Hidden Secrets Of South America

Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2017

When you think about South America you are probably familiar with the popular attractions like the Amazon or Sugarloaf Mountain. However, there are a lot of hidden gems that tend to be secrets to tourists. Take a look at some of the hidden secrets of South America below.
Laguna Colorado In Bolivia
Located near Chili, this salt lake is fairly shallow with deep red water. Mix that in with the unique surroundings and you have an incredible location. The water gets its color from the algae and plankton that live in it as well as the high salt density. Another treat for the scarce tourist that makes it here are the flamingos that can sometimes be seen wandering about.
Salt Cathedral Of Zipaquira In Colombia
Located 200 meters below the earth, this cathedral was built into salt mine tunnels around 5th century B.C. When salt was mined in the 1950s, miners would stop and pray at a tall cross. Eventually the cathedral was developed. Tourists can walk through the tunnels and salt corridors and the sanctuary.
Floating Islands Of The Uros In Peru
These manmade islands are fairly interesting as they were made with Totora Reeds and are self sustaining. In total there are more than 40 of these islands and to visit them you have to take a boat ride from Puno that’s about 2 hours. Tourists can spend the night at the islands.
Valle De La Luna At The Atacama Desert In Chile
Located along the Pacific coastline at over 600 miles long, this is the world’s driest desert. It only receives an average rainfall of about one millimeter each year. The surface resembles the planet Mars with it’s craters, cracks and crevices. Visiting here might make you think that you are actually in a diferent world.
Perito Moreno Glacier In Argentina
Most people don’t realize that there’s actually a glacier here as South America is one of the world’s hottest places. It stretches more than 19 miles long and has 97 square miles of ice. Even though some of the glacier vanishes every year, a portion of it continues to grow which is something that scientists can’t seem to explain. The Perito Moreno Glaciers is the world’s third largest freshwater reserve.
El Penol In Guatape
Known as ‘The Rock’, it has a height of more than 7,000 feet and weighs around 11 million tons. The Tahamies Indians used to worship the rock. It has the symbols ‘GI’ (the ‘I’ is actually an unfinished ‘U’) egraved on it’s face. This is because both the citizens of El Penol and Guatape wanted to claim ownership of the area so the Guatapeans started to engrave “Guatape” on it, but never finished. Because of harsh weather, the rock developed a crack right down the center and a 644 step staircase was built into the crevice.
 

New For South America Travel

Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2017

South America is very popular for 2017. The Globus Family of Brands alone is offering 30 tours including Globus, Cosmos and Monograms. Globus's Brazilian Getaway is new for 2017, as well as Vineyards of South America. Learn to make traditional Argentinean empanadas in Buenos Aires; spend time with a local family in their Andean village home for a glimpse into rural Peruvian life.

In Peru’s Sacred Valley, attend a Mother earth Ceremony, performed by a local shaman, asking for good health, wealth, and safe travels. Cosmos is offering Best of Brazil as anew tour for 2017 and Monograms has 4 new getaway tours for 4 days each, including Lima, Rio, Buenos Aires and Santiago. They have also added two new Galapagos cruise/tours to their independent vacation list.

Trafalgar has added their 13 day South America Landscape to their discovery tours, along with eleven old favorites. Experience the ME to WE social enterprise that provides products and experiences that make an impact empowering people to change the world. Me to We is a leader in volunteer travel making an impact by working side-by-side with local communities on a development project like building a school or water wells. You help plant seeds, dig wells or build schools, helping improve livelihoods. Your trip will continue to make an impact long after you return home.

Collette has added Antarctica & Chile's Patagonia twenty days tour to their four original tours of South America. Embrace the captivating cultures and lively rhythms of Brazil, Argentina and Chile; explore the lost city of the Incas in Machu Picchu.

Tauck has added Rhythms of Brazil: Rio to Iguassu Falls twelve day tour to their Essence of South America fourteen day, Patagonia 11 day, Empire of the Incas: Peru & Bolivia, 12 day and Mystical Peru, 8 day tours. Dine at a Peruvian hacienda; learn to tango in Argentina, meet the Peruvian pasos and riders who demonstrate their skills at a local ranch in the Sacred Valley; have lunch overlooking Perito Moreno glacier as it crackles and moans like an unearthly monster, and ice chunks tumble into the water in Patagonia.

Passion permeates the landscape of South America; from stunning coastal beaches to modern urban landscapes, the color of South America is as diverse as its dynamic cultural heritage and history.

Whats New For South America Travel

Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2016

South America is very popular for 2017. The Globus Family of Brands alone is offering 30 tours including Globus, Cosmos and Monograms. Globus's Brazilian Getaway is new for 2017, as well as Vineyards of South America. Learn to make traditional Argentinean empanadas in Buenos Aires; spend time with a local family in their Andean village home for a glimpse into rural Peruvian life.

In Peru’s Sacred Valley, attend a Mother earth Ceremony, performed by a local shaman, asking for good health, wealth, and safe travels. Cosmos is offering Best of Brazil as anew tour for 2017 and Monograms has 4 new getaway tours for 4 days each, including Lima, Rio, Buenos Aires and Santiago. They have also added two new Galapagos cruise/tours to their independent vacation list.

Trafalgar has added their 13 day South America Landscape to their discovery tours, along with eleven old favorites. Experience the ME to WE social enterprise that provides products and experiences that make an impact empowering people to change the world. ME to WE is a leader in volunteer travel making an impact by working side-by-side with local communities on a development project like building a school or water wells. You help plant seeds, dig wells or build schools, helping improve livelihoods. Your trip will continue to make an impact long after you return home.

Collette has added Antarctica & Chile's Patagonia twenty days tour to their four original tours of South America. Embrace the captivating cultures and lively rhythms of Brazil, Argentina and Chile; explore the lost city of the Incas in Machu Picchu.

Tauck has added Rhythms of Brazil: Rio to Iguassu Falls twelve day tour to their Essence of South America fourteen day, Patagonia 11 day, Empire of the Incas: Peru & Bolivia, 12 day and Mystical Peru, 8 day tours. Dine at a Peruvian hacienda; learn to tango in Argentina, meet the Peruvian pasos and riders who demonstrate their skills at a local ranch in the Sacred Valley; have lunch overlooking Perito Moreno glacier as it crackles and moans like an unearthly monster, and ice chunks tumble into the water in Patagonia.

Passion permeates the landscape of South America; from stunning coastal beaches to modern urban landscapes, the color of South America is as diverse as its dynamic cultural heritage and history.

A Different View of Brazil's Westlands

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2016

At a time when Rio's pollution is eroding the country's image, Brazil is also home to the world's largest wetland area, a wildlife andecotourism paradise.Sail down the Paraguay River through the Pantanal and visit with 720 species of birds, 89 kinds of mammals, 230 varieties of fish, 52 types of reptiles and diverse flora.Spot the crocodiles and alligators in their natural habitat. Start in Port Manga and board a safari vehicle for a journey crossing the heart of the Pantanal. See the capybaras, giant otters, caimans,herons, macaws and dozens of other species along the way.Visit with the Brazilian Cowboys and learn about their way of life navigating cattle drives through the wetlands.

The main gateway for the Pantanal is Corumba, the areas hub for arts and culture.Bonito is the most popular destination for ecotourism in Brazil. High-end lodgings such as the Zagaia Eco Resort would be a great base to explore Bonito's rivers, lakes, waterfalls, caves and grottos, but access to it is by several weekly flights into Bonito Airport.Bonito's most popular attraction is its caverns.

July and August are popular months for jaguar spotting safaris.A number of great dining opportunities are available in Bonito, with Casa do Joa being on top of the "must eat here" list.

Near-by the Recanto Ecologico Rio da Prata offers an opportunity to snorkel in crystal-clear waters. Hiking at the Estancia Mimosa Private Reserve is another opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors this part of Brazil has to offer; a far cry from the polluted Rio we hear about from the media.

Iguazu Falls Travel Tips

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

At four times the width of Niagara Falls, the whole of Iguazu Falls is comprised of 275 individual waterfalls all ranging in height between two-hundred and two-hundred sixty-nine feet. The tallest of all the waterfalls, which span almost two miles in an enormous breve, is what’s normally coined by the locals as Devil’s Throat. Natives tell of an interesting myth behind this marvelous natural wonder located in the tri-border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay: A God masquerading as a boy asked the parents of a beautiful human girl for her hand in marriage. Unbeknownst to the God, the girl was already in love with another boy and when she heard her marriage was arranged, she ran away with her lover. Upon learning of the betrayal, the God sliced the Iguazu River causing the canoe carrying Naipí and Tarobá to fall into the never-ending abyss.

In 1897, a Brazilian officer by the name of Edmundo de Berros proposed the creation of a National Park near the falls. Once the boundaries of the falls were clear as being part of both Argentina and Brazil, two national parks were created - Iguazú National Park in Argentina and Iguaçu National Park in Brazil, which UNESCO declared World Heritage Sites in 1986.

Climate

Unlike particular countries or cities, which have favorable weather conditions during specific times of the year, the climate at the falls is consistently hot and humid. The falls aren’t too far from the equator making them virtually accessible for travel any time. The heaviest rain occurs during the months of December, January, and February, which is summertime in the southern hemisphere. This time frame brings the most heat and humidity. Temperatures can rise above ninety degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Time to Travel

When traveling to the falls you may want to consider visiting when water levels are at their highest, but you’ve got to be willing to get a little wet as precipitation can be a bit high. The best time to see the falls at its most impressive state is during December, January, and February. Going for a boat ride and getting wet with all the water is perhaps one of the most adrenaline-charged things to do during this time frame. But if you prefer less water and brighter blue skies, you can visit during the months of March, April, August, and September. The skies during these months are clearer, but the water level is lower, but don’t fret... This would provide you with the transition between water-filled falls and less-filled with the chance of catching all the rock formations that normally can’t be seen due to the high levels of water.

Getting Here

The most popular way to get here is either through Argentina or Brazil. However, if you decide to take the Brazil route, you must know a Visa will be required. Argentina on the other hand doesn’t require a Visa and it contains the most falls. US Passport holders will undoubtedly need a Visa to enter Brazil. If you’re unable to personally visit the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, third party Services are available online, but be warned you would need to relinquish your passport to these companies. In order for third party online visa companies to provide their services, which consists of providing the necessary paperwork consulates will need to process your request, passports will be required. Needless to say, it would be prudent to do the necessary research in searching for the right company. Another route to take is booking an escorted South America tour with reputable tour operators like Globus, Trafalgar, or Tauck who work hand in hand with Visa Processing Services for US Citizens who require entry Visas to countries like Brazil.

Do and See

There's lots to do and see as the falls are a destination in itself, which means the only thing you’ll want to consider is when you’ll want to go as time of year calls for different things… The rainy season brings more water for the falls, which means the experience will be all the more impressive. Taking a boat ride during the rainy season will bring that much more exhilaration to your experience. This time of year also brings in more crowds from all over the world, especially locals vacationing from Argentina and Brazil in order to see the falls, which will be at their peak. Another thing to consider is the time of day to visit the falls. The most spectacular part of the falls is hands down Devil’s Throat! The best time to visit Devil’s Throat is first thing in the morning, but it also means looking into the sun as you look out over Devil’s Throat. However, it’s also when there will be less crowds gathering. The best time for picture-taking is during the late afternoon when the sun is at your back. Navigating the upper and lower trails of the falls is best done in the morning as the sun lights up the falls while rising from the Brazilian side.

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