South America has over 300 national parks, each of their landscapes different from the last. They include some of the most beautiful national parks in the world. These are our favourite to look at.
Torres del Paine, Chile
Located in the Patagonia mountain region of Chile, the national park’s famous rock formations high up in the sky are the pick of the views – but we shouldn’t miss out the grassy French Valley, the ice fields and glaciers or the lakes either. Two of the biggest lakes are connected by the 100-metre high Salto Grande waterfall.
Tayrona National Natural Park is located on the Caribbean coast and backs onto parts of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria, which is the world’s highest coastal mountain range. Coconut palm trees and rainforest decorate the landscape. Tayrona is the idyllic seaside holiday destination in South America and it caters well for tourists.
Los Glaciares, Argentina
“The Glaciers” are incredible viewing. The Perito Moreno glacier stretches across five kilometres and is 60 metres above an icecap which covers a large part of Lake Argentina. This glacial paradise is a mix of the national colours – white and blue.
Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil
Brazil’s equivalent to Los Glaciares are a whole other type of landscape, where you can see vast expanses of white, wavy sand dunes in the distance which give this Brazilian national park its title: the “bedsheets of Maranhão”. The blue-green lagoons add another dimension to the delightful view.
on the border between Argentina and Brazil is a natural wonder that attracts many tourists to the national park every year. It is a waterfall system of almost three kilometres in length – the longest in the world. The Falls is surrounded by rainforest, which has thousands of plant species.
From the green hilltops of Tijuca you can see all of Rio de Janiero. This national park is one only a few to be based in a city and also virtually man-made – but the tropical rainforest would have you think otherwise. Pedro II of Brazil created this national park in 1861 to reverse deforestation. The waterfalls, animals and plants here are a reminder that Rio used to be entirely a wild rainforest.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Ecuadorian islands have some of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. Penguins, finches, pelicans, sea turtles, sea lions and the blue-footed booby inhabit the islands’ sandy beaches. These animals do not see humans as a threat, so people can go up close and admire them as well as the simple scenic pleasures of largely flat green land and sea.
The main geographical feature of the national park is Mount Cotopaxi, a huge active super-volcano at 5,897 metres high. The best view in this national park is of the snow-topped volcano in the distance from the path around Limpiompungo Lake, where you can also see bears, pumas, wolves, rabbits, wild horses and foxes roaming wild among the fields.