10 of the coolest things to SEE in South America

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Patagonia Chile

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile

Like most of the following images you’re about to feast your eyes on, this should really speak for itself. Torres del Paine National Park is without a doubt one of the most visually pleasing sights to see. Low-lying clouds can sometimes make it impossible to view the mountain peaks, so the weather can play a huge part in impacting your experience. The National Park is home to some of the most famous treks in the world, with the famous “W” route lasting 7 days.

Iguassu Falls

Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil

As one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Iguazu falls that lie on the border of Argentina & Brazil need no introduction. The falls are particularly wide (no less than 2.7 kilometres) and the sheer volume of them alone is enough to leave you jaw-dropped. But for an added bit of adventure, go for a speed boat ride through the falls and experience them up close.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro from Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Now this is one sight you simply cannot miss whilst in Rio de Janeiro – the city from the Christ the Redeemer statue. There’s also a fantastic view from sugarloaf mountain, and neither one should replace the other – go see both!


Machu Picchu, Peru

If you haven’t heard of Machu Picchu before, well, suffice it to say you must have been living under a rock…. or ruins. The Inca Trail is perhaps the world’s most iconic trek, however if you don’t have time or the energy to do the walk, you can still catch the day train from nearby Cusco to visit the ruins. Just be mindful that this is one of South America’s most visited tourist attractions and as such, there’ll be crowds.


Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Uyuni salt flats have arguably single-handedly drawn the crowds into Bolivia, one of South America’s least developed countries. The South American saying, “nothing is consistent but inconsistency” rings true here in Bolivia… so you can expect that bus to be 2 hours late, but hopefully it will at least still get you there. Brushing up on your Spanish will really help here as many people do not speak English.


Marine Wildlife around the Galapogos Islands, Ecuador

Many travellers claim the Galapogos Islands off the coast of Ecuador was their favourite travel moment in South America – and its heard to argue why that would be! These idyllic islands have a lot to offer travellers, but most popular are the ample opportunities to view wildlife around the area.

Atacama desert

Atacama Desert, Chile

Visiting the Atacama Desert is two things: surprising and even more surprising. What you see above is just one facet to this fascinating part of the world, that is most known for being “the driest place in the world”. San Pedro de Atacama (the town here) is also incredibly charming and will keep you busy for a few days!

Easter Island Rapa Nui

Easter Island Moai statues, Chile

There are places you are proud to say you’ve visited and then there are places you still can’t believe you have visited. Easter Island would be one of each. This is one of the least visited but most well-known places to go in the world. It is a 5 hour flight away from mainland Chile (departing Santiago), and is extremely worth going the extra distance. To learn more about visiting Easter Island, check out An Introduction to visiting Easter Island.

la paz

La Paz City, Bolivia

La Paz City is a sight in itself. Although it is known for causing dizziness from the high altitude level, that’s not the only thing that will have your head spinning. There’s a lot going on – a lot to see – actually, there’s a lot happening for all of the senses. But it is an adventure!


Image credit: Explore by

Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia

And finally, the photographic Lake Titicaca – located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Sadly I did not get the chance to visit the lake and surrounding villages during my visit to South America, as I had to leave abruptly from La Paz to fly to a job in Spain (and if you’ve come to a reader meet-up you’ve likely heard about my series of unfortunate events that occurred in Bolivia). But if I had my time again, I’d cross the border from Bolivia to Peru and continue making my way to Cusco, dubbed to be one of the most charming cities in all of South America!


Join the conversation: What were your favourite things to see in South America!? 

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    June 25, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Well, 7 out of 10 ain’t bad 🙂 When I was travelling through South America a few years ago I balked at the price of the Easter Island and the Galápagos (I chose Isla de la Plata instead, otherwise known as Gálapagos de los Pobres). Then the trip got cut short and I never made it to the salt flats in Bolivia either. I now want to go back and do all of these! One place I would definitely include on my top 10 would be the six-day trek through the jungle to the Ciudad Perdida ruins in Colombia.

    Parrotfish Journey
    June 10, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Oh wow . can’t wait to visit South America !!! Looks amazing !

    May 28, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Morgan here! WOW your website is amazing and WOW fits it perfectly as that is what I first thought when I read this post on South America. Has always been top of the travel list but now it is a must do first travel destination =)

    May 16, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Hola América del sur es espectacular y si visitan Perú les recomiendo la parte norte ciudades como Chiclayo una sensacional Gastronomía como centro turistícos lo mismo que cajamarca.

    May 1, 2015 at 2:37 am

    South America looks AMAZING

    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    May 1, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I’ve just recently begun to develop an interest in visiting South America. Growing up, I don’t think I realized how many amazing cultures and sights it has. Thanks for the great list!

    April 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    LOVE this! Some of these are at the top of my bucket list and I can’t wait to cross them off in 2016! I think I’ll have to start training for a lot of these adventurous activities though, some are at some pretty high altitudes! Can’t wait to see Galapagos and pretend to be Darwin for a day aha!


    April 30, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit South America and your post just makes me wanna pack my bags and leave right now! This list is perfect! 🙂

    Sarah Lynn
    April 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I have been dreaming of a South American adventure for so long and I think in early 2016 I will be able to make it happen!
    Thank you for continuing to fuel my wanderlust 🙂

    Michelle Marie
    April 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    the salt flats were the most stunning, remarkable, awe-inspiring place i’ve ever been. it was so beautiful it was almost terrifying, but in a good way? it was a very overwhelming, emotional experience! go go go go go! can’t recommend highly enough!

    michelle marie

    Karen Farber
    April 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    literally ALL of these places are on my bucket list! South America is just gorgeous!

    April 30, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Stop sparking my wanderlust even more! I really want to go to South America, the Salt Lakes in Bolivia and trekking to Machu Picchu and hiking in Patagonia in particular. Too bad I spent my money in Central America and haven’t saved up enough yet for more travels! Please keep inspiring me 🙂

    Andrew and Emily @alongdustyroads
    April 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Great list to get the wanderlust juices flowing Brooke! We’re currently in Ecuador and spending just over a year in South America. We’re hitting up all of these (except Easter Island and Galapagos, due to being on a tight joint budget of £30/$50 per day for two of us).

    How do you get around the Atacama desert? One of our big aims is to rent a car and drive around it whilst camping and taking in the gorgeous scenery.

    April 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Argentina and Matchu Picchu are definitely on my list! So beautiful :]

    Diana Maria
    April 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Machu Picchu is on my travel bucket list for next summer, it honestly looks like a dream in photos it’s so beautiful! I love this list, it definitely inspires me to travel outside of places I normally would consider!

    Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite
    April 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I like this list! I’m lucky to have been able to visit 8 out of 10, and want to go back to hit up Galapagos and Easter Island! 🙂

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    April 30, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Haven’t been to SA yet but ALL of these are on my list!!

    April 30, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Your South American post are bring back so many travel memories. The only place on this list haven’t been yet is the Galapogos Islands. Like how you’ve included so many different aspects SA has to offer.

    just sayin
    April 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Looks photoshopped….these exact images can be found elsewhere on the web..

    April 30, 2015 at 7:03 am

    You have to visit Fernando de Noronha! It’s an archipelago in northeastern Brazil. Simply superb and beyond words, you won’t regret it…

    April 30, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Galapagos Islands is a FANTASTIC place! I love everything there!
    I really want to go to Patagonia and to Uyuni Salt Flats! They’re definitely on top of my South America bucket list)

    Lisa @ Strum Simmer Sip
    April 30, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Your photos are incredible! Can I ask what camera you used? I saw another post of yours on the Olympus Pen. Thanks love! <3 Lisa

    April 30, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Great list! I went to Ecuador last May, but unfortunately was not able to go to the Galapagos islands 🙁 I’ll just have to go back! I hope you can make it to the salt flats in Bolivia and Machu Picchu soon, as I don’t think you’ve been there before, and I’d love to see you travel there.

    -Susie |

    April 30, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I remember your Chile posts – they were so good. I hadn’t even thought about adding Chile to my list of places but I certainly have now.


    April 30, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Wow, South America does definitely have some stunning things to see! My cousin was recently in Torres del Paine and she loved it so much! As for me, I hope someday I can go up Machu Pichu or visit La Paz City! Have a lovely day Brooke!

    | Bloglovin

    Ellie Quinn
    April 30, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Great post Brooke! I’ve just spent 3 months in South America and this list is perfect! Hopefully you’ll make it back to Bolivia and to Peru soon!

    Jake Ryan
    April 30, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Amazing list. All incredible


    Katrin Tochtermann
    April 30, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Love your list. I have two months of in November and December this year and was planning to head to South America. This is truly an inspirational list and I can’t wait to see those places myself.

    Daisy @ Simplicity Relished
    April 30, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Amazing!! We’re spending 3 weeks in Ecuador this summer and hopefully hitting up a few lovely local sites!