Top 15 places to visit in South America

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Top 15 places to visit in South America

Few years ago, I went backpacking through South America. Very often, people  ask me what my favourite place is out of many I have visited. To be honest, I do not find this question quite fair. It is the same, as when you ask a child “Who do you love the most, mommy or daddy?” Choosing just one place is completely impossible! In this post, I’m going to list the most incredible places I have visited and the ones I did not get a chance to see, but I really would have loved to.

1) Iguazu Falls (Brazil & Argentina)

South America

These are one of the “seven natural wonders of the world“. They are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina. From Brazil, you get the best panoramic views, while experiencing the rest of the senses from the Argentinian border.

2) Machu Picchu (Peru)

South America

Machu Picchu is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one of the “new seven wonders of the modern world“, it is an engineering and architectural masterpiece surrounded by one of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable.

3) Uyuni Salt Flats (Bolivia)

South America

It is the largest and highest salt desert in the world (more than 10,500 km²), where you can take a famous perspective photo, find an island full of giant cactus and sleep in a hostel completely made of salt.

4) Patagonia (Argentina & Chile)

South America

This region is located in the southernmost part of America. Its lakes, forests, mountains and those incredible landscapes, will make you feel you’re in a fairy tale. The next two places on this list are also situated in Patagonia.

5) Torres del Paine (Chile)

South America

Torres del Paine are picked as the  “fifth most beautiful place on earth” by National Geographic and “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO. This wonderful group of mountains will delight any trekking lover.

6) Glaciar Perito Moreno (Argentina)

South America

Words cannot describe what it feels like when you find yourself surrounded by this huge mass of ice. It’s just awesome! I never imagined that the noise made by a piece of ice falling into the water resembled so much to a thunder.

7) Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

South America

It has everything you can imagine: beautiful historical monuments, long beaches, a big lake in the middle of the city, lots of natural parks, gastronomy, culture and of course, a colorful party scene. Brazilians tend to call it “a cidade maravilhosa” (the wonderful city).

8) Atacama Desert (Chile)

South America

In the driest dessert of the world, you can do sandboarding in the Death Valley, watching a beautiful sunset in the Moon Valley, floating in Cejar Lagoon, stroll around the charming town of San Pedro de Atacama or see the most beautiful sky of stars you’ve ever seen in your life.

9)  Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

islas galapagos

This beautiful archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean and considered one of the most active volcanic areas in the world. It offers an ecotourism where you can enjoy various activities from snorkel with turtles and sea lions to walking  with flamingos and iguanas.

10) Amazon Rainforest (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela & Surinam)

South America

This largest rainforest is called the lungs of the planet, where more than one million animal species live and the native tribes coexist with nature in a  perfect harmony.

11) Easter Island (Chile)

South America

This mysterious piece of land is the most remote inhabited island in the world. One can find volcanoes, grasslands, caves, pink sand beaches and of course, those famous and gigantic statues, the moais.

12) Lake Titicaca (Peru & Bolivia)

South America

It is the world’s highest navigable lake. There are a lot of different  islands, the ones that caught my attention the most, were the floating Islands of Uros. Those literary man made islands are made of reeds. Its inhabitants also use them to built their houses and boats and to eat.

13) Cartagena de Indias (Colombia)

South America

Cartagena is one of the most charming cities of Colombia. Its colorful streets, the friendliness of its people, its beaches and islands, its centuries-old buildings, absolutely everything there will make you want to go back before you leave.

14) Huacachina Lagoon (Peru) 
South America

Photo by Christopher Crouzet used under terms of Creative Commons license.

This lake is an oasis in the middle of the desert, that is why it is also known as the oasis of America. With its emerald green colored waters, people from all over the world believe they  are able to  heal their body issues, along with being recharged with its unique landscape.

15) Angel Falls (Venezuela)
South America

Photo by Erik Cleves Kristensen used under terms of Creative Commons license.

It is the highest water jump in the world with a height of almost 1km. Despite of being one of the Venezuela’s biggest attractions, even today it is not easy to get there, as you either have to go through the thick jungle or cross it by waterways.

Here is my list of top places to be seen in South America, which ones would you add?

Ana Marco


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