The 25 Places you Must Visit in South America

Heading to South America for the first time? Don’t want to miss any of the places you must visit in South America? No worries! We’ve put together a list of the best places to see and visit in South America.

1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Located in the Southwest of Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is without a doubt the most popular destination in Bolivia to visit. It is the world’s largest salt flat and spans nearly 11,000 square kilometres. The salt flats look different year-round, arguably the most photographic in the wet season (January to April).

Salar de Uyuni Bolivia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

2. Santuario de las Lajas, Colombia

This famous basilica church in southern Colombian is located in the Department of Nariño. The Gothic Revival style church has become synonymous with the south of Colombia with thanks to its unique location and was built between 1916 and 1949.

 

3. See the Milkyway over Lake Titicaca, Peru

Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru in the Andes Mountains. Said to be the birthplace of the Incas, Lake Titicaca is one of the most magical places in South America to experience the Milky Way.

4. Cartagena, Colombia

The historic colonial city of Cartagena is one of the most beautiful places to explore in South America. The city is protected by UNESCO World Heritage status which allows a great deal of insight into colonisation in South America.

Cartagena Colombia

5. Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina

Mount Fitz Roy is located in Patagonia and is one of the favourite choices for mountaineers and hiking enthusiasts when visiting South America. It is located on the border between Chile and Argentina, near El Chalten. It was first summited in 1952.

Mount Fitzroy Argentina | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

6. The Amazon River

The Amazon river is one of the world’s longest rivers (by some definitions it is) and certainly the longest river in South America. There are many ways to experience the Amazon, but a great way to really get to know the Amazon is to join a small cruise that will take you to remote villages. This way you can meet local people and learn more about the way of life in the Amazon.

Amazon Jungle

7. The World’s Most Dangerous Road, Bolivia

There were many times riding down death road in Bolivia that I questioned my sanity. Although this is one crazy ride to the bottom, it is a really fun, exhilarating one.

Read more: Bike riding Death Road in Bolivia

8. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands is an archipelago of volcanic islands in Ecuador. They are famous for being home to a huge variety of marine wildlife and thus one of the most sought after destinations for snorkelling and diving in the world.

9. Machu Picchu, Peru

It was a pinch me moment the day I stood atop Machu Picchu in Peru. This incredible citadel set high in the Andes mountains has quickly become one of the world’s top bucket list destinations.

Read more: Visiting Peru for the first time: Everything you need to know

 

 

 

 

10. La Paz, Bolivia

When I made a last minute decision to travel to La Paz, Bolivia, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What came next was a world of colour, vibrant street culture and often chaos. This incredible city feels like a step back in time.

Read more: This one time I went to La Paz, Bolivia

la pazLa Paz Bolivia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

11. Swing at the End of the World in Banos, Ecuador

Chances are you’ve seen the swing at the end of the world before, but have you ever visited!? The swing is located in Banos, Ecuador.

 

12. Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine became my favourite hiking destination when I first visited some five years ago. Chile is one of the most diverse countries to visit and you can really see why when you visit the South of the country.

Torres del Paine Chile | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

13. Moai Statues on Easter Island, Chile

Speaking of diversity, Easter Island is Chile’s hidden gem. This mystical island is famous for the Moai statues that dot the island in various formations. There are many myths and legends as to why they are there but essentially, it remains a mystery.

Read more: Visiting Easter Island

14. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is easily one of the most photogenic cities in the world. Be sure to venture to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain for an epic view of Rio from above, including the cities’ famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Read more: Touring a Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Read more: The top 10 cities to visit in South America

Rio de Janeiro ContikiSugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTRio de Janeiro | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

15. Canopy Walk, The Amazon, Peru

The Amazon is full of epic experiences and the canopy walk is no exception. You could easily spend an entire month exploring the depths of the Amazon, which stretches through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.

 

16. Valparaiso, Chile

Chances are you didn’t imagine yourself skiing in South America but the good news for ski enthusiasts is that you can! Valparaiso is located a short drive from Chile’s capital Santiago and offers some great slopes for all experience levels.

Valparaiso Chile | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

17. Angel Falls, Venezuela

The epic Angel Falls in Venezuela stands at a whopping 979 metres, making it the world’s largest uninterrupted waterfall. The entire area is protected by UNESCO World Heritage status.

 

18. Geysers el de Tatio, Chile

Located in Northern Chile, the Geysers el de Tatio is the third largest geysier field in the world. This natural phenomenon is best enjoyed in the morning, when the mist fills the air and the morning sun hits the surrounding mountains.

Atacama desert

19. Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places in the world, but this does not mean it is lacking in liveliness. There are cactus valleys to explore, local cultures a plenty and this is one of the best places to take advantage of no light pollution and see the Milky Way.

instagram atacama

20. The Sacred Valley, Peru

The Sacred Valley is the heart and soul of Peru. It is here where you can learn about ancient traditions, customs and cultures. Begin your journey in Cusco and after a few days in the hustle and bustle, make your way in to the Sacred Valley on a journey towards Machu Picchu.

21. Iguassu Falls, bordering Argentina and Brazil

I will never forget the time I visited Iguassu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. This is mostly because I didn’t have the appropriate visa to do so and quickly learned of the trials and tribulations to obtaining one at short notice. Regardless of the lessons learned, Iguassu Falls was easily one of my favourite places in South America.

Iguassu Falls Argentina and Brazil | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

22. Cusco, Peru

There is no other city in the world quite like Cusco. This was once the capital of the Inca Empire and to this day you can still feel remnants of that.

Read more: 3 days in Cusco

Cusco_Peru

23. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires feels more like a European city than anywhere else in South America. The capital of Argentina is thriving with nightlife, great food and a vibrant culture that will leave you feeling carefree in no time.

Read more: 9 things not to miss in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires | Best Places in South America

24. Santiago, Chile

The capital of Chile is often overlooked or given just one day to explore as a stopover city. There is so much to see and do in Chile that it isn’t hard to see why you might skip over Santiago. If you do have time, this is a great city to get a feel for South America before you venture off in to the more adventurous parts of the continent.

25. Sail to Antarctica

If you’re feeling very adventurous or looking to check off the last continent on your travel list, then a cruise through Antarctica is one of the world’s most sought after bucket list experiences.

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