6 Travel Apps You Absolutely Need When Travelling in South America

woman-using-peru-travel-app.jpg

The smartphone has quickly evolved into one of the most useful travel tools you will ever have in your travelling toolkit, from finding great restaurants to figuring out how to navigate the Buenos Aires subway. Unless you’re planning on trekking through the remoter parts of the Amazon or taking a road trip down Argentina’s desolate Ruta 40, you’ll find mobile data available pretty much across South America.

Worried about high data roaming costs? Don’t be. That is so 2012. Today, local data plans are easy and affordable. Just purchase a local SIM card and pop it into your phone.

You’ll just want to make sure that your phone SIM is unlocked and that it’s compatible with your host country’s network. So now that you’ve got your smartphone up and running in South America, you will want to put it to good use. Before you hit the road, be sure to download these six must-have travel apps.

 

 

iXpenseIt

When it comes to planning the perfect trip, budgeting is absolutely key. After all, you wouldn’t want to make it all the way to Cusco only to find out you’ve run out of cash and can’t pay for that train ticket to Machu Picchu, would you? Luckily, this handy finance app makes budgeting on the road easy. You can easily visualize your expenses versus your monthly budget with its handy graphics. There is also a world currency list with a built-in currency conversion utility, which makes it especially useful for global travels.

Tripadvisor City Guides

Where’s the best place to grab some dinner in Lima’s Miraflores district? The hottest place to party in Bogota’s vibrant La Candelaria neighborhood? The trendiest place to grab a cocktail in Buenos Aires’ scenic Recoleta? Tripadvisor City Guides makes it easy to figure all of that out. You can check out reviews of popular destinations and even follow self-guided tours created by experts. The best part? These handy guides are available offline. Finding gems like Bogota’s Armando Records or Lima’s La Victoria Bar has never been easier!

Cabify

There is no denying it: from Bogota to Lima to Santiago, getting around South America’s major metropolitan areas can be quite a feat. Lima’s bus system is nothing short of chaotic, even for locals, and you’re probably going to battle crowds for at least half an hour to board Bogota’s Transmilenio. Though some South American major cities do have good subway systems, such as Buenos Aires, in most places public transportation proves to be a major hassle. You’re better off taking a cab. But it isn’t a wise idea to just hail any cab from a street corner — you’re not in New York City. In many countries, taxis are poorly regulated and very often unsafe, especially for tourists. While not totally common, taxicab robberies and kidnappings are a risk. That’s where Cabify comes into play, letting you order a safe and secure taxi from your smartphone with just two clicks. Using your phone’s geo-location capabilities, this app locates you and sends a taxi directly to your location. When you need to get from your beautiful bed and breakfast in the bohemian Barranco all the way across the city for an exhibition at the Museo de Arte de Lima (Lima Museum of Art) in Lima’s historic centre, Cabify is your go-to app. Launched in 2011 in Madrid, the service now has over 1 million users. It is available in cities across Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

AllSubway

For those cities that do have subways, All Subway is an absolutely must-have travel app. Navigating a city’s subway system is never easy, especially when everything is in another language. AllSubway boasts clear and easy-to-read maps of subways in Buenos Aires, Caracas, Medellin, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, and Sao Paulo. The maps are available offline, and you can easily plan your route ahead of time to figure out how to get exactly where you’re going. Get all subway at Apple store or Google Play Store You’re trying to exchange currency with a money exchanger in Lima’s Parque Kennedy, the clerk is trying to convince you that the exchange rate is 2.8 soles to the dollar, but you could have sworn it was actually 2.95. Is he trying to rip you off? To find out, all you need to do is whip out your smartphone and check XE Currency. This handy app displays the day’s currency exchange rate for virtually all of the world’s currencies. You can even display up to 10 currencies at once!

iConcertCal

There is nothing quite as amazing as seeing Manu Chao in Lima’s Parque de La Exposición or seeing a live Jose Gonzalez concert in a bohemian bar in Buenos Aires. This free iTunes plugin for iOS devices generates a personalized calendar of upcoming concerts in your target city based on your iTunes library. What could be better than seeing one of your old-time favorites in a brand-new city? Of course, if you’re the type of traveller who prefers to distant themselves from email, Facebook and all the other reminders of normal day to day life, taking a smartphone may not be the best idea. Another great way to tap into local knowledge, travel safely and stick to budget is to join a guided adventure trip. Pay before you go, happy in the knowledge that your food, accommodation, transport and guiding is already sorted, and that all you need to do is arrive at the airport with a smile on your face! If you decide to take this approach, look for a company that employs local guides, has great reviews and is contactable over phone or email. 

Related Posts

The First Timers’ Guide to Adventures in New Zealand

Here's your first timers' guide to adventures in New Zealand!

Best Time to Visit Peru | Destinations, Climate, and Seasons

So, when is the best time to visit Peru?If you're…

W Trek Patagonia – Everything You Need to Know

Calling Torres del Paine National Park a dramatic landscape is…

Travelling to Europe During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Insider Guide

Since July 2021, we've been back exploring the breathtaking trails…

Podcast: Kit Parks Interviews Dave and Tina About their Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure

Kit Parks from Active Travel Adventures, Dave and Tina discuss…

Podcast: Kit Parks Interviews Wendy, CEO, About the Merger of Active and Austin Adventures

Kit Parks from Active Travel Adventures and Wendy van Lieshout,…

Adventure Travel to Costa Rica: Everything You Need to Know

Photo by Kamchatka/Getty Images

With coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean…

Safe Travel in 2021: Why Small Group Adventure Travel is the New Normal

It's no secret that since March of 2020, the travel…

Hiking Iceland: The Best Day Hikes and Multi-day Hikes in Iceland

Iceland is a hikers paradise. Its vast wilderness calls to…

What to pack for your next day hike

It’s the night before the hike you and some of…

Things to Do in Glenorchy - the Gateway to Paradise

Situated at the end of the road, there’s only one…

Video: Food and Wine with Active Adventures

New Zealand’s seasonal, local food is something we’re immensely proud…

Video : Choosing a pair of hiking boots

A lot of our guests wonder how to pick the…

Staff Picks: Adventure Books and Movies to Stay Inspired

At Active, we’re all big travel and outdoor enthusiasts…I know,…

Staff Picks: Favourite Places in New Zealand

Here at Active Adventures, we consider ourselves pretty well-travelled and…

Things to Do in Auckland: Explore New Zealand's City of Sails

Auckland, known as the 'city of sails', was recently voted…

Best Things to Do in Cuzco, Peru

The ancient Inca capital is said to have been founded…

Hike Peru's Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Constructed by the Incas over 500 years ago, the Lares…

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Your Ultimate Guide

One of the most popular hikes in South America, Peru’s…

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Considering a bucket list trip to Machu Picchu but unsure…

How to Get to Machu Picchu: Everything You Need to Know

So, the once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu is beckoning your…

Discover Machu Picchu, The Most Famous Inca Ruins in Peru

Peru has so many ancient ruins, villages imbued with an…

Discover the Most Famous and Lesser Known Inca Ruins in Peru

Over 500 years ago, the Inca Empire built a road…

Discover the Best Things to Do in Lima, Peru

The once-called City of Kings, founded in 1535, is the…

Finding Flights to Patagonia

Sorting out Patagonia flights and Patagonia travel doesn't have to…

Best Time to Visit Patagonia

With years of experience in the travel arena under our…

Bolivia Culture and Customs

The culture and customs in Bolivia are unique and have…

Is It Safe to Travel to Bolivia?

If you’ve been thinking about travelling to South America, safety…

City Guide to La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, also known as ‘the city that touches the…

Little Guide to Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni is the land of the endless horizon, home to…

Basic Facts About the Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos Islands are named after the giant tortoises that…

5 Best Islands to Visit in Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are an adventures dream with plenty of…

Best Things to Do in Quito, Ecuador

If you're planning an Ecuador holiday, you'll be visiting the…

Best Scuba Diving in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is an internationally renowned diving destination home…

What to Pack for a 2 Week Adventure Vacation to New Zealand

Lynette from our office talks you through what you'll need…

Ultimate Peru Adventure 'Jaguar' Trip

Dreaming of a Peru adventure? Our 'Jaguar' is our signature…

Video: An Introduction to Active Adventures

Not sure what Active Adventures is all about? Here's what…

Travel to Nepal: Everything you need to know

We're big believers in the journey being just as important…

When is the best time to visit Nepal?

So, you’ve decided you want to go to Nepal? Or…

Nepal Culture and Customs

How Not to Be Mistaken for a Tourist in NepalUnderstanding…

Hiking in Nepal: Multi-Day Treks

To hikers and trekkers from all over the world, the…

Challenge Your Trekking Guide With These Everest Base Camp Facts

Everest Base Camp represents either an origin or a destination…

Popular Religious Sites in Nepal

Nepal is a cultural mecca, it is architecturally rich with…

Discover the Mustang Region in Nepal

You may have heard quiet whispers, unconfirmed claims at truth,…

Bhutan Culture and Customs

Bhutanese people are known for being happy. You'll pick this…

Things to Know Before You Travel to Bhutan

Bhutan is a unique destination, and a unique destination calls…

Things to Know About Iceland Before You Go

Has Iceland been recently added to your bucket list? No…

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best time to…

Hiking in the European Alps

A hiking & mountaineering dreamThe European Alps stretches across seven…

The best time to visit Tanzania

Tanzania is known for having some of the best safaris…

Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling in Patagonia

Patagonia has an almost surreal quality to it so it's…

Gearlists and Packing Tips for Hiking in New Zealand

We all approach the task of packing for an adventure…

How to get to New Zealand

New Zealand is about as far away as it's possible…

How to Plan Your New Zealand Hiking Trip: An Easy 5 Step Guide

Not many travel companies will share these unbiased truths about…

Booking your Airline Ticket to New Zealand

Once upon a time, if you wanted to fly somewhere…

Hiking Safety Tips for Tramping in New Zealand

Safety’s not as hard as you may think – New…

The Best Day Hikes on New Zealand's South Island

Wherever you are in New Zealand, chances are you aren't…

Best Time To Visit New Zealand

Thinking of joining us here in New Zealand for an…

The Complete Guide to New Zealand's 10 Great Walks

The "Great Walks" are generally regarded as New Zealand's premier…

How to Prepare for a Hike: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

“Am I too out-of-shape for an adventure trip?” It’s the…

7 Surprising Reasons South America in Winter is a Must-Visit

Looking for a better way to spend your winter instead…

14 Days in Patagonia: The Ultimate Explorer’s Itinerary

So you like to be active, huh? That’s totally cool…

5 Reasons to Take up Adventure Travel in Your 40’s

You mean you haven’t already done it yet? That’s OK.…

6 Peruvian Words You Should Know Before Your Machu Picchu Adventure

Because of its role as an international tourism destination, it’s…

12 Peruvian Festivals, One for Each Month!

Perhaps you've read somewhere or other that there are over 3,000…

Peru Vaccinations and Medical Checklist

Exploring the ancient streets of Cusco, trekking the Inca or…

Huayna Picchu Hike: How Fit Must you be to Climb?

So you've made it up to Machu Picchu. After months…

Inca Trail Packing List: The 12 Most Important Items and Why

You've done it… You've finally decided to go hiking the…

7 Things to Know About Traveling to Peru

Sometimes surprises when you're travelling can be good - a…

15 Bucket List Activities to do in South America

We've been running trips in South America for over a decade…

How to prevent and deal with Altitude Sickness

Most hikers will never experience altitude sickness, (sometimes called acute…

Multi-day Hiking in New Zealand's Backcountry, and 8 Reasons to Go Guided

The team here at Active Adventures are an outdoorsy bunch!…

Facts About Machu Picchu To Outsmart Your Tour Guide

Peru is bursting with ancient ruins and villages built on…

6 Inca Trail Tips to Make the Most of Your Machu Picchu Trip

My flight was booked! My dream of hiking the Inca…

7 Fascinating Galapagos Islands Animals

The Galapagos Islands and wildlife are synonymous – you can't…

The Best Places to Eat in Peru

There is no place quite like Peru. And no, we’re…

Why Joining a Small Group Tour is the Bee's Knees

I better start by explaining the term ‘Bee’s knees’… I’ve been doing…

Benefits of Travelling Alone & Tips to Plan Like a Pro

Solo travel is on the rise and we’re stoked about…