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Top Travel Spots to Visit for an Unforgettable South American Vacation

From the snow-capped Andes to samba-filled cities to ancient ruins, South America overflows with incredible places to visit. With so many diverse countries and landscapes across the continent, how do you choose the best travel spots to make the most of your vacation? Use this guide to discover the best travel spots in South America for an epic and memorable South American adventure.

Captivating Cities

South America boasts some of the world’s great metropolises filled with art, culture, cuisine and energy. These cities should be on any travel wish list.

Lima, Peru

Peru’s sprawling capital provides the perfect blend of history, culture, scenery and culinary delights. Explore ruins like the Huaca Pucllana, shop at local markets, stroll along scenic coastal cliffs, and take foodie tours of bohemian neighborhoods like Barranco. Don’t miss tasting world-class ceviche.

La Paz, Bolivia

The highest capital city in the world, La Paz dazzles visitors. Gaze out across the sprawling city and snowy Mount Illimani from the Valley of the Moon. Browse for woven goods at Calea market. For adventure, bike down the “Death Road” winding mountain pass outside the city. Affordable and full of character, La Paz is a top South American destination.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

There’s no better South American city for culture, cuisine, architecture, and nightlife than lively Buenos Aires. Dine at steak houses, take in a sultry tango show, and wander neighborhoods like San Telmo and Palermo. Don’t miss strolling the vibrant La Boca district. The European vibe makes it one of the continent’s hottest spots.

Breathtaking Natural Scenery

From the Andes to the Amazon, South America’s landscapes astound. These are some of the top natural spots:

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil Border

This colossal waterfall system of 275 cascades straddling two countries is an undisputed natural wonder. Walkways let you witness the thundering Devil’s Throat up close. Boat rides take you right under smaller falls for a total drenching. Iguazu amazes all who visit.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The world’s largest salt flat looks like something from another planet. In the wet season, a thin layer of water covers the flat desert creating a giant mirror reflecting the sky in stunning fashion. Unique perspective photos playing with the reflections are a must. It’s an otherworldly place to visit in South America.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

This advancing glacier in Patagonia National Park never fails to impress. Listen to thunderous cracks as ice breaks and crashes into Lake Argentino. Get up close along the accessible walkways, and book a boat ride for views of its massive imposing walls. The blue hues and sheer scale make it one of South America’s marquee natural attractions.

Ancient Ruins & Historical Gems

South America is filled with intriguing remnants of indigenous cultures and colonial history. These are some of the top spots:

Machu Picchu, Peru

No list of South American travel spots is complete without this iconic UNESCO site. Built in the 15th century high in the Andes, this Incan citadel amazes with its terraced stone walls and intricate architecture. Hiking through lush mountains on the Inca Trail adds to the magic. A true wonder of the world.

Easter Island, Chile

On this small Pacific island lies almost 1,000 mysterious moai statues left behind by the Rapa Nui people centuries ago. Gaze in wonder at the monolithic stone heads dotting the island and visit quarries to see the monuments in various stages of creation. An endlessly intriguing travel experience.

Cartagena’s Walled City, Colombia

Stroll the cobblestone streets inside this well-preserved fortress city on the Caribbean coast dating back to the 16th century. The lively mix of colorful colonial buildings, boutique hotels, narrow alleys, and lively plazas makes for sensational sightseeing and photographs. History buffs flock here.

With so many incredible spots across its diverse landscape, culture, and cities, South America promises endless travel adventures. Start planning your bucket list itinerary today! Let me know if you need any other recommendations for the best countries to travel in South America.

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