Top 5 Backpacker Adventure Trips in South and Central America

Holidaymakers who have plans to travel around South and Central America and are looking for some adventure during their trip might want to head to these five destinations, where you’ll find a whole range of activities to take part in.

For a truly spectacular sight, you could start your journey in South America’s most southerly point and work your way upwards through the continent. This will take you to Patagonia – a 673,000-square kilometre stretch of land that cradles between Argentina and Chile.

Throughout this vast area, you’ll be able to experience the different cultures of the two countries but the main reason people tend to head this far south is to see the magnificent views of its ice-capped mountain ranges and glaciers.

Wrapping up warm, you could head to Parque Nacional de Los Glaciares – a place where you’ll come face-to-face with some of the most impressive icebergs you’re ever likely to come across. You can walk around the ice lakes or take a boat trip to get closer to the glaciers and listen to the loud cracking sounds of ice breaking off and the thunderous noise of them splashing into the deep waters.

Patagonia also has other awesome natural landscapes that you can see on walking, horse riding and cycling trips, including its canyons, valleys and volcanoes that create a vista you’re unlikely to forget for a long time.

If you love looking at natural sights, you could travel up the continent to Brazil to see its Iguacu Falls. Here, you can come close to the thunderous falls – a stretch of water three kilometres wide that drops 80 metres.

As the falls are wider than Victoria Falls and taller than Niagara Falls, they are definitely worth a look and you can get a different perspective of them if you cross over the Argentinean border. Here, you will see some of the narrower 250 waterfalls of Iguacu, dropping from great heights in the midst of the dense forest.

Adventure lovers can get even closer to the spray by taking a boat trip near to the rolling waters, where you can hear the roar of the river tumbling down and feel the splash on your faces. Or, you can take a helicopter ride to see the falls in their full glory.

Costa Rica is another place to visit if you want to see impressive natural landscapes as the country is full of luscious cloud forests, golden sandy beaches, natural hot springs and thundering volcanoes.

Indeed, if you want to get your adrenaline pumping you can visit Arenal Volcano National Park, where you can take part in a number of thrill-seeking activities. However, it is most famous for being home to one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, Arenal. You can feel the 5,437-foot tall mountain rumble as you climb your way through the forests of the national park and by night, you can have some spectacular views of it spewing out amber lava into the sky and see the fiery red molten rock trickle down its slopes.

The national park remains one of the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica, as you can enjoy a variety of activities there, including white-water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking through the 29,692-acre mountainous forest terrain.

You might even want to follow in the footsteps of fellow backpackers and go zip flying through its green jungle, which has become a hugely popular activity to enjoy in the nation.

As well as the region’s breathtaking views, Central and South America is also well-known for its ancient history and taking part in the Inca Trail challenge is on most itineraries of holidaymakers heading to this part of the world.

Over the years, this 43-kilometre trek has made Peru one of the most popular places to visit in South America, as many people come to retrace the steps of the Incas to the lost city of Machu Picchu, situated high on the Andean peaks.

The hike lasts four days and during this period, you will walk through cloud forests, trek up steep mountain edges and camp near snow-capped peaks. The highest point on the trip is at 4,200 metres and you might become affected by this steep altitude. However, the views along the way of sharp silver mountaintops nestling within white clouds for miles on end more than make up for this.

At the end of the trip, you will make it to Machu Picchu – the Inca city hidden for hundreds of years in the imposing folds of the mountains. Seeing the remains of the once-bustling metropolis peeking out behind the sunrise will take your breath away as you try to imagine how generations of people lived here so many miles from other forms of civilisation.

If you’re into your history, then another site you should visit is Mexico’s Chichen Itza – one of the most famous Mayan ruins in the country. Here, you can walk around the stone temples and other buildings where the Mayan people lived between 700 and 900, hiding in the wild growth of the jungle.

This is one of the most popular of Mexico’s historical locations and for good reason, as you can walk around the city and come up with theories about how the civilisation that existed here for hundreds of years suddenly vanished in the 14th century.

Places like these make Central and South America must-see destinations for people who want to discover something new, as you never know when another lost city will be found within its vast and impenetrable landscape.