Things You Must do in South America

South America is one of those places in the world that must be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit before you die because it’s such a beautiful continent blessed with hundreds of great tourist attractions.

If you have in the works a trip to South America, be sure to add to your itinerary the following list of top 10 things to do in South America.:

1. Take a river trip to the base of Angel Falls

You can't really say you’ve experienced South America entirely if you don't get to see up-close the stunning Angel Falls in Venezuela. Angel Falls is the highest fall in the world (over 3000ft) and taking a canoe ride to its is one of the most amazing things you’ll do in South America.

Angel Falls is located within the Canaima National Park and it's in a fairly isolated location so, to get there you’ll have to catch a flight from either Ciudad Bolivar or Puerto Ordaz, and then head to either Canaima camp or Jungle Rudy's Ucaima camp to arrange a canoe trip with a local Pemon guide.

2. Take a helicopter ride over Iguazzu Falls

It’s true when they say that a trip to Iguazzu Falls is a once in a lifetime experience and what better way to enjoy the falls than by helicopter? There's no doubt that both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides offer spectacular views of the Iguazzu Falls.

However, the views you’ll get from the helicopter are truly unforgettable because of the bird’s eye views you’ll get from the crashing falls. The helicopter flights over Iguazzu Falls costs around $170 but the price is totally worth it for this type of experience.

3. Hike to the End of the Word

A trip to South America would, of course, not be complete without hiking Tierra del Fuego national park – a.k.a. “the End of the Earth”. Hopping on the “Train of the End of the World” is a popular way to see Tierra del Fuego, though a guided hike is by far the best way to explore the national park.

You can book guided tours on foot of Tierra del Fuego National Park from one of the tour operators in Ushuaia. Tierra del Fuego tours last typically 4 hours and cost around $40 plus $15 admission fee to get inside the park.

4. Take a motorcycle ride on the world’s longest road

The Pan American highway is officially the longest drivable road in the world and it's certainly a very famous road, though at times it’s hard to believe that this highway runs all the way from Prudhoe Bay (Alaska) to Ushuaia (South America).

Pan American highway is nearly 30,000 miles in length and it would take quite literary months to complete the entire highway. Of course, doing the entire leg isn't necessary to experience the "Pan Am" since you can choose any section of road to drive. The South Pan American highway section is definitely the most popular section of the highway to drive or ride because it runs along the South Pacific Ocean and through the amazing Atacama Desert.

5. Bike tour the world’s most dangerous road

South America is home to many claims to fame and one of the continent’s most famous claims is being home to the most dangerous road in the world. Not many claims live up to their fame but Bolivia’s Death Road (Yungas Road) seriously lives up to its name!

The most unbelievable thing is seeing big trucks and buses driving along the narrow and twisty sections of the Road to Death. If you’re a thrill seeker that is into high adrenaline pursuits, taking a bike tour of the Death Road is one things you must do in South America.

6. Sail the highest navigable lake in the world

South America is home to another world claim and that is being home to the highest sailable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca is located on an elevation of more than 12000ft and it’s a truly stunning lake to navigate on boat.

Lake Titicaca spans the borders of Peru and Bolivia so both countries get to claim this beautiful natural attraction. The best way to experience Lake Titicaca is by taking a catamaran from Copacabana Bolivia to Sun Island, which is the largest island in Lake Titicaca.

7. See the famous Nazca lines in the Nazca Desert

Besides seeing Machu Picchu and hiking the Inca Trail, seeing the Nazca Lines is certainly one of the must do things in Peru.

The Nazca Lines are located in southern Peru and were discovered in the 1930’s, though to this day nobody knows why they were made, which adds an intriguing element to this attraction. Flight tours of the Nazca Lines typically last 40 minutes and cost around $100 per person.

8. Experience up-close the majesty of ice glaciers

Argentina is synonym of hot weather, colonial-era towns and beautiful beaches so, it may come as a little surprise to hear that Argentina is home to some of the biggest ice glaciers in the world.

The city of El Calafate in the region of Patagonia (southern Argentina) is just a stone-throw away from the breathtaking Los Glaciares National Park, which boasts dozens of spectacular glaciers such as the 20-mile log Perito Moreno Glacier. Many tour companies in Calafate run daily tours to Perito Moreno to see up-close the surface of the glacier.

9. Take a horseback ride with gauchos on the Pampas

The Pampas of South America spans most of Uruguay, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), and the eastern provinces of Argentina including Buenos Aires. The Pampas region boasts beautiful open grassy prairies which beg to be explored on the back of a feral horse!

A horseback riding tour with a gaucho (cowboy) is, of course, the best way to go about exploring the South American Pampas. With a gaucho you’ll learn everything about their cowboy lifestyle, horseback skills and even get to see cool gaucho tricks such as jumping on galloping horses.

10. Boat trip through the Amazon Rainforest

What better way to explore the Amazon Rainforest and see the amazing wildlife it shelters than on a river boat trip? Riverboat trips can last anything from 3 to 15 days depending on what kind of level of adventure you’re looking for.

You could do anything from joining riverboat explorations and expeditions of the Amazon with the EarthWatch Institute, to taking canoe tours through Cuyabeno wildlife reserve in Ecuador’s Amazon region.

If you prefer to cruise down the Amazon in a little luxury then, you may want to take a cruise from Manaus to Belem on the Iberostar Grand Amazon.

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