Those seeking vast landscapes, nature left to its wildest devices and the sheer force of the elements should head to South America. Here the wilderness is boundless, the peaks are jagged, and the silence is deafening but for the whistling of the wind and the creaking of the glaciers. Conditions can be challenging for even the hardiest but the sense of adventure is electrifying. Team all this exhilaration with cosy fire-lit lodges, the warm hospitality of the locals and a fine pampas-reared steak washed down with a hearty Malbec and you’ve got yourself the perfect destination for the active adventurer, the gourmet traveller and the wilderness seeker alike.
Chile Around 0 of Chile is made up of mountains which makes it an adventure playground for hikers, skiers, ice-climbers and adrenaline junkies alike. The soaring geography creates plunging gorges and surging rivers with white-knuckle rapids boasting some of the best rafting in the world. The Futaleuf River in the Patagonian Andes swirls with glacial waters tumbling through stunning alpine scenery. Some stretches are suitable for beginners whilst others rage with Class V rapids that will challenge even the most expert rafters. Chile also boasts miles and miles of pristine coastline and because on average it’s only 10 mile wide, you’re never very far from the ocean. Aboard a kayak you can glide silently through Patagonia’s spectacular bays, crystalline waterways and icy fjords, enjoying close encounters with the abundant bird and sea life and feeling dwarfed by almighty icebergs.
Argentina Argentina is best explored on horseback. Four hooves can carry you where four wheels cannot and you’ll find yourself winding up forgotten Andrean trails, confronting the nose of a glacier head on and discovering remote communities living traditional gaucho lifestyles. With the varied terrain comes long canters across open valleys, windy climbs along exposed ridges, meanders through enchanted forests and splashing gallops through turquoise waterways and with no engine noise and little environmental impact it’s the perfect way to reacquaint yourself with Mother Nature. You can choose to base yourself at a beautiful estancia and enjoy daily rides into the wilderness or you can embark on a seven day journey through the Patagonian Lake District, spending the nights in isolated refugios and fly camping on the shores of glacial lakes. The angling is also phenomenal in Argentina and the beautiful Traful River boasts some of the finest fishing on the continent. Catch land-locked salmon and rainbow trout then swim in crystal clear wanders.
Peru Visiting Cusco, high up in the Andes, is like walking through a living museum of Peruvian history with colonial churches and mansions sitting atop granite Inca walls on streets still known by their indigenous 4uechuan names. The infamous Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most iconic walking destinations but it is possible to escape the crowds by taking the -day Salkantay Route’ in the Cordillera Vilcabamba. This route crosses the spectacular , 00 m 15,000 ft Salkantay Pass, descends into cloud forest valleys, passes through small villages and allows for overnight stays in comfortable lodges along the way.
For serious mountaineers, the Cordillera Blanca Trek is a challenging but exhilarating 1 day hike through the 8NESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site of Huascarin National Park. Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world, rivals the Himalayas in scale but arguably beats them on beauty. This trek is rated ultimate challenge’ meaning you will be traversing steep, rugged terrain at high elevations with substantial altitude gains and losses and no vehicle support. You’ll cross seven passes (five of them over 15,000 feet), and camp at altitudes of 1 ,000 to 1 , 00 feet. Although not for beginners, this route is one of the world’s better kept secrets and a bucket list triumph for any experienced hiker.
Guyana uyana is truly one of South America’s last frontiers but his little known gem offers rich rewards for those daring enough to get off the beaten track and visit. Natural treasures range from flooded savannahs and meandering rivers to thick, sultry jungles and the awe inspiring .aieteur Falls. The colonial capital of eorgetown contrasts with the indigenous tribes and traditional vacqueros (cowboy) communities. Nature lovers can seek out the elusive jaguar, giant anteater or giant otter whilst twitchers can observe close to 1,000 species of bird life including the uianan Cock-of-the-rock, Rufous-winged round Cuckoo and the Sun Parakeet. English-speaking and culturally Caribbean, the nation also boasts great rum, a passion for cricket and excellent music.
The pure beauty of yuana lies in the fact that people simply don’t go there but as the saying goes fortune favours the bold’, and if indeed you are bold enough to set foot here, rest assured you will be handsomely rewarded.