South America boasts some of the most astonishing natural landscapes, cultural hotspots, and ancient archeology in the world. From Machu Picchu to the Atacama Desert, Rio De Janeiro and Rainbow Mountain, you really are spoilt for choice. But the sheer number of breathtaking locations can make it tough to narrow down your travel locations and come up with a plan.
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, take a look at some of our ideas to help make your South America trip one to remember.
Colombia: Eje Cafetero & Tayrona Park
Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee producers and Columbian coffee is considered some of the most delicious available. So if you’re a coffee fan, you’ll definitely want to check Eje Cafetero – or “The Coffee Zone“.
With hiking in the Cocora Valley, hot-air balloon flights over Quindio, and coffee tours that allow you to meet farmers. Try different bean varieties, and learn everything about Columbian coffee culture. There’s no shortage of things to do.
If coffee’s not your thing and you’d rather get some beach R&R, Tayrona Park is another mind-blowing Colombian travel destination.
This large national park has a number of stunning beaches, some of which are so remote you can only visit them by boat. So once you’re there, you can expect some unbeatable seclusion and untouched sand.
Peru – Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mountain
Traveling south, you cross over the border from Columbia into Peru.
There are a million reasons to visit Peru, so it’s worth checking out some Peru Tours and Packages to really make the most of it. But there are a couple of unmissable spots which need a special mention here. The first being Machu Picchu.
Quite honestly, there’s no way to put the experience into words. It’s one of those places everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Another astounding site of Peruvian natural beauty is Vinicunca or ‘Rainbow Mountain’. If you thought 2,430 meters was some serious altitude, try 5,200 meters!
But it’s Rainbow Mountain’s unusual spectrum of bright colors that really capture your attention. And until fairly recently, none of this psychedelic beauty was visible, as the mountain was covered in thick ice and snow.
But in the last few years – likely due to global warming, sadly – the volcanic mineral-rich slopes have become a must-see attraction.
Bolivia – Salar de Uyuni
Traveling further south again and we move into Bolivia. And if there’s one place on this whole list that you have to see – it’s Salar de Uyuni.
Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, left behind after a massive prehistoric lake went dry.
Its panoramic, otherworldly landscape is a mixture of snow-white salt crystals, tiny islands, and shallow, shimmering water that reflects the sky and makes it look like you’re flying. If you want to feel like your in a children’s fantasy movie, this is the place to go.
And there we have it! These tips will definitely get the ball rolling on the South America trip of a lifetime.