Top Destinations in South America
South America is a continent of “biggests”! The largest rainforest in the world, the longest mountain range in the world, the deepest canyon in the world, and longest river in the world. There are so many natural marvels and amazing cities it’s hard to know where to start. So here are a few of the best destinations in South America to help you choose…
Machu Picchu, Peru
No list of things to do in South America would be complete without a mention of its most iconic site, Machu Picchu. The Inca city is as beautiful and fascinating as its popularity suggests. Trek there following the Inca Trail across the mountains, or take a train from Cusco.
Iguassu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
Spanning the border between Brazil and Argentina, the Iguassu (or Iguazu) Falls are one of the largest waterfall systems in the world – and they’re truly spectacular. You can visit in either country, but you’ll get totally different views and experiences on each side. Learn more in this guide to Iguassu Falls.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Salt isn’t often considered beautiful, but the salt flats at Uyuni in Bolivia are one of the most incredible sights in the country. A huge white desert of nothing but salt, Salar de Uyuni is a striking, otherworldly landscape. In the rainy season, the flats are waterlogged and perfectly reflect the sky above – while in the dry season, the bright white landscape is great for playing with perspective in your photographs.
It’s the biggest and most famous rainforest in the world, extending into nine of South America’s twelve countries. The Amazon is an absolute must-visit destination in South America, but be careful to choose an environmentally friendly tour to have minimal impact on this delicate eco-system.
Tayrona National Park, Colombia
If it’s beautiful beaches you’re looking for, you can’t beat Colombia’s gorgeous Caribbean coast. And the crowning jewel is probably Tayrona National Park. You have to hike for about an hour through jungle to reach the beaches, but it’s worth it. Camp for at least one night to truly make the most of the park and its stunning white sandy beaches.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the most iconic cities in the world, Rio has it all. Pristine beaches, emerald green mountains, lively neighbourhoods and a fantastic party scene. Soak up the carnaval spirit at a samba class, watch the sunset from Sugarloaf Mountain, dance your way around the colourful Lapa district, and take a selfie with the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. This is one of the most fun cities in South America!
Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
It’s not all about beaches and jungles in South America. In fact, a lot of the continent is covered in mountains and one of the most famous regions is Patagonia. A hiker’s paradise, the region is home to staggering glaciers, ski resorts, and epic mountain scenery. Not to be missed.
Fans of Argentinian wine won’t want to miss a trip to Mendoza. At the heart of Malbec country, the small town is surrounded by vineyards, which can be toured fairly cheaply. You can even rent a bike and cycle around visiting several in one day!