Colours of South America: 7 vivid must-visit places

As soon as I set foot in South America I was astonished by its colours. The whole South America life is a colourful one. Would it be cities, natural site or the festive way of living of the latinos. Colours are definitely something you’d experience intensively while in South America. 

Follow the guide to visit some of the most vidid, beautiful places in the continent.

1. Caño Cristales or the Rainbow River in Colombia

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Cano Cristales, the rainbow river or the river of 5 colours is unique of its kind in the world. It’s undeniably the most beautiful river on earth.

Nested in the Meta province South-East of Bogota, Cano Cristales National Park is very well preserved although difficult to access. The whole area has been known as one of the most dangerous places in Colombia. Fortunately, it is now open to local visitors and tourists alike. It does offer one of the most incredible sights in the whole continent.

To know more about how to get to Cano Cristales on budget, read my detailed article about the place.

2. The colourful mountains of Quebrada de Humahuaca in Argentina

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In the northern Argentina, Jujuy area, is some of  nature’s wonders. the shining palette of Quebrada de Humahuaca mountains.

The Quebrada has been declared a UNESCO heritage in 2003 for both its cultural diversity and her striking beautiful nature. The impressive mountainns and collines called La Paleta del Pintor (the painter’s palette) offer some beautiful coloured patterns that would inevitably make you fall in love with the area.

3. The colours of Otavalo market in Ecuador

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Otavalo is the capital of the Kiswha indigenous culture in the north of Ecuador and has so many diverse activities to offer.  Otavalo market, held on Saturdays in Plaza de Los ponchos, is definitely one of the most attractive activities in the city.

The market is probably the most famous one in South America and is a feast of colours for the visitors’ eyes. It has everything from Panama hats to dream catchers to local outfits, and would take you in a beautiful journey among the best of what the Kishwa culture has to offer.

4. The colourful village of Guatapé in Colombia

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Only 86km away from Medellin, Guatapé is the perfect destination for a day trip from the city. It’s very popular on weekends both for the people from Medellin and the surrounding area as well as for tourists.

The village became famous for La Piedra Del Peñol. It’s a monolithe, 200m high, that offers an astonishing view of the whole flooded area. Currently, the surrounding area looks just like a huge lake with numerous smalls islands.

Guatapé has also an amazing tradition of painting the houses of different colours and decorating the outside walls with some beautifully made paintings telling stories about the local lifestyle.

5. The colors of the Pelourinho in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

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Pelourinho, or Pelo for the locals, is the historical center of Salvador. It has been as such since the 17th century since Salvador de Bahia was the first capital of the colonial Brazil.  Hence, this historical center is one of the most beautifully constructed ones in the whole country.

In addition to that, the center full of colourful mansions, churches and colonial official monuments. And it all becomes a blast of colours during the celebrations of Festa de São João in June. Every street and building is decorated with thousands of colourful flags. Locals and visitors alike would wear coloured bands as a gratitude gesture toward the celebrated saint.

6. The amazing lagoons of Sud-Lipez in Bolivia

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The area of Sud-Lipez in the Bolivian Altiplano, at some 4000m above sea level, is practically void of human presence. Except some dispersed small indigenous communities and the tourists heading to the region, it is a complete empty space. Still, it has one of the most amazing places and natural sites in South America.

The famous Uyuni salt-flat offers beautiful colourful sunsets. The lagunes nested in remote areas and the lunar landscapes would knock your socks off with their amazing colours. Laguna Colora and Laguna verde are definitely some of the most beautiful lagoons in the world.

7. The colourful wildlife of Galapagos islands

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In the Galapagos islands expect to see very strange birds and animals and landscapes. Blue and red footed boobies. Land iguanas of diverse colours. Striking orange crabs. Eyes-coloured pelicans.  White, black and red beaches. A tremendously rich marine life. And much more.  All in a perfect contrast with the mollie black volcanic land.  It will definitely be a colourful voyage to one of the most amazing and most preserved islands in the world.

What gave Darwin some of the elementary data for his “origin of the species” is today a giant, vibrant playground.  Endemic wildlife is making the islands a wonderful place to visit for some lucky few visitors from around the world.

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