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Galapagos Islands Scuba Diving

The Galapagos Islands have been called one of the "seven underwater wonders of the world" and for good reason. The diversity of species unique to the islands, pollution-free waters and many reefs and sheltered bays make the Galapagos a diving dream-come-true. Southern Explorations makes Galapagos diving easy. With expert dive masters and personally-inspected well-equipped boats the underwater world of the Galapagos makes for an unforgettable diving vacation.

Ecuador Chocolate (Cocoa)

Innovations taking place far from the cacao farms of Ecuador propelled this South American nation into the center of the international candy industry. The colonies had been providing the ingredients for cacao beverages for centuries before manufacturers figured out how to turn cacao, the drink, into chocolate, the bar, in the last half of the 19th century.

Costa Rica's Turtles

Sea turtles are among Earth’s oldest creatures. Modern day turtles lead a precarious life, only a small percentage making it to old age. They must contend with predators on land and sea, shrinking habitat, thanks to human developments, and avoiding fishing nets at sea, not to mention unpredictable natural disasters such as hurricanes that wipe out nesting sites. The status of sea turtles ranges from vulnerable to critically-endangered, depending on the species. Many governments and non-profit organizations are helping to restore the populations of marine turtles and their habitat around the world, among them the U.S. based Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Earthwatch Institute.

Brazil's Diamonds

They came to Brazil’s interior in search of gold and stumbled on to diamonds. The 1725 discovery in the Abaete and Jequitinhonha Tijuco rivers region of Minas Gerais made Brazil one of the few places in the world yet to have found the gem. The discovery ended India’s 2,600-year diamond monopoly and allowed Brazil to step into a ready market with little competition.

Birds of the Amazon Rainforest

Look at a map of South America birding sites, and you'll see that the place to visit is the Amazon. For birdwatchers, the Amazon is heaven on earth. According to naturalists, there are several reasons why the Amazon has the world's highest diversity of birds. The rainforest provides many year-round rather than just seasonally available nesting sites and food sources such as fruit, nectar and insects, large and small. Species here need not be so competitive. Not confined to one level of the rainforest, they can use multiple methods to acquire food and find sustenance in many different areas of the rainforest. The habitat is stable and not subject to cataclysmic events. It is large enough to both protect species and keep them isolated, allowing them to evolve.

About Lake Titicaca

Like Timbuktu, what most people know about Lake Titicaca is its name and little else. Pristine and vast, Lake Titicaca sits majestically at 12,500 feet above sea level backed by the snowcapped peaks of Bolivia's Cordillera Real range. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and South America's largest fresh water lake, covering 3,200 square miles that extend across the border between Peru and Bolivia.
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