From rainforests to glaciers, South America is one diverse continent. Here are 14 of its most spectacular natural wonders.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Tucked in a corner at the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, the 275 falls of Iguazu dwarf Niagara and have to be one of the most amazing sights anywhere. Photo: Carlos Adampol
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
During the rainy season (~Jan-Mar), the world's largest salt flat is covered in an inches-deep pool that perfectly reflects the sky, creating a truly alien landscape. Photo: zaturno
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This archipelago, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, is famous for its high number of endemic species (which don't include the green sea turtle, but it's still damn cute) and its influence on Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Photo: blichb
The world's driest desert covers 40,000 square miles of northern Chile and includes coastal plains, high volcanoes, and geysers and hot springs. Photo: magical-world
By volume, the Amazon is far and away the largest river on Earth. With hundreds of huge tributaries (such as the Rio Negro above), its drainage basin accounts for 40% of South America's land area. Photo: Zemlinki!
Fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (the third-largest reserve of fresh water in the world), the Perito Moreno Glacier is the thing to see in Argentine Patagonia. You can also trek it. Photo: tiswango