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Best Places to Visit in South America in 2024  

Is South America on your clients’ travel radar for 2024? The best places to visit in South America are iconic landmarks and hidden gems. This remarkable continent offers endless adventure, exploration, and cultural discovery opportunities.

Travelers can kayak along sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, hike the muddy trails that take adventurers to the magnificent view surrounding the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, or enjoy a serene journey through the waters of the Magdalena River. In this blog, you’ll find a list of the best places to visit in South America in 2024.

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Galapagos, one of the best places to visit in South America
Galapagos, one of the best places to visit in South America

Ecuador

Ecuador is the world’s most biodiverse country (by area), with 8% amphibian species, 5% reptiles, 8% mammal, and 16% bird species. Also, the country is famous for its stunning landscapes, from the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Rainforest, the unique Galapagos Islands, and the mystic cloud forest.

When is the best time to visit Ecuador?

Ecuador has four regions: the Andean highlands, the Pacific Coast, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Galapagos Islands. The country is a year-round destination. Therefore, consider what your clients want to experience when you plan a trip.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands lead the list of South America’s best places to visit. The archipelago, with its unique wildlife and stunning landscapes, is an opportunity to explore marine life in volcanic landscapes and spot endemic species that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The archipelago is a magnet for nature lovers and adventurers.

Galapagos is one of South America’s best places to visit in January. The pleasant temperatures, the abundant birdwatching opportunities, and the underwater visibility make the journey a once-in-a-lifetime trip. For example, the best time to see the albatross in the Galapagos is from April through to December.

The best way to discover the Galapagos is aboard an expedition vessel. They are the epitome of purposeful exploration, venturing into remote places with a minimal environmental impact. Metropolitan Touring’s La Pinta and Isabela II are expedition yachts that sail on the Galapagos, allowing adventurers to experience spectacular landscapes and sport unique wildlife. Each itinerary is carefully crafted so guests can enjoy the Galapagos Big15, a list of iconic endemic species that live in the archipelago.

Mashpi Lodge

The cloud forest is a mystical, lush landscape and one of South America’s best places to visit. Ecuador has some of the most breathtaking cloud forest reserves and biodiversity hotspots. They are home to colorful orchids, rare bromeliads, and iconic birds, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

The Chocó region in Ecuador is a stunningly beautiful and biologically diverse area. Lush cloud forests characterize it. December to March are the best months to visit Mashpi because of the abundant vegetation and the optimal opportunities to birdwatch. Travelers can explore hidden trails through valleys, discover waterfalls cascading into crystal clear pools, and spot unique wildlife. Staying at Mashpi Lodge is the best way to explore the cloud forest, engage with the biodiversity, and deeply connect to their environment.

Best places to visit in South America
Best places to visit in South America: Machu Picchu

Peru

Visitors choose Peru to explore its culinary delights and fascinating cultural heritage. Peruvian cuisine has gained worldwide recognition for its creativity and exceptional flavors. Also, the country has a wide range of stunning landscapes, from the majestic Andes Mountains to the Amazon rainforest. Visitors can choose adventures like hiking the Inca Trail, exploring Machu Picchu, or discovering the Peruvian rainforest.

When is the best time to visit Peru?

Peru is one of South America’s best places to visit in December. Depending on the region your clients want to explore, the country offers a range of experiences. December is an excellent time to visit the Peruvian coast, including Lima and the Paracas National Reserve. The weather in the Peruvian Amazon is warm and rainy at any time of the year.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a must-see because of its spiritual energy and inspiring beauty. Visiting the ancient city, nestled in the Andes Mountains, is like entering into the historical and architectural brilliance of the Inca civilization. Travelers can explore the ruins and soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

You can also plan a visit to Cusco, the capital of the mighty Inca Empire. The city has picturesque streets and cobblestone alleys, combining well-preserved colonial architecture and the Inca heritage.    

Amazon Rainforest

The Peruvian Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The Amazon is famous for its lush vegetation, towering trees, orchids, and exotic plants. There’s also unique wildlife, like birds, monkeys, jaguars, fish plants, butterflies, and many more.

The Amazon is home to indigenous communities, who have lived in harmony with the forest for generations. Visiting these communities is an opportunity to engage with the deep connection with the forest, learning from them of the medicinal properties of different plants and knowledge of traditional medicine.

Mompox Colombia
Mompox Colombia

Colombia

Colombia’s location makes the country a biodiversity hotspot. It’s home to 10% of Earth’s flora and fauna, establishing it as the second-most biodiverse country in the world. The country also has a rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivals, like the Barranquilla Carnival, Cartagena’s music festival, and Medellin’s flower festival, among many others. The Magdalena River is one of South America’s best places to visit because it exemplifies of Colombian biodiversity and the country’s cultural richness.

When is the best time to visit Colombia?

Colombia has two primary seasons: the dry season (December to March) and the wet season (April to November). The dry season is preferable if your clients seek pleasant weather and less rain. However, the wet season brings lush landscapes, vibrant flora, and abundant wildlife, making it ideal for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Also, Coastal areas, such as Cartagena, have consistently warm temperatures year-round. When planning a trip to Colombia, ask your clients about their preferences, the regions, and the activities they want to explore.

Magdalena River

The historic Magdalena River is a hot destination in 2024. Along the river, travelers will find charming towns like Mompox, one of Colombia’s best-kept secrets. The Magdalena River stretches over 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) from the Andean highlands to the Caribbean Sea. It’s the country’s principal river and extremely fertile valley.

Traveling through the Magdalena River is an opportunity to witness the beauty of Colombia’s diverse landscapes and be part of the country’s rich history. Forests, mountains, valleys, and wetlands border the river. More than 2,700 species can be seen, many of which are endemic to the region.

Exploring South America in 2024 promises endless experiences in iconic landmarks and hidden treasures. When curating your clients’ dream itineraries, consider the best places to visit in South America. Each site offers a unique and captivating experience, serving as a gateway to discovery.

Travelers can enjoy encounters with Galapagos sea lions, the panoramic views surrounding Machu Picchu, or the serene journey along the Magdalena River.

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