These pages introduce our expanded coverage of Central and South America, a region of the world that has long been the stuff of legend in the annals of exploration. The glorious empires of the Inca and the Aztec arose here, amid a natural world no less magnificent. At the heart of South America lies the Amazon rainforest, the realm of one of the world's greatest rivers and the richest ecological region on our planet. Along the continent's spine are the Andes, a spectacular wall of snow-capped peaks and sulfurous volcanic turmoil. Add to this some of the world's most fabled resorts and it becomes easy to see why the last few decades have witnessed an exponential growth in travel to Latin America. 

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Argentina
A country of wide-open pampas and ancient forests, Argentina is as  wild as its capital city, Buenos Aires, is sophisticated.  
 

Brazil 
Its vibrant diversity and geographical abundance seem to embody everything that is best in South America. Through the lush heart of Brazil flows the Amazon, and along its coast is found a dazzling string of great cities: the pulse-pounding resort of Rio; sprawling, metropolitan Sao Paulo; and, further north, the entrancing canals and bustling piers of Recife.  
 

Chile
In the world's longest country -north to south, nature runs the gamut of its most dramatic forms - enormous glaciers, craggy granite spires, and towering volcanic cones dominate the landscape. Torres del Paine National Park is widely held to be the finest park in the Americas.  

Costa Rica
In recent years, Costa Rica has nearly become  synonomous with the term "ecotourism." Its pristine rainforests are painstakingly protected, and an ever-increasing tide of people come to witness the astounding abundance of plant and animal species each year.  
  
  

Ecuador
Ecuador arguably has the most intensely varied landscape in South America. You get it all here: the collosal Andes, the Amazon, Pacific  beaches,  and of course the naturalist's paradise of  the Galapagos Islands.  
 
 

Guyana
Guyana is one of the lesser-known destinations in South America, but it has plenty of prizes for those who wander in. Its great rivers access huge reaches of rain forest, and one could spend a lifetime visiting all of its picturesque waterfalls.  


mexicon.jpg (6460 bytes) Mexico
With both the most populous city in the world, and some of the most beautiful beaches, Mexico is a lively destination. A variety of natural wonders from lush tropical rainforests to mountains and deserts make Mexico a gem for the adventurer, but its real treasure is in the spirit of its people.  
 

Peru
The landscape of Peru is as epic as its history. The shadows, canyons, and plateaus of the vertiginous Andes hide the remains of one of the world's most extraordinary empires - the Inca - while their eastern slopes are the cradle of the Amazon River itself. 


parrot.JPG (9389 bytes) Venezuela
As much a Caribbean country as it is a South American anchor, Venezuela is unique. At night, the capital of Caracas comes to life with the rhythms of the Caribbean. The nation also has a few geographical superlatives, including the world's highest waterfall and South America's biggest lake.

 
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