Photography is an art which has the ability to inspire wanderlust, a traveler’s favorite word. When you head out on the road it’s likely that your cameras are snapping away grabbing pics of awe-inspiring scenery and your most memorable moments. You might even be posting some pictures on-line, one way of letting everyone know that you are safe and doing way cooler things than they are. So fellow travelers…heading to South America? Are you ready to stack up your Instagram?  No South American journey is complete without mastering these 9 beloved perfect pictures, so get your cameras ready and smile!


1. Swing off the end of the world- Casa de Arbol // Banos, Ecuador

About 45 mins from the city of Baños, Ecuador is Casa de Arbol, otherwise known as the ‘Swing at the end of the World’.  Originally this tree house was built to monitor the volcanic activity in the area but is now a top tourist destination. This is where you go to get that very instagram worthy picture of yourself swinging high above the mountains, a South American must.

The swing at the end of the world. Baños, Ecuador; from The mountains #travel #baños #ecuador #southamerica

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2. Jumping in the Salt Flats // Uyuni, Bolivia

Taking the tour of the Bolivian salt flats might be one of the most iconic tours in South America. Three to four days through the high altitude desert, passing mountains, lagunas, and spending nights in hotels made completely of salt.  No trip is complete without that typical picture of you and your dirty travel buddies jumping on the salt flats at sunrise.



3. Sitting on Selaron’s Stairs //Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Saleron who claimed it as his tribute to the Brazilian people. These colourful mosaic stairs reading ‘Rio de Janiero’ are the perfectly iconic place to take your Brazil themed instagram photos. I mean, who doesn’t love colour!

stairs rio

Photo by : Jess Marsden

4. Near the blue lagoon of Valle del Silencio // Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia

The Torres del Paine ‘W-trek’ is among the most popular hikes of the whole continent. For 5 to 10 days you will hike through sun, sleet, snow, and wind, across glaciers and rivers continuing up mountains to get to Valle del Silencio, or the ‘3 towers’. Anyone attempting this Patagonian trek will be looking forward to taking their photo at the base of the Torres in front of the Laguna; maybe even one of those backwards facing, contemplating type photos that generate all the likes on instagram.

#tbt …it is Thursday right? Traveler problems. Torres del Paine national park, Patagonia, Chile #travel #torresdelpaine #southamerica

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5. Sitting at the Machu Picchu // Machu Picchu, Peru

It is hard to imagine a trip to Peru without visiting one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. Many people choose to hike the Inca Trail for 4 days to end at this picture perfect point, and many more people take a bus or train up the mountain to view this historical and architectural masterpiece. Either way at some point you and your camera need to visit this postcard photo spot overlooking the city of Machu Picchu. Picture perfect locations are some of the things you can expect from visiting Machu Picchu.  With Huayna Picchu, the mountain in the background a more epic photo is hard to find.


Photo by: Marlies Vuurboom

6. Standing on the Equator // Quito, Ecuador

Mitad del Mundo, because who doesn’t want to stand on the Equator. If you are visiting Ecuador then stopping in Quito to become an egg master (balance an egg upright on a nail) must be on your list.  No photo journey is complete without one leg in the Northern hemisphere and one leg in the Southern hemisphere.

Perfect balance on the Equator. Quito, Ecuador. #walkinglong #wanderlusting #ecuador #balance

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7. Copy Catting Christ the Redeemer // Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re headed to Rio de Janeiro, then chances are you are headed to the top of Corcovado Mountain to see another wonder of the world, Christ the Redeemer. The base of the statue is generally crowded with tourists all attempting to get the perfect shot of them copy catting the figure above their heads. Will you be one of them?

esther jenkinson rioedited

Photo By: Esther Jenkinson

8. Standing at the Valle de La Luna during sunset // San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Watching the sunset at the Valle de la Luna in San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile is one of the best desert views on the planet. In the Cordillera del Sal, the landscape has been carved by wind and water creating a terrain similar to that of the moon. Many tours in San Pedro end with a sunset pisco sour at this perfect photo spot.

Handstands at sunset. Valle de la luna, Valle de la muerte- San Pedro de Atacama, Chile #travelstoke #walkinglong #wanderlusting

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9. Hammocking at Cabo San Juan // Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Check out beautiful Tayrona National Park, Colombia. Many people fall in love with this national park on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. A short (2 hour) hike in the hot Colombian sun will get you to Cabo San Juan, a popular hammocking destination. If you are early enough you will be able to grab a hammock on the top of the rocky point so that you can wake up to a perfect sunrise. Not a bad place to do a little relaxing and maybe some insta-bragging.



The best instagram locations and photos to take in South America