If you are travelling south of the equator to destinations in South America, before you reserve your passage, you should take into account many considerations, as South America is a large continent with a variety of options for tourists. Encompassing 15 nations or territories, South America offers something for everyone, ranging from unique cultural events to breathtaking natural wonders and scenery. Learning some basic travel and tourism facts about South America will help you in planning a getaway to this enchanting part of the world.
WHEN TO VISIT
While North America is experiencing summer north of the equator, those areas south of the equator experience winter and vice versa. Although December through February travel is the most popular, it is also the most expensive time to go because of demand. The low season, predictably, comes between June and August. In the areas closest to the equator, most tourists will find that travelling to the areas in the winter is the best time for mild temperatures. Spring and fall are the common periods for discount travel, and most hotels, shops and tourist venues are open year-round throughout the continent, according to the Smarter Travel website.
A quick glance at a map may give you the idea that you could hop in your car in the United States and, with the right travel documentation, drive to points throughout South America — but it’s not as easy as it looks. First, it’s an extremely long trip, but you can traverse the gap at the Panama Canal by crossing the 5,400-feet long, 354-feet high Bridge of the Americas. Otherwise, you must ship your car on a boat across the canal, which involves inspections and additional costs. It’s much easier to book tickets on an airplane or arrive by passenger ship. Most tourists visiting South America arrive at one of the many international airports scattered throughout the continent.
The fastest and easiest way to get around South America on a globe-trotting type of adventure is to go by airplane from country to country. Regular flights are available to cities in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. If you plan to move around a lot, you can get a Mercosur Air Pass that will allow multiple flights for one price. Still, the primary mode of transportation in South America is the bus. According to Frommer’s, you can travel the entire length of South America via bus as long as you switch carriers at each country’s border. It is less efficient than flying, but it is inexpensive, and you have the opportunity to see more of the countryside.
The places to visit in South America are seemingly endless, but several standout destinations should not be missed on a trip to the continent. The world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, is in Venezuela. The Amazon River and the Andes Mountains each expand across the continent, and the Amazon rain forest and the Atacama desert are both located in South America. The highest capital city in the world, La Paz, Bolivia, as well as the highest commercially navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, are in South America. The ruins of Machu Picchu are in Peru, and Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands are also technically part of South America and are popular tourism spots.
While you travel, you must eat, and eating the local fare is as much a part of tourism as the scenery. Travelers should not miss the grilled meats in Argentina, and the best, according to Frommer’s, is found at Cabana Las Lilas in Buenos Aires. If you are in Bolivia for breakfast, try the local pastries stuffed with chicken or beef and vegetables, known locally as “saltenas.” The street vendors in Brazil are impressive, as is the ceviche found all over Peru.
|START TIME||Please arrive by 7:45 AM.|
|END TIME||Approximately 6:30 PM.|
|WEAR||Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.|
8.00 AM – 11.00 AM: Training
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