The Galapagos Islands are home to the most diverse habitats of wildlife and plant species on Earth. Nature lovers and curious travelers alike want to experience the islands made famous by Charles Darwin and the highly influential discoveries he made there.
Southern Explorations Antarctica expert Carrie Beck visited the White Continent this past November 2015. Here she recounts the incredible experience of backcountry snowboarding in the most remote place on earth.
The narrow 2,653-mile strip of land called Chile attracts a wide range of visitors from hikers to foodies to photographers.
Hikers tend to travel south to pristine, remote Patagonia. Urbane travelers enjoy the center for its fine wines, food and culture. Chile’s most exotic land lies 2,300 miles into the Pacific where dozens of Easter Island’s moai have been provoking conjecture for centuries. Perhaps the least known of Chile’s regions is to the north where the Atacama Desert attracts photographers for its stark, photogenic beauty. Increasingly, active and not so active travelers are discovering the Atacama. These stunning desert sights make breathtaking backdrops for hiking and bicycling excursions. If high elevation exertion isn’t your cup of tea, motorized transportation travels to many of these Atacama destinations as well.
Planning a Galapagos trip isn’t like putting together an independent itinerary to another destination. Here all stops are approved by the Galapagos National Park Service and limited to official land and marine visitor sites to protect the wildlife. So many different kinds of travelers visit the Galapagos Islands these days, new vessels and itineraries keep being added to suit a wide range of interests.
Peru is a country with forty mountains higher than 19,000 feet, making it a hiker’s paradise. Of course, the supreme mountainous attraction is the hidden Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. This magical place turns history buffs into adventure travelers and vice versa. Most visitors start their travel to Machu Picchu in Cusco and along the way stop off at some of the astonishing sights of the Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley because of its spiritual importance to the Incas. The valley floor and hillsides are known for their Inca ruins, picturesque villages and colorful indigenous markets.
The reason to go now is obvious. Tourists who catch Colombia’s popularity on the upswing will be rewarded with the opportunity to experience its many attractions without the crowds.
Until becoming engulfed in civil strife, Colombia had been one of South America’s most popular destinations. Here’s why. It boasts many natural attractions including pristine national parks and reserves plus fascinating cities. Architecturally, Colombia’s colonial heritage has been better preserved than anywhere else on the continent.
Just about the time North Americans are donning their winter woolies, summer comes to South America. For Northerners seeking a winter escape, Uruguay and its closest neighbors, Brazil to the east and Argentina to the west, offer an array of destinations to consider.
Nothing says adventure travel like Colombia, South America’s hot new destination for visitors seeking the road less traveled. In this case, it also means arriving ahead of the pack of outdoor enthusiasts who will eventually make their way here. Biodiverse Colombia is attracting more and more adventure travelers as the years of civil strife fade further into the country’s past. Proximity of some national parks to such fascinating cities as Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena make for a varied adventure trip of a lifetime.
“Our trip was just magical, and I would highly recommend Southern Explorations to anyone considering an eco-tour. I don’t know how it could have been better, and I can’t wait to book a trip through Southern again. Thanks so much for all your help.”