South America

South America is a continent with many highlights.  For the best South American travel experience we recommend visiting more than once. However, if a return trip isn’t in the near future for you, let us help you with our Top 10 Must See and Do in South America….

#1 Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley, Peru

First of all, the icon of South America, Machu Picchu is a must for any bucket list adventurer! Discovered in the early 20th Century, you will find these breathtaking Inca ruins high in the countryside of Cusco. Explore an intricate network of terraces, walls, stairways and fields that date back to the 15th century and are a true testament to Inca civilisation.

If you can’t get enough of archaeological ruins, ensure you make time to explore the incredible Sacred Valley. Here you will find the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins, as well as the Maras salt pans and Moray ruins.

#2 Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

A remnant of prehistoric lakes that have long since evaporated, this breathtaking natural wonder stretches for more than 10,500 square kilometres. Covered in a thick crust of salt, the surface of the lake is covered in polygonal patterns that stretch as far as the eye can see. Throughout the year, nearby lakes will overflow and the flats will be covered in a thin layer of water, producing a mirror-like effect. A favourite of photographers, nature lovers and everyone in between, the Uyuni Salt Flats are a must-see in South America…

#3 Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Argentina

A stunning force of nature, these impressive falls are both taller and wider than Niagara Falls.  These falls are a must see for any waterfall chaser! Situated on the Brazilian and Argentina border, these falls came about from a volcanic eruption over 130 million years ago. Discover the sights on foot, by boat or even get a view from above in a helicopter. This is an unparalleled natural wonder of the world!

#4 Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, Patagonia

Here, soaring mountainous peaks are reflected in ice blue lakes.  Verdant green fields stretch as far as the eye can see. A paradise for hikers and wildlife lovers, make sure you see the Paine Towers, the Grey Glacier as well as the Laguna Amarga.

#5 Lake Titicaca, Bolivia & Peru

Known as the “Birthplace of the Inca”, this expansive lake is situated in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru. An impressive sight in its own, the lake is also home to the Uros Islands. Hand-woven from totora reeds by the Uros people, sailing around these floating islands is a truly special experience.

#6 Buenos Aires, Argentina

A vibrant fusion of a European history and modern Latin America, Buenos Aires is a city that has it all.  A stroll through its streets will introduce you to romantic architecture, trendy bars, pulsating clubs as well as mouth-watering aromas wafting from restaurants. Thankfully it is a city “that never sleeps”, giving you plenty of time to explore…

#7 Amazon Rainforest

This is an awe-inspiring and diverse ecological region that encompasses Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela as well as the Guianas. The best way to get to know the wildlife of the rainforest is on a canopy or night walk. This is just one of the many different adventures on offer. Explore the trails and waterways of the fascinating Amazon, go fishing for piranha or visit the Manatee Rescue Centre.

#8 Atacama Desert, Chile

These sprawling desert plains are home to a surprising amount of life and colour. Explore the otherworldly Valley of the Moon, swim in the buoyant Cejar Lagoon or explore the intriguing abandoned nitrate mines. Seek out the flocks of flamingos at Laguna Chaxa or stargaze in some of the clearest skies in the world.

#9 Cartagena, Colombia

The old meets the new in Cartagena.  Here, you can explore old ruins and roam the city walls, admire the colourful Spanish architecture and discover the incredible art the city is home to. Afterwards, spend your evenings feasting on the delicacies Cartagena has to offer.  Try  fresh ceviche, mouthwatering empanadas and delicious pargo rojo frito…

#10 Galapagos Islands

Finally, a trip to the Galapagos should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. Located approximately 1,000km off the Ecuadorian coast, these islands are home to some of the most unique and diverse plant and animal species in the world. Don’t miss Isla Isabela, Floreana Island and the Charles Darwin Research Station.  You simply can’t go past meeting a 100 year old tortoise or watching a marine iguana lounge lazily in the sun.

References: Thank you Y Travel BlogWorld of WanderlustTrip SavvyAll thats InterestingMatador NetworkHistory.comMachu Picchu Trek, The Wildlife DiariesChimu Adventures and Know Mad Adventures.

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