South America is the ultimate destination for nature enthusiasts, cultural aficionados, and adventurous travelers. With 12 countries to explore, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures to discover. While popular tourist destinations such as Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest are must-visits, there are hidden gems in South America waiting to be explored. Here are some of the lesser-known places to add to your itinerary.
1. Valle de Cocora, Colombia: Located in the central Andes, this valley is home to the world’s tallest palm trees, reaching up to 60 meters tall. While the hike to see the palm trees can be challenging, the stunning views and unique flora make it worth the effort.
2. Huacachina, Peru: This small oasis town in the middle of a desert offers a unique experience for travelers. Take a dune buggy ride over the sand dunes or try sandboarding. The sunset over the desert is truly breathtaking.
3. La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica: This wildlife refuge and nature park is located just outside of San Jose. You can see a range of animals, including jaguars, sloths, and monkeys. The highlight is the five breathtaking waterfalls, which are easily accessible by hiking trails.
4. Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil: This car-free island off the coast of Brazil is a hidden gem with stunning beaches and clear blue waters. There are no cars on the island, and the only way to get around is by walking or taking a horse-drawn carriage.
5. Salinas Grandes, Argentina: This massive salt flat covers over 3,200 square miles and is a stunning sight to see. The glossy white surface stretches as far as the eye can see and creates surreal reflections of the sky and clouds.
These are just a few of the hidden gems waiting to be discovered in South America. With so much to explore, it’s impossible to see everything in one trip, but discovering these lesser-known places will give travelers a unique experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
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