© 2020 The Author(s). Background: Multicenter studies from Europe and the United States have developed specifically standardized questionnaires for assessing and comparing sedentary behavior, but they cannot be directly applied for South American countries. The aim of this study was to assess the reliability and validity of the South American Youth Cardiovascular and Environmental (SAYCARE) sedentary behavior questionnaire. Methods: Children and adolescents from seven South American cities were involved in the test-retest reliability (children: n = 55; adolescents: n = 106) and concurrent validity (children: n = 93; adolescents: n = 94) studies. The SAYCARE sedentary behavior questionnaire was administered twice with two-week interval and the behaviors were parent-reported for children and self-reported for adolescents. Questions included time spent watching television, using a computer, playing console games, passive playing (only in children) and studying (only in adolescents) over the past week. Accelerometer was used for at least 3 days, including at least one weekend day. We compared values of sedentary time, using accelerometers, by quartiles of reported sedentary behavior time and their sum. Results: The reliability of sedentary behavior time was moderate for children (rho ≥0.45 and k ≥ 0.40) and adolescents (rho ≥0.30). Comparisons between the questionnaire and accelerometer showed a low overall agreement, with the questionnaire systematically underreporting sedentary time in children (at least, - 332.6 ± 138.5 min/day) and adolescents (at least, - 399.7 ± 105.0 min/day). Conclusion: The SAYCARE sedentary behavior questionnaire has acceptable reliability in children and adolescents. However, the findings of current study indicate that SAYCARE questionnaire is not surrogate of total sedentary time.