Looking for somebody knowledgeable about Patagonia to help you to plan a trip there? Jorge was one of 32 people from around the world selected to be hosted at an Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) event in September called AdventureNEXT Patagonia – Magallanes. The event is designed for a diverse set of industry professionals to have the opportunity to gain insight on travel trends and tools, build business relationships, and work together to reactivate the adventure community after the terrible effects of the pandemic.. Together they will share ideas and case studies on how the travel industry can regenerate the planet.
Over the years, I've been asked many times if it is safe to travel to South America. I had one American guy who was planning a family multisport trip, but he had read that somebody was killed in Peru, so he decided that he didn't want to travel there or to Ecuador, Chile, Argentina or Brazil because they were too close to Peru and it wasn't safe.
I recently read an article in "Travel Weekly" where a travel consultant said:
Did you know that there are 16 World Heritage sites in Argentina and Chile and 1 across the border in Uruguay? Ten are Cultural Heritage sites, five are Natural Heritage sites and two have Intangible Cultural Elements. Below are the sites:
Many people are eager to travel to South America again and are looking for information about when that will be possible. We will try to keep this post updated with the latest information we get from our local operators in each country.
Most people probably don't think of Argentina as a good wildlife viewing destination, other than as a start point for a cruise to Antarctica, but it actually has two world-class wildlife viewing areas - the Ibera wetlands and the Valdes Peninsula, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site of site of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals. The concentration of sea lions, elephant seals, penguins, cormorants, gulls and, each year, the visit of Southern right whales, has aroused the interest of visitors from all over the world.
When the worst of this pandemic is over and people start traveling internationally again, they will want to make sure that they can do it safely. Besides thinking about airports and airplanes, they should probably also consider some things about the destinations that they are traveling to. So here are some things that they might consider:
Many people never consider buying any form of travel insurance and many just figure it is an unjustified expense. Young people subconsciously feel they are invulnerable, but a lot of older people realize that they or their close relatives are living a more fragile existence and that the chances of some health crisis popping up are greatly increased, so they do consider getting insurance, in case they need to cancel their trip.
But there is one type of travel insurance that is increasingly becoming more important in this day and age....
Some people have problems with altitude sickness when traveling at high altitude destinations in South America such as Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Uyuni Salt Flats and the altiplano areas in Chile and Argentina - and sometimes even when in Quito, which is at about 9,000 feet. Cusco is at about 11,000 feet and other areas mentioned can be up around 14,000. The best viewpoint at Rainbow Mountain, which is becoming more popular, is at about 17,000 feet. You can get up to 13,000 feet and higher on treks from Cusco.
I've never had a problem in Cusco, but my wife did. I did have a headache at Lake Titicaca though after too much walking on my arrival day. Luckily my guide gave me a pill that helped.
Rapid ascent to heights exceeding about 8,000 above sea level can cause oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the body to decrease. Breathing and heart rate increase immediately, and the heart beats faster. For most people, that's the worst of it since their bodies adapt and the concentration of red blood cells increase. For others, that feeling of breathlessness soon leads to a pounding headache, nausea and vertigo.
What can you do to try to prevent this, or at least make it more tolerable?
More and more I've been reading about problems with overcrowding at tourist destinations. While it's great that more people have the means and desires to travel, they don't all have to go to the same places. There are plenty of other magical places to visit in the world, and plenty of them are in South America. Instead of following friends to places they have been, why not go to some great places first and have the others follow you?
Many people seem to think that travel to South America is dangerous. The U.S. Department of State recently came out with a new system of grading the safety of countries and it shows some interesting things
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time