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At 771 m high, depending on the criteria Gocta ranks between the third to the fifth highest waterfall in the world. Said to be hidden and only brought to world's attention until very recently by a German explorer, it still puzzles me as this impressive waterfall with its thundering noise could be heard and spotted just off the main highway some distance away.
The hike to this impressive waterfall takes about 2 hours from the nearby village of Cocachimba. The valley in which this waterfall lies is a verdant paradise teeming with wildlives and I enjoyed every second of the hike.
The rainy season had already arrived and within minutes the entire valley would be obscured by a smothering mist and spray as the waterfall swelled to hundred times its size after a moderately heavy rain lasted only less than half and hour.
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.