When it comes time to take what some people refer to as their dream vacation, a lot of thought goes into where the destination will be. If you are at that place, stretch your boundaries and your horizons and think outside of the normal destinations that you have always gone to in the past.
Think of an exotic location that offers plenty to do, interesting things you’ve never seen or done before, and a pleasant atmosphere. A great place that you should consider for your next vacation is South America.
From north to south and east to west, South America is a unique and beautiful place. There are thousands of different attractions worth visiting on the continent, ranging from the high mountain peaks down to the coastline. There are exciting cities, quaint villages, towering waterfalls, beautiful lakes, interesting historical sites, and just about everything someone would want in a vacation destination. For the lucky traveler making the trip to South America, here are ten unforgettable places to visit.
One of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world is located in South America in the country of Brazil. Ipanema Beach sits in Rio de Janeiro and offers everything anyone could want in a beach destination. There are a long list of outdoor recreation activities that can be participated in at the beach including sunbathing, diving, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, beach combing, paragliding, and more. The beach is picturesque and seems to stretch on forever. It offers both long sandy areas and also area with interesting rock formations. Nearby is all the trappings of beautiful Rio de Janeiro which lines the beach with a great selection of shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Cotopaxi National Park
Located in Ecuador, and just a little ways away from the capital city of Quito, is one of that nation’s greatest treasures, Cotopaxi National Park. This wonderful park offers a number of different activities, but is world famous as a great hiking destination. The main trail takes roughly three days to hike and leads from the entrance of the park to the refuge site that sits at nearly 16,000 feet above sea level. Here visitors can enjoy the scenery and surroundings before returning back down, or they can venture another seven hours up the Mount Cotopaxi and peer down into the crater of the highest active volcano in the world. There is nothing in the world that is quite like Cotopaxi National Park.
Rio de Janeiro
There is no city associated with South America more than the exciting and wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro. A variety of people can come to Rio de Janeiro with a variety of interests and all be satisfied with what they find. Those looking for urban attractions will be pleased with the restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping malls, boutiques, city squares, and nightclubs that they find there. Those wanting to experience outdoor beauty will love the beaches, forests, mountains, and rock formations that surround the city. Rio de Janeiro really does have it all.
For any traveler interested in ancient history, ruins, or the Incas in particular, there is nothing quite like a visit to the incredible Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. This incredible site consists of a complete ancient city that now sits in ruins. It includes terraced plateaus, fortifying walls, temples, and more. Machu Picchu is surrounded by high mountain peaks and thick jungle. It is as visually appealing as it is intellectually. There is simply no other place like it in the world.
One of the world’s greatest treasures is the amazing Galapagos Islands that sit off the coast of Ecuador. These islands are famous for being a location where many different species of animals, both land and marine, have been found. Some are even unique to the islands. They have long been a place of scientific study, and only in recent years have been a major tourist destination. A traveler coming to the Galapagos Islands can explore the land and coastline, searching out some of the intriguing creatures that live there, and they can also delve beneath the surface of the surrounding sea and experience interaction with a number of different species including sharks, manta rays, sea iguanas, and of course the giant tortoise. For the traveler who appreciates the outdoors, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect travel destination.
El Agua Beach
El Agua Beach sits on the northern coast of Isla Margarita which is located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela. The water there is a beautiful emerald blue and is fun to explore both on its surface and below. Diving and snorkeling are very popular at El Agua Beach and the chance to both view and interact with the marine life there is truly amazing. There are also great restaurants, bars, and hotels that line the beach area, completing it as a great vacation destination.
The city of Cuzco is located in Southeastern Peru and sits at an amazing 11,000 feet above sea level. This high altitude community contains some great architecture and has a unique mix of the old world and the modern world of South America. This was the capital city of the Inca Empire and there are still many different ruins and structures worth seeing there. Life in Cuzco is relaxed and this atmosphere contributes to vacationers having a very restful time while being there. Cuzco also makes a great base of operations for those venturing on to visit the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Iguazu Falls are an amazing natural wonder that can be seen while visiting any of three countries. The borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all meet near the falls and there are a number of ways to access them. There are trails that lead down to the base of the falls, massive boardwalks that lead visitors to viewpoints overlooking the falls, and even a scenic train that rides tracks going very near to the falls. Iguazu Falls are stunning for their size, but also for their power. There is a massive amount of water tumbling down this huge waterfall that has become one of the most popular stops in the entire region. Everywhere a visitor turns when visiting Iguazu Falls it seems there is another photo opportunity. This is one waterfall that simply does not disappoint.
The town of Ushuaia is special for a lot of reasons. It is located far down on the tip of Tierra del Fuego in the Patagonia region of Argentina. For the traveler seeking the ultimate in a remote and peaceful location, Ushuaia is it. This small community offers great scenery and a lot of opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the entire world and is one of the best places to take sightseeing trips that lead right up to sight of Antarctica.
The Inca Trail
The Inca Trail starts near the city of Cuzco and takes travelers on an unforgettable trek through the Andes Mountains of Peru. The trail that exists today is the very same one that was made by the Incas centuries ago. It takes nearly a day to hike the entire trail and this is one of the most exciting ways to access Machu Picchu that there is. The trail leads through some amazing scenery and provides some incredible views of the surrounding landscape. Walking the very same trail that the Incas did long ago gives the traveler a very special feeling that is hard to be compared to.
South America is filled with incredible foods, cultures, historical sites, tourist attractions, cities, and natural wonders. You could go to virtually any region in South America and find something to do that would truly blow your mind and make a memory that would last the rest of your life. From visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu to taking a boat ride on the incredible Amazon River, there is a lifetime worth of memories waiting to be made in South America. Book your vacation today. Head out to Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, or any other great South American destination and have the time of your life.