South America has amazing things to offer. I backpacked in South America for a couple of months and every country is completely different. They all add something special to the South American continent. Whether it’s mind blowing nature, culture, food, animals or vibrant cities, South America has it all. Are you planning a trip to South America soon? These are the 7 best places you have to visit in South America.
+ Machu Picchu, Peru
I have a special connection with Peru. One of my first trips was a whole month spent in Cusco learning Spanish and doing volunteer work with underprivileged children. Cusco is the place where people start their hike to Machu Picchu (one of the seven wonders of the world). I took the train as I only had the weekends off. The train goes into Aguas Calientes where you spend the night before hiking up to Machu Picchu the following day. Start early (05.00 am) to make sure to be the first ones to arrive and get a free pass to climb the Huayna Picchu. It’s a steep climb up to Huayna Picchu, but definitely worth it as the view over Machu Picchu is just breathtaking.
The Inca empire Machu Picchu is built at 2.430 meter high above sea level with stunning views over the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin. Not to be missed on your bucket list!
+ Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands lie 1000 km off the shore of Ecuador. Due to three oceanic flooding currents, the Galapagos has one of the richest and most unique marine ecosystems in the world. The best way to explore the Galapagos Islands is by boat. I spent one week on the Encantada boat and loved every minute of it playing with sea lions, swimming with penguins and snorkeling with sharks (that don’t attack humans). Read my full blog about my trip to the Galapagos!
+ Death Road, Bolivia
Don’t let the name scare you off this cool trip. This road takes you from La Paz to Coiroco and is about 64 kilometers of downhill cycling. The trip starts in snow covered, high-altitude plains and ends in steaming hot rainforests. Death Road is known as one of the most dangerous roads in the world. For the adventurers out there, I booked this trip with Gravity Bolivia in La Paz. They are well organised and have reliable bikes. Don’t choose inexpensive tour operators which might not maintain their bikes properly. Invest more and you will be safe!
+ Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
You can stick around in Bolivia and visit the world’s largest salt flats (10.883 sq km). I did a three-day tour in a 4×4 jeep and visited the salt flats, coloured lakes, hot springs, flamingo flocks, hot geysers and the crazy rock formations. The salt flats are the dream of every travel photographer. The bright sun and reflections are a great way to be playful and create hilarious photographs.
+ Iguaçu, Argentina-Brazil
This place is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason. The Iguacu Falls, right on the border of Brazil and Argentina, are astonishing and are almost 3km wide, with 275 individual drops. Both sides have amazing views. Devil’s Throat is the most famous and is best seen from the Brazilian side. Take two days and visit both sides, it will be worth it!
+ Cocora Valley, Colombia
From Salento (probably my favourite place in Colombia), you take the jeep from the main square to visit the Cocora Valley. This valley is filled with wax palms which are the highest ones in the world (about 60 meters tall). Hike from Cocora to Reserva Natural Acaime and enjoy a hot chocolate served with cheese (local specialty) while you watch the cutest little hummingbirds. Take the turnoff to Finca La Montaña to enjoy the spectacular view over the Cocora Valley, it’s truly amazing.
+ Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
First of all, Rio de Janeiro is a must to visit. Not only for its beach, sexy people, amazing caipirinha and Samba, but also for Christ the Redeemer (one of the seven wonders of the world). The statue is the cultural icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Christ the Redeemer is built on the Corcovado Mountain and overlooks the city. Make sure to go on a clear day for good sights. Another spot for panoramic views over the city and Christ the Redeemer is Sugarloaf Mountain. This is where I took this epic picture!