If you’re looking for an epic holiday, you can’t go wrong with South America. This incredibly diverse continent boasts incredible beaches, breathtaking landscapes, exotic wildlife and world-class cities.
But before you set out, it’s important to make sure you’re safe. Take these tips into consideration, and you’ll be on the right track to having a memorable trip in South America!
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Set above the Urubamba River valley, Machu Picchu is a world-class Incan citadel that has fascinated people for centuries. It’s a sensory feast of dazzling stone structures that play on astronomical alignments and offer panoramic views.
The imposing complex is home to sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings and a series of terraces. It also has an abundance of intricate carvings that have long been a source of wonder and mystery.
While some of the earliest historians proposed that it was a fortress, further study has revealed that many of its buildings were designed to serve religious purposes. The Incas were renowned for their brilliant rock carving and masonry skills, which are reflected throughout the site.
Located on steep landslide-prone slopes and surrounded by active fault lines, it’s no surprise that the citadel of Machu Picchu was a difficult task to achieve. But what makes it even more impressive is that its stone structures are still standing today – a testament to the Inca’s incredible engineering and masonry skills.
Located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are one of the most spectacular sights on Earth. As well as awe-inspiring, they are also an important natural landmark and are protected in the national parks on either side of their border.
The Iguazu Falls consist of 275 discrete waterfalls that span 2.7 kilometers along the Iguazu River. This makes them the sixth largest waterfall in the world, following Niagara Falls in North America.
These impressive cascades are carved into layers of basalt, a rock that is particularly resistant to erosion. The most striking feature of Iguazu is the ‘Devil’s Throat’, which has 14 falls that plunge more than 350 feet.
A trip to the falls is a must for any traveler visiting South America, as it is a truly awe-inspiring site. The falls are also a significant part of the Iguazu National Park, a vast expanse of rainforest.
Visitors can get up close to the falls through jet boat tours and helicopter rides. Other activities include jungle safari tours. There are also nocturnal excursions, which are a great way to enjoy the beauty of the falls at night.
If you’re looking for a trip that will take you off the beaten path and give you a glimpse into an animal world that has remained virtually untouched by man, then the Galapagos Islands are worth considering. The equator-positioned archipelago is home to countless critters, from giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas.
Despite their worldwide fame, the Galapagos Islands still face serious threats from human activity. The most significant threats to the islands come from the introduction of invasive species, such as goats and cats, which have decimated native plants and animals.
Fortunately, a combination of conservation and local sustainable development has helped reverse some of these negative effects. The national park service and the government have taken steps to reduce the number of feral goats, which can wreak havoc on habitats, and to eradicate introduced rats.
The peak of Sugarloaf Mountain is a striking natural landmark overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Sitting on a peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean, the mountain offers a scenic combination of bustling city, serene bay, and sparkling ocean.
Tourists from around the world visit Sugarloaf every year to enjoy its scenic vistas and picnic at its overlooks. Many also hike and horseback ride along its miles of trails.
In addition to its breathtaking views, Sugarloaf is one of the largest and most popular rock climbing destinations in Brazil with over 270 different routes to explore as you climb high above the glittering Atlantic Ocean and the sprawling Rio de Janeiro.
There is a convenient and simple way to access the summit of Sugarloaf via a cable car system. The cable car takes about three minutes to get you to the first stop, Urca Hill, which offers a wide range of viewing areas, souvenir shops, restaurants and more.
From here you can continue on to the second cable car that takes you to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. As you make your way to the top, you’ll have a fantastic view of everything from the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to Christ the Redeemer and Tijuca Forest.
5.Christ the Redeemer statue
Christ the Redeemer statue, or Cristo Redentor as Brazilians call it, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in South America. It stands on top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro and has long been a symbol for the city and its culture.
The statue was erected between 1922 and 1931 and stands on a platform topped with soapstone and reinforced concrete. It’s been considered one of the world’s seven modern wonders, and it’s a must-see for any trip to Rio.
While the statue is often seen as a cultural icon, it also has a much deeper meaning to Christians in Brazil. The statue’s arms spread wide symbolize openness to others and welcome them into the fold of the Christian community.
The statue was designed by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and French sculptor Paul Landowski. It also features a carved heart that represents the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to a rich diversity of animal, plant, and insect species that can’t be found elsewhere. It’s also home to hundreds of indigenous tribes that live off the land in rainforest villages, or as nomads deep inside the forest.
But the Amazon is under threat from many factors. One of the biggest threats is deforestation, which is causing the rainforest to shrink at an alarming rate.
Cattle ranching is the biggest culprit, as it destroys large areas of land to accommodate cows. This activity releases 340 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year.
Another huge concern is infrastructure development, which threatens the Amazon’s rivers and ecosystems. It’s also a major driver of tropical deforestation, which has already caused the rainforest to lose half its size in some regions.
The Amazon is a tropical rainforest that covers much of northwestern Brazil, and parts of Colombia and Peru. It’s a massive area of natural beauty that is home to millions of people who rely on its resources for food, clothing, and traditional medicines.
With high peaks, incredible lakes, glaciers and a vast array of national parks to explore, Patagonia is a true traveler’s dream. Whether you are a hiker, a birder or simply want to see some of the world’s best whale-watching spots, this spectacular region offers something for everyone.
This enigmatic, entrancing and visually spectacular place has been captivating explorers for centuries. Its untamed nature has made it an ideal destination to reclaim the human connection with nature that we often lose today.
Its unique wildlife is also a great reason to visit, with condors, guanacos, foxes and pumas among the most recognizable species here. These creatures are endangered, but there are a number of ways to help protect them, including visiting local conservation areas and following the rules set out by the government.
Patagonia is home to some of the most stunning scenery in all of Latin America, and it’s easy to see why so many people love it so much. It’s also a great place to learn about its history and culture, with traditional ways of living still alive to this day.
Cusco, also known as Qosqo in Quechua, is a stunningly beautiful and historic city located high in the Peruvian Andes. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features an incredibly diverse mix of pre-Columbian and colonial architecture.
Cusco’s main square, Plaza de Armas, is an evocative place where you can see the layers of history layered one on top of the other. In Inca times, the city was called Huacaypata, and its central plaza served as a religious and political center.
Many of the buildings in the square survived several large earthquakes, a testament to the resilience of Inca culture and engineering. In addition, you can find a number of small churches and cathedrals scattered around the historic center.
There are also plenty of excellent restaurants serving up traditional Andean and Creole cuisine. These places know how to elevate typical Peruvian dishes by using local ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Popular dishes include grilled alpaca topped with fresh mango chutney and aji de gallina (a type of hot pepper sauce).