20 of the Best Places to Visit in South America

South America, that vast territory of big peaks, impenetrable jungles and previous civilizations, is the good vacation spot for any journey traveler.

The Latin-flavored continent has nearly every little thing you can anticipate: vibrant cities, colonial cities, smoky volcanoes, spectacular lakes, deep traditions and, above all, some of the friendliest individuals on earth.

Should you journey to South America by yourself, you’ll see that the hospitality and kindness of its inhabitants just isn’t a fable, but a reality.

By the method, I’d like to remind you that you simply’ll be in nice hazard: you may want to stay there perpetually!

That’s what happened to me.

Immediately, after 5 years dwelling around Colombia, Perú, Argentina and Brazil, I made a decision to create an inventory of the locations in South America you possibly can’t miss to encourage you to visit this excellent land.

  • 20 greatest places to go to in South America
    • 1 – Angel Falls, Venezuela
    • 2 – Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
    • three – Machu Picchu, Perú
    • 4 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    • 5 – Eje Cafetero, Colombia
    • 6 – Isla del Sol, Bolivia
    • 7 – Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
    • 8 – Iguazú Falls, Argentina and Brazil
    • 9 – Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
    • 10 – Mount Roraima, Venezuela
    • 11 – Torres del Paine, Chile
    • 12 – Tayrona Park, Colombia
    • 13 – El Chaltén, Argentina
    • 14 – Iquitos, Perú
    • 15 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • 16 – Chapada Diamantina, Brazil
    • 17 – Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela
    • 18 – Perito Moreno, Argentina
    • 19 – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
    • 20 – Atacama Desert, Chile
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20 greatest locations to go to in South America

1 – Angel Falls, Venezuela

Salto Angel, also called Kerepakupai (the deepest fall) to the Pemón tribe, is one of the most breathtaking places I’ve seen in my life.

It’s situated in Canaima National Park and, at 979 meters high, is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world.

If you would like to get there, you’ll need to fly to Canaima as a result of there are not any accessible roads. I took the overflight to watch it from above and it was a mind-blowing experience!

2 – Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni laguna colorada

Sticking with the “records” theme, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, at over 10,000 sq. kilometers.

I was impressed by the region’s countless white expanses and surreal scenery. It actually seemed like I had arrived on another planet in which smoky volcanoes, colored lagoons and nice deserts create the surroundings.

It’s also a fantastic place for watching wild fauna like llamas and pink flamingos throughout the lakes. Undoubtedly one of the greatest locations to visit in South America!

Ebook your tour right here via Get Your Guide.

three – Machu Picchu, Perú

Machu Picchu, Perú - One of the best places to visit in South America

The sacred city of Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century and later deserted. In all probability the most famous archaeological locations in South America, this Incan citadel is legendary worldwide for its large stone walls and mysterious history.

I recommend visiting Machu Picchu early in the morning to watch the solar rising over the green peaks.

To get to Machu Picchu, you’ll first need to journey to Cusco, a colonial city in which Spanish structure blends with indigenous traditions.

I liked Cusco so much that I stayed there for over three months, volunteering and visiting nearby villages.

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four – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cristo Rio de Janeiro

One of the greatest places in South America is Rio de Janeiro – a place that basically touched my heart.

Most people prefer it because it provides nice seashores and loopy events. That’s true. Nevertheless, Rio presents hidden secrets and techniques as properly. You’ll have the probability to take pleasure in an interesting combine of African-European tradition and top-class mountaineering.

The town boasts the world’s largest city forest, which accommodates magnificent mountains and peaks. Rio de Janeiro has dozens of trails, so I like to recommend going up to the mountains and having fun with the metropolis from above.

See greatest selling excursions of Rio De Janeiro

5 – Eje Cafetero, Colombia

Colombia eje cafetero

Colombia has some of the greatest espresso in the world, so I couldn’t resist the temptation of making an attempt a delicious cup right in a coffee plantation! It was nice to study the history of the coffee, the process and the varieties grown.

Probably the most famous getaways are Salento, Filandia and Pijao – all pretty colonial towns in which it seems like no time has handed.

Furthermore, the lush, green mountains supply a variety of actions like mountaineering, horseback driving, kayaking, canopying and extra. One of the highlights of the go to was taking a hike round Valle del Cocora.

Extremely really helpful on your South America trip!

6 – Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Isla del Sol Bolivia

Situated in the exceptional Lago Titicaca, the Island of the Solar is at this time house to the Quechua and Aymara individuals, who nonetheless preserve their languages and previous traditions.

While taking the boat to this small island, I felt like I used to be in a sacred place.

The lake is large; once you take a look at it, it seems like you’re surrounded by an ocean. I like to recommend strolling up to one of the hills to take pleasure in unforgettable sunrises and sunsets.

7 – Cotopaxi Nationwide Park, Ecuador

Cotopaxi Volcano

This conical-shaped stratovolcano has grow to be one of the largest points of interest in Ecuador, and it’s no surprise why.

As a climbing lover, I made a decision to climb to the prime (virtually 6,000 meters high), and it was really a singular expertise.

Hold in mind that it’s a difficult ascension towards the darkness, the peak and the freezing wind. In case you attempt the climb, you’ll need to rent a very good guide and convey special gear corresponding to crampons and ice axes.

Should you don’t assume the climb is such a terrific concept, you’ll be able to take a jeep tour to the refuge, which gives superb views of neighboring volcanoes.

Full day tour from Quito

8 – Iguazú Falls, Argentina and Brazil

Iguazu Falls

The identify Iguazú means “big water” in the indigenous Guarani language, and little question they’re right!

One of the new seven wonders of nature and one of the most well-known South America landmarks, these imposing waterfalls could be visited from either Brazil or Argentina.

As most people do, I visited the falls from the Argentinian aspect because it provides entry to “Paseo del Diablo”, a trail that takes you right over the falls of Devi’s Throat, the highest fall in the park.

Ensure to put Iguazú Falls in your bucket record of greatest places to visit in South America!

Day journey to each side of the falls

9 – Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

In case you are on the lookout for colonial architecture, Colombia gives some of the greatest preserved colonial cities on the continent.

Cartagena de Indias is a stunning metropolis full of power, Caribbean vibes and pleasant individuals.

It was one of the largest slave ports in the Spanish colony, and you may really feel it once you take a look at its individuals and study their historical past.

It was great to spend a number of days strolling its colourful streets, previous church buildings and splendid castles, imagining that I used to be in one of Gabriel García Marquez’s tales.

10 – Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Mount Roraima is an imposing table-shaped mountain situated in the south of Venezuela. It’s the highest tepui in the region, and in addition serves as the triple border point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana.

I took the five-day hike to the prime and loved the crazy surroundings of unusual rock formations, lots of of waterfalls descending from big cliffs, and vertigo views in all directions.

It’s thought-about one of the most lovely hikes in the world, and I promise it’s one of these places in South America that’s properly value the effort.

11 – Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine is a very fashionable destination among vacationers visiting the Chilean Patagonia. Puerto Natales is the getaway to this nationwide park, in which you’ll find several day hikes and longer multi-day trails.

The park can get fairly crowded throughout the high season. Fortuitously, I visited Torres del Paine at the finish of the season, when there were just a few other hikers.

I took the Torres W trek, which could be accomplished in 5 days, however it’s also possible to attempt the well-known O circuit, which often takes from seven to 10 days.

The region’s color-changing timber, big glaciers and dramatic peaks make it one of the most engaging places to go to in South America.

Torres del Paine National Park full day tour.

12 – Tayrona Park, Colombia

Parque Tayrona, Colombia

Tayrona National Park, house to the indigenous Tairona individuals till the 15th century, is one of the most genuine locations in the nation. One of the things that struck me most was the place’s wild nature.

The seashores are in contrast to another Caribbean seashores you’ve seen. It’s all surrounded by lush inexperienced mountains and peaks, giving it an untamed character.

As well as, you possibly can go to several archaeological sites hidden in the thick forest, or scuba dive in the clear waters around Cabo San Juan.

Be a part of a Snorkeling Tour in the Nationwide Park

13 – El Chaltén, Argentina

El Chalten, Fitz Roy

The Argentinian Patagonia is a real paradise for mountaineering lovers and one of the greatest places to journey in South America.

El Chalten is probably the greatest start line for exploring the region. Don’t miss the path that takes you to Fitz Roy Mount and Cerro Torre.

One of the nice benefits there’s which you can take day tours to discover the mountains, lakes and glaciers, then go back to city later to take pleasure in a scorching shower and cozy bed.

El Chalten and Viedma Glacier Full Day Tour.

14 – Iquitos, Perú

Iquitos, Peru

No visit to South America can be full without an expedition into the Amazonas.

I like to recommend that you simply use Iquitos as your base. This metropolis, accessible only by boat or aircraft, deserves a number of days spent wandering around its markets and learning about the historical past of rubber.

You’ll find excursions to get you into the jungle and see the wild wildlife.

In my expertise, a three-day tour was good for getting to know the jungle. We went to a standard village, navigated rivers, visited a stunning lake and walked via the rainforest.

Throughout that time, we have been fortunate enough to see a quantity of animals, together with monkeys, tarantulas, caimans, piranhas, sloths and tons of of birds.

15 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

La Boca, Buenos Aires

Probably the most European of cities in South America, Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan hub with countless museums, art galleries, theaters and cultural facilities.

I spent a couple of days wandering round Sant Telmo, Puerto Madero, La Boca, Palermo and the city middle.

I liked La Boca as a result of it is a colorful neighborhood full of historical past. It was one of the essential settlements of the Italian migrants, and it has a singular character.

That is also a very good place to see the well-known tango dances, and even take some lessons in case you feel prefer it.

16 – Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

During my first visit to Brazil, Chapada Diamantina was the first spot on my South America bucket listing. Your complete park is shaped by big valleys, deep canyons and, above all, tons of of spectacular waterfalls.

Probably the most famous one is Cachoeira da Fumaça, at 353 meters high. I noticed it from one other mount in the front, however there’s also a path that takes you proper to the prime, where the fall begins – that have to be implausible!

17 – Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela

Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela

Cayo Sombrero is by far the most appealing of seashores in South America I’ve seen in all my travels.

First, it’s small; there are not any roads or motels, and no one lives there. Second, the sand is pure white, the water is turquoise and there are a lot of reefs with tropical fish. It’s good!

To get there, you’ll want to journey to Chichiriviche. From there, it is going to be straightforward to discover a boat that may take you to any of the cays.

Take a full day to sit back and luxuriate in this pristine paradise.

18 – Perito Moreno, Argentina

Perito Moreno, Argentina

It might be a sin to travel to South America and to the Argentinian Patagonia without including this glacier in your itinerary.

The Perito Moreno glacier seems to have been made to be admired; I can’t find another rationalization for it.

This big mass of ice is 5 kilometers long and about 70 meters above the water degree. Nevertheless, what really impressed me was catching a glimpse of the ice blocks falling away from the glacier and collapsing into the lake under. Unforgettable!

Get your tickets for the Perito Moreno glacier tour right here.

19 – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Salvador was the first capital and the important slave port of the Portuguese empire in Brazil. Subsequently, most of its inhabitants are African descendants whose traditions and beliefs are fairly related with Africa.

Most guests stay in Pelourinho, an enthralling (though touristy) neighborhood of colourful streets and steep slopes. I feel it’s the most fascinating Brazilian metropolis in phrases of tradition, colonial structure and historical past.

The African-influenced meals is scrumptious, and I’m already lacking these good “acarajés”.

Don’t miss the Salvador historical walking tour.

20 – Atacama Desert, Chile

Atacama Desert

Atacama, the world’s driest desert, is a “must-visit” destination in the north of Chile. Its most important points of interest are salt flats, geysers, spring waters and large volcanoes.

I rented a bicycle and visited Valle de la Luna, which is simply 13 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama. The unusual rock formations and desert expanses make you assume you’ve gotten flown to the moon. In addition, the sunset is spectacular.

One other place I liked was Piedra del Coyote, an enormous stone on which you’ll be able to stand upon a rocky precipice. Don’t miss Atacama!

Which of these greatest places to visit in South America would you want to see first?

I hope this record of South America landmarks has made you want to pack your luggage and travel to South America? I promise you gained’t be disenchanted!

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Planning a trip to South America? Here are 20 of the best places to visit in South America to make your South America trip unforgettable!