40 best places to visit in South America

Ricardo Gonzalez

South America is a continent full of beautiful landscapes, today we will tell you about the 40 best places to visit in South America, where every traveler can find something interesting. We are sure to miss a lot with so much beauty that this continent has to offer.

Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina)

Los Glaciares National Park

This wonderful park has a number of places that will take your breath away for a moment, besides being the largest in Argentina, it also houses the largest lake in the country and the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland. A particularity of the place is the famous Perito Moreno glacier, unique among other glaciers because it advances while the rest recede.

Uyuni Salt Flat (Bolivia)

Uyuni Salt Flat

The Uyuni salt flat is the largest in the world and is located at an altitude of 3700 meters above sea level in the Bolivian Andes. The salt flat is so flat that every time it rains, this beautiful place stands out by becoming a huge mirror, a feature that makes it one of the most impressive places in South America.

Cusco (Per√ļ)


At an altitude of 3,400 meters above the Peruvian Andes lies Cusco, a city that long ago was the capital of the mighty Inca Empire. Although it is not the national capital, the Peruvian constitution designates it as the historic capital of the country. Remains of Inca sites can be found around Cusco, while the Spanish colonial legacy can be found in the old town. This place is a true relic of South American history.

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. This archipelago of 18 islands has countless species that seem to be from prehistoric times, unique looking iguanas, giant tortoises and many other creatures that seem to be straight out of a book can be found here. The Galapagos Islands are located about 900 km off the coast of Ecuador and the impressive place was formed from the constant volcanic activity in the area.

Salvador (Brazil)

Salvador (Brazil)

The Portuguese founded Salvador da Bahia in 1548, making it one of the oldest colonial cities in South America. Salvador as it is also known, is a place of festivals and is recognized for its 6-day festival “El carnaval da Bahia or carnival of Salvador”.

Quito (Ecuador)


Located in northern Ecuador, the colorful city of Quito, founded by the Spaniards in 1534, is one of the cities that best preserves its old town and has one of the largest historical centers in the Americas. As a curious fact, Quito is the only capital city in the world threatened by active volcanoes, which can be seen on a clear, cloudless day.

Cartagena (Colombia)


Founded in 1533 by the Spanish, Cartagena is considered one of the main tourist places in Colombia, its beautiful beaches and its historic center are its great treasure. Today the walled city has a rich cultural scene with festivals, museums and galleries open all year round.

Machu Picchu (Peru)

Machu Picchu

Located on the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. This place is the living trace of what was once the Inca civilization, its fascinating architecture in solid stone was the fortress and place of ceremonies of the powerful empire.

The site was abandoned after the Spanish conquest and until the early twentieth century was discovered by the American professor Hiram Bingham.

Tayrona National Park (Colombia)

Tayrona National Park

The Tayrona National Park is located on the Colombian Caribbean coast and is characterized by its environmental protection. Here you can find a great variety of fauna and flora, including more than 300 species of birds, about 100 types of mammals and 70 kinds of bats.

Tayrona receives thousands of tourists every year and apart from being the second most visited national park in the country, it also stands out for its spectacular beaches surrounded by mountains and vegetation.

Atacama Desert (Chile)

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert has an extension of 1,600 km on the Chilean coast and is considered a unique scenery, as it is one of the driest deserts in the world.  It probably rains here only once every four years and people often compare its appearance to that of Mars.

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana beach, Rio’s carnival and the statue of Christ the Redeemer are just some of the most popular tourist attractions that Rio de Janeiro has to offer. If you visit this place let yourself be carried away by the good vibes of the people, take some samba lessons, one of the most popular dances in the area and enjoy the different activities on the beaches of the place.

Angel Falls (Venezuela)

Angel Falls

Getting to this place is definitely an adventure and if you like nature and captivating landscapes, you should make this trip at least once in your life. Angel Falls is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, it is located in the highlands of Guyana Venezuela and is 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

Titicaca lake (Per√ļ and Bolivia)

Titicaca lake

Between the border of Peru and Bolivia, is located the largest navigable lake in South America. Lake Titicaca is well known among tourists for its famous floating islands. These islands are made by the locals from heavy reeds and besides being an attraction of the place, the lake is home to a lot of wildlife and has beautiful scenery. 

Colca Canyon (Per√ļ)

Titicaca lake

This incredible scenery is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is one of the deepest in the world. Its breathtaking scenery makes the Colca Canyon the third most visited tourist destination in Peru. Sightings of Andean Condors and the largest hummingbirds you have ever seen are also something you can enjoy in this majestic place.

Easter Island (Chile)

Easter Island

Located in Chile, Easter Island is a tourist destination that attracts attention for its well-known Easter statues (Moai). On the island you will find around 900 statues, which according to history were carved approximately 1000 years ago by the first inhabitants of Polynesia.

To get to the island you will have to have enough time, since this place is 1300 miles away from the Chilean coast, making it the most remote inhabited island in the world.

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the fourth most populated city in South America and one of the most beautiful capitals of the continent. Its wide cultural diversity and beautiful architecture make it one of the most visited cities in South America. If you plan to visit Buenos Aires, La Recoleta, a residential area known for its history, is a recommended place to visit.

Ushuaia (Argentina)


The so-called “land of fire” is considered the southernmost city in the world. Here you can enjoy activities such as orca, seal and penguin watching, as well as a great variety of colonial museums. This beautiful place in South America receives year after year adventurers and nature lovers.

Iguazu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)

iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls are the largest waterfall system in the world and one of the most impressive places in South America. The falls are located between Brazil and Argentina, however, Argentina has most of the falls. The most imposing of the whole system is the “Devil’s Throat” waterfall.

Torres Del Paine National Park (Chile)

Torres Del Paine National Park

Torres Del Paine National Park, located in the Chilean Patagonia, is one of the most impressive places in South America, which is why it receives thousands of visitors per year. In the park you will find glaciers, turquoise blue rivers, forests and unique vegetation of the place.

Torres Del Paine is definitely for those who like hiking and enjoying beautiful landscapes.

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is undoubtedly one of the least explored places on the planet. According to scientists, this place has areas that have never been explored by humans, which is why it is home to species of flora and fauna unknown until now. With more than 395,000 million trees, the Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world.

Guatapé (Colombia)


Guatapé is located 50 minutes from the city of Medellín, here you can find the famous 650 feet high rock, which you can climb to enjoy the best landscapes of the place. In Guatapé you can go on boat tours around the dam, enjoy a day trip, water activities and much more.

Quilotoa Trail (Ecuador)

Quilotoa Trail

The Quilotoa trail is one of the most beautiful places in Ecuador and South America. It not only offers breathtaking scenery, but also cultural experiences with the locals. One of the highlights of this route is the crystal blue Quilotoa Lake, located in the middle of a huge crater.

Bariloche (Argentina)


San Carlos de Bariloche is a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires and offers visitors many outdoor activities to enjoy. This Patagonian city captivates tourists from many countries for its particular beauty and its excellent location, as its landscapes include the Andes and the Nahuel Huapi glacial lake.

Iquique (Chile)


Located in the north of Chile, Iquique is known as one of the best coastal areas of the country, where its beautiful beaches, the best surfing areas in South America and its 19th century Georgian style architecture stand out.

Here you will also find an important duty free zone called Zofri, where you can buy everything from perfumes to computers.

Cocora Valley (Colombia)

Cocora Valley

In the Cocora Valley you will be able to enjoy a great variety of activities, but without a doubt the excursions to the wax palm trees of Quindio and tasting one of the best coffees in the world, in the farms of Salento, is something not to be missed.

Curious fact: The wax palms of Quindío are known for their great size, reaching up to 60 meters in height, a characteristic that makes them one of the tallest types of palm trees in the world.

Ica (Peru)


The small oasis town of Huacachina is located about four hours south of Lima. The lagoon was once said to have curative powers due to its high mineral content.

Today, the lagoon is barely suitable for bathing due to the lowering water level, but Huacachina has found other ways to attract tourists. The surrounding dunes are perfect for sandboarding or buggy riding.

Los Roques (Venezuela)

Los Roques

The archipelago of Los Roques, located 170 kilometers from the capital Caracas, is a place where its unparalleled white sand beaches, turquoise waters and a huge variety of marine life stand out. In Los Roques you can do activities such as snorkeling and diving.

The Seven Lakes (Argentina)

The Seven Lakes

The path of the seven lakes is a route that you should do if you are passionate about nature. It is located in the province of Neuquén and is characterized by its stunning scenery. Although it can be visited all year round, it is advisable to do it during the summer.

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park (Chile)

Founded in 1926, the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park is the perfect opportunity to get to know, at least, this beautiful region in the south of the country. Easily accessible from the city of Puerto Montt, the main tourist attraction is the spectacular Petrohué waterfall (Saltos del Petrohué).

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

The area is also known for its diverse fauna, such as Andean deer and pumas, as well as its hot springs. Add to this picturesque location a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes, and you have the perfect place to capture the memories of your trip in South America.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador)

Cotopaxi has an altitude of 5897m and is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. It is located south of Quito, in the middle of the park that bears the same name and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.


In the park you can do hiking activities in which you can observe a great variety of animals and plants. You can also climb around the volcano if you are in good physical condition.

Ca√Īo Cristales (Colombia)

Ca√Īo Cristales

Ca√Īo Cristales, the river of the five colors, is unique in South America. It is located in the Serrania de la Macarena National Park. This unique and colorful river has a length of 100 km and is characterized by being a picturesque spectacle. At the bottom, the river is full of flowers that give color to the water. Here you can enjoy waterfalls and natural pools.

Maranhenses Savannas (Brazil)

Maranhenses Savannas (Brazil)

The Maranhenses savannas or as it is known in Brazil “Len√ß√≥is Maranhenses” is a beautiful white sand desert, and its main attraction originates in the rainy season (January to June). During this season crystalline lagoons are formed, giving way to a beautiful and unique landscape.

Huaraz (Per√ļ)

Huaraz is located 3,100 meters above sea level and some of the surrounding peaks exceed 6,000 meters. This beautiful place has a spectacular location on the Cordillera Blanca, which makes it an ideal place for nature lovers, here you can practice activities such as hiking and climbing.


Thanks to the great variety of routes, hikers and climbers of all levels of experience can practice ice climbing or climb Huascar√°n, the highest mountain in Peru at 6,768 meters.

Cuicocha Lagoon (Ecuador)

Cuicocha Lagoon

The Cuicocha Lagoon is located on the ridge of an extinct volcano and was formed after a major eruption more than 3,000 years ago. The lake contains two islands of solidified lava and you can take a boat tour around the lake or hike around the lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Chapada Diamantina National Park (Brazil)

Chapada Diamantina National Park is located in the center of the Brazilian state of Bahia. This park, one of the most important in Brazil, offers breathtaking mountain scenery, beautiful waterfalls, natural pools and endless valleys.

Chapada Diamantina National Park

This place is literally a must-see and will take your breath away with its mysterious natural scenery. If you plan to stay here, you should plan a guided tour from Lençóis.

Laguna Colorada (Bolivia)

Laguna Colorada

The Red Lagoon, as it is also known, is home to hundreds of pink flamingos, Chilean and Andean, that year after year search for food in the area. The fascinating color of the water is due to the high concentration of red algae, which, combined with the sun, release this interesting dye on the water.

Cajón del Maipo (Chile)

This spectacular canyon located at the western end of the Andes Mountains in South America, is a paradise for hikers, offering many activities such as hiking, horseback riding, skiing and even wine tasting.

Cajón del Maipo

One of the highlights of the area is the Yeso reservoir. This incredible work of engineering and popular tourist attraction supplies water to Santiago and is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

Fernando de Noronha (Brazil)

Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, of volcanic origin, is a strictly protected paradise and the number of visits to the island is limited. If you want to visit the archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Brazil’s main attractions, you should plan your trip well in advance.

Montevideo (Uruguay)


Montevideo is a place that offers a wide cultural range and stands out for its particular architecture and its beautiful beaches and quiet people. If you travel to Montevideo a recommendation is to visit the village house in Punta del Este.

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Ricardo Gonzalez

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