Best places to visit in South America
By Natasha Colyer
South America is a land steeped in culture and teeming with exciting things to see and do. We asked our friends at Seen in the City for their top recommendations for this diverse and fascinating continent. Here are their top 5 picks which are sure to find their way onto your bucket list...
One of the most spectacular sites in Colombia is the River of Five colours, officially known as ‘Caño Cristales’. Nestled in the mountain range of Serranía de la Macarena, the river is named because it is a mix of yellow, blue, green, black and red shades. The various colourings are due to the combined effects of algae, rocks, sand and a rare plant, Macarenia Clavigera, which causes the red hues. The result is a beautifully iridescent finish which is truly mesmerising, made even more so by the surrounding waterfalls. As a bonus there are no fish residing in the river due to the nature of the plants, making it perfect for bathing in.
If you’ve ever felt like peering over the edge of the world, you need to head to the Casa del Arbol, nestled in the Ecuadorian wilderness. This oversized swing has no safety harness, consisting simply of two ropes attached to a plank - and as you pass over the canyon taking in breathtaking 360 degree views, you feel almost like a bird in flight. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for any thrill seeker.
The Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most renowned destinations in South America. If you are to head there, and you should, be sure to partake in one of the canopy walks. As you explore this wilderness above the rainforest canopy, you can absorb the same sights as an abundance of birds and tree-top wildlife.
Situated in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Mano del Desierto is the breathtaking large-scale sculpture of a hand ‘reaching for the stars’. This surreal work was the vision of Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, who built the hand in the early 1980s. Standing at 11 metres high, protruding from the desert floor, it’s truly an unusual and impressive sight to see.
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat and makes for one of the most enchanting panoramas on the planet. Spanning nearly 11,000 sq kilometres, this other-worldly sight marks the legacy of a prehistoric lake which dried up, leaving behind a sparkling expanse of bright-white salt and rock formations. The unique ecosystem makes it difficult for wildlife to live here, however it harbours a number of pink flamingos, so be sure to look out for them during your travels. It is especially beautiful if you time your visit for sunset. If you want to explore it, our local experts in Argentina can help you out!
If you're ready to make your South American daydreams into reality, send an enquiry to one of our local experts! Click on any of the headings above to be taken to that country page. Alternatively, give us a call in office on 0117 325 7898 to chat about your travel plans.
About the Author: Natasha Colyer of Seen in the City. Seen in the City is a premium online travel and lifestyle magazine, aimed at the modern city-dweller. It covers everything from the best places to visit in the world to the latest restaurants, cocktail haunts, fashion trends and beauty news.