Bucket Lists come in all shapes and sizes, and feature all kinds of whacky, weird and wonderful things to see and do before the “proverbial” kicks in. Almost by definition Bucket Lists involve an element of adventure, discovery, excitement, and adrenalin – what’s the point in a bucket list that includes everyday activities or things that are easy to achieve?! Books, blogs, websites and even movies have been dedicated to “Bucket Lists”, and feature suggestions of all manner of activities to consider when compiling your very own list, however one thing, above all else, is almost universally featured – travel! Lists are adorned with activities associated with travel, from visiting places on the far side of world, to trekking to some mythical destination; and climbing up an impossibly high mountain, to camping in the wilderness and beyond. Travel, when done properly, can tick all the bucket list boxes: it is adventurous, thrilling, memorable, different, and inspiring. The continent of South America is a dream location as a bucket list destination, as it is jam-packed full of so many fascinating locations, beautiful destinations, adventurous activities and more it ticks all the boxes. Bucket Lists should be something special, a one-of-a-kind adventure, and South America certainly delivers. Read our top 10 activities on your South America Bucket List Adventure!…
- Visit Christ The Redeemer
The iconic statue, known as Cristo Redentor in Brazil, is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The statue is located on the top of a beautiful hill, and the views of the Rio de Janeiro bay, surely one of the most beautiful cities in the world, make this one special place to experience.
- Dance Tango in Buenos Aires
Argentina is a special country with much to offer, and its capital, Buenos Aires, is a living breathing South American adventure in itself. We could have included a number of different Buenos Aires activities in our bucket list, such as visiting an Argentine grilled steak and wine restaurant, exploring the ancient cemetery of Recoleta, or going to watch a game of football; but if there is one experience that cannot be matched anywhere else it is to sit back and watch the local masters dance tango. For street exhibitions try the Boca region, but there are plenty of evening shows to admire.
- Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Possibly the most famous trek in the world, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most rewarding, difficult and enthralling experiences available. Machu Picchu is one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and, as if that isn’t enough, also happens to be one of the most beautiful historical ruins on the planet. The Inca Trail involves four days of trekking along the Inca Trail, the old road network built by the Inca, reaching Machu Picchu on the morning of the final day, and nothing is more rewarding than the majestic site of Machu Picchu for the first time after four days of hard work and perseverance. A true South America highlight and deserved inclusion on any Bucket List.
- Be In Awe of Iguazu Falls
These epic waterfalls, which straddle the Argentina-Brazil border, dwarf the equally famous Niagara Falls and consist of up to 300 small waterfalls scattered over a 2.7 kilometre long chasm. This is one place where it is really possible to get up close and personal with nature, and observe its raw power. To make the most of the falls be sure to visit both the Brazilian side, which has panoramic views of the falls, and the Argentine side, where is it possible to get close to the falls. Iguazu Falls are truly one of natures most powerful and beautiful wonders.
- Visit the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Jungle is a beautiful natural marvel difficult to put into words – visiting the Amazon is a must. Despite its giant size and scale (it is the largest rainforest on Earth, and also contains something like 20% of all the species of fish and birds found in the world) experiencing the Amazon is relatively easy, and river cruises, jungle treks, and Amazon lodge stays can be found in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Amazon is only for bird-watching either – although it is a bird-watchers dream due to the birds of paradise on display, the sights and sounds of the jungle are enough to create a wonderful memory for any traveller looking to complete their Bucket List!
- Go Wildlife Watching in the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are one of the true wonders of the world, and are rightfully deserving of their place on any South America bucket list. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and infamous across the planet ever since Darwin’s visit on the Voyage of the Beagle, visiting this archipelago allows experiences with nature and wildlife impossible elsewhere. Explore the islands overland to learn more about the volcanic forces at play that created the islands, or cruise through the islands to enjoy a wonderful wildlife-watching adventure to spot the famous animals of the Galapagos, including the giant tortoise, iguanas, red and blue footed boobies, and
- Discover the Magic of the Salar de Uyuni
Imagine a world so large that it can be seen from space, so flat that it can be used for scientific experiments, so beautiful it will take your breath away, at an altitude so high that the Milky Way almost feels within touching distance by night, and so unique it is like nothing else on earth. This is Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni: the largest salt flat on earth, a seemingly endless eternity of whiteness, scattered with sparse “islands”, and surrounded by some of the most stunning scenic vistas on Earth. This is not an everyday holiday experience, in fact this is one of the most isolated regions on our planet, but a 4×4 tour (pretty much the only way to visit this region) through this epic landscape has no comparison.
- Wine Tasting in Chile
Chile and Argentina can debate amongst themselves who producers the greatest wine, and it is true that Argentinian Malbec is a delight (tour the Mendoza or Cafayate region for the best wineries), however Chile gets our vote for the best wine tours and wine tasting opportunities. Sip on your favourite bottle of Chilean red or white, and make the most of the scenic backdrop of the Andes – nowhere else on earth can wine tasting be done in such wonderful settings as South America. One for wine lovers.
- Visit the Equator
Although visiting the equator may seem a little corny, for anyone that doesn’t live anywhere near the centre of the globe, visiting the equator on land is actually a fun thing to do. The equator straddles the whole continent, however possibly the best place to join in the fun is at Ecuador’s capital city of Quito, which is a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage city in its own right, but which is only a few miles away from the equator. At the equator there are various experiments, games, and facts at the visitor centre, as well as the obligatory photo opportunity!
- Dance The Night Away at Rio Carnival
The Rio Carnival is probably the most famous party on the planet. Take to the streets of Ipanema and Copacobana, and dance the night away to the samba-beats of Brazil whilst wearing fabulous customer, and blend right in to best party you will ever experience. South Americans know how to party, and if there was one capital of partying, it would be Rio!
Thanks to Jonathan from Go Andes for his help compiling our Top 10 Bucket List Adventures in South America. Jonathan has travelled throughout South America himself and has visited these destinations, so he knows how amazing they really are! He now uses his travelling experiences at Go Andes to help compile and advise on things like trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, adventure holidays to Bolivia, and cruises in the Galapagos Islands.