South America is a continent of adventure holidays, unforgettable experiences, energetic cities, cultural treasures, incredible natural beauty, and bright contrasts.
It offers a great variety of landscapes and places: here you can find picturesque mountains covered with snow, glaciers contiguous to the very edge of the water, and the coasts with seals and whales, as well as fiery dances, dry deserts, and hot beaches of Copacabana. Investigate South America from the tropical forests of Brazil to the formidable spine of the Andes, from the parrots of the Amazon to the penguins of the Falklands and Tierra del Fuego.
Canyons, waterfalls, river deltas, vast grassy plains, exotic wildlife, and ruins of ancient civilizations – South American vacations will be the best choice you’ve ever made.
So, your rucksack is packed, comfortable sport shoes are chosen, and a complete battery change for cameras and other gadgets are ready… But you’re still not sure what the best hiking routes in this area are, as well as how to plan an ideal hiking holiday in South America? Let’s figure it out!
- Colca Canyon, Peru, Central Andes
Being the world’s deepest (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon) and one of the most picturesque canyons in the world, the Colca in Central Andes attracts thousands of hikers both with its easy slopes and challenging steep rocky walls. You can try one of a million different tours with a guide, or hike down the canyon by yourself.
- The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
If you wanna enjoy the ancient beauty of South American ruins, the famous Inca Trail in the very heart of the Peruvian Andes is a great option. It leads from outside Cuzco to the Incan city, taking about 3-4 days of exploring exotic vegetation, fascinating ecological variety, magnificent mountains, cloud forest, and unforgettable views.
- The Circuit Trail in Torres del Paine, Patagonia (Chile)
Chilean Patagonia offers several options for hikers at a local national park. If you’d like to hike the full circle, get ready to spend about 10 days for it, however, less time-consuming trails among marvelous waterfalls, dense forests, and glacier lakes are also available.
- The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida), Colombia
Here’s another extremely popular representative of the South America tourism – a forgotten (until 1972) city, deep in the jungles in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. Nowadays, the track’s length is about 28 miles (46 km), which takes 4-6 days, and the trail is completely safe for travelers.
- Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador
A popular hiking destination, with an altitude of 5,897 meters above sea level, Cotopaxi National Park, has the highest active volcano in the world on its territory. Some tourists pick walking around the territory, while others reach the peak, which takes about 8 hours.
- Lake 69 and Llanganuco Lakes, Huascaran National Park, Peru
So-called ‘Laguna-69’ is a breathtaking mountain lake at a very high altitude in the Demanda Valley, in Peru. It’s easy to reach in just one day, and some people do it like a quick acclimatization trip.
So, when planning your next hiking trip, bear these tested destinations in mind, or… experiment with lesser-known trails, such as Cerro Castillo in Chile, Condoriri Trek in Bolivia, Chapada Diamantina in Brazil, Kaieteur Falls Trek in Guyana, or Roraima Trek in Venezuela.