UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South America
2015 updated list by country
If you're as fond of heritage tourism as we are, the following list will be helpful when ready to experience a South America vacation. In fact, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South America is the complete updated list by country - 68 properties in total.
The latest addendum in the continent - as of now - is the Qhapaq Ñan or Andean Road System, included in 2014. It is directly related to the Inca empire, that ruled for almost one century until the advent of Spanish conquerors under the lead of Francisco Pizarro. That started a proccess of colonial domination in the continent that lasted for around three centuries.
Back in the XV century, the Incas built an extense trade and defence road system covering 30,000 km. This extraordinary network through one of the world’s most extreme geographical terrains linked the snow-capped peaks of the Andes - at an altitude of more than 6,000 m - to the coast, running through rainforests, valleys and absolute deserts.
At its peak, the empire run from the modern States of Colombia to Chile, including Ecuador, Peru and Argentina. That is the reason why we have included it only once in the total number of properties. While UNESCO's list places the same property for each country individually, we've counted the Inca empire as a whole.
Naturally - wheather intangible, natural, cultural or mixed origin - there are many other properties submitted on the tentative list by each State Party in the continent yet to be approved and eventually indexed, a proccess that usually takes several years, even decades to complete.
For the time being, let's concentrate on the official list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South America. We'll soon publish the full tentative list by country as well. Reason for this is that you don't really need the "official seal of approval" to experience the sublime beauty of the continent, listed or not.
After all, it cannot be encapsulated by anyone.
The following list corresponds to UNESCO's official site. Each link will provide you with a brief explanation of the property...