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