First, you do not really know what it is to travel until you travel to South America. This continent, with a total of thirteen countries, home to great natural and cultural wonders such as the snowy peaks of the Andes, kilometers and kilometers of white sandy beaches, colonial cities and crowded indigenous villages of authenticity, and the Amazon rainforest cradle of the greatest variety of plant and animal species on the planet. The challenge is deciding where to begin. The following outlines a brief selection of some of the most unforgettable experiences starring travellers and by “Lonely Planet Team” in South America.
The traveller can post your own in www.lonelyplanet.com/south-america
- MACHU PICCHU, PERU
We walked for several days on the Inca Trail. The trip itself was so amazing that that I almost forgot where I took the path. The last day, at dawn, we began to glimpse and finally there was: Machu Picchu. He had seen hundreds of pictures but none of them did justice. It was pure magic, you had to see it in person.
- “OTAVALO MARKET”, ECUADOR
While you visit the Saturday market in Otavalo at first to buy Andean crafts, its real treasure is its people. I love to chat with the locals, who seem happy to share a bit of their lives with a stranger, and listen to their sad and inspiring stories.
- NIGHT OF BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Dinner at 10:00 p.m, cocktails at midnight, clubs and discos to 02:00 a.m… It is very easy to find where to eat, drink or dance until the wee hours of the morning. From the popular nightlife in Palermo and the elegant halls of Microcentro (city center) to the authentic grills San Telmo, I was always caught the palpable energy of Buenos Aires.
- COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO, URUGUAY
We must discover the historic district, Unesco World Heritage, the lighthouse and the drawbridge of “Puerta de Campo”. The cobbled streets with old houses are especially photogenic when “ceibos” flourish.
- “W CIRCUIT”, TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
All that is said is that weather in Patagonia is true. We face the horizontal snow, howling wind and sleet. But we also saw breathtaking mountains, glacial lakes and spectacular skies. Performing the “W Circuit” was really amazing, and well worth the effort. Luckily, my partner, who has the hotter than my blood, could ride our shop and make dinner in horrible conditions.
- UYUNI, BOLIVIA
Not many places in the more otherworldly than the Uyuni salt flat Earth, the plain of the world’s largest salt located in the Bolivian surreal highlands. It is recommended visit if you are traveling several days by the stunning Southwest. It is an amazing place.
- BEACH, BRAZIL
I was not very beach until I met the splendor of the Brazilian coast. The thousands of kilometers of perfect white sand show different scenarios, from bikinis to full extensions lonely idyllic landscapes. You found the paradise you looked for.
- CENTRAL RESERVE OF CENTRAL SURINAME, SURINAME
After a hard drive in an old bus and a couple of hours canoe, I reached the rugged and lush island of Foengoe. I spent a few days walking, observing monkeys, birds and enjoying the views from the steep and elegant Volltzberg. At night the screen, a bit muffled cries of monkeys until I slept.
- THE PATH TO THE LOST CITY, COLOMBIA
There were not only the two thousand steps leading up the “Lost City” covered by the jungle, there also were the bathrooms and diving in crystal clear waters along the way, and observe everyday life in the villages of indigenous tribes.
- ANGEL FALLS, VENEZUELA
After eleven hours of flight, ten of bus ride, six on motorized boat, oars and four hiking, the sky opened when sat next to the falls literally left us breathless. A whole group lacked the breath to the amazing and incredible panorama before us. If only, we could have a look, the effort was worth.
- TRINIDAD, PARAGUAY
If you are in Paraguay, do not stop visiting indigenous people converted to Christianity by the Jesuits of the Trinity and Jesus. Risen from the rubbles, these religious ruins beautifully preserved do not receive many visitors and you can probably roam around alone.