South America is high up on most traveler’s list of places to visit. The wide range of accessible, authentic, and at times a little edgy countries and cultures, offer the traveler many a destination that is off the beaten track, and an opportunity to travel in a way that is much more raw than the usual tourist trip. South America boasts some of the best natural sites the planet has to offer. Here are 5 must see natural attraction of South America:
The Amazon is a vast area of land which includes the second largest river in the world; the Amazon River, and the surrounding areas, including the largest rainforest in the world. It spans eight separate countries, including Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and more. Avid travelers can take a tour down the river in a boat, or can take up lodgings in one of the rainforest cities or communities, and take excursions from their.
If you visit the mighty Amazon you can expect an array of plant species and wildlife, as the rainforest is one of the most bio-diverse places in the world. Thousands of plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and insect species reside their, some that can only be seen in the Amazon. Sights could include jaguars, anacondas, crocodiles, piranhas, macaws and much more. In total there are nearly 15,000 species of animal, making this the perfect South American trip for the nature lover, and eco-minded individual.
The Iguazu falls are a breathtaking scene for the senses, as the water gushes from the Panama river, off the edge of large cliffs sometimes up to 262 feet high, into the river below. The Iguazu Falls are taller than Niagara, and span for nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, displaying 275 cascades which lie on the border between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
As if the spectacle of the Iguazu Falls was not enough, they are set in a surrounding of sub-tropic rainforest, who’s beauty has elevated the site to status as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Falls can be explored by boat on the Iguazu River, for an up close and personal perspective, or can be viewed in many places from the Brazil or Argentina side. This is a South American haven for nature lovers.
Lake District, Patagonia
In north west Patagonia, is the Argentinian Lake District, an area of superb beauty that is a far cry for the large cities of South America. This is a real mountain retreat, perfect for nature lovers and hike enthusiasts. It is easily accessible from Bariloche, the only city in the area, and offers spectacular snow capped mountain peaks, waterfalls, beautiful crystal clear lakes, and rugged forest with abundant wildlife. It is also a great place to check out awe inspiring glacial features and volcanos. All in all, this is one of the most refreshing natural attractions in South America.
Galapodos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapodos Islands are a small group of islands that belong to Ecuador, and are located in the Pacific Ocean between two cold currents of water. They support a unique ecosystem that has been nicknamed the “world’s greatest living laboratory.” Here, nature lovers can see wildlife that they cannot see anywhere else, including marine iguana, giant tortoise, flightless cormorant, and sea lions and penguins living crazily far from their original habitats. The islands feature cosy retreats, and relaxing vibes, far from civilization, and are a must see for the serious lover of wildlife.
The final must see natural attraction of South American to make the list is not for the faint-hearted. The Atacama desert is the driest on Earth, and covers 600 miles along the border of Chile and Peru. It features hot springs, volcanos, lava flow, salt basins, and sand, and is used for practicing space exploration. Popular trips include excursions to the National Park Moon Valley, El Tatio Geysers, Oasis de Pica, Puritama Hot Springs, Chungara Lake, Iquique nitrate mines, Atacama Salt Lakes and more.