Flickr Image: Douglas Scortegagna
The New Year is just around the corner so it’s high time to start thinking about 2017’s travel bucket list. Why not discover the wild, breathtaking rain forest filled landscapes of three of South America’s best known and most beautiful countries? Wherever you decide to go, or whatever you choose to experience we’re sure that South America will satisfy even the worst cases of wanderlust!
Flickr Image: Bob Betzen
High up in the Andes mountains lies the ancient, mysterious and beautiful ruins of a once all-powerful Incan empire. Machu Picchu, a world famous city, is surrounded by many other sites of historical importance including the Sacred Valley, the colonial city of Cusco and the Inca Trail itself. Visitors from all over the world travel to Peru to see the abandoned ruins, as well as the shimmering Lake Titicaca the world’s highest navigable lake. You can choose to hike the entire trail, or instead take a train up through the Sacred Valley. If you don’t want to run the risk of being swamped by tourists, or indeed by the rain, try to plan your visit from November to April! Remember although you can’t walk the Inca Trail without a guide you can visit the ruins themselves For an unforgettable experience take the bus up from Aguas Calientes, around twenty minutes, as the driver masters terrifying hairpin turns with ease.
Flickr Image: RL GNZLZ
This incredibly diverse country is famed not just for its impressive, strutting namesake the Argentine Tango, but also for the stunning capital of Buenos Aires and the vast, open grasslands, or pampas, where beef cattle graze freely. Argentina is a fast, frenetic hub of music, dance, food, fashion and culture as well as being home to the Casa Rosada, the iconic presidential palace with its imposing grand balcony. The country is very health conscious but do check for any holiday vaccinations for Argentina you think you may need. During the winter tourists flock to the ski resorts of Las Leñas and San Carlos de Bariloche, as well as taking trips to the Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia where you can spot guanacos, penguins sea lions, and whales. Come summertime and it’s all about wine tasting, making and selling in the grape rich region of Mendoza where, along with having a cheeky glass or two, you can brush up on your Spanish thanks to friendly, English speaking locals.
Flickr Photo: McKay Savage
This long, narrow country sits on the western edge of Argentina and has over 6,000 kilometers of Azure, Pacific coastline for visitors to enjoy. Why not head to Santiago, Chile’s incredible capital city? Colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century Chile is now wealthy, prosperous and leads Latin America on globalization and economic development. Santiago is bright busy and beautiful, over 40% of Chileans live here, and plays host to two extraordinary neoclassical landmarks. Namely, the Palacio de la Real Audiencia which houses the National History Museum, and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. Here, you’ll find a city full of surprises from warehouse style all night parties, to elegant restaurants, palm-lined plazas, and a growing urban arts scene.