South America Bucket List: 50+ Epic Things to Do and Places to Visit

South America is known for its incredible landscapes, natural beauty and unique wildlife.  While some famous attractions such as Machu Picchu are consistently found on most travel bucket lists, there are many more beautiful places to see and amazing things to do in South America. To get you started I’ve created this epic guide containing 50+ of the best places to visit and incredible things to do in South America which are perfect for any South America bucket list.  Some of these places I have visited myself and the rest are places and experiences that I have researched and added to my South America bucket list.

South America Bucket List

Best Places to Visit in South America Bucket List Destinations

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Argentina Bucket List

Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia south america bucket list

Read: Top Destinations in Argentinian Patagonia

  • Trek to Laguna de los Tres from El Chalten and see Mount Fitz Roy.
  • Visit Ushuaia, one of the southernmost cities in the world and the starting point for many cruises to Antarctica.

Bolivia Bucket List

  • Visit the photogenic Salar de Uyuni salt flats, the world’s largest salt flat. In the dry season, you can take some cool perspective photos. During the rainy season, the ground is covered with a shallow layer of water, which creates a striking mirror effect so you can take beautiful reflection photos.

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats best things to do in bolivia

Laguna Colorada best places to visit in bolivia

Brazil Bucket List

sugar loaf mountain is one of the best places to visit in brazil

  • Hang out at Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.
  • Enjoy an opera or a concert at Amazon Theatre (Teatro Amazonas), an opera house located in Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
  • Take a trip to Brazil’s Pantanal to spot jaguars.
  • See the beautiful beaches and islands in the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fernando de Noronha brazil bucket list destination

ençóis Maranhenses National Park best places to visit in brazil

  • Explore Pelourinho, the colorful Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Enjoy the architecture of the Historic Town of Ouro Preto, a former colonial mining town designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Check out this post for more Brazil bucket list destinations.

Chile Bucket List

  • Visit Santiago, the underrated capital of Chile.
  • Marvel at the famous monumental statues (called moai) on Easter Island.

easter island south america bucket list destination


  • See the beautiful Marble Caves (Capillas de Mármol) in the General Carrera Lake in Patagonia.
  • Road trip across the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.  Make sure to check out Mano del Desierto (Hand of the Desert) a large-scale sculpture of a hand located in the desert.
  • Take a sunrise tour of El Tatio Geysers.
  • Enjoy the beauty of Cajon Del Maipo.

Colombia Bucket List

Guatape best places to visit in columbia

  • See the Caño Cristales, the beautiful river commonly called the “River of Five Colors.” The bed of the river is colored red, yellow, green, blue and black during part of the year.
  • Trek to the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City).
  • Visit the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, a beautiful underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine.

Ecuador Bucket List

  • See unique wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.

galapagos islands is one of the best places to visit in south america

Peru Bucket List

  • See the sunrise at Machu Picchu.

machu pichu south america bucket list

RELATED – Do you enjoy quotes about adventure? Make sure to check out our Most Inspirational Adventure Quotes
  • Explore Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake on the border of Peru and Bolivia and home to the amazing floating reed islands of the Uros people. A homestay at Amantani Island is highly recommended.
  • Take a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands to see its abundant wildlife including penguins and sea lions.
  • Take a helicopter flight over the Nazca Lines, a mysterious collection of ancient geoglyphs forever etched on the desert ground.

Read: 5 unmissable experiences in Peru

Uruguay Bucket List

  • Visit Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital.
  • Visit the luxury resort city of Punta del Este. It is considered the “Hamptons of South America” or the “Monaco of the South” and is a popular vacation spot for wealthy Argentinians and Uruguayans. Don’t miss “The Hand,” a giant sculpture of 5 fingers on the beach.
  • Visit Colonia del Sacramento known for its historic quarter which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other South America Bucket List Experiences

  • Visit the Amazon jungle which stretches through 9 countries in South America, including Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
  • See Angel Falls in Venezuela, the world’s tallest waterfall.
  • See Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, the world’s largest single drop waterfall.
  • Visit the Falkland Islands and admire the enormous penguin population.

So there you have it – the ultimate South America bucket list.  If there is an experience or place I should include let me know in the comments below!

Need more travel inspiration? Check out some of my other travel bucket lists:

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Best Places to Visit in South America Bucket List Destinations



  1. La Boca was memorable as Buenos Aires was the first South American city I ever visited. You left out the amazing food in Peru!

  2. So many amazing things to do and see. The Galapagos are firmly on the top of my bucket list, so that would be a must do for me. The salt flats look so stark, but in a beautiful way. I think I would love to spend a few years in South America, just exploring every country. Oh to be independently wealthy.

  3. South America is a huge continent that has so many destinations to offer. Your bucket list covers almost all that I want – whether it’s Quito or Amazon rainforest or Inca trail. I wish I can visit all of these soon.

  4. I didn’t think there’s a glacier in South America! I also want to see the Rainbow Mountain! I almost went to Peru one year but went to Japan instead. One day, I’ll get to explore South America, too so I will bookmark this page for future inspiration!

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