Torres del Paine national park

Just seven? There are natural wonders, manmade magnificence, rich cultures, vibrant cities, ecodiverse forests, gorgeous beaches, soaring mountains….any one of which is reason enough to visit! Here is a look at our favorites, just some of the best of the best.

  1. The Great Blue Hole, Belize. A scuba diver’s dream, the Great Blue Hole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Measuring 300 meters across and 124 meters deep, the Blue Hole is a series of caves which started forming 153,000 years ago. Ocean levels rose and flooded the caves; today, divers can explore the stalactites and rock formations while marveling at the deep blue water.
  2. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Pristine mountain air and stunning scenery make this a top destination for hikers and nature-lovers. Day trips are available, but the fit visitor might want to try a 9-day trek. National Geographic calls it the 5th prettiest place in the world. See if they’re right!
  3. Amazon Rainforest. One of the most ecodiverse regions on the globe, the Amazon is a canopied world of wonder. Even a simple hike offers adventure and the opportunity to see rare, bright, and brilliant forest inhabitants – but if you’re thirsting for a bit more, why not try a canopy zip line? Hold on tight!
  4. Galapagos Islands. It may seem cliché- but it won’t once you get there. Off the coast of Ecuador, the Islands have a wealth of endemic species. See Galapagos Turtles, Penguins, and other creatures great and small that only live here. Dive, hike, swim, and gawk!
  5. Machu Picchu, Peru. The Sacred Valley of the Incas, this site is home to some of the most beautiful, significant ruins in the world. Nestled in misty mountains, the site features ruins of palaces, plazas, and temples. Take the train, or better yet, hike in. Stay hydrated and keep your camera at the ready.
  6. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Incredible. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to a different planet. In fact, you’re on the world’s largest salt plain. White fields of dried salt contrast with the sharp blue sky. You’ll even see a train cemetery! A fantastic, weird experience.
  7. Santiago, Chile. This list is heavy on nature, but South America’s cities are as rich, diverse, and gorgeous. Santiago features wonderful cultural centers, restaurants, shops, nightlife, entertainment, salsa dancing, and much more. Other “must visit” cities include Buenos Aires, Cusco, San Pedro de Atacama, Rio de Janeiro, and Bogota.

Find your own amazing sites and scenes in South America. There is no limit to the excitement you will encounter.

Enid Glasgow