Top 10 South America Tourist Attractions

Not just the natural beauty is sought after when backpacking South America. While the dramatic landscapes of the continent are amazingly beautiful, some of the top South America tourist spots are those made by humans. Through the efforts of the people in present and ancient times, manmade creations are now seen and enjoyed by many.

The most fascinating of the sights designed by humans are the ones created in ancient times. Some of the oldest civilizations have constructed huge structures that seem impossible given the fact that they didn’t have access to the tools we do today. These are some of the best South America tourist attractions.

The ones created in our times show not only the creativity of the modern human but also the architectural genius it takes to execute such a project. Here are some of the top South American tourist attractions.

#1 Statue Of Christ The Redeemer, Brazil

Christ The Redeemer
Christ The Redeemer

Standing atop the Corcovado Mountain is the world-renowned landmark of Rio, the statue of Christ The Redeemer. The welcoming arms of the monument of Jesus Christ symbolize peace offered by the people of Brazil. From above, you’ll witness the panoramic view of downtown Rio along with the Lagoon, Atlantic Ocean, and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

#2 Moai, Easter Island, Chile

Moai, Easter Island, Chile - South America Tourist Attractions
Moai, Easter Island, Chile

It’s still a mystery how the ancient people built Moia without the use of modern tools. This huge statue is especially intriguing because it was made out of hardened volcanic ash, and attempts at reconstruction have been difficult. There are 887 Moines found in Easter Island and it puzzled the people around the world from the date of its discovery up to the present on why the ancient people made an effort to build it. Unraveling the mystery of these Moais has been the aim of many a South American tourist visiting Easter Island.

#3 Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

On top of the mountain is the sacred Lost City of the Incas. Carved in granite, the structures of the buildings were built precisely with genius architecture and design that prevents them from collapsing during earthquakes.

#4 Nazca Lines, Peru

Nazca Lines - South America Tourist Attractions
Nazca Lines

To date, the mystery of the Nazca Lines still remains. Many theories were created to prove that these are made by men of ancient Nazca and not by aliens from outer space. The drawings are clearly seen from the air and when you visit the site, you’ll wonder how they were able to make giant images in the desert without human flight – and why. These mysteries make the Nazca Lines one of the most popular South America tourist attractions.

#5 Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, Colombia

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The underground salt mine turned cathedral is a one-of-a-kind attraction you’ll come across in the town of Zipaquira, just outside of Bogota. As you enter the narrow, dimly lit tunnels, you’ll walk through various exhibits that showcase different crosses and rooms that have been made completely of salt. It’s a functioning church, but most come to visit the place for its unique statues and sculptures that give extra beauty to the place.

#6 Archeological site of Chan Chan, Peru

Archeological site of Chan Chan - South America Tourist Attractions
Archeological site of Chan Chan

UNESCO declared the ruins of the city of Chan Chan a World Heritage Site in 1986, making it one of the most famous archeological sites in South America. There are thousands of impressive adobe structures like temples, tunnels, and ceremonial centers found here. However, they’re gradually being destroyed by erosions caused by climate change, so you better pack your things to see it before it’s gone.

#7 San Agustín, Colombia

san agustín colombia
san agustín colombia

The sanctuary of sculptures carved in stones in San Agustin Archeological Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex thought and creativity of the Andean people are shown in the megalith structures built from the 1st to 8th century with numerous sculptures of mythical figures. These remnants are evidence of the ingenuity of the ancient people as well as their magical and religious beliefs.

#8 Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum - South America Tourist Attractions
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum

This white saucer-shaped museum is situated on top of a cliff in Niteroi City outside of Rio de Janeiro. The futuristic design was made by Oscar Niemeyer with three floors that display the contemporary art of Brazil. The South America tourist will not just enjoy the sculptures and paintings inside the museum but also the view of Rio as well as Sugarloaf Mountain.

#9 São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador, Brazil

São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador
São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador

Being in the São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador is like being in a palace of beauty and art. The inside of the church is packed with golden designs from the ceilings to the walls with paintings all over. The interesting baroque designs are works of genius and are considered an important colonial building in Brazil.

#10 Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba, Argentina

Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba - South America Tourist Attractions
Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba

The Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba have become tourist attractions in Argentina. They were recognized as a World Heritage Site in 2000. This is one of the most successful projects of the Jesuits with six ranches or estancias to maintain it. It also holds the oldest university in Argentina, the University of Cordoba.

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