South America Gap Year Destination Guide
South America includes a wide range of diverse destinations for the dedicated backpacker and gap year traveller. These include Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The obvious attractions include the amazing natural and manmade sights, the fascinating people and different cultures and the feeling that this is one continent that is still relatively unexplored by your average gap year backpacker. Anyone looking for gap year jobs in South America needs to be aware that these are developing countries, without the means to support incoming workers, so your best bet is to find a volunteering placement or work experience opportunity, then combine that with tours, treks and adventures supplied by the companies below.
Companies that can help you find gap work in South America
Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile, everyone is talking about South America! Whether it’s internships or volunteering experiences you’re looking for, South America needs to be on your hit list.
Over 250 projects across 26 countries in Asia, Africa & Latin America. Choose to work with wildlife & environmental conservation or community projects. Skilled & unskilled positions from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Overland adventure travel ranging from 8 day trips to 38 week expeditions in Africa, South America, Central Asia and the Middle East.Life-changing trips to some of the most inspirational places in the world!
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different destinations around the world. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day, IVHQ is the volunteer organization of choice for thousands of volunteers every year.
Volunteer to work in an ethical and responsible volunteer project, with the full support of Outreach International. Outreach offer a personal service to help volunteers find the placement where they can offer the most and enjoy a rich cultural and personal experience throughout.
Voted Best Gap Year Company by the Sunday Times. Volunteering, Internships, Summer Gap and Equine placements across Africa, South America and Asia. All programmes contain their unique mix of projects, locations and challenges.
Frontier has over 300 projects in countries throughout Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, giving you unlimited adventures and excursions in beautiful locations.
Guaranteed paid ESL teaching positions abroad! An amazing experience that will give you the life skills and confidence to succeed in anything. Also a great way to make friends and travel abroad. Our TEFL course is a comprehensive & face-to-face 150 hour certification that allows you to teach English anywhere in the world. Placements in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
***Mexico doesn’t require a completed bachelor degree. Gap year students welcome to join.
Providing affordable and worthwhile volunteer programs throughout Central and South America, as well as opportunities to learn Spanish. Browse through our exciting range of work abroad programs. Visit their website
Learn to build in Patagonia. We offer a 4 year course or just one semester. Magical, intense, super fun and rewarding, all on a 100,000 acre ranch. Study, work and live in a community. From horse riding to building onsite. Estancia Ranquilco is an organic, rustic green house on a beautful lake. Vamos! Visit their website
What To See And Do In South America?
Marvel at Angel Falls
It’s the world’s highest waterfall and it’s in in Venezuela. Standing at 979m (321ft), it’s about 15 times the height of Niagara! There are two main ways to access the waterfalls: if you are adventurous, take an expedition and raft upriver to sit near the bottom, otherwise you can take a plane to gain an alternative view - both are unmissable!
Rio Carnival in Brazil is the world’s largest party
Every February, Carnival explodes onto the streets of Rio. Any excuse for getting dressed up and partying till dawn!
Visit Easter Island, the world’s most remote inhabited island
Easter Island falls under Chile’s domain yet it is over 2000 miles away in the South Pacific Ocean. The landscape is dotted with hundreds of the mysterious Moai stone heads, whose history is a fascinating way to discover the culture of the island.
Trek to Machu Picchu, the world’s most spectacular Inca ruins
The famous Inca ruins were only discovered in the 1900s but are now the most visited archaeological site in the world. Machu Picchu is a must-see if you travel to South America.
Lake Titicaca is considered a sacred lake that lies on the border between Peru and Bolivia. Titicaca is one of the largest, highest, and deepest lakes in the world. There are 41 islands on the lake which are thought to be sacred too. There is also the labyrinth Chinkana.