Take a flight of the condor from the comfort of your desk, or the train, or wherever you’re looking at this. Take a grand tour of some of the most awesome places in South America, and maybe go there for real… someday.
1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Paraguay/Brazil
If you’re heading for a fall, do it in style. Iguazu Falls is made up of 275 waterfalls to make up one of the biggest falls in the world, so big that they straddle the border between three countries. The biggest drop is a frightening 80 metres.
2. Praia Vermelha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With all those beach volleyball and Barry Manilow associations, Copacabana takes the world fame while poor little Praia Vermelha lies in its shadow. Take the cable car up to Sugar Loaf mountain for this view, enjoyed by 007 during his tussle with Jaws in Moonraker.
3. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
Doesn’t this picture make you think of Flight of the Condor? What a theme tune. Anyway, one place to experience the Andes in all their spectacular glory is Torres del Paine National Park – a sublime region of glacier-clad massifs, snow-splodged mountains, towering pinnacles, pristine ice-blue lakes, sparkling clear rivers, and lama-like guanaco..
4. Huacachina, Peru
Huachina wasn’t there until the 1930s, when some Peruvians decided it would be a good idea to build around the lake – a real oasis in the desert. These days, unsurprisngly, it attracts tourists, hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary mermaid said to inhabit the lake.. and go sand buggying.
5. Sau Paulo, Brazil
As far as bridges go, the Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge is quite an interesting example. Bridge enthusiasts will lap up the fact that It is the only bridge in the world that has two curved tracks supported by a single concrete mast. It’s also a hotspot for crime – thieves keep nicking stuff from it, like wire, and the lights.
6. Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
‘Brazil’s capital of happiness’ is so called because of its tendency to throw parties, no doubt fuelled by enormous amounts of rum (just to be cliché), The highlight of the social calendar is the city’s carnival, officially the biggest party on the planet, when four million people get merry for a week, then swear never to drink rum again.
7. Huayhuash, Peru
You might think that someone has been dabbling in Photoshop, but the Huayhuash trek, in the Waywash range of the Andes, was rated ‘second most beautiful trek in the world’ by National Geographic magazine. Quite impressive, eh?
8. Montevideo, Uruguay
You go down to the seafront to take in the sunset and go for a stroll to get up an appetite for a massive slap-up steak sandwich with eggs and veg (the Uruguayan speciality, chivito, or ‘cholesterol bomb’, and look what happens. The weather in Montevideo is generally sub-tropical, but apparently sleet is a ‘regular occurence’ in winter.
9. Bogota, Colombia
You may be put off by Columbia’s dangerous reputation, and while it may not be too safe to wander about late at night after a few too many lychee martinis in Bogota, that goes for anywhere. Don’t miss the historic part of the city, La Candelaria, and get orientated (it is massive) by taking the cable car up Mount Monsserate.
10. Machu Picchu, Peru
Well, we couldn’t leave this out, could we? You can actually climb up to the top of the hill you can see there, but a head for heights is an essential requirement.