Ruins of Machu Picchu

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Bucket List — South/Central America Top 10

South America is a continent full of history, culture, and adventure. From the ancient Mayan ruins of Guatemala to the bustling streets of Rio de Janeiro, South America is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, a beach getaway, or an unforgettable adventure, South America is the perfect destination. Explore the colonial cities of Peru that have remained unchanged for centuries, or take a tour of the Amazon rainforest, home to some of the most incredible wildlife and plants on the planet. Discover the vibrant culture of Mexico or the vibrant nightlife of Buenos Aires. No matter what kind of traveler you are, you’re sure to find something you love in South America.

Traveling to South America is an exciting experience with plenty of incredible sights to explore. One of the highlights of a trip to this continent is visiting Iguazu Falls, the world’s largest waterfall system located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Another must-see destination is Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, which is home to stunning glaciers and mountains. A trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica offers a unique experience with its misty cloud forests and hiking trails. Finally, Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia is the world’s highest navigable lake and an incredible sight to behold.

Explore Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, this series of thundering waterfalls is a must-see for any traveler. Highlights of a trip to Iguazu Falls include taking a boat ride up to the base of the falls, experiencing the incredible panoramic views from the upper and lower trails, and getting close enough to feel the spray of the cascading water. The best time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is dry and sunny. Accommodation options range from luxurious hotels to camping sites, so you can find something that fits your budget.

Iguazu Falls in Argentina
Sun in Punta Del Este

Punta del Este is a stunning beach resort town in Uruguay that is perfect for a holiday getaway. From its beautiful white sand beaches to its vibrant nightlife, there is plenty to see and do here. The weather is typically sunny and mild, making it a great place to visit year-round. Highlights include the La Barra and Jose Ignacio beach towns, the Mercado del Puerto, and the Casapueblo hotel. There are plenty of activities for tourists, such as boat tours, fishing, and whale watching. The best time to visit is between December and March, when the beaches are busy and the weather is warm.

Hike To The Christ The Redeemer

Brazil is an incredible travel destination with something for everyone. From its stunning beaches to its vibrant cities, there is no shortage of things to do. For the adventurous traveler, why not hike to the top of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro? This iconic monument is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world and offers breathtaking views of the city below. The hike is relatively easy, with a few steep inclines, and the reward is worth it! Pack your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

The best time to visit is from December to March, when the weather is warm and sunny. Not to miss the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and Sugarloaf Mountain. For a unique experience, explore the colorful neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa, or take a day trip to Rio’s tropical rainforest.

Scenic Shot of the Torres del Paine National Park
Trek Torres Del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park, located in Patagonia, Chile, is a must-visit destination for any outdoor enthusiast. With its stunning glaciers, lakes, and mountains, it’s no wonder why this area is considered one of the best trekking spots in the world. Highlights of trekking in Torres del Paine include magnificent views of the iconic granite towers, the lush and varied vegetation, and the chance to witness unique wildlife like guanacos and pumas. Whether you choose to trek the famous “W” circuit or venture off on your own, Torres del Paine is an unforgettable experience.

The best time to visit is from October to April, when the weather is milder and the days are longer. There are also nearby experiences to be had such as the Salto Grande Waterfall and the Grey Glacier. 

Road Trip In The Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world. Its vast and unforgiving landscape makes for an unforgettable experience. Highlights of a visit to the Atacama Desert include visiting the salt flats of Salar de Atacama, marveling at the unique and alien-like terrain of the Valley of the Moon, and stargazing in one of the world’s clearest skies. Whether you’re an experienced traveler or a first-timer, a trip to the Atacama Desert is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Visit The Monteverde Cloud Forest

Traveling to Monteverde Cloud Forest is an adventure of a lifetime! Located in Costa Rica, it’s one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. The highlights of travel to Monteverde Cloud Forest include exploring the tropical rainforest, seeing rare species of animals, and hiking through the canopy. It’s also an ideal spot for bird-watchers, with over 400 species of birds living in the area. The best time to visit Monteverde Cloud Forest is during the dry season, which runs from December to April.

Hike The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is one of the most iconic hikes in the world, with its spectacular views of the Andes Mountains and its ancient ruins. Along the way, you will discover ancient Inca ruins, breathtaking landscapes and lush cloud forests. Highlights of hiking the Inca Trail include trekking through the Sacred Valley, passing by the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu, and visiting the ancient Incan city of Ollantaytambo. The trail culminates with a visit to the “Sun Gate” of Inti Punku, where you can take in the stunning view of Machu Picchu from above.

The best time of year to hike the trail is between May and September, when the weather is mild and the crowds are not too large. In order to plan a successful Inca Trail hike, it is important to book your hike in advance and make sure to pack the appropriate supplies. Additionally, it is important to book with a reputable tour operator and to be aware of the physical demands of the hike. With the right preparation, the Inca Trail can be an unforgettable experience.

Monteverde Bridge
​Marvel At The Moai Statues On Easter Island

Easter Island, sometimes known as Rapa Nui, is a remote Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It is renowned for its ancient statues, known as moai, carved from volcanic rock by the island’s early inhabitants. Highlights of Easter Island include exploring the iconic statues, swimming in its crystal clear waters, and experiencing the unique culture of the Rapa Nui people. The best time to visit Easter Island is between April and October when the weather is warm and sunny.

Explore The Uyuni Salt Flats

The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia are an incredible natural wonder. Highlights of a visit to the salt flats include witnessing the vast expanse of white salt stretching to the horizon, exploring the nearby islands covered in cacti, and enjoying the unique perspective of taking a 4×4 ride across the flats. To get the best experience, visit the salt flats during the dry season from April to November, when the flats are most spectacular.

Brown Wooden Boat on Water
Visit The Reed Islands Of Lake Titicaca

A visit to Lake Titicaca is one of the most amazing sights in South America. The lake is nestled in the Andes Mountains between Peru and Bolivia, and its crystal clear waters are home to a variety of unique species of flora and fauna. The highlights of a visit to Lake Titicaca include taking a boat ride around the Uros Islands, an artificial island created by the Uros people, and visiting the ruins of Tiwanaku, an ancient Incan city. The best time to visit Lake Titicaca is during the dry season, from April through October, when the days are sunny and the lake is at its most tranquil.

Explore More Bucket Lists…
Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

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