The mainland of South America presents so many diverse landscapes and travel options and the same can be said of it’s the region’s beautiful islands. Having explored the vibrant cities, the stunning views from the mainland or looking for an exotic escape, the best islands in South America are waiting for you.
From pristine nature and city escapes to exploring a whole new culture and history of the remotest inhabited island; the islands in South America are simply irresistible.
As spring is well underway in South America and the lead up to summer begins, discover your wanderlust and let these gorgeous images of our favorite South America islands transport you to their white sand beaches and natural wonders.
♦ Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Located 217 miles off the northeast coast of mainland Brazil, is the small and heavenly Fernando de Noronha archipelago. With crystal clear water, diverse marine life and magnificent tropical landscapes, this archipelago is one of the most breathtaking places in Brazil if not in the whole world.
Partially formed by the tip of an extinct and submerged volcano, the eco-tourism hotspot limits the number of visitors to just 420 at a time, meaning that you get to enjoy its beauty and serenity.
Fernando de Noronha was Brazil’s first national marine park and with all of the water and 70% of the island’s land area being a protected national park, the pristine and verdant nature of the island is there for you to soak up. From towering rock sculptures, rushing waterfalls and natural swimming pools to jagged cliffs and caves with exquisite white sand beaches; Fernando do Noronha one of the most exquisite and sought-after tropical paradises in the world.
♦ The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The 19 islands and smaller islets that make up the Galapagos Islands sprinkled 620 miles off mainland Ecuador in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is without a doubt one of the main bucket-list destinations. With a double World Heritage Site, both on land and sea, and serving as the sole inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, each island boasts its own spectacular landscape and diverse range of wildlife.
Due to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as playful baby sea lions and giant sea tortoises, you are able to get up close and personal with some incredible animals in their natural habitats.
Exploring the different islands and staying on-board luxury Galapagos yachts and catamarans adds to the overall experience of visiting this natural wonderland. The beauty of traveling to the Galapagos Islands is that you don’t have to be an evolutionary biologist to appreciate one of the few places left on Earth that has kept human presence and influences to a minimum, providing a truly unforgettable travel experience.
♦ Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is the most remote inhabited island in the world and is known as ‘Rapa Nui’ to the locals. Interestingly, Easter Island got its name due to its discovery by Dutch explorers on Easter Sunday in 1722. A mystical volcanic rock located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and a 5-hour flight from the Chilean mainland, Easter Island has for centuries fascinated all those who have visited this remote island.
The hundreds of ‘moai’ stone-faced statures scattered across the island accompany you as you explore this intriguing destination.
Approximately measuring just 16 miles along its longest coast, you will be amazed at how much history, culture and magnificence is packed into Easter Island. Whether piecing together the distinctive ‘moai’ history, letting your imagination run wild with tales of other worldly beings, hiking up one of the three volcanoes or relaxing on a white sandy beach; this Polynesian Island will not disappoint.
♦ Ilha Grande, Brazil
The small island of Ilha Grande located 93 miles from the Marvelous City of Rio de Janeiro and just off Brazil’s Green Coast is made up of 74 sq.miles of mountainous jungles and beautiful hidden beaches. With no motor vehicles allowed on the island, you will be left to enjoy the exotic sound of hummingbirds, parrots and the calls of monkeys from the thick vegetation. Several hiking trails crisscross the island taking you to stunning viewpoints across the azure waters, to secret waterfalls and deserted white sand beaches.
Ilha Grande’s somewhat colorful history as a pirates’ lair, a leper colony and a penitentiary is a far cry from the paradise that you will find today.
The irony of this heavenly island is that nowadays you will not want to leave, unlike many of its former residents! Year on year, Ilha Grande’s star beach called Lopes Mendes wins accolades as one of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world and relaxing on its soft white sand while soaking up the sun and sipping a fresh coconut is simply paradisiacal.