Peru - Bolivia Border

9 Spanish Phrases You’ll Use Most For Asking Directions in South America

BZFLAG Travel - Contributor South America & Antarctica, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 1 Comment

Before you set off on your adventures in South America, it’s critical you know how to get around in Spanish.

This doesn’t require you to be a fluent speaker, and it’s a lot better than walking around with a dictionary in your hands.

Memorize these few Spanish phrases, and even learn how to mix and use them together.

Let’s go over the 9 Spanish phrases you’ll use most when asking for directions in South America.

Monkey Dividers1. Me puedes ayudar?

Translation: Can you help me?

This is how you can start off a conversation with anyone you’re looking to get help from. Instead of asking directly what you’re looking for, asking “me puedes ayudar” is a polite way to grab someone’s attention beforehand.

2. ¿Dónde está _______?

Translation: Where is ______?

If you’re looking for a bus station, a pharmacy, or anything specific, you can use “¿Dónde está ____” and fill in the blank with what you’re looking for.

BZFLAG Travel - Yellow Fever Vaccine Peru 1

3. ¿Este bus va a _________?

Translation: Does this bus go to ________?

Unfortunately, bus transporation in South America is not the most organized system in the world. You’ll need to ask around if the bus you’re about to take is heading towards your destination.

4. ¿Hay ________ cerca? 

Translation: Is there a ____ nearby?

Looking for a bathroom nearby? Or maybe something specific such as a Colombian Restaurant in Argentina.

Fill in the blank with what you’re looking for, and locals can help direct you in the right direction.

5. ¿Cuánto tiempo se tarda para ir a _______?

Translation: How much time will it take to go to _______?

Whether you’re going for a day or weekend trip, you’ll need to plan ahead of time to make the most of your experience.

Knowing this, you should use this question to ask people how long it will take to get to your destination.

6. Estamos perdidos.

Translation: We are lost

If you’re awful with directions like I am, then you’ll need to let people know that you’re lost.

Keep in mind that “estamos” refers to “we”, assuming that you’ll be with a friend or group while traveling. When you’re alone, you’ll use “estoy”, which refers to “I am.”

From there, you can follow up with ¿Dónde está _______?

PeruBoliviaChileVisaBorder2

7. Yo necesito ______.

Translation: I need ____

This could either be used as a response when someone asks you “¿que necesites?” (what do you need?) or to let people know that you need Tylenol at a Pharmacy.

8. ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Translation: How much?

Buying tourist gifts? Purchasing a bus ticket?

You can ask “¿Cuánto cuesta?” to ask how much whatever you’re buying.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

9. Deténgase aquí, por favor.

Translation: Stop here, please.

As mentioned before, buses do not run on the most efficient system in South America.

You’ll have to tell your bus driver or tax driver where you want to stop.

Remember to add por favor (please) at the end!

spanish phrases you need in south america

9 Spanish Phrases You’ll Use Most For Asking Directions in South America

Looking for other articles? Check out our DIY Travel Guides Around the World. For cheap and luxurious places to stay while traveling, here’s our ultimate list of best hostels and hotels!

Monkey Dividers

9 Spanish Phrases You’ll Use Most For Asking Directions in South America

Comments 1

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. .

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER:Many of the articles on BZFLAG Travel Group are guest posts by a number of Approved Contributors and are hosted by BZFLAG Travel Group. Approved Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. This includes all text and images that they use within their own work. All contributors are instructed to follow internationally recognised copyright and intellectual property guidelines. BZFLAG Travel Group takes its own responsibilities very seriously, so if you feel that any part of this work is abusive in any way, please send us an email so that we can investigate - [email protected]


DISCLOSURE: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. So when you make a purchase we sometimes make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. The cost to you remains the same, sometimes even cheaper if we have negotiated a special deal for our readers.We use all of the companies we have listed here and that’s why they are in this list, but of course we need to keep BZFLAG Travel Group running as well as it can, which is exactly what you’re helping with if you do decide to buy or book something through an affiliate link! If you have any more questions about the companies we use or any other companies you’re looking at, just email us and we’ll be happy to help.Please see our full disclaimer page for more information.