South America is an amazing continent that boasts a vibrant population and culture. It also has an intriguing history which can be traced through religion, celebration and political action.
Many historical cultures emerged out of particular regional landscapes. For instance, fishing and trading societies along the Pacific coast thrived; similarly, abundant resources like water and plants existed in the Amazon basin. Gaucho culture emerged out of Argentina and Uruguay’s Pampas grasslands.
Penafiel Castle, also known as El Buque, is a fortress with an iconic wing-like shape that extends over the hilltop. Constructed during the 9th and 10th centuries, it remains active today as a defensive bastion.
This castle is a German Gothic-style structure made of Campaspero stone. Measuring 210 meters long and 35 meters wide, it stands atop an elevated ridge.
Sancho Garcia eventually reclaimed the castle in 1013, proclaiming it to be “esta sera la pena mas fiel de Castilla”, or, “from now on, this will be the most faithful rock in Castile”.
The castle is now home to the Provincial Wine Museum, where visitors can learn about and sample local wines. Additionally, Af Pesquera Penafiel 4-star boutique hotel offers free Wi-Fi and parking for its guests.
Castillo de Mendoza
The Castillo de Mendoza is situated in Mendoza, Argentina and was constructed during the 17th century. It’s renowned for its stunning architectural style.
The city is renowned for its wine production and is considered one of the eleven Great Wine Capitals of South America. Surrounding it are hundreds of wineries producing some of the world’s finest wines.
As a result, the city has become an attractive tourist destination. Additionally, it hosts various events and festivals like the World Cup of Polo and Fiesta Nacional del Vino.
In 1561, Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo established the city of El Cajon. Initially a slave trading post, agriculture and trading soon took off thanks to river rerouting for irrigation purposes.
Castillo de San Felipe
Cartagena was an important port and hub of commerce during the colonial era. A key feature in its defenses was the towering Castillo de San Felipe, built in 1536.
On the Hill of San Lazaro, this fortress was an integral part of Cartagena’s defense system against pirates and foreign powers. As the largest fortification constructed by Spanish forces on mainland South America, it remains one of the city’s most iconic landmarks today.
Cartagena’s famous fortress is a must-see attraction, but be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat when visiting as it can get quite hot inside its thick walls. Additionally, it’s best to visit during early morning or later afternoon when temperatures are cooler.
Castillo de San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama is an ideal starting point to explore Chile’s vast deserts and salt lakes. There’s even a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site right in town! Beyond that, you’ll find otherworldly mountain ranges, rugged valleys carved into sandstone, and captivating salt lakes scattered like jewels throughout the region.
One of the top activities to do in San Pedro de Atacama is visiting Valle de la Luna or Moon Valley, an incredible scenic landscape that attracts tourists who want to witness the mystical magic of the desert. It’s ideal for walking, cycling or driving through with stunning views all around.
Piedras Rojas, also known as Red Rocks or Valle de Muerte, is another must-visit desert valley. This small but striking valley features otherworldly rocks in an otherwise tranquil setting and may not be the most popular attraction among tour companies in town.