With everything from trekking through the dense jungle foliage to skiing down glacial mountain plains, South America is home to some of the most heart-pounding adventures any sporty traveler will love! These hidden gems in South America are a few of the most exciting, beautiful, and best-kept secrets to explore during your next vacation. Skip the busy tourist spots and instead, seek the thrills of a lifetime with these unique destinations that will leave you breathless.
– Kayak Up Close To The Perito Moreno Glacier In Patagonia
Located in Argentina’s Patagonia region is one of the most beautiful places in the world, a towering glacial giant surrounded by crystal blue waters and snow-capped mountains. Perito Moreno draws thousands of tourists annually who come to sit and stare at the natural wonder of this astounding fortress of ice. And, while travelers come from near and far to stand across from the ice and photograph the mystical site, few know that there is an even better experience waiting with Perito Moreno.
For travelers willing to take up a challenge, the opportunity to kayak around the glacier is an unforgettable one. Anyone can embark on this journey, no matter what skill level you have with a boat and a paddle. As you make your way across the freezing waters, you’ll get a rare and magical view of this towering natural site. While most chances to see Perito Moreno come from above, whether you are trekking or observing from afar, the kayaking experience is an opportunity to see the highly protected area from an uncommon vantage point.
Kayakers will be immersed completely in the elements, the only audible sounds being the soft trickling of paddles through water, and the impressive echo of ice calving within the glacier. When you arrive at the massive face of the glacier, your guide will explain a little history about Patagonia and explain why Perito Moreno is so significant to the ecosystem. Take time to marvel at the base of this massive glacier, and get the perfect photo for everyone back home to see how incredibly stunning this destination is! On your way back, see if there are any other adventure-loving travelers in the group who will take you up on a kayaking race, and test your abilities captaining your own boat. For an unmatched experience at Perito Moreno, skip the crowded observation decks and opt in for an exciting kayak tour instead!
– Take On The Rapids In Colca Canyon’s Biggest River
Colca Canyon is one remarkable Peruvian destination that truly has everything travelers could want. Known as the Kingdom of the Condor, nature lovers could spend their mornings watching the sky and looking for this region’s monarch, the Andean condor. Those who enjoy a leisurely day out could take a dip in the thermal waters and find natural replenishment in the wild. But, if you’re looking for the most incredible selection of extreme sports, there is nowhere better than Colca Canyon.
Among the most thrilling opportunities here is the white water rafting, meant only for the bravest of hearts. Flowing through one of the deepest canyons in the world is the river Colca, where a diverse array of rapids welcome every level of adventurer. Beginners can take on grade two rapids for an easier, but exciting sailing experience. If you’ve traveled the world in search of the most challenging rapids, and consider yourself an expert, the grade four rapids will suit your needs. You can even enjoy a multi-day rafting tour if you are craving an immersive experience in the canyon! Boating over one hundred miles downstream through intense waterfalls, rapids, and the most magical scenery to accompany your white-water adventure.
While the canyon rapids are one of the best hidden gems in South America, you can experience a range of activities while exploring this destination! If you would rather stay on dry land while seeing the depths, take a horseback riding tour to explore this region’s incredible rock formations in their full glory as you stare up towards the top of the canyon. Travelers can also find intense mountain biking routes, incredible rock climbing spots, and enjoy more casual trekking. Colca Canyon has plenty to offer adventure lovers, making it an essential bucket-list destination for the ultimate vacation!
– Experience The Thrill Of Free Falling In This Secret Colombian Town
Tucked away in the mountains of Colombia is the small town of Minca, a remote destination full of natural beauty and unbelievable outdoor experiences. If you’re looking for truly hidden gems in South America, this is one stop you need to add to your travel itinerary. Minca is within a reasonable distance from the coastal town of Santa Marta as well Cartagena, so accessing the town is doable for the traveler who is dedicated to going off the beaten path! Here, a collection of waterfalls and swimming holes offer adventurers various opportunities to dive into the unknown.
As you arrive in Minca, you will feel transported to a tropical jungle town unlike anything else. But venture deeper into the trees and you will uncover the true paradise. Visiting Pozo Azul is one of the most popular activities here, known for the three natural swimming pools with different depths. Whether you want to lounge or get a bit more daring, Pozo Azul makes it possible! One of the pools has an impressive waterfall that has become an essential spot for cliff jumping. That’s right, take a leap of faith into the Amazonian waters and embrace the thrill of free falling in Minca!
Or, for an equally exciting adventure that offers a little more security, try waterfall rappelling. Sometimes known as canyoning, this extreme sport offers travelers the unique chance to descend a waterfall as the waters pour down over them. Your adventure will start with a hike through the jungle to discover the falls. As you strap yourself in with a harness and carabiners, you will begin to repel down the edge of a cliff while gallons of rushing water fall around you. Whether you want to embrace the sense of freedom that comes with cliff jumping, or you’re curious about the unique adventure sport known as waterfall rappelling, Minca offers an off-the-grid backdrop for an unforgettable excursion.
– Explore The Most Stunning Lake In The Andes Mountains
Imagine a massive crater carved out after an ancient volcano collapsed and made room for new life to take over. The Quilotoa Lagoon is exactly that! With some of the most jaw-dropping views in Ecuador, featuring electric blue waters and steep mountain ridges, the lagoon provides some breathtaking scenery paired with magical outdoor adventures.
Travelers who want a peaceful addition to their South American adventure itinerary can choose to enjoy what’s known as the “down-and-back” hike throughout the crater. Hikers will get the chance to explore the lagoon waters up close, with an option to enjoy a mule ride back up the steep cliff. Though simple, this hike is physically intense and offers you a slower-paced journey to include in your trip! If you’re wanting a bit more during your visit, rent a kayak for a little while when you reach the bottom of the mountain. For those who don’t mind an arctic-feeling plunge, ask if you can take a swim during your boating excursion, and see if you can handle the frigid temperatures in this ethereal lagoon!
Whether you’re craving a non-stop excursion across the entire continent, or you want to explore as much of a single country as possible, these hidden gems in South America are just a few options to enjoy for an adrenaline-filled vacation! While planning your itinerary, talk to your Kuoda travel designer about what great adventures you’d like to take. We’ll research the best options for you, ensuring you have the perfect custom itinerary for the thrill of a lifetime!