With Brazil in the world’s spotlight this year, as host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there has never been a better time to experience the continent’s Latin passion for yourself, so why not join to South America this summer. It is no surprise that South America attracts millions of visitors each year, as lovers of the great outdoors will be spellbound by its beautiful and treacherous landscape. Boasting mountain ranges, Amazonian rain forests, Inca Trails and arid deserts, South America has everything any avid traveller could ever wish for, and the very best way to see and experience the stunning continent is on foot with a guided tour. Whether you are looking for a beach holiday or a mountain trek South America has something for everyone, so here are the top five things you must visit during your stay.
1. Machu Picchu – Peru
Hidden deep within the majestic Peruvian tree covered mountains, there is a secret city waiting to be discovered. Widely regarded as the shining jewel of Peru, the historic Incan kingdom of Machu Picchu welcomes travellers from the four corners of the world who want to see the ancient archaeological site for themselves. Machu Picchu can be enjoyed by all via a luxurious train ride right past the city where you can enjoy the marvellous views in style and comfort. The very best way to see the ruins however is via the original Inca Trails where you can follow the footsteps of the Incan ancestors for a few days and stare in wonder at this mystical city.
2. Amazon Rainforest – Ecuador
South America is synonymous with rainforests, and the Amazon covers a staggering 40% of the continent. The rain forest is over 55 million years old, and its moist broad leaf forests and tropical climes provide a unique eco system for thousands of indigenous species. Although the breath taking scenery is so inviting, a trip to the Amazon rainforests is no mean feat, and will require an experienced guide and specialist knowledge and equipment to negotiate the many dangers present. If you love the great outdoors then a guided tour is the perfect way to experience monkeys, macaws, birds and big cats in the wild.
3. Angel Falls – Venezuela
Famous for its coffee and cocoa exports, Venezuela is one of the most urbanized countries in South America. However Venezuela also benefits from its very own national park, Canaima National Park, where tourists can be amazed by the spectacular Angel Falls. These waterfalls are the highest anywhere is the world, with mind blowing drops that wind their way into exquisite lagoons surrounded by tropical jungles.
4. The Galapagos Islands – Ecuador
These famous islands are one of the most untouched areas on the face of the planet where you can see wild animals including sea lions, penguins and turtles play without fear of harm from their many onlookers. There is nowhere else in the world quite as wonderful for animal lovers to get up close and personal with some incredible creatures.
5. Easter Island – Chile
Also known as Isla de Pascua or Rapa Nui by the Spanish and Polynesian inhabitants of South America, Easter Island is one of the world’s most sacred sites of historical importance. Home to the impressive yet mysterious stone Moai figures linked to Polynesian culture, this stunning island boasts not one but two white sand beaches that stretch along the coast. Easter Island is the perfect sight-seeing destination for sun lovers who want to soak up some rays while indulging in a spot of surfing or snorkeling in the tropical waters.
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