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Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Treasures of South America

When anyone thinks of South America, visions of piranha-infested jungles and butch women making fires with their tears probably come to mind. The truth is, there is far more to this continent than folksy cliches and Amazonian tribes. Though South America boasts more than 900 million people, 95% are concentrated in just ten countries. That means millions of tons of Incan gold remain untapped by modern man.


Ever heard of Machu Picchu and the Amazon? Or the name Patagonia thrown about a bit too lightly? Well, these might be regular tourist destinations. I have visited South America many times and personally feel that it is one of the world’s most interesting continents. So when I describe my trips to friends, I often say that I explore places most people probably haven’t heard about today. Here are some off the Beaten Path treasures of South America:


Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Lake Titicaca, in the high Andes, is world-famous for its floating islands. Low in the lake’s limpid waters, this serene landscape is littered with hundreds of artificial mounds, which have been constructed as dwelling places by a long-isolated indigenous culture known as Uros.


One distinct memory from my journey is standing on Lake Titicaca’s shore, looking out over the vast, deep blue water. The sun was setting, creating a breathtaking scene. This image emblazons itself in my mind today!


Culinary Trails in Peru

Discover the native cuisine of the Americas’ most overlooked country. Culinary Trails of Peru is an adventure that changed my taste palette forever while exploring the hidden treasures off America’s beaten path. An insider’s tour is available as visitors learn to cook the daily dishes indigenous to each region and they tend to love this so much that they continue their cooking education when they go home with cooking classes near them similar to those on this website They also visit local markets, bakeries, and fresh food purveyors. Learn about chiles, spices, and other tropical fruits, and walk away with a greater appreciation for South American food and culture.


Argentine Lakes District

The Argentine Lakes region lies near the center of the South American continent, nestled against both Chile and Bolivia. It is surrounded by a natural area that includes such revered parks as Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares National Park, and Perito Moreno National Park-and its lakes are among Earth’s highest-altitude lakes.


The Argentine Lakes District is a vast region of glacier-carved valleys and lakes, snowcapped mountains, and undulating hillsides. It also contains dozens of engineering marvels such as the Cementerio Militar de Aeronautica, which stores the aircraft crashed in the Andes during their flights.


Santa Cruz and Río Gallegos

If there’s one thing South America’s southernmost city has going for it, it’s location. Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Santa Cruz Del Sur) is in the heart of the Bolivian lowlands, just south of the Andes, and only a short flight from Buenos Aires. The size of its airport reflects the number of travelers who stop for a few hours en route elsewhere in the world. But cutting through this predominantly commercial city, some great historical sites might easily be missed by travelers.


Santa Cruz and Río Gallegos, two fascinating provinces of Argentina, are characterized by a stunning mix of deserts, mountains, forests, and glaciers. While driving up the unpaved road between Burruyacu and Sta, visitors will discover an exotic landscape where locals lead quiet and peaceful lives in harmony with nature. Few people venture into this region, yet it is home to a few unique attractions.


Baleal Beach

Belial Beach is sunny, colorful, and cheerful. The saying goes that if there’s life at all in the Atlantic Ocean, this beach will have it. Once a popular surfing destination, it retains its nature. The beach is a hidden gem of the Minho coast and an unmatched view of the ocean from the Pôa River’s mouth to the vast Galician landscape.


My favorite spot at this beach was the small village next to it. I stayed on the beach in an unfurnished one-room house and had lunch at the only restaurant/bar in town. I enjoyed my first “cachaca” cocktail at the bar and noticed a group of men playing a game similar to horseshoes or lawn darts. The next day I took judo lessons from one of the bar owners and his wife; they lived their whole lives on Baleal Beach.

Travel to Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay to uncover the hidden treasures of South America. From the clean air of the high Andes and jagged peaks of Patagonia to the lush green valleys and majestic waterfalls of Iguazu Falls and Angel Falls, South America’s natural beauty will never cease to amaze. This guide makes it easy for armchair travelers to discover their own South America adventure!