Everyone has heard of the Amazon, but how many are familiar with another great Brazilian natural wonder, the Pantanal wetlands? Or the spectacular Bolivian salt flats known as Salar de Uyuni or Chile’s Atacama desert? South America is filled with natural wonders that don’t always get the press they deserve. Here are seven of our favorites, including both the famous and not-so-famous — but all remarkable.
Lying more than 600 miles in the Pacific off mainland Ecuador, the remote Galapagos Islands possess perhaps the best preserved ecosystem in the world. This is where Charles Darwin got his inspiration for his Theory of Evolution, after observing the unique birdlife here during his 19th-century voyage aboard the Beagle. The islands are a true natural laboratory, each with distinct species of birds, reptiles and other creatures.… Continue reading
The effects of climate change on glaciers, coral reefs and other natural phenomena around the globe are well documented: disappearing ice in Antarctica and Greenland, disappearing habitats for Arctic polar bears, disappearing marine life from coral reefs off Australia and other tropical waters around the globe being among the best known (and most alarming) examples.
But I wasn’t aware until I read this great piece from Reuters (via skift.com) that glaciers are also disappearing from the Peruvian Andes, or that Peru had the greatest concentration of tropical glaciers in the world, which are highly vulnerable to climate change.
The main gist of the article is that Peruvians who depend on tourist visits to one fast-shrinking glacier, the Pastoruri, are facing threats to their livelihood that mirror the threats to the glacier itself, which has lost… Continue reading
In a previous post I talked about “glamping” — a contraction of “glamorous camping” — that seems ideal for baby boomer travelers who still seek adventure but don’t want to sleep on hard ground in tents anymore.
Some lodges have taken up the concept, offering roomy tents with beds in them — a creative piece of marketing — and now Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman), one of the premier adventure travel companies in the U.S., is offering a Peruvian trip called “Glamping on the Inca Trail,” with five departures in 2014.
It’s a 10-day, nine-night trip that leads from Lima to Machu Picchu via Cusco and the legendary Inca Trail, complete with plenty of high-altitude trekking that provides incredible views and takes you through a number of other Inca sites and an Andean… Continue reading