From ancient cities to colonial-era cities, South America is a continent full of history and mystery. Here are 5 historical sites that must be visited.
South America is a continent rich in history. From ancient civilizations, to the conquest of Europe and the struggle for independence, this diverse continent has earned a varied, turbulent and all-encompassing place in the history books. Whether the sight-seeing traveler or history buff, South America has a lot to offer in the form of amazing historical sites. From colonial architecture and antiquities to ancient cities and unsolved historical mysteries, South America has more than enough to fit every traveler’s itinerary.
Here are 5 must-see historical sites to visit on your journey across South America.
5): Machu Picchu, Peru
Sitting at an elevation of 2,430 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu is an old Inca dwelling in the Cusco region of the Andes Mountains. This site is one rich in history.
Said to have been built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, it was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest, and remained not widely known until 1911, giving rise to its title as ‘the lost city of the Incas’.
A famous symbol of the Inca civilization, Peru, and South America in general, Machu Picchu occupies a proud place on many travelers’ bucket lists, and for good reason. Once you complete one of the many treks through the mountains to reach the site, not only are you rewarded with a guided tour of the Inca city, but you also become witness to one of South America’s most famous sights. For the most intrepid traveller, climb along the narrow, nearly vertical pathways up the adjacent Huayna Picchu for the best views of this stunning historic site.
4): Pelourinho, Salvador, Brazil
Known as ‘Historic Center’ in English, Pelourinho was the center of Salvador during the Portuguese colonial period, and remains a center of colonial architecture. A former slave market, this center is now home to cafes, churches and restaurants and has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status, a must-see for any traveler interested in Brazil’s Portuguese colonial history.
3): The Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia
Another colonial historic center, Cartagena’s walled old city is an outdoor museum dedicated to the Spanish colonization of Colombia. The old town was home to Cartagena’s wealthy and to this day is full of colonial-era churches, monasteries and mansions. Much of the surrounding wall, which was built to protect the city from enemy attack, remains intact, as do cobbled streets and colonial statues. Once again, this historical site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another to tick off the wish list of every traveler interested in Spanish colonialism.
2): Easter Island, Chile
Images of rows of human-like stone statues with disproportionate heads have become synonymous with Easter Island. Sculpted more than 500 years ago by the indigenous people of the island of Rapu Nui, the Easter Island statues, or Moai, are believed to be memorial statues built in the images of deceased ancestors. Moai are one of the last remaining links to a dead society, leaving little trace of their existence. A must-see for anyone traveling through the region.
1): The Nazca Lines, Peru
The mysterious Nazca lines in Peru are a series of ancient lines in the Nazca desert that form more than 70 large drawings of various animals. The exact purpose of the line remains a mystery, but it is believed that the line was designed at least 1500 years ago by people in the Nazca Province in Peru’s Ica Region.
If you travel to Peru, be sure to visit the queue, one of South America’s oldest unsolved mysteries, if not the world. From Ica, tourists can book a tour of the line and witness some of the designs from a tall viewing tower. For a more comprehensive view of the line, tour operators run short flights above the line allowing you to see all the designs, including spiders, monkeys and birds, a surefire way to spice up your history. adventure in South America.
South America has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for photo opportunities to fill your Facebook page or want to learn about the history of this diverse continent, with so many historic sites – many of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, South America never disappoints.