The 5 Best Countries to Visit in South America

South America is home to 12 fascinating countries. South America has everything from beautiful islands and wildlife to see in Ecuador to historical cities and monuments to visit in Peru. If you love archeology and learning about new cultures, then a visit to South America is for you! Listed below are the 5 best countries to visit in South America!

1- Peru (Cusco)

The 5 Best Countries to Visit in South America
Rainbow Mountain

Peru is the most visited place in the world and is home to incredible attractions, beautiful beaches, and the Amazon Rainforest. The rainforest covers 60% of the landscape in Peru.


Cusco and Lima are the best cities to visit in Peru. In both cities, you will find delicious cuisines to try, meet the locals, and learn about their culture and history.


The Sacred Valley is a must-see attraction in Cusco, Peru, where you will be able to go to Machu Picchu and many other Incan and pre-Incan sights. Other attractions in the area are Pisac Market Place, Ollantaytambo, Moras and Moray ruins, Rainbow Mountain, and Red Valley.

Machu Picchu:

photo of machu picchu
Photo by Chelsea Cook on

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel. The Inca citadel is 7,970 ft above sea level. You can hike to the Sun Gate and reach 9,000 ft above sea level.

Ollantaytambo + Pisac Market:

Ollantaytambo is a town and Inca Archeological site located at 9,160 ft above sea level. Visiting the Pisac Market on a Sunday was a more authentic experience, as the local Quechua communities set up shops on the main square dressed in their colorful clothing on this day. The Peruvian women wear hand-woven traditional skirts called polleras or melkkhay made with Bayeta or wool cloth. The skirt has a band that is colorful called puyto!

Moras + Moray Ruins:

The Moray ruins are terraces used by the Incas to experiment and ensure all land, regardless of the altitude and weather, can be used for farming. The Moras ruins is a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is composed of 5,000 salt ponds.

Rainbow Mountain + Red Valley:

brown rocky mountain under a cloudy sky
Photo by Trace Hudson on

Rainbow Mountain is considered a holy site in Peru and is a spectacular multi-colored mountain. The colors come from sediment in the minerals throughout the area.

Amazon Rainforest:

You can explore the jungle and Amazon River in Peru to see different monkeys, otters, sloths, dolphins, and more. A trip to the Amazon in Peru will be worth a visit.

Similar Post: How to Spend Six Days in Cusco, Peru

2- Ecuador (Galapagos Islands)

Galapagos Islands:

Ecuador is home to the Galapagos Islands. The islands emerged from the bottom of the sea in the form of volcanic upheavals.


Giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and more live in the Galapagos Islands.


In the Galapagos Islands, you can go swimming in the turquoise-colored waters, kayaking, or even snorkeling amongst Sea Lions.


The Sierra Negra Volcano is a touristy attraction located at the southeastern end of Isabela Island. This volcano is active, and the name translates to Black Mountain.

3- Brazil

The 5 Best Countries to Visit in South America
Rio De Janeiro

Brazil is the largest country in South America. Brazil is home to vibrant cities, beautiful beaches, the amazon rainforest, waterfalls, and even a desert-like landscape.


Cities to visit in Brazil are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Recife. The most famous attraction to see is Christ the Redeemer, a statue of Jesus Christ. The Jesus Christ statue is 30 meters high.


Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach are the best two beaches to relax at in Rio De Janeiro. You can experience water activities like paddleboarding or surfing. 

Amazon Rainforest:

The amazon has wildlife to go and see. Take the cruise of a lifetime and visit Manaus. 


Brazil is home to a few waterfalls to visit. The best one is known as Foz do Iguacu. At Foz do Iguacu, you will find a desert-like landscape with beautiful blue pools of water.


The 5 Best Countries to Visit in South America

Columbia is one of the least expensive South American countries to visit. Columbia is home to the Caribbean Coast, Andes Mountains, the Amazon, and beautiful cities.


The best place to learn about Columbia’s history is to visit Pablo Escobars’ estate of Hacienda Napoles, which they have turned into a museum. There you will find Escobars’ antique car collection and the Cessna planes used for drug trafficking. You will also find his private zoo, which is home to hippos. A historic city to see is The Lost City or Ciudad Perdida, abandoned in the 1500s. You have to hike along the jungle to get to the destination. 


Cartagena is the best city to visit in Columbia, as it is located near a beautiful beach and has colonial architecture.


One of the best places to relax is the white-sand beaches at Tayrona National Park.


Other incredible places to see in Columbia are the Andes Mountains and the Amazon.


Iguazu Falls

Argentina is most famous for being home to Iguazu falls. The country has vibrant cities and must-see natural attractions.

Iguazu Falls:

The cascades stretch for 2 miles. The falls are along the Iguazu River.


Patagonia is home to mountains, lakes, and glaciers. The scenery is beautiful!

Buenos Aires:

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is the main attraction, as you will find art galleries, opera performances, and 5-star restaurants. You can even take a tango class to learn about their culture.

Ibera Wetlands:

Ibera Wetlands is a great place to spot incredible wildlife in their natural habitat, as you will be able to see everything from caiman crocodilians to giant anteaters.

The Wine Region:

Argentina is known for its wineries. Mendoza is a popular destination that has restaurants and parks. Mendoza produces the most amount of wine in the country. 

Have you ever been to South America? We listed the 5 best countries to visit in South America. Comment below and tell us about your experience and which country you recommend booking!

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