When it comes to South America the question is never “Where do I go?” but rather “How much time do I have?” From ancient ruins to modern day sacred temples, South America’s history and culture is embedded onto its landscape. Unless you’re planning to move to this region for some time then you probably won’t hit all the sites in one trip. Make the best of your travels to South America and make sure to visit these must see sacred spaces while you’re there.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Probably one of the most obvious historical sites to visit while in South America is the grand Machu Picchu. Resting at more than 7,000 feet above sea level, the theories of Machu Picchu’s existence range from a royal estate to a secret ceremonial center. The Inca civilization held home in Machu Picchu, and while most of their other cities were destroyed by the Spanish conquest, Machu Picchu’s unique location allowed it to be hidden from the ground. It is now one of the most well-preserved Inca cities in existence.
Chan Chan, Peru
While Machu Picchu is a tourist spectacle—ranking as one of the Seven World Wonders—it is certainly not the only sacred space in Peru. As the largest adobe city on Earth, Chan Chan is another must see before you head out of Peru. The Chimu Kingdom climaxed in the 15th century, but before doing so gained the title as the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America. Masterful town planning and experimentation with (what was thought to be) inhabitable spaces makes Chan Chan a landscape of uniquely sacred architecture.
Virgen de la Paz Monument, Venezuela
According to CI Azumano Vacation Travel, the Virgen de la Paz Monument “is the largest statue in both North and South America . . . taller than both the Statue of Liberty and the statue of Christ the Redeemer”. The statue is made entirely out of concrete and stands over 153 feet high. In addition, the Virgen de la Paz lies in the Rock of the Virgin at 5249 feet in altitude, further dramatizing the height of the monument. Much like whales in an ocean, pictures just can’t do justice to the sheer size of the Virgen de la Paz; you’ll just have to go see it yourself!
The Moai of Easter Island, Chile
Perhaps a little out of the way, five hours off the coast of Chile to be exact, there lies the famous Easter Island. Known as Moai, the famous heads of Easter Island have been known for quite some time however, the discovery of their underground bodies were just recently discovered in 2017; making them quite the hot-topic once more. With no written (and very little oral) history, the mystery of why the Rapa Nui people dedicated so much time to these monuments never seems to get solved… perhaps they need your new set of eyes to figure things out?
Bahá’í Temple, Chile
In 2015 ArchDaily reported that the Bahá’í Temple of South America was “one of the most significant religious construction projects in the world” (Horton). Fast forward to 2017 and the Bahá’í Temple has won the innovation in Architecture Award. Needless to say, this modern day temple has caught the eyes of more than just a few travelling tourists. Located right outside of Santiago, the temple gives individuals an opportunity to experience a spiritual and emotional connection through the building’s architecture. In his creation of the temple designer Siamak Hariri wondered “how can you create a building which comes alive with light [the way that people can be radiant]”.
Travelling to a new country can be overwhelming. A picture is worth a thousand words right? There really is no need for the stress of travelling when you can just see a picture of the tallest monument in the world . . . right? Well, when someone else is planning your trip there is an instant release of pressure, and you can once again go back to being excited about seeing the world! CI Azumano Travel provides tips, travel packages, and expert advice; making it easy for you to feel stress-free about the trip of a lifetime.