South America Travel Guide
The South American coastline is dotted with beaches in every coastal nation. Come relax along the shoreline or swim in the ocean. Snorkeling and scuba diving are always options as well.
Just off the coast of Ecuador sit the Galapagos Islands. This group of islands is unique in that it has been left pretty much untouched by human hands. As a result, several one-of-a-kind animals are native to these islands. Visitors can swim with the sea iguanas or marvel at the giant tortoises.
Easter Island is fun to explore. Stop and marvel at the moai, large statues in the shape of a head and torso. No one knows why the more than 800 statues were erected along the coastline. The island has a Polynesian background, but it is owned by Chile. It sits some 2000 miles off the coast of Chile.
Visitors will be delighted by Lake Titicaca on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It boasts several well known islands, but the lake is really known for its altitude. At 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world. It is an amazing sight to behold as the clouds in the sky look like they are actually touching the dark blue water.
Besides the highest lake, Peru also boasts some of the deepest canyons. Colca Canyon and nearby Cotahuasi Canyon are both over 10,000 feet deep. That is over twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The area is strikingly beautiful and has abundant wildlife.
If exploring ruins is your thing, be sure to stop by the Urubamba Valley in Peru. Here sits Machu Picchu — The Lost City of The Incas. Machu Picchu is an area filled with pre-Columbian Inca ruins located along a high mountain ridge. The ruins can be reached by train or by hiking along the Inca Trail as the Incas did.
Visitors looking for waterfalls have two great choices: Iguacu Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina or Angel Falls in Venezuela. Iguacu Falls is comprised of 275 waterfalls surrounded by tropical forests. Argentina is home to most of the falls but go to the Brazil side for a panoramic view. Angel Falls is quite different. It is the highest waterfall in the world. Angel Falls stands over 3000 feet high and is known as "Devil's Mouth" by the indigenous people in the area.
One of South America's best kept secrets is Salar de Uyuni. Located in Bolivia, it is the world's largest salt flat. The area features a salt hotel and several islands. The salt flat continues into the Atacama Desert and is dotted with geysers and hot baths.
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