South America at a Glance.
Not very many people are aware of this, but a good part of South America is not in the Southern Hemisphere at all. Of the 13 countries that make up the continent, five of them are entirely north of the Equator, and three have territory there. In fact one of those countries, Ecuador, gets its name from the Equator which passes just a few miles to the north of its capital, Quito.
There are many world-famous attractions dotted throughout South America, but often travelers and tourists are surprised at the sheer size and diversity of the Continent. It is larger than both North America and Europe, with a larger population as well. This combines to create a spectacular backdrop to some of the most interesting and often unknown curiosities and attractions the world has to offer.
Machu Pichu and some of South America’s beaches (such as Copacabana) are known the world over, and feature in a lot of popular culture. They are certainly worth a visit, but we can’t let them overshadow the myriad of other fascinating destinations and attractions which populate the continent.
South America is as impressive as it is diverse. From the driest desert on Earth (Atacama) to the longest river in the world (Amazon), and from the smallest frog (Darwin) to the longest mountain range (Andes), there is a lot to see.
South America starts in the warm, balmy waters of the Caribbean, with white sandy beaches and parasols by the pool. But that’s only so you can get rested up enough to explore the romantic myths of the Spanish Main: blood-thirsty pirates and the legend of El Dorado at the end of the Amazon. Then you climb up to some of the highest mountains in the world (Chimborazo), and gaze over the unending plains of swaying grass (Pampas). The climb down is an exciting trek through the ancient ruins of one of the largest empires in the world (Incas) until you reach the rugged beauty of Patagonia, with its twisting fjords and majestic glaciers. You have just enough time to jump into a volcanic hot spring before facing the twisting sea of the Drake Passage, named after the famous English Pirate, and Cape Horn overlooking the endless frozen expanse of Antarctica.
There is a secret side to South America your tour operator is keeping from you, a jealously guarded secret which you will only be able to peek at through this blog.