There are so many glorious parts of Latin America to explore that visiting all of them might be impossible, even in a lifetime. But these destinations are some truly life-changing spots that you won’t regret. You’ll feel as thought you were transported to ancient civilizations and pre-historic times where just you and the natural world around you exist, and it’s simply an opportunity that can’t be missed out on.
1. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
This stunning volcanic lake is in the Sierra Madre mountain range, and is surrounded by three volcanoes, and is the deepest lake in Central America. Atitlan translates directly to “at the water” in Nahuatl, and this volcano is incredibly tall at a height of over 3000 meters.
2. Torres del Paine, Chile
This national park is truly breathtaking. It is located over 2000 meters above the Patagonian steppe, and is maybe the most breathtaking park in all of South America – emerald forest, glowing blue glacier, part of Unesco’s Biosphere Reserve since 1978.
3. Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Not for those who are scared of heights. Live life like you’re one of the species in this forest and experience the Costa Rican forest from the upper canopies, with the clouds. It’s an unbeatable view, and the photos will be unforgettable. Here’s an incredibly diverse range of species and ecosystems that you can explore via hanging bridge.
4. Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
This spot is the largest salt flat in the entire world. It’s also where the sky and the land blend together, giving you endless photo opportunities. Here, reflections and constant bright sunshine play visual tricks on you in this surreal dreamland. It seems eternal stretching for over 4000 square miles. Cloud mixes with air at ground level, and you’ll feel like you’re in The Matrix.
5. Machu Picchu, Peru
Be sure to be in great shape when you go on this vacation that was the royal retreat of Incan emperor Pachacuti – the hike is not for the lazy or easily daunted. But if you take advantage of it during sunrise, you will experience an almost spiritual experience as you see the city start to emerge from the shadows, and the sun peeking over the ancient ruins.
6. Cerro Negro, Nicaragua
This destination, which translates into “Black Hill”, has black sand for stretches that will make you feel like you’re dreaming. It’s one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in Nicaragua. The lack of trees makes for an unusual and amazing aesthetic. But it’s a bit of a nerve-wracking hike, there’s no hiking trail to pave your way, just a natural path along the rim that takes you to the top. You can also surf down it. Scary but worth it!
7. Iguazu Falls, between Brazil and Argentina
These incredible waterfalls lie between Brazil and Argentina, and they are twice as tall and wide as Niagara Falls. You can get on special walkways around the falls to get up close to this wondrous beauty, and walk along the Brazilian side for the ultimate view.
8. The Great Blue Hole, Belize
This giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize looks straight out of a movie. Jacques Cousteua named it one of the top 10 scuba diving sites in the world, and explored it in 1971. The infinite species swimming amongst this sea hole (the largest in the world.)
9. Ica Desert, Peru
At one point, this used to be an active seafloor in an ancient ocean, but now, is one of the driest places ever, and where many fossils are found. The land is filled with shark teeth, and remnants from extinct creatures – the nearby Huachina oasis is a must-visit.
10. Angel Falls, Venezuela
This is the world’s highest waterfalls has been known by Venezuelans since the beginning of time. With a 1km drop, this might also make your stomach drop, but it’s so spectacularly worth it. Take a dip in the nearby lagoon or the natural pools which reside at the fall’s base.
11. Cocora Valley, Colombia
This striking valley in Columbia is filled with wax palm trees, the largest palm tree in the word, and also happens to be Colombia’s national tree. Explore Cocora’s misty green hills for a nature escape that you’ll never want to leave.
12. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Easily one of the most colorfully vibrant ecosystem – from coral reefs and cactus forests to giant tortoises and rainbow lizards, these islands boast a super minimal human footprint, and it’s hard to find a place that has this wildlife beat.
13. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
People might overlook this small nation when booking their Latin American getaways, but it’s for this exact reason that you’re missing out on true Guyanese beauty. The lack of tourism makes for a breathtaking off-the-beaten-path trip, with gems such as the Kaieteur Falls, and a national park situated on the Guiania Shield, one of the most remote geological formations ever.
14. Amazon, Quito, Ecuador
Oh, just a little rainforest you might have heard of: The Amazon. The entryway to Quito provides you with a truly unique bio-diversity sight from jaguars to anacondas, and hundreds of tour options. Truly immerse yourself in the jungle and stay in a luxury cabins inside the jungle to maximize the most of your experience.