South America is a destination that will make you fall in love with life. The Latino soul is addictive, with music and dance so deeply ingrained at the heart of everything.
After our big trip in Asia, we spent a further 15 months travelling in South America and absolutely loved it. We found it an enthralling destination, with something to capture everything we love when travelling. Most countries are extremely gay friendly, with places like Bogota in Colombia having the largest club we’ve ever been – Theatron, and Sao Paolo Pride attracting over 3 million people making it the largest pride event in the world.
As foodies, we loved the culinary scene of Argentina and in Lima, Peru. For culture, indigenous traditions can be seen everywhere, particularly from the Incas in Bolivia/Peru, as well as the Maipuche Indians in Chile. And finally, for trekking adventures, Patagonia is a must. These are our 10 favourite highlights from South America following our big trip there in 2016/2017.
#1 The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Galapagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, around 600 miles (1,000km) from Ecuador’s coast. This is one of the few places in the world where you can get so close to wildlife. There’s also a rich underwater world to discover – we saw sharks, rays, turtles and many tropical fish each time we went snorkelling.
The islands here also have some very dramatic landscapes, which are crying out for a space in your Instagram gallery. We loved the Galapagos Islands so much, we visited twice during our big South America trip. Check out our video from our trip here:
#2 Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Peru)
For us our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a definite highlight of South America. It’s a tough 4 days trek through the Sacred Valley, reaching altitudes of up to 4,215m (13,828 ft).
The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the world. It is 27 miles (44km) long, and was initially part of a highly advanced network of around 40,000 trails built by the Incas to connect the distant corners of their kingdom. It also had religious and ceremonial importance to the Incas as it was part of their route of pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.
The real highlight of course is on the final day when you finally reach Machu Picchu.