If you are planning a South America Vacation, there are some top destinations you should start checking off the list of top places to visit. South America hosts some of the most dramatic, captivating, and diverse landscapes, making it a sight you should experience in your lifetime. If there are adjectives you can use to describe the attractions in South America, you would feature the highest, driest, deepest, largest, and even rarest. From big cities like Rio De Janeiro for shopping or the Amazon in Peru or the Salt flats of Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia, there’s always something different to experience. So, for your next vacation, here is a roundup of some of the best destinations in South America.
Cartagena is an old city, and perhaps that’s what makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in South America. Set along the shores of the Caribbean Sea, the city has several islands like Tierra Bomba Island, Baru Island, and Mucura Island that you ought to explore once you are here. It is a UNESCO world heritage site because of its colonial influences, but it also has a vivid nightlife, a rich culture, and festivals to keep you hooked. With all these, it is easy to understand how it became one of South America’s most visited cities.
Due to the heavy (sometimes light) pollution in most cities, something as simple as seeing starry nights have become an opportunity not to pass up on. Lake Titicaca provides the perfect location to see the milky way, thanks to its position high up on the Andes Mountains. It sits on the border between Peru and Bolivia and provides an idyllic place to be in touch with the skies. Lake Titicaca is also credited as the native home of Incas—just one more reason the place holds a significant mystical charm.
Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most scenic national parks in Patagonia. It has some of the best hiking trails set in dreamy nature with emerald forests, giant waterfalls, crystal lakes, and breathtaking glaciers all in one place. If you want to disconnect from the world, the hike through the park with no cell signal for days is all the escape you need. This park allows you to be in touch with nature and meet people from all over the world who want to experience the beauty of nature just like you. The understated benefit of all this is that you will take some of the best photos of your life—almost unintentionally. Torres del Paine National Park is so photogenic, and if you don’t find a reason to take stunning pictures here, we doubt you ever will.
Despite its popularity, the Machu Picchu remains one of the most well-preserved remnants of Incan Culture. This ancient Incan city is secluded high up in the Andes Mountains, and you can only get here by hiking or by train. If it is your first time, take the time to make the trek up the mountain as ancient Inca People would have. Besides the fascinating history of the place, architecture buffs will love the extraordinary architecture. They would also love the spectacular scenery on the hike up the mountain, and the ruins provide amazing photo opportunities.
The main attraction in Chile’s Easter Islands is the over 1000 monoliths from Polynesian culture. Seeing these Moai Statues is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and making a trip, there will be an experience like no other. Each monolith is different, expressing different aspects of the Rapa Nui culture, from Petroglyphs, tattoos, and even ancient Oceania literature. Besides the statues, the island provides many opportunities for scuba diving, surfing, and snorkeling.
If you were to combine the best aspects of Ibiza and St Tropez, you end up with Florianopolis, Brazil. Besides the great weather and culture, this enchanting island presents loads of great surfing, swimming, and partying opportunities. Visit, and you will love it for more than that. The island has over 40 remote beaches, which means they are unspoiled, and getting there by boat or foot is something you ought to experience. It is also a modern place, so you get the best of western amenities while you vacation. For activities, you can try paragliding, sandboarding, hiking, among many others.
The Iguazu Falls straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil. With some falls up to 260 feet high, this series of 275 waterfalls are both stunning and mind-bending. Be it on the Argentinian or Brazilian side, you will thank your wanderlust for bringing you to these amazing views and hiking opportunities. There are walking trails to access the river, but a boat ride will take you to the heart of the falls. This is an unmissable opportunity to be up close with nature, and there are many photo opportunities all around.
The biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, is credited as being one of the influences of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Nature lovers have an opportunity to commune with nature in the Galápagos Islands with everything from marine iguanas, painted locusts, flightless cormorants to the giant tortoise, and everything in between. If you are a snorkel enthusiast, you also have all the reasons to make the trip to witness some of the most eclectic and fascinating land and marine wildlife.
South America is nothing without its cities, and each city has a unique thing that makes it more special to the next one. For example, Santiago, Chile, has amazing architecture and a sensational local food scene. This makes it a great city to explore on foot. A city like Sau Paulo Brazil is one of the largest on this side of America but thanks to that it has plenty to explore –if you know where to look. Buenos Aires, Argentina, is known as a place of song and dance. Tango started here, but perhaps it is the juicy steaks that make it a destination for food travellers. Likewise, Lima, Peru, has a rich culture. Everywhere you look, there is impressive colonial architecture dating back to the Spanish occupation of the country to explore.