6 South American Towns You Never Hear Enough About

South America’s gorgeous cities are some of the very best places to embrace the country’s eclectic history, culture, colorful art and eco-tourism. With so many choices, however, sometimes it’s tough to narrow down exactly where you should go. Here are the incredibly beautiful historic cities you can’t miss in South America: 

Church of St Peter Claver [Cartagena, Colombia]

6. Cartagena, Colombia | A 400-year-old stone wall surrounds Cartagena and once protected it from pirates and invaders off the Caribbean Sea. A network of alleys and passageways crisscross the city with its famous pastel houses. 

Town of Cuenca [Ecuador]

5. Cuenca, Ecuador | The Spanish laid out Cuenca in a grid pattern with beautiful town squares, ornate churches, a town hall and a law court. Take it slow as you explore the city – its elevation is 8,400 feet. 

The Courtyard of the Monastery of San Francisco [Quito, Ecuador]

4. Quito, Ecuador | Quito is one of South America’s largest well-preserved cities. Visit the Plaza and Monastery of San Francisco and then amble through the narrow old streets past shouting street vendors and scores of other walkers. 

Architecture of historic city of Paramaribo [Suriname]

Anton_Ivanov | Shutterstock
3. Paramaribo, Suriname | Historic Dutch architecture meets the Caribbean climate in Paramaribo, where the houses of the UNESCO-protected city center have wide, two and three story porches to catch the sea breezes, but the architectural style the Dutch preferred back home.  

Montevideo [Uruguay]

2. Montevideo, Uruguay | Montevideo’s colonial-era homes and churches are the heart of the Cuidad Vieja. Take a walking tour, but also keep your eye out for the city’s beautiful neo-classical and art deco public buildings. 

Cusco Rooftops [Cusco, Peru]

1. Cusco, Peru | Beautiful Cusco is a stepping off place for trips to Machu Picchu, but is a fascinating historic destination in its own right. Visit for the Spanish colonial buildings, indigenous Quechua culture and Incan ruins. 

Looking for more incredible travel destinations? Here are The World’s Most Beautiful Frozen Places


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Carmen Fifield

The delight of finding an unknown park, a captivating history museum or a fantastic desert means exploration is never far from Carmen Fifield’s mind. Carmen’s favorite travel memories include biking to historic sites on the island of Guernsey, huffing and puffing up the stairs to the Great Wall of China and eating the most delicious crab cake ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carmen’s Favorite Travel Tip: Say goodbye to airplane food and tuck some fruit and your favorite sandwich into your carry-on.

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