How do you choose your travel goals for an entire continent? There is so much variety in the sights and cultures found throughout South America, with its forests, deserts, rivers and cosmopolitan cities.

This is by no means a exhaustive list. But if you’ve ever considered traveling to South America and have no idea where to start, you might be able to find something here to intrigue you. Of course, we would love it if you chose one of Brave Women Travel’s trips for women to some of these locations. But first and foremost, you should be looking for something to excite and inspire you.

Machu Picchu, Peru

This might be one of the images that jumps to your mind when you think of South American travel. Machu Picchu is one of the most striking of ancient sites, with its complex ruins set against a dramatic mountain backdrop. The lines created by the remains of walls and buildings seem all the more intriguing when viewed against the steep lines of the slope.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Talk about iconic. Rio might be one of the most recognisable cities in the world, with its distinctive peak-lined bay. And don’t forget the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer on the mountainside. Whether you are after a chance to soak up the sun on a beach or explore vibrant night life, there is a good chance that Rio de Janeiro is already on your travel bucket list.

Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls (one of many spelling options offered, don’t judge me!) is one of the must-see goals for any and all nature lovers. This is the largest waterfall system in the world, and it forms part of the border between Brazil and Argentina. This is more than scenery; it’s a natural wonder.

The Atacama Desert

From giant waterfalls to a desert – you remember I mentioned variety! You may not think of a desert as being particularly pretty, but this giant plateau is amazingly photogenic. There is an almost otherworldly quality to the scenery. (Literally – this desert has been used as a stand in for Mars in many different films.)

Lima, Peru

This city is perhaps famous for its colonial architecture, but it has so much more to offer than that. The traditions and cultures of the area are steeped into the layers of history that make up the city. Lima has been declared a World Heritage Site, and for good reason.

The Galapagos Islands

If you have ever considered a wildlife viewing holiday, this is the place to start. It is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. One of our very own vacations for women makes the Galapagos its destination, along with some of the most amazing wildlife one can hope to view. There are too many animals to name here – seriously guys, google it.

Bogotá, Colombia

The capital of Colombia is not too be missed by anyone who loves getting to know a new city. Historical architecture rubs shoulders with modern hubs of art and culture throughout, with almost too many activities to choose from. The scenery makes this city even more memorable, with the mountains providing an impressive surrounding for the rich and colorful buildings.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Talk about a memorable sight. This is the largest salt flat in the world, and it must be seen in person in order to have the full experience. Trek across an eerie, magical plain of bright white salt and find yourself considering all of the very strangest beauties this world has to offer.

Lake Nicaragua

This is the largest lake in Central America, and it is a destination to dream of. Not only is the lake itself beautiful, there are so many aspects of it to explore. The surrounding area has numerous towns to explore and history to appreciate. You can even go on an island exploration in the center of it. And, of course, you can swim and enjoy the pleasures of the lake shore.

The Amazon River and Rainforest

There are so many ways to appreciate the largest river on earth, and the rainforest surrounding it. The river itself is so extensive that you can go to many different destinations along its length, with something to appreciate at each one. Your goals might include a cultural holiday, or perhaps a chance to view the plants and wildlife that make up this famously diverse ecosystem. You might wish to combine viewing the historic trading towns along the river with more nature-based activities, such as a treetop walk.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Color, culture and history are all on offer in Buenos Aires. This city is known for its amazing energy. The local art scene, from modern artists to its recognisable historical designs, is particularly noteworthy. Look out for the breathtaking street art that can turn any quick jaunt into a live gallery experience.

Now, we know some these places might not be thought of as a travel destination for single females. However, we believe that with proper planning and a reasonable amount of caution, you can take your adventurous self anywhere on this list.