19 In Brazil/ Chile/ Colombia/ Ecuador/ Travel

THE MOST COLORFUL CITIES IN SOUTH AMERICA

If you already follow me on Instagram (@leahshoup), you’ll know that I love bright colors. Whether it be in the form of murals, street art, or pastel colored houses, vibrant cities are the perfect photo inspiration. If you’re a color seeker like myself, this list is for you. 

VALPARAÍSO, CHILE

FullSizeRender-56Valparaíso, Chile is a street art lover’s dream come true. Additionally, this city is budget friendly for backpackers and easy to access from Santiago. A quick 2-hour bus ride (costs around $5 USD) will take you from the sprawling metropolis of Santiago to its more laid back sister, Valparaíso. 

The city, often referred to as “Valpo”, was originally an extremely wealthy sea port. After the opening of the Panama Canal, the port experienced a huge decrease in traffic. The remnants of this time in the city’s history are still left in the form of antique architecture. 

Nowadays, this “Jewel of the Pacific” is better known for its vibrant colors. Some of the most popular street artists from all over the world visit Valpo to leave their mark. 

Read more: What to Do in Valparaíso, Chile

Processed with Snapseed.SALVADOR, BRAZIL

Salvador da Bahia is actually one of America’s oldest cities, founded by the Portuguese in 1549. It also served as Brazil’s first capital and maintained this position until 1763. Located in the northern part of the country, this city is particularly known for its Afro-Brazilian culture. These African cultural influences can be seen in the religious practices, dances, food, and languages of the region.

The Pelourinho district (pictured above) was the city center during colonial times. Furthermore, it is particularly famous for its pastel-hued buildings and historical sites. Salvador is quite the picturesque city, located on top of a peninsula that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. With its typically warm temperatures and gorgeous beaches, Salvador makes the perfect destination for anyone looking to mix a cultural experience with a tropical destination.

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Cartagena is the most visited city in Colombia and it’s easy to see why. From its colonial-style homes, beautiful islands, and even vibrantly dressed “fruit ladies”, this place is popping with color. During Colombia’s time under Spanish rule, Cartagena actually formed one of the main ports for exporting gold. For this reason, wealth in the city began to rise rapidly. As a result, many pirates began to target Cartagena as a plunder site! To this day, the city is surrounded by forts that have withstood the passing of centuries.

Fun fact: The Carnaval de Cartagena is one of the city’s main festivals. This is actually when the Miss Colombia beauty pageant takes place!

Read more: 10 Things to Do in Quito, Ecuador

QUITO, ECUADOR

Processed with Snapseed.Quito was colorful in a way that I honestly hadn’t been expecting. Sitting in the middle of a river basin, this capital city in surrounded by green, rolling hills and a bright blue sky. Apart from the beautiful landscape, Quito has one of the best-preserved historic centers in Spanish America (source). Additionally, the weather is warm and sunny, the food is delicious, and the people couldn’t be more welcoming. If you need further convincing, it’s one of the cheapest capitals I’ve ever visited!

Looking for cheap flights to South America? Check out Skyscanner for deals.

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Looking for your next vibrant destination? Look no further! I'm counting down the most colorful cities in South America for you to add to your list.

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Ray
    October 17, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    This is a great list. But, how close was Buenos Aires to making your list? It’s also a very colourful South American city, no?

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      October 17, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      It was very close! As far as colorful, I found the La boca neighborhood to be extremely vibrant. However, I didn’t think the rest of the city was as colorful!

  • Reply
    Christina
    October 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    All so beautiful!! Cartagena and Salvador are really jumping out at me … need to visit! 🙂 Great post.

  • Reply
    Gina
    October 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Gorgeous! I love colorful buildings. The photo of the street in Cartagena looks so lovely.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    November 4, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hi fellow bright colour lover 😉
    I’m so completely with you on the love for bright colours cities! Have you been to Jardin in Colombia? It is just an small 3 hours ride from Medellín. That was so cute, authentic and colorful a city! If you haven’t been I highly recommend you to visit if you return to Colombia.
    Btw. loved your post! Keep up the great work!
    Cheers Rebecca

  • Reply
    Kristine
    November 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I remember San Juan in Puerto Rico was also colorful and gorgeous like the places on your list. I was there 2 years ago 🙂

  • Reply
    Noemi of Pinay Flying High
    November 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    My favorite would be Salvador da Bahia, I actually included it in my itinerary to Brazil but unfortunately, the trip never happened. It looks so cute and pretty. On top of that, they have beautiful beaches too.

  • Reply
    Stace
    November 10, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Oh wow I love this list! I love seeing all the colorful cities and I cannot wait to get to Cartagena! Which was your favorite place out of all?

  • Reply
    Aleks F.
    November 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Wow I love this post! There’s something so magical about colorful cities. You can’t help but be cheerful when you’re surrounded by so much beauty and color. I haven’t been to any, but I hope to visit to all of these on your list! South America is incredibly beautiful and the cultures are so rich. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jimmy and Tina
    November 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    The cute streets in Cartagena Columbia are beautiful, makes me want to pack my bags and go now. I can see why you like it so much!

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    These cities just look incredible and so colourful and bright it just makes you want to smile! I love places like this and they seem very local and not busy with tourists! Thanks for the post 🙂

  • Reply
    Kris
    November 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Omg! The cities are like instagram goals that came to life. The houses in Cartagena, Columbia are gorgeous! Thanks for collating the places we can visit that shouts instagram goals! Haha!

  • Reply
    Nadine Smith (Scenes From Nadine)
    November 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I am a HUGE fan of colors so I’m definitely gonna check your Instagram account! 🙂 Your photos in this post are so striking! I have heard so many great things about Cartagena. I hope I could visit one day.

  • Reply
    Megan
    November 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I’d love to photograph all these. Can’t wait to discover these places!

  • Reply
    Belinda
    November 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I really want to visit Brazil one day. Your photos are stunning and inviting

  • Reply
    Georgina Goodman
    November 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

    These photos are great! I love places full of colour 😀

    http://www.georginadoes.co.uk

  • Reply
    neha
    December 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I love such splash of colors. These are so colorful places..I would like to visit all of them..lets see when that happens

  • Reply
    Casey
    April 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I was in Brazil for five months and never made it to Salvador… Darn I totally missed out! It looks stunning! Thank you for the inspiration!

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