Have you decided on your South America vacations yet?..well, it's time to do it if you haven't done it.
What you will find in the fourth continent is an imposing array of cultures and nature, so vast, varied and beautiful that can't certainly be described with words.
To attempt to narrow South America down to a handful of must-see destinations is a very subjective endeavor indeed.
However, as a born South American and long time traveller to the region, here is my personal list of top destinations I'd like you to consider for your South America vacations. You will find you'd agree at least with some of them.
It would be unthinkable to cover them all on a single journey - unless you have unlimited resources and an equal amount of time to invest. Simply take one step at the time and organize your South America vacations accordingly, for there is one thing I'm sure of, once you make your first journey to South America you won't be able to let it go easily.
South America is an addictive place, I certainly can't have enough of it, so try it out and see what do YOU think. Not including Antarctica in the must-see list of attractions because the white continent has a place of its own. Being South America the main gateway to Antarctica, you may find yourself in Ushuaia at some point, waiting to board the cruise of a lifetime.
So here is the list of top destinations for your South America vacations...
Amazonia or Amazon rainforest covers more than half of Brazil and is the world's largest tropical rainforest.
It's been named "Lungs of the Planet" because nearly 20% of the world's oxygen is produced by it.
Angel falls are the tallest in the world, with a height of 979 m (3,212 f). Jimmy Angel - American aviator from Missouri - discovered them in 1933. He returned in 1937 and landed his monoplane on the marshy lands on top of Auyantepui.
It remained there for 33 years, while him and his party returned to civilization in eleven days.
They are located in Canaima National Park, State of Bolívar, SE of Venezuela, a very unique destination for your South America vacations.
Canaima is the second largest national park after Paraima-Tapirapecó and very unique for its profusion of "tepuis" or table-top mountains
Elegant, stylish and sophisticated, it has an universal influence attached to it.
Its architecture and lifestyle it's markedly more European than any other South American city, often called the "Paris of South America". Read more on Buenos Aires tourism...
Easter Island - Rapa Nui, or Isla de Pascua in Spanish language --is a fantastic open-air museum and the most isolated inhabited island in the world.
Even when pricey to reach, Rapa Nui is a must-do destination for your South America vacations.Read more...
Its discovery is assigned to Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), Italian merchant and cartographer.
The island is one of the most important ecologic sanctuaries in the world, and without doubt, the most beautiful marine park in Brazil.
If you love nature, surfing or diving, this THE place to spend your South America vacations.
Located at the confluence of two ocean currents - the cold Humboldt Current and the warm Panama Current - Galapagos islands are a "melting pot" of marine species.
Iguazu (Iguassu) falls is formed by 275 cascades that spread over nearly two miles of the Iguazu river.
They are located in Iguazu National Park, which covers the north of the province of Misiones (Argentina) and the southwest of the state of Parana (Brazil), close to the point where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay converge.
It's one of the most imposing sight you will ever find in South America.
Located at 12,725 feet (3,856 meters) above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, with surface area of over 3,100 sq. miles (8,000 sq. km).
In 1911, Yale Professor Hiram Bingham discovered to the world and remained astonished in front of this superb achievement in urban planning, civil engineering and architecture.
Yearly, an increasing number of international visitors have chosen the lost city of the Incas as part of their South America vacations.
Nazca lines are the most outstanding geoglyphs in the world.
Lines and figures appear in an area of over 300 square miles and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air.
On the basis of ceramic evidence, the animal figures (i.e. the monkey with a curved tail, the humming bird, the astronaut..) were found to be the oldest. Straight lines and geometric designs were constructed later.
They were created by removing black colored rocks and topsoil to uncover the light colored sand bellow. Being one of the most arid places in the world - with an average rainfall of 20 mm. a year, plus little wind, they have been preserved for over 2000 years. Read more...
Pantanal is the world's biggest ecological sanctuary and home to the richest ecosystem ever found to date.
With an incredible size, it embraces millions of ha. in central-western Brazil, eastern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia.
About 80% of it lies in Brazil, covering the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
For ecotourism lovers, it's where you want to spend your South America vacations.
Argentina's Patagonia encompasses a territory equal to the combined surface areas of Texas and California states(USA), 300,000 sq. miles (777,000 sq. km) extending from Rio Colorado (Colorado river) to the Strait of Magellan, and from the Andes to the Atlantic ocean.
It was provably first visited by Amerigo Vespucci in 1501 and later explored by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520.
Nestled between a magnificent bay on one side and a mountain range covered by luxuriant tropical forest on the other, Rio truly deserves the name Cidade Maravilhosa - Marvelous city.
In addition, what makes Rio de Janeiro truly enchanting is its people.
Cariocas are a friendly and festive breed that thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun.
World's largest salt lake known as Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flat) is a visually captivating place you'd like to include in your South America vacations. One of the most stunningly beautiful places you will ever come across in Bolivia and South America altogether.
Somewhere in October of 1520, a group of explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan discovered the channel that joins the two oceans. On the southern shore of the strait they saw big man made fires and columns of smoke.
Et voila!...that's the whole enchilada!..
Agreed that it will take you some time to visit them all but this certainly is the top destinations list for your South America vacations.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed?..
Don't let it happen, take one bite at the time and you will discover what a truly unique South America travel experience is all about...