15 Awe-inspiring Things to See and Do in South America

15 Awe-inspiring Things to See and Do in South America Today SM

Visiting South America has been on our family bucket list since we first started it.

It’s a continent packed with stunning views, amazing wildlife, and one of a kind experiences.

We’ve come so close to visiting several times, but we’ve always had to cancel our plans due to last minute changes. I have every faith that we’ll make it to South America soon, but in the meantime we’ve scoured the tour options on Exodus Travels, and came up with a list of 15 amazing experiences in South America.

Here it is: the ultimate bucket list of 15 awe-inspiring things to see and do in South America.

What would you cross off your list first?

Trace Darwin’s footsteps in the Galapagos

Sea Lion Pup by dagpeak Flickr
Sea lion pup by dagpeak Flickr

As a true science nerd, the chance to visit the inspiration for Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’ in the Galapagos Islands. Exodus offers a unique, small group wildlife tour that traces Darwin’s footsteps. They’re one of only a few tour companies to offer extended trekking on the island of Isabela.

Swim with marine iguanas

One of the coolest things in the Galapagos, and that’s saying quite a lot in a region packed with unique wildlife and plant species, is that you can swim with marine iguanas.

Dance the tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tango in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the most vibrant, buzzing cities on earth, and home to the tango, one of the most sensual dances in the world.

Everyone should learn to tango in Argentina before they die – Ian McKeever

Stand in the spray of the Iguazu Falls

Iguassu Falls

The Iguazu Falls are part of a cascade of hundreds of waterfalls almost two miles long. They emerge from the jungle, with the The Devil’s Throat, the tallest of the waterfalls, reaching almost 269 ft high.

Hike the mountains of Patagonia

Patagonia’s one of the world’s remaining vast and wild spaces. It’s tucked at the remote southernmost tip of South America, straddling both Argentina and Chile. Argentinian Patagonia is home to grasslands and desert, while Chilean Patagonia showcases temperate rain forests and jaw-dropping glacial fjords.

Watch ice fall from the Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier Argentina Photo by Geoff Livingston
Perito Moreno Glacier Argentina Photo by Geoff Livingston

Located in Patagonia, the Perito Moreno Glacier pushes over the southern (Brazo Rico) side of Argentino Lake, separating it from the rest of the lake. Because the glacier acts like a dam, the water level on the Brazo Rico side be as much 30 meters higher than the main body of Argentino Lake.

Occasionally, the dammed water of the Brazo Rico side spectacularly bursts through the glacier, pouring into the main body of Argentino Lake.

Spot jaguars, giant anteaters and giant river otters in Brazil

Photo by Eric Kilby

The Pantanal wetlands are one of the last places on earth you can spot elusive jaguars, giant anteaters and giant river otters, plus tapirs, Jabiru storks and the Hyacinth macaw.

Explore Brazil’s Diamond Trails

Once home to a diamond rush, Brazil’s lost world, Chapada Diamantina, is home to spectacular waterfalls and mountains.

Visit the world’s largest salt flats at Uyuni in Bolivia

Driving on clouds at Salar de Uyuni
Walking on Clouds by Francisco Orts

At over 4,086 square miles, Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats stretch farther than the eye can see. The flats reflect light in a way that makes it almost impossible to tell where land meets sky.

Discover Peru’s Lost City of the Incas at Machu Picchu

Peru’s ancient Inca Trail winds from the mighty Urubamba River, winding through cloud forests and mountain passes, and ultimately reaches the lost city of Machu Picchu. Built in the 15th century, Machu Picchu remains a marvel of engineering, created handcut stones fit together without mortar, and built on steep mountainous terrain.

See the mysterious Nazca Lines from the air

Nazca Lines courtesy Exodus Travels
Photo Exodus Travels

The Nazca lines are one of the earth’s few remaining great mysteries. We don’t know exactly when they were made, who made them, or even when they were constructed. The Nazca lines are 300 figures etched into the Peruvian desert, only visible from the air.

Explore the Amazon by boat

The Amazon Rain Forest has one of the world’s greatest concentrations of biodiversity. It’s home to jaguar, sloth, river dolphin, anaconda, poison dart frogs, plus countless animals and dense plant life.

Visit Easter Island

Statues at Easter Island Photo Exodus Travels
Statues at Easter Island Photo Exodus Travels

Easter Islands enigmatic giant stone statues are a reminder of a long-ago Polynesian civilization that lived on this isolated place. The island itself is only 16 miles wide, and, at almost 4,000 miles from the Chilean coastline, is the most isolated inhabited island on earth. Today, the statues stare silently at visitors, but thousands of years ago they were part of a vibrant, seafaring Polynesian culture.

Sight-see in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park
Photo courtesy Exodus Travels

The glacial landscape of Torres del Paine National Park look like they’re ripped straight from Lord of The Rings. Hikes here in Chilean Patagonia take take you across stunning scenery of pristine mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers.

Watch the sun set over the Atacama Desert

Photo courtesy Exodus Travels
Photo courtesy Exodus Travels

The great Atacama desert is like no other place on earth. It’s nestled between the Andes and the Pacific ocean, and boasts beautiful vistas of volcanic mountains, salt flats, and ravines among its hostile and arid terrain.

About Exodus Travels

Exodus Travels is all about adventure.

While leading people on epic adventures around the globe, they focus on how to travel responsibly by leaving places as they found them, ensuring that communities benefit, and realizing that every destination is someone else’s home. Learn more about Exodus Travels commitment to Responsible Travel.

15 Awe-inspiring Things to See and Do in South America Today