Every New Year’s, you go through the same routine. You set off on a quest to find the most epic way to bring in the New Year and yet, you wait until the last minute and end up in a less than thrilling gathering where you find yourself counting down the minutes until you can go home instead of the minutes until you get to celebrate the New Year. No more! We have some positively amazing New Year’s Eve celebrations in South America that meet all of your over-the-top dreams. The only problem…it’ll be hard to beat the experience next New Year’s. If you’re up to the challenge and ready to head south for the big event, below are South America’s best New Year’s Eve destinations that will give you an end of year experience of a lifetime.
♦ The World’s Largest New Year’s Party in Rio
No worldwide or South American New Year’s list would be complete without Rio de Janeiro. Regarded as the largest New Year’s Eve party in the world, all eyes are on this famous destination when the clock strikes midnight. World famous musicians also come to Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve to perform all night long for free along the coastline. Samba beats and dancing will take up most of the night, until midnight strikes.
Then it is time to marvel at one of the world’s biggest firework from the rooftop of our favorite beachfront hotels in Rio, lighting up the millions of people gathered below along Rio’s coastline.
From this unique vantage point you’ll have an unrestricted view of all the celebrations and the sheer scale of the party below as a multitude of barges floating in the warms waters off Copacabana Beach launch the mother of all fireworks shows creating one of the most spectacular displays in the world. The party isn’t over after the fireworks show… it’s just beginning as Rio de Janeiro shows you why it is the Carnival capital of the world. Rio de Janeiro is one of South America’s most popular New Year’s Eve destinations and being the biggest party in the world hotels tend to fill up quickly. Most places accept reservations from the end of August, which makes this the ideal moment to arrange your 2015 New Year’s Eve Tour to Rio de Janeiro!
♦ A Mystical New Year in Peru
If you aren’t into partying, but still want an unforgettable New Year’s Eve experience, Machu Picchu is the place to go! Traveling to Peru and Machu Picchu you’ll be able to choose the type of New Year’s Eve you’d like to have. If you’re looking for something more upbeat, you can stay in the Inca Capital of Cusco where you’ll be surrounded by the locals coming out to celebrate surrounded by ancient buildings reflecting this city’s rich history and heritage. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more relaxed evening you can escape to the breath-taking Sacred Valley. It’s a stunning area in the Andes that offers unlimited views to the horizon and is full of history and architecture dating back to the Incas.
Recognized as the heartland of the Inca Empire, the lush Sacred Valley with the backdrop of the Andes, provides an unmatched setting to ring in the New Year.
There are fantastic, boutique lodges in the Sacred Valley that provide the relaxing yet indulgent atmosphere you are looking for while being in a peaceful, natural setting. On the first day of the New Year, what could be better than spending it exploring one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu? This spiritual site played host to the Inca Kings and could now be yours to discover on this special day. There is simply no better way to start a new year!
♦ An authentic New Year’s experience in Rio
As well as having the world’s largest New Year’s Party with more than 2 million people descending on the Marvelous City, Rio de Janeiro also has a more traditional and authentic side to its New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Perhaps one of the reasons for the popularity of Rio de Janeiro’s New Year celebrations is because it is so much more than just a party and has a special significance for most Brazilians.
The majority of cariocas (locals from Rio) will be dressed in white, honoring the goddess of the sea, Goddess Iemanjá, by making traditional offerings in the form jumping over waves and tossing flowers into the ocean. As the streets shut down to accommodate all of the foot traffic for the evening, make sure to stay close to Copacabana beach before the main New Year’s Eve party begins if you’re interested in witnessing the locals taking part in this beautiful tradition and ritual.
♦ Valparaiso’s 3-day New Year’s Party
Valparaiso in Chile is a town that appears to be straight from a fairy tale as colorful houses cascade down the mountainside, almost spilling into the ocean below. Valparaiso became one of the most important port cities of the 19th century and this laid the foundations for the town to become one of Latin America’s cultural hubs. Officially hosting South America’s biggest fireworks show, Valparaiso’s vibrant New Year’s celebrations are not just for one evening but in fact last for 3-days!
Expect the streets of Valparaiso to be erupting in celebrations all day long as the locals claim their spots on the hills overlooking the town and coast, readying themselves for the midnight show.
If you want to get right in the thick of things, head to the main square of Plaza Sotomayor, where you’ll be sure to find live music and large crowds of international travelers and locals. You can also take a boat tour out to the water and enjoy watching the fireworks light up the charming town of Valparaiso for a bit of a calmer New Year’s experience. Whichever way you choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Valparaiso, you will be sure to be dazzled by the show and the beauty of the town itself. Valparaiso is a very popular South America New Year’s travel destination, and so we advise to start planning your trip to Chile at least a couple of months in advance.