This article is a guide to the 10 must-visit adventure destinations in South America. From hiking to surfing to wildlife watching, South America has something for every adventure enthusiast.
South America is a continent known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes, making it an ideal destination for adventure seekers. With a wide range of outdoor activities available, from trekking to surfing to wildlife watching, there’s no shortage of things to do in South America.
Machu Picchu, Peru
No list of adventure destinations in South America would be complete without Machu Picchu. This ancient Incan citadel located in the Andes Mountains is one of the world’s most iconic destinations, attracting visitors from around the globe. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering stunning views of the Andes Mountains and an opportunity to explore the ruins of this ancient civilization.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Located in southern Chile, Torres del Paine National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with rugged mountains, turquoise lakes, and stunning glaciers. Visitors can hike the W Trek, which takes you through some of the park’s most beautiful landscapes, or embarks on a multi-day trek through the backcountry. Wildlife sightings are also common in the park, with guanacos, pumas, and Andean condors all calling the area home.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are a nature lover’s paradise, home to some of the world’s most unique and diverse wildlife. Visitors can snorkel with sea lions and penguins, hike through volcanic landscapes, and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The island’s remote location has also helped preserve its natural beauty, making it a truly unforgettable destination.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world, with stunning landscapes that include salt flats, hot springs, and geysers. Visitors can hike through the desert, bike across the sand dunes, or stargaze under some of the clearest skies in the world. The desert is also home to unique wildlife, including flamingos and vicunas.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
Iguazu Falls are one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls, with a width of almost 3 kilometers and a height of 82 meters. Visitors can explore the falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides, taking in breathtaking views of the cascading waterfalls and misty rainbows. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys and toucans.
Amazon Rainforest, Brazil/Peru
The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, home to an incredible variety of plant and animal species. Visitors can explore the forest on foot, by boat, or on a guided tour, learning about the plants and animals that call this diverse ecosystem home.
Highlights include spotting monkeys swinging through the trees, listening to the songs of exotic birds, and encountering some of the Amazon’s more elusive wildlife, such as jaguars and anacondas.
Huacachina is a desert oasis located in southwestern Peru, surrounded by sand dunes that can reach up to 200 meters in height. Visitors can go sandboarding or take a dune buggy tour of the surrounding desert, offering an adrenaline-filled adventure in a unique and beautiful setting.