South America is a fascinating continent that offers what many consider to be trips of a lifetime. Although traditionally on the backpacking trail, the things to do in South America are rising in popularity with typical vacationers who are looking for experiences outside of normal beach or city breaks. With such a wealth of beauty and adventures on offer it’s hard to single out the highlights but here are 8 Totally Cool Things to do in South America:
Iguazu Falls are one of the world’s greatest waterfalls. Straddling the border of Brazil and Argentina in a helicopter is definitely one of the coolest things to do in South America. Seeing the falls is the trip of a lifetime, and doing it from the bird’s eye view in a helicopter adds a special frisson. Watch the curtains of water crash into the Iguazu River from tremendous heights creating a wonderful mist.
There are many places and features in South America that enjoy the moniker of the world’s highest, tallest, widest, longest etc… Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, making a boat trip on its waters something out of the ordinary. Sail at 12000 feet on distinctive catamarans between Peru and Bolivia and visit Sun Island.
Could there be any more things to do in South America with more kudos than standing on the end of the world? Hiking through the Tierra del Fuego National Park is one of the great travel experiences. You could take the easy option by riding The End of The World Train, but walking is the intrepid way. The magnificent surroundings at the world’s southern landmass extremity, with a wealth of flora and fauna make for the trip of a lifetime.
Visiting Rio is usually high on anyone’s list of places to go in South America, and with good reason, as it is one of the world’s greatest cities. It has many iconic sights such as the immense stretch of Copacabana Beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. What better way to get a view of the magnificence than from the cable car that takes you up Sugar Loaf Mountain?
Now ladies, don’t turn off because this really is one of the most incredible things to do in South America. If you only ever go to one soccer match in your entire life make it one in Argentina or Brazil. South Americans are mad for the game, and if there is anywhere the word crazed fan comes to life, it’s in the stadia that are home to teams like Boca Juniors, Independiente, Botafogo, Corinthians and Bella Vista. The noise and atmosphere has to be experienced to be believed.
Hiking the Inca trail and visiting Machu Picchu in Peru are high on the list of top things to do in South America, but there’s more to this country than these old favorites. The Nazca lines are a series of geolyphs (large motifs on the ground) discovered in the desert in the 1930s. Their origin can only be guessed at by scientists but in a flight to view the phenomena, you’ll see stylized monkeys, fish, llamas, birds and plants that are thought to date back to the 4th/5th century. Amazing.
This is not for the faint-hearted and is probably one of the craziest things to do in South America. Christened the world’s most dangerous road, the ‘highway’ – well more like a track really - runs between La Paz and Coroico. If you really are nutso enough to try this, your cycling trip starts at 4000m above sea level in the mountains and finishes in tropical rainforest at 1500m above sea level. The trip lasts between 6-7 hours, and that’s partly because there is a 3km uphill section at 3500m where the atmosphere is so thin it’s a real lung buster.
The best things to do in South America don’t all have to be about adventure and magnificent scenery. Experiencing the culture of this hot Latin land can be just as much fun, and where better to learn the tango than in its spiritual home and possible birthplace – Buenos Aires. Take tango dance lessons in the great Argentine capital and set your partner’s loins afire!
South America offers travelers an exhaustive menu of activities and sights, tours and scenery. It’s been almost impossible to choose the best things to do in South America, but I hope you approve of my choices, and that I’ve presented you with some ideas you’ve not considered previously.
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