Ex­tend your trip

Visit four more of South Amer­ica’s nat­u­ral beau­ties.

Qantas - - Travel Insider. -

Rain­bow Moun­tain, Peru

The Au­san­gate Moun­tain in the Peru­vian An­des is painted in min­eral-rich stripes of turquoise, gold, or­ange and red. Al­though it’s a pil­grim­age site for lo­cal Quechua peo­ple and tourists, there’s no easy way to get there; it in­volves a jour­ney from the Inca city of Cuzco and a day’s hike to reach its peak. Most peo­ple go on foot but those who are less ac­tive (or suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of al­ti­tude sick­ness) can travel on horse­back.

Tor­res del Paine Na­tional Park, Chile

Ex­tend­ing from the Patag­o­nian Steppe all the way to the An­des is a mag­nif­i­cent pro­fu­sion of glaciers, moun­tains, rivers and lakes. But it’s the tor­res (tow­ers) from which the park gets its name that peo­ple come to see: three gran­ite peaks, spear­ing heav­en­wards from the Cordillera Paine, re­flected from cer­tain van­tage points in the still wa­ters of an ice-blue lake.

Patag­o­nian Lake Dis­trict, Ar­gentina

Glacial lakes are strung out like wa­tery wayfind­ers be­tween the north­ern Patag­o­nian towns of Bar­iloche and San Martín de los An­des. They guide trav­ellers along the Route of the Seven Lakes, which winds through na­tional parks filled with a head-swiv­el­ling abun­dance of valleys, peaks, wa­ter­falls and forests.

Salt Flats, Bo­livia

The world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, shrouds the high plateau of south-west Bo­livia in a veil of white. On closer in­spec­tion, you see that these pre­his­toric lakes have been quilted in ge­o­met­ri­cally per­fect salt crys­tals. When covered with a film of wet-sea­son rain, they mir­ror the sky in a daz­zling dis­play of op­ti­cal trick­ery.

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