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I love being surprised by the street art scenes of places I travel. Although we didn't get to see some of the more famous ones, like Valparaíso in Chile and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, there were plenty of cities and towns we visited during our 10 months in South America where the street art made an impression on me. Here are some of my favourite pieces.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires street art

Buenos Aires is undoubtedly one of the best places to see amazing street art in the entire continent of South America. With so many wonderful pieces and surprises to discover, it was hard to pick a favourite, but this one, with its electric colours, surreal imagery and attention to detail is the one that first comes to mind when I think of the Buenos Aires street art scene.

Colonia, Uruguay


Colonia was easily our favourite place in Uruguay with its old world charm, pretty treelined streets and crumbling buildings. Street art there was not the kind that you find on every corner, but rather understated and hidden in small nooks. This lady stood about 20cm high and finding her felt like uncovering a small secret about the city. You can visit Colonia as a simple day trip from Buenos Aires.

Samaipata, Bolivia


The ruins of El Fuerte de Samaipata weren't the only interesting thing about the rural Bolivian town of the same name. Despite only consisting of a dozen streets or so, there was quite a bit of cool street art on the walls of this little town. This detail, a part of a piece referencing the many and varied influences through history on the nearby ruins, stood out for its use of bold primary colours and fluid design.

Lima, Peru


While I found most of Lima to be a drab, ugly city, the southern district of Barranco provided some welcome relief, partly due to its quaint architecture and colourful street art. I really liked the comic book quality of this piece, which extended along the side of a long building, as though telling a story.

Cuenca, Ecuador


While this piece on the steps up from the river to the old part of town in Cuenca in southern Ecuador is probably not the most impressive piece of street, but I liked the way it interacted with the surfaces around it and how it snaked up the stairway, like an eclectic set of characters following you on your walk through the city.

Where have you found your favourite street art in South America? In the world?

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