By the Foot of Cerro Paine Grande
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Panoramic photo by Arroz Marisco EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 19:04, 16/04/2009 - Views loading...

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By the Foot of Cerro Paine Grande

The World > South America

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The trail of the "W" Trek is not vey well maintained - there hasn't been much upkeep done since I lasted visited in 2002 but the entrance fee nevertheless has seen quite a hike together with the costs at the various refugios on the trek - now costs more than 100 USD per night for food and a simple bunk bed - what a rip-off if the money is not put back into the facilities of the park !

It's about 90mins' walk from here to Refugio Paine Grande where I would call the day - the lake to the side here is not Lago Skottsberg but a nameless one that on a good day will form a perfect reflection of the Cuernos.

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This panorama was taken in South America

This is an overview of South America

South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.

To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

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