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South America Top Attractions

Top 55 things to see and do in South America

  • 8.7 /10
    Machu Picchu thumbnail
    The magnificent, high altitude, Machu Picchu ruins in Peru.
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    Located high above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, the Incan city of Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist attraction in the country. This ancient city dates back to the fifteenth century and was built on the order of the first ruler of the Incan empire, known as the Sapa Inca Pachacuti. The city was inhabited for over one hundred years until the Spanish conquered Peru in 1532 ...

    Read more about the Machu Picchu

  • 8.7 /10
    Iguazu Falls thumbnail
    An areal view of part of Iguazu Falls.
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    The spectacular South American Iguazu Falls, which are located along the border of Brazil and Argentina, are considered a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. These falls are much taller (or longer, however you want to look at it) than Niagara Falls and are nearly four times as wide, with an impressive 275 different cascades and individual waterfalls plunging about 270 feet into the gorge below ...

    Read more about the Iguazu Falls

  • Galapagos Islands thumbnail
    Part of the Galapagos Islands west of Ecuador's mainland.

    About 1,000 km off the western coast of Ecuador, a Galapagos Island tour offers a thoroughly unique experience. The only water park is the ocean, and the only rides have sails or two wheels. There is no place like them anywhere else on Earth. The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador could be among the last truly unexplored frontiers on the planet ...

    Read more about the Galapagos Islands

  • Corcovado & Christ The Redeemer Statue thumbnail
    The famous Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

    'Corcovado' means hunchback, and that is how this granite hill looks like. Its original name is Pinaculo da Tentacao, or Pinnacle of Temptation. Corcovado with the Redemptor statue and a set of equally enchanting attractions are found in central Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This peak towers over the city with its 710 meters in height ...

    Read more about the Corcovado & Christ The Redeemer Statue

  • 8.4 /10
    Angel Falls thumbnail
    Picture of Angel Falls in Venezuela.

    Spilling out from its lofty height of some 980 meters, the water at Angel Falls provides much of the beauty of this, the tallest waterfall in the world. It shows you a fascinating example of the powerful force of nature, which is now considered among the world's eight natural wonders.

    Its height makes it 15 times higher than Niagara Falls. What's more, it has an uninterrupted drop of 807 meters ...

    Read more about the Angel Falls

  • Amazon Rainforest thumbnail
    A aerial view of part of the Amazon forest in South America.

    The increasing attention given to the state of the world's environment has sparked interest in ecotourism – tours that serve people who want to see the earth's wild places while reducing the environmental impact of their visits. The development of a tourist destination usually involves the construction of hotels, restaurants, and roads and services' corresponding infrastructure to maintain them. These can leave a heavy imprint on the local environment, including on the indigenous population ...

    Read more about the Amazon Rainforest

  • 8.3 /10
    Rio Carnival thumbnail
    A colourful woman at the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil.
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    Traveling around the world searching for the most famous, exciting, and downright fun places to visit, Rio de Janeiro's Carnival would be one of the finest and most important stops in Brazil. 

    The Rio Carnival coincides with the 40 days before Lent. Because during Lent, Roman Catholics are supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures, the Carnival is held as a lead-up to this season ...

    Read more about the Rio Carnival

  • 8.2 /10
    Lake Titicaca thumbnail
    A beautiful view of a small village on a peninsula in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

    Lake Titicaca is one of the most spectacular high-altitude lake in the world.

    This famous natural attraction straddles the border between two countries – Peru and Bolivia. It is located at the very southeastern border of Peru and just 50 km west of Bolivia's capital city LaPaz ...

    Read more about the Lake Titicaca

  • 8.2 /10
    Easter Island thumbnail
    Some "moai" statues on Easter Island, Chile.
    Shimmering, luminous days on an island thousands of miles from anywhere…Unspoiled natural beauty in a tropical island setting – without the bright lights and frenetic pace of a typical resort…Mysterious statues that walked to their resting places and a more mysterious culture that erected them…These are just a few of the attractions of the beautiful, mysterious island of Rapa Nui, better known to most of us as Easter Island. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Rapa Nui is over 3,000 km from the central coast of Chile and 1900 km from the closest inhabited island, making it one of the world's most remote places. The small island – only about 46 square miles in area – is nearly a perfect triangle whose longest side is 24 km and is only 12 km wide at its widest ...

    Read more about the Easter Island

  • La Mitad del Mundo thumbnail
    A "mystical" photography of the Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador.
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    La Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador features a curious attraction – it lies smack in the middle of the world, which is exactly what La Mitad del Mundo means. La Mitad is to be found beyond the Pomasqui village, near the village of San Antonio del Pichincha. A long avenue there that features a monument that they say lies on the equator or near it. This is where you go if you want to see the earth's waistline ...

    Read more about the La Mitad del Mundo

  • Sugar Loaf Mountain thumbnail
    A splendid view of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    Glide along the city of Rio de Janeiro aboard one of the cable cars from Sugar Loaf Mountain. Pao de Acucar (or Sugar Loaf Mountain) is one of the popular attractions to be found in Rio de Janiero. Through the years, it has served as an important landmark, guiding the first Portuguese safely into Guanabara Bay ...

    Read more about the Sugar Loaf Mountain

  • 7.8 /10
    Monserrate thumbnail
    A view at the top of the Monserrate mountain in Bogotá.

    Cerro de Monserrate is a 3152-meter high mountain in the Santa Fe district of the Colombian capital Bogotá. Its summit rises on the southeastern edge of the city. Together with Cerro de Guadalupe (3317 meters), located about 1,600 meters to the south, it dominates the capital's panorama and is visible from almost everywhere, making it the trademark of Bogotá ...

    Read more about the Monserrate

  • Laguna Colorada thumbnail
    Panoramic view of the salty red lagoon (Laguna Colorada) in Bolivia.

    The Laguna Colorada is located in the Andean plateaus of Bolivia, just southwest of it. It is within Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve near the Chilean border. It is a 60-square kilometer shallow salt lake with white borax islands that provide good contrast to all that red water ...

    Read more about the Laguna Colorada

  • 7.8 /10
    Alpayamo thumbnail
    A view of the peak of the Alpayamo mountain in Peru.

    Alpamayo Mountain Peak in Peru is a place of ethereal beauty and splendor. At its peak, you may reach the 'roof of the world'. It has the distinction of being voted as 'the most beautiful peak in the world'. And UNESCO concurs with this vote. This moniker is well earned, as it has an extraordinary pyramidal shape ...

    Read more about the Alpayamo

  • 7.5 /10
    Beagle Channel thumbnail
    A lighthouse on the Beagle Canal in Argentina

    One of the great destinations in Argentina is the Beagle Canal. The climate is relatively consistent year-round, and it has some great activities for travels and amazing landscapes for photographers. The best vacation along this area is taking a cruise from Ushuaia through the canal, bays, and islets, plus there are plenty of great animals, birds, and places to see ...

    Read more about the Beagle Channel

  • 7.4 /10
    Salar de Uyuni thumbnail
    Panoramic picture of the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia.

    Salar de Uyuni Lake in southwest Bolivia covers over 10,000 square kilometers and is the largest salt flat in the world. It is perched close to the crest of the Andes, over 3,500 meters high. At the Salar de Uyuni, what you see is a stretch of white, with remote purple hills (which are actually active volcanoes!) dotting the horizon ...

    Read more about the Salar de Uyuni

  • Savor the peace and calm in Ria Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is just the right place for you to do so. The lake is a calming mixture of park, recreation area and picturesque scenes. This is where the locals go to escape the hustle and bustle of life in the city ...

    Read more about the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

  • Tierra del Fuego thumbnail
    Some Tierra del Fuego land and mountains in South America.

    The Land of Fire – Tierra del Fuego, one of the hottest destinations on this side of Chile and Argentina. Tierra del Fuego is full of promise – its many islands entice you to their shores, into an adventure unlike any other. It really is a combination of fire and ice. It is near the Antarctic Polar Circle while also belonging to the southern end of the American continent ...

    Read more about the Tierra del Fuego

  • If you want the beauty of the Caribbean without its crowds, then Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela, is the place for you. This virgin haven has remained relatively undiscovered, and thus, it was able to maintain its natural beauty. Let your hair down and laze under the tropical sun without being disturbed by a crowd. You can just leave your troubles behind and immerse yourself in quiet walks along the shore or indulge in a variety of water sports ...

    Read more about the Los Roques Archipelago

  • Come to Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and be absolutely entertained by the city's dynamic and fully energized district. Its golden beaches and azure waters, along with the playful and adventurous culture draws more than two million visitors the world over. And, as you experience Copacabana Beach for yourself, you will come to understand why it is one of the most popular beaches in the world ...

    Read more about the Copacabana Beach

  • Lake District of Argentina thumbnail
    Part of the beautiful Lake District of Argentina

    The Lake District of Argentina is in Patagonia's northernmost point and has some of the most spectacular scenery with snow-capped mountains and beautiful clear lakes. This area truly gets the traveler back to the basics of nature.Some of the wonderful scenery and activities that travelers can participate in along Argentina's beautiful Lake District include:• The Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi is one of the most popular National Parks in Argentina and is perfect for hikers in the summer and skiers in the wintertime to see some of the most remarkable surroundings ...

    Read more about the Lake District of Argentina

  • Valle de la Luna - Ischigualasto thumbnail
    A Sphinx-like rock formation in the Valle de la Luna.

    In northwestern Argentina in the San Juan province lays the remarkable national park and geological formation of Valle de la Luna – Ischigualasto. It's close to the border of Chile and also borders the Talampaya National Park in La Rioja. It's part of the Pampean Hills and features some amazing scenery, and it's historically important.There are a variety of things to do in this Valle de la Luna – Ischigualasto, such as:• Paleontologists and dinosaur lovers will find some of the oldest known dinosaur bones from the late Triassic period ...

    Read more about the Valle de la Luna - Ischigualasto

  • Nahuel Huapi National Park thumbnail
    The Laguna Azul in the Nahuel Huapi National Park.

    The Nahuel Huapi National Park was set up in 1934 and is Argentina's oldest and largest national park. In the midst of the park stands the Nahuel Huapi Lake at the foothills of the Patagonian Andes. It spans an area of 7,050 sq. km. It comprises three geographical zones—the Altoandino with perennial snow at an altitude of 5,200 ft, the Andino-Patagónico at lower levels, and the Patagonian steppe ...

    Read more about the Nahuel Huapi National Park

  • Perito Moreno Glacier thumbnail
    The Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia.
    The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park, south-west Santa Cruz province, Argentina. It is one of the most important attractions of the Argentine Patagonia. It has an area of 250 sq km, is 30 km long and is one of the 48 glaciers the Southern Patagonian Ice Field feeds from the Andes Mountains ...

    Read more about the Perito Moreno Glacier

  • 7.3 /10
    Monte Fitz Roy thumbnail
    The Fitz Roy Mountain peaks.

    Near El Chaltén village is Monte Fitz Roy, located near the south Patagonian Ice Field, Patagonia, Argentina. It is known variously as Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy and Mount Fitz Roy. Though just half the sizes of the Himalayas, trekkers here find it extremely difficult to climb the granite faces of these mountains ...

    Read more about the Monte Fitz Roy

  • Mendoza Wine Region & Cellars thumbnail
    A vineyard in the Mendoza Wine Region.

    At the heart of Argentina's wine-making industry is Mendoza Province, responsible for many of the major wineries here. Today, this region has emerged as a brilliant wine destination of this country. Grape varieties: Situated in the Andes' eastern foothills, vineyards are planted at the height of 1,970–3,610 feet above sea level ...

    Read more about the Mendoza Wine Region & Cellars

  • Valdés Peninsula thumbnail
    The Valdés Peninsula in Patagonia, Argentina.

    On the Northeastern coast of Patagonia in Argentina lays one of the most beautiful places in the world called the Valdez Peninsula, and in 1999 it was listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. It is relatively close to Puerto Madryn, and for those who truly want to get away from it all, this is the ideal spot.Nature lovers will absolutely love some of the things to see and do in this remarkable Valdez Peninsula include:• For whale loves, this is one of the best (of the very limited places) to get a good viewing of the Southern Right Whales, as well as Orcas, between May and December ...

    Read more about the Valdés Peninsula

  • Colca Canyon in southern Peru has twice the depth of Arizona's Grand Canyon, with over 3,000 meters at its deepest. It begins high in the Andes and is a land of rich history, as the area used to be inhabited by Cabanas and Collagues. In fact, there are still traces of majestic Inca and pre-Inca terraces that hark back to over 1,000 years ...

    Read more about the Colca Canyon

  • Quebrada de Humahuaca thumbnail
    Quebrada de Humahuaca rock formations.

    Northwestern Argentina seems to have an abundance of some of the most amazing scenery in the world, and the Quebrada de Humahuaca is a narrow valley in the Jujuy province, lying 932 miles north of Buenos Aires. It's a 96-mile long valley with a border by the Sub Andean hills to the east and the high plains Altiplano at the widest point of the Andes.There are a variety of activities in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, including:• The town of Humahuaca is the main town of this long valley whose most famous feature is the Church's clock tower with the figure of Saint Francisco Solano that comes out and makes the sign of the cross at noon every day when the clock chimes 12 ...

    Read more about the Quebrada de Humahuaca

  • 7 /10
    La Boca thumbnail
    Colorful houses in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

    In a barrio or neighborhood of Argentina's capital city, Buenos Aires, La Boca is very European since its early settlers were from Genoa, Italy. It is one of Buenos Aires's 48 barrios and is located in the southeast part of the city, near its old port. Most people residing here are chiefly Spanish, Italian, French, German, Basque, and Arab.Walk down the road and discover the city's pedestrian arts and crafts ...

    Read more about the La Boca

  • The Carioca Aqueduct holds not just water but generations of history. It is a vital part of the Rio de Janeiro landscape and is a testimony of Brazil's brilliance combined in engineering and colonial architecture. When in this, the most quirky and fascinating of Brazil's cities, you just have to experience Arcos da Lapa via a ride in its tram ...

    Read more about the Carioca Aqueduct

  • * Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

    You can also rate and vote for your favorite South America sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in South America by visiting the individual South America attraction pages.