South America is the perfect place to play and enjoy sports. For some, playing sports become a form of leisure and relaxation; for others, it is a passion. Whether you’re up for some plain traveling or seeking for a wild adventure, South America is definitely a place for sports enthusiasts. It is a home to several countries known for their success in many international sports leagues and competitions. Among the most popular sports are skiing, cricket, golf, baseball, and football. If you want to incorporate sports into your backpacking South America itinerary, check out the following.
#1 Brazil (Football)
South America and Europe are two continents that share supremacy over the sport of football (soccer), as almost all qualifying and winning teams at the FIFA World Cup came from these two continents. Brazil, in particular, is perhaps the country with the best football team in the world, with a record of five titles in FIFA World Cup. When backpacking South America, try to catch a football exhibition game or practice so you can have a taste of this much-celebrated sport, especially in a country of the football champions.
#2 Argentina (Golf)
This country has a long history of golf as a favorite pastime by the elites. It is said that this sport resulted as an influence of the British when they built a huge railway network. It was in Buenos Aires, the capital city, that golf courses were widely constructed, mostly near many train stations. Hurlingham Club, established in 1893, pioneered the Argentine Golf Association. It was built by a group of Englishmen wanting to play golf that they used to in their homeland. Then the Jockey Club Golf Course came, inaugurated in 1928. For many, it is an architectural gem that every golf fan shouldn’t miss. It is known for its wide greens, notable pine trees, and lateral bunkers, giving the place a relaxing ambiance. Today, there are already more than 200 golf courses all over Argentina, making this country the ultimate year-round golfing destination. And the next time you play, don’t forget to avail of great golf vouchers and ask your family back about their golf gift ideas so you can bring back a souvenir.
#3 Venezuela (Baseball)
Venezuela is the only country in South America that considers baseball as its most popular sport, on top of football. In fact, many successful baseball athletes in major leagues across the United States came from Venezuela. It is the only country in South America that consistently participates in the Baseball World Classic Tournament. Today, baseball has also been gaining popularity in a few countries like Colombia.
#4 Guyana (Cricket)
This country has a rich history of cricket, having produced some of the most famous personalities on the West Indies team. This sport was introduced by the Englishmen many decades ago and has been widely played in Guyana over the years. In fact, West Indies cricket has been gaining dominance over other leagues since the management of several Guyanese captains. The Bourda, established in 1858, is the most popular cricket arena in the country.
#5 Chile (Skiing and Snowboarding)
For those who love extreme sports, Chile offers the perfect destination for skiing and snowboarding. Ski season usually commences in June and continues until October, with July to August having the most ideal weather conditions. It is also during this season that national and international tournaments are conducted. For one, Chile hosts the International Ski Federation (generally known as FIS) Snowboarding World Cup. This extreme snow sport is a must-try for daredevils going through the Andes Mountain Range, specifically the Chilean Patagonia, being a home to some of the best South America tourist attractions and adventures.