I recently had the opportunity to travel to Baños for the first time, so I can tell you first-hand that this destination is well worth the trip. A small town surrounded by the rainforest, Baños had the same feel to me as Aguas Calientes, Peru. However, Baños presents the option for much more adventure! If you aren’t the most daring of travelers, you can go swinging at one of the most famous tree houses in the world. If you’re a more seasoned adventurer, there are excursions here for you as well. Some ideas include canyoning, rafting, and biking the 13-mile ride to Pailón del Diablo.
MACHU PICCHU, PERU
If hiking the Inca Trail isn’t already on your bucket list, go ahead and write that one down. The Inca Trail is typically a four or 5-day adventure leading to Machu Picchu and is considered the mecca for adventure travelers. If camping isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can still include hiking into your trip by taking on the trail to Machu Picchu mountain once you’re inside. This hike takes about 2 hours in total.
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE
Want to explore a giant desert? San Pedro is the place to be. Stargazing, exploring Valle de la Luna (which BTW makes you feel like a real-life Aladdin traversing the desert), and sandboarding are among some of the top activities at this destination. Coming home with your shoes full of sand is well worth the trade-off of exploring this top adventure travel destination.
I mentioned Florianópolis for a particular kind of adventure traveler: the surfer. Take advantage of some of the best waves in Brazil by staying in Barra da Lagoa and participating in surf lessons. After all, Floripa happens to be the only city in South America to host a WCT pro surf tour event (this happens in October). Not into surfing? That’s okay. There are numerous nature trails along the coast. I’m sure you can think of some way to enjoy the 42 beaches surrounding the island!
TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
Often called South America’s finest national park, this Patagonia attraction is not to be missed by the serious adventure traveler. The multi-day ‘W’ trek is around 71km and takes you through some of the biggest highlights of the park. To arrive at the park, first, you’ll have to fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, then take a bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, and then take another bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The long journey is well worth the amazing views and experiences that this park has to offer.