South America is a land of spectacular contrasts, from the lush Amazon Forest to the glacial landscapes that can be found to the south of the continent. These wide expanses offer a great number of opportunities for avid hikers. It just depends on what you like to see.
One of the highlights on South America’s list of hikes is the Inca Trail which takes you up to Machu Pichu, the Incan Ruins. However, it is frequently booked up and can be quite expensive, the Salkantay hike is an alternative way to get to the ruins.
This breath-taking trek takes you through some of the natural wonders that South America has to offer, from snow-capped mountains, to turquoise glacier lakes and natural hot springs. This trek involves five days of hiking with four days of camping, with the fifth night being spent in a resort at your destination.
The W Trek: Torres Del Paine, Chile
Moving over to Chile, this hike lasts for four days and is best tackled between November and March. The Torres Del Paine is a national park in the southern part of South America in the southern tiers of the Andes. Roughly translated into English, Torres Del Paine means ‘Towers of Blue’ – a name which this national park gets from the glacial lakes, jagged peaks and powdered snow that it boasts.
The W Trek is less-strenuous than the nine-day O circuit, which is also offered in the Torres Del Paine. It is entirely possible for you to do this hike on your own, however there are guides available. It’s also quite affordable, at only $20 per day if you go at it alone.
Chapada Diamantina, Brazil
Chapada Diamantina is translated as ‘diamond cliffs’ in English which bears witness to the significant part that this section of the country placed during the diamond rush in the 1800s.
Whereas the previous two hikes on our list take you through much colder climes, this hike is definitely for those hikers who prefer warmer weather. If you decide to tackle this trek, it is advised that you pack long, light clothes to protect you from bugs and sunburns.
One of the highlights on this hike is Cachoeira da Fumaça, which is Brazil’s highest waterfall.
This is marked as a moderate-difficulty hike and it is recommended that you have a guide as most of the hiking trails are not marked, so are not readily visible to the person who is not experienced with the landscape. Once at the falls you can play the best games safely, have a splash and then start your descent.
Lost City Trek To Teyuna National Park, Colombia
If you’re looking to stretch your wings as a hiker, and attempt a hike that not many have done, then the Lost City Trek is for you.
This five-day trek begins in Santa Marta and during your journey, you will be taken through the jungle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Your destination is Ciudad Perdida, which is an ancient Colombian city that was established by the Tayrona people who are native to this part of the world. It has been said that only 10% of the ruins have been unearthed, which lends to the mysterious appeal of this city which many have forgotten.