6 Secret Gems in South America – Start Planning Your Visit
Itacarezinho beach, Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil. Source: Teles
South America is known for it’s vibrant cities, colonial architecture and stunning beaches. Tourists flock to the famed beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro and admire colonial architecture in São Paulo Brazil. Still more make the trek to Machu Piccu in Peru. But if you’re looking for a more authentic South American experience, consider these 6 hidden gems that feature the best of secluded beaches, ancient artifacts, alpine villages and quaint fishing village. Read on and get ready to add some great South American Secret Gems to your travel wish list.
- Itacare, Brazil
Located on the east Cocoa Coast of Brazil, Itacare is “certified reggae” country, where you’ll find deserted beaches to enjoy at a sweet and incredibly unhurried pace. The white sands are coupled with year-round warm water. You better plan to stay for a while because every visitor who comes in always has their heart stolen. It has also earned a solid reputation as a fantastic surf spot.
- Arequipa, Peru
The Landscape of Arequipa Perú. Source: Diego Delso
Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru, wears its stubborn regional charm very nicely. Alongside volcanoes and baroque architecture, you’ll find the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, which is considered a World Heritage location. During your stay, make sure to take in the cuisine-after all, it’s the food capital of Peru.
- Arica, Chile
Home to a tremendous surf break that draws people in from around the world, the northernmost city of Chile has a lot to offer. Mild temperatures make it an excellent year-round destination and that’s why it has earned the name, “City of Eternal Spring”. As you move away from the beaches, you’ll discover everything from the snow-capped volcanoes to the 7600-year-old mummies in Azapa Valley.
- Cartagena, Colombia
Lighthouse on Cartagena, Columbia. Source: ECprodiction
Cartagena is a wonderful colonial city of South America. Featuring huge, many centuries old plazas and stunning 400-year-old churches and houses. Everything is encompassed by some of the most staggering natural landscapes on the continent. Flit between the galleries and enjoy laid back tours of the area’s historical sites, like the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, which dominates the skyline.
- Jericoacoara, Brazil
This tiny little fishing village has changed a lot in the past twenty years. Up until the year 2000, it didn’t have electricity, it didn’t even have a newspaper. In fact, “money” was a foreign concept to most citizens. Today, all of that has changed. Hot showers are now an everyday luxury, but streetlights are still forbidden, showing that some things will never change.
The area was once home to the native Tupi-GuaranÍ people and the coastal refuge is now thankfully an Environmental Protection Area, which means the natural beauty is untouched by man, and will remain that way for centuries to come. Visitors come for adventure and relaxation, mixing their time between paddle boarding, sand boarding alongside kitesurfing, dune buggies, and windsurfing. Even if you’re opting for a laid back vacation, you have to give some of the activities a try.
- Bariloche, Argentina
Bariloche, Argentina. Source: Nanmartinav
This beautiful alpine city is located in the foothills of the Andes. On your visit, you’ll get a little taste of Switzerland in the middle of South America. Bariloche, situated in Argentina’s Patagonian Andes, is graced with chalets inspired by the Swiss themselves and dotted with fine chocolate shops that line Calle Mitre, the main strip. You’ll surely find yourself ambling down one evening during your stay (or probably many).
The surrounding mountains are more than 2000 meters high and provide a dramatic setting. The place is a magnet for snowboarders and skiers who come in for the powder and stay all season long, waiting for the days when it gets up to two meters deep.
Remember to insure your trip
Protect your holiday with travel insurance. Whether you’re visiting family, on a business jaunt or taking a couples get-away holiday to Bali, take off on your next flight knowing you’ve got cover with travel insurance. Expect the unexpected, and protect your trip. For more information visit: https://insurance.airnewzealand.co.nz/