South America Travel Guide
Those who purchase South America tours should prepare to be bedazzled, shocked and thrilled by this super continent where some of the largest, tallest, most beautiful natural wonders are contained. This is a sprawling continent stretching from Venezuela all the way down south to Argentina with most of its territory lying below the equator, which means when Europe and North America are experiencing its winter, they are enjoying hot and humid summers and vice verse. South America tours are not for the weak at heart because modern civilization comforts that we come to take for granted are only present in large metropolises, while smaller villages go without the most basic amenities. If you add to it the chaos of busy traffic and noise of overpopulated cities with sweltering temperatures and eager pickpocketers, you will get a brief sketch of what one might expect from buying some South American tours. However, travel guides agree that all these drawbacks are easily outweighed by irresistibly gorgeous views of Brazilian beaches, impassable jungle forests and some of the largest waterfalls in the world.
We start our South America travel guide by presenting a brief overview of the largest country on the continent, Brazil. Famous for its pristine sugary sandy beaches, soccer culture and, most definitely, its sizzling Rio de Janeiro Carnival that sets the whole nation on fire with its intoxicating tunes of samba music. Brazilian iconic landmark that attracts millions of visitors annually is without a doubt its breathtaking Iguazu Falls, one of UNESCO’s Heritage sites that is positioned on the border of three South American countries, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Locals travel guides agree that the Brazilian side opens the most picturesque views of water throwing itself over tall cliffs at thundering speeds, especially at the Devil’s Throat portion. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most sought after destinations in South American continent and one of the sexiest and liveliest metropolitan oases set at the backdrop of gorgeous mountains, perfect beaches and populated by world hottest citizens alive. Among Rio’s quintessential attractions one will find majestic Cristo Redentor Statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain. Sugar Loaf Mountain is another no less important symbol of the Marvelous City along with Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, epicenters of Brazilian beach culture.
Argentina is a fabulous tango loving nation that has another uncompromising passion, its soccer. The country recently marked its 200 year anniversary and has received a major face lift by renovating its cultural venues, Buenos Aires architecture striving to become one of the hottest and most affordable South America destinations. Its capital, Buenos Aires is a perfect balance of historical heritage and a bustling energy of a modern city with a myriad of hot dance clubs, restaurants and, most definitely, its lively citizens. Get in touch with its past by visiting its cherished historical Cementerio de la Ricoleta that holds burial sites of some of the most loved national figures like ex-presidents, Evita and many more. Visiting Casa Rosada presidential palace is a must, there’s just so much history imprinted within its walls. Visit San Telmo area especially during the weekends for great food and flea market deals and certainly do not miss paying a visit to the Argentinean side of the Iguazu Falls.
Uruguay, just like any South American country, is going bonkers for its soccer (futbol) so visitors will have plenty of chances to catch up on the local games. This tiny country holds so many pleasures any visitor can gain from traveling to this destination, including its great food, powdery sandy beaches in the Uruguayan Riviera strip and its major resort Punta del Este. While at Punta del Este do not miss spotting a giant hand emerging from sand sculpture which is a local tourist icon. Among other attractions one might find interesting is definitely its Independence Square with its grand sculpture of Jose Artigas hero and his mausoleum in its capital Montevideo.
Peru is a travelers Mecca, a tourist paradise that encompasses such a diverse set of eco-systems and attractions ranging from desserts, lush rainforests, pristine beach lines and the most incredible Inca cultural heritage. If you could only pick one out of all South American tours, do not doubt and opt for paying a tribute to the Lost Inca City and dive into the Machu Picchu Inca trail adventure. During your 6 day hiking trip you will go through various ecosystems and face incredible opportunities to witness Inca ruins that are several hundred years old. Besides visiting its famous main attraction, Machu Picchu, visitors will be delighted to see incredible museums and galleries in the capital Lima like National Museum of Anthropology, Archeology and History, Museo Taurino at the Plazo de Acho, Museum of Natural history and many others.
Chile once under the rein of Pinochet tyranny used to be the country avoided by many tourists, now it’s awakening after its tourism slumber with more visitors flocking to its borders every day. There’s indeed much to see here in the country from its breathtaking mountain views, gorgeous shorelines and countless islands, including mysterious Easter Island. Santiago de Chile is certainly the heart of the nation and a place of numerous tourist attractions like the presidential Palacio de la Moneda, Metropolitan park opening grand views of the city and Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
Colombia is a country that has been ravaged by civil unrest for years but lately has started putting significant efforts in attracting tourists vital for its economy. Archaeological sites, rainforests, impeccable beaches and some of the hottest nightclubs in South America are awaiting you here. But most gorgeous views could be found in the cities like Bogota and Cali. National Museum, Bolivar Plaza and Cathedral Primada are some of the noteworthy attractions in Bogota, the city that was once avoided due to high crime rates, now it’s a buzzing city that has it all.
Ecuador is a country in the western part of the continent with the largest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites like in the cities of Cuenca and Quito. Some 900 kilometers west off Ecuador lie Galapagos Islands, home to some of the most unique species of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on the planet like blue footed booby, Galapagos iguanas, tortoise, penguins, sea cucumbers and many others.
As you can see from our South American travel guide, there’s much to see at the unique continent to satisfaction of just about any kind of traveler.