Wild places to vacation in South America
Get to know the most wonderful places to vacation in South America, natural destinations with beautiful landscapes and a great variety of fauna
Wild places to vacation in South America
South America is perhaps more famous for its ancient ruins and excellent terrain than its wildlife spotting. But confrontations with animals on the continent do not begin and end with giant tortoises in the Galapagos and selfies with blue-colored llamas in downtown Cusco. Here are ten must-visit wildlife parks in South America to please any animal lover.
Here are the top famous wild places to vacation in South America
For Giant Tortoises: Galápagos National Park
The Galapagos Islands is Ecuador's first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is perhaps the most incredible wildlife destination in South America. This archipelago of volcanic islands found in the Pacific Ocean is famous for its giant tortoises, some of which are endangered. But you will also see much wildlife, including marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins, albatrosses, and blue-footed toadstools.
For Jaguars: Pantanal Matogrossense National Park
World's largest tropical wetland might seem unlikely place to track a big cat. However, thanks to its open spaces, you'll have a better chance of spotting the elusive and gorgeous jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal than you would amid the thick foliage of the Amazon. In addition, much of the Pantanal floods in the rainy season, so look for caimans, giant river otters, and the world's largest rodent, the two-footed capybara, if you're near the water.
For Guanacos: Torres del Paine National Park
It's closely related to the llama but less slender and more petite. It is the most common mammal in Chile in Torres del Paine National Park. Even from the road, the herds are easy to spot in the grassy pastures, and the playful actions of the little chulengos will make you laugh. Unfortunately, once endangered, their numbers are now enough to support predatory cougars, so watch out for footprints in the soft snow, just in case.
Best For Monkeys: Tayrona National Park
Columbia's Tayrona National Park is home to three species of monkeys: the capuchin, the endangered cottontail tamarin, and the red howler. Please stay within the confines of the garden, and the last will be the one who will wake you at dawn with their sound while the other two gossip and scream like noisy children. Walk the park's quieter paths early in the morning or as the sun goes down, and you'll increase your chance of seeing these little creatures.
For Spectacled Bears: Amboró National Park
Spectacled bears are the only species of orcin in South America and have a rare sight. Although Paddington came from the darkest Peru, the bear's habitat extends over much of the Andes, including Bolivia's Emporo National Park near Santa Cruz. They are joined by tapirs, armadillos, spider monkeys, jaguars, giant anteaters, pumas, and ocelots that make their home in the dense rainforests. The park is also a home to more than 800 birds, including hummingbirds, toucans, and parrots.
For Condors: Colca Canyon National Park
With a wingspan of more than three meters, the great Andean condor is one of the giant flying birds in the world. Take a trip from the city of Arequipa in Peru to the remote Colca Valley for a chance to see these incredible creatures in flight. Commonly seen in the viewpoint of the Cruz del Condor, it rises above the heads of the first bird travelers who arrive before most of us have finished breakfast. But don't just search: The miracle also offers stunning views of the same valley that rivals America's Grand Canyon at scale.
For Penguins: Penguin Island Provincial Reserve
In far south of Argentina, 12 miles from the Puerto Deseado, you'll find the only continental colony of Rockhopper penguins in South America. Travel between October and April, and you will have the opportunity to see them raise their chicks. The island is also a home to Magellanic penguins, albatrosses, cormorants, and birds. Visitors to southern Chile can also meet penguins, for example, on Magdalena Island and Seno Otway near Punta Arenas between October and March or in Pingüino Rey Park, the only penguin colony outside Antarctica.
For Coatimundi: Iguaçu National Park
Members of the raccoon family, cutis, are a familiar sight in South America and are often seen hanging on the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the Iguazu Falls. These social creatures gather in groups, grunting and snoring at each other to communicate. With their big eyes, cute noses that almost look like pigs, and furry bodies, you might tend to pet them, but that would be a big mistake. Bite him! Save your selfies for a game copy, and keep a safe distance.