The twelve countries that comprise Latin America are a hugely popular destination, especially for women travelers. From Brazil’s carnivals to glaciers in the towering Andes in Argentina, this sub-continent is one of the most vibrant places to visit on the planet. If it were possible to narrow down its countless beautiful locations into a top 10, what would these be?
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
One of Chile’s most visited parks, Torres del Paine consists of an incredibly varied terrain, from mountainous peaks and glaciers to rivers and lakes. The landscape is abundant with orchids and other vegetation, while the animals making appearances include gray foxes, deer, guanacos (llama-like mammals) and rheas.
The original capital of Brazil, this city was founded by Portuguese settlers in 1549. It is steeped in history, with stunning examples of colonial architecture, as well as museums and eye-catching public art.
Easter Island, Chile
Many visitors to Chile make the journey westwards into the Pacific Ocean to take in the remote beauty of Easter Island. The island is world-renowned for its 887 monumental statues, known as ‘moai.’ These enigmatic sculptures were crafted by the original inhabitants around 1500 A.D. and are rightly regarded as wonders of ethnic architecture.
The most western volcano in the Andes where they encroach into Ecuador, Quilotoa lies 3,914 meters above sea level. An ancient eruption has resulted in a three-kilometer wide crater filled with a 250-metre deep lake. To visit this astounding site a bus can be hired from Zumbahua, a town 17-kilometres away. Hostels in the vicinity offer guides and mules that will allow you to explore the rugged landscape.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
This is the largest salt flat on the planet, stretching for 10,500 square kilometers, 3,600 meters above sea level. The skies above this natural phenomenon are known for being serene and cloudless, making for truly unforgettable photographs.
Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Tayrona covers some 30 square kilometers, and contains an amazing diversity of wildlife. Its gorgeous palm-tree lined beaches are lapped by Caribbean waves and are a haven for singles who relish swimming, snorkeling and surfing in the clear depths. After hectic water sports, what better way to relax than sipping cocktails while the sun melts into the western horizon?
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Patagonia is one of Argentina’s most visited regions, with numerous tourists being drawn to this 30-kilometre long phenomenon. This remorselessly shifting expanse of ice contains the third largest reserve of fresh water anywhere on Earth. If you’re lucky enough to have a camera to hand when shards of ice tumble into Argentino Lake you’ll capture images to cherish.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
This area is what many people might picture when imagining a tropical paradise. Its 21 islands shelter a diverse array of flora and fauna. Many holidaymakers take to the crystal clear Atlantic waters to swim with turtles, spinner dolphins or get close to humpback whales. Watching dense flocks of seabirds soaring above the jungle-clogged islets will be one sight that will linger.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
The world’s highest falls tumble for a spectacular 807 meters over the edge of a mountain, down into the Carrao River. Although the Falls are a popular tourist target, getting there involves an internal flight then a riverboat charter. But 900,000 make this journey each year.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Located 2,400 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu is an Inca dwelling that dates from the 15th century. Archaeologists have suggested this beautiful ruined location was built for an emperor. Peru’s most popular tourist destination, a cable car and bridge allow ease of access.