South America is an incredible destination for travel with a wide range of options ranging from eco-tourism to large urban centers. After all, there are 10 beautiful countries waiting to show the best things they have. In this list we bring some options that you should definitely check before choosing your next vacation destination. These are some of the best places to visit in South America.
10. Cartagena, Colômbia
Cartagena was the first Spanish colony in the Americas. Its strategic location on the Caribbean Sea made the city one of the main commercial ports at that time. So it was the target of many pirate attacks and attempted invasions. Cartagena led Spain’s emancipation movement, declaring its independence from the rest of the country in 1811. The city looks like an open air museum and in 1984, Cartagena was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also it is known as the ‘Jewel of the Colombian Caribbean’. Besides to the historic architecture, the city is protected by walls made of oceanic stones and corals. The place attracts tourists from all over the world for the beautiful sandy beaches, delicious cuisine and the bustling nightlife.
9. Santiago, Chile
The Chilean capital is a destination full of charm, good walks and restaurants. Plaza de Armas is the starting point for those who visit the city. Founded in 1541, the place brings together some of the main buildings in the Chilean capital. Other tourist spots that can’t be left out are the Metropolitan Cathedral, Palacio de La Moneda, the seat of the Chilean government. The National Museum of Fine Arts can’t be left out of the tour. Opened in 1880, which makes it the oldest art museum in South America.
Calle Bandera is in the center of Santiago and is famous for being colorful. There is a long stretch with multicolored artistic interventions that are eye-catching. The street is named after Pedro Chacón y Morales, a well-known merchant from the city. Santiago Central Market is a great opportunity to enjoy the culture and flavors of Chilean cuisine. Santiago is close to several ski resorts, El Colorado and Valle Nevado, which are among the best ski slopes in the country.
8. Machu Picchu, Peru
The lost city of the Incas is probably the most typical symbol of the Inca Empire. It was the American professor Hiram Bingham who, during an expedition, rediscovered and introduced the world to Machu Picchu in 1911. Machu Picchu, which in Quechua means “old mountain”, is surrounded by puzzles about its creation and usefulness, Archaeologists were able to identify the 3 main structures of Machu Picchu: the Temple of the Sun, Temple of The Three Windows and the Intihuatana. Intihuatana is a stone that was created by the Incas to be used as a calendar or an astronomical clock.
The place, is declared by UNESCO as Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity and receives tourists from all over the world. And also is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Due to the great popularity of the place, the number of tourists and visiting time started to be controlled by the Peruvian government due to the high risk of deterioration.
7. Ilha de Páscoa, Chile
Beautiful and super mysterious, Easter Island is why many tourists who go to Chilean lands want to know the beauties of the island. Famous for its gigantic statues, called moais, inactive volcanoes and all the typography that hides caves and trails. Easter Island accelerates the heart and imagination of mystery lovers. The famous moais, which are the celebrities of Easter Island. They are made of volcanic rocks and weigh around 80 tons. Some experts believe that the statues were built between 1100 and 1680 BC to honor chiefs, ancestors and important figures in the community. But the truth is that almost no record has been left of them. On Easter Island there is only one city called Hanga Roa, where restaurants, shops, hotels are located.
6. Salar de Uyuni Bolívia
The Salar de Uyuni is known as the largest salt desert in the world. Located in southwest Bolivia. It is believed that thousands of years ago, the very formation of the mountain range separated the area from the Pacific Ocean, creating several prehistoric lakes that would later dry up, giving rise to what we now know as the Salar de Uyuni. The landscape of the place is incredible, it is like a gigantic white sea. Most of the year the Salar is completely dry, but the rainy or wet season turns the desert into a large mirror that reflects the sky. A true masterpiece of nature. Because it is such a big place and without reference points. It is not recommended to venture alone on the Salar de Uyuni. And, it is necessary to hire a guide for the high risk of getting lost in the salt desert.
5. Ilhas Galápagos Ecuador
The place that inspired Charles Darwin and contributed to the foundation of the Theory of Evolution. It is formed by 58 volcanic islands, the Galapagos archipelago, in Ecuador. Well known for its animal species, such as the giant tortoise and the marine iguana. Nowadays, much of the Galapagos tourism potential follows in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. There are museums dedicated to him and his historic achievements such as the Charles Darwin Foundation Museum. The Galapagos Islands are one of the largest reservoirs of life on the planet. In addition, the region is home to one of the largest concentrations of endemic species in the world. The place is also considered a World Heritage Site.
4. Bonito, Brazil
In the free translation the word Bonito means beautiful, what is really very suitable for a place like Bonito. A great place for those who want to do ecological tourism and get to know Brazilian tourist attractions outside Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The city of Bonito is in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Pole of ecotourism, its main attractions are the natural landscapes, the dives in rivers of transparent waters, waterfalls, caves and dolines. The city is in the middle of one of the Bodoquena plateau valleys that form rivers of transparent waters, caves and waterfalls.
The best known attractions are Gruta do Lago Azul and Gruta de São Miguel, which spreads out over a dry area that houses 650 million years old limestone rocks, which belong to the Precambrian period. The fauna and flora of the place are incredible attractions and include several species characteristic of the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest.
3. Punta del leste, Uruguay
Considered the most luxurious beach resort in South America. Casapueblo is an unmissable place for those who go to Punta del Leste. The place reminds the white houses of the island of Santorini in Greece. Casapueblo was designed and built by the Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró. The house was modeled by hand and the name Casapueblo was chosen after a conversation between Vilaró and two friends. The inspiration for the construction of the house is based on a famous Brazilian lullaby, A Casa, by the composer Vinicius de Moraes who sings about a funny house, with no roof and no floor. Besides the museum, Casapueblo also houses cafes, a restaurant and a hotel.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the complete destination for those who want to get to know the heart of tango, dulce de leche and papas fritas. The Argentine capital is a city for people of all ages and of all tastes. It is exactly the potential to please so many people that makes the city so special. La Casa Rosada is the seat of the Argentine presidency and is one of the symbols of the country and its exterior was painted pink around 1870. The Obelisk is a historic monument created to commemorate the city’s 400th anniversary. It is located at the intersection between Corrientes and 9 de Julio avenues. Avenida 9 de Julio was once considered the widest avenue in the world. Corrientes is considered to be Buenos Aires Broadway due to the numerous theaters.
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful just like Gilberto Gil sang. The best-known Brazilian city abroad is reputed to have a happy people who like football and samba. What many do not know is that the wonderful city, as the Brazilians say, also has history and was the seat of the colony, home to the Portuguese court and later the capital of Brazil. The most famous tourist spot in Rio, Cristo Redentor, was included as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Pão de Açúcar should also be on the list of those who visit the city. Copabacana beaches and Jardim Botânico with imperial palms, planted at the behest of Dom Pedro II deserve a visit and for those who want to understand the Brazilian passion for soccer should go to the Maracanã stadium. The nightlife in Rio is very lively, there are many bars, restaurants and places to discover samba and carnival culture. Rio de Janeiro is an urban experience and sensational natural landscape.