Top Activities in South America
South America is, in a word, beautiful. The landscapes are wonderfully varied, comprising everything from dramatic mountains topped with snow, to tropical seas teeming with marine life. There are some really exciting ways to explore the scenery in South America; the continent is, in fact, beloved as one of the world’s adventure havens. So, read on to discover what the top activities in South America are.
Hiking in South America
There’s nothing like strapping on a pair of boots and venturing out into nature on a hike. From short walks to multi-day treks, you can explore South America at your own pace; with a map in hand or a guide leading you. If you’re a keen hiker, you simply must visit Patagonia. A huge land sprawled over southern Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is a walker’s paradise, with its frozen mountains, glaciers, blue rivers and wild forests. You feel a wonderful sense of isolation down here in the far south of the world, and there are so many places to explore you’ll never run out of trails!
As well as beautiful Patagonia, South America flaunts virtually endless opportunities for hiking adventures. Trek to crumbling ancient citadels nestled in the fold of mountains, such as Machu Picchu and Choquequirao in Peru or ‘The Lost City’ in Colombia. Navigate the red-rock canyons and lunar terrain of the Atacama Desert, Chile, and Jujuy, Argentina. Venture along the coastline of Brazil and Uruguay, and delve deep into the Amazon Rainforest.
There really is no better way to feel a close connection with South America’s stunning scenery.
Climbing in South America
Towering peaks, in the form of volcanoes and mountains, provide the ideal spots for exhilarating climbing excursions in South America. In Bolivia, you can take your pick from one of the volcanoes in the aptly named ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’. Ecuador flaunts its own volcanoes, while Patagonia serves up a dizzying array of mountains to conquer.
In fact, with the mighty Andes Mountain Range rippling all the way down from Colombia to the depths of Patagonia, you can rest assured there are countless options if seeking a climbing trip. Just make sure you come prepared and gear up safely before you go!
Zip lining in South America
This is a classic adventure activity in South America that thrill-seekers should consider adding to their itinerary. Some of the best places to go zip lining in South America are found within rainforests, including the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador. Brilliantly, you can easily access Mindo from Quito in a day, so getting your thrills while being based in the capital is easy indeed.
If you’re going to Brazil, head to Natal and the Parque das Dunas, zip lining into the lagoon over rolling sand dunes. In Peru, you could spend the night in a pod suspended on the mountainside in the Sacred Valley (no, really), then in the morning zip line your way back down to earth. Zip lining is a great way to take in your surroundings from an elevated view, and have an exhilarating ride at the same time!
Horse Riding in South America
Horse riding activities can be found virtually anywhere in South America. It’s another fantastic way to feel a close connection with nature and go at your pace, whether you’re a beginner rider or expert. Uruguay and Argentina are big on horse riding, owed to the gaucho culture that has woven through rural life for many years. You can join the gauchos and explore undulating pampas on horseback, learning about their traditions along the way.
Otherwise, head to the Pantanal Wetlands in Brazil to see wildlife while in the saddle of your trusty horse. Jaguars, Giant Anteaters, Piranha, Howler and Capuchin Monkeys, Anacondas, Caiman and Deer are just some of the species that dwell here. The Lake District in Patagonia is another great place to go horse riding in South America, with its confection of glassy lakes, forests and mountains to gaze at on your journey.
Mountain biking in South America
Prefer to speed along on two wheels? Then be sure to try mountain biking in South America. Navigate meandering trails through stunning landscapes, venturing off on a self-guided ride or in the company of an expert guide to lead you to the best viewpoints.
The ‘Death Road’ is probably the most famous bike route in South America. Located in Bolivia, it’s actually not so lethal as you would expect, but an adrenaline-pumping ride down the side of a mountain is exciting indeed. Go carefully and as part of a tour to get the most out of this experience!
Or, you could bike through the jungle of Iguazu National Park in Argentina, carve through the Sacred Valley in Peru, or explore the dazzling white Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia on two wheels.
Snorkelling in South America
Dive into the waters of South America for a swim and snorkel experience. The beaches of Colombia’s coasts – both the Caribbean and Pacific – are great for snorkelling. We particularly recommend plunging into the turquoise waters of its Caribbean islands, San Andres and Providencia, for warm water dips and the chance to see an array of tropical marine life.
You can also explore the underwater world in Brazil, with its miles and miles of beaches to discover. Or, In Brazil, you could also snorkel somewhere a bit different. In Bonito, the Rio da Prata boasts crystalline waters with fantastic visibility, so you can see the amazing river fish on a snorkelling excursion here!
There are also opportunities to snorkel with Sea Lions in South America, for example in the Valdes Peninsula of Argentina. However, possibly the best snorkelling destination in the continent is the Galapagos. This cluster of islands off the coast of Ecuador is a legendary wildlife watching spot, and snorkelling is one of the best ways to see the marine animals up close!
Ready to explore South America? Browse our South America adventure tours to start building your trip. Handpick the hotels and activities you want, adjust the durations depending on how long you want to stay in each place, and have fun in the process! Surtrek is always at hand to help out. Call us on 1 866 978 7398 (Canada and USA) or 080 8189 0438 (UK) to talk to an expert, and Discover Your South America with Surtrek!