If sightseeing is one of your favorite activities when you travel, or you just like to grab a selfie in a stunning location, then South America will send you home with a huge grin on your face, as there is no shortage of sights that are truly remarkable on the continent.
Some will take more effort than others to reach, with some of the most beautiful and amazing locations also being among the most remote on the continent, but there are a few views that you really should try to see if you get the chance. These locations are also among the main reasons why you should remember to pack your camera for the trip!
Probably the most famous tourist attraction in all of South America, Machu Picchu's historic Inca buildings are set against a background of densely forested mountains that are high among the Andes.
While the altitude may already have taken your breath away, the views over the valley and the old city are spectacular and will definitely do so. If you want to include the site of Machu Picchu in your photographs, look for a ticket to climb nearby Wayna Picchu, which takes in the view over the site and the valley behind to make for a spectacular viewpoint.
Cliff Overlooking Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha
The islands of Fernando de Noronha are a true gem lying a few hundred kilometers off the north eastern coast of Brazil, and the idyllic beaches that can only be accessed on foot or by boat make for some wonderful peaceful conditions for enjoying the beaches. However, if you are feeling a little more active, a climb up to the cliffs overlooking Baia do Sancho will offer an amazing viewpoint of the curve of golden sand that is often cited as the best beach on the continent.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park
Covering a large area of the Los Glaciares National Park, and some of the adjacent territory in Chile, this is a large glacier, and offers several different views. Sometimes huge pieces of ice can be seen collapsing into the water from a viewpoint looking over the sharp cliffs and deep ice crevasses at the top of the glacier down to the edge of the glacier.
Trekking on the upper part of the glacier reveals a pure white scene surrounded by a backdrop of high mountains that is simply superb.
Spotting Pink Dolphins in the Amazon River
The Amazon River is one of the longest in the world and flows across a huge swathe of the continent, and taking a cruise on the river can reveal some amazing natural sights.
One of the greatest of these is the pink river dolphins that are friendly and curious, and while they do not live in pods with large numbers of dolphins as can sometimes be seen in the ocean, seeing one of these bobbing behind the boat in the river is a wonderful experience.
The Uyuni Salt Flats After a Rain Shower
The famous salt flats of Bolivia have been the star of many a photograph over the years, and in the dry they are a light sandy color that stretches as far as the eye can see, but when the rain has fallen that light sandy color becomes a wonderful still mirror reflecting the sky.
Sadly this doesn't happen that often, but if you do get the chance to explore the flats after a rain shower, the view of the clouds and blue sky reflected in the thin sheen of water is truly remarkable.
Watching Marine Life in Ushuaia
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is a coastal city in the Tierra del Fuego region, and while the charming colorful town against the backdrop of snow capped mountains is special, a trip into the nearby Beagle Channel will often reveal something even more beautiful.
The sea lions and small animals can be spotted in many locations, including one small rocky islet known as sea lion island, while Orca whales and dolphins are also often spotted in these waters.
Sunset over the Atacama Desert
Lying at high altitude, and officially one of the driest places on earth, the Atacama desert is an impressive and forbidding place any time of day.
However, the unearthly arid landscape becomes a very different place during the sunset, when the sun's rays are distorted as they travel through the atmosphere, often setting the sky alight with a range of different colors that has to be seen to be believed.