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21 Best Places to Visit in South America

South America is a continent of superlatives: the highest, the driest, the largest, the deepest, the rarest … Well, you get the picture. Superlatives galore can be found from Caracas to Tierra del Fuego, helping ensure every traveler finds something to interest them.

Environmentalists will enjoy the well-conserved Pantanal in Brazil, while shoppers can choose between upscale boutiques in big cities like Rio de Janeiro or the colorful markets of Andean villages. You can explore lost cities of ancient civilizations, feast your eyes on stunning scenery almost everywhere you go or you can feast your taste buds on the cuisine.

It’s your choice, and South America gives you lots of them. An overview of the best places to visit in South America:

21. Cartagena (Colombia) [SEE MAP]


Cartagena is a major city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It was founded by the Spanish in 1533, who named it after Cartagena, Spain. During Spain’s domination in South America, the city was the center of politics and the economy.

Cartagena is a quite modern city today, but you’ll find walled historic center and the fortress, deemed the largest fortifications in South America, that defended it. Cartagena has a rich cultural scene, with festivals throughout the year; museums and art galleries.

20. Salvador (Brazil) [SEE MAP]


Salvador da Bahia, also known as just Salvador, has several things going for it. The Portuguese founded it in 1548, so it’s one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. You’ll see its rich past in Pelourinho, the historic center named for the whipping post where slaves were beaten.

Brazil’s third largest city was also the first slave port in the Americas; traces of this African heritage can be found in the local culture today, especially the cuisine. Salvador also is a party town, hosting the world’s largest party: its annual Carnival celebration.

19. Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina) [SEE MAP]

Glacier Perito Moreno

They don’t do things in a small way in Los Glaciares National Park. Not only is the park the largest national park in Argentina, it is home to the largest ice cap outside of Greenland and Antarctica – an ice cap that feeds 47 large glaciers. The most famous of these is the Perito Moreno glacier; unique among glaciers because it is advancing while others are receding.

The park also is home to Lake Argentino, the largest in the country. The park also is known for its ecology and biodiversity with the well-conserved Magellan Subpolar forest and Patagonian Steppe.

18. Pantanal (Brazil) [SEE MAP]


miquitos / Flickr

The Pantanal can be difficult to get to – access is mostly by plane or boat – but once you get there…Oh! The Pantanal, located mostly in Brazil (some is in Bolivia and Paraguay), is the world’s largest tropical wetland, encompassing an area the size of Washington State.

While not as famous as its sister wetlands in the Amazon, the Pantanal is the best place in South America to see wildlife, ranging from jaguars to capybaras.

17. Ushuaia (Argentina) [SEE MAP]

Ushuaia Harbor

If you like to visit remote places, then put Ushuaia on your bucket list. The capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is considered the southernmost city in the world. Indeed, the train to the End of the World ends here.

Nestled among the mountains along a bay, Ushuaia is very picturesque when it’s not cloudy or windy, which is much of the time. The former penal colony has a museum and it’s a good place to see penguins, orca whales and seals.

16. Tayrona National Park (Colombia) [SEE MAP]

Tayrona National Park

When protecting the environment and its inhabitants while enjoying stunning views is on your top list, you’re sure to enjoy Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

The country’s second most visited national park, Tayrona is a protected marine reserve that takes in both land and sea. You’ll find great biodiversity in the flora and fauna here. Wildlife includes 300 species of birds, more than 100 different mammals and 70 kinds of bats.

Tayrona is probably best known for its spectacular beaches, which are set in deep bays, backed by mountains and shaded by coconut palms. Because of strong current however most beaches are not suitable for swimming.

15. Quito (Ecuador) [SEE MAP]


Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is unique among world capitals. It is the highest capital in the world (La Paz is higher but isn’t Bolivia’s legal capital) and also closest to the equator. Founded by the Spanish in 1534, Quito’s colorful old town is one of the best-preserved, least changed and largest in all the Americas.

Located in Ecuador’s northern highlands, the city is surrounded by volcanoes that can be seen on a clear day. Quito is the only world capital that is threatened by active volcanoes.

14. Colca Canyon (Peru) [SEE MAP]

Flying condor over Colca Canyon

There’s a reason Colca Canyon is the third most visited tourist destination in Peru: stunning views. The canyon is one of the deepest in the world, but not the deepest in Peru, though it is more than twice as deep as the U.S. Grand Canyon.

If you get tired of scenic views, you can feast your eyes on the sky where you may see Andean condors and the biggest hummingbirds you’ve ever seen. Villages are a good place to buy local handcrafts.

13. Atacama Desert (Chile) [SEE MAP]

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is unique: It’s the driest non-polar desert in the world, maybe only raining once every four years. It stretches about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) along the coast of Chile, situated between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean.

The soil is comparable to that found on Mars; portions stood in for Mars in the movie, Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets. Vast salt flats, active geysers and intense blue lagoons are just a few of the extraordinary features of this region.

12. Angel Falls (Venezuela) [SEE MAP]

Angel Falls

Angel Falls is most definitely a scene stealer in Venezuela’s Guayana Highlands. It is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world – 15 times higher than Niagara Falls, which is shared by Canada and the United States. Water cascades more than 950 meters (3,200 feet) down Auyantepu Mountain into the Rio Kerepacupai Meru.

The waterfall is named for American Jimmy Angel who, in 1937, became the first pilot to fly over the falls. Getting there is an adventure involving plane and river boat rides.

11. Cusco (Peru) [SEE MAP]


Cusco has a colorful historic past Located at 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) in elevation in the Andes Mountains, Cusco was once the capital of the mighty Inca Empire. Then, in the 16th century, it was conquered by the Spanish, who pretty much decimated the Incas.

Though not the national capital, Peru’s constitution names it the historical capital of the country. Remains of many Inca sites can be found in the surrounding area while the Spanish colonial heritage can be found in the Old Town.

10. Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) [SEE MAP]

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Situated in the Andes nearly 3,700 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. Located in southwest Peru, the salt flat is covered by a thick crust, which provides salt and covers a brine.

The salt flat is as flat as you can get and with the harsh terrain looks otherwordly, especially after rain when the Salar turns into a giant mirror. One of the most unusual places to visit in South America, it’s also a major breeding ground for flamingos.

9. Lake Titicaca (Peru & Bolivia) [SEE MAP]

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake, straddles the border of Bolivia and Peru. At an elevation of just over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), it is considered the highest navigable lake in the world, though there are smaller lakes higher than this one.

Many of its 41 islands are inhabited, including the floating islands the natives make with heavy reeds. About 500 species of aquatic life live in the lake, which has a large population of water birds. Local belief says the sun was born at Lake Titicaca.

8. Easter Island (Chile) [SEE MAP]

Easter Island

Getting to Easter Island can be time-consuming, since it is the most remote inhabited island in the world. The nearest inhabitants are almost 1,300 miles away. But it’s not its remoteness this Chilean territory is noted for. It’s what you’ll see when you get there: almost 900 primitive statues carved by early Polynesian inhabitants.

These awesome statues, called moai, may have been carved about 1,000 years ago. Most statues were carved from solidified volcanic ash, with obsidian being used for the black eyes.

7. Amazon Rainforest [SEE MAP]

Amazon Rainforest

CIAT / Flickr

If you lived long enough to count that high, you could count 390 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest. This statistic is mind-boggling, to be sure, but then the Amazon rainforest is one awesome piece of real estate, covering about ¾ of the Amazon River basin.

It is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Sixty percent of the rainforest is located in Brazil with sizeable chunks in Peru and Columbia; bordering countries have small shares. For sure, the rainforest is loaded with unique flora and fauna.

6. Torres del Paine National Park (Chile) [SEE MAP]

Torres del Paine

It may be located in remote Chilean Patagonia, but Torres del Paine National Park is one of Chile’s largest and most visited parks. Why? Well, the scenery is pretty spectacular.

The Torres del Paine (Paine means blue in the local indigenous language) is just one awesome sight you’ll see. The three peaks dominate the landscape in the Paine Mountains. Besides mountains, the park is dotted with glaciers, rivers, forests and steppe, making it a hit with outdoors enthusiasts. The park also is home to an endangered species of deer.

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5. Buenos Aires (Argentina) [SEE MAP]

Obelisco in Buenos Aires

With 17 million people, Buenos Aires has the fourth largest population in the Americas. Located on the Rio de la Plata on the Argentinian coast, the city is noted for its cosmopolitan flair.

Because of its architecture and rich cultural life, Buenos Aires is the most visited city in South America. A must-see here is the Recoleta, a residential neighborhood known for its history. The Recoleta Cemetery is the district’s most famous attraction; it’s where Eva Peron is buried.

4. Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) [SEE MAP]

Galapagos Islands

Scott Ableman / Flickr

If you want to get a glimpse of what prehistoric animals may have looked like, head to the Galapagos Islands. The animals are like no other place on earth, and include giant tortoises and scary-looking iguanas.

They were the impetus for Charles Darwin’s controversial 19th century book, On the Origin of Species. This archipelago of 18 major islands, about 900 km (550 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, was formed – and are still being formed – by volcanic action.

3. Iguazu Falls (Brazil & Argentina) [SEE MAP]

Tourists at Iguazu Falls, Foz do Iguacu

One of the best places to visit in South America, Iguazu Falls have to be seen to be appreciated as mere words cannot do them justice. They truly live up to their name, which translates as “big water:” They’re the world’s largest waterfalls system, with 275 waterfalls of various sizes – Devil’s Throat is the biggest.

For much of its journey to the ocean, the Iguazu River flows through Brazil, but, seemingly in a spirit of international cooperation, most of the falls are in Argentina.

2. Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) [SEE MAP]

View of Ipanema Beach in the evening, Rio

When you visit Rio de Janeiro you simply must take a samba lesson; even The Girl from Ipanema does the samba, Rio’s most popular dance. Besides the samba, this cosmopolitan city is known for its Carnival, the bossa nova, and Copacabana Beach.

Its most famous landmark may be the Christ the Redeemer statue that sits atop Corcovado Mountain. Rio hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics, though its residents overwhelmingly prefer soccer: Maracana Stadium is one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world.

1. Machu Picchu (Peru) [SEE MAP]

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a magnificent representation of the Inca civilization before the Spanish came. Nestled in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu served as a palace for the emperor, a fortress and as a site for religious ceremonies where human sacrifices were made to appease the gods.

Untouched by the Spanish, the site was abandoned after the conquest, only to be “discovered” by an American professor in the early 1900s. Built from polished stones, Machu Picchu is a fascinating example of classical Inca architecture. With its spectacular views, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most visited tourist attraction.

Best Places in South America to visit in January

Best Places in South America to visit in January

Santiago, Chile
Why visit Santiago, Chile

Santiago is an excellent destination in January, especially if you want to escape the winter blues! The sun will definitely warm you up! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Santiago ranges from 86°F to 80°F. This is an ideal temperature to do different activities.

Santiago’s pleasant climate, with its consistently mild nighttime temperatures and dry heat, makes exploring the city a delight year-round. You may spend a few days in the beautiful seaside resort of Valparaiso or take a day trip to the surrounding world-class wineries in January.

Santiago goes into its summer hibernation, making it a great time to take long evening strolls. Enjoy late dinners and ice cream in crowded plazas. Watch the sunset over the Andes.

Wondering what the most popular tourist attractions in Chile are? We have compiled an amazing list of must-see attractions to make your next trip to Chile more fulfilling. Hop over to the top Chile tourist attractions.

Cartagena, Colombia
Why visit Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a good spot to visit in January because of the warm and dry climate, where you can enjoy the sun while strolling. It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Cartagena typically spans from 87°F to 84°F. You can enjoy the vibrant holidays in Cartagena!

If you’re the sociable type, you’ll have a blast in this city because pubs and restaurants remain open late, and plazas are always bustling with activity. A trip to Cartagena would be well worth your time.

If the old city’s historical architecture and Caribbean setting don’t captivate you, perhaps a day trip to one of the nearby beautiful islands will!

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Why visit Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a beautiful destination to visit in January to warm yourself up from the winter season. It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Buenos Aires scales from 82°F to 75°F. Visit the famous attractions around the place.

Buenos Aires is teeming with life and energy and is also known for its diversity and progressive outlook. It is one of the most exciting cities in the world due to its wealth of architectural and cultural history.

A youthful creative spirit, electrifying nightlife, one-of-a-kind customs, thriving arts scene, and expansive parks makes this place extraordinary.

Patagonia, Argentina, and Chile
Why visit Patagonia, Argentina, and Chile

Patagonia is a great place to visit in January because of the sunny days experienced in the destination; this is a perfect spot to warm yourself.

The weather in Patagonia typically spans from 50°F to 70°F. Enjoy the different attractions under the sun! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

Patagonia is well-known worldwide for its stunning scenery, extensive forests, national parks, glaciers, and unique animals. Patagonia is one of the top contenders for the title “most beautiful place in the world.”

Are you curious about the popular places to visit in Chile? You can end your search now with our must-see attractions. Visit the most popular Chile tourist attractions .

Salvador, Brazil
Why visit Salvador, Brazil

Salvador is a must-visit place in January due to its vibrant warm days. This is perfect for exploring the colorful streets.

The weather in Salvador ranges from 87°F to 84°F. The ideal climate to walk along the colorful streets.

The city serves as a cultural hub for the country. It is well-known for the stunning architecture of its many Baroque colonial churches. Porto da Barra is the closest to Salvador’s many gorgeous beaches.

This beach’s best sunsets are seen, making it a popular destination. It can get crowded, but there is a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, and bars to choose from, so there is always something exciting to do.

Pantanal, Brazil
Why visit Pantanal, Brazil

Pantanal is a great place to admire nature in January. This is also one of the warmest months in Pantanal; bring your hats while exploring the wetland! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Pantanal typically spans from 83°F to 77°F. Discovering wildlife is the best thing to do in Pantanal!

Pantanal is full of friendly, competent biologists and naturalists who can show you the finest of what it has to provide if you’re thinking about what to do there. Travelers may rest assured that they won’t have to sacrifice any conveniences during their stay, as the area is dotted with all-inclusive lodges and floating hotels.

Ushuaia, Argentina
Why visit Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is a great spot to visit in January, especially if you want to have a vacation in a more remarkable destination. This is the best choice to escape the scorching heat.

The weather in Ushuaia usually ranges from 55°F to 48°F. This type of climate is best paired with their magnificent scenery.

If you visit Ushuaia when it isn’t overcast or windy, you’ll be rewarded with stunning scenery. The old penal colony is now home to a museum and a variety of wildlife, including penguins, orca whales, and seals.

The town, though, has its own unique appeal. The Punta Arenas Mountains encircle this small town on three sides, providing a picturesque backdrop.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Why visit Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Tayrona National Park is a perfect destination in January, especially if you want a sunny day while admiring the beach! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Tayrona National Park usually scales from 91°F to 87°F. This is an advantage to getting tan lines with your friends!

The beaches of Tayrona are among the most beautiful in the world because of the bays they sit in, the mountains in the background, and the coconut trees that provide welcome shade. Because of the powerful current, several beaches are not suited for swimming.

All of the land and water in Tayrona are part of a marine reserve protected from pollution and other hazards. You’ll find fantastic richness in the wildlife and plants here.

Quito, Ecuador
Why visit Quito, Ecuador

Quito is a great spot to visit in January because the weather is not harsh, unlike the nearby countries. Enjoy your vacation without worrying about the climate! You’ll be greeted by low accommodation deals and lower prices upon arrival!

The weather in Quito usually spans from 64°F to 60°F. Quito has a lot of attractions that can really maximize your stay!

A cultural mecca and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this alpine metropolis has it all. Quito, Ecuador, has exciting activities for people of all interests. A trip to Quito, Ecuador, would be a fascinating experience.

Fun Fact: Quito is at the highest peak in the world!

Atacama Desert, Chile
Why visit Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert is an amazing place to visit in January because of the dry weather experienced in the Mars-like Desert!

The weather in the Atacama Desert ranges from 81°F to 78°F daily. This is a fantastic spot to have an extraterrestrial photoshoot!

This place is unique because of the lunar valleys, high-altitude lagoons, fractured salt flats, and limitless desert horizons. It is a must-see destination due to its abundant natural beauty and rich cultural heritage dating back thousands of years.

Are you curious about the top places to visit in Chile? Stop stressing over the bumps in the road and start appreciating the ride with our list of must-see attractions. Hop over to the most popular Chile tourist attractions .

Angel Falls, Venezuela
Why visit Angel Falls, Venezuela

Angel Falls is a magical place that should be visited in January. The bright sun and big clouds will make it a hundred times majestic! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Angel Fall ranges from 91°F, rarely falling below 86°F. This is perfect for admiring these gigantic Falls!

Visitors can hike to the top of the Falls, take a boat trip, or see a birds-eye view from a helicopter. The pool at the base of the Falls is a popular swimming spot, especially when the water level is low.

One must at least once live this experience and soak in the majesty of the water’s Fall from the tepuis.

Cusco, Peru
Why visit Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a great place to visit in January because of the mild temperature experienced in the town. The locals will welcome the tourists warmly! You might also encounter some great deals!

The weather in Cusco has a daily temperature of 63°F to 57°F. This is perfect for exploring the town’s rich culture!

Cusco offers an abundance of entertainment opportunities. This historic Inca capital is not just one of Peru’s most popular tourist locations but also the starting point for many trekkers and hikers en route to the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The city is worth visiting because of its unique blend of Incan and Spanish cultures.

Baños, Ecuador
Why visit Baños, Ecuador

Baños is one of the cheapest places that should be visited in January. Low accommodation rates and cheap shops or restaurants will excite you!

The weather in Baños typically scales from 62°F to 58°F. This mild temperature will literally make your stay more enjoyable!

Located in a picturesque valley at the foot of an active volcano is the town of Baños. The city has earned a reputation as Ecuador’s “adventure capital,” and it should be included on any trip to the country.

Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs can all be found near Baños.

Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
Why visit Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Rurrenabaque is a great spot to vacation in January, especially if you are trying to save money! It is one of the best places i n South America to visit in January.

The weather in Rurrenabaque ranges from 85°F to 80°F. This is an ideal climate to enjoy the attractions around the town.

In the jungles surrounding Rurrenabaque, you may go on some stunning walks. If you can find the trailhead, the most popular choice is Mirador de la Cruz.

There are fewer people on the Hanging Bridges route because it is off the usual path.

Are you curious about the must-see tourist attractions in Bolivia? Stop looking further. All the must-see attractions are on our website. Visit the top Bolivia tourist attractions.

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Huacachina, Peru
Why visit Huacachina, Peru

Huacachina is a stunning destination to visit in January. Aside from the bearable temperature, there are also many cheaper prices, like lodging and souvenir shops!

The weather in Huacachina usually spans from 68°F to 63°F. This calm climate is great for admiring the scenery.

Huacachina, Peru, is the ideal place for visitors to explore Peru’s desert because it is home to South America’s largest and most magnificent sand dunes. The area is stunning, and sand surfing tours and dune buggy trips have helped to bring attention to it.

It’s no surprise that people come here from around the world to see it!

Posted on Published: August 25, 2022 – Last updated: November 15, 2022

Home » South America » Best Places in South America to visit in January

25 Best Places to Visit in South America 2022

Emma July 26, 2022 September 13, 2022

TravelRaval » Blog » 25 Best Places to Visit in South America 2022

Places to Visit in South America

A ndy peaks, Amazon rainforest, Pampas glaciers, Aztec ruins, white-sand beaches, and wild nightlife—the marvels of South America set the backdrop for unforgettable adventures. You may spend the day experiencing a wildlife safari on one of the numerous igarapés in the Amazon, stroll past ancient Inca temples, and ponder the power of Iguazu Falls, these are the best places to visit in South America.

And when you think you’ve seen it all, head to Tierra del Fuego for stunning scenery, the Galápagos for up-close encounters with remarkable wildlife, and the Gran Sabana for a view that looks like it belongs in the Mesozoic age.

The diversity of South America goes beyond its natural surroundings. Former colonial villages can be found where cobblestone streets wind through churches and plazas that haven’t changed much since the 18th century.

At native marketplaces, you may bargain over vibrant tapestries, eat with tribals, and dance to the thumping beats of the Afro-Brazilian drum line.

It’s simple to get a firsthand experience of South America’s incredible range of both contemporary and historical cultures by simply traveling there.

South America is home to a stunning variety of natural beauties, from the snow-capped Andes to the Amazon’s rippling rivers.

This continent is home to lush rainforests, massive volcanoes, red-rock canyons, and glaciers that are ice-blue in color. You can travel to the coast for an exquisite escape among palm-fringed white sand beaches and picturesque tropical islands. There aren’t many other areas on earth that have as many different types of landscapes.

To aid in future travel, we have compiled a list of the best places to visit in South America.

1. Marvel at the Natural Wonder of Iguazu Falls

Places to Visit in South America, Iguazu Falls

Along Argentina’s border with Brazil, the breathtaking Iguazu Falls are located. These enormous waterfalls, which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are unquestionably one of the best places to travel in South America.

Thanks to a network of easily accessible walkways and viewing platforms created to provide the greatest views, including some near the bottom of the falls. At the Devil’s Throat, visitors can get pretty close to these thundering falls.

The falls is nestled inside Iguazu national park, which is partially located on the Argentinian and Brazilian side. The entrance of the park collides with a train station with departures every 30 minutes to the Garganta del Diablo and the Cataratas train station.It is where the waterfall treks start.

2. Experience Culture in Santiago, Chile

Places to Visit in South America, Santiago Metropolitan Park

Santiago serves as Chile’s cultural and entertainment hub despite being the nation’s commercial and financial hub. As a result, there are countless enjoyable things to do there, such as visiting the best museums and galleries, as well as top-notch places to shop, dine, and vacation. It is also one of the cheap places to visit in South America.

Most tourists start their Chilean vacations in Santiago, which is also the nation’s primary transit center, before moving on to the Andes or other regions that are known for their exceptional natural beauty. But the savviest tourists will make the most of Chile’s itinerary by discovering Santiago first.

Taking the aerial tramway to San Cristóbal Hill for its breathtaking vistas is a primary highlight of any trip to Santiago. A 22-meter-tall monument of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an observatory, and an amphitheater are a few of the remarkable sights that are worth exploring.

Don’t forget to spend some time in the gigantic urban park known as Santiago Metropolitan Park.

3. Visit one of the Best Cities in South America – Buenos Aires

Places to Visit in South America, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, one of the most beautiful and largest cities in South America, is frequently the first impression that most visitors will receive of Argentina before continuing on to well-known tourist locations like Patagonia.

The wise ones, however, will stay longer and explore the numerous lovely art museums situated in the magnificent old colonial structures dispersed across the city’s districts.

Visit La Boca, the most vibrant district in Buenos Aires, which is also home to the eccentric Caminito Street Museum. La Boca is known for its brilliantly colorful homes, quirky statues, cafés, nightlife, and street ballet dancers. As per Planetware, this is one of the top places to visit in South America.

4. The Great Blue Hole in Belize is the Most Visited atoll on the Planet

Places to Visit in South America, Great Blue Hole

Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the most remote of Belize’s three atolls, is a diver and nature enthusiast’s paradise. With sparkling white sand beaches, coconut trees, and intriguing reef patterns, six cays encircle a blue lagoon.

The well-known Great Blue Hole, a Natural Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best vacation spots in South America. When you dive into the turquoise crater, you will experience strange lime mossy rocks sticking out of the cliff sides and, if you’re lucky, you can spot reef sharks.

While divers enjoy the superb wall dives and a wealth of marine life nearby, you can also tour Half Moon Caye’s lighthouse and unwind on its lovely beaches.

5. The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the Largest Salt Flat in the World

Places to Visit in South America, Salar de Uyuni

With a height of 3653 meters, it is the largest salt flat in the world that covers an incredible 12,000 square kilometers. It was once a portion of Lago Minchin, a prehistoric salt lake that once spanned the majority of southwest Bolivia.

When it dried up, Salar de Uyuni and a few periodic ponds were among the salt pans it left behind. This huge salt desert’s wild beauty makes it one of South America’s most mesmerizing sights.

This is an unforgettable Bolivia scenery, from weird islands in a sea of glaringly brilliant salt to beautifully colored mineral lakes in the lap of Andean mountains. And, it is one of the top South America attractions.

6. Gaze at the Milkyway over Lake Titicaca, Peru

Places to Visit in South America, Titicaca, Peru

In the Andes Mountains, on the boundary between Bolivia and Peru, is Lake Titicaca. One of South America’s most spectacular locations to view the Milky Way is Lake Titicaca, which is thought to be the birthplace of the Aztecs. You will be under the lap of one of the darkest sky reserves in this isolated region of Peru.

So make sure to leave the city and capture the Milky Way in total darkness. A once-in-a-lifetime chance exists here and is a must-see places in South America!

7. Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the World

Places to Visit in South America, Machu Picchu

The main objective of many visitors to Peru is to see the lost Mayan city of Machu Picchu.

The spectacular Inca City of Machu Picchu is perched high on a ridge, 300 meters above the Urubamba River, and is one of the most spectacular backdrops for a deserted city anywhere in the world. The breathtaking backdrop of steep, luxuriant, and frequently covered mountains is almost as magnificent as the ruins themselves.

Trains depart for Aguas Calientes from Cusco, Ollantaytambo, or Urubamba.

It is a 20-minute ride through a treacherous twisty road. It is possible to walk up this road to the site, although it is not advised because of the distance and steep climb. Machu Picchu is one of the top tourist attractions in South America.

8. The Inca Trail in Peru is Something not to Miss!

Places to Visit in South America, Inca Trail in Peru

Wondering where to go in South America for hiking? Many people consider the famous Inca Trail, a four-day hike that leads to Machu Picchu, as the high point of their trip to Peru. The difficulty of this picturesque trail is frequently higher than what most people anticipate, but the rewards are far greater.

The Inca Trail has several potential hiking paths but the standard four-day journey starts at mile 82 of the Cusco-Aguas Calientes rail line. From here, the walk continues through breathtaking scenery and more than 30 Inca structures.

The second day of the trip, which includes two high passes and an elevation rise of 1,200 meters, is the most challenging part of the trail.

There are campgrounds scattered throughout the trek, including one at Machu Picchu’s base.

9. Cartagena lets you Teleport to the 16th Century!

Places to Visit in South America, Cartagena

Cartagena, a former colonial capital, is one of South America’s most picturesque tourist destinations. Due to the city’s protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you may learn a lot about South American colonization. The old town was established in the 16th century and is situated on the Caribbean shore. You may still roam around the colonial structures, colorful houses, and cobblestone streets. This is the place to go if you want to experience time travel.

Getsemani, a more relaxed neighborhood is located beyond the historic downtown. You can take refuge at Bocagrande, a more recent area of the city where premium hotels and condos compete for prime coastal real estate.

Islands and beaches, which make for great day outings and retreats, are also only a half-hour by boat away and are one of the must-see places in South America.

10. Christ the Redeemer in Brazil is Something not to Miss

Places to Visit in South America, Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer, a massive Art Deco statue of Christ that stands 28 meters tall and has arms outstretched as if to embrace all of humanity. The marvelous side of this attraction is it looks over Rio de Janeiro and the bay from the peak of Corcovado.

The statue is surrounded by a large plaza at the summit of the 709-meter peak, which is a part of the Tijuca National Park. A rack train ascends to the peak over 3.5 kilometers.

Within the eight-meter base is a chapel that is frequently used for weddings. Despite being one of the top places to visit in South America, the statue is frequently confused with the older statue that marks the border between Chile and Argentina.

11. Take a Boat Ride Into the Planet’s Unique Ecosystem – The Amazon Rainforests

Places to Visit in South America, Take a Boat Ride

The dark waters of the Rio Negro and the light, muddy waters of the Rio Solimes intersect the southeast of Manaus. Both rivers flow side by side for about 6 kilometers before combining to form the Amazon.

This location, known as Encontro das Águas, or the meeting of the waters, is reachable by boat from Manaus.

Join the boat excursions that take you deep into the jungles. Experience the vast network of rivers, channels, and lakes that the three rivers have created.

The Anavilhanas Islands, an archipelago in the Rio Negro alongside lakes, streams, and flooded woods, provide such a complete representation of the Amazonian biodiversity.

The lake is completely covered in enormous water lilies that are unique to the Amazon region. Amazon is one of the best places to go in South America.

12. Solve the Mystic Behind Chile’s Hidden Gem – The Moai Statue

Easter Island

A Chilean island in the southern Pacific Ocean is well-known for its numerous enormous statues, or Moais. There are 1000s of monolithic statues located all across the island famously known as Easter Island. They were built by the Rapa Nui people, who are supposed to have lived there starting in the 12th century.

Some are on stone platforms, some are upright, some are partially overturned, and several are still in the cave where they were made. Each carving, which ranges in size from a meter to 20 meters, is distinct and is considered to represent an ancestor.

Along with this aspect of Polynesian culture, the island’s beaches provide visitors with fantastic chances for snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.

Chile is also one of the cool places in South America when it comes to beaches and nightlife.

13. The Galapagos in Ecuador is an Archipelago of Active Volcanoes

Places to Visit in South America Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands have drawn tourists from all over the world since their “discovery” in the 16th century.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is named for the giant turtles that inhabit the islands. It is home to a rare ecology that primarily developed without outside interference.

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Therefore, a trip to this undeveloped area presents a rare chance to see wildlife. Here, you can see a variety of rare wildlife on land and in the nearby waters.

The development of the islands is still taking place, and the Galápagos Islands continue to be one of the world’s most active volcanic zones.

The majority of the 42 islets, 6 smaller islands, and 13 larger islands constitute the Galápagos. It was designated as a National Park and was designated as a component of the national park in 1952.

Unsurprisingly, only guided tours are allowed to view this delicate ecology. However, there are a few places where tourists can travel on their own, including several prominent scuba diving spots.

14. Swing at the Edge of the World in Banos, Ecuador

In central Ecuador, the small town of Banos de Agua Santa is a well-liked tourist destination because of its lovely surroundings and numerous hot springs.

Banos, which is tucked away in dense, jungle-like forests at the western edge of the Amazon basin, provides a variety of outdoor activities, such as trekking and mountain climbing.

However, its numerous waterfalls and mineral-rich hot springs are the main attractions. You can also have access to some of the beautiful waterfalls that offer incredible views and deep pools.

Whitewater rafting and kayaking are among popular adventure activities in this region. Visit historic sites like the Virgen de Agua Santa chapel with its renowned Mary statue for more peaceful activities.

Ecuador is also one of the best countries to visit in South America due to being the hub of some of the best vacation spots on the planet.

15. Marvel at the Tallest Waterfall in the World – the Angel Falls, Venezuela

Places to Visit in South America Tallest Waterfall in the World

Angel Falls is located in the middle of the nation, where massive monolithic tabletop mountains rise from the surrounding countryside. It is the tallest waterfall in the world, falling 979 meters, and one of the best tourist places in South America.

The rainy season, which lasts from May to November, is the finest time to visit the falls since water is abundant. It is that time of the year when the falls don’t fade into a mist before they reach the bottom like they do in the dry season.

You can access the falls via an observatory aircraft or a three-day boat excursion that starts in the town of Canaima. The boat ride is, by all means, an adventurous excursion; it also involves a hike through the jungle to the base of the falls and only moderate lodging along the way.

16. Enjoy Trekking at Torres Del Paine, Chile

Places to Visit in South America Enjoy Trekking at Torres Del Paine

Put on your bulky pack and travel through roaring plains and twisty woodlands to see these holiest of holies granite mountain peaks.

This breathtakingly gorgeous region is located in southern Patagonia, more than 100 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Natales. It includes mountains, glaciers, and numerous lakes and rivers.

The Cordillera del Paine, which symbolizes the change from the plains of Patagonia to the subpolar forests in the north, is the most significant portion of the park.

The three 2,850-metre-tall granite peaks of the Paine Massif, are perhaps the most prominent of its many wonderful features.

Although Las Torres may be the main draw of the park bearing its name, there is much more to discover in this immense wilderness.

Explore the serene backside of the ice trek which is the carved surface of the Glacier Grey. You can also kayak along the serene Rio Serrano, or climb Paso John Gardner for breathtaking views of the southern ice field. It is definitely one of the best vacation spots in South America.

17. It is the Atacama Desert, Chile that Teleports You to the Moon’s surface

Atacama Desert

This arid, unaccommodating terrain in the Atacama Desert draws many tourists because of its uncanny similarity to the moon’s surface. It is the result of sand and stone erosion that features over multiple centuries.

Despite its isolation, this unexpectedly gorgeous landscape has supported human life as well as that of various animal and plant species for many years.

Being one of the driest places on earth, one of its most distinctive features is its dry lake beds. They are brilliantly white from salt deposits and frequently produce amazing natural saline boulders. And, is recognized as one of the top tourist attractions in South America.

The Atacama Desert is also known for its numerous catacombs, some of which show evidence of cave paintings made by early humans. It is also where some of the oldest mummies in the world are preserved due to the area’s drought conditions. The Chinchorro mummies, the most well-known of these, are currently on display in the San Miguel de Azapa archaeological museum.

18. Peru’s Cusco is Famous for its Century-old Architectural Treasures


Since Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is like roaming through a museum because history is layered on top of history. Many of the wonderful old colonial architecture bordering the narrow streets were built atop Inca ruins, highlighting the city’s rich heritage.

The Cathedral and La Compania, two equally spectacular buildings, are located on the city’s central square, Plaza de Armas. In the daytime, the square is an excellent area to grab lunch and take a heritage walk.

Even though Cusco is home to a huge number of interesting structures and museums. One of the city’s top sights is the Cathedral of Santo Domingo which is built atop the remains of the Inca city of Coricancha. It must be on your bucket list as this is one of the best place in South America to visit for its heritage and ancient architecture.

19. Lost in the Elegant Charm of the Largest city on This Continent – São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo

São Paulo, the biggest city in South America, is bordered by rivers that branch out into the interior and is positioned on the Piratininga plateau. Sao Paulo became the entry point to Brazil’s wilderness. It was the principal route of the bandit explorers who took trips into this area from the city.

So Paulo has always been home to immigrants from all over the world, and you can still witness the legacy of Portuguese, Spanish, German, African, Jewish, Arab, and Japanese citizens in the city’s life and culture today. For instance, there are entire museums devoted to the contributions of Africans in Brazil and Japanese immigration.

The city’s vastness is arguably the hardest aspect to fathom. From the 46-story observation deck on Avenida Ipiranga, you may get a sense of how far it extends. Since many of So Paulo’s tourist attractions are dispersed, using the Metro will be a convenient way to get from one to the other. Undoubtedly, Sao Paulo is worth your time and the best place to visit in South America.

20. Soak up the vibes of Eternal Springs at Medellin, Columbia

Eternal Springs at Medellin

Despite the fact that Bogotá is the country’s capital, tourists prefer the smaller, more accessible city of Medellin. Early in the 1990s, Medellin was named the most dangerous city in the world. A decade later, it is now known for something quite different: entrepreneurship and innovation. Planetware recognized this as one of the safest places to visit in South America.

A fantastic day of exploring Medellin might begin at Botero Plaza in the Old Quarter, where you’ll find a collection of 23 stunning sculptures offered by the well-known Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The impressive Rafael Uribe Palace of Culture and the Antioquia Museum are both close to the square. Then, take Comuna 13’s modern escalator system into the hills above the city to discover this area’s vibrant residences and spectacular street murals.

21. The Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park

The little hamlet of El Calafate serves as the primary entry point for travelers traveling to the Los Glaciares National Park, which is located in Patagonia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The majority of visitors embark on excursions from this location to view the park’s well-known glaciers, most notably the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier. A vast 30-kilometer-long ice formation and the third-largest freshwater reserve in the world, and is one of the #1 tourist attractions in South America.

Another significant aspect of the is a significant aspect of Los Glaciares National Park is the 3,359-metre-tall Monte Fitz Roy. A breathtakingly gorgeous mountain that spans the border with Chile is reputedly more difficult to climb than Everest.

22. Vacay at the Southern tip of Baja Peninsula – The Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

One of Mexico’s most popular beach destinations is Los Cabos a 30-kilometer stretch of pristine beaches, also known as the Los Cabos Corridor. It stretches from the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo and is famous for its clear waters, diving, snorkeling, and fishing. It is also one of the best places to vacation in South America.

There are now many resorts from opulent spas to golf-focused resorts with some of the top courses in North America. However, Los Cabos tends to draw tourists with large vacation budgets.

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, a huge archway carved out of the coastline where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, is one of the most well-preferred destinations for its coral reefs and pristine beaches.

23. Explore the Vibrant and Rich Cultural Escape in Montevideo, Uruguay


The Neoclassical and Colonial styles of architecture, as well as African and Modern European influences, are all mixed together in Uruguay’s capital city.

A wonderful example of the style and ambiance you’ll encounter when exploring the city streets is the Legislative Palace, Palacio Salvo, and the Tango Museum.

The Citadel Gate and the lush Plaza Independencia square are two of Ciudad Vieja’s many notable attractions. Ciudad Vieja is the city’s oldest district and is now a lovely neighborhood.

The greatest place to sample world-class cuisine in Montevideo is at the Port Market which is one of the top South America attractions for its culinary scene.

The sizable National Museum of Visual Arts and the Museo Torres Garcia, honors the famed Uruguayan avant-garde sculptor, painter, and writer, are excellent examples of the city’s rich cultural past.

24. The Resort Destination of Punta Cana is Strictly Meant for laid-back Travelers

Punta Cana

Punta Cana is located where an unending length of gorgeous white sand beach meets the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. This is the finest area to visit in the Dominican Republic if you’re searching for lavish all-inclusive resorts, a romantic getaway, or family-friendly lodging with an endless variety of beach adventures.

The most impressive beach in Punta Cana is Bavaro Beach, where you may wade into the water or spend all day strolling along the sand. The beach is lined with resorts that provide quick access to all the activities.

Boats, parasailers, and tour boats are everyday life in this part of the world. Swimming is safe in areas that have been fenced off. A few restaurants and shops are located inland from the beach, most of which are chic and eclectic—especially by Dominican Republic standards. And, is one of the great vacation spots in South America.

25. It is the Wildlife Galore at Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park

One of Costa Rica’s best places to see wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park, which has the added benefit of having lovely beaches with smooth white sand.

Howler monkeys, orangutans, lemurs, white-nosed coatimundis, and squirrel monkeys are a few of the frequently seen animals in the park. In addition, look out for sparkling butterflies and a variety of colorful birds flying around. Although you can explore the trails on your own, you can opt for a guided tour for a richer experience.

Stroll at the picturesque beachfront beach, where canopies and recliners line the sand. It is where the surfers from the globe take advantage of the often calm waves. It is one of the best places in South America for surfers and divers.


The continent of South America is full of lavish sights to behold. It’s not exactly like Europe or Southeast Asia, where you have the option of traveling from one western-style city to another. It’s a region made up of mostly undeveloped wilderness, which can be unpredictable and hard to navigate. But it’s precisely that which makes this continent so appealing to so many visitors—especially those on a budget. Plus, no visa is required. If you’re looking for an exotic but affordable vacation experience, South America is the place for you!




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