List of described attractions by countries

South America is a continent with 12 countries and 2 overseas territories. Galápagos Islands - a distant province of Ecuador - also is reviewed separately.

Country, territoryNo. of landmarks
Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)1
French Guiana (France)1
Galápagos Islands (Ecuador)1

South America - map

Wikipedia article about South America.


Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls from air
Iguazu Falls from air. Brazil to the right, Argentina - to the left.
Gorkaazk, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

One of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the world is Iguazu Falls. No figures and no words can describe the harmonious beauty of this waterfall - which by many is seen as the most magnificent waterfall in world.


Main attractions

Laguna Verde, Potosí
Laguna Verde, Bolivia.
Pedro Szekely, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There is little doubt - South America is one of the most spectacular... may be the most spectacular continent of the world.


Here is located the second highest mountain chain in the world, the largest rainforest, the tallest volcanoes, tallest and largest waterfalls. The highest biological diversity in the world is reached somewhere near the eastern ranges of Andes in Ecuador, Peru or Colombia.


Isluga church, Chile
Isluga church, Chile.
Emilio Erazo-Fischer, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

In the area of contemporary Peru and Bolivia (or... Brazil?... or Colombia?) developed independent civilization with numerous diverse cultures building highly original cities, shrines, necropolises, agricultural systems, having unique art and traditions. Much of this heritage is not discovered yet, much is not understood or misunderstood.

Architecture and art

European dominance here was brought by brutal force. But brutal force was not enough, sophisticated locals had to be impressed with rich, sumptuous buildings. Thus in South America were built beautiful cities with some of the most ornate churches in the world, often covered with pure gold inside.

Of much higher value is symbiosis of the best characteristics of European and South American civilization in arts. Unsurpassed world-class jewels of art and design are the Jesuit missions in Santa Cruz department, Bolivia, which united the exquisite taste for arts of locals and Europeans. Of similar value are the simple but elegant Andean churches in Chile and many other historical buildings in South America.

South American architects have been at the forefront of world architecture in 20th century. Amazing works were created in Brazil, also in Uruguay and other countries.

Natural landmarks

El Tatio geysers, Chile
El Tatio geysers, Chile.
P.Casablanca, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Geothermal features

Rock formations

Itaimbezinho Canyon
Itaimbezinho Canyon, Brazil.
Valdiney Pimenta, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Caves and sinkholes

Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel, Venezuela
Sarisariñama tepui, Venezuela. Sima Humboldt in the middle part of picture and Sima Martel in the far background.
Luis Ruiz Berti, public domain.



Espeletia pycnophylla in Páramo El Ángel, Ecuador
Frailejones - Espeletia pycnophylla and fog, Páramo El Ángel in Ecuador.
Thomas van Hengstum, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Other natural landmarks

Laguna Colorada, Potosí
Laguna Colorada, Bolivia.
Valdiney Pimenta, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Man made landmarks

Petroglyphs and rock art


Nazca lines - drawing of spider, Peru
Nazca lines - drawing of spider, Peru.
Corey Spruit, Flickr / CC BY 2.0


Ancient settlements

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru.
Pedro Szekely, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Other archaeological monuments

Historical cities

Pelourinho - historic centre of Salvador de Bahia
Pelourinho - historic centre of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
José Luis Ruiz, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Churches and missions

Church of the Society of Jesus, Quito
Church of the Society of Jesus, Quito in Ecuador.
Dr. Carlos Costales Terán, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Floralis Genérica, Argentina
Floralis Genérica in Buenos Aires.
Beatrice Murch, Flickr, CC BY 2.0


Other man made landmarks

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil.
Piutus, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 19 March 2012 Gatis Pāvils

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