6 incredible journeys in South America
South America is blessed with some of the most astonishing landscapes on earth.
1. The Inca Trail, Peru
Although just one of the Inca trails you can follow across the Andes, what makes this 33km route so popular is the unrivalled reward of Machu Picchu at its end. The most famous ruins in South America are a place that – no matter how jaded you are – stop you in your tracks.
2. Carretera Austral, Chile
The rounding ice-fields, vast glaciers and jagged fjords along this spectacular highway are most easily visited with your own wheels, but most are reachable by public transport; all you need is a bit of time and some organizational skills, since not all buses run daily.
3. Death Road, Bolivia
Be careful when planning a trip, though – cyclists have been killed or seriously injured on this rough, narrow track chiselled out of near-vertical mountainsides, and you must choose a tour operator with great care.
4. Ruta 40, Argentina
If you haven’t got your own wheels, head to the section between El Calafate/El Chaltén and Bariloche. Long popular with backpackers, with much of this route is paved and buses run its length almost daily in season – but it still retains a sense of isolation thanks to the endless pampas scrubland, interrupted only by the occasional tiny settlement or estancia.
5. Serra Verde Railway, Brazil
In fact, it’s one of our top reasons to visit Brazil’s overlooked southern states. Make sure to sit on the left-hand side of the train for the best views (or on the right if you’re not good with heights).
6. The Circuit, Torres del Paine, Chile
To best soak up the charms and wildlife of this rugged landscape, embark on “The Circuit” – a seven- to ten-day hike. An extended version of the popular “W”, this route that leads you around the back of the Torres, giving you some respite from the inevitable crowds.
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