If you've been over to my Destinations page lately (or ever, really), you'll notice that a couple of continents are woefully blank — Africa and South America most notably so. Even though I've been to more than 35 countries around the world, I have yet to set foot in Africa or South America.
Shocking, I know. What am I thinking?!
Well, I'm thinking that I just haven't gotten around to those continents — YET. And that's a big yet. I've already written an entire bucket list just for South Africa. And lately I've been thinking about South America.
7 Places on My South American Bucket List
Yes, the 1.7-mile-long series of waterfalls on the border between Argentina and Brazil is definitely on my South American bucket list. I've seen (and been impressed by) Niagara Falls — but Iguazu reportedly puts Niagara to shame. I would love to stand there and be surrounded by gigantic-waterfall mist.
Colombia has long been on my bucket list, and colorful, Caribbean Cartagena is the main destination I'd love to visit. I've seen the photos of colorful streets and the city's colonial walled center and know that it's right up my alley. I can already envision myself and my camera going for many strolls through town.
I'm still uncertain if a multi-day trek to Peru's top tourist site is in the cards for me, but I know that I DO definitely want to see Machu Picchu for myself someday — even if I take the train. It's sure to be epic and unforgettable, either way.
Salar de Uyuni
Hundreds of forced-perspective photos — that's what I want from the world's largest salt flat. Located roughly in the middle of nowhere in Bolivia, getting to Salar de Uyuni is an adventure in and of itself. But mountains, lakes of flamingos, and those iconic expanses of salt would totally be worth the few days of no wifi or showers that it takes to get there.
Located off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a bucket list destination for a lot of people — and for good reason. It was here that Charles Darwin studied and formed his conclusions about evolution, and also here that you can find some seriously unique creatures. Lazy sea lions, giant tortoises, iguanas, boobies (of the blue-footed, winged variety)… I'd love to island-hop through the archipelago and see as much as possible.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For a long time, Rio did not feature on my bucket list. The city seemed to big and unwieldy — I felt like I would just be overwhelmed. But then I saw pictures from the tops of Corcovado Peak and Sugarloaf Mountain, and of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches… and I reminded myself that I've survived in places like Hong Kong and New York and Shanghai. I can totally do Rio — and I hope to someday!
Torres del Paine in Patagonia
Lastly, even though I'm not a huge trekker/camper, I would love to do some hiking in Patagonia — namely, in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes… the views looks incredible, and I would love to put my camera (and my hiking shoes) through its paces here.
What destinations are on YOUR South American must-see list?