The Seven Natural Wonders of South America

There has been renewed interest in bringing forth new wonders of the modern world, and South America will likely be included in this list in some form or another.

However, South America is so spectacular with a diverse geography it is difficult to choose seven natural wonders of South America but here are some great contenders for this list.

  • 01 of 07
    ••• (c)Getty Images, Photodisc

    The Amazon Rainforest is a massive piece of land and water of 1.7 billion acres that touches nearly all of South America including: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

    The majority, nearly 60% of it is in Brazil and it is the largest rainforest in the world, remaining generally in tact with its biodiversity of species rich due to its remoteness. Its greatest threats are deforestation and climate change which have contributed to droughts in recent years.

  • 02 of 07
    Angel Falls
    ••• Angel Falls. Peter and Jackie Main

    Angel Falls are the highest falls in the world and the biggest tourist attraction in Venezuela. Located in Canaima National Park, the falls drop an impressive 979m downward, resulting in most of the water dispersed as mist on the people below.

    Many tours are available and advised as the falls are located in dense jungle and require a flight to read the starting point to the base of the falls.

    READ: 7 Waterfalls You Need to See in South America

  • 03 of 07
    ••• (c)Getty Images, Lifesize

    An archipelago, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, Galapagos Islands attract animal lovers who are attracted by the number of species who appear unaware of unafraid of humans.

    These islands originally inspired Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and continue to leave travelers in awe. Located hundreds of miles in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are a bucket list item for many travelers.

    READ: How to See the Galapagos Islands on a Budget

  • 04 of 07
    Argentine Falls, Iguazu Falls
    ••• Argentine Falls, Iguazu Falls. Peter and Jackie Main

    Bordering the three corners of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, Iguazu Falls comprise of 275 cascades that are often compared to Niagara in North America. But Iguazu Falls are far more impressive in grandeur, leading Eleanor Roosevelt to lament "Poor Niagara."

    It is relatively easy to visit the falls on both the Brazil and Argentina borders with flights heading into both towns bordering the falls. However, if you enter on the Argentine side and want to see the view from Brazil, you will need a visa which must be obtained in advance as it is not possible at the border.

    READ: Visas and Reciprocity Fees in South America

     

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    ••• (c)Getty Images, Photographer's Choice RF

    Located in Bolivia, the world's largest salt flat is more than 4,000 sq miles and an altitude of nearly 12,000 ft. Salar de Uyuni is considered one of the most unique areas in the world.

    Salar de Uyuni was formed from several prehistoric lakes and is now covered with a crust of salt. The area is amazingly flat and many tourists take advantage of this uniformity by playing with the perspective in photography.

    The most photographed site in Bolivia because of it's Dali-like appearance. Don't worry about the right time of year to visit as it is beautiful during rainy season with the landscape providing a beautiful reflection.

    READ: 5 Reasons to Go to Bolivia Now!

  • 06 of 07

    Atacama Desert

    Atacama Desert - one of the seven wonders of South America
    West of the Andes mountain range in Chile, this desert is just a short distance from San Pedro de Atacama. Covering 40,000 sq miles in Northern Chile it is the world's driest desert and travelers remark that they can feel the moisture escaping from their skin when hiking through the area. The area is part of a salt mountain range and you can see outer worldly like shapes of salt that break through the soil to create cactus-like salt formations.
  • 07 of 07
    Torres del Paine - one of the seven wonders of South America
    ••• Torres del Paine. Peter and Jackie Main
    An adventurer lovers paradise, this area located in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park features a playground of mountain ranges and glacial lakes. Travelers head to the South of Chile for one reason, to trek through this challenging area of Patagonia. Many choose the popular 5 day 'W' trail while the more ambitious choose the 9 day loop.