June 24, 2021
South America is fast becoming one of the most up and coming holiday destinations with an incredible combination of unique landscapes, diverse cultures and riveting history that make for a life changing trip that will leave you wanting more.
South America is home to an astounding variety of living and ancient cultures, as well as a dazzling array of natural wonders and activities to suit every kind of traveller. From the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the undulating waterways of the Amazon whilst not forgetting the towering volcanoes, red-rock canons and palm-fringed, white sand beaches there aren’t many places on Earth that offer such variety.
It’s been a difficult year for travel due to Covid-19 and we’re itching to get back out there and discover the world. To that end, we’ve put together a few reasons why South America should be your next go-to holiday destination to fuel your wanderlust and get to planning!
A Rich Cultural Heritage
Starting off with Brazil and its capital Rio de Janeiro, it is one of the cities that is on everyone’s travel bucket list and combines everything you would need for a perfect holiday. A tour to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer, is a must-do to witness the largest Art Deco statue in the world which sits atop the 720-metre Corcovado mountain. The view from the top provides a panoramic perspective of the city and its famed beaches; Copacabana and Ipanema. It isn’t called the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) for nothing.
The charming city of Buenos Aires is next on the list with it’s South American flair and European elegance, the Argentinian capital truly stands out amongst others. With its passion for tango and incredible food, Buenos Aires is a unique and colourful city where old meets new in an energetic environment. It is the perfect city to visit for art and culture lovers housing The Latin Art Museum of Buenos Aires which has one of the best collections of modern Latin American art in the world. The Teatro Colón is also considered to be one of the best opera houses in the world with productions of renowned operas such as La bohème and Swan Lake often being shown.
When it comes to indigenous culture, the Inca sites such as Machu Picchu, in Peru are certainly amongst the highlights of a holiday to South America. These archaeological sites provide countless opportunities to learn more about the variety of indigenous cultures that make up the continent. Between Cusco and Machu Picchu lies The Sacred Valley, an often missed upon destination that showcases a great range of cultural and historical sights with amazing ruins to explore. It is the heart and soul of Peru and where you will be able to learn about ancient traditions, customs and cultures. Cusco, also known as the Imperial City was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is packed with remarkable and intact vestiges of architecture from the civilisation that was once home to the Inca.
Another compelling culture to explore is that of the Rapa Nui on Easter Island, a small Chilean territory that is home to the Moai, the famous and dramatic stone heads carved from local volcanic rock dating back to the 13th century. The island also has a wealth of natural riches with extinct volcanoes, lava tunnels and caves that were formed by an old volcanic eruption dating back 10,000 years. The lava tunnels and caves can be visited and travellers will find in its depths, ancient paintings of birdmen as well as rock carvings and lava stalactites.
One of the most untouched and overlooked holidays destinations in South America remains to be Colombia. With its Caribbean beaches, snow-capped Andean mountains, verdant rainforests and unique ecosystems, this country has so much to offer its visitors. Cartagena is the jewel in Colombia’s crown with multi-coloured houses that line the street and take you back to a bygone time. One of the most awe-inspiring sights can be found in Zipaquirá, a city northeast of Bogotá known for its subterranean Salt Cathedral. Opened in 1954 and used by miners, the church is carved out of rock salt and features the Stations of the Cross along its walls. For those more inclined to hiking trails and archaeological wonders, the Ciudad Perdida is an ancient city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Believed to have been founded 650 years before Macchu Picchu, the Ciudad Perdida is only accessible on foot via one of the most exciting and breath-taking hikes through majestic landscapes.
When it comes to natural beauty there is a true treasure trove of stunning landscapes to discover across Latin America. Both the tallest waterfall and the largest waterfall are located here. The indomitable Angel Falls in Venezuela plummets from an isolated jungle plateau for a whopping 975 metres, making it the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, protected by the UNESCO World Heritage status. On the other hand, the Iguazu Falls which straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil is made of 275 separate drops.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Galapagos Island, just off of Ecuador, the island is well-known for its fearless and endemic wildlife. After all, Charles Darwin spent 19 days studying the islands’ flora and fauna in 1835 before returning to England to write On the Origin of Species which introduced his theory of evolution as well as the Galapagos Island to the world. Recently the incredible preservation work that has been put into place in the Galapagos National Park demonstrates an almost untouched marine and terrestrial life.
One of the highlights of South America is its impressive mountain range and Torres del Paine is the most famous of them all. The granite needles that make up this Andean range are the first things you see when entering the park. The National Park is also home to large glaciers and bright blue lakes which maintain its year-round chilly weather even in the height of summer. Visitors can often experience several weather systems in the course of a few hours.
Another incredibly talked about and popular holida destination is the Salar de Uyuni. Located in Bolivia, these salt flats are a must visit when you come to South America. A prehistoric lake that went dry, it left behind a white salt rock formation that covers nearly 11,000 sq.-km. During the wet season, the Salar de Uyuni is covered with a layer of water that reflects the sky and gives the feeling of walking on water. A great place to visit, especially for photographers who want to indulge in stunning perspective shots. Though wildlife is rare on the plains, pink flamingoes are notorious visitors of the Salar de Uyuni.
The most famous and important of the natural wonders that South America has to offer remains the Amazon Rainforest. Covering almost 40% of South America and spanning nine countries, Mother Nature’s Cradle of Life, as it is sometimes called is home to the most diverse and numerous arrays of species in the world. The best way to experience the Amazon Jungle is by boat, where you can cruise along the deep waters of the river trying to spot some of the incredible animals that roam the banks of the rainforest such as the infamous jaguar or try spotting the wilds piranhas that crowd the murky waters of the river. Keen horticulturist will take particular pleasure in visiting the Amazon Rainforest as it holds no less than 40,000 plant species.
These are but are few of the things that make South America one of the most diverse and stunning places to visit. You will not be able to help yourself from falling in love with the variety of things to do and places to visit when you come here. It is truly a destination that is hard to compare to any other in the world.
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