South America is a continent worth exploring. It has a lot to offer: huge rainforests, wild rivers, tall waterfalls, and the most exotic wildlife. Its natural beauty and breathtaking wonders are reasons enough to take time and visit this magnificent vastness.
Being the largest country in South America, Brazil is one of the most famous too. Known for its football and the annual Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Olinda, visitors flock to this beautiful country of cultural diversity and stunning landscapes. One of the many natural wonders in Brazil that captivates visitors is the world-famous Amazon Rainforest. Home to amazing numbers of species - plants, birds, fishes and even insects - be fascinated by its incredible biodiversity. You can take a boat and join river journeys for up-close views and exhilarating experiences of the largest river and its wildlife. You may also want to visit The Atlantic Forest or Mata Atlantica to complete the experience. And don’t miss the Pantanal, the world’s largest inland swamp that contains one of the world’s largest and most diverse ecosystems, which include caiman, jaguar and even piranha. It is one of Brazil’s major tourist attractions.
One of the UNESCO World Heritage sites situated in Brazil (and bordering Paraguay and Argentina) are Iguacu Falls. One of the most spectacular wonders of the world, the falls are taller and two times wider than Niagara Falls and such a sight to see with the cliffs and the jungle surrounding it. Brazil’s highest waterfall, Cachoeira da Fumaca, is best observed from the National Park of Chapada Diamantina. You can also explore the park by following the terrain of forests, beaches and a stretch of grottos. One of the most iconic images of Brazil is found in Rio de Janeiro, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer or Corcovado Cristo Redentor, which became Rio’s symbol. The view from the top of this massive structure is impressive and quite an experience. Rio de Janeiro is also known for its lovely beaches. One of the most famous and frequently visited is Copacabana. Also, experience the most modern neighborhood of Rio beach in Ipanema. Brazil’s architecture is another interesting sight. Must-sees include colonial churches in Rio such as the Igreja De Nossa Senhora Da Gloria Do Outeiro or the Theatro Municipal, the picturesque streets of the well-preserved colonial town of Paraty, the remarkable Baroque churches and steep narrow streets of Ouro Preto, and the spaceship-like museum Museu De Arte Contemporanea in Niteroi.
Following Ruta de los Siete Lagos or the Road to Seven Lakes is a perfect way to see the wonders of Argentina. The seven Patagonian Lakes between San Martin de los Andes and Villa La Angostura in Neuquen Province are Escondido, Machonico, Espejo, Lacar, Correntoso, Falkner and Villarino. Witnessing its sparkling waters changing hues, from emerald to ultramarine, from turquoise to sapphire, is a magical experience everyone will enjoy. The Iberia Wetlands or Esteros del Iberia is another site you should not miss. It is a group of swamps, lagoons and lakes that attract many birds, from hummingbirds to herons. Second to the largest wetlands in the world, the Pantanal in Brazil, the Iberia Wetlands are one of the most important fresh water reservoirs in South America.
Argentina’s cordillera is also home to several distant relatives of the camel. Llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicuñas can be spotted wandering the area. Peninsula Valdes in Chubut Province, on the other hand, is a natural habitat for an array of wildlife such as the giant Blubbery Elephant Seal. It is an important nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the largest cities on the continent is Buenos Aires. Offering various attractions, it is a favorite tourist destination. One of its main attractions is the town of Tigre. It is the gate to Parana Delta which provides the locals and tourists scenic views of marinas, elegant mansions and tea houses while enjoying a cozy boat ride or paddling a kayak. No wonder it is considered the subtropical Venice.
Visit San Telmo for a stroll down its cobbled streets of Tango bars, street performances and antique shops. The Bohemian neighborhood breathes its history with its well-preserved colonial houses. La Boca is Buenos Aires’ most colorful neighborhood. Tourists find its vibrant colors very appealing. If you want to experience first class restaurants and see French style buildings, Recoleta is the place to be. It is one of the finest and most expensive districts in the city. You might also want to explore the famous Recoleta Cemetery and try the wines of Mendoza, maker of Malbecs and Syrahs. For an outdoor experience, climbing Aconcagua, one of the highest peaks in the area, is a great idea. World-class trekking in the Andes or exploring Los Glaciares National Park or Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, another UNESCO site, sounds superb, too. Argentina also provides entrance to the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia. Previously a penal colony, the city is now regarded a major tourist destination in Argentina; it even built the Train to the End of the World or the Southern Fuegian Railway for tourists.
Two of the most mysterious archeological sites can be found in Peru. Macchu Picchu is a collection of 15th century palaces and temples built by the Incas. The structure, located in the Cusco Region of Urubamba Province atop the Sacred Valley, is a fascinating sight to see. Another favorite subject for archeological explorations is the series of ancient symbols intricately drawn onto the ground in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Although the purpose of its construction remains unanswered, the Nazca Lines are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Chavin de Huantar, another archeological site that contains ruins and artifacts of Pre-Inca culture. The large temples and striking stone carvings are fascinating and so is the ruined fortress of Kuelap. Another favorite destination in Peru is the Colca Canyon in Arequipa. It is twice the size of the Grand Canyon and is one of the deepest canyons in the world.