Five South American Destinations to Explore in 2017
With Brazil fresh off hosting the Summer Olympics, South America is a hot destination with so much to offer the traveler. Intrepid adventurous types can go trekking through the Amazon in Brazil or skiing in the Andes Mountains in Chile. While more city-focused explorers will want to experience the nightlife in Buenos Aires, Argentina or the culture and beach life in Cartagena, Colombia. Here are five South American destinations to check out in 2017. Just remember, if you’re coming from the Northern Hemisphere, summer and winter are swamped.
Exploring Argentina can be a dizzying experience as there is just so much to see in this long skinny country that’s terrain includes the icy water of the South Atlantic, just north of Antarctica, home to penguins and stark landscapes, in the south, and lush green, humid jungles filled with a whole different kind of fauna, in the north. In between you’ll find one of the world’s hottest cities, Buenos Aires, which is home to amazing nightlife, and the kind of place where the tango is danced well into the early morning hours. The country is also known for its excellent wine and beef.
There is also so much to see in Brazil. Of course, Rio de Janeiro is its most known attraction, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is famous for its gorgeous white sand beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema and its raucous Carnival festival. But the country is also home to the might Igacu Falls and plenty of Amazon scenery.
Chile is paradise for adventure travelers. And like Argentina, offers a massively varied amount of scenery. You can visit Antarctica for a day from southern Chile, which is also home to millennial glaciers and the world’s driest desert. Chile is also a land of the snowcapped Andes Mountains, home to excellent skiing and vibrant cities like Santiago, which is known for its food and wine scene and friendly locals.
For many years tourists skipped Colombia when visiting South America, as the country had a reputation more for drug dealing than tourism, but today the image is changing and this is one of the continent’s hottest destinations. And it is easy to understand why. Colombia is home to a beautiful landscape of verdant rainforest and towering Andes Mountains. It also features lively cities like high-altitude capital Bogota, famed for good restaurants and shopping; and Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, home to a vivacious colonial Old Town, a 16th century castle and good snorkeling and diving just off shore in still living coral reefs.
The classic South American destination for history and culture, everyone knows Peru for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and visiting the colonial city of Cusco. If this is your first trip to Peru, and time is limited, you can’t skip Machu Picchu, which many equate to a holy experience of sorts. But if you have extra days to spend, devote a few days to exploring the bustling capital city of Lima, on the Pacific Coast, which is home to a wonderfully preserved colonial center.