Best places to backpack in South America

11 Best Places To Backpack in South America

Traveling is a liberating experience which some people describe as spiritual and others describe as enlightening. South America is a vast territory comprising of impenetrable jungle, huge peaks and old civilizations, which can be considered an enlightening adventure for any traveler. The Latin-flavored continent has almost everything you would want. This ranges from colonial towns, vibrant cities, impressive lakes, mountains, stunning beaches, rich traditions, and hospitable people. Below are the top 11 best places to backpack in South America.

Urubamba, Peru

Best places to backpack in South America
Maras salt ponds located at the Urubamba, Peru

In preparing your itinerary through South America, one place you need to visit is the Peru Andes, which has the Sacred Valley. Being close to Machu Picchu and Cusco, they form a long and interesting travel through Mystic Peru. The valley was considered influential to the Incas due to its climatic and geographical merits. The site has essential indigenous villages and archaeological monuments which are crossed by numerous rivers that are inclined by small valleys and form into extraordinary landscapes.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia

Best places to backpack in South America
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Close to the border of Ecuador in the Southern parts of Colombia, there exists a place of pilgrimage and worship which has become one of the fascinating sites for tourist. The sanctuary is situated in the village of Las Lajas at the Canyon of the Guaitara River. When you visit the place, you will appreciate why Las Lajas has a sense of magnificence, both for its astonishingly meticulous construction and its astounding natural environs. Waterfalls and beautiful Gothic-styled basilica surround the area.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Best places to backpack in South America
Turquoise water and beach shack at Cabo San Juan del Guia in Tayrona National Park in Colombia

Try and imagine a landscape with hundreds of animal species, 30,000 acres of pristine greenery, some of the bluest beaches in Colombia with the overwhelming Sierra Nevada mountains as a background. This is the site of the Tayrona National Park, Colombia, which is one of the most attractive areas in Colombia. It was turned into a protected park in 1969. The sites were the home of the Tayyrona native societies until the mid-16th century.

The place has fascinating archaeological sites such as Chairama and Pueblito, which are considered sacred to the inhabitants of the region.

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

Best places to backpack in South America
Uruguay, Rocha Department, Cabo Polonio seen from the dunes.

Cabo Polonio is located about 160 miles from the capital Montevideo and is well thought as a magical region by travelers. Visiting Cabo Polonio, you are sure to cross almost deserted beaches, sea lions almost at the coastal island, huge white dunes and a starry sky that captures the beautiful sunset. Access to the area is fairly restricted and you either get there using a 4×4 vehicle or a horse. The inhabitants of the area are comprised of artisans, fishers, and employees of the local lighthouse.

Isla Del Sol, Bolivia

Best places to backpack in South America
Indigenous woman with a pack and donkeys on the terraced hillside of Isla del Sol in Bolivia

Planning to travel to America, most people try to explore the Peru-Bolivia-Chile route. One landmark is Lake Titicaca, which is one of the largest starts in the world, which has an average of 40 islands. With this many Islands, the question is which one should I visit first? One place you should not miss is Isla Del Sol. It can be reached easily from the Copacabana city which is one of the most attractive Islands of Titicaca.

The region is well-thought-out as sacred because it was once a home of sanctuaries of “sun virgins“, which was devoted to the Sun God. It also has many archaeological sites such as Challampa museum, which has historical pieces.

Los Roques, Venezuela

Best places to backpack in South America
Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela

This is one of the biggest marine parks in Latin America. The region has the most spectacular scenery and landscape. The location of 42 islands and more than 250 coral ridges have a total area of windsurfing and scuba diving of 54,000 acres, you could spend a pretty long and adventurous time to explore every corner of it. You can also take your time to enjoy and relax the unparalleled set by sailing or kayaking.

The road of the 7 Lakes, Argentina

Best places to backpack in South America
Scenic View in San Martin De Los Andes, Patagonia, Argentina

A little shift in amid cities has certainly not been this exciting. The 67 miles that connect Villa La Angostura and San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina has been named as the “Road of the 7 Lakes” and is home of exquisite landscapes of Patagonia. You may expect seven, but the route has more than nine ponds all with incredible beauty with its waters having deep colors of green or blue.

Montañita, Ecuador

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Photo courtesy: Alessandro Caneve – Flickr

The best beaches in South America are in Brazil, but that comes at an additional cost. Who has that kind of money? You can opt for the upcoming beachside town of Montañita, which offers a bohemian vibe, solid breaks and low cost of living, which is currently keeping travelers at hand on the place.

The Peruvian highlands, Peru

Best places to backpack in South America
Cordillera of the Andes

You can avoid the high prices aimed at the pesky gringos and get off the beaten track prices by traveling through the unforgettable Andean Highlands in Peru. From Cajamarca to Ayacucho and everything in between, this undiscovered and yet breathtaking mountain region is affordable and will leave you wondering where the backpackers are.

Huachachina, Peru

Best places to back in South America
Hucachina oasis and sand dunes near Ica, Peru

This can be considered the backpackers’ paradise as there are so many things to do in the town with the desert oasis. Unless of course, you are interested in “loco”, which is a cost-effective dune buggy ride which encompasses an adrenaline-pumping Sandboarding foray.

Salta, Argentina

Best places to backpack in South America
Cono de Arita, Salta, Argentina

Salta takes pride in its geographical position which is comprised of snowy mountains, red deserts, valleys, rivers, and many more attraction sites. The region is popularly known for its strong colonial heritage, narrow streets, traditional houses, and monuments. The Folklore in North Argentina marked the region with its traditional food, songs, and dances.



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