South America: Land of Adventure
South America is a land of enchantment and adventure. You’ll find ancient civilizations, merged with colonial history and today’s modern cities. There is plenty of adventure travel, hiking, and wildlife wherever you go. Culture seekers will enjoy South America’s music. Each country has its own music and dance style; you’ll find Tango in Argentina, Salsa in Colombia, and Samba in Brazil.
For First-time Travelers
South America is a large continent. To put it in perspective, Brazil is larger than the contiguous United States. So where do you start?
Ecuador is often touted as one of the best countries for your first visit to this continent. It is easy to get around and it’s small size allows you to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Peru is one of the top places to visit if you are traveling with kids. In Peru, ancient sites, such as Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines illustrate the remnants of once-great civilization. These history lessons along with outdoor activities, zip-lining, and/or learning about the cacao process make this a fun vacation spot for your family.
For Adventure Seekers
From the Amazon Rainforest to the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Iguacu Falls (Brazil) or the Andes Mountains, thrill-seekers will find South America a must on their bucket list.
If you’re looking for a remote destination, Choquequirao, Peru is another Incan settlement that requires a multi-day hike to get there. What you’ll find? A spectacular Machu Picchu like-site that sits at the confluence of three rivers, is free of crowds and still be excavated.
For Experienced Travelers
Theme-based travel is found all over South America. vineyards of Mendoza (Argentina), Chilean wineries. Gastronomy in steaks in Argentina, churrascaria
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | Colorful, busy, and full of famous beaches with mountainous backdrops, nightlife, music, know the world over for its Carnaval celebration.
Sites to See: Christ the Redeemer, Tijuca Rainforest, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana, and Ipanema Beaches, Maracanã Soccer Stadium.
Buenos Aires, Argentina | Colorful murals, Latin influence, and European grandeur combine in a city that is known for the tango and its culinary experience: steak and wine.
Sites to See: Palmero, Fair of the Mataderos, Colon Theatre, La Boca & San Telmo Shopping districts, the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, The Children’s Museum, El Zanjon de Grandos.
Lima, Peru | Vibrant city on a cliff, full of pre-Columbian and colonial influences, rich with history and culture. A great place to visit in the winter.
Sites to See: Museo Larco, Plaza Mayor, Huaca Pucllana, Magic Water Circut, Iglesia y Conento de San Fransisco.
Best Places to See Wildlife
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands is a scientist’s dream. You’ll find species here that live nowhere else in the world. That combined with a tropical climate make this destination a favorite for travelers.
The Pantanal, Brazil
The world’s largest freshwater wetland has the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. Think of the Everglade but 10-times larger. This open expanse is home to jaguars, howler monkeys, green anacondas, fish, birds and a wide array of other animals.
The Amazon river basin spans Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit the Rainforest.
Bird watchers are certain to enjoy this village in Ecuador. Sitting high in a cloud forest, you’ll find more than 450 bird species. Along with various butterfly and orchid species, it’s like a visit to a tropical garden.