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South America makes for an affordable backpacking destination and offers visitors a plethora of life-changing experiences as they traverse this unexplored region. From striking sceneries, lofty peaks, enticing wildlife, ancient civilizations, volcanoes, magnificent colonial towns and extremely diverse landscapes to pristine shorelines, this vast territory comprises everything that make a destination exciting ideal for backpackers. Also, the friendly and welcoming locals of the continent make the experience even more pleasing.
Here is our roundup of some spectacular places in South America just perfect for backpackers.
The official capital of Bolivia, Sucre is situated in the southern part of Bolivia’s Central Highlands nestled in a valley enveloped by low mountains. The city founded by the Spanish in the sixteenth century has been declared a UNESCO’s world heritage site. The main highlight of Sucre is the imposing whitewashed Casa de la Libertad where Bolivia’s Declaration of Independence was signed. The grand ensemble also houses galleries pertaining to the city’s rich colonial history. This youthful city has a quaint European feel and is largely untouched offering spellbinding rooftop terraces and lovely garden patios.
The former capital of the Inca Empire, Cuzco is a city in the Peruvian Andes and is presently renowned for its archaeological remnants and Spanish colonial architecture. A UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the city of Cuzco offers backpackers considerable value for money where one can immerse themselves in the ancient history, vibrant culture and eccentric party scene. Plaza de Armas happens to be the central square in Cuzco where backpackers can enjoy the local environment embedded with carved wooden balconies and Incan wall ruins. The city is full of life which gets reflected in the numerous bars, restaurants, museums and cobbled stoned streets filled with warm and welcoming locals.
There are very few and exclusive places in the world that are extremely remote, thinly populated and intensely stunning as Patagonia. The region stretching across the southernmost tips of Argentina and Chile is known for its towering Andean peaks, weathered steppes, crackling body of glaciers and its unique gaucho culture. Patagonia is a renowned hub for curious adventure seeking backpackers with its enormous hiking and trekking routes which cut across some of the most rugged landscapes in the world. The diverse countryside is naturally endowed with deep green alpine meadows with a wide array of wildflowers and vast glacier fields.
The capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, Salvador de Bahia is one of the oldest settled establishments in Brazil. It is famous amongst backpackers for its quintessential Portuguese colonial architecture, Afro-Brazilian culture and a tropical coastline making the region culturally diverse and unparalleled. Backpackers can explore the city center and the charming neighborhood of Pelourinho packed with colorful and vibrant streets and rolling hills. The colonial architecture of numerous buildings in Salvador de Bahia is reminiscent of the renaissance period.
This National Park is Chile’s most astounding travel destination that entails soaring mountains, bright glaciers, numerous lakes and rivers. The region boasts color-changing varieties of trees making it all the more attractive for visitors. Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park which offers backpackers several day hikes and multi-day trails to explore. The region abounds with golden pampas grasslands which make for an ideal habitat for rare wildlife including llama-like guanacos. The area is a backpacker’s delight as hiking is one of the park’s most sought-after activities clubbed with various well-marked trails.
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