5 South America Tours and Sites You Must Visit

The great Latin American continent is abundant in natural beauty and historical sites both. It can offer an amazing south america tours with plenty amazing historical sites to enjoy in. The people who lived in Pre-Columbian America left visible traces of their great civilizations that we can marvel upon and discover their secrets. We made this list of 5 sites to visit, though there are many, many more worthy of your attention:

Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru, South America Tours

The two sites, of close proximity to each other, are the most renowned Inca remnants. The city-state of Cusco (“City of the Owl”) grew into the great Inca Empire around the 12th century. Cusco was the capital of this empire and now is a modern, tourist-attracting site where the old traditions are still kept and displayed in their most lively colors. Machu Picchu was built later on, perhaps around the middle of the 15th century high in the mountains. Now bearing the name “The last Inca city”, it is believed that its inhabitants left the city after the Spanish conquest. There are many theories why it was built in a such secluded location: that it was a sacred place where the Virgin-Priestesses of their Sun God dwelled, that it was a place for the Kind to retreat and most famous one: that this was the last refuge of the great Inca people in the face of the Spanish invasions. Regardless of its origins, both cities are a marvel of their own and a must-see. We can say that this is one of the most famous of the South America tours, we warmly recommend to visit it if you ever have a chance;

Machu Picchu, Peru via Flickr, by Pedro Szekely, license CC BY-SA 2.0

Copán, Border between Honduras and Guatemala

This city was the capital of the glorious Mayan civilization, located in a valley with rich vegetation. The city existed for almost 2 millennia and the artistic talent of its inhabitants manifested into a very intricate architectural style, famous for sculptural decoration. The city’s hallmark is the Royal tomb, where the Mayan rulers were buried. It looks like a scale pyramid, where each level is dedicated to a separate ruler and his retinue. These rich burials tell the story of the Mayan everyday life and the opulence both in knowledge and precious materials the Copán artisans possessed. When we went on our South America Tours we couldn’t believe the beauty of this place, we warmly recommend this place also;

2. Copan via Flickr, by Mario Pleitez, license CC BY 2.0

Tikal, Guatemala, part of South America Tours

After the growth of the Mayan civilization, Tikal became its capital. It is one of the biggest Pre-Columbian sites and now a National Park, protected by UNESCO. The city thrived for more than a millennium and it had developed trade connections with furthest points of the Mayan Empire. A city rich in palaces, royal tombs and most famous for its temples built as scale pyramids, the Temple of the Great Jaguar being the largest and visible from afar in the jungle’ vegetation;

Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua via Flickr, by TausP., license CC BY-ND 2.0

Chichén Itzá and the Sacred Cenote, Yucatán-Mexico

Is one of the later Mayan cities, with population that pooled from other Mayan regions. The result was mixture of architectural styles typical for separate regions, all implemented into towering palaces and temples. The heart of the city is the temple now named El Castillo (the Castle), again built as a scale pyramid with the shrine for worshipping on the top. Nearby the city are two sinkholes or Cenotes. The Sacred Cenote, also known as the Well of Sacrifice was ritual place, where even sacrificing of humans took place. This can also be part of your South America Tours, and if you visit it you will enjoy in it’s beauty;

Chichén Itzá, El Castillo, west side via Flickr, by Arian Zwegers, license CC BY 2.0

Tenochtitlan, Mexico City, Mexico

This city was the capital of the Aztec Empire and in the time of its zenith, the biggest city on the territory of Latin America. Today, its remnants make the part of Central Mexico City. The city was famous for its strict urbanization and many public buildings. The palace of their last king, Montezuma II, was known to have 2 zoos, botanical gardens and aquarium, with ponds with salt and sweet water. If you ever go on the South America Tours this is also must visit place. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlan are visible among the newer Catholic churches and the modern buildings. All of that adds up to a wonderful place to visit.

5. Tenochtlan via Flickr, by Evan Long, license CC BY-NC 2.0