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
According to Tripadvisor, 71 percent of travelers plan to make eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months, in contrast to what was only 45 percent one year ago. In addition to this, 58 percent of travelers said their choices are affected by whether or not the hotel gives back to the local community, and 66 percent of global consumers prefer to buy products and services from brands that give back to society.
Here are some options that should appeal to that type of traveler:
With over 41 million international arrivals in 2015 and an average growth of 5%, Latin America’s travel and tourism industry has incredible potential to help generate growth, create jobs and enable regional development.
But which countries are best positioned to benefit most from the industry? You might not be surprised to find out that beautiful natural sceneries like the Iguassu Falls and iconic cultural landmarks like Machu Picchu aren’t the only factors that determine whether a destination is competitive.
So which are the 10 most competitive countries in Latin America? And more importantly, what do they all have in common?
People go to Patagonia for different reasons - some want to trek in Torres del Paine or Glaciares Park, some want to experience it's vast open vistas, others want to see wildlife. So, when is the best time to go?
In a recent Portrait of American Travelers study, it was noted that 67% of American travelers now express an interest in experiencing foreign foods. That is up from 51% just 2 years ago. Millenials showed the most interest while mature travelers showed the least interest. I wonder if that is partially due to tv celebrities like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain who travel around the world eating local food? At any rate, it seems that will eventually hurt the malls I've seen in foreign countries that have nothing but American fast food restaurants in them.
South America is definitely an area where local chefs are developing cuisines that are evolving and enticing travelers.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time