The value of friendship for South Americans can be demonstrated in three common ways: you will the first person they call up to party, they’ll invite you to their homes to eat like a member of the family, and will be in solidarity to join you on this adventure of travelling across South America.

In countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, friendship is so important that there’s Friendship Day to celebrate with your closest friends. This date was taken from the day that man stepped on the moon for the first time - July 20, 1969 - "in the name of the friendship of humanity towards the universe." So if you’re going to travel to any destination in South America soon, here we leave you with some tips that will allow you to identify when you’re become more than just simple acquaintance to a South American and are now a friend.

Amigos y el fútbol Football is ideal to share, like this group of friends who enjoyed a unique day at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro / Photo: @bertrandgrem

Friends in Argentina: Barbecue for everyone

The Argentines, especially the porteños, are known for their extroverted personalities. They enjoy sharing the classic barbecue, football and clubbing. They are famous for establishing long-lasting friendships, and the bonds they create in school often remain intact throughout their lives. They go on holiday together to the Atlantic coast and to the south, and meet up at least one day a week to talk about the news over the last 6 days of the week or make the same jokes that have been ongoing over the last 20 or 30 years.

Prepare to get a new nickname (if your name is Valeria, now you’ll be called Vale, or if your name is Sebastián, now you’ll be called Seba), although they can also adjust it and instead of Joaquín you’ll automatically become Joaco. After the nickname, they’ll invite you to the nightclubs where you’ll dance until dawn and the you’’ receive golden test of true friendship when they invite you over for barbecue or ravioli with the family.

Travel tip: If you want to make friends in this beautiful country, the tours in Argentina are the perfect opportunity to meet not only South Americans but also people from all over the world. If you’re traveling through Buenos Aires, take the opportunity to visit the top bars and clubs in the city, an ideal place to meet new potential friends.

Amigos en el Planetario Buenos Aires is a city full of great attractions to visit with friends like the famous Palermo Planetarium / Photo: @edimardibilay

Friends in Brazil: Lets go to the beach!

Gestures of affection and generosity in Brazil are commonplace. The kindness of its inhabitants is widespread and they’ll be courteous to you even if it's the first time they’ve ever met you. If this is how Brazilians are with strangers, imagine how they treat their friends with expressions of their affection.

For Cariocas mainly, any excuse is perfect to go celebrate on the beaches of Lapa and Ipanema, with tropical music in the background and a cold beer in hand. Friends also get together to go to the stadium and enjoy a soccer match, the favorite sport of the Brazilians, and they also love a good party. If you are part of their inner circle of friendship, they will open the doors of their homes to welcome you during your trip to Brazil.

Travel tip: One of the best places to make friends in Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro, is in the bars and clubs of the city, so take advantage of the Pub Crawl in Lapa and Ipanema. If you’re in São Paulo, here we provide find 3 trendy bars that you can’t miss during your trip in order to make new friends.

Bares de Buenos Aires The party never ends in Rio de Janeiro; join the best pub crawls in the city and meet new friends!

Friends in Chile: Born to Party!

Chileans also love a good party because according to them they’re"born to party". For the younger crown, partying is synonymous with friendship and at least once a week, they get together to go out "carretear" (go club hopping). Like the Argentines, they host a “ pregame”(meeting at a friend's house before going out to dance) and at 2:00 am they start the tour of the top bars and nightclubs in the big cities.

You can expect kindness and long conversations from Chileans. They aren’t very strict about planning to meet up with friends, and are happy to incorporate new friends into their groups and are also very generous when it comes to sharing. Be prepared for their off-color humor, because the natural disasters they’ve had to ensure due to climatic reasons have only strengthened their spirit. Therefore, it is not surprising that they have famous drinks like "El Terremoto" (Earthquake), "Tsunami" or "La Réplica".

Travel tip: If you’re in the Chilean capital and feeling energized, don’t miss the Santiago by Night Bike Tour, it’s a great opportunity to visit the emblematic places of the city and make new friends during the excursion.

After a fun night in the clubs of Viña del Mar, this group of friends decided to end their journey in front of the Pacific / Photo: Paola Rodríguez

Friends in Colombia: The best therapist and the life of the party

In Colombia your friends will call you parcero, panita and even compadre / comadre as if you were made one of godparents to their children. Possibly the most valuable quality of Colombians as friends is their ability to listen to you and find the perfect words for any situation. You don’t go to the therapist in Colombia to get out of a funk, for example, you just get together with your Colombian friend and a bottle of the best aguardiente!

Like every good South American, the party and the flavor runs through their veins. They dance salsa better than anyone (just ask James Rodríguez of the Colombian soccer team!), they cook their traditional dishes at any time and place in the world, and they’re so proud of their homeland that they sport t-shirts and objects with the yellow, blue and red of the national flag. Feel fortunate to have a Colombian friend or friend, because you’ll learn to dance, cook and be a good listener as God intended.

Travel tip: Live the most authentic experiences and enjoy these excursions with the locals in three of Colombia’s main cities: the Bogotá Salsa Night Club Tour, the Medellín Nightlife Tour and the Chiva Rumba – Cartagena Party Bus Tour.

Colombians do know how to have fun, especially when they are on the beautiful beaches of Cartagena / Photo: @catherinefg16

Friends in Uruguay: Everything that lasts begins with a mate

For Uruguayans the first real and authentic test of friendship is the ritual of mate. After drinking your first mate with a Uruguayan you can be assured that a beautiful friendship has begun. Clearly there will be other types of important demonstrations, such as going out to eat a barbecue together, but drinking mate is the key.

Your friendship with the Charrúas will be based on two admirable values: respect and tolerance. They are open and respectful of each other's differences and celebrate cultural, religious, political, sexual, etc. diversity. They live a slower paced life than many other South Americans and they know how to live together in harmony. One of the exceptions to the rule is football, an a ritual that is experienced with intensity, so prepare your eyes and ears to witness it in each superclásico between Nacional and Peñarol, as the Uruguayans rarely behave like this.

Travel tip: If you’re travelling to the Uruguayan capital with friends, do the Bar Facal Lunch & Show tour. If you’re more traditional, you can opt for the Wine Tasting at a themed hotel in Punta Carretas and then take advantage of the best of Montevidean nightlife. Find the best options for going out in the city in our Montevideo Nightlife Guide of clubs, pubs and things to do.

Bar Facal Uruguayan cuisine is amazing, nothing better than going with friends to the Facal Bar in Montevideo to eat a delicious chivito / Photo: @cheilaanja

The value of friendship is transcendental for the South American culture and although each country has different codes and traditions, they all recognize that meeting with old and new friends is one of the pillars of life, because friends really are, at the end of the day, the family that one chooses.


By: Keilma Rojas, content editor at Daytours4u