Having showed you our favorite islands in South America, we’d now like to share with you some of their highlights and best activities. Here are some of the best experiences one can have while visiting the absolutely stunning locations of Fernando de Noronha, the Galapagos, Easter Island and Ilha Grande.
♦ Baia do Sancho – “The Best Beach in the World”
When visiting the breathtaking Fernando de Noronha, one can’t help but feel like they’re in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. With it’s crystal clear waters and white sand, limited amount of visitors, abundance of wildlife, and views fit for a postcard, it is the definition of paradise.
Amongst the 21 islands and islets that make up the archipelago, the standout beach is undoubtedly Baia do Sancho. Recently named the ¨Best Beach in the World¨ by Tripadvisor’s latest user poll, it has made it on to many people’s bucket lists as of late for good reason. Don’t let it’s fame fool you however, as it is and will remain a quiet and secluded beach paradise for those willing to face the obstacles in reaching it.
Getting to the beach is half of the charm of Baia do Sancho. The route to this picture perfect beach begins with a walking trail that ends at a cliff overlooking the beach. Next up is a climb down 2 tricky ladders located in between a narrow rock wall and crevasse. After reaching the bottom of the ladders, you’re just a few dozen old stone stairs away from paradise. Afterwards you face the most difficult part of it all, bringing yourself to leave.
♦ Diving in the Galapagos Islands
While many people generally associate giant tortoises and other land bound wildlife with the Galapagos, what can be found underneath those pristine waters is oftentimes even more special. With numerous locations around the islands prime for underwater adventures, it is easy for people of all skill levels to enjoy the marine life up close and personal whether they’re snorkeling or full on scuba diving.
A plethora of colorful tropical fish, sea lions, turtles, reef sharks and much more await you when you venture underwater. The docile nature of most of the wildlife in the Galapagos makes it possible for you to swim alongside them all in harmony, getting you as close as it gets to being an extra in the Little Mermaid’s famous “Under the Sea” scene. All this considered, it’s no wonder the Galapagos is high on the list of many marine life and diving enthusiasts must-see list.
♦ Visiting the Rano Raraku Quarry in Easter Island
Located in the World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Park, Rano Raraku is one of the seven sections of this historical park and home to a volcanic crater formed of ash with a lagoon in the center. This is the very place where 95% of the world famous Moai sculptures were made, earning it the nickname of “The Moai Factory.”
Visiting the site gives you an up close look at just how (and where) the Moai were made, with many finished and unfinished sculptures spread throughout the area. With 397 Moai still remaining on site, you can see statues of all sizes with the largest measuring at 71 ft. (26.1 m) in height!
♦ Exploring the Beaches of Ilha Grande
Just a short trip from all the hustle and bustle of Rio de Janeiro lies one of the country’s most beautiful treasures, Ilha Grande. Living up to it’s name which means “Big Island”, Ilha Grande is home to over 80 beautiful beaches. Exploring the island will see you find a wide array of beaches, from the world famous Lopes Mendes which is consistently named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, to the super secluded turquoise waters of Praia da Parnaioca.
The island is a protected nature reserve, so bring your hiking boots as you won’t find a single car or taxi to get you around. Kayaking is another great way to reach the more hidden beaches, although you may not want to miss all of the wildlife, waterfalls, and views that you’ll find exploring the jungle on your way to the next beach. With rock climbing, scuba diving, and surfing all great activities to take part in as well, Ilha Grande is an island that the whole family can enjoy.