South America is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west side and by the Atlantic on the East and north portion. While the western region is dominated by the Andes mountain range, the eastern is occupied by lowland regions where rivers, including the Parana, Orinoco and the Amazonas reign. There are fourteen countries on this continent and the most common language is Spanish; the second is Portuguese followed by English and French. The great diversity of this continent is a great challenge for the most adventurous people.

Machu Picchu

This is a 15th century Inca city that was built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It´s located 2500 meters (8000 ft.) above sea level and 80 km (50 miles) to the northwest of Cuzco.

It remained unknown to the world until about 1911 when Hiram Bingham discovered it. This is one of the most famous sites in Peru. The Inca trail consists of three routes that lead to Machu Picchu, this trail goes through several Andean ecosystems, including, alpine tundra, Incan ruins, tunnels and rainforest. The Peruvian government placed a limit on the number of people who are allowed to hike the trail; therefore, it´s recommended to book in advance.

Rio de Janeiro

This is the second most populated city in Brazil and the sixth most concentrated in all America. This city is world known for its carnival which is held each year, its samba music, the jazz-like music known as bossa nova and the Balneario beaches along the coastline, where anyone who likes beach parties will enjoy. Christ the Redeemer is well noticed atop the Corcovado Mountain, where one can get a clear view of the city from above.

It offers dozens of trails and first-class attractions. Portuguese is the main language spoken here, but English and other international languages are spoken too.

Angel Falls

This is the highest waterfall in the world situated in Venezuela´s Canaima National Park. The falls consist of almost 1000 meters of plunging water; at the point where this plunge hits the bottom, a sloping cascade of rapids form. Travellers enjoy a spectacular view of grasslands and rivers that cut into forested mountains, revealing waterfalls and lakes. This is one of Venezuela´s top tourist attractions. One can get a flight from Ciudad Bolivar or Puerto Ordaz to get here. River trips are available from June to December.

Cartagena de Indias Colombia

For those seeking colonial architecture, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia offers some of the best preserved colonial cities. This city was one of the ports of entry for the Spanish colony. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress located on a hill where one can have a good view of the city and the ocean.

The walled city of Cartagena is a stoned fortress of massive walls that are 20 meters thick and 11 km long; the historic plazas and narrow streets in this area are other attractions worth visiting. Other attractions include the clock tower, the Gold Museum and Palace of the Inquisition. The main language spoken is Spanish.

The Galapagos Islands

This is an archipelago of volcanic islands situated 900 km (560 miles west of Equator. This archipelago is known for its vast number of unique species. This is the place where Charles Darwin made his discoveries about the theory of natural selection. Travellers can walk among many creatures unafraid of spectators. Dolphins, sea lions, seals, turtles, iguanas, lizards and flamingos are among some of the animals one can encounter here. One can get to the Galapagos Islands by air or boat. Overnight stay is offered on yachts and ships.

These are only five of the vast array of destinations in South America. Once there, you will surely want to visit more of this tropical and subtropical land.