In our previous post we told you about the best places visit in Australia on holidays, but if you are planning a vacation in Latin America – you are in luck. Rich history, amazing cultures, wonderful resorts and diverse wildlife make this continent a true tourist haven. If you haven’t decided what exactly to see here, read our guide to 10 best travel spots in Latin America, it contains all the information you will need, including a few useful tips and shortcuts!
1. Iguazu Falls (Brazil, Argentina, Peru)
Iguazu Falls is a complex of waterfalls located in three countries. 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazu Falls are spread out over a territory that is almost 3 kilometers wide. The highest waterfall in the complex is about 80 meters high, which makes it one of the most impressive things you will ever see as a tourist. If you love photography and breathtaking views – visit the Brazilian side of the waterfalls, as it presents the most spectacular view. However, most of the waterfalls are located in Argentina. Plus, the most famous waterfall of the complex, the Garganta del Diablo, is situated there as well. This place offers more than just watching waterfalls; you can ride a boat, swim underneath the waterfalls, enjoy the rainforests or go rafting.
Useful tip: The least expensive way to visit the waterfall is to come to Brazil, cross the National Iguaçu Park by foot and go up to the waterfalls on an elevator.
2. Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
Patagonia is a region located in both Chile and Argentina, and it is considered to be one of the best tourist spots in Latin America. This location, with its wide plains, peaceful mountains and unpredictable glaciers is the best place for a romantic trip. The part of Patagonia located by the Andes offers an additional tourist treat with its varied wildlife.
Useful tip: Those who love ancient history should definitely visit Cueva de las Manos , a cave that still bears drawings and hand prints that were left there over ten thousand years ago.
3. Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia)
Salar de Uyuni is another great location for all the tourists that are into photography. This place is located 3,656 meters higher that the sea level and it is spread out over 10,582 kilometers. What is so special about it, you ask? Salar de Uyuni is a valley that is completely covered in salt, which makes it the largest salt flat in the world. If you want to take some spectacular pictures, make sure that it is supposed to rain during your trip there, as the valley turns into one giant mirror once water and salt create a reflecting crust. This place also offers numerous unusual hotels where you can stay. For example, there is a hotel where everything from walls to furniture is made of salt. Another accommodation option is to stay with locals and experience their culture and way of living. You can also visit a place where thousands of abandoned trains are located, all of these trains used to transport minerals to the Pacific Ocean.
4. Ouro Preto (Brazil)
Ouro Petro is a beautiful romantic town perfect for a quiet getaway. The rich history of this Brazilian town left it with numerous museums, monuments and squares, which every tourist would be delighted to explore. This otherwise quiet town becomes loud, crowded and colorful in February with the start of the annual Carnival, and the exciting madness lasts until March.
One peculiar fact about Ouro Preto is that Antônio Francisco Lisbôa, one of the sculptors whose contribution to this town lies in the many sculptures and architectural landmarks, got very sick towards the end of his life, but he didn’t stop creating sculptures even after he lost his finders and legs.
5. Torres del Paine (Chile)
The National Park located in Torres del Paine in Chile is considered to be the fifth most beautiful place on Earth, according to National Geographic. This place is located between gorgeous woods of Magellan and a breathtaking region of Patagonia, which we already talked about, and it combines the merits of both these locations. Tourists who come here don’t need to choose – they can enjoy a green forest, guanacos, clean lakes, fast rivers and rapid glaciers all at the same time. A trip to snowy Cuernos del Paine mountains is another thing you should do if you come here.
Useful tip: Hiring a tour guide can be unnecessary everywhere else in the world, but not here, as a tour guide can show you all the best spots that are almost impossible to find by yourself, and give you an opportunity to try some exotic sports, such as ice hiking.
6. Cartagena (Colombia)
If you travel to Columbia, one of the best advices we can give you is go to Cartagena. This town is considered to be the most gorgeous place in Columbia for a reason. A perfect place to rest after hard months at work, Cartagena offers many attractions, including sandy beaches, warm sun and amiable locals. The city has got a rich heritage too – the town is surrounded by massive fortifications that once protected the city from attacks. And now they became the best place to spend your holidays while paying a reasonable price! Plus, Cartagena’s is famous for its pirate history, so if you always wanted to find out how it would feel to be in “Pirates of the Caribbean” – this is your chance!
7. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)
This incredible park serves as a sanctuary to thousands of species of birds, mammals and plants, including the largest variety of orchids you will find growing in nature! And Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve offers endless opportunities for taking breathtaking pictures, as almost all the ground in the park is covered in clouds. The park is very well-accommodated for tourists – all the walks, bridges and trails are civilized. In addition, you can explore the park while riding a horse or use a zip-line. In addition to wildlife, you can enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
8. Machu Picchu (Peru)
You have definitely seen Machu Picchu before on pictures; maybe you just don’t know it. This mysterious place was once the heart of Inca civilization. Scientists spent decades studying this site, but there is still no uniform opinion on what this place used to be and which purposes it served. However, most archeologists claim that this complex of structures had a religious purpose, while serving as a home for Inca people as well. Machu Picchu consists of numerous buildings, the main three being the Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. UNESCO made this place a part of their World Heritage program because of the historical and cultural meaning of this place. In addition, Machu Picchu is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Most tourists enjoy this place while hiking, biking or rafting.
9. Tikal (Guatemala)
We already told you about the heart of Inca civilization located in Latin America, but as you know, another great civilization left its mark on the continent is well. Tikal in Guatemala is one of the largest landmarks of Maya history that exist to this day and it is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ancient village contains numerous palaces, cemeteries, religious buildings and houses. The city was recently restored, so your tourist experience will be unforgettable – hurry up to get your visa!
Useful tip: You can take some of the best pictures of this place if you go up the wooden staircases that lead to the top of the temples. Tourists are also offered an opportunity to take a canopy tour through the forests.
10. Angel Falls (Venezuela)
Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall on Earth located in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela. Can you imagine water falling from the height of 979 meters? It’s needless to say that the sight of this waterfall is one of the most spellbinding things you will ever see in your life. Aside from being one of the most popular vacation places in Latin America, Angel Falls is also a place where many movies were filmed, including “Up”, “Dinosaur” and others. In addition, every fan of novels by Arthur Conan Doyle must visit this place, as the author got inspiration for his book “The Lost World” when he was visiting Angel Falls.