A distant view of the north side of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Parque National Los Glaciers, Patagonia, Argentina. This glacier is one of the few in the world that is not receding, and can be easily viewed from land. The ice at the end of the glacier melts and falls into the water, eventually flowing into Lago Argentino. It takes over 100 years for the snow which falls at the ice cap at around 1500m to flow down to this point at 200m above sea level. The blue colour to the water is created by minerals which are released as the glacier moves over the rocks.
The glacier itself is vast at over 30 km (19 mi) in length, 5 kilometres (3 mi) wide, with an average height of 60 m (200 ft) above the surface of the water. The boat trip will take you in for a closer view and it's also possible to ice hike on top.
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.