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Top five most breathtaking views in South America

South America is chock-full of amazing places with incredible views, and of course our top five is just a matter of opinion and entirely contestable. However, there’s no denying that each of these places is 100% guaranteed to impress. All of them have that star quality, that certain something, that will render even the most well-traveled, seen-it-all adventurer a little speechless when they first lay their eyes upon it.

Iguazu Falls – Brazil and Argentina

Spanning the border between Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls is nothing short of spectacular. Cascading down from heights of over 80m and with an average flow of over 60,000 cubic feet per second, Iguazu Falls is wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls. Impressive statistics aside, the physical reality of seeing and hearing the thundering waters and the mist that rises up from the Devil’s Throat Gorge as you peer into its depths is incomparable. See an example tour to Iguazu Falls here

Iguazu Falls

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

It’s not a surprising entry in the list, but Rio de Janeiro has to be the most impressively situated city, not just in South America, but in the whole world. Under an almost perpetually blue sky, mountains rise up dramatically all around the city and the white sandy beaches stretch on and on. Beach sunsets, the largest forest within a city limits and tropical jungle-covered mountains that sparkle with the lights of favelas as the sun begins to set, make Rio de Janeiro a true feast for the eyes. See an example tour taking in Rio de Janeiro here

Rio de Janeiro

The Glacier National Park – Argentina

Way down south in Argentine Patagonia the Glacier National Park near El Calafate is home to some of the few expanding glaciers left on the planet. There are 47 glaciers in the park, which is a wonderland of freezing waters and vast expanses of ice. The glaciers are mainly approached by boat across Lake Argentino, the largest lake in Argentina, with the boat passing between bobbing icebergs before taking in the glowing aqua blue walls of ice and stopping a safe distance away to watch as huge chunks of ice break off from the main body of the glacier and crash into the waters below. See an example tour taking in the Glacier National Park here

El Calafate

Torres del Paine National Park – Chile

Down in Chilean Patagonia on the border with Argentina, the Torres Del Paine National Park stretches out in great sweeping swathes of mountains, lakes and forests. Rising up suddenly from the snowy slopes of the mountains in all their jagged glory are the ‘Torres del Paine’ or ‘towers’. These dramatic rocky tors are dark in color and were formed over tens of thousands of years as softer rock was eroded away revealing a dark granite core underneath. Silhouetted against the sky and surrounded by nothing but pristine wilderness, the Torres del Paine are breathtaking. See an example tour taking in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park here

Torres del Paine National Park

Machu Picchu – Peru

Another obvious choice, but there’s no getting around it, the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu perched high in the Peruvian Andes is magnificent, both in terms of its dramatic natural setting and its fascinating architectural intricacy and scale. Approaching Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate and watching sunrise over the surprisingly intact ruins, as mist curls around the surrounding peaks, is an undeniably awe-inspiring experience. See an example tour taking in Machu Picchu here

Machu Picchu

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