My Top 25 South America
Seven years ago I discovered a new continent, South America, and since then I have not tired of driving around it and admiring its natural wonders. You should go here first of all for the natural, non-creative sights, cities as such are secondary, they can be seen as an appendix to the creations of Nature. Here I want to present you my personal rating of natural attractions in South America, to show those places that have made the strongest impression on me. Although in truth this rating is very relative, because each of these places is unique and beautiful in its own way! So…
First place – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Truly alien landscapes, an abundance of unique fauna and contact with wildlife put these islands in the first place in my rating. A unique place on our Planet!
Second place – Iguazu Falls, Argentina, Brazil. A riot of waterfalls and cascades against the backdrop of wild jungle!
Third place – Uyuni salt marsh, Bolivia. The largest salt marsh in the world with the most incredible cosmic scenery! One of the most unusual places on Earth!
The fourth place is the Atacama Desert, Chile. Absolutely fantastic place in northern Chile. Dunes powdered with salt and dunes, geysers, lagoons, salt marshes – alien, lunar landscapes!
Fifth place is the lagoons of Altiplano, Bolivia. The colorful waters and thousands of flamingos in them make this an unforgettable sight.
Sixth place is the Marble Caves at Lake General Carrera, Aisen Region, Patagonia Chile. The marble caves and cathedrals are striking in shape and color against the unreal turquoise water of the second largest lake in South America!
The seventh place is Machu Picchu, Peru. The place of the strongest energy, an amazing unity of the natural landscape and the ancient architecture of the Inca Empire!
Eighth place – Perito Moreno glacier, Patagonia Argentina. The scale and power of the glacier is very impressive.
Ninth place – Torres del Paine Park, Patagonia Chile. The country’s main calling card, the rugged and majestic landscape!
Tenth place is the San Rafael Lagoon, Patagonia Chile. Spectacular glacier and huge icebergs on its background will not leave anyone indifferent.
Eleventh place – the Amazon , I think there is no need to comment. Peru, Brazil.
Twelfth place – the multi-colored mountains of Salta, Argentina. As if the painted rocks are the main feature of the Argentine north.
Thirteenth place – Easter Island, Chile. One of the most remote and mysterious places on Earth, and not just because of the moai. For the mystique – right here.
Fourteenth place is Atuel Canyon Reservoir in Mendoza, Argentina. An unreal rugged waterscape.
The reservoir on the Atuel River in the south of the province, Embalse Valle Grande del Rio Auel. The most rarified open-air view.
Fifteenth place is the Colca Canyon and its condors in the Arequipa region of Peru. One of the main natural attractions of Peru.
Sixteenth place – Los Glaciares Park and the Fitzroy Mountains, Patagonia Argentina. A great place to trek and get together with wildlife.
The Fitzroy mountain range opens up in all its splendor. The altitude – 3405 meters. Approaching the town of El Chalten.
Seventeenth place is Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. The view from Mount Corcovado is truly magnificent!
Eighteenth place is the Cordillera de los Andes in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Extraordinarily picturesque mountains and cliffs.
Nineteenth place – Villarrica Volcano in Araucania in southern Chile. It looks especially spectacular with smoke after or before an eruption.
The protagonist of Araucania is the Villarrica volcano. Periodically it was smoking, but fortunately it did not come to lava eruption.
Twentieth place is the island of Baru, Colombia. Caribbean beauty in its purest form.
Twenty-first place – Ischigualasto Park, Argentina, with its Martian landscapes.
Twenty-second place – Talampaya Park, Argentina, with its fiery red canyons and unusual rock formations.
Twenty-third place is the Lake District of Bariloche, Argentina. Argentine Switzerland, and that says it all!
Twenty-fourth place – Lake Chungara, Chile, the highest lake in the world.
Twenty-fifth place – Tamango Park , Patagonia, Chile, amazing for its sheer wildness.
Sightseeing in South America
For the first time the existence of South America was announced by Christopher Columbus. As he sailed past Trinidad, he noticed that the water around him was actually fresh. This indicated that somewhere nearby there was a huge river flowing into the ocean that could only exist on the continent.
Over the next 500 years, colonizers discovered hundreds of stunning sites: the ruins of ancient settlements, vast waterfalls, and endless deserts. To reach them from old Europe was very difficult. Three months of crossing the ocean with pirates, then a foot expedition through the jungle with the Indians. It’s like now. You get on a plane and in 12 hours you land in South America.
Let’s see where to go first.
Because of its unreal beauty and colorful local people this lake is probably the brightest tourist gem of Latin America. Its mysterious water has a kind of magical power, because it is recognized as sacred by the Quechua Indians.
Titicaca serves as a natural border between Bolivia and Peru. It is the largest fresh water reservoir on the continent. Its average depth is 151 meters. It is also the highest navigable lake on earth. It is located at an altitude of 3821 meters above sea level. Well, any advanced fisherman probably dreams to catch a trout here!
On the water surface of the lake there are 41 islands, most of them inhabited. On its shores are 2 tourist centers: Bolivia’s Puerto Acosta and Peru’s Puno. Its 180 sites are considered cultural and historical masterpieces.
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Contrary to the fact that the area is quite cool, windy, and dry (though sunny) year-round, the lake constantly beckons visitors from all over the world, and in mass numbers.
Ciudad – Perdida.
A city in northern Colombia, it’s an open-air historical monument. It was founded around the IX century. Discovered by chance in the first half of the 1970s. It fell into disrepair during the Spanish conquest.
You can enter it by liana-covered stone steps leading to one of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. But first you have to walk 52 kilometers with several river crossings, dangerous descents and ascents. The excursion to and from the site costs $200 and requires enough physical fitness for mountain hiking.
For a long time this area was a civil war war zone. Travel here became safe and regular only in 2005.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Argentinians rightly consider this glacier to be their main natural treasure, along with the Pampas. It is located in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz. This natural wonder has settled on an area of 150 km 2 and is included in Los Glacios National Park. By the way, the glacier, unlike its counterparts, continues to grow, while most of them are rapidly shrinking.
Perito Moreno ranks third in the world in terms of water reserves among glaciers. In the heat, you can see multi-ton blocks chipping off the walls and flying into the water.
This harsh desert stretches in northern Chile (Antofagasta region) and is reputed to be the most dehydrated place on the planet. The super-arid landscape is an extensive system of salt marshes, canyons, highlands and sandy plains, scattered over an area of 105,000 km2 .
Atmospheric temperature in the desert is generally normal for habitation (-2 – +26 °C) if it were not for the fact that here, on average, annually falls… 1 millimeter of rainfall. The cloudless skies and phantasmagoric topography make the South American desert an interesting tour destination. However, the best way to explore this desolate terrain is in a powerful off-road vehicle with a local guide.
The local attraction of Valle de la Luna is 15 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, where a number of observatories and research centers operate.
Rio de Janeiro
This beautiful city is the owner of the most popular Copacabana beach in the world and the largest in America (after Mexico’s Azteca) soccer stadium Maracana with 80 thousand seats.
In addition, in Rio, on Mount Corcovado, there is a giant statue of Christ, the most massive sculpture of the Savior and the symbol of the metropolis. All this is within the Tijuca National Park with an area of 20 km2 . It is an urban forest with mountain peaks, caves, waterfalls.
Another symbol of Rio is Carnival. It is a spectacular worldwide festival held annually for 40 days before Easter and attended by 2 million spectators. The highlight is the samba parade, where everyone does his or her best.
But now there are some security problems. Be sure to read some helpful tips from a tourist returning from a trip to Brazil.
The highest waterfall on the planet. Its height reaches 976 meters. It is lost in the inaccessible jungle in southeastern Venezuela. To get to the extraordinary natural object is possible with the assistance of the indigenous natives. True, they charge not so little for their service.
Helicopter route to Angel is even more expensive, but impressive pleasure. An air flight provides a full panorama of the falls. In addition, there is no ground transportation here.
The waterfall is named after the American pilot James Angel, who reached it in 1933. During the tropical rainy season, the total stream splits into two separate streams, and the noise of falling water is amplified and can be heard at a distance of 1 kilometer. Characteristically, the spray falling from the height has time to evaporate into the air during the dry season.
The famous volcanic archipelago beckons, as does Easter Island, located in this part of the Pacific Ocean. These islands are literally lost at the edge of the earth, so in a sense isolated from civilization and have a distinctive fauna and flora.
Among the outlandish animals are the Galapagos sea lion and turtle, sea iguana, great wingless cormorant, and Darwin’s finch. The native tortoise, which can weigh more than 4 tons, is the largest animal of the islands and Earth. British natural scientist Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos back in 1835 and that visit proved to be a landmark in the creation of his theory of the origin of species.
Isabela, Fernandina, San Cristóbal and some other islands have hotels that are reached by boat.
Parallel to this waterfall complex, which is formed by the river of the same name, there is a cordon between Argentina and Brazil. It is higher and wider than the Niagara River: the water flow reaches 1756 m 3 /sec, the registered maximum is 13 thousand m 3 /sec. It is a true natural water phenomenon, more than 2 kilometers wide and divided into 275 small but expressive pieces. Each of them stretches up to 70 meters in height. That’s why the middle of the stream is called “Devil’s Throat.”
It is truly the tourist Mecca of Latin America with 1.5 to 2 million visitors each year. In the immediate vicinity of Iguazú are waterproof clothing for rent, sightseeing and sightseeing trails. Close to the site are an international airport, hotel and entertainment infrastructure, convenient access routes, and walking facilities.
A solonchak with this name exists in Bolivia. It is the largest salt lake in the world. The thickness of its salt shell is 2-20 meters.
According to unofficial estimates, Uyuni contains up to 10 billion tons of table salt. Because the salt marsh is completely flat, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration uses it to calibrate spacecraft. In the spring, when it rains, a uniform layer of water forms on the vast flat surface. During this period, Uyuni becomes a huge mirror of natural origin. Sunsets and dawns are especially spectacular in such natural conditions.
The legendary ruins of the Inca civilization are located high in the mountains of Peru. Machu Picchu is a world of mystery, hidden from view by the Andes’ peaks and crammed with stone sculptures, remnants of sanctuaries, palaces, and underground tunnels. It is a historical ensemble that dates from the 15th century and declined in the 16th after the conquest of inner America by the Spanish.
In 1983, UNESCO gave the ancient Inca capital, which is based near the modern city of Cusco, the status of a World Heritage Site. Massive blocks of granite are the base used to create a complex of religious buildings. Individual pieces of stone blocks weigh more than 50 tons, but the most surprising thing is that cement materials were not used in the construction of the temples. Nevertheless, the construction details are matched with mathematical precision.
Hiking the Inca Trail is the best way to get to Machu Picchu. It usually takes 4-5 days to cover a distance of 40 kilometers.
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