We have travelled all across South America, to Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil – in search of the continent’s Top 10 adventures, and you can watch the episode here
10. Kaieteur Falls, Amazon Forest of Guyana
The spectacular Kaieteur Falls located in the Amazon Forest of Guyana measures at 741 feet is said to be the highest single-drop waterfall anywhere in the world As a and a single drop waterfall is four times higher than Niagara Falls, and about twice the height of Victoria Falls. The falls were said to be named after an Amerindian chief by the name of “Kai” who gave his life by canoeing over the falls in order to protect his tribe from a rival Carib tribe by means of divine intervention. The word “teur” meant falls in the native Amerindian language so technically it would be redundant to include the word “Falls” in Kaieteur. Source: http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/latin-america-kaieteur-falls.html
9. Lanin Volcano in the Andes
The beautiful Lanin Volcano in the Andes Mountain range in Argentina. At over 3750 metres high, the two-day trek to the snow-capped summit requires a huge amount of stamina, but the spectacular views from the top make all the effort worthwhile. National Park of Leoncito is famed for its dry climate and strong reliable wind attracting a unique group of thrill seekers. Thanks to the pampas strong winds and flat surface it is said to be one of the best places in the world to land sail. Leoncito also attracts another kind of visitor who hikes to Argentina’s premier Astronomical Observatory, CASLEO to discover that a night under the stars like nowhere else.
8. Los Llanos wetlands in Venezuela
Coming in at Number 8 are The Los Llanos wetlands in Venezuela, a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia. It is an ecoregion of the flooded grasslands and savannas biome and home to giant anaconda snakes. Growing up to 10 metres long, and weighing as much as a grizzly bear, anaconda have been known to crush a human being to death before swallowing them head first.
7. Futaleufu River in Patagonia, Chile
White water rafting on the wild and untamed Futaleufu River in Patagonia, Chile, successfully rafting the perilous ‘Terminator’ rapid, one of the most challenging and dangerous white water rapids in the world. Situated between Argentina and Chile on the southern tip of South America, Patagonia is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. Chock-full of mountains, glaciers and fjords it is also home to one of the world’s wildest adrenaline rushes, whitewater rafting on the unforgiving Futaleufu River in Chilean Patagonia.
6. Ache tribe in the remote Mbaracayu National Forest Reserve, Paraguay
We are off to Paraguay for adventure 6 to go hunting with the formerly cannibalistic hunter-gatherer Ache tribe in the remote Mbaracayu National Forest Reserve. The reserve protects an area of high, humid subtropical forest in the upper Jejuí River basin covering 64,405 hectares (159,150 acres). 88% of the vegetation in the forest consists of varying types of forest with the rest being wetland, pasture, lagoon, river or cerrado. There are about 20 species of amphibians, over 400 species of birds including red-and-green macaw, king vulture, black-fronted piping guan, helmeted woodpecker and bare-throated bellbird as well as a great diversity of butterflies and at least 219 species of ants!
5. Salar de Uyuni, salt flats in Bolivia
Located just outside the town of Uyuni are the world’s largest salt flats in Bolivia. Salar de Uyuni are is the largest salt flat in the world covering more than 4500 square miles. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. Whilst you are in the area, pay a visit to The Palacio del Sal, a magical hotel incredibly sculpted entirely from salt.
4. Amazon rainforest, Brazil
Trekking through remote virgin rainforest surrounding the Amazon river head next to Brazil, to see the region’s remarkable wildlife. The Amazon has long been the epitome of trekking into vast, unexplored wilderness and is home to the second longest river in the world, the Amazon stretches 3900 miles from the Andes in Peru to the Atlantic and supports ten percent of the world’s plant and animal life. Animals such as piranha and three-toed sloths can be seen, as well as witnessing a rarely seen tribal initiation ritual in which young men must withstand the pain of thousands of biting ants. This is the largest tropical rainforest on earth and nature at its most awe-inspiring. The trouble is where do you start?
3. The Yungas, Bolivia
10,000 feet down a vertiginous mountainous road in Bolivia is Yungas, a narrow band of forest along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains from Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. The Yungas has been judged the world’s most dangerous road, and nicknamed ‘the road of death’, due to the high number of fatal accidents along the spectacular but potentially lethal road. The danger of the road has made it a popular tourist destination starting drawing some 25,000 thrillseekers, in particular, mountain biking enthusiasts have made it a favourite destination for downhill biking the 64-kilometre (40 mi) stretch of continuous downhill riding with only one short uphill section.
2. Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia
The remote Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia are where we head for Number 2, to the dramatically situated ruins of the so-called Lost City of the Tairona. Dating back to 300AD, this rarely visited ancient city was so overgrown by forest that it was only discovered in 1975. Ciudad Perdida, Spanish for “Lost City” is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. This location is also known as Teyuna and Buritaca. Ciudad Perdida was discovered in 1972, when a group of local treasure looters found a series of stone steps rising up the mountainside and followed them to an abandoned city which they named “Green Hell” or “Wide Set”.
1. Angel Falls, Venezuela
And at Number 1 we trek upriver through remote rainforest in Venezuela to the world’s highest waterfall, the dramatically beautiful Angel Falls – our choice of South America’s number 1 adventure. Sixteen times as high as Niagara Falls, three times the height of the Empire State Building, the Angel Falls, located in an isolated jungle provide a spectacular climax to our exploration of the top ten South American adventures.