South America is the 4th largest continent in the world, with a lot of natural beauty to see. There are a lot of extremes within the continent and, strangely, a lack of natural lakes. Most of the lakes in South America are trapped within mountains in areas like Argentina. There are 12 countries in South America, all with their own beauty and landmarks.
Here, we have listed the most beautiful lakes in South America that will make your jaws drop!
1. Laguna Colorada
Laguna Colorada, also known as the Red Lagoon, is a shallow, beautiful lake in Bolivia. It is close to the Chile Border and sees many visitors every year. This lagoon is popular because of its red waters and sand. It is 6.6 miles long and 6 miles wide. The surface area of the lake is 23 square miles. Some algae in the waters, as well as the red sediments, cause the lagoon’s redness. In Laguna Colorada, you can also find multiple types of flamingos like James’s, Andean’s, and Chilean flamingos. Wild llamas also constantly cross the lake. In the middle of the lake are multiple borax white islands.
2. Laguna de los Tres
Laguna de los Tres requires an 8-hour hike from the end of Avenida San Martín. It is a steep hike with rocky terrain and plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy. It is a stunning lake surrounded by white and gray mountains. The best time to visit is during the sunrise, as the red and pink sunlight touches the tops of the mountains and shines into the gorgeous lake. You can also choose to camp during your marvelous hike to the Laguna de los Tres.
3. Laguna Torre
In the Los Glaciares National Park, you can find Laguna Torre. It is extremely popular with tourists and experienced hikers. The lake sits at an elevation of 1,771 feet. Laguna Torre is lovely as wildflowers grow around the lake. Camping by the lake is very popular, but most people don’t swim in the water. The temperature is freezing since it is glacial. From the lake, you can see other lakes and mountains, including Cerro Torre.
4. Argentino Lake
Argentino Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina and the third largest in South America. It has a surface area of 546 square miles. The average depth is 492 feet, and the maximum is 1,600 feet. Not only is this lake beautiful, but it is also a great fishing destination. You can find rainbow trout and lake trout in the water. The lake flows out to the Atlantic Ocean. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Argentino Lake is part of the Sub-Andean Lakes.
5. Quilotoa Lake
Quilotoa Lake is an amazing lake in South America. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations on the continent. Quilotoa Lake is in the Ecuadorian Andes at an elevation of 12,841 feet. It’s a 2-mile wide, massive crater lake that developed 800 years ago. This collapsed volcano is a deep turquoise color. The lake is also referred to as caldera lake. Fun fact, the last eruption was in 1280.
6. Mar Chiquita Lake
Another gorgeous lake in Argentina is Mar Chiquita Lake. It’s an endorheic salt lake in Central Argentina. The surface area of this lake is 770–2,320 square miles, while the elevation is between 217 and 226 feet. Mar Chiquita Lake is a stunning, shallow lake, rarely reaching deeper than 32 feet. The salinity of the lake changes depending on how much rainfall occurs each year. The best time to visit Mar Chiquita Lake is during January and February when the temperature reaches about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Lake Llanquihue
Lake Llanquihue is a gigantic lake in Chile. Actually, it is the second largest in the country, with a surface area of 330 square miles. The maximum depth of this picture-perfect lake is 1,040 feet. Lake Llanquihue’s elevation is 230 feet. It looks a lot like a fan, thanks to successive piedmont glaciers. Scientists are still unsure when Lake Llanquihue formed, but they believe it may have been around with the range of ancient Chono nomadism.
8. Laguna Blanca
You just may be able to convince anyone who visits Laguna Blanca in Bolivia that it is a coastal beach instead of a lake. This crystal clear lake has sandy beaches and is a charming salt lake with jaw-dropping views. Many people visit the lake to enjoy its enchanting beauty and its closeness to the Licancabur volcano. As the name suggests, the lake looks white. This is because of the high amount of minerals at the bottom of the salt lake.
9. Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is on the border between Peru and Bolivia. It is nicknamed the ‘highest lake in the world.’ This lake is the largest freshwater lake in South America and has multiple islands throughout the water. Surrounding the lake are multiple Inca ruins. Despite seeing many tourists every year, the water is clean, clear, and brightly reflective. Lake Titicaca is in the Andes mountains and is 118 miles long. Not only is it long, but the lake is also 50 miles wide with a shore length of 699 miles.
10. Lake Pehoé
In Southern Chile, you can find Lake Pehoé. It sits in Torres del Paine National Park, which is home to thousands of glaciers, mountains, and lakes. Lake Pehoé is a treasure that looks like it jumped out of a perfectly detailed painting. The deep blue-green lake is best visited during sunrise and sunset when the sun’s rays hit the mountain top just right. It is one of the smallest lakes on this list, with a surface area of 8.5 square miles, but still amazing.
11. Lake Maracaibo
Lake Maracaibo is a lovely lake in Venezuela. It’s a coastal saltwater lake close to Columbia. Many visitors travel to see Lake Maracaibo because of its fascinating history. Lake Maracaibo was formed at least 36 million years ago and is one of the oldest natural lakes in the world. It is 130 miles long, 75 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of 115 feet. Not only does Lake Maracaibo have historical significance, but its beauty is marvelous. In these waters, you can find endangered species like the West Indian manatee and the Amazon River dolphin.
12. Laguna Negra
Laguna Negra is a large glacial lake with breathtaking views and a peculiar name. While enjoying this beloved lake, visitors can backpack, camp, and bird watching. Despite its name, the water is not black or dark. Instead, Laguna Negra is a deep turquoise that shimmers underneath the sun. The deepest point of this lake is only 26 feet, but experts don’t recommend swimming since it is a cold lake.
13. Lake Valencia
Lake Valencia is in northern Venezuela and was once called Lake Tacarigua. It is the third-largest lake in Venezuela, with a surface area of 140 square miles. The size is not the only impressive thing about this lake, though. Actually, it is an old historic lake formed by the natural damming of the Cabriales River 2-3 million years ago. Sadly, pollution has caused many people to turn away from this stunning lake, but it is getting better through treatments and cleaning.
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