The Top Ten Places to Visit in South America
It is a land of natural exotic beauty that will leave you speechless, a land of mystery and great historic importance. South America springs to life with the tango, the Amazon River basin, glaciers, ancient ruins and whales that swim mere meters away from delighted visitors. This nearly forgotten continent houses an enormous abundance of natural and historical wonders. If you make a trip to the southern hemisphere, be sure to include these precious gems.
With some of the most stunning mountain views in the world, San Carlos de Bariloche provides a unique mix of lakes, rivers and mountains unlike anyplace else on earth. For the outdoor enthusiast there is hiking, cycling, camping, climbing and world class skiing. You can find yourself secluded in a mountain forest or pampered in a European style ski lodge. In Bariloche, the choice is yours. Tip: avoid July as the town is flooded with vacationing students.
Volcanoes, hot thermal pools and the majesty of the Andes are all to be found in this Chilean mountainside town. In Pucon, you can actually see molten lava flow down the sides of Mount Villarrica, and you can take an exciting horseback ride through the hair raising mountain terrain. If you are brave and fit, you can even climb into the Andes high up above the snow line.
This is the heart of Colombia. With its vibrant citizens, this global city has great places to wine and dine, and the intriguing history of the city is irresistible. Visit the Gold Museum or the Church of San Francisco built in 1556. Don’t forget to take a trip into the lush mountainous countryside. Mount Monserrate is especially breathtaking. On Sundays many streets are closed to create the Ciclovia, that is, bikes only are allowed. You can even rent bikes right from your hotel.
This is the land at the end of the earth. At the farthest tip of South America lies an archipelago separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan. On your way there you can explore the expanse of Patagonia or take a whale watching trip along the Atlantic Coast. Make sure you visit the colorful city of Ushuaia. If you are really looking for adventure, book a trip to Antarctica from the southern tip of the continent.
This is undoubtedly one of the finest places to live and visit in all of South America. The pace is relaxed, but you can easily find excitement surfing or paragliding. The beautiful crescent beaches and quiet town demeanor invite you to extend your stay. The easygoing Brazilian lifestyle is contagious. Make sure to schedule a day trip to the small island paradise of Campeche.
Here all worlds collide. Ancient tribes escape Spanish colonists, and Indian Jones-like explorers discover hidden temples. But this is no fairy tale. It is real; it is historic, and it can only be accessed by a windy mountain road. Finally, you arrive at a mysterious place of rugged mountain peaks, rivers and a lost city in the clouds. If you look hard enough you can find the Secret Temple of the Moon. Hint: The temple isn’t located in the main part of the city, but on the other side of Huayna Picchu Mountain.
No city can be more alive than Rio. Beaches and smiles are found everywhere in this cosmopolitan mecca. While swaying to the rhythms of bosa nova music you can visit the famous Copacabana beach or snap photos of the amazing Portuguese influenced architecture. Don’t forget to catch a show at the famous Teatro Municipal. Make sure to visit the hallmark of the city: the Cristo Redentor statue that towers well over 100 feet tall at the top of Corcovado Mountain.
Here three countries share a border at one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Iguazu National Park is awe inspiring with over 275 falls, and the largest cascading down 270 feet. You can see the falls by a series of bridges or get up close by boat. Toucans, hummingbirds and monkeys are all seen frolicking within arm’s reach. You might even see a jaguar. Iguazu is a nature lover’s paradise.
With 14 lane highways and couples dancing the tango in the street, you can’t help but fall in love with this city. Buenos Aires has the most unique mixture of European and Latin cultures unlike any place else on earth. The beef is recognized around the world as the best. You can sip coffee at a local café, cruise with the jet set crowd in Recoleta or schedule a stay at a luxurious ranch in the nearby countryside. Find an authentic tango bar and dance the night away.
Many talk about the Brazilian part of the Amazon River Basin, but the Peruvians have their share as well. From the port town of Inquitos, you can explore the river and the rainforest, and there is even a famous floating village. The diversity of the wildlife alone will keep you amazed for days. Don’t miss the butterfly farm and animal rescue center.