When travellers talk about South America, The Incas and the lost city of Machu Picchu will invariably come up in conversation, and we will, of course, be including it, but South America has many wonders so we have distilled Paloma’s recommendations into the South America destinations she considered most exciting.
Brazil’s fabulous beaches and its tropical rain forests, Mardi Gras and nightlife in Rio; the variety of Uruguay and its rôle in the Battle of the River Plate plus its own beautiful beaches and historic cities. The Cataratas del Iguazú (Iguazú Falls) on the border between Brazil and Argentina, where you can stand on the river bank and also look across to Paraguay. Through Peru with its Inca heritage and amazing strangeness of the Nazca Lines or the wonderful building techniques of their ancient civilization which withstand earthquakes even to this day without any mortar or adhesive between the massive stones. Stones which are so closely laid together that not even a leaf of paper can be slid between them. Explore Machu Picchu and add your theories to why this massive city was deserted so suddenly. Across the altiplano to the shores of Lake Titicaca and visit the Islas Flotantes where the islanders live, eat, sleep and educate their children in structures built all out of the reeds which grow around the lakeside. From the Bolivian side of the lake, the de-facto capital, La Paz, is the highest capital in the world and also boasts the highest airport at 4,100 metres ASL.
Chile is a complete surprise after Peru as it displays characteristics found more often in northern Europe than South America. Santiago city is exceptional as are Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, but see Paloma’s recommendations in the resort sections. Buenos Aires just up river from Montevideo is the place to visit the tomb or, more accurately, vault of the mortal remains of Juan and Eva Perón; learn the tango and watch it being performed on the streets each evening. Wherever you decide to go in South America, Paloma’s recommendations will never fail to impress you.