Rio, Buenos Aires and Santiago are 3 of the most popular cities in South America and they rightfully grab the headlines for beautiful cities. There are however, many beautiful cities in South America that far too often don’t receive the plaudits that they deserve and here are the top 5 most underrated cities in this beautiful continent.
The Uruguayan capital sits across the bay from Buenos Aires and is Uruguay’s largest and most populous city. Montevideo is a functioning port and has over 14 kilometres of beautiful beaches to visit, the city is bathed in colonial architecture and art-deco design with several museums that display the artefacts from the time of Spanish rule. The city has an old appearance and a modern style and you should most certainly spend some time here. Montevideo and Buenos Aires are just 2 hours away by ferry across the bay so you can do both in one trip.
La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia and the highest city in the World at 3,500m above sea level. The city has a backdrop of the awesome snow-capped Mount Illimani and you can enjoy the amazing landscape from one of the many cable cars that traverse the city. La Paz features one of ‘the World’s most dangerous roads’ a spiralling road that descends some 2,000 feet. You can rent bikes and take a journey down the road itself with a guide, a great experience. La Paz has an interesting history and you can visit ruins and rural towns that still operate like days gone by. La Paz is a beautiful city and should definitely be visited on a trip to South America.
Fortaleza is situated on Brazil’s north east coast and is the capital of the state Ceara, the city is a wonderful alternative to Rio and a beautiful place. The city is a vast natural paradise with stunning beaches adorned with dunes and calm trees, sprawling red cliffs and several large lagoons. The city is used to tourism and there is plenty of infrastructure in place to meet the demand. Fortaleza has a vibrant nightlife and is not as Western influenced as areas like Rio, which means that you don’t have to look far to get a real Brazilian experience of food, parties and culture.
Just 2 hours of Santiago lies the beautiful port city of Valparaiso, a city with awesome views of the Pacific and a cultural city that is beautifully designed. Valparaiso houses the national museum of art and culture along with several cultural and historical museums including the home of Chilean poet Pablo Naruda. The city is filled with bohemian streets and quirky neighbourhoods and the city is not only stunning but very tranquil and you will find the city a very relaxing place to stay.
As all these countries are Spanish speaking, this is one reason why you should also learn Spanish before embarking on an adventure to South America.