20 places everyone should visit in South America

South America is a vast continent with a wide array of unforgettable experiences for travellers to enjoy.

Its countries are filled with stunning natural parks, bustling streets, and, of course, incredible food.

We’ve put together a collection of 21 sights to see and experiences to have in South America. From gazing at monumental statues to marveling at the world’s highest waterfall, there are plenty of adventures to be had.

Take a four-wheel drive across Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world.

Hike the Inca Trail, which will lead you from Peru's Sacred Valley to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Along the way are beautiful mountain scenes, subtropical jungles, and Incan ruins ready to be explored.

Roberto Filho/Getty Images

Party at the world's biggest Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Shutterstock

Boat across the Amazon River, which is home to more than one-third of the world's animal species.

Shutterstock/Christian Vinces

Visit the Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, where you'll get up-close views of sea turtles and plenty of other animals. Each island boasts a unique landscape, ranging from volcanic rocks to white-sand beaches.

Shutterstock / Longjourneys

Try asado, delectable grilled meats from Argentina. The meats make for an unforgettable meal.

Shutterstock

Gaze at the Christ the Redeemer statue, which rises more than 2,000 feet above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue's awe-inspiring scale and design led to its being recognised as one of the seven new wonders of the world.

Shutterstock/Mark Schwettmann

Wander through Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, where you'll see colonial architecture dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The music, winding streets, and brightly painted houses once inspired Gabriel García Márquez's classic works of magical realism.

Shutterstock/Jess Kraft

Take a helicopter ride over Iguazu Falls, which borders Argentina and Brazil and is home to more than 200 waterfalls.

Shutterstock.com

Admire the stunning neo-Gothic architecture of Las Lajas Sanctuary, which crosses a gorge on the border between Colombia and Ecuador. Marvel at its stunning landscape, set 150 feet above the river in between lush cliffs and waterfalls, before seeing its stunning interiors.

Shutterstock/Rafal Cichawa

For an adventurous experience, catch the turtles nesting at Shell Beach in Guyana. It's an incredible sight -- from the moment the turtles sweep away the sand to lay eggs to when the hatchlings dig their way out of the sand to the sea.

Shutterstock/Stephanie Rousseau

Stroll through the vineyards of Mendoza in Argentina, known for its incredibly diverse wine production. Here, you can sample award-winning malbecs in a breathtaking setting.

Shutterstock/rm

Head to Chile's Atacama desert, where you'll get breathtaking sunset views over the Andes before enjoying incredible stargazing in the evening.

Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.