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8 Things You Can Only Experience In Latin America

8 Things You Can Only Experience In Latin America

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 24, 2015

20 sovereign states make up Latin America, which runs from the U.S-Mexican border all the way down to the Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. The world’s tallest waterfall, Bolivian salt flats, a Colombian carnival and an Amazonian market are all included on our list of 15 things you can only experience in Latin America.

Huacachina | Peru

© mauroguanandi/Flickr

In the southwest of Peru there lies an oasis in the desert. Huacachina is a natural lake surrounded by sand dunes which rise up hundreds of feet. A constant source of water in a desert is always a boon, but for travellers who are more action orientated, the swell of the dunes provide the perfect setting for sandboarding and dune buggy riding.

Uyuni Salt Flats | Bolivia

Salar of Uyuni, Bolivia | © Anouchka Unel/Wikicommons

The Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia are an amateur photographer’s dream, as the vast distances of flat landscape allow anyone with a lense to start playing with perspective. At around 4,000 square miles and with an elevation of no more than one meter at any one point, the salt flats appear to push the horizon to its limits. At the right time of year, migrating pink flamingos add color to the already dazzling landscape.

Angel Falls | Venezuela

Angel Falls | © Paulo Capiotti/Wikicommons

Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet. In the indigenous language of Pemon its name is ‘waterfall of the deepest place’ , while the English version takes its name from the first person to fly over it: the American aviator Jimmie Angel. Nowadays, a flyover is by far the easiest option, but the trek through the Venezuelan jungle is well worth it for those who make the arduous journey. Stargazing in the Atacama Desert | Chile

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert | Chile

Milky Way seen from the Atacama desert | © Tafreshi Wikicommons

The Atacama desert in Chile is home to some of the most advanced telescopes in the world. Its high-altitude and great distance from light-polluting cities make it one of the best places in the world to gaze up at the Milky Way. Professional astronomy aside, the desert is ideal for camping trips where a bottle of pisco, the local firewater, never goes amiss.

Hiking the Cordillera Huayhuash | Peru

Cordillera Huayhuash seen from space | © NASA/Wikicommons

The Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru rises above 12,000 feet, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape for the intrepid hiker. The hike gives walkers a taste of the quieter side of Latin American living. Glacial lakes are one of the hike’s highlights, as are encounters with the local wildlife, such as llamas and the condors which glide effortlessly overhead.

Silver mines in Potosí | Bolivia

The city of Potosí | © Gerd Breitenbach/WIkicommons

Bolivia has a long and complicated history with mining, having been a major source of silver for the Spanish Crown. To really understand the history of mining in the country, a visit to the Cerro Rico (Rich Hill) in Potosí is indispensable, where llama and mule were the mode of transport for the riches carted north and shipped from Panama. Potosí is also one of the world’s highest cities at over 13,000 thousand feet.

Walk the Buenos Aires of Borges 

Congress Palace in Buenos Aires | © Miguel César/Wikicommons

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city to walk around at any time of the year and the architecture and barrios are reason enough to start wandering. However, Buenos Aires was also the long-time home to the much beloved Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and the city is filled with places in which he worked, lived and wrote about. The Centro Cultural Borges is an excellent place to start a literary tour of Latin America’s largest port city.

Peruvian Cuisine

Peruvian Corn | © Jenny Mealing/Wikicommons

Peru is blessed with rich and diverse agricultural yields, which combined with a long history of international culinary influences, make it one of the best places in the word to sample fusion foods. With Incan, European and East Asian cuisines to draw on, restaurants in La Paz and Lima can rightly say they serve food like nowhere else on earth.

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