South America is one extraordinary continent with everything from wild forests to cosmopolitan cities, warm and kind people, amazing culture and so many cities and wonders to be explored. Many of them are world-famous, and you’re probably wondering are they really that amazing? In this blog post, we bring you our impressions of the 5 most beautiful places in South America worth visiting.
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Let’s explore lovely South America…
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is an amazing city, and one of the tourist hot spot of South America, but really a place that you must see once in a lifetime. If you’ve seen it anywhere on the screen (and you have), you’ve probably desired to see its famous Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar), and its beaches in person. Who hasn’t?
The view of Rio de Janeiro
But besides these famous views of Rio de Janeiro, you’ll get to experience a lot more once you get there. Let yourself get a bit lost among its streets, (especially the streets of its favelas) and its incredibly friendly people, and you’ll get the chance to experience one of the most interesting cultures in the world – it’s totally worth visiting.
Rio de Janeiro favelas
Of course, no visit to Rio de Janeiro would be complete without experiencing its beaches. Its most popular beaches are famous worldwide, and those are Copacabana and Ipanema. Copacabana beach is magical and very picturesque, with a unique backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain. These beaches get really crowded, of course, but if you want a nice quiet beach where you can just lay back and enjoy the silence, there are such beaches to be found.
World-famous Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
Salar De Uyuni, in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, is the world’s largest salt pan, and in case a bit of water is collected on its surface, it makes the largest natural mirror, too. If you didn’t know that it’s salt, you’d probably think you’re looking at the pure-white snow – that’s how amazingly white it is.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia – World’s largest salt pan
This remarkable spot was formed a long time ago after a prehistoric lake evaporated and left a thick crust of salt, shaped into polygonal patterns. The best place to observe this extraordinary sight is central Incahuasi Island. Also, there can be found flocks of gorgeous pink flamingos in this pure-white field, and that is a sight to see.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia – World’s largest natural mirror
This impressive scenery is really one of a kind, it’s on our list of 7 Extraordinary and Unique Places in the World That You Must Visit, we promise you’ve never seen something like this before – you’ll love it.
The Atacama Desert, Chile
If your favorite season is spring, you should definitely travel to Chile. There are quite a few destinations that you must explore if you’re traveling to Chile. One of those is the mind-blowing Atacama Desert for sure. It’s one of the oldest and driest deserts on Earth, and it’s one of the most beautiful ones.
The Atacama – Earth’s oldest and driest desert
The Atacama – Earth’s oldest and driest desert
The main things that you must see in this extraordinary desert are its salt flats, geysers, spring waters, and huge volcanoes. Because of its beauty and all of the bird species that live there, it became the key destination for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. Also, the sunsets here are sooo spectacular – once in a lifetime experience.
Flamingos in the Atacama desert
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is the amazing sacred city of the Inca people, built in the 15th century, and later abandoned. This Incan citadel is the most well-preserved archaeological place on our planet and the most famous one in South America. This place, hidden high in the Andes mountain, can be reached by hiking the infamous Inca Trail or by the train.
Machu Picchu – The mysterious Incan citadel
When you get there, take your time to observe this architectural wonder well – its walls and buildings are remarkably strong, built with a carefully developed technique called ashlar – the walls are built out of stone blocks that fit together so tightly that not even a razor blade can fit between them.
Machu Picchu walls
The best thing about this place is that you’ll get to learn a little bit about the famous, but the mysterious culture of the Inca people. We recommend going to the sacred city of Machu Picchu early in the morning to get the chance to see the sunrise over the green peaks surrounding the ruins.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Cartagena de Indias is a true Colombian gem, set on the Caribbean coast, and one of the most visited cities of South America. Its Old Town, dating back to the 16th century, remained mainly intact and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will love exploring its colorful streets and discovering old buildings, beautiful examples of Spanish-Colonial architecture. Also, you will see that the beaches here are amazing and that they resemble the ones in Rio de Janeiro and Miami – you’ll have amazing beach days here.
Cartagena – the Caribbean gem
Once again, prepare yourself for exploring a great South American culture. Wander through the streets of Cartagena and you will see the iconic palenqueras – Afro-Colombian women in bright dresses selling fruit. You should know that they all come from a nearby village, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Basilio de Palenque – the first freed slaves’ settlement and the home to one unique language. Cartagena is home of amazing art, literature, and architecture – you will love exploring it.
Streets of Cartagena
So, these are our impressions of extraordinary destinations in South America. Are they worth visiting? In our opinion – TOTALLY, but we dare you to plan a trip there and see for yourself.
If you’re interested in more South American destinations, find the mobile tour “South America Tour: From Metropolises to Forgotten Places” in our Cultural Places App and hit the road.