Places to Visit in South America

When you travel to South America, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in South America, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in South America to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to South America things to do can include exploring South America attractions and visiting the places of interest.

It situated in Peru are the remains of the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated at a lofty height of 8,000 feet above the sea level, and is also often referred to as “The Lost City of Incas”. The remains of the city are still the subject of elaborate research among scholars across the world as they try to understand its importance and history as a part of the Inca Civilization.

According to popular belief, this was a country resort for the Inca elites who would reside here only for a few months, avoiding the rainy months of the year. This city was cleverly hidden from the outside world, something that protected it from the Spanish conquistadors and plunderers.

It is another interesting sight for tourists. The Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world as they lie far off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. The giant monolithic statues are remnants of the Polynesian culture, one of the most isolated cultures in the world.

The Canaima National Park in Venezuela is one of the world’s largest national parks which span over 3 million hectares. This site has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This national park serves as the entry to the world’s tallest waterfall, the Angel Falls.

Another very popular tourist attraction situated in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is the Christ the Redeemer statue. This 98-foot tall statue is an icon for the country which strongly follows Christianity.

South America is a popular destination for family outings. Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Granada, Nicaragua, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica, Tamarindo, Costa Rica, Canal Zone, Panama, Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador, Machu Picchu, Peru, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, Amazon, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina, are some of the destinations that would interest kids, if they are travelling with you.

There are a number of places that you could visit when you travel to South America, that are of religious significance. Car Blessing and Wall of Miracles attract immense tourists. Bolivia has a number of sites- Christ of the Tears, Cristo de la Concordia, Fuerte de Samaipata, Horca del Inca and Iglesia de San Francisco among others.

Museo del Oro is one of the most famous museums in South America. Situated in Bogota, Colombia, this is a gold museum which showcases over 55,000 pieces of gold and other precious materials from the pre-Hispanic culture.

Another renowned museum is Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña. Situated in Salta, Argentina, this institution showcases the valuable exhibits of Inca Culture.

The Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Jardim Botanico, Tangua Park and Moinhos de Vento Park Gardens & Parks Pictures in Brazil are some of more popular parks and gardens that you could visit while touring South America.

Salar de Uyuni which is situated in Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat. This region is abundant in salt and various other natural minerals. These salt flats are a treat for enthusiastic photographers. These salt flats offer some of the most breathtaking views, attracting throngs of amateur and professional photographers every year.

The vineyards of Argentina are very popular among travellers. Argentina celebrates the Mendoza Wine Harvesting festival in the first week of March marking the rich harvest of the season.

San Pedro de Atacama in Chile is one of the top picks of nature lovers. The Moon Valley or Valle de Luna attracts travellers for panoramic views of the horizon around sunset. This desert offers an idyllic setting for star gazing which interests travellers as well as research scholars from all over the world.

Various factors like clear skies, less rainfall, no pollution and high altitude play a role in allowing amazing views of our skies and stars. The Atacama Desert is home to some of the most important observatories which can only be used for high level space research, however, few of them are open to tourists as well.

The Lake Titicaca of Bolivia is famed as South America’s largest lake. This area is home to a thriving culture which is very active agriculturally, making it one of the richest societies of the continent, culturally. The Pantanal of Brazil is perhaps one of the regions in the world most populated by wildlife. It has highest density of animal life and is considered to be the most diverse freshwater wetland ecosystem in the world.

This region is not only frequented by nature lovers but is also a paradise for researchers and photography enthusiasts.

Ibirapuera Auditorium, Museum of Modern Art, Claudio Santaro National Theater and the National Fine Arts Museum are some of the most important sites of cultural influence in South America.

The continent of South America has a very famous landmark in the form of the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, which are the remains of the ancient Inca city. The great Amazon River, which is debated to be even longer than the Nile, is another grand landmark of this continent. This river has been South America’s lifeline for thousands of years and several civilisations have thrived on its banks.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Buenos Aires, Argentina is the Cementerio de la Recoleta. This cemetery boasts of impressive statues and numerous artistic sarcophagi made in pure marble which house the mortal remains of the rich and famous. From past Presidents to war heroes, the elite are put to rest here. The world renowned Eva Perón, also known as Evita, is also buried here.

Rano Kau, located in the Easter Island, Chile is an extinct volcano. It also has a crater lake which many say would resemble a giant witch’s cauldron.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is highly popular and recommended among the adventure lovers. Hiking along the Inca Trail requires advance booking through the tour operators as they form a group of individuals for the trek. Traveling alone along these trails is risky and dangerous and is highly discouraged. The Salkantay Trek and the Inca Jungle Trek are other popular options. These treks offer several opportunities to experience the traditional lifestyle of the South American people. You will have a brush with their culture and tradition as you chance upon thatched roof houses, colourful ponchos, Llamas etc.

The white-sand beaches of South America replete with resplendent ocean views are a beach lover’s paradise. On one side is Atlantic Ocean while the Pacific Ocean lies on the other side. The beaches of Brazil are world-famous for their great food and drinks and catchy music. The peppy dance numbers invigorate the mind and soul and leave you fresh and rejuvenated.

This continent is any nature lover’s paradise. Whether it is the majestic peaks of the Andes or the awe-inspiring Amazon rainforest, the sights that await you will not leave you disappointed. This continent is also endowed with countless species of animals, birds, aquatic life and vegetation, rarely found elsewhere.

Indio Feliz is a renowned restaurant in the city of Aguas Calientes , Peru. The restaurant has received several awards for its brilliant food quality. Chefs use traditional French cooking methods to prepare the food to perfection.El Chejo in Quemchi, Chile is a family-run restaurant which has no set menu. It offers what has been prepared for the day.

Each country of this continent has innumerable restaurants in the nooks and corners of its cities, which dish out mouth-watering local delicacies to its visitors.Others like Café Andino, Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet, El Chejo are also in the must visit list.

As sea food is very popular among the population of this continent, some of the best dishes are the ones consisting of seafood. One of the most popular dishes is the Bahia-style shrimp in coconut sauce. Potato dishes, whether sides or mains, are also available in abundance in South America.

Some of the popular dishes include stir-fried beef with oven-fried potatoes, oven-fried potatoes, and spicy potatoes and cord with fried cheese. Last but not the least; chicken stew is one of the comfort foods for the people.

For people who love their dose of music and dancing, it is extremely simple to find clubs and discos in all the major cities of the South American countries. These cities are dotted with night clubs and discos which attract locals and tourists alike.

Ukukus bar in Cuzco, Peru is one of the busiest nightspots in the city. It plays crowd-pulling live music spanning across genres like Western Rock, and Latin and Reggaeton, which is a blend of hip-hop and bomba. Apart from this, cities like Buenos Aires have many popular night clubs with live music.

Floreria Atlántico is one of the best bars in the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This basement bar is a paradise for gin aficionados as the bar sells its own brand of gin called 'Príncipe de los Apóstoles'. Interested visitors are recommended to make a reservation. Apart from Buenos Aires, cities in the other South American countries offer hundreds of bars and pubs who not only offer popular brands of beverages but also sell their in-house brewed beverages. One of the hottest bars in the region, The Travellers will also offer you a great time upon visit.

Make sure you visit the San Telmo Antiques Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina.Almost all the major cities in South American countries have their indigenous market places where the local artisans or manufacturers sell their produce. One example is the Fundacion Chol-Chol, a non-profit, fair-trade organisation which provides opportunities to the local Mapuche women from the Araucania region in Chile.

These locals showcase their handicrafts which include superior quality throw rugs, shawls, bags, etc. While these products may not be inexpensive, they are gorgeous and exclusive pieces of art.

Generally, most of the bigger cities have department stores where you can find even the most basic products. You could visit Atlantis Mall, Super Bodega, Vizcaya and Carrefour amongst others for a great shopping experience.

The streets in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, etc. are lined with street markets where the local artisans offer their craftwork to the buyers. Haggling is often required to strike a good deal as sellers may command a much steeper price for their products, but they will most often agree to reduce prices.

At the exhibitions held by the Fundación Artesanias de Chile, the local Santiago people sell various goods including ceramic, wooden and woollen items. Visit Mercado Mayorista and Feria de Mataderos to indulge in some splurging in retail therapy.

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