South America vacations are a very interesting alternative has this is a rich continent filled with a mixture of traditions from Europe, Africa and Indigenous cultures. There are a number of natural wonders, as well as man-made architectural masterpieces such as Machu Pichu which is one of the 7 wonders of the world right in the heart of what was once the Incan Empire in Peru.
Many civilizations ruled these lands hundreds of years ago and left us a heritage of their work which now is used as tourist attractions. There’s the Machu Pichu in Peru, Colonial architecture in Colombia and Venezuela and caves whose walls have many paintings of hands in Argentina; paintings that can be calculated to be up to 10,000 years old show hunting scenes and hands small as those of a 13 year old.
As the history of South America show us, agriculture was already a very important practice of the indigenous but it improved as new seeds were brought in by the Europeans. Along with benefits came diseases that affected the local population along with forced labor thanks to the foreign nations who sought to exploit the local resources through mining and farming.
As indigenous had never developed immunities to the newly brought diseases, they were quickly replaced by African Slaves who eventually benefited South American culture as it is now thanks to African traditions getting mixed with local’s back then. Thanks to it there’s Cumbia which derived from a mating dance ritual performed by African slaves.
Colonies under Spanish Rule won their independence between 1804 and 1826 during the Spanish American wars of independence, being Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin the most important leaders of these struggles. Dom Pedro I, son of Portuguese King Dom Joao VI proclaimed Brazil’s independence in 1822, therefore becoming the country’s first Emperor.
South American Geography and Climate
The Andes is the world’s longest continental mountain range and covers the west end of the continent along the Pacific Coast where temperatures vary depending on the height. You can experience from tropical hot to mountain cold. The Amazonas River is the largest river in the world crosses the borders of Brazil, Peru and Colombia and gives you the chance to feel the jungle humid heat. On average, most popular cities experience average temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius.
The Titicaca Lake is one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world and serves as natural border between Peru and Bolivia; Lake Maracaibo, often considered an in-land extension of the Caribbean is located in Venezuela is the one of the oldest lakes in the world.
One of nature’s most fascinating phenomenons takes place over the narrow stretch that separates Lake Maracaibo from the Caribbean. Catacumbo lightning storms occur for about 10 hours a night, 140 to 160 nights a year. During this “lightning” season, this storm activity can be seen up to 400 km and has been used for ship navigation.