are still plenty there. I had lots of jobs offers in both cities for English teaching, as did friends of mine.

Additionally, if you are based in a university town you can pick a lot of extra work teaching one on one lessons outside school hours etc. ;)

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Medellin, Colombia-not only a wonderful place full of life culture art and music but the women are gorgeous as well.

6. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your replies and i can tell you the Medallín was already on the list of ´´musts´´ and i was hoping to move there after the next city im going to live in. I´ve also been pondering over Córdoba as, for me, Bs As is too big, especialy for the ever travelling english teacher. I know i could work in córdoba on a tourist visa, like most places, but does anybody know the score for colombia? Does anyone have any info on cuenca in ecuador?


7. Posted by murray2701 (Budding Member 33 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

cuenca is a beautiful wee city. my girlfriend and i met several people teaching english while we were there. the main square is lovely but there isn't much to do in and around the place.

what about peru? cusco is fab. but also worth checking out arequipa, a stunning city near the colca canyon

8. Posted by PTS82 (Budding Member 9 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Can I ask out of sheer interest why you found Santiago disappointing? I havent been there yet and was hoping to go on my next trip to SA.

Personally I cant recommend Mendoza highly enough...a beautiful green oasis in the middle of wine country with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, friendly people and a good nightlife.

9. Posted by murray2701 (Budding Member 33 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

santiago is pretty disappointing

i wouldn't recommend spending any more than 3 days there. the bella vista area is cool, good bars, shops and restaurants, and there is an amazing swimming pool high up on the hill over looking the town.

but for me, and lots of other people i met while travelling, it doesn't have the vibe of other cities. there isn't a lot to it.

10. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Well i´ve been here for 6 months now. I speak spanish fluently and even have a chilean girlfriend. I´ve tried my hardest to integrate, read my history etc so im not just another gringo moaning. But Santiago, as a colleague put it ´´has no soul´´. The night life here is pretty pour for example, there doesn´t seem to be any student life. The city in terms of looks also offers little and i suppose the culture here just doesn´t mix with my Northern English values. If you com to Chile, valparaíso is the place to go.