These ten romantic cities in South America offer everything from adventure to luxury so every type of couple can enjoy a dream vacation. We know romance means something different for every couple, which is why these destinations include unique activities! No matter what your passions are, escape together on the trip of a lifetime to one of these exquisite urban oases.
1. For the Culture-Loving Couple: Quito, Ecuador
Sat high in the Andes Mountain range cutting across Ecuador is the charming colonial city of Quito. The nation’s capital weaves modern life and ancient history together in a unique cultural tapestry. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Old Town,” Quito gives couples that love history, culture, and education an exciting setting to explore.
Two dozen landmark churches decorate the streets of this mountain city, with awe-inspiring facades standing as a testament to the expert architecture of Quito. All of these churches are within walking distance of one another, so a private tour is an easy daytime activity for you and your partner. To get a bird’s eye view of this breathtaking city, visitors can ascend the Quito Teleferico. This is one of the world’s highest aerial lifts, ascending to the top of Cruz Loma for unforgettable views. Make your trip even better by staying at the Casa Gangotena located in the heart of Quito’s historic center, giving you easy access to all the best activities in the city!
2. A Hidden Gem for the Expert Wine Tasters: Tarija, Bolivia
Wine regions in South America have been growing exponentially over the years. That also means the well-known destinations are becoming busy and expensive. If you’re looking for an intimate wine region to enjoy a private getaway, there’s no place more suited than Tarija in Bolivia.
Imagine you and your loved one wandering the charming palm-tree-lined streets and enjoying happy hour at one of the delicious local restaurants. Don’t miss the El Punte Night Market, where locals serve up Bolivian cuisine and street food, unlike anything you’ve tasted before. Just a short way outside the main city, you’ll be able to enjoy a private tour of the vineyards of El Valle de la Concepción where you can learn all about the unique bottles produced in Bolivia.
3. Couples Looking for A Gateway To Outdoor Adventures: Santiago, Chile
One of the most alluring city escapes in all of South America has to be Santiago, Chile. This capital city gives couples who live for the thrill of adventure a perfect place to rest after every excursion. La Reve Boutique Hotel is a perfect place to stay if you’re both craving something peaceful even in this urban environment.
Just south of the main capital city is Cajón del Maipo, offering everything from whitewater rafting to ziplining to soaking in natural hot springs. While the city offers unparalleled gastronomy and vibrant nightlife, this neighboring region is synonymous with adventure sports and natural wonders. If you and your partner prefer a peaceful experience, you can hop on horseback and soak up the serenity of this Chilean paradise.
4. Step Into The Legendary Ancient World of the Incas: Cusco, Peru
Machu Picchu is undeniably one of the most alluring experiences for travelers visiting Cusco, Peru. But there is so much more to offer for your romantic getaway! The Inca Empire that once ruled over the land has left its mark in more ways than one. Make your romantic trip to Peru special by visiting the lesser-known destinations in Cusco that will transport you back in time!
Immerse yourself in the luxury of Peruvian living while you stay at Palacio Nazarenas, a romantic villa built in traditional 17th-century style with authentic Andean influences. The urban retreat feels like an oasis in the midst of the city and will provide couples with a whimsical palace to relax between adventures. Cusco has a rich history, so be sure to explore the local archeological sites like the Quenko Ruins, or visit one of the local museums for guided lessons about the ancient culture of the Incas and the influence of Spain in Peru. Don’t forget about the culinary history! Andean cooking classes are the perfect date idea if you and your partner want to taste tradition as well as learn about it.
5. For Couples Who Want To Dance The Night Away: Cali, Colombia
A city that passionately loves music and salsa, Cali is one of the most romantic cities in South America for couples that want to go out in the evening and explore the most exciting nightlife options. Zaperoco Salsa Bar is one of the most iconic spots for people that want to get in on the action and see how their footwork compares to the locals. But, if you prefer to sit back, relax with a cocktail, and watch the professionals, the Salsa Experience Cena Show is an incredible show that will leave you in awe.
When you want to dance to the beat of your own drum, escape Cali with a day trip to one of the neighboring destinations. Colombia has some stunning scenery, like the Rio Danubio, the turquoise blue river flowing through the region with a jungle oasis called La Sirena that you can spend all day relaxing in.
6. Explore A Real-Life Fairy Tale Destination: Cuenca, Ecuador
Described as a living, breathing fairy tale, Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s best destinations for couples who deserve a charming escape. This city is perfectly balanced between feeling like a big city with the people and culture in the area, and remaining peaceful and relaxing like an old romantic town you read about in fantasy stories.
Much like the streets of historic European cities, Cuenca is lined with majestic churches and colonial facades. You and your loved one could wander the streets all day and enjoy every minute, trying pastries at random cafes or shopping at local markets. A short drive from the center of Cuenca, couples can also find the town of Baños, known for its rejuvenating natural springs warmed with volcanic heat. Couples who enjoy a slow travel pace indulging in the simple pleasures will fall in love with this Ecuadorian escape, so much so that they may find it hard to return home!
7. Culinary Couples Who Want A Bucket List Worthy Trip: Mendoza, Argentina
Argentina is a culinary mecca of South America, and if you want to combine your romantic vacation with a gastronomical tour, Mendoza is the perfect spot to do so. Although this city is known as a wine-producing region, its food scene has to deliver excellence to satisfy the culinary experts who want to pair local Malbecs with Argentinian delicacies.
Couples visiting Mendoza cannot pass up on a tour of the local vineyards like Clos de Chacras. The winery and restaurant here work together to create a seamless menu, perfectly balanced for every sip and bite you take. You can learn about the history of wine production in Argentina before enjoying a guided tasting that guarantees your meal will be expertly curated. For an even more immersive experience, stay at Cavas Wine Lodge, a 55-acre vineyard closely located to 25 of the top Mendoza wineries, luxury rooms, and even several private villas for the ultimate experience. Out of these 10 romantic cities in South America, Mendoza is the best for couples that enjoy luxury offerings when they travel.
8. For the Couple Craving a Tranquil Beach Escape: Paracas, Peru
While a vacation in the Sacred Valley is undeniably amazing, many travelers overlook other romantic cities in South America’s Peruvian paradise. Paracas is one of these cities, and should not be missed for travelers dreaming of peaceful days lounging under the sun.
Peru’s Pacific coastline is an amazing place to unwind without the chaos of a busy seaside city. There are plenty of nature reserves and day trips you and your loved one can take to learn about the natural world, such as sailing to Islas Ballestas. Islas Ballestas is home to unique wildlife like the red-billed Inca terns, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins. A tour here is a perfect little adventure for any couple! On the mainland, you’ll be treated to some of the freshest ceviches in the world and the luxury of slow beach life.
9. Unwind In A Caribbean Costal Metropolis: Cartagena, Colombia
One of the most unbeatable romantic cities in South America has to be Cartagena, Colombia. Couples come here from all over the world to experience the seductive city with old charm and new adventures. Stay in the “Walled City,” AKA Cartagena’s Old Town which has plenty of historic destinations to stay like Casa Pestagua, a charming boutique hotel combining modern luxury with old-world majesty.
Getting lost in the old city is a bucket list adventure in and of itself. There is so much to learn and discover about Cartagena, you and your partner will never grow bored while staying here! Try walking the walls of the city, or take a horse-drawn carriage for a magical evening of romance. It’s also the perfect destination to stay in if you want to visit Islas del Rosario, one of the most breathtaking scenes in all of Colombia. The archipelago is located about an hour off the mainland, so it’s an easy sailing trip to enjoy during the day. Couples can take their own private boat tour for a luxurious way to enjoy the islands all alone.
10. Enjoy a Luxury Cosmopolitan Lifestyle: Punta Arenas, Chile
If you want to explore one of the most unique romantic cities in South America, Punta Arenas in Chile is the best option for you. It is one of the southernmost places across the region and often is treated like the gateway to Patagonia. But don’t overlook this destination! There is plenty to do and so much to enjoy throughout Punta Arenas.
Start off by booking a room at La Yegua Loca Boutique Hotel, inspired by the traditions of Patagonia from the rooms to the cuisine. Enjoy a romantic dinner at El fogon de Lalo where grilling is king, offering you locally sourced ingredients that are prepared to perfection. The people of Punta Arenas are just as much a reason to visit as the local attractions, as they invite visitors with sincere hospitality that offers a warm embrace in the cool southern region.
Romantic cities in South America offer the unique opportunity to experience quiet luxury and daring adventures all on the same trip. Most of these destinations are surrounded by historic ancient sites, overflowing with culture, and constantly adding new activities to enjoy during your stay. For the perfectly curated private escape, you and your partner will love, talk to a Kuoda travel expert, and fall deeper in love than ever before, with each other and with this vibrant region of the world!