Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brazil has a unique place, which surprises even the Brazilians themselves. This is National Park Lencois Maranenses, located in north-eastern part of Brazil in the state of Maranhao, near the town of Barreyrinyas. Lencois Maranenses - a wonderful area of ​​1000 square meters combining the white sand dunes up to 40 meters and framing them into a clear freshwater lakes.

At first glance, the landscape in the park is like a desert, but in the rainy season (the falls here are 300 times greater than in the Sahara), the water builds up between the dunes, creating an amazing beautiful landscape: the combination of blue-green waters and white sand. For its beauty Lencois Maranenses are called "sheets of Maranhão."

The crystal clear lakes are teeming with life, as a result people from few small settlements located within the park benefit from this. From December to March, during the dry season, temperatures in these areas reaches +36 ° C, so that water is partially dry up and disappear, and many of their inhabitants, and local residents are beginning to actively engage in animal husbandry and wait for the rainy season, when its bloom again Lencois fragile unearthly beauty.

The mystery is what happens to numerous animals during the drought, and where comes from. At this point there are different hypotheses, one of which states that the eggs of crabs and fish are preserved in the sand before returning to the desired moisture.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Peru and Costa Rica Advance Gastronomic Tourism

2 Latin America countries at once have expressed the desire to attract the attention of travellers to their gastronomic heritage. In particular, recently the minister of tourism of Costa Rica, Allan Flores submitted a plan to promote national cuisine as tourist attractions.

Costa Rican cuisine is based on a mixture of Spanish and Indian cuisines: the beans, rice and meat, plus a lot of herbs, vegetables and spices. Preparing all of the unique local recipes. The project put forward by businessmen and government officials, aims to promote cooking Costa Rican cuisine in the hotels and restaurants. This program will enhance the preservation of traditions of the country, believe in the Ministry.

In addition, the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala in his recent speech at the UN General Assembly declared its intention to apply to UNESCO to make a national cuisine in Peru World Heritage List.

Submitted to UNESCO documents indicate the existence of ethnic cuisine in pre-Incan period. In addition, the application shows the inextricable link between the living cuisine and contemporary culture of the country, which is manifested in the daily activities of thousands of people of various professions in Peru. According to the President, Peruvian cuisine is the joint creative work of all its citizens, where every Peruvian can contribute.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ecuador Offers Tours To Famous Cemetery

Cemetery in the Ecuadorian city Guayaquil will be a touristic destination. Over an area of ​​15 hectares over the past 170 years was buried about 700 thousand people, many of which left a significant mark in the history of the country. A third burial due to the high artistic level of gravestones declared a national cultural heritage.

Streets and staircases of the cemetery resemble a museum: sculptures and statues, the whole arrangement of white marble, not inferior to the level of performance in the best collections of museums in Europe. Artistic compositions cemetery features a variety of architectural styles - Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical, Baroque and Moorish. The age of some monuments exceeds 200 years.

Tourists already come to look at these sites. Now, the sculptures are systematised in 4 thematic routes, which can be taken from 28 October. The total duration of excursions is about 1.5 hours.

So to pay tribute to the heroes of the country and the presidents of Ecuador it is possible in the route "Entre la grandeza y la huella eterna". Tour under the name "Tras las sombras del ultimo verso" will be held at the resting place of the arts, culture and music. By selecting "Memoria y el vuelo de los angeles", visitors will see the best sculptures cemetery, and the latest version of excursions includes the graves of other famous people of the city and country.

The heart of the southern coast, the port of Guayaquil - the biggest city and economic center of Ecuador, the country's major export gateway. It is located approximately 250 kilometers south-west of the capital, on the Guayas river.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A few reasons to visit Colombia

Colombia is famous for its rich cultural heritage, fantastic scenery and stunning kitchen. Firstly Columbia will attract lovers of active tourism. There are plenty of opportunities to see many new things and do not lose shape - from sailing and kayaking, windsurfing, snorkelling and rock climbing to horseback riding through the Andes.

Nature lovers, scientists and students on vacation are interested in the Amazon river. Rain forests, growing along the longest river in the world, Colombia shares with Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Enjoy the local flora and fauna of the jungle can be, going on one of the routes offered by guides and travel agents.

Biodiversity of Colombia is amazing. Local nature is the world's largest "collection" of amphibians, butterflies and flowers. The country also ranks second in the world in the number of birds - 1865 species. In the period from June to November it becomes home to hundreds of birds, whales, sea turtles, courtship and would suit just rest after the long migration to coastal waters.

Colombia's geographical position allows tourists to visit the coast of Two Oceans and Caribbean Sea. On the Pacific coast can be seen secluded beaches, which rises jungle. At that time, both on the Caribbean coast of tourists are attracted first-class resorts with plenty of shops and restaurants.

Colombian 'Coffee Triangle', recently entered the UNESCO World Heritage List. It produces the best coffee in the world that attracts fans to the region of the drink from around the world.

Colombia - one of the best places on earth for diving. Marine Reserve Seaflower Biopsphere around the island of Providencia is the third largest coral reef park in the world. In Colombia, 37 national parks and 12 nature reserves - total 11 million hectares of beautiful scenery.

Local cities can also be very interesting. Cosmopolitan Cartagena, a modern Bogota, dynamic Cali and progressive Medellin - each of them can offer visitors something new and unique. Night life in Colombia is very dynamic and diverse. In Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena, the party lasts all night. Recognized favorite among tourists are African and Jamaican disco on the beaches of San Andres.

Colombians are very fond of holidays, so the country hosts many fairs and festivals as tourist attraction. One should visit the colourful carnival of Barranquilla in February and Flower Fair in Medellín in August.

Local gastronomy - is a mix of culinary traditions from Africa, India, Spain and the Arab countries. In every region of Colombia - has its own kitchen, which is closely related to agriculture. On the Caribbean coast is prevalent the abundant seafood and cook fish. In the Andes - meat, potatoes, beans and corn. Pacific Coast - rice and lentils. On the banks of the Orinoco River are popular veal, cassava and river fish.

A wonderful climate allows athletes and golfers to play Columbia throughout the year. Country offers tourists around 50 certified golf fields.

Local residents is the another reason to visit Colombia. They are renowned for their friendly attitude towards guests and are always ready to help. This republic - is also a very romantic country. It is perfect love, or people who dream of love. In recent years it has increasingly become a popular destination for those who want to spend a romantic wedding or honeymoon.

Finally, the Kali is known informally as "the world capital of salsa". The local authentic salsa dancing nightclubs from dusk to dawn. Do not begrudge those who are good moves, and stand aside - here are willing to teach anyone who wants to dance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Machu Picchu

The ancient city of Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu, in translation - the "old peak"), as claimed by some archaeologists to have been founded the Inca ruler Pachacutec. The city was built as the residence of the ruler of a hundred years before the conquest of his empire, around 1440. In 1532 the Inca Empire was invaded the Spanish conquerors. That same year, residents of the city mysteriously disappeared.

More than 400 years the city was abandoned. The city was re-opened about a hundred years ago. July 24, 1911 the city was found by an American researcher from Yale University professor Hiram Bingham.

The city is located on the territory of modern Peru at the top of the ridge at an altitude of 2450 meters above sea level, dominating the valley of the Urubamba River.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Lost City" Of Teyuna In Columbia

UN has declared 2011 International Year of Forests. In this regard, Colombia has developed a thematic tour: it offers to go on an exciting journey in which a rare opportunity to see not only a magnificent sub-tropical forests, but also the "lost city" Teyuna in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north. Travelers will be able to see the life of contemporary hermits, living away from the benefits of civilization - the Indians Kogui, still using slash-and-burn agriculture.

The ancestors of the Indians were forced to go out from the Caribbean coast of Colombia to the mountains as a result of the invasion of warlike Carib tribes around 1000 BC. Later it was saved Kogui from destruction by Spanish conquistadors. According to the legends of Indians, the city was built by the ancestors of Teyuna Kogui - representatives of the culture of Tayrona - between the XI and XIV centuries.

Modern Teyuna is a series of circular terraces, where once there were wooden houses with roofs made of leaves. The incredibly scenic views of the valley are lying below.

The easiest way to "Lost City" starts from the town of Mamey. This route is of average complexity, which includes extensive areas with steep cliffs, takes five or six 4-hour crossings. During this walk the tpurists will have to repeatedly cross the mountain river Buritaca and pass through narrow passages between the rocks.

To move up in the "lost city" itself one must overcome more than a thousand steps, covered with moss. During the rainy season the route is considerably more complicated, since the stormy deep rivers represent a danger for tourists. Nevertheless, in general, the transition is safe. Travel is only accompanied by guides, in addition, on the road signs are put, thus preventing stray from it.

To become a member of the tour, you must pay it in one of the tourist offices in Santa Marta or Tagange. Price starts from 500,000 pesos (about 200 euros) and includes the navigation service, food, sleeping in rest points along the route. Also charged a mandatory fee, which goes to support community Kogui Indians living in the mountains.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

11 disgusting facts about a massive dam project just approved in Chile

12 members of a local environmental committee unanimously approved Hidroaysén, the largest hydroelectric project in the history of Chile.

A particularly gnarly example of how multinational corporations can dictate policy-making, basically shitting on public opinion, long-term environmental and economic considerations, and most of all the local people.

Within 30 minutes of the protestors gathering, police drove 4 buses along the curve of the street to block the demonstration from view by the commuting public, and then fired water cannons and tear gas into the crowd when protesters attempted to cross the street from Plaza Italia. The protestors, chanting Piñera, entiende, Patagonia no se vende (Piñera (president of the Republic), understand, Patagonia is not for sale), expressed what’s so wrong about the project, that it’s essentially selling off irreplaceable Patagonian land and water.

Here are 11 facts of this project:

1. The policies that set the stage for the dam go back to Chile’s military dictatorship.

Chile’s Constitution and Water Code, signed during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1981, established a privatized freshwater market under which water rights are bought, sold and traded as commodities in perpetuity. Rights to massive watersheds were purchased by multinational corporations such as Gener (US), Xstrata Copper (Swiss), and Endesa (Spain, Italy).
2. As a project controlled by outside corporations, there is little in the way of direct accountability for environmental impact.

Hidroaysén is a joint venture of Chilean corporations Colbún and Endesa, however these companies are controlled by Endesa Spain, which is a property of the Italian corporation Inel. Whatever happens as a result of the dams, it’s far “out of sight, out of mind” for stockholders and officers on a different continent.
3. Hidroaysén’s approval came in the face of mass opposition.

61% of Chileans polled opposed the project.

4. Hidroaysén used a “terror campaign” to try to sell the project to the public.

The media campaign, launched in 2010, told Chileans that they’d be “left in the dark” unless they approved the project, which, as tweeted by Rodrigo Miranda, secretary general of Chile’s national journalists association, “brought back memories of the 1988 ‘Yes’ campaign waged by Pinochet.”

5. The scale of the project forever alters one of the world’s last “reserves” of pristine wilderness.

The project consists of 5 different dams, which once constructed, will flood an area the size of Manhattan (part of which includes a national park). In addition, the clear cutting necessary for the transmission line will be one of the longest in history, some 1,400 miles – roughly equivalent to the entire West Coast of the United States, much of it going through virgin forest and pristine Patagonian wilderness. In addition:

6. The area traversed by the transmission lines is one of the most seismically-active in the world.

From International Rivers:

“The region in which the project would be located, Aysen, has recently experienced damaging seismic events. Despite the existence of numerous fault lines and other unstable geology in the region, the EIA [environmental study] did not even attempt to describe potential seismic risks that could lead to catastrophic loss of life in the areas where the dams and related structures would be located.”

7. The environmental study submitted by Hidroaysén was basically a joke.

The lack of seismic considerations were among more than 3,000 issues identified in the EIA by the 32 public services which participated in its review (International Rivers). Other considerations insufficiently examined or completely left out of the study include:

*Flooding levels
*Soil impact
*Precise geographic information
*Landslides and other hydrological impact
*Social impact (including relocation of people)
*Impact on local tourism
*Impact on Flora / Fauna

8. There are violations of laws on protected areas.

The project will impact 6 national parks, 11 national reserves, 12 important conservation sites, and 16 wetlands. As reported in International Rivers, “It is improper under Chilean law for an EIA to propose plans that would violate the law or to ignore the clear potential that these plans would violate Chilean law.”

9. Chile is squandering an opportunity to be a world leader in sustainable energy.

The Atacama desert in northern Chile has one of the highest solar potentials in the world. Chile is one of the few South American countries with the industry to produce innovations.
10. Most of the energy from the dams is going to operate massive mining operations.

Instead of benefiting local populations, the energy produced will be used largely to power mining operations hundreds of miles away.

11. It’s not just “in the middle of nowhere.”

Based on the report of David Miller:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easter Island - Rapa Nui

Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) lies in the Pacific Ocean, nearly 3700 km. to the west of the Chilean coast. This is the most famous and mysterious of Chilean islands. Geographically and culturally belongs not to America, but to Polynesia. This is the most remote island on the planet, because the nearest inhabited place is situated in 2500 km. from him.

Easter Island or Rapa Nui, as the locals call it - is of volcanic origin. The origins of the ancient culture of Rapa Nui is still unknown to science, and a number of existing versions and suppositions can not give answers to all the riddles posed by the world of Easter Island. The main mystery of the island - is the origin of the giant stone moai statues, standing with the back to the sea in different places of Rapa Nui. You can visit volcanoes, is a cult centers of the ancient inhabitants of the island, to see their petroglyphs and other traces of a vanished culture. The entire population of Easter Island lives in the village of Hanga Roa. On the island there are hotels and all tourist amenities. Beautiful subtropical climate and beautiful beaches with warm ocean are available all year-round. The island is accessible only by planes of Chilean airline Lanchile, several times a week, doing the the flights from Santiago.

Places visited by the tourists:
Ahu Vinapu - the church in which sculptures resemble stonework of the Incas - proofs that the first inhabitants of the island were people from South America.

Rano Kau - Volcano - one of most interesting sight on Easter Island.

Orongo city - home in the city, made of stone lighthouses, were restored, and the rock that surrounds the city, remained intact. Pictures of people-birds are cut out (Tangata Manu, Tha Manu Tara, Makemake).

Ahu Tahai - fortress, restored in the late 60's by the American archaeologist William Mullou. This temple is 7 th century is the oldest architectural structure on the island, which represents 3 different types of gravestones (ahu): Ahu Ko Te Riky (a huge statue (moai) weighing 20 tons with a symbolic stone on his head, 690 AD ), Ahu Vai Uki (group of 5 statues) and Ahu Tahai.

Rano Raraku - a quarry, in which all the statues (moai) carved out of soft tufa of the volcano. The height of many sculptures up to 6 m and they weigh several tons. Deceased family members are usually laid in a crypt under the statue.

Ahu Akahanga - a plate, which is a long stone pillar with 4 fallen statues, a place which according to legend is the grave of one of the first king of the island Hoto Matua. Ahu Tongariki - the largest gravestone ever built on the island, was destroyed by the tsunami in 1960, then re-restored and now all 15 statues are standing together in a row.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nazca Lines

Nazca Desert - is a desert plateau on the southern coast of Peru. Nazca received worldwide fame due to an ancient Indian culture, which flourished in 3 - 8 century BC. It were they who created the famous
Nazca lines-drawings, which are visible even from space.

Nazca were farmers and were treated with fertile plains along the Pacific coast of Peru. They left no evidence of their writing system: all the known facts about them have been obtained by studying the burial places of the Nazca and found objects.

Civilization of the ancient Nazca Indians got its name from the river in a valley which had been discovered monuments of this culture - the mysterious giant drawings. These pictures are mainly located on the cliffs along the Rio Grande and its tributaries, in the extremely arid zone between the valleys of Ica and Nazca.

Who and what created these images still remains a mystery. The world's largest product of graphic art encompasses an area of ​​520 sq. km. Open to the world they were in 1941 when they went to study American archaeologist Dr Paul Kosok from Long Island University. These lines, drawn in red rock desert, represent more than 100 known plants, animals and simple geometric shapes, as well as a scattering of obscure, not related to each other straight lines.

All figures in the desert were performed by one and the same way: the surface layer of reddish rock continuous line scratched before lying beneath a pale yellow rock. Apparently, this was done manually. The lines are so straight that there is an assumption that the staves were used to draw them. Still remains a mystery how a painter could so accurately adhere to plan and achieve the effect of straight line at such large distances.

According to one theory is that all these shapes and lines represent "the largest astronomy world book." These images show the location of stars and constellations at different times of the year used by ancient Nazca to determine the exact time of plowing, sowing and other important "phases" of the agricultural cycle. On another, more modern version, is that some of the mysterious lines can actually point to the underground water sources. The ancient inhabitants of Nazca, perhaps, have noted the location of their distribution system of water supplies, because during the drought they were more reliable sources of potable and irrigation water than the rivers.

How to see the Nazca drawings?
To do this, go to the provincial Peruvian town located about 450 km south of Lima. Here, from the airport every 5-10 minutes rises a little four-seater plane, at an altitude of several hundred meters to make a half-circled figures.