National Parks in South America
The "must see" parks
February 25, 2022
No other continent in the world offers as many national parks and natural phenomena as South America. Due to the seemingly never-ending amount of land and the relatively low density of population, many places are barely touched by human kind. There is something for everybody, from rainforests to glaciers, mountains, waterfalls and even deserts and breathtaking cliffs. In the following, you can find a selection of ten national parks that are especially beautiful and that you definitely should not miss on your travels through South America.
1) Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
This national park is on top of any bucket list. Located in Patagonia in the most southern region of Chile, you will experience breathtaking nature around every corner. There are gigantic mountain ranges, glaciers, icebergs and lakes. You can hike the famous W-trek, on which you will see the beautiful nature on a five-day-hike.
2) Iguazu National Park, Argentina
The famous waterfalls in the rainforest of Iguazu attract millions of tourists every year to this national park that also offers other beautiful nature and an incredible biodiversity. Since 1984, the park is even part of the UNESCO world heritage and is located right at the Brazilian and Paraguayan borders.
3) Galapagos National Park, Ecuador
Located almost 1000 kilometer from the mainland of Ecuador you will find the Galapagos Islands. Here, you have the opportunity to watch many endemic animals in their natural habitat: Sea lions, seals, giant turtles and sea turtles, land and marine iguanas as well as the famous blue-footed booby. Especially popular are little cruises to remote parts of the islands where the flora and fauna are still perfectly intact.
4) Glacier National Park, Argentina
Just across the border from Torres del Paine in Patagonia hides another spectacular national park filled with perpetual ice. There are countless options for scenic hikes, on which you will have to stop all the time to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings.
5) Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
This national park is destination to many ocean lovers. Seemingly never-ending beaches with palm trees, an incredible diversity of animals and beautiful hikes with views on the Pacific Ocean make a visit to this park a trip of a lifetime.
6) Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Another park on the list that offers breathtaking beaches is located at Columbia’s Caribbean coastline. Eco-tourism is operated on a high level, which makes it the perfect spot for a relaxing get-away to remote nature for a couple of days. There are several activities that can be enjoyed here, such as birdwatching, surfing, snorkeling or simply relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
7) Madidi National Park, Bolivia
Madidi National Park is said to be the place with the highest biodiversity in the world. Located at the foothill of the Andes in the region of the Amazon you can find eleven percent of the known bird species. Furthermore, there are jaguars, different kinds of monkeys and even tapirs just to name a few of the exotic mammals. On the hikes through the jungle, you could not feel further away from home.
8) Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina
This national park in the most southern part of South America offers an incredible variety of wildlife adventure. The big lakes invite for fishing and the never-ending nature are the perfect spot for horseback-riding, husky sledding and cross-country skiing. Mountains, waterfalls and glaciers make the park a dream come true to all nature lovers and it is also the starting point for trips to the Antarctica.
9) Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
Located in the northeast of Brazil, this park is a little different from all the other parks with its gigantic white sand dunes and blue lagoons. Only few tourists make their way here so this place is really an insider tip and definitely worth a visit.
10) Manu National Park, Peru
This dream destination for all bird lovers and those who in generally love biodiversity is home to over 15,000 different plants, 1000 kinds of birds, 200 different mammals, reptiles and insects. The park also protects Indian tribes that have ever lived in the Amazon region as hunter and collectors.
Curious yet? Then check out the different possibilities to spend a couple of weeks or even months in South America. South America Inside offers you plenty of volunteer programs with a meaningful mission and unforgettable adventure.