Four of South America’s best wilderness experiences
Looking for an unforgettable wilderness experience in South America? Here are some suggestions!
1. Stargazing in Lake Titicaca, Peru/Bolivia border
The world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca is a sight to behold at any time of the year. It's so high up, in fact, that it may take you a couple of days to get accustomed to the altitude. Once you get used to the thinner air, stay up on a clear night, wrap up warm, and look up to observe the extraordinary star trails.
2. Funny photos on the salt fields of Bolivia
The mystifying, mirror-like Salar de Uyuni is a seemingly endless salt desert that is perfect for playing with perspective. If you don’t come back with at least one crazy picture, you’re doing it wrong!
The sky here is profoundly blue thanks to the incredibly clear atmosphere, and the colours are particularly impressive around sunrise and sunset. You’ll have no trouble finding a tour group to take you out to the salt flats – ask at your hostel for some tips.
3. Wildlife trek in the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park, Ecuador
This national park is overlooked by the prominent 3,990-metre Sumaco Volcano, and is home to hundreds of fascinating bird species. With six climatic zones, it's one of the most popular eco-tourism destinations in the Amazon Basin, and has plenty of tour guides and shelters.
4. Hiking the Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia
When you see the Torres del Paine National Park for the first time, your perception of natural beauty will be catapulted to a whole new level. Consider the 100-kilometre 'W' hike, which can be completed in about five days and passes through many remarkable sights such as the vast Glacier Grey, the astounding Valle de Frances viewing point, and the Mirador Torres Towers, the last of which is best viewed at sunset! To get to Torres del Paine, take a two-hour bus journey from Puerto Natales.