My 7 Reasons to visit South America

My 7 Reasons to visit South America

And why you will want to travel to South America too!

South America has been on my wander list since the early start of this millennium. When I was going through my old notes, I found a piece of paper with fees for Spanish language course in Bolivia going back to 2004!

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.

More than 12 years, this vast continent has been in my dreams. Now, many people know South-East Asia from the back of their hand. They know what to do in Vietnam, best beaches in Thailand or what to eat in Laos.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Train to Machu Picchu

South America is not so famous among backpackers and tourists in my knack of the woods. When I tell people where I’ll be going next, they soon zoom out when I dish up my intended itinerary.

That’s when I decided to visualize things a bit for you all. Here are my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go there too!

#1 Arequipa- the White City

First thing I learned about Arequipa is that’s a laid back town with a calm atmosphere. I do not like bustling cities and I’m only flying into Lima to depart the next day for Lima.

This city is built with white rocks and hence called the White City. The Santa Catalina Monastery is one of the top things to see and I intend to have my first “cuy” (guinee pig) at the Plaza de Armas here.

Read more: 7 Appealing Arguments to Travel to Arequipa Peru

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Arequipa with Volcano El Misti in the back, image from flickr

#2 Colca Canyon- the World’s largest Canyon

Well, the largest Canyon in the world is under argument, but let’s say it’s large. Ancient Inca terrasses are build against the rims of the canyon and condors are supposed to be seen on a daily basis.

I plan on going hiking in the canyon and hopefully, if I’m lucky, see the searing birds of prey: the Condors of the Colca Canyon.

Read more: My Adventures Hiking the Colca Canyon in Peru.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Condor flying over Colca Canyon, image from Flickr

#3 Atacama desert – the driest desert in the world

South America is known for its superlatives, but the Atacama desert is truly one of the world’s driest places. You can go visit the Tatio Geyers and walk around the desert as if you’re on Mars. The most desirable thing on my wander list is stargazing over the desert. You can go to one of the planetariums and star gaze the night away. Because of its dry arid nature, there is not light pollution in the sky and you can see the whole milky way. I even aligned my stay there with the right moon phase to enhance my changes of having a good experience.

Read more: Stargazing in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Valley of the Moon, Atacama Desert Chili

#4 Salar de Uyuni- world largest salt plane

Another world’s largest. The salt planes of Uyuni must be phenomenal! Who doesn’t remember those crazy pictures of tour groups battling a dinosaur or walking in and out of a crisp can? Due to the fact all perspective drops at such a vast plane of white, you can get some pretty impressive pictures that play tricks on you.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

To me, it seems like a grand adventure with green lagunas, pink lakes, cacti islands and a salt hotel. I must see and experience this for myself and it is one of the my biggest reasons to visit South America.

Read more: Girlie Guide to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

#5 Sucre- Bolivia’s sweetest city

Ok, I made that up. I do not know if Sucre is super sweet, but when I look at the pictures I see white buildings, parks and indigenous people. I look forward to recuperate after visiting de Salar de Uyuni and just soak up the Bolivian atmosphere and culture. Maybe after 12 years, I’ll finally be able to visit this city and speak some Spanish.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Colourful ladies in the Streets of Sucre, Bolivia

# 6 Lake Titicaca- the world’s highest lake

Lake Titicaca is South America’s largest lake and the world highest navigable body of water. I plan on visiting Isla del Sol on the Bolivian side of the border. Or maybe I’ll also visit the Uros Islands with the Uros people who build their whole community on reed. Small reed islands with houses made of reed, boats, schools.. everything.

Have you ever been to the Uros Islands or Isla del Sol? What were your experiences on the lake?

Read more: Bolivian or Peruvian Side of Lake Titicaca?

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca Peru

#7 Cusco and Machu Picchu- one of the 7 wonders of the world

I’ll save the best for last. Cracking Cusco where there will be loads to explore in the Sacred Valley and in and around town. But Machu Picchu is the cherry on top of my South American Sundae. This lost city of the Incas is one of the most obvious reasons to visit South America and it certainly is for me!

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
Machu Picchu, Peru

Due to my lack of fitness, I will not be going there on the ancient Inca Trail. But there is another cool way of getting there: by train! And as you all know, I love travelling by train, so I imagine that won’t be a bad thing.

Read more: How to buy tickets for Machu Picchu?

Did you go to Machu Picchu? How did you arrive at Machu Picchu? Please share your experiences.

Read more: my ultimate 30-day backpacking itinerary for South America


Have you enjoyed the pictures? This will be the backbone of my South America itinerary. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but these are my 7 Reasons to visit South America! And I know you will want to visit South America too!

Read more about the importance of having a travel wishlist, like Stephanie from 324.

Do you have any plans to go to South America? What inspired you to travel to the continent? Please share your stories below. I’d love to hear them.

You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
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You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
You might not be familair with South America. That's why I give you my 7 Reasons to Visit South America and why you will want to go too as inspiration.
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15 Comments

  1. Interesting reasons and places to visit in South America. This continent is always in my list. Now, I am very curious how long and how much did you spent during the whole duration of your travel there.

    Thanks Naomi. Thanks also for the follow in IG. I love your photos there.
    Best regards from Bayern!

  2. Lovely list…though personally speaking i’d rather extend it into 70..or maybe 700 reasons to visit SA. Personally speaking, South America is the most versatile continent of them all. there is basically nothing you can’t experience there and…asides from Rio and Machu Picchu, there are hardly any tourists (compared to Europe that is :P).

  3. Hi Naomi, we have done numbers #4 #5 and #7 literally in the last couple of months! They were all amazing. Sucre was by far our favourite city in Bolivia and definitely worth a trip. Machu Picchu speaks for itself and the salar de uyuni tour is great fun. Great post btw. We missed out on Chile completely but already thinking of heading back to SA. Love C and D x

  4. My favorite South American country – Uruguay. I love the beautiful whimsical architecture of Montevideo. Of course, I am biased ;), but if you get a chance – it’s totally worth checking it out. Happy travels!

  5. Great reasons 🙂
    My main reason to go to South America was to visit friends, but of course I took the chance to travel around and visit some of these amazing places.
    I went to Peru and Machu Picchu on my first trip in 2007. We took a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, slept there, and took a bus to go up there early morning (for sunrise!).
    Last year I traveled alone for 5 months and visited Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay. I visited the Lake Titicaca only on the Bolivian side, didn’t go to the Uros, but I did go to Isla del Sol and that was a highlight. The best plan there is to take a boat to the north of the island, walk to the south, sleep there and go back the day after, so you have time to visit without rush.
    About Uyuni and Atacama, what to say… it’s simply breathtaking.
    Enjoy your trip!

  6. I loved Arequipa Peru, and there are so many other places well worth visiting including those you’ve listed here! Check out this post about getting happily “stuck” in Arequipa while traveling around SA. Have you been learning Spanish for your trip? I’m betting you will love Machu Picchu and the train trip is really beautiful!

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