Traveling alone can be a very liberating experience, some folks have even described it as enlightening and spiritual. It allows one to take in new environments, cultures, and surroundings through their own un-interrupted point of view and tastes. Traveling solo also comes with a certain amount of self-reflection and self-education; travelers often find that they learn more about themselves when traveling alone. Of course, traveling alone also comes with its drawbacks such as safety concerns, loneliness but oftentimes it is a fascinating experience. Below we detail some of the best places to travel solo in South America.

1. The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands. served as inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution because of its diverse and exotic species of wildlife unique to its islands. Perfect for a solo traveler, the islands house wildlife such as large tortoises, penguins, albatross, and blue footed boobies. Travelers can also hike, kayak, surf as well as go diving on the Wolf and Darwin islands.

2. Machu Picchu

No trip to South America is complete without heading to the top of the Andes Mountains in Peru and visiting Machu Picchu. Renowned for its dry stone walls and unique building architecture, solo travelers enjoy a safe trek up to the top.

3. Valparaiso

Dubbed Chile’s “most unusual city,” Valparaiso is a charming city characterized by its hills, street and unique stairways and street alleys. The city has served as a source of inspiration for poets such as Pablo Neruda and is home to some of the world’s best art galleries.

4. Machu Picchu

Known as the “world’s largest mirror,” Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni are phenomenal salt flats located in the southwest of Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes Mountains. The flats are best accessed through a professional tour group.

5. Meta, Colombia

Referred to as the most beautiful river in the world, “Caño Cristales” is located in the province of Meta, Colombia. Due to its differing striking colors created by the river’s varying elements this is a perfect site for the solo traveler to marvel at the beauty of nature.

6. Iguazu Falls

Accessible from either Brazil or Argentina, the Iguazu Falls provide a beautiful sight of the impressive waterfalls. Both sides have great hotel and restaurant accommodations as well as guided tours.

7. Banos, Ecuador

Located in Banos, Ecuador can take a ride on the wild side and get on the Swing at the End of the World. Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a “Treehouse” built for observing Mt. Tungurahua, the active volcano in the distance. Located near the treehouse is a swing hanging from one of the tree branches. With no harness or safety net, the swing arcs out to the canyon.

8. Easter Island

Located over 2,000 miles from civilization, Easter Island is known for its moai monolithic statues (approximately 1,000) carved from a single piece of stone found around the island. Due to its location, this Chilean island is uniquely Polynesian and hosts several competitions based on ancient sports.

9. Machu Picchu

The Santuario de la Lajas is a beautiful church across a bridge on a canyon over the Guaitara River in beautiful Colombia. Built between 1916 and 1949, the church’s unique design and architecture is worth a visit to this remote part of the country.

10. Green Lagoon

Green Lagoon or “Laguna Verde” is a salt lake in the southwest of Bolivia. Located in the Sur Lipez Province of the Potosi Department, it is close to the Chilean border and at the foot of the Licancabur volcano. Known for its spectacular landscape and hot springs, the Green Lagoon is a perfect destination for the solo traveler.

11. Buenos Aires

Known for its cosmopolitan aura, Buenos Aires is a perfect, safe city for the solo traveler. With a little under three million residents, Buenos Aires offers great cuisine, healthy nightlife, and of course tango clubs. Drawing from its close European ancestry, Buenos Aires is a very cultured city with attractive architecture.

This article was written by Walter Godinez.