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A Photographer’s Guide to South America


There is no shortage of beautiful places in this world, but South America undoubtedly has some of the most vibrant and photogenic cities. Manizales, Cartagena, and Santiago are all thriving metropoles simply waiting to be explored (and photographed!)  Whether you’re looking to fill your Instagram feed with colorful captures or wanting to hone your photography skills, each of these South American cities deserves a place on your list…

Manizales, Colombia is the perfect place to photograph nature and street life.  While most people only think of coffee when they picture Manizales, endless photo opportunities exist within the city and its rich, verdant surroundings. If you are more interested in photographing the landscape surrounding the city, Nevado del Ruiz is the place to head for. This active volcano on the outskirts of town offers spectacular views over the city and the sprawling coffee regions around it. 

Aside from Manizales’ natural beauty spots, you will find plenty of historical sites, inspiring architecture, and charming people to photograph within the city.  To capture some photos of the city from a different perspective, you should visit the rooftop of the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.  The city square, colorful buildings, and street vendors make great subjects for any photograph centered on city life in Manizales.

Cartagena Cartagena
Amatuer and professional photographers alike will enjoy capturing a classic skyline photo of Cartagena.  Sitting on the coast of the Caribbean, this Colombian city will provide you with endless photos of sunsets over the water.  The palm trees, blue skies, and shimmering water make a stunning backdrop to your family vacation snaps or the perfect focus for any landscape photo.

One thing that South American cities are well known for is their colorful, historical buildings, and Cartagena is no exception.  If you love bold, vivid photos saturated in rich colors, you will want to make sure you take a stroll through Cartagena’s historic center, where you will find charming Colonial buildings that have been restored to add vibrance to the old town. The perfect combination of new life breathed into historic buildings and the refreshing coast makes Cartagena one of the best cities to photograph in South America.

If you are in search of a breathtaking city lying in the shadow of some of the most incredible mountains, you need look no further than Santiago. Nestled among the Andes Mountain Range, the Chilean capital is a dream to photograph.  Stepping outside of Santiago will give you a chance to capture the skyline of this vibrant city, outlined against the mighty Andes range. 

When you step inside and explore the city, you will find yourself constantly snapping photos as you take in the exciting street life and historical sites.  You won’t want to leave without taking some photos of the impressive architecture and colorful stained glass in the Centro Gabriela Mistral, one of the city’s most striking centers for culture and performing arts.  Despite its vibrant and diverse offerings, Santiago’s cosmopolitan highlights are often overshadowed by the towering mountain landscape that surrounds it. However, a photographer with a keen eye and sense of adventure can draw truly incredible shots from the streets of Santiago. 

Whether you are planning on taking your own photos or having a professional vacation photographer capture memories of your travels, you will return home from each of these cities with incredible photos!  From rooftop views of Manizales, to the colorful Colonial buildings in Cartagena, there is something to suit every kind of photographer! If you want to experience these South American cities for yourself, head to our destination pages or send an enquiry to our local experts. Alternatively, to find out more about hiring a professional photographer for your travels, check out LocalGrapher’s website for more information! 

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