5 apps you simply MUST have for backpacking South America

apps travel south america

You just reached the end of your long-haul flight.

It’s been twenty hours since you left home and you are disorientated. Your friends and family are thousands of miles away and you have arrived in a foreign country with nothing but the bag on your back and some innocuous items you thought you would need but now, in the harsh reality of it, seem to be rendered rather useless.

Can you speak the language of the country you are in? Do you know how to get a taxi to your hostel and can you trust them? Do you know where your hostel actually is? Do you have access to the local currency?

It can be a bit overwhelming which is why these five apps are the ones you should make sure to download before jet-setting off on your South American adventure.


For better or for worse, Uber is a bit of a necessity in South America. If you can overlook some shady business practises, Uber in the main cities of all of Latin America are generally way cheaper and much safer than regular taxis.

Assuming that you will fly into a major city upon arrival, an Uber to your destination is a pretty seamless way to make sure you arrive safely.


There are plenty of currency apps out there but I like the look and functionality of this one. Choose your currencies while you have Wi-Fi (up to four can be displayed at one time) and be able to use the app even when out of internet. The app will automatically update exchange rates when your phone reconnects to Wi-Fi.

Extremely handy for when you are trying to get to grips with a new currency.

Google Translate

An obvious one perhaps but Google Translate now allows you to download languages so that you can translate when out of Wi-Fi. Very convenient for that first time you try to read the menu in Spanish!


Forget Google Maps, Maps.Me is your ultimate companion when travelling. Every-time you head to a new destination, be sure to download the location on Maps.Me before you leave and bookmark your hostel on the downloaded map.

That way when you arrive, you will have a map of your destination that allows you to search for locations and plan routes all without needing an internet connection. This app is a real lifesaver.


Revolut is more than an app. It is my travel essential when it comes to money. Revolut provides you with a credit card and your own app and account completely separate from your bank.

It is perfect for travel as it will help you to budget and allows you to exchange into local currencies right on your app. When paying for things, there is no excess fees and it allows you free ATM withdrawals up to a certain limit per month depending on your plan.

You can use this as your main card while travelling abroad or as a handy back-up card so if you loose your main card, you can transfer funds from your bank account to your Revolut app so you will not be stuck. It is also handy if you are travelling in a group as you can send money directly into eachother’s Revolut accounts instantly.

All you have to do to get started is to download the Revolut app and request a Visa or Mastercard card be sent to you (there is a €10 fee but this can be used once the card arrives).

Is there any other apps you find essential for travel?

apps backpacking south america

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