With so many beautiful destinations around the world, there’s no doubt it can be tricky to decide on where you want to go. Between breathtaking landscapes, historic sites, ancient artifacts, and nature like you’ve never seen before, this decision is not an easy one to make. However, there are some tips that we would like to share with you to help you pick the perfect travel destination. Discover the best countries to visit in South America depending on your travel interests and get ready for a trip that will feel like an absolute dream!
If you want to dig deep into the heart of nature and let yourself, be swept away into an otherworldly world, a trip to Chile would be the perfect option for you. This magical wonderland will give you a great glimpse of everything you can imagine — between gorgeous glaciers, ice-covered fjords, magnificent mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, fascinating forests, endless deserts, and exotic volcanoes, Chile truly has it all. Reach the southernmost point on Earth (besides Antarctica) from Puerto Arenas as you travel from glacier to glacier with an exhilarating cruise through Patagonia. This adventure might not be for the faint-hearted, but it will give you incredible memories that will last you a lifetime. You can also make your way up north with a trip to the Atacama Desert, where you will uncover otherworldly landscapes in the driest non polar desert in the world, that look like backgrounds straight out of a Star Wars Movie, and visit Easter Island, to uncover the mysteries behind the caves and lava tunnels. Throw all of these fascinating sites together and Chile is easily one of the best countries to visit in South America.
If you are interested in learning about one of the most significant civilizations in Pre-Columbian America, you can uncover thousands of years of history as you follow in the footsteps of the Incas in Peru. While the empire is believed to have originated in Cusco in the Andean Highlands, the Sacred Valley is a wonderful place to see ancient ruins as it belonged to the Emperor himself. Taking a train to Machu Picchu will make for a fascinating experience as you will not only pass by beautiful Latin American landscapes and magnificent mountain terrains, but archaeologists believe Machu Picchu was a royal estate for emperors and nobles in the Incan Empire. You can explore Peru to the peak as you make your way up with this ancient Incan Trail, which will feature a breathtaking flight over the Andes Mountains en route to Cusco.
The Uyuni Salt Flat is perhaps the most otherworldly place on earth. Known as the largest natural mirror in the world and “Heaven on Earth”, a trip here after it rains will turn your whole world upside down. When a thin layer of water floats over the salt a stunning reflection of the sky emerges on the grounds. Staying here at night will be an absolutely exceptional experience as you watch the stars take over the skies (and eventually all around you) will make you feel like you’ve entered a dream. But that’s not all there is to see — this breathtaking country is full of surprises, and we’ve surprised that the vibrant red Laguna Colorada has not attracted more attention. Laguna Verde boasts waters so bright green (hence its name) you will feel as if you’re staring at a lake filled with emeralds. Bolivia is a land that is full of surprises with so many jaw-dropping landscapes to see, that you need to travel there for yourself to find out why it is one of the best countries to visit in South America.
If you wake up every morning excited to brew your favorite cup of coffee, a trip to Colombia will be a dream. Set out to explore the Coffee Triangle to try some of the highest quality coffee in the world. The reason why Colombian coffee is so good is thanks to the excellent climate in the region, which makes it possible for the superior Arabica variety beans to grow at high altitudes before they undergo special processing methods on local farms. Putting coffee aside (once you’ve got a Colombian brew in your hand), Colombia also boasts a rich culture as cities like Bogota and Cartagena are only increasing in popularity. The locals come from a wide range of backgrounds, mixing Africa, European, and Caribbean heritage and the culture is heavily influenced by others to create a fascinating mix. Colombians are also known for their incredibly warm and friendly demeanor, so you will be bound to make some friends as you go to one of the fascinating festivals or try some traditional Colombian food in a local bar or restaurant as you discover the best of Colombia and the Coffee Triangle.
Ecuador is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful travel destinations in South America — and perhaps the world! Gorgeous landscapes scatter the land with their beauty and grace, and colorful creatures are roaming through the wild. The Galapagos Islands in particular are very peculiar as the animals here are different from anything you’ve ever seen before. Nowhere else on the planet will you see giant tortoises of this size or marine iguanas, which are the only lizards on the planet that spend time in the ocean. The Galapagos is undoubtedly one of the best places for island hopping and one of the top wildlife destinations in the world. Besides that, throughout the rest of Ecuador, you can expect to see rugged mountains and active volcanoes that will take your breath away, as you try delicious cuisine. You will have many options to mix mainland Ecuador with the Galapagos Islands!
You might have heard that the Amazon Rainforest is the most biodiverse place on Earth. Home to more than 40,000 species of plants and 2,500 species of trees alone, this is a true paradise that will leave any nature lover or wildlife fanatic in awe. There is truly no better place to see a wide range of animals and plants as you head into a tropical jungle that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie. If you’re a city lover, or perhaps you’re looking for a mix of both, Brazil is also known for their famous festivals that take place every year. Every year on December 31st, the capital city of Rio de Janeiro hosts the biggest New Year’s Eve Party in the world — where thousands of locals and visitors gather on Copacabana Beach to see grand fireworks light up the skies and dress in white to symbolize peace. Carnival is perhaps the most famous festival, which marks the beginning of Lent and is celebrated in a high-energy atmosphere with food, music, drinks, costumes, samba dancing, and parades with giant floats!
If traveling to a land where gorgeous glaciers, grand waterfalls, and electrifying glacial waters fill the landscapes with their beauty and grandeur excites you, a trip to Argentina will leave you in awe. Patagonia is also one of the major reasons why many travelers pair their trips to Chile with Argentina, as the lakes and structures that surround the region are enough to make you feel like you’ve stepped foot into another planet — and you wouldn’t want borders to stop you. Argentina’s southernmost city of Ushuaia, situated on the south coast of Isla Grande in Tierra del Fuego, is the Gateway to Antarctica, as this is the place from where NASA stages science flights to explore Antarctica and where many Antarctica cruises take off. If that itself isn’t enough to make you want to visit Argentina, this breathtaking country is also home to Iguazu Falls, a famous system that consists of 275 different waterfalls — including the legendary Devil’s Throat! You will see some of the biggest and greatest waterfalls on the planet (nearly twice as tall as Niagara Falls) and discover the largest waterfall system in the world. Not to mention Argentina is also a fantastic place to try outdoor adventure activities and sports. Between glacier trekking, waterfall hiking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, paragliding, biking, and more, the opportunities for adventures in Argentina are endless — which undoubtedly makes this one of the best countries to visit in South America.
We hope this article gave you a bit of insight into where you should go in South America! If all of these sights and attractions sound fascinating to you, and you can’t make up your mind, why not mix multiple countries in one with this tour of Grand South America? Alternatively, if you need help deciding or would like personalized travel recommendations depending on your interests, reach out to the friendly and knowledgeable experts at Indus Travels, who will share their tips for helping you plan a dream trip! You can also ask them about our Safe Travels Assurance Policy for risk-free bookings. Adios!