The enchanting beauties of South America in 14 cities you need to know on your next trip.
The Latin American continent reserves enchanting landscapes due to its abundant nature and virgin forest. A destination reserved for many tourists and travelers from all over the world, these places inspire and bring us directly to the fairy tales narrated during our childhood.
These cities that we have listed below reserve enchanting beauties and you need to know each one of them in your next destination. In fact, for those who reside on this continent, the trip becomes much more accessible.
The city that has many postcards, located in the region of Antioquia, attracts many visitors, either because of the colorful historic center or because of the past submerged in the waters of the dam. Previously, the city had already disappeared due to a flood that sank much of the city. For those who venture out on sailboats through the waters of the dam, it is possible to see towers of old churches. Still, because of the dam, the city was rebuilt gaining a new look, this time tourist. About 50 kilometers from Medellín, getting to the city is relatively easy due to the buses connected to the metro that leave several times a day.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
This is the gateway city to the Atacama Desert. Around the city it is possible to notice traces of the desert itself. In fact, the driest desert with the highest altitude in the world. The city itself, carries in its architecture the history of ancient civilizations in contrast with a nature formed by blue lagoons, giant cacti, conical volcanoes and rock formations that seem to have come out of children's tales. The wildlife devise another attraction. Species such as Llamas and graceful flamingos are natural inhabitants of the area. For tours, direct contact with tourist agencies that provide guides is recommended. In other stretches it is possible to take a bike ride, in which you can easily visit some attractions.
Machu Picchu, Peru
In 1983 the archaeological site of Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. One of the main pilgrimage destinations for travelers in South America – with around 2,500 daily visits – this region preserves in its ruins all the perceptions of the ancient civilizations that existed there before the colonial period. A true space of the past in our present. It is also considered one of the seven wonders of the world, this is certainly due to the fact that the scenery, made up of the ruins of Inca civilizations aligned with the natural beauties of the region, recalls the imagination of fairy tales. There are several ways to visit, but the main one is the classic trail, which, although challenging, is one of its main attractions.
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
The only city in Uruguay with Portuguese features. In 1995, it received the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The city that most retains its colonial aspect, whether for the architecture present in the buildings, or for the atmosphere and climate of the region. For years it was the center of dispute between Spain and Portugal, this conflict only ends when Uruguay gains independence. Despite the Spanish traits scattered throughout the city, the Portuguese influence is predominant. The small town survives on the basis of local tourism and its small businesses.
Villa la Angostura, Argentina
Considered by many as the “Garden of Patagonia” – located about 83 kilometers from Bariloche – Villa la Angostura is surrounded by rocky landscapes and borders the large lake Nahuel Huapi. The characteristics of Angostura are very similar to Bariloche and it is the ideal destination to stay after discovering the snowy mountains. Interestingly, there is a decree that determines that all houses must be built with wood and stone, forming a charming urban and architectural design. Many houses in the region were built during the period when the city was founded, carrying with them historical marks. They also bear the traces of the architect Alejandro Bustillo, who built many of them, and which remain preserved to this day.
On the shore of the lake and Villarica volcano, is the small and magnificent city of Pucón. A nature composed of native vegetation creates the shore of the great lake and outlines the city's surroundings, giving it its natural beauty. Every year, many water sports practitioners visit the city, especially in the summer and, generally in winter, trakking and horseback riding become the favorite sports. The city’s coastal volcano arouses much curiosity, either because of its recent activity – in 2015 it erupted – or because of the name mentioned by the Mapuche: “Rucapíllan” which means “house of the devil”.
The second most visited archaeological national park that also reserves ruins of Inca architecture in Peru. The meaning of Ollantaytambo – according to some scholars – is “a place of observation from below”. This refers directly to the great mountains of the region, in which the ancient cities were built on their slopes, so you can observe the height of the mountains from below. From the buildings, which are now mostly ruins, it is possible to notice the great movement centered on religion, agriculture and militarism. The entrance to the archaeological site is through the city, where it is possible to stay overnight and get to know the local commerce.
The small, historic mining town has good attractions for those looking for a peaceful trip. Far beyond the cuisine, which in itself already arouses many attractions, the city has in its architecture a historical conservation of the period that refers to the great search for gold. There, the houses, the small streets and churches carry the baroque trait that recall Portuguese characteristics. Most of its attractions are concentrated in the historic center and this makes your trip and visit to the tourist attractions calm and at your own pace.
Known as the “white Bolivian city”, Sucre has several houses and buildings that go back to the colonial period. Over time, the city received several different names such as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca. Although the political center is located in La Paz, Sucre, was the first city and is the constitutional center of Bolivia, another fact that represents its historical richness. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the historic center, such as the Plaza 25 de Mayo, one of the main squares of the city that concentrates numerous typical Bolivian restaurants and cafes. Worth knowing.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
The beauty of this Colombian port city extends between the colorful houses and the beaches with crystal clear water. A very affordable destination for those who live in Brazil and enjoy beaches. But, this destination of many tourists, also draws attention for the tropical climate almost throughout the year. Its historic center holds several surprises. It's worth walking without a certain destination and finding old buildings. Visiting restaurants and cafes is also an important recommendation.
A favorite destination for backpackers, Cusco, a Peruvian city renowned for its altitude, has a lot to discover. Ancient temples of the Inca civilization live there. Incidentally, in quechua, Cusco – or Qosco – means the city chosen by the Sun god. This represents the centrality of the ancient civilization. On the outskirts of the city it is possible to notice the overlapping of cultures. In certain stretches, large Inca buildings, in ruins after the colonial period, and in others, buildings that return to Spanish architecture.
Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador. In 1999, due to the architecture present since the 18th and 19th centuries, it was named a World Heritage Site. Founded in 1577 with the original name of Santa Ana de los rios de Cuenca, this city has a specific charm, coming from its clusters of parks, squares and churches and the whole panorama of Andean mountains with their shimmering colors. The archaeological site of Ingapirca is certainly one of the most visited places and there you can visit temples of civilization Canari, a community that succumbed before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Ouro Preto, Brazil
Ouro Preto and its Brazilian Baroque impresses any visitor. These buildings, built during the gold rush period in Minas Gerais, remain intact, and keep memories of old Brazilian artists and architects. Interestingly, in the period of construction of the city, which was reserved for the ore harvest, part of the collected riches stayed there, resulting in the construction of churches and large houses that boast wealth. Evidently, the aesthetic pattern copied the rhythm of Portuguese architecture, but with fewer resources. It is worth mentioning that most visits to churches are charged an average amount of R$ 5.00.
Puerto Varas, Chile
The panoramic view of Puerto Varas is one of the most beautiful. From the city it is possible to see the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes and their snowy peaks. The city is located in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. Its temperature varies according to the time of year. This means snow in cooler times and scorching sun in the summer months. One of the points that most attract tourists is the Church of the Sacred Heart, whose red and white colors contrast with the view of the volcanoes in the background. But the attractions are not restricted to the historic center. The city is surrounded by exuberant nature with crystalline lakes and small waterfalls.
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