Incan Salt Pans at Maras, Cusco
Hundreds of salt pans sparkle under the mid-day sun in stark contrast to the arid valley in which this spectacular Incan attraction is located.
An underground hot stream at the head of the valley has since ancient times been harvested for its salt and locals nowadys apply to the co-operative for a plot to carry on this traditional practice.
A 30 minute up-hill hike across the river Rio Urubamba at the little township of Tarabamba will bring one afoot this wonderful landscape.
Since Incan times, the subterranean stream in Maras has been harvested for its salt. The method by wh...
A small trail uphill zigzaging from the salt pans at Maras will take one to this spot where the salt ...
This is a veiw of the street outside our hostel in Urubamba. Alyssa is ganging up on Jamie a little b...
This is a view overlooking the Inca site of Moray, near Maras, Peru. The site comprises three groups...
Another picture from Moray, this one is down near the bottom of one of the concetric terrace pits.
This is the street outside our hostel in Ollantaytambo at night. We were right across from a little ...
This is the courtyard of our hostal in Ollantaytambo. From here one can see ruins on the surrounding...
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.