South America is made up of 12 sovereign countries and covers an area of 6.89 million square miles, how to choose where to go and what to see? Here is our list of Top Attractions in South America to help you start planning.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat and contains 50% of the world’s known lithium. The salt flat is also home to several species of flamingos, giving visitors a chance to view the pink birds in their natural habitat.
The host of the 2016 Summer games, the first South America city to hold the honour. Sun yourself on the world famous Copacabana beach during the day and spend your nights enjoying Rio’s incredible restaurants and nightlife. Be sure to visit Christ the Redeemer, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World on top of Corcovado Moutain.
Easily one of the most famous and most visited sites in South America and both cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient Incan city can only be visited by 2,500 tourists per day and the Inca Trail trek is limited to 500 permits per day – 300 of which go to guides. So if Machu Picchu is on your must-visit list be sure the plan ahead.
The Amazon, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and French Guinea
The Amazon basin covers an enormous amount of South America, spanning over 7,000,000 km squared and nine nations. there are many ways to experience the Amazon, river cruising, treks, eco-lodges, guide tours both small group and private. No wonder visitors make multiple visits to the Amazon, each trip barely scratches the surface given there are over 430 mammals, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish and mind-boggling 40,000 different plant species that thrive in the basin.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
Iguazu Falls are the largest waterfall system in the world and are a UNESCO world heritage site. The falls are divided into the upper and lower Iguazu and the longest drop is 82 meters (296 feet).
South America really does have an embracement of riches when it comes to eco-tourism. Home to a number of species not found anywhere else on earth, the Galapagos is a fascinating place to visit. There are only 116 visitor sites int he Galapagos: 54 land and 62 scuba or snorkelling sites. Groups are only allowed to visit in two- to four-hour shifts and by permit only which means you will need to plan ahead.