Oguz Kaan Kısa · Jan. 20, 2021
Beaches, deserts, historical cities, islands, archeological sites, natural parks, wonderful people and sea lions… There is no limit to the wonders you can discover in Latin America.
But where are the places you can go outside of the big cities to have a wonderful vacation like no other in this happy tropical continent? Let’s take a look.
A temple and pilgrimage site in southern Colombia, located right next to the Ecuadorian border, this structure has become one of the largest tourist destinations in the entire region. It’s actually easy to see why: Las Lajas Temple is an incredibly beautiful place, with its magnificent architecture and astonishing natural surroundings.
The temple is located in the canyon formed by the Guáitara River in the village of Las Lajas in the city of Ipiales. Surrounded by waterfalls, this magnificent 50 meters high Gothic basilica is enriched with remarkable details such as arches, mosaics, towers and stone walls, and there is also a famous Virgin Mary painting engraved on one of its walls.
We have a tip about this place: Thousands of religious people who want to show their devotion to Virgin Mary come here to pray on September 16th every year. So, if your goal is not the same as this large community, we recommend that you don’t visit the temple around this day.
Urubamba is a great starting point for exploring Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
It would be insane to travel South America without adding the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes. Located very close to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, This place marks a long and magnificent journey into the mysteries of Peru.
The valley, with its geographical and climatic features, was one of the main sources of the wealth that the Incas obtained from their lands. The area consists of traditional villages and important archaeological monuments, divided by numerous rivers that descend from small valleys to form an extraordinary landscape.
The main river of the region is Urubamba, which gave its name to the largest of the towns in the valley. This friendly town with a wide variety of hotels and restaurants is also a common stopover for adventurers who come to visit other highlights in the valley such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero.
Although it is quite far from the capital Santiago (780km to the south), you can travel by train to the friendly city of Pucón and discover Araucanía, one of Chile’s best regions. The Villarrica Volcano also surrounds the city, which offers a great touristic opportunity on its own and must be visited by those who love dangerous sports.
Touristic trips around the volcano are quite common. During the summer months, tourism agencies offer equipment, guidance services for mountain climbing, but we strongly recommend that you join the official Villarrica tour group and take your walk accompanied by a local expert.
Ecotourism enthusiasts will be delighted with their travels, thanks to the wide variety of outdoor sports and sports facilities they will find in Pucón, such as skiing, hiking and rafting. We can add to this list of magnificent ski center serving at the foot of the Villarrica Volcano from July to September. The ski resort, which has a great infrastructure, looks complete with its six lifts, a total of 20 ski runs for skiing and snowboarding, a restaurant and a play center for children.
Imagine this landscape: 12,000 hectares of untouched green are, hundreds of animal species(most of them in danger of extinction), some of the bluest beaches in the Colombian Caribbean, and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains in the background…
Here, in Tayrona National Park, where you can find these, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. Until the middle of the 15th century, the Tairona natives had lived in the area, which was taken under protection in 1969. Some of the locals still live in the huts in this area, and you can still see fascinating archaeological sites such as Pueblito Chairama among their sanctuaries.
The park has a variety of paths that you can explore on foot or on horseback (you can rent a horse at the park entrance), all surrounded by fascinating terrain. Then, you better prepare yourself to be enchanted by amazing beaches like Cabo San Juan, La Piscina and Playa Brava (the last one is exclusive to nudists).
Most tourists who want to explore the depths of South America should probably have a Bolivia-Peru-Chile tour in their dreams. We can say that Lake Titicaca, which has more than 41 islands and is the largest lake in the world that can be sailed, is the biggest star of the region. However, as there are countless choices on the way, the question arises: which one to choose?
Isla del Sol should be on that list. Easily accessible from the city of Copacabana, the island is one of the largest and most beautiful islands in Titicaca with an area of 14.3 square kilometers. The island, which also houses the “Sun Maidens” temple dedicated to the Sun God, is considered sacred by the Incas. Today, the locals of Quechua and Aymara, who are devoted to handicraft and herding activities, continue to live on the island.
Archaeological sites such as the Challapampa Museum, where historical artifacts from the island are exhibited, are among the places that can be seen on the island. The landscape created by the paths crossing the island from north to south, deep blue waters, lush green mountains and of course the snowy peaks of the unique Andes is absolutely breathtaking.