Recently, most of my travels have been to different South American countries. The latest was a overland backpacking trip that began in Peru and ended in Colombia. Now that it’s summer in the southern hemisphere and many of you may be booking amazing South American award trips this time of year to enjoy the warmer weather, I decided to cover some pointers on booking flights both to/from and within South American countries based on my recent trips

Depending on where you plan to visit and whether you plan to travel through several countries, you may find it cheaper to fly into one of the more northern countries in South America. Booking a roundtrip ticket to arrive and/or depart from one of these northern South American countries can save you 10,000 to 30,000 points on a roundtrip ticket on coach or business class.

Book award tickets on partner airlines using both United Star Alliance and American Airlines OneWorld Alliance partners for country-to-country flights within South America . I have found that award availability on these flight to be wide open and effortless to book a one-way ticket between two South American countries for 10,000 points on both United Star Alliance and American Airlines OneWorld.


Wide open award availability on United flight from Bogota to Lima

Wide open award availability on United flight from Bogota to Lima

Airline Award Charts:

United Star Alliance
American Airlines OneWorld Alliance 
British Airways (BA) Avios Calculator

Bottom Line: If you plan on booking an award ticket and/or visiting a few South American countries, consider flying into a northern country, then travel overland or fly to another more southern country–visa versa. This will help get you the most value out of your points and potentially avoid paying some of those expensive visa and reciprocity fees.

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– Well Traveled Mile

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.