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If you're planning a trip to South America this year, there are a few destinations that you really can't afford to miss. So pack your backpack, get your best walking shoes on and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime.

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Date: 14/03/2013

Top backpacking destinations in South America

If you're planning a trip to South America this year, there are a few destinations that you really can't afford to miss. So pack your backpack, get your best walking shoes on and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime.

Macchu Pichu, Peru

The Incan City of Machu Picchu, nestled within the mountainous region of Peru, is the most famous archaeological site in the country. Travellers from across the globe trek the region on the Inca Trail to see this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

If you're looking for some of the most amazing wildlife in the world, set amidst astonishing natural beauty, then the Galapagos Islands are not to be missed. Sea lions, turtles and penguins frolic amongst the waves in this area which has been untouched by development and change for the last century.

Easter Island, Chile

Visit the famous giant stone figures known as the 'Moai' or head for one of the beautiful white sandy beaches. Watersports are popular here - make sure you have adequate travel insurance in place to protect you in case of accident or injury!

Amazonia, Ecuador

The Amazon is one of the astounding ecosystems on earth. Take a trek into paradise and see tarantulas, caimans and unique species of monkeys found nowhere else on the planet.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

A hot-spot for photographers, this is one of the most amazing places in the world to bring your camera. The largest salt flat in the world, in the rainy season reflections create beautiful photographs.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

This 250 feet high spectacle features 275 individual cascades of water which are a sight to behold. Set on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, it's easy to reach.

La Paz, Bolivia

This city is the highest capital city on the planet at an elevation of 3,650m. If you're looking to say you've been skiing at the world's highest ski resort or golfing at the highest golf course, La Paz is the destination for you.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

This cosmopolitan city is the largest city in Argentina. Enjoy a stroll around beautiful Palermo in the North of the city, or take a river boat cruise from La Boca to see the city from a different viewpoint.

Bonito, Brazil

Scuba dive and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of this paradise, exploring limestone caverns and view stunning wildlife including the red and green Macaws that dominate the area. Go diving at Lagoa Misteriosa, one of the deepest submerged caves in the country.

El Hatillo, Venezuela

Soak up some 16th century charm in this quaint hilly village, with its multi-coloured houses and crafts shops. The local music festival, El Hatillo Jazz Festival, is a must-see and runs twice yearly.

Enjoy the wonders of South America and prepare to start planning your next trip back almost as soon as you return home - with so much to see and do, one visit is never enough!


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