Latin America abounds with beautiful areas to explore on your tour.
Discover magnificent waterfalls, cosy colonial towns, dramatic ancient cities and everything in between.
Below, you can take a look at what we feel are the 10 most beautiful places you should experience in Latin America.
You can’t say Bolivia without saying Salar de Uyuni. Bolivia’s main attraction is one of the world’s most distinctive – and beautiful – natural phenomena.
The vast Salar de Uyuni salt plain covers an area of 10,500 km2, making it the world’s largest salt plain.
It’s always great to experience Salar de Uyuni, no matter what time of year you travel there.
In the rainy season, a thin layer of water lies on top of the salt plain, reflecting the blue sky, which makes it look as if heaven and earth are one. During the dry season, the plain becomes so dry that it cracks, and the area looks like a giant, white desert – an incredible sight.
In the area around Salar de Uyuni, you will also find lakes of all colours; green, red and blue lakes coloured by minerals and algae. Laguna Verde is one of the most popular lakes. It is located next to the Licancabur volcano and is a beautiful turquoise green colour.
If you would like to see flocks of flamingos, it might be a good idea to visit Laguna Colorada.
In Torres del Paine, you will discover an incredible landscape of unspoilt nature with huge mountain ranges, clear fjords, beautiful glaciers and forests. If you head out on one of the park’s many hiking trails, you will experience the beautiful, unspoilt nature of the national park.
Three towering mountain peaks dominate the landscape of the national park. The highest peak in Torres del Paine is Paine Grande, which is 2,884 metres above sea level.
Torres del Paine is also home to several different animal species, including the lama-like guanaco and pumas, which do, however, require a lot of luck to spot.
In addition, you may see condors with their wingspan of up to 3.2 metres, soaring along the cliffs in the park. In the blue lagoons, you may also be lucky enough to spot flocks of pink flamingos.
Situated on the Caribbean coast of Colombia is the historic city of Cartagena. In Cartagena, you will find both beautiful, historic neighbourhoods with colonial architecture and more modern areas.
The historic part of the city is surrounded by a city wall that once protected the city from pirates. In fact, Colombia was one of the first places the Spaniards began to colonise South America in the 16th century in their search for El Dorado, and Cartagena was named by Spanish colonists from the Spanish city of Cartagena.
In the historic centre of Cartagena, you can explore the cosy streets and their beautiful, colourful colonial buildings with balconies adorned with flowers.
You can also go for a stroll in the Getsemani district, where you can experience the area’s impressive graffiti for which the neighbourhood is known.
And be sure to visit Cartagena Cathedral, one of the city’s famous icons. The yellow cathedral was built in 1877 and is incredibly well preserved. Today, the cathedral is one of Cartagena’s most popular attractions.
Surrounded by cloud forest in the Andes in Peru, lies one of the 7 new wonders of the world – the abandoned Inca city, Machu Picchu.
The old Inca city is a truly unique example of the Incas’ ability to construct cities, beautifully integrated in the surrounding nature.
Machu Picchu was built in the mid-1400s and abandoned in the 1500s. Some people believe that the city was built as a place for the royal family and other nobles to stay. The Inca city was abandoned and forgotten until 1911, when, with the help of the local Peruvian farmer who had told him about the ruins, American archaeologist and explorer Hiram Bingham helped make Machu Picchu known to the outside world.
In the ruins, you will find amazing urban structures built on several levels. A particularly unique thing about Machu Picchu is that no mortar has been used in the construction. The Incas carved the stones so accurately that they could be placed directly on top of and next to each other.
Unfortunately, during the Spanish conquest many of the Inca cities were destroyed, but as Machu Picchu was hidden, it escaped destruction. Today, it is one of the best-preserved Inca cities.
In northern Guatemala in Tikal National Park, you can experience architecture from the Maya civilisation.
There is an ancient complex here, consisting of impressive temples, palaces, terraces, roads and sports facilities built by the Mayans between 600 BC and 900 AD
There are more than 3,000 ruins in Tikal National Park from the city of Yax Mutal, which was the most important city in the Mayan Empire from the year 200 to year 900.
The ruins include the impressive Tikal Temple 1, also known as the Temple of the Great Jaguar, which is one of the area’s finest monuments. The temple stands 47 metres high and consists of 9 levels of stone laid on top of each other.
As you explore the Mayan ruins, you are surrounded by the most beautiful green, lush rainforest. If you’re lucky, you might get to see monkeys, foxes and agoutis, which are a rodent.
In South America, you can explore the scenic, wild nature of the lush, green Amazon rainforest.
The 55 million-year-old rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. It stretches over nine different countries and covers around 3% of the Earth’s surface.
The Amazon rainforest teems with life. It is, for example, home to more than 40,000 different plant species, 3,000 different fish species, around 400 reptile species, more than 400 mammals and 1,300 different bird species. Not to mention all the animal and plant species we have yet to discover.
Flowing through the lush, dense jungle is the vast, 6,400-kilometre-long Amazon River. The Amazon is the world’s second longest river, surpassed only by the Nile.
It winds its way through the dense jungle, and a network of hundreds of smaller rivers flows into it.
The Amazon is also home to some amazing wildlife, such as the black caiman, which can grow to a length of up to 5 metres. There are also electric eels, anaconda snakes, river dolphins and the Brazilian giant otter, which can grow up to 1.7 metres long.
Situated on the border between Brazil and Argentina are the stunning Iguazú Falls. The waterfall stretches three kilometres, cascading from a height of 85 metres.
The waterfall is actually made up of 275 different waterfalls, which together create one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
Every second, 1,500 cubic metres of water flow down, making Iquazú one of the largest waterfalls in the world.
Green vegetation surrounds the waterfall. In total, there are more than 2,000 different plant species in Iguazú National Park, which is also home to no fewer than 80 different mammals and 400 different bird species.
Rio de Janeiro boasts one of the most stunning locations in the world. So if the fantastic atmosphere of the city, the delicious caipirinhas or samba are not enough to entice you here, then you should definitely come for the city’s amazing location and surroundings.
In Rio, you will find areas of natural beauty, parks and amazing mountains surrounding the city. Despite being classed as a metropolis, Rio boasts a beautiful, urban rainforest – the scenic Tijuca National Park, where you can get a taste of some of Brazil’s stunning scenery.
Situated in the national park is the stunning Mount Corcovado, topped by the Christ the Redeemer statue and offering one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro.
If you go there just before the sun goes down, you can experience the most beautiful sunset, bathing Rio de Janeiro in a golden glow.
1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador are the magical Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands consist of 19 larger islands and 127 smaller islands, islets and rocks. Isabela and Santa Cruz are the two largest islands. Galapagos is a wonderful destination as the islands offer so many different beautiful landscapes.
The Galapagos Islands are especially famous for their unique wildlife.
Among other things, you can experience the islands’ giant tortoises – the Galapagos tortoise – blue-footed boobies and sea lion colonies relaxing on the beaches along the coast.
The sea around the islands is home to amazing marine life, where everything from sharks to penguins, dolphins, sea turtles and whales are found, and Galapagos is said to be one of the most amazing places in the world to dive.
In Los Glaciares National Park lies the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier, towering from the pale blue water.
The glacier is 30 km long and 7.3 km high, and it originates from the Patagonian Inland Ice Field, which has created a total of 47 glaciers.
When you visit Perito Moreno, you can get relatively close to the huge glacier rising up out of Lake Argentino. There are routes that take you to different vantage points from which you can experience the amazing glacier.
It’s wild when huge pieces of ice detach from the glacier and crash into the water with a huge bang. But even though ice is falling off the glacier, Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually getting bigger. The reason for it growing is unknown, but some experts believe that it is due to its steep angle, which makes it more robust.
In Latin America, you’ll find beautiful, unique places pretty much wherever you go.
Each country has something unique to offer, and you will definitely enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
If you have any questions about our tours to Latin America, please contact our travel consultants, who will help you find your dream tour to Latin America.
Llamatours.co.uk – the Latin American Experience