13 Best Places to Visit in South America

Travel in South America is a dream for everyone but everyone is confused about where to travel as there were lots of beautiful places are available there. They are all wonderful and spectacular! It is one of the most beautiful continents in the world because it is so varied and stunning. One corner looks very different from another.

You can travel between snow capped peaks and lush tropical jungle within a day. Those countries have the richest biosphere. In Ecuador there are some of the highest volcanoes over 6000 m. Peru has a long and varied coast line, high mountains and tropical jungle, third tallest waterfall, Gocta. In Bolivia there is Altiplano, the second biggest high plateau after Tibet.

In the middle of Altiplano there are colourful lakes and the biggest salt desert, Salar de Uyuni. To all that, you can add ancient pre-columbian sites like Machu Picchu, Kuelap, Tiwanaku. You have the Amazon rainforest of Brazil to the fjords of Chilean Patagonia, to the salt flats of Bolivia, to the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile and so on.

South America has a reputation for being a little riskier for tourists. While things have been improving in some countries, there is still no doubt you should take more care than usual. Only take what you need on any given day, leaving your passport, extra cash, and a card or two locked away in your hotel safe in case the worst happens. And always keep your bag in view when on public transport.

best places to visit in south america

From a stunning island with a morbid past to an icy scientific mystery, these are some of the most amazingly beautiful places in South America:

1. Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier is the largest mobile glacier in the world. Located in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, it is one of the most important attractions for those who travel to Patagonia. The incredible thing about this particular glacier is that, instead of retreating, it is advancing. The reason why the Perito Moreno Glacier continues to grow is still being debated by scientists.

This glacier is over three miles wide and reaches an average of two hundred forty feet above the water’s surface. Since Perito Moreno is so easily accessible, it has become one of the most significant tourist destinations in southern Patagonia. Plus, the immense size of the glacier is enough to draw visitors in. It was spotted by non-natives for the first time in 1879 by the Chilean Navy’s British Captain, Juan Tomas Rogers.

Two years later, Chile and Argentina signed the Boundary Treaty, which defined the countries boundaries, and the area was within Argentina’s. The glacier was named after Mr. Francisco Pascasio Moreno, a famous explorer from the country, in 1899.

2. Venezuela

One of the best places to visit in Venezuela is the Angel Falls which is one of the stunning natural tourist attraction to visit famous for it’s waterfall. This awe-inspiring cascade is in Venezuela and is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. It reaches three thousand two hundred twelve feet tall, and the water pours over the Auyan-tepui mountain’s edge in Canaima National Park.

Angel Falls was named after Jimmy Angel, a United States pilot, who became the first to fly over the cascade. His ashes were scattered over Angel Falls when he passed in 1960. Considering the waterfall’s impressive height and sheer beauty, it’s not surprising that Angel Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Venezuela.

Valencia is another popular city to visit in Venezuela famous for it’s modern architecture.

The widest waterfall in the world in Laos wasn’t very tall. One of the top five widest waterfalls in the world happens to be in Venezuela. The waterfall, balances at the edge of the cliff with a powerful flow of water. There is a 200-foot drop off. You’ll have a long, perilous walk back to the banks of the Caura River trying not to be swept over the falls. Oh, and the river has piranhas too.

If you make it to shore, let’s see you hike out of this enormous tropical rain forest with poisonous snakes and jaguars to find the nearest road. Lake Maracaibo, the mouth of the katantombo River in Venezuela, has the largest and longest lasting lightning on earth. There are more than 250 thunderstorms in a year, which take place 10 hours a day, 250 times an hour, and 1 million times a year.

The arc formed by lightning in the night sky is extremely shocking, with a length of 5 kilometres and a strength of 400000 amperes. Therefore, it is also known as lightning storm lake. Its thunderstorm level is so strong that it can be seen as far as 400 kilometres away. Therefore, in the past hundreds of years, many ships sailing in the local area will regard it as the "Lighthouse" to guide the direction.

3. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world drives most people to visit Peru. It's amazing. There are hundreds of walls that are made up of multiple rocks and some boulders that are up to 40 tons in weight. The rocks and boulders are cut and fitted together so perfectly, a piece of paper can't fit In between them.

The boulders are massive but they have no remnants of the wheel in Machu Picchu! How did they build this? How did they move them? There is no plaster used. These are real rocks cut incredibly perfect to fit with others. No one knows how they could have made something so complex and moved such massive boulders and cut them into 90 degree angles.

You can visit Machu Picchu via Inca Rail. You will have to buy your ticket in advance to visit Machu Picchu as limited tickets are available. You can also purchase it online.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard about this historical location in southern Peru. The construction of Machu Picchu began between 1450 and 1460, and it was used as a royal estate. Estimates suggest that about seven hundred fifty people resided there, most of whom worked to support the rulers and lived there full-time.

During difficult seasons, only around a hundred servants stayed in Machu Picchu to focus on maintenance. From the skeletal remains of those who lived there, scientists have concluded many of the people were immigrants from many varying backgrounds. These remains also suggest that most of the citizens had lower bone damage levels than those living elsewhere.

In addition to the human remains, Machu Picchu is also known for the impressive engineering presented in its drainage systems. Farming was primarily done on a man-made terrace, and irrigation wasn’t needed due to large amounts of rainfall. Although the Spanish found and conquered Cusco, as we briefly mentioned, they never discovered Machu Picchu, which is why it remained mostly unscathed throughout the years.

This place was declared a historic sanctuary. Like in many ancient civilizations, however, living in Machu Picchu wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Evidence suggests that sacrificing animals, dirt, and liquids was more commonplace.

This tremendous effort of creating a village around 1450 AD on a sharp mountain peak is just stunning engineering. It’s simply one of the most impressive man made places on this planet!

First, you will be impressed by the 8,920-foot summit of Huayna Picchu. After that, the amazing view of the Inca site will knock your socks off. And if you wish to be part of the 200-member hiking groups, you can take the famous 2-hour hike around the Inca trail. You will also be able to see the stairs of death up close.

Machu Picchu looks like a yoga parlor these days. Pretty sure every woman on Bumble and Hinge has been there recently for yoga and internet dating.

4. Cusco

This city in Peru is often spelled C-U-Z-C-O, and it’s located near the Andes mountains’ Urubamba Valley. It served as the capital of the Inca Empire, which was from the thirteenth century to 1532. Many people think that Cusco was formed in the shape of a puma, which was considered a sacred animal.

After the Spanish invaded the city, it was transformed into the primary point for spreading Christianity and Spanish colonization. In 1950, an earthquake destroyed over a third of Cusco’s buildings, but the architecture left by the Incan people withstood the event.

This city is beautiful regarding its architecture and place among the mountains, but it’s also very close to a stunning geographical feature called Rainbow Mountain. The mountain’s name is a perfect fit because its mineral composition creates numerous layers of different colors. The various hues are made up of red clay, mud and sand, sandstone, marlstone, and quartzose, as well as other mineral-rich materials.

5. Lima

You can visit Lima, the capital city while traveling Peru. Lima is a perfect stop for a quick sightseeing before the next destination. Lima is also known as the city of kings. First-time visitors should visit the local museums to know Peru's depth of history. Besides visiting the downtown, I also recommend going to Miraflores, the seaside district of the city.

6. Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is located in the Andean high plateau (Collao plateau), on the border between Peru and Bolivia. Located at 3,800 meters above sea level, it is the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest in South America. The surroundings of the lake were inhabited by pre-Inca populations, highlighting the Tiahuanaco kingdom.

The most interesting archaeological remains of these cultures are: the Inca cemetery of Sillustani with huge stone towers (12 meters high) built as the last home of the Inca nobles; the temple of Chucuito, where you can find a series of sculptures in stone with phallic forms dedicated to the cult of fertility.

7. Uyuni Salt Flat

Located in Bolvia, the Salar de Uyuni (a salt flat), is probably the closest thing to a natural mirror! The bright-white salt acts like a crystal clear mirror, where the sky is reflected perfectly, so anyone walking across the salt flats appears to be walking on clouds.

Bolivia offers you the view of one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world such as the Salar de Uyuni which is one of the most visited place in Bolivia famous for it’s white sand flat surface. Salar De Uyuni is considered as the majestic beauty of Bolivia in South America. It is also known as the world's largest mirror. It is a prehistoric lake that went dry due to evaporation leaving behind a white plain of salt.

Its plain is almost 11,000 sq.km. and it extends to the horizon making it even more interesting. It has thick polynomial structured salt rising from the ground leaving it unnoticeable. What makes this desert like white salt plain a mirror is when nearby lakes overflow onto the plain forming a thin layer which then reflects the sky and the horizon makes it unbelievably beautiful. Get a ride to this white sand flat surface is a great experience.

If you ever want to feel like you’re walking along the edge of the earth, visit Salar de Uyuni, the world’s biggest salt flat in Bolivia. Salt flats are seemingly endless stretches of flat ground covered in salt and minerals, stretching away into the distance like a cloud. Salar de Uyuni appeared after a prehistoric lake dried up and left a giant expanse of salt-covered desert.

The most beautiful season in Uyuni is from January to April, which is also the local rainy season, and you can see the mirror. To see the best effect of the mirror, February-March is the perfect time to choose. However, these two months are the highest peak of the year in the local area. Some domestic tourist groups also go there. If you want to stay in the salt brick hotel, you must book and plan.

January-start and March-end may experience the transition between the dry and rainy seasons, and you may see the effect of the semi-mirror drought. The famous cactus island is impossible to visit in the rainy season if the water level is too high. The dry season is more beautiful than the rainy season, and it has an unconventional beauty, and it can put on various appearances to create other illusions.

How many days should you visit? The shortest is one day, of course, and the longest is three days. In addition to going to Salt Lake for three days, you can also go deeper to the Red Lake and Green Lake to see flamingos (can be seen all year round), to see the desert, etc. you can choose to go to Uyuni or depart from Uyuni to San Pedro.

The most conventional ones generally cover the sunset, but Starry sky and sunrise photography are generally additional services. It is hard work, no doubt. You can watch the starry sky from ten in the evening to midnight, and you need to leave at 5:00 am for sunrise. It also depends on the weather that day. You can check each day’s weather at ClimaCell. Also, high-quality tour guides can help you know a little about photography. If you want to see the starry sky, the dry season is better.

8. Ushuaia

Ushuaia is located between the peaks of the Andean mountains and the icy waters of the Beagle Channel. The capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego is considered the southernmost city on the planet.

9. Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is a must if you go to southern Peru. It is the second deepest in the world. Arriving at the Colca Canyon on your own is a little more complicated, but not impossible.

10. San Carlos de Bariloche

Bariloche is beautifully located on Lake Nahuel Huapi and protected by Cerro Catedral, and is immersed in nature and it will be a great pleasure to get lost in the landscape. Even a few days is a breath of fresh air, filling the lungs with that Patagonian wind to oxygenate the mind, contemplating those dreamed landscapes that are so beautiful that they do not seem real, but generated by CGI for a Hollywood movie.

11. Montevideo

Montevideo, the southernmost capital of South America, is a dynamic city, full of green areas. A succession of beaches of fine sand adorn the coastline of the capital of Uruguay. Through this article I want to guide the visitor to visit the most important places to visit in Uruguay. Port market is one of the best places to eat a barbecue. The best day to visit is Saturday at noon when the bustle and music create an authentic party.

The Rambla is the favorite ride of the people of Montevideo. It starts at the Rambla Sur and stretches 20 kilometers to Carrasco. Depending on the neighborhood you are in, it has very different characteristics. Salvo Palace is the most emblematic building in Montevideo. SolĂ­s Theatre is one of the most important in South America.

12. Huacachina

The oasis of Huacachina, is very close to the city of Ica. The water of the lagoon of the Huacachina, is of a green difficult to define. The lagoon has all the tourist attractions like pedal boats, canoes. Huacachina has a boardwalk that makes the journey easy. During the walk you can see the dozens of restaurants, bars, hotels and tourist agencies, and also the lagoon of course.

13. Paracas

Have you heard about Paracas? It's a small coastal area, a few hours south of Lima that is one of the most ecologically rich areas in Peru, so much so that it's colloquially referred to as the poor man's Galapagos. You can hit up the main attractions in just 24 hours.

I hope you would like the places and definitely plan to visit once on vacation whenever you plan for any trip. South America is one of the most beautiful places and I recommend you visit once to see the heavens of America and the cool and natural beauty of nature, flowers and waterfalls, and many more.
Kalyan Panja