South America is fast becoming a favourite destination and tour operators and travel companies are jumping on board, making it easy to plan your trip. Already a hotspot for adventure-seekers, wildlife enthusiasts and culture buffs will also find a slice of South America to fall in love with.

But, with so many landscapes, cities and countries to choose from, just where do you start when choosing where to visit in South America? That’s where my round-up guide comes in. I’ve tracked down some of South America’s most memorable experiences to inspire you. Check out this guide and let me know where you most want to visit in South America.

Watch wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you should flock to the Galapagos Islands for wildlife you really won’t have seen before. Lying off the coast of Ecuador, this chain of volcanic islands is home to several endemic species, so wildlife watching here really is something you couldn’t experience anywhere else – think tortoises, mockingbirds and even a tropical penguin! Book a local guide to get the most out of your adventure.

Hike up to Machu Picchu in Peru

The trail to Machu Picchu is well-trodden, but for good reason. A historical attraction as breathtaking as this simply had to make it onto my list of where to visit in South America. If you’re brave enough to tackle one of the ancient Inca trails, you’ll be rewarded at the top with the chance to step back in time to the ruins of the Incan citadel, surrounded by staggering mountain views. For the less active, you can also reach Machu Picchu by coach or train.

However, you get there, keep a close eye on the weather forecasts. Sunrise and sunset offer some seriously special views up here, but low cloud could be a dampener if it restricts your view.

Enjoy an action-packed adventure in Argentina

From glaciers to waterfalls to lakes, Argentina is home to beautiful landscapes with views you’ll instantly want to soak up. If you prefer your holidays action-packed, head up into the Andes to make the most of the mountain scenery and brilliant opportunities to ski. The famed Iguazú Falls are also well worth a visit if you fancy a twin-centre trip. And, of course, when in Argentina, what better way to end the day than with a glass of local wine?

See the sights in Chile

Chile’s Atacama Desert is so much more than just an expanse of searing sand. It’s actually the world’s driest desert, with powerful vistas to match the title. And despite the harsh conditions, both people and wildlife have flourished here for years, making the Atacama Desert a cultural experience too.

If National Parks are your thing, then the mighty stacks of granite in Torres del Paine National Park will also wow you. Or, for Chilean views that are more metropolitan than wild, head up Sky Costanera. At the top, you’ll enjoy panoramic views over the capital of Santiago.

Love hiking through the wilderness, forests and canyons? Then you’ll love this guide to what to do in five of the USA’s most beautiful National Parks.

Hike through the rainforest in Costa Rica

Whether or not Costa Rica technically falls in South America might be debated, but it’s definitely on the doorstep. And with so much to offer, Costa Rica is simply too good to miss off this list. With lush landscapes and dense jungle comes incredible biodiversity and the opportunity to see exotic wildlife in its natural habitat. Book a guided excursion and look out for hummingbirds, monkeys and even sloths while you trek.

Have you chosen where to visit in South America? Why not make it a twin-centre, twin continent trip with a stretch in the USA too? Check out these 25 photos to inspire you to visit Hawaii and these seven must-visit states. You might be surprised by which ones you’d choose!

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  1. South America is on my bucket list for a while and I really hope to cross it off soon, especially now after reading your post, Adrianna! There are so many places and spots to explore there, my favorite being hiking in Costa Rica rainforests. When would it be the best time of the year to undertake that?

  2. As expected, I always found some unique information form your blog. South America is top of the list of all the adventure lovers. Here your selected places are the best destination for spending our vacations. I visited many places in South America. The famed Iguazu Falls are the wonderful place, but you never want to miss the Mount Fitzroy in Argentina and my best memory in South America is explored The World’s Most Dangerous Road, in Bolivia. When I was walking through that road, my heartbeat had grown. I would like to give you some advice on your blog and through that if you visit Peru must See the Milkyway over Lake Titicaca. Your tips will inspire Everyone for travel. Waiting for your next post.

  3. Literally all of these things are on my list. I’ve somehow managed to make it to 55 countries without stepping foot in South America ? Patagonia is another one that’s at the top of my SA list 🙂

  4. Something virgin, adventurous, lively and offbeat always fascinates me. Things covered by you may not be truly offbeat but they definitely are untouched beauty not ventured by many yet. I wish to visit south america soon. Love the pictures, well articulated.

  5. South America indeed is becoming a very popular destination with so much to offer. I had this on my bucket list and thanks for sharing the details. From mountain to jungle it has it all. The photos say a story by itself. Love the lama and would love to see them. Thanks for sharing

  6. South America for me is Machu Pichu to start with. This is so on my bucket list for a long time but looks like along with that I need to add a few more destinations. Maybe Chile for its unexplored landscapes or even the wildlife of Galapagos. I definitely need to budget for these. A nice read.

  7. I really want to go to all of these places. Especially Galapagos Islands. I love nature and I’m actually kind of concerned about the increased tourism in all these unique destinations. Beautiful pictures!

  8. You have given a perfect itinerary for South America as you covered all major attractions of South America. Hiking to Macha Pichu is on wish list since long and those famous Igazou waterfalls in Argentina is also must visit. You have taken stunning pictures of South America, specially the wild life ones.

  9. I would love love love to go to South America and your post makes me want to go even more. There is not one thing on your list that I don’t want to do. I think it would be so surreal to Hike through the rainforest in Costa Rica, I am a huge hiking fan. Then I would be making my way over to Galapagos Islands to watch the wildlife

  10. Machu Pichu is so much high on my wishlist. I really hope to visit the place in future.
    There is so much to the place – nature, culture, the simple lifestyle, so much…
    Galapagos island would be my next priority. The wildlife is just splendid.

  11. South America looks like such a stunning place to visit, no wonder people spend months just travelling the area. I totally would love to visit the Galápagos Islands… oh and hike up to Machu Picchu…and I’m totally up for adventure in Argentina. These are great recommendations.


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