If there is one word that can describe the remarkable continent of South America, it’s diversity. From jaw-dropping natural surroundings to a rich history, South America boasts some of the best UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here are our Destination Specialists’ top four choices.
Iguazu National Park | Argentina
The Iguazu Falls is an enormous set of waterfalls that connects the border between Brazil and Argentina. Known as one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, the Iguazu National Park was created on
October 9, 1934, with the sole purpose of preserving the falls and the biodiversity that surrounds it. These waterfalls are so powerful that the nearby Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam can generate enough electrical power for all of Paraguay and a portion of Brazil. While in Buenos Aires, don’t miss the opportunity to see not only one of the most spectacular cascades, but also what is known as the most extensive waterfall system in the world.
The Nazca Lines | Peru
Distinct animal shapes and geometric patterns characterize the Nazca Lines in Peru, which purpose and meaning till this day is still a mystery to scholars. From trapezoids, straight lines, rectangles, triangles, and swirls to more distinct shapes like a hummingbird, spider, or monkey, the designs can easily be seen from high above. One of the American professors, Paul Kosok, who studied the lines back in 1941, named this 310-square-mile stretch of high desert “the largest astronomy book in the world.” To truly appreciate the figures, fly over the enigmatic Nazca lines on our fascinating Nazca Lines Overflight.
Cartagena’s Old Town | Colombia
From colorful buildings to vibrant streets, Cartagena’s Old Town exudes a small town charm like no other. Discover why this beautiful South American town that faces the Caribbean Sea is known as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Reserve one our Executive Collection tours and explore the area with complete freedom. Discover the most extensive systems of military fortifications in South America, and don’t miss the 19th-century Puerta del Reloj (clock tower) – a symbol of the city. Also discover the Gold Museum, the Palace of Inquisition and the Cathedral – all located in Plaza Bolivar, and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas – a fort that is regarded as one of the most formidable examples of Spanish military architecture in South America.
Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia | Brazil
Known as one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in South America with a lively blend of Amerindian, European and African locals, the Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, and the first capital of Brazil, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985. Visit the historic Cathedral Basílica de Salvador and the ornate Church of San Francisco, covered entirely in gold, and the Largo do Pelourinho, a colonial square and pillory with immense historical significance. With an incredible arts movement and regular festivals, Salvador de Bahia is one of the most spirited cities in the continent.
Visit these and so many more stunning sites aboard Oceania Cruises and discover all that South America has to offer.