This paper explores a territorial approach to rural development in Latin America. It first reviews evidence that progress in rural social development has not been accompanied by reductions in income poverty and inequality. It then assesses qualitative changes that have occurred in rural incomes and the emergence of new opportunities for rural poverty reduction and draws implications for the potential of a territorial approach to rural development. Recent experiences with territorial approaches are briefly reviewed and lessons extracted for the implementation of such an approach. It concludes with a series of recommendations for implementation of a territorial approach to rural development.