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
    Tiputini River and Rainforest, Yasuni National Park, Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador, South America
    ••• Danita Delimont / Getty Images

    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 intact 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 in Venezuela
    ••• With one drop of 807 meters (2,648 feet), Salto Ángel (Angel Falls) in Venezuela is the world's tallest waterfa. Photo by Francisco Becerro used under terms of Creative Commons license.

    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.

  • 03 of 07
    The Galapagos coastline.
    ••• Jesse Kraft / EyeEm / Getty Images

    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.

  • 04 of 07
    Iguazu Falls in Argentina.
    ••• Grant Ordelheide / Getty Images

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Salar de Uyuni
    ••• El salar de Uyuni es el mayor desierto de sal del mundo. The Uyuni Salt Flat is the world's largest salt flat. Photo by Pedro Szekely; licensed via Creative Commons.

    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 its 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.

  • 06 of 07

    Atacama Desert

    Atacama Desert
    ••• Atacama Desert. Ricardo Martinez/Getty Images

    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 in Patagonia.
    ••• JKboy Jatenipat / Getty Images

    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.