20 South America Best Destinations and Most Visited Places
South America Vacation and Travel Guide
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South America is the continent that straddles the equator at its northern end, thus being the largest part of its territory falls within the Southern Hemisphere.
It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean who delimit the extreme East and West respectively, while delimiting the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Southern Ocean south end.
It covers an area of 17.8 million square kilometers, representing 42% of the American continent and 12% of the land area, and is inhabited by 6% of the world population.
South America includes twelve countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, although there are books that include the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago for being on the continental shelf of Venezuela.
South America offers the opportunity for a wide variety of adventures along with all types of spectacular scenery. Historical relics, architectural and natural wonders, a diverse range of foods and culture, vibrant and colorful cities, and stunning landscapes attract millions of tourists every year to South America. Your journey can also be filled with towering mountains, jungles, magnificent beaches, vineyards, icebergs, wildlife and more.
Some of the most visited places in the region are Iguazu Falls, Recife, Olinda, Machu Picchu, the Amazon rainforest, Rio de Janeiro, São Luís, Salvador, Fortaleza, Maceió, Buenos Aires, Florianópolis, San Ignacio Miní, Isla Margarita, Natal, Lima, São Paulo, Angel Falls, Brasília, Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Belo Horizonte, Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni, Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, Los Roques archipelago, Gran Sabana, Patagonia, Tayrona National Natural Park, Santa Marta, Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Perito Moreno Glacier and the Galápagos Islands.
Among the Top Destinations in South America we can highlight
Amazon Rainforest or Amazon Jungle
Amazon, also known as Amazonia, is a vast region of Central and northern South comprising Rainforest Basin Rio Amazonas America. The adjacent region of the Guianas also has rainforests, so often it is considered part of the Amazon.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. It is considered that its extension reaches 6 million square kilometers sread over eight countries, of which Brazil and Peru have the largest area of the Amazon, followed by Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela and Suriname. Amazon stands out as one of the most biodiverse ecoregions in the world.
On 11 November 2011 the Amazon rainforest was declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Iguazu Falls - Argentina and Brazil
The Iguazu Falls are located in the Iguazu River on the border between Argentina Province of Misiones and the Brazilian State of Parana. They are fully inserted in protected areas; the sector of Argentina is located within the Iguazu National Park, while the portion of Brazil is at the Iguazu National Park.
Iguazu Falls were chosen as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World."
They consist of 275 falls, 80% of them are located on the Argentine side. A show apart is his jump higher flow and 80 m, also the highest: the Devil's Throat, which can be enjoyed in all its majesty from just 50 m, walking the runways leaving from Puerto Canoas, which you get to use the service of ecological trains. For this jump passes the border between the two countries. They can take boat rides under the waterfalls and hiking trails appreciating some semitropical jungle animals belonging to phytogeographical district of Mixed Forests of fitogeográfica Paranaense province.
Area subtropical jungle, water falls are best known throughout the region and its tourist exploitation has good infrastructure development, and with very different walks. It is National Park area where the original flora and fauna are preserved. His most impressive jump is called Devil's Throat. Other important are called Dos Hermanas, Bosetti or Alvar Nunez, in honor of its discoverer, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca.
Patagonia - Argentina and Chile
Patagonia is a geographical region located in the southernmost part of America, comprising areas of southern Argentina and Chile. Geographically, the Andes in Patagonia divides the eastern and western sectors. Politically, the region is divided into two: Patagonia Argentina to the east, and the Chilean Patagonia, to the west. Patagonia covers an area of 1,060,631 km².
Patagonia Argentina, also called Patagonian Region Argentina, is one of the geographic regions of Argentina, covering this coun gathers a group of provinces and unique natural areas in the world.
Patagonia Argentina is subdivided according to two criteria: Northern Patagonia includes the provinces of Black River, Neuquen and Patagonia Sur which includes the provinces of Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands, Argentina's Patagonia alone measured in land emerged more than 800 000 km² and from adding the Antarctic Argentina that is a department of the province of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands emerged area of around 1,700,000 km.
The most important cities are: Neuquén in the Upper Valley, Comodoro Rivadavia over the sea and San Carlos de Bariloche in the mountainous area, meanwhile Ushuaia is one of the fastest growing, the southernmost city proper or southern planet.
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Buenos Aires is considered mainly to architecture, the "Paris of America" offers a wide cultural activity. Travelers usually choose a night visit to the premises where tango and a walk to a typical stay (in the province of Buenos Aires) dance, to taste the traditional roast. In recent years, new themed tours, including many dedicated to important personalities such as Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón or Jorge Luis Borges emerged. It also has numerous shopping malls (shopping), among which include the Alto Palermo, Paseo Alcorta, Patio Bullrich, Abasto de Buenos Aires and Galerias Pacifico.
Buenos Aires is the most visited city in all of South America. The most important sights are in the historic center of the city, industry practically formed by the districts of Monserrat and San Telmo. The city began to be built around the Plaza Mayor (now Plaza de Mayo), and the administrative institutions of the Cologne were installed in the area. East of the square can be seen the Casa Rosada, seat of the Executive Power of Argentina, in whose place formerly was the Fort. To the north of the Metropolitan Cathedral Plaza, which occupies the same place from the colony, and the building of the Banco de la Nacion Argentina is whose land was originally owned by Juan de Garay. Another important colonial institution was the Cabildo, located to the west, which is not preserved in its original form as part of the structure was demolished for the opening of the Avenue of May and diagonal Julio A. Roca.
San Carlos de Bariloche - Argentina
San Carlos de Bariloche, or simply Bariloche is a city on the Black River Province, Argentina, and is the head of the Department of Bariloche.
Bariloche is the most visited tourist destination in Patagonia and third nationally. It is Argentina's most populous city of the Patagonian Andes. It is located in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, in the southwest of the province of Black River, next to the Andes, on the southern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi, 832 km of Viedma. Their natural reserves, including lakes, forests and mountains, and its outstanding ski resorts are the main attraction and source of income for this city. The city has been considered by some sources as the second ski destination worldwide.
Bariloche is also one of the most important scientific and technological centers of America, which houses the Bariloche Atomic Center Research, part of the National Atomic Energy Commission and the Balseiro Institute, National University of Cuyo, where he gives the race Physics and Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear. The city is the headquarters of INVAP, Argentina high-tech company that designs and builds nuclear reactors, radar and satellites, among others.
San Carlos de Bariloche is the capital of the southern lakes and part of the major tourist circuit along the Seven Lakes to Villa La Angostura. Today, thanks to investments by entrepreneurs and the municipality has a large influx of tourists throughout the year. The main activities include winter sports, fishing, windsurfing, trekking or hiking, camping in the Andean forest, sky diving, boat tours and private boats, horseback riding and scuba diving, among others. Similar activities were also carried out in San Martin de los Andes, Junin de los Andes, El Bolsón, Esquel, Trevelin, Los Antiguos, Copahue, Caviahue.
The Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia
The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt desert in the world continuously, with an area of 10,582 square kilometers or 4,085 square miles. It is located about 3650 meters above sea level in southwest Bolivia, in the province of Daniel Campos, in the department of Potosi, in the highland region of the Andes. The Salar de Uyuni is one of the largest lithium reserves in the world, and also has significant amounts of potassium, boron and magnesium.
The Salar de Uyuni, also contains very important compounds for basic and industrial chemical. In Bolivia, in a geological past there were vaster than the current, known by the names of Ballivian Tauca Minchin and large lakes. The first was a predecessor of Lake Titicaca; the second ran from Uyuni north and Lake Tauca by evaporation gave rise to the Salar de Uyuni.
Lake Titicaca - Bolivia
Lake Titicaca is a body of water located on the plateau of Collao in the Central Andes at an average altitude of 3812 meters above sea level between the territories of Bolivia and Peru. It has an area of 8562 square kilometers of which 56% (4772 km²) correspond to Peru and 44% (3790 km²) in Bolivia and 1125 km of coastline; its maximum depth is estimated at 281 m and its average depth is estimated at 107 m. Its level is irregular and increases during the austral summer.
It consists of two bodies of water separated by the Strait of Tiquina; the largest located in the north is called Lago Maggiore or Chucuito has an area of 6450 km², being in this part its greatest depth (283 m) near the island Soto. The other smaller body called Minor or Huiñamarca located south has an area of 2112 square kilometers, with a maximum depth of 45 meters.
Lake Titicaca is among the Andean mountains in a basin of about 58,000 km². It is the highest navigable lake in the world and ranks 19th in the world by surface.
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Rio de Janeiro only popularly called Rio, is the capital of Rio de Janeiro, located in the southeast of Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil, boasts the busiest international tourism in the country and is the first Olympic city in South America.
It is one of the main economic centers, cultural and financial resources of the country and is internationally known for its cultural icons and landscapes, like the Sugar Loaf, the statue of Christ the Redeemer (one of the seven wonders of the world), the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the Maracanã Stadium, the Tijuca National Park (the largest urban forest in the world), the Quinta da Boa Vista, the island of Paqueta, the Festival of New Year in Copacabana and Rio Carnival Celebration.
Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide as the "Marvelous City", he hosted the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the 2013 Confederations Cup, the World Youth Day 2013, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will also host the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Pantanal - Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay
The Pantanal or the Grand Patanal is an alluvial plain that covers the western part of Brazil and neighboring parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. Located mostly in Brazil and known during the time of the Spanish conquest in the name of Laguna de Jarayes. It is the largest wetland in the world, located in the region of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil and reaching at their ends to Paraguay and Bolivia, with a total area of 220,000 km². It is possibly the world's richest biodiversity of flora and fauna ecosystem.
The Pantanal (known for Hispanics as Laguna de Xarayes or Laguna de Jarayes being Xarayes or Jarayes today's most known indigenous peoples as Guato) is supported in a depression of the crust formed by the same process that led to the Mountains The Andes; her flock several rivers, which together comprise an enormous internal delta in which they turn their sediments. Chief among these is the Paraguay River. It must be combined with average annual rainfall between 1000 and 1400 mm. During the wet season between December and May, the water level rises to 3 m and the Pantanal is flooded by 80%, resulting in a system in which the aquatic flora predominates, which reaches here an expression unequaled in any other in the world.
Valparaiso - Chile
Valparaiso is a Chilean town and commune located in the central coast of mainland Chile. It is the capital of the region and of the homonymous province. Along with other neighboring towns (as Vina del Mar, Concón, Quilpué and Villa Alemana) is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Valparaiso, with this community the historic center.
The City of Valparaiso is the seat of the National Congress, the Commander in Chief of the Chilean Navy and other public services and state institutions at the national level as the Council for Culture and the Arts, the Undersecretary of Fisheries, services customs and Fisheries and Aquaculture. Its port terminal is one of the largest in the South Pacific. The city has 4 universities of traditional calls: the Catholic University of Valparaiso, the Playa Ancha, Valparaiso and the Federico Santa María.
The particular geographic distribution of Valparaiso, where the hills invade the coast, causes the vision from hill to sea is remarkable. Therefore, places like Mirador Portales, Viewpoint Hope, O'Higgins Viewpoint, Viewpoint Merchant Marine Walk May 21, Paseo Yugoslav, Paseo Gervasoni, Paseo Atkinson and Paseo Dimalow are ideal when it comes to see a panoramic overview of the port city.
Torres del Paine - Chile
The Torres del Paine also called Paine Massif and Cordillera del Paine, are a small but prominent group of insert mountains in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. They are located 150 km from the city of Puerto Natales and 400 km north of Punta Arenas and over 2,500 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago. It is administratively located within the municipality of Torres del Paine, Magallanes and Antarctica Chilena.En a special edition of National Geographic, the Torres del Paine were chosen as the most beautiful in the world fifth.
Easter Island - Chile
In the Pacific Ocean is Easter Island, called Rapa Nui traditionally previously known as Te Pito o Te Henua ( 'the navel of the world') and Mata ki te rangi ('eyes looking at the sky'), It is one of the top tourist destinations in Chile because of its natural landscapes and mysterious ancient culture of Rapa Nui ethnicity, since time immemorial, was developed completely isolated for centuries until it almost became extinct in the mid-nineteenth century. His most notable vestige corresponds to the huge statues known as moai. To preserve these characteristics, the government administered through the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) the Rapa Nui National Park, while UNESCO declared this park as a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Among the activities that can be carried out in Rapa Nui are various excursions and tours, visit the craft market, the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum, the Centro Ceremonial Tahai, quarries Puna Pau and Rano Raraku, different Ahus, beaches Anakena and Ovahe, the archaeological site of Orongo, attend shows with island music and dances, and the Annual Festival Tapati Rapa Nui, the main artistic and cultural activity of the island, where a series of ceremonies and traditions is performed.
Perito Moreno Glacier - Chile
The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in front of the Magallanes peninsula, south of the National Park, about 80 km from the village El Calafate, as far as can be reached by plane from Comandante Armando Tola International Airport or via Terrestra by Provincial route 11. El Calafate is 320 km northwest of the provincial capital, Rio Gallegos. Located in an area surrounded by forests and mountains, it lies within the Los Glaciares National Park, recognized as such in 1937, in Santa Cruz Province in southern Argentina. This park of 724 000 ha, has a total of 356 glaciers.
Thanks to its steady advance, dam waters Rico arm of the lake, which creates a gap with the rest of the lake up to 30 m. Under pressure of this liquid mass leaks occur in the ice that create a tunnel with a vault of more than 50 m which eventually collapses, in a rare natural spectacle, easily presenciable for tourists, so is the Maximum Attractive Los Glaciares National Park, which integrates. Its name honors Francisco Moreno, director of the Museum of Scientific Society Argentina and active explorer of the southern part of that country.
Barranquilla - Colombia
Barranquilla is located on the west bank of the Magdalena River 7.5 km from its mouth in the Caribbean Sea. In 1993 it was organized constitutionally especially industrial and port district. It is one of the most important sea and river ports and assets of Colombia, and the main commercial, industrial, cultural and educational center of the Colombian Caribbean region.
Among the main tourist sites include: Bocas de Ceniza and the Magdalena River: A place of particularimportance for the city are the Bocas de Ceniza, as known to the mouth of the Magdalena River in the Caribbean Sea. El Muelle de Puerto Colombia: Built in 1893 by The Barranquilla Railway & Pier Company under the direction of Cuban engineer Francisco Javier Cisneros, the spring of the neighboring municipality of Puerto Colombia was once one of the longest in the world. Barranquilla Zoo: A wildlife sanctuary that houses colorful native animal species and other continents, becoming emphasis in the Colombian fauna and the protection of endangered species. You can appreciate more than 500 animals of 140 species, from chickens to elephants or lions, going through all kinds of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and primates. A maximum one hour by road several tourist attractions are found in the neighboring towns. At the northwest of the department, bordering the Caribbean Sea, are a number of spas as Pradomar, Salgar, Sabanilla, Puerto Colombia, St. Veronica, Caño Dulce, Playa Mendoza, Puerto Velero, Turipaná, Puerto Mocho and swamp El Rincón (more known as Swan lake), where you can practice all kinds of water sports, camping, fishing and hiking. On the hill of Cupino, in the town of Puerto Colombia, paragliding is practiced. In Usiacurí you can visit the house of the poet Julio Florez and buy handicrafts. In the municipalities of Repelón Luruaco and you can also enjoy water sports and other recreational activities in bogs and Guájaro Luruaco respectively. Other locations of Atlántico livestock fairs (Sabanalarga), cultural, gastronomic, folkloric and musical festivals like the Festival of the Egg Arepa in Luruaco, Plum Festival in Campeche, Guandul Festival in Sibarco, carnivals are held , among others. Barranquilla is just over 1 hour from Cartagena and Santa Marta, important tourist and colonial cities.
Santa Marta - Colombia
The Tourist District, Cultural and Historic Santa Marta is a Colombian city, capital of the department of Magdalena and third urban center of importance in the Caribbean Region after Barranquilla and Cartagena. Founded on July 29, 1525 by the Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas, Colombia is the oldest existing city and the second oldest in South America.
Santa Marta is located in the bay of the same name, it is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Colombian Caribbean. Its location between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with the highest peaks in the country, and the Caribbean Sea, makes it attractive to visit the variety of fauna and flora that are in the area, as well as cultural and historical sites that the city has. As an important fact, Simon Bolivar died in a ranch named Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino which at the time was on the outskirts of the city, on December 17, 1830. Because of this, the 1991 constitution conferred to Santa Marta's character d Heritage Office.
Cartagena de Indias - Colombia
Cartagena de Indias is one of the most important tourist destinations in Colombia and Latin America. Tourism became a potential factor in the city thanks to its natural attractions and rich history, evident in the variety of architectural styles. They bring together the Spanish Baroque, the Spanish colonial architecture and the neoclassical style, including in Cartagena. It is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco strengthened as a tourist power in the region.
The historic center of Cartagena, "The Walled City" was declared National Heritage of Colombia in 1959, while in 1984, the Committee of World Heritage of UNESCO included in the World Heritage List as "Puerto, Monumental strength and Cartagena de Indias."
The Galapagos Islands - Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands also known as the Galapagos Islands and officially Galapagos Islands are an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean 972 km off the coast of Ecuador. It consists of 13 large islands with an area larger than 10 km², 6 medium islands with an area of 1 km² to 10 km² and other 215 islands of small size, as well as rocky headlands of a few square meters, distributed around the line of Ecuador land.
The Galapagos Islands were declared a World Heritage Site in 1978 and in 2001 by UNESCO.
The archipelago has the largest source of tourism income and receives 200,000 visitors a year. It has also developed eco-tourism in order to preserve the species. The region was home to Lonesome George, the last specimen of Pinta giant tortoise species, extinct on 24 June 2012. The islands are also home to species such as sea turtles, iguanas, lizards, cormorants, albatrosses, sea lions and penguins.
Galapagos is known for its numerous endemic species and the studies of Charles Darwin that led him to establish his theory of evolution by natural selection. They are by tourists, called The Enchanted Islands, naming the archipelago gained in the sixteenth century by his great biodiversity of flora and fauna, inheriting the name for generations.
Machu Picchu - Peru
Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Peru is located a few hours from Cusco by train: Machu Picchu (the Southern Quechua machu pikchu, "Old Mountain") is the contemporary name given to an Inca old llaqta populated Andean built mid-fifteenth century in the rocky promontory that links the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Central, south of Peru and 2490 m, altitude of the main square. Its original name would have been Picchu or Picho.
Machu Picchu is considered both a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Its unique architectural features and landscaping, and the veil of mystery that has woven around much of the literature published on the site, have become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.
Machu Picchu is on the List of World Heritage of UNESCO since 1983 as part of a cultural and ecological group known under the name Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The July 7, 2007 Machu Picchu was declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the modern world in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal, which was attended by one hundred million voters worldwide.
La Gran Sabana - Venezuela
It is known as La Gran Sabana plain of 75,000 square kilometers, a magical place that seems out of this planet. Located in the Eastern Sector of Canaima National Park, it declared as a World Heritage. In 1962, the Venezuelan government decreed this area National Park to guarantee their protection. Rich in vegetation, in La Gran Sabana are 20,000 of the 25,000 species of orchids, according to Dominic Hamilton, contributor to the magazine South American Explorer. It is located in the Guiana Highlands south of the Orinoco River, it is the oldest geological formation of the earth, whose age is estimated between 1,600 and 2,000 million years of unparalleled beauty. It covers the southeastern part of Bolívar State on the border with Guyana to the east and Brazil to the south.
This vast region is an ideal place for ecotourism to be characterized by its large landscape values place Pemon indigenous communities and the presence of more than 80 majestic Tepuis, the most striking natural feature that dominates the skyline of La Gran Sabana, representatives the fisiocronología Earth, allowing us to move to remote periods of millions of years.
The Tepuis orTepuyes are tabular formations of vertical walls, consisting of polychrome sandstone, quartzite and agglomerates, carved by erosion thousands of years, completely flat on top. Resemble gigantic islands on the green carpet of the jungle, in fact they are "islands in time" because they are unique ecosystems. The highest and best known of the Tepuis is Roraima, immortalized in the novel "The Lost World", published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1912, also called Blue Mountain or Crystal Mountain, is 15 kilometers long and 200 kilometers in area at its peak. It contains known sites: the bow, gladis Lake, North mazes, three-point stone monkey eating ice cream, pit, valley of crystals and tevasin, a magical place to practice adventure tourism Hiking and Mountaineering.
Along the road through the Gran Sabana to Santa Elena, there are many campgrounds located within 100 mts. of the road, with beautiful waterfalls and campsites, some lodges and camping area, restaurants and restrooms.
Angel Falls - Venezuela
Southeast of Venezuela, in the Canaima National Park in the Valley Camarata, is the Auyan-Tepuy, colossus of stone, carved by erosion thousands of years.
On top of this ancient geological formation, a stream is born as a result of continuous rain that falls to 1005 meters Churún River tributary of the Carrao River at the base of the same shaping the Angel jump higher water world (Source: Tourism Corporation of Bolivar State, update Guinness Record). It is one of the 28 finalists in the election of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
Angel Falls is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Venezuela and the world, but even today, a trip to the falls is not a simple matter, because the area is isolated by thick jungle and make tepuyes hazardous air navigation. You can reach the region by plane for a flight from Caracas or Ciudad Bolivar to arrive at a camp in Canaima. Other tourists prefer to reach the falls by more natural means, crossing the jungle waterways to reach the base of the jump.
Map of South America