20 Amazing Places to Hike in South America
Collected by Kristin Zibell , AFAR Local Expert
Hike through and on glaciers, mountains, deserts, lakes, and jungles in Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. This list includes the favorites (Patagonia and the Incan Trail) and some lesser known jaunts.
s/n - Sman - Zona Industrial, Brasília - DF, 70635-800, Brazil
While hiking along a waterfall in the national nature reserve, we came across a naturally formed infinity pool where the waterfall gathered itself for a long plunge into a green canyon below.
Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
Hiking the French Valley is part of the W-trek through Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park. It's about 16 mi round-trip from Refugio Paine Grande to the French Valley Mirador, to see the French Glacier and the Paine Massif as close as you...
El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Chapada Diamantina, Morro do Chapéu - State of Bahia, 44850-000, Brazil
If you ever find yourself in Lencois, Brazil, make your way about 40 miles west for one spectacular view. Located in Chapada Diamantina National Park, Pai Inacio Hill is just off BR-242 and can easily be seen from the road. The striking white...
I was traveling though Colombia on a job and I took this photo of Willa, my colleague and fast-friend, being dwarfed by wax palms, the world's tallest palm trees, in Valle de Corcora in Colombia's coffee triangle. This experience was so memorable...
RN7 10, Mendoza, Argentina
South America's tallest mountain is Aconcagua, located in the Andes in western Argentina near the Chilean border, towers at 22,841 feet. It takes about two weeks of trekking to reach the summit and you'll need go with a guide. Try booking with...
San Pedro de Atacama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
As we hike into the Val de la Luna, there is not a blade of grass or an insect to be found. This is the driest place on earth - in some places no rain has fallen in recorded time. Salt deposits encrust many of the rocks with a white coat that...
La Paz, Bolivia
El Valle de la Luna features an almost extra-terrestrial landscape caused by erosion. There are two circuits through the park, one that takes about 15 minutes, and a longer one that takes about 45 minutes. Both are easy hikes, but hang on tight to...
After a hair-raising, two-hour bush plane ride from Paramaribo followed by a half-day hike deep into the jungles of Suriname near Kwamala, a local shaman tapped a vine to show us how to cure an ear ache. While largely unspoiled, Suriname is seeing...
Easter Island, Valparaiso Region, Chile
When visitors travel to Easter Island they are naturally anxious to see all of the amazing moai monoliths. The carved volcanic figures are indeed magnificent, but be sure to save time to see the natural beauty of the island also. The Rano Kao...
Rano Kau, Easter Island, Valparaiso Region, Chile
Save a good half-day for a hike up the side of Rano Kai volcano and the exploration of the Orongo village on the rim. It takes only an hour to go from the street to the top, if you move fast, but once there, you'll find more paths to walk for...
Quilotoa Lake, Ecuador
In September of 2013, I hiked the Quilotoa area 13,000 feet up in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. My first day in the area was pretty scary. The wind blew so hard that it actually knocked me horizontal! Had I been standing a foot more to the...
Viedma Glacier, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
The adventure started the moment you stepped off the boat where you were deposited onto some harsh terrain. Large, barren, orange colored rocks greeted you requiring you to get across them first before you could get to the glacier. Our...
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