In South America there is an array of exotic environments and exhilarating cultures to be discovered. No place is quite the same as the next, which makes for a holiday that is full of exciting possibilities. The only daunting part can be deciding where to start, so to provide some guidance here are seven destinations you will want to experience.
The Galapagos Islands
Located just off the west coast of South America, the Galapagos Islands are best known for being where Charles Darwin carried out the studies that helped to shape his theories on natural selection. It will come as no surprise that there is a plethora of vibrant wildlife to see, with everything from the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoises, which can weigh up to 400kg, to the charismatic (and rather bizarre) looking Redthroated Frigatebirds and Bluefooted Boobies.
Costa Rica is in Central South America and as with much of South America, you will find a focus on the preservation of its incredible wild life, with the opportunity to catch sight of species such as sloths, toucans and spider monkeys in their natural habitats. Paradise like beaches and greener than green jungles rejuvenate the senses and surround those that visit in calm, while the energetic culture of places such as San Jose add to the country’s unique charisma.
Mexico’s Mayan Trail
Mexico is spirited with the historical wonder of its Mayan heritage. There are the ceremonial pyramids of Chichen Itza and astonishing artifacts that cast a presence of ancient communities amongst striking scenery. Walking the Mayan trail and passing through exciting areas such as Mexico City, Monte Alban and Palenque takes you back in time to walk the paths of previous civilizations.
Situated between the Andes mountains and Pacific Ocean, Chile is a skinny stretch of vast landscapes, ranging from the peaceful, wildlife embellished greenery of Torres del Paine National Park, to the desolate Atacama Desert, and cultural bustle of Santiago city, distanced with snow topped mountains. Within each of these awaits a multitude of experiences.
Panama Canal Cruise
The Panama Canal is most definitely a highlight of Southern America. Its waters reach all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific on a 48 mile route that passes through places such as Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco and Cartagena, stopping for visits along the way and capturing the essence of the continent.
The Ecuadorian Amazon
The Amazon is full of mysteries; a host to much of the world’s undiscovered flora and fauna. It provides a fascinating destination to visit, allowing people to truly escape the rest of the world for a while. The Ecuadorian Amazon in particular is so exotically embellished with birds, fish and strange species such as the giant river otter that you will never see the world in quite the same way after.
The Footsteps of the Incas
The Inca Empire was once the largest of pre-Columbian America and is an important part of Southern America’s historical identity. Due to the empire being based in Peru this is where you will find much of its remnants to this day, including the infamous mountain-top city ruins of Machu Picchu. This fascinating site, bathed in mists of orange cloud, will leave you speechless.
South America is a vast and diverse continent, full of wonder, wildlife, culture and history. For those looking for somewhere truly unforgettable need look no further.