Quite literally strewn with natural wonders, the South American continent is a land of exceptional landscapes. Here are a few of the most spectacular, from a list that is far from exhaustive.
The ancestral land and cradle of numerous ancient civilisations, Latin America fascinates as much by its rich history as by its beauty. Latin America is truly dotted with hundreds of breathtaking landscapes that attract visitors from all over the world. Here are a few of these landscapes that we warrant will make you want to book an airline ticket straight away.
Torres del Paine National Park in Chile
The Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia is a genuine natural wonderland. Mountains, lakes, plains, glaciers – an authentic compendium of the most beautiful landscapes of our planet in a UNESCO biosphere, spread over 181,000 hectares/450,000 acres of park.
Iguazu falls in Brazil and Argentina
One of the most beautiful frontiers of the world is that which embraces Brazil and Argentina at the Iguazu falls. In the heart of a tropical forest, they boast 275 waterfalls that stretch for three kilometres (1.8mi) The largest fall is 700m/2,300ft long and 80m/260ft high.
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
On the heights of Bolivia, the Salar de Uyuni is probably one of the best-known landscapes of Latin America. This huge desert which stretches for over 10,500 km²/6,500mi² is entirely composed of salt as far as the eye can see and it is estimated that the site contains over 60 billion tons of salt.
Green lagoon in Bolivia
Bolivia is also home to another treasure, the green lagoon. To the southwest of Salar de Uyuni, Licancabur volcano is bordered by a lake whose exceptional colours range from turquoise to dark emerald. At nearly 6,000m/20,000ft above sea level, it is one of the highest lakes in the world.
Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina
The Perito Moreno is most probably the most famous glacier of Patagonia. Wedged between two majestic mountains, it is 30km/18mi long, with an average visible height of 70m/230ft and spread over some 250km²/155mi². A fantastic landscape.
The Cerro Fitz Roy in Argentina
This impressive peak in Argentine Patagonia, dominating the town of El Chaltén, offers fantastic hiking opportunities and out-of-this-world sensations for experienced mountaineers. Often swathed in cloud, when the weather is fine, the snow-capped peaks of the Cerro Fitz Roy unveil one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.
Tikal in Guatemala
Tikal is an ancient Maya metropolis located in Guatemala. A thriving city 1,200 years ago, today its jungle, wildlife, stones and land bear witness to a mythical civilisation. According to archaeologists who have delved into the ruins, this city was once the equal of Rome.
Atacama Desert in Chile
Considered to be one of the driest deserts in the world, the Atacama Desert is located between the Atacama oceanic depression and the Andes. The almost total absence of rainfall makes it one of the best places on earth to observe the stars in a truly breathtaking landscape.
Cocora Valley in Colombia
This valley is the cradle of one of the symbols of Colombia, the wax palm, an endemic species that can grow to a height of almost 60m/200ft and which lives several hundred years. The Cocora Valley scenic hiking trail provides the opportunity to see a staggering diversity of wildlife and landscapes.
Caño Cristales in Colombia
This Colombian river is quite simply known as the most beautiful river in the world. Suffice to say that visitors are bowled over by its exceptional range of reds between September and November, a result of endemic algae.