TOP 5 Destinations in South America[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column centered_text=”true” width=”2/3″ el_class=”sidebar-left-sec”][vc_column_text]
SOUTH AMERICA truly is one of the most remarkable continents on the planet. Before starting our journey from South America to South East Asia, Laura and I wrote down a list of our ‘must-see’ places within South America. We had planned to be in the continent for 5 months roughly, entering through Chile, making our way North all the way to Colombia, but to be honest we were not prepared for just how beautiful South America was. We had no plans. Literally, when we decided Latin America was going to be almost half a years worth, we left with ZERO plans. The most adventure, fun & greatest friends we met were centered around the notion of booking as you go, and we wouldn’t do it any other way.
We’ve made as short a list as we could, detailing our Top 5 Destinations in South America. We will never advise you to go somewhere that we ourselves havent yet gone. So without further ado, here is a list of our SOUTH AMERICA TOP 5![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”right_sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”646″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07YKQHLRF/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B07YKQHLRF&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisandlau09-20&linkId=ec57e75ad99607ac0228bb29e992836b”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”647″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07SV5KYYB/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B07SV5KYYB&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisandlau09-20&linkId=f0771e98f6a38edf0bf2658326547f25″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”648″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B074S2TXZK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B074S2TXZK&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisandlau09-20&linkId=2dbe1a09616c9c1e31c26281f98df43f”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]
You’ve probably heard of this place, or at least seen the pictures form this epic mountainous range, tucked away in Chile’s Patagonia region lies the unforgettable Torres Del Paine national Park. This was for us the MOST monumental hike we had ever done, and certainly the most breathtaking views. Torres Del Paine encompasses a variety of different hikes for different abilities, but the one we chose based on time and resources was the 9 hour return day hike that takes you to the base of the parks 3 granite peaks known as Torres Del Paine. From left to right, Torres d’Agostini, Torres Central and Torres Monzino. They extend up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, and are joined by the Cuernos del Paine.
Ensure that you purchase your national park entrance ticket a the lodge prior to setting out on the hike otherwise you will need to track back and purchase or risk getting a fine. For Aussies the current conversion is around $37, while the USD is currently at $25.
There are a variety of other popular hikes to do whilst in the national park. Most experienced or adventurous hikers opt for the more challenging hikes like
O circuit, a full length 120km loop of the park which can take anywhere from 7-11 days or
W circuit, 4-5 day route covering 52km*
PATAGONIA QUICK FACTS
Patagonia is not a country, it is a region
It is not isolated to just Chile, it covers almost more than 50% of Argentina as well.
The main tourist attraction are the hikes, with Torres Del Paine in Chile, to El Calafate in Argentina
Both countries speak Spanish as the native tongue, but most regions will have their own dialect of Spanish that can be difficult to understand at times
There are 11 national parks within Patagonia, make sure you know which one you want to visit before hand
Chile & Argentina have different currencies, make sure you have both the Chileno Peso & the Argentine Peso
Never seen a glacier before? Don’t worry, neither had we. Bit difficult when you live in Australia. And let me tell you this one took our breath away. To get here if you’re in Chile, we recommend taking a bus (its pretty much your only option) from Puerto Natales (the main town) to El Calafate. Bus companies like Big Sur will get you there. Not cheap..you’ve been warned! It’ll take you anywhere from 5-8 hours depending on time schedules and weather. Or how many times the bus breaks down or federal police stop the bus to ask for your passports. And if your anything like us, finish the trip with x2 stolen passports! (another story for another time)Perito Moreno Glacier is in the South West region of Argentina’s Patagonia region, and is one of the only Glaciers in the entire world that is constantly growing from the rear. Meaning; if you see it break off from the front, dont worry its always replacing itself. And its seriously MASSIVE! 30km long and 5km wide, it will take you a FULL day of exploring to really take in and appreciate this natural masterpiece. So get there early, take lots of photos, have a break in the main lodge at the start of the boardwalk and get back out there for part 2 of your day.
PERITO MORENO QUICK FACTS
It is still within the Argentine side of Patagonia, a short drive from El Calafate
It is constantly replacing when its glacial shelves drop off, so dont worry its not climate change
You can walk along the Glacier for an hour or so and if the weather holds up you can go inside one of the ice caves. All for a cost of course.
The cost to access Perito Moreno is $800ARS ($16AUD)* because it is inside the Los Glaciares national park. They may get you to pay at a stop along the way before you get to the Glacier so make sure you have Argentine pesos on you to pay up front, they most likely will not accept credit card.
There are always signs out the front of most tourist attractions that will show you the difference in ticket price between residents and non-residents. Its a foreign concept but always look for the wording ‘tarifa general’ (general fee) OR ‘extranjeros’ (foreigners). You will always be charged more as a non-resident all across South America
Hailed by Sir David Attenborough (my naturalist hero) as one of the largest waterfalls in the world. It’s is 2.4km (1.5miles) across and cradles the borders between Brazil and Argentina. An absolutely breathtaking sight to behold, you literally feel mother nature move as you take in this beast of a waterfall. For the most explosive action, head to Garganta Del Diablo (throat of the Devil) where you will see 3-4 falls colliding into the same bed of water, creating a mist as high as the waterfall itself. We made a video from our time here which you can check out right here
What you will need to pack is a rain jacket, because if you get close the falls, you will get wet! Your two options to consider when deciding on Iguassu falls is from which side to view it from. Its a bit like Niagara Falls, do you see it from the Canadian or American side? Because we travelled north from Buenos Aires into Brazil, we chose the Argentinian side. It is far more beautiful and powerful than the Brazilian side and you will spend more time taking in the sights in Argentina than you will in Brazil.
If you want to see if from the Brazil side, you will need to cross the international border, and for Aussies that means you will need a Visa in advance. So be sure to check DFAT before you consider this.
If you’re feeling brave enough, you can take the boat tour from the bottom of the falls which takes you right up to the foot of one of the falls and get covered in mist! In terms of time, we did it in one day, but to really soak it up (pun intended) take the two days and give yourself (and your memory card) enough time to process this day.