The fourth largest continent in the world, South America is a haven of culture, beauty, passion and adventure. From the lush landscape of the Amazon to the beach towns of Brazil, there is so much to see and do here it can be easy to miss some of its best bits. Check out our list of must-see places to visit in South America to make sure you experience as much of this magical continent as possible.
Before you go, check foreign exchange rates for each of the countries you plan on visiting to ensure you get the best deal.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
It was no doubt the thundering water, beautiful scenery, and dramatic landscape of Iguacu Falls that prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to remark ‘Poor Niagara’ during a visit, and the throngs of tourists who flock here shows just how truly breathtaking Iguacu is. To experience the falls in all their glory, trek through the subtropical jungle to visit the spectacular Devil’s Throat, or take a helicopter ride for a panoramic view of the rainbow haloed falls. Poor Niagara indeed.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands have taken on a revered, mystical status since they were made famous by British naturalist Charles Darwin during his voyage of the Beagle. Home to unique and fascinating wildlife, the archipelago was labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 and, although it has become an incredibly popular destination for tourists, is still one of the few places left in the world where nature governs the law of the land.
Machu Picchu, Peru
No trip to South America’s west coast would be complete without visiting Machu Picchu; a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built in the 15th century, archeologists believe that the estate was constructed for an Incan emperor and later abandoned as a result of the Spanish Conquest. It remained undiscovered until 1911, when Hiram Bingham found the structures, with adventurous tourists soon following suit to explore this stunning ancient city.
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru
Situated on the border between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and believed to be the birthplace of Incan civilization. For a truly unique travel experience, pay a visit to the lake’s floating islands. Made from totora reeds, the islands are home to the Uros tribe, a people which, according to local legend, existed before the sun. It is this combination of stunning natural scenery and fascinating local culture that makes Lake Titicaca an absolute must for your South American travel itinerary.
Now tell me: how many of these have you visited, or which do you plan to check out?