Whilst South-East Asia remains a firm favourite amongst young travellers, South America is mostly untouched. The continent has everything to offer and more, from wild night-life, to tranquil scenery, and everything in-between. But with so much to see and do, it can be difficult to decide what to prioritise on your trip – especially if you have limited time! We’ve teamed up with travel comparison site, compare and choose, to bring you seven South American bucket list essentials.
Walk the Inca Trial, Peru
Perhaps one of the most popular activities for travellers in South America, the 4-day trail to the ancient city of Machu Picchu is celebrated as one of the wonders of the world. During the trip, hikers will experience mountainous scenery, lush forest and jungle land, along with the ruins of Inca – paving stones and historical tunnels and structures. Travellers are advised to arrive in the starting village a couple of days ahead of the trek, to acclimatise to the high altitudes and avoid the dreaded sickness.
The magic of carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hosted annually during the week leading up to Lent, the carnival is a spectacle of colour, music, and camaraderie, that sees over 2 million people gather on the streets of Rio. The energy is simply electrifying and the event attracts visitors from all over the world. Dubbed as the ‘biggest party on Earth’ the celebrations run all week, with people singing and dancing along to the sounds of Samba. Tourists are truly welcomed amongst the locals to enjoy the festivities.
The Andes, Argentina
The longest mountain range in the world, The Andes cover 4,500 miles of the West coast and pass through 6 South American countries: Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Venezuela. In Argentina, tourists can enjoy tonnes of outdoor adventures, such as trekking, skiing, fishing, mountaineering and water sports. The landscapes are truly breath-taking, you’ll find epic canyons, alpine forests, the Chaco Desert, and crystal-clear lake districts overlooked by the towering glaciers.
Float in Totumo Volcano mud baths, Columbia
Located in the small town of Santa Catalina, an hour outside of Cartagena, the Totumo Volcano is a rejuvenating experience enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Climb up to the top of the volcano and then lower yourself into one of mother nature’s spas to discover the healing properties of the volcanic mud baths. The velocity of the mud lets you float on top, so you can lay back and relax.
The mysterious Easter Island, Chile
An isolated land located in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is perhaps one of the most mystical places in existence. Famous for the ancient moai statues that decorate the scenery against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Serenity dominates the island, with no Wi-Fi, air conditioning or modern conveniences, it is the perfect place to escape and experience a real sense of calm.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
A relatively unheard of holiday destination, Venezuela is perfect for those who want to experience something different, that is unspoiled by tourism. Home to the world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls is perhaps one of the most dazzling wonders. Visitors can trek through Canaima National Park, overlooked by mountains and waterfalls and filled with countless lakes, rivers and lagoons, that are perfect for swimming.
Swing on the edge of the world, Banos, Ecuador
Even the most experienced thrill seekers may find their knees knocking over this one! Casa del Arbol, a high-flying rope swing that hangs amidst the mountains of Banos, attracts adrenaline junkies from all over the world and is responsible for some of the most lust-worthy Instagram shots. Unofficially dubbed as ‘the death swing’ by wary tourists, the swing lets individuals dangle above the peaks for an extraordinary rush, above glorious scenery. Accessible via local bus, or hike one of the two trails that lead up to the swing, for a richer experience.