Having planned your vacation to one of our alternative top 5 must-see destinations across Central and South America you are probably beginning to explore the different activities available. However, as these beautiful destinations have a large number of incredible activities; it would be a shame to miss off these main as well as alternative activities from each destination. Here are our top 5 activities from our must-see destinations that will add to any vacation in Central and South America.
Stargazing in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Deep in the high altitude Atacama Desert, the skies are some of the clearest due to the dryness of the atmosphere, the low humidity and lack of light pollution. This combination of factors has created an unparalleled stargazing haven which you can encounter on a stargazing tour to one of the many observatories in the area. Make sure that you check the lunar calendar before organizing your starry-eyed tour as for best viewing of the star-covered night sky; you should avoid full moon nights. At some stargazing locations in San Pedro de Atacama, you are even able to attach your digital camera to the telescopes allowing you to take spectacular photographs of the stars and galaxies above. There is nothing more majestic or relaxing than just sitting in the calm silence of the desert and loosing yourself in the star cloth and galaxies above.
Caana ‘Sky Palace’ in Caracol, Belize
Caracol is Belize’s largest Maya site covering approximately 75 sq. miles and during its peak, the city held 150,000 people. The highlight of this immense Mayan city in the Caana meaning Sky Palace which rises an impressive 141 ft. into the air and still to this day remains, the tallest man-made structure in Belize. Supporting four palace compounds and three temples the Caana structure is nothing short of an archaeological wonder. Climbing up the steep stone steps of the Sky Palace is a must as it provides one of the most beautiful and uninterrupted views of the surrounding jungle and landscape. Visiting Caana and Caracol is like a step back in time as the archaeological sites come to life as you explore the different plazas, structures and temples, giving you a unique insight into Belize’s Maya culture and history.
Simply admiring Huacachina, Peru
A scene that will leave you lost for words, Huacachina is certainly one of the most stunning places in Peru and South America. Surrounded by sand dunes, the desert lagoon with its exotic palm trees shows yet another side to Peru’s landscape and diversity. This destination is perfect to enjoy adrenaline pumping dune buggy rides as well as what might be less than graceful sandboarding. Although these heart racing activities form the main part of your time and excitement in Huacachina, it is not until sunset, perched at the top of one of the sand dunes, overlooking Huacachina and the desert landscape that you realize just how beautiful this destination is. Golden sands stretching for miles around, the glistening oasis of Huacachina against the red and orange skies during sunset provides a truly unforgettable moment and one that should definitely be experienced.
Over ground and Underground in Chapada Diamantina, Brazil
The 586 sq. mile National Park of Chapada Diamantina has a number of waterfalls, crystal clear rivers and mysterious caves to explore. One of the most impressive sites is the Cachoeira da Fumaça waterfall which is also known as Smoke Falls or Glass Falls. Rising 1200 ft. the waterfall gets its name as the small water flow is sprayed by the wind before it can touch the ground providing a unique and amazing spectacle. Whilst remaining over ground, another activity that you should not miss out on is to climb up the Morro do Pai Inácio arriving at the summit just before sunset. Having completed the hike, you will be treated to stunning panorama from this tabletop mountain, over the most unique landscape featuring jutting buttes and mesas called, tepuy. Finally, delve underground into the caves and grottos of the Chapada Diamantina National Park such as, Poço Encantado which has a giant 120 ft. deep pool of water to explore. The water here is so clear that the rocks and ancient tree trunks on the bottom of the pool can be seen. It also creates an interesting visual illusion where you look as though you are floating in mid-air as the water in the middle of the cave. The rare and delicate environment of Chapada Diamantina National is one of the most scenic landscapes in South America.
Marveling at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
One of the most beautiful locations in the world, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is a hidden treasure in Central America. Hiking up the Indian Nose from the shores of the lake is one of the best activities to do in this area. The 9,390 ft. mountain presents on of the most rewarding hikes in Guatemala and rewards you with incredible views of the lake, volcanoes and the towns of San Juan and San Pedro. With panoramic viewing platforms along the way, the hike takes up to about 2 hours from the base of San Juan to the tip. For the best photos and if you aren’t bothered by early mornings, you can set off before dawn with a guide so that you arrive at the summit just as the sun begins to rise, further adding to your Lake Atitlan experience.
Thanks for visiting our South America Travel Blog! Feel free to contact one of our Travel Specialists via email, phone or chat to plan your perfect Chile, Belize, Peru, Guatemala or Brazil travel itinerary.