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5 Most Beautiful Places in South America (And Are They Worth Visiting?)

South America - Machu Picchu
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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 5 most beautiful places in South America and are they worth visiting.

Before we start, get our Cultural Places App and turn your phone into a virtual guide.

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?

South America - Rio de Janeiro

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.

South America - Rio de Janeiro favelas

Rio de Janeiro favelas

Of course, no visit to Rio de Janeiro it 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.

Beach cities

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.

South America - Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

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.

South America - Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

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.

Best Autumn Holidays - Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama – Earth’s oldest and driest desert

South America - Atacama 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, sunsets here are sooo spectacular – once in a lifetime experience.

South America - Atacama Desert

Flamingos in the Atacama desert

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is the amazing sacred city of 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.

South America - Machu Picchu

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.

South America - Machu Picchu

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 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 beaches here are amazing and that they resemble the ones in Rio de Janeiro and Miami – you’ll have amazing beach days here.

South America - Cartagena

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, that 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.

South America - Cartagena

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.

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