4 Reasons To Love Travelling South America
Encompassing 13 countries that occupy more than twice the size of Australia, South America relishes in its diversity. Whether it comes to culture, food, heritage, or even geography, every country is as similar as it is different from its neighbours. For example, influences of early civilisation make Peru and Bolivia look alike, but their traditional dresses can be quite distinct.
Anyone who’s had the opportunity to explore the continent, on a long trip or vacation, will confess that there are several reasons to visit South America.
We’ll look at 4 reasons to love travelling to South America.
Diverse and beautiful landscapes
If you’re searching for geographical diversity, South America will not disappoint. First, South America is home to the longest River in the world, which dissects the vast Amazon Rainforest. Visiting the Amazon, you will experience the biodiversity of the forest and the over 2.5 million insect species that will leave you baffled.
As you traverse the continent, you’ll not fail to notice its undulating topographies. The Elqui Valley in Chile is South America’s major pisco-producing region and is one of the best locations for stargazing the solar eclipse. If you plan to visit Chile in June 2019, you should understand why the Elqui Valley is a great place to watch the solar eclipse.
To the extreme south of the continent, you will find little islands, such as El Cerro Fitz Roy and El Glacier Perito Moreno in Argentina, and Torres Del Paine in Chile. Located on the western part of the continent you’ll find the Atacama Desert in Chile, the world’s driest non-polar desert. Also, amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia, you will get to the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat.
If you are after hiking, you can try the Andes Cordillera, the longest mountain range in the world. The Andes range cover parts of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. The highest point of this mountain range is at Mount Aconcagua, cresting at 6,961 meters.
If you are more enthralled watching waterfalls and marvelling at their atrociousness, the Iguazu waterfalls at the border of Brazil and Argentina will give you an epic spectacle. You can watch the falls from the Brazilian side or the Argentine side. The Brazilian view offers a panoramic display while the Argentine side takes you through different viewing angles. And if you have a taste for sandy beaches, South America has the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
Tapestry of Cultures
South America is the epitome of culture and home to the most significant cultural carnival in the world. As you traverse the different countries on the continent, you will experience big cultural events, especially the Rio carnival in Brazil.
If you are the type that likes to move your body rhythmically, South America will give you the pulsating rhythms. From the cities to the pueblos, people dance salsa pretty much everywhere in South America. As you move further north into the continent, the dance grows stronger. Unofficially, Colombia is said to take the mantle as the capital of Salsa. The dance is a significant part of the local culture of this city. As you head towards Cuba, you will witness the reverberating influence of music as people move along with their music.
Apart from music and dance, football occupies a sacrosanct position in the hearts and minds of South Americans. Football events are always an excuse for friends to converge and party. The Copa America, held every two years, infuses a lively atmosphere in all South American countries, as people converge to enjoy the games.
Rich Historical Sites
South America is home to ancient, beautifully preserved cities that offer great insights into the host countries’ unique historical tapestry. Machu Pichu in Northern Peru, La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) in Colombia and the oldest surviving city of Centro Historico De Cusco in Peru, are just a few. Cities such as Salvador in Brazil, Colonia in Uruguay, Cuenca in Ecuador, and Cartagena in Colombia epitomise their country’s heritage.
If you love eating delicious, local food wherever you travel, South America has more to offer than you could imagine. You’ll discover a fantastic range of typical foods across the countries you will traverse. The luscious cuisine of the continent has influences from Africa, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
You’ll sample quinoa and Amazon fruits such as cocona and aguaje. For those with exotic taste buds, you’ll find tasty meats like alpaca, Guinea pig (cuy), and wild boar (jabalí). Peruvian cuisine has some Chinese influence, so you can visit Chifa restaurants to get a mix of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine.