The World´s Leading Travel Trade Show in Berlin recently placed South America on the map as it continues to soar upwards as far as travel destinations and trends go. We know why travellers go to Brazil and Argentina but what about other South American countries that are just waiting to go beyond your wildest expectations? All month we´ve been discussing Millennial Travellers who crave new experiences and different ways to travel. Research shows they´ll be making their way down south and we will be sure to follow. Here is a list of fabulous destinations that will make travelling to South America one of the best things you´ve done for yourself lately.
The progressive and unassuming Uruguay has just become a gem discovered by true travellers. Montevideo´s gay-friendly, marijuana selling and eclectic culture scene has guests craving for more. But Uruguay is much more than this. Some call it the refined alternative to Brazil because of its breath-taking beaches and party scenes. Punta del Este is Uruguay´s version of Ibiza or Trancoso. You also have fashionable La Barra, a secluded beach village. Surfers will enjoy the giant waves at La Pedrera and Punta del Diablo. Fancy hanging out at Cabo Polonio with its sand dunes and fresh sea breeze? Or how about travelling inland to meet local gauchos? Jose Ignacio is hot on the map of Uruguay because of its charm and reputation of becoming the hip destination.
Colombia, at last, is safe to visit and offers travellers much more than they ever hoped for. Volcanoes, tropical jungles, deserts, wild beaches, fishing villages, colourful port cities along its Caribbean coastline, mountains and the old cities of Bogota, Cali and Cartagena welcome travellers with open arms, coffee, salsa and cumbia.
One of our favourite off the beaten path destinations in Colombia is the unspoilt island of Providencia, a Caribbean paradise if you´re into chilling out on the beaches and enjoying transparent blue waters. Cocuy is also on our list if you´re looking to practice outdoor sports in amazing landscapes.
Nestled between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is known for enticing adventure travellers, culture lovers and sun-worshippers. Home to pumas, the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park provides outstanding glaciers, forests and lakes. The Atacama Desert, a 1000km stretch of science fiction landscape separates Uruguay from Peru to the north. Nobel prize winner Pablo Neruda’s Houses – Isla Negra, La Sebastiana and La Chascona will inspire avid readers and writers. Make sure to head to the Central Coast Beaches including Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Enjoy the bubbling hot springs in Laguna Verde and the small village of Chile. The San Rafael glacier offers boat rides along the wild ice formations and there´s plenty of camping and trekking opportunities in Villarica.
Experts say that here, the northern skies are the most transparent in the Southern hemisphere so make sure to gaze up at the stars in the Cerro Mamalluca Observatory.
All right, we know. Mexico is not a country in South America but it´s close and making a strong comeback. Aside from mariachis, tequila, paradise beaches and exhilarating nightlife, Mexico offers plenty more.
A country the size of Western Europe, Mexico is one of the greatest civilizations in the world. It offers travellers diverse landscapes, amazing food, pre-Hispanic sites, impressive pyramids, jungle, beaches and volcanoes.
If you´re into hiking be sure to head towards the largest canyon system in the world: Copper Canyon. Check out the country´s finest baroque churches in colonial Guanajuato, gift yourself some fine pieces of silver jewellery in Taxco or venture off into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Admire the murals at the ancient temples in Bonampak or go diving in Cozumel. Tulum is considered the Maya spiritual and cultural centre while Chichen Itza prides itself on being one of the most famous Mayan sites in the country.
What South American countries would you add to this list?