Win A Trip To South America With Richard Bangs

Travel to South America with Richard BangsSouth America is a land of diverse cultures, stunning scenery and breathtaking adventure. Travelers can climb to the highest peaks of the Andes, experience unique wildlife, explore the biodiversity of the Amazon and indulge in a variety of wonderful cuisines. The continent truly does have something to offer nearly every kind of traveler and now television personality Richard Bangs wants to take you there on an adventure of your own choosing.

Bangs, who hosts the PBS travel show “Adventures with Purpose,” has teamed up with LAN to bring us the Only In South America sweepstakes. The contest, which runs through January 18, will allow one lucky winner to select one of four destinations as their dream trip to South America. Those destinations include Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, Iguazu Falls along the border of Brazil and Argentina or the remote Easter Island off the coast of Chile. While on their excursion, the winner will be joined for dinner and a private tour with Bangs, who will share in their adventure. The prize includes airfare, ground transportation, guides and accommodations for two.

To enter the contest, simply click here and fill out the online form. You’ll provide basic contact information, answer a few demographic questions and select the destination that you prefer. With any luck, your name will be drawn in January and you’ll be whisked off on an unforgettable adventure to South America.

And if you’re having any trouble deciding which of the four trips you would prefer, the site provides excellent videos, like the one below, to help you choose. They’re all very well done, however, and viewing them may actually end up making the decision even more difficult.

[Photo Credit: Martin St-Amant via WikiMedia]


Brazil’s Other Adventurous Side

With Brazil’s big party, Carnival, coming to an end a few days back, I thought that it was appropriate to look at the country’s other adventurous side, far away from the beaches and party scene of Rio and the other major cities. Brazil has plenty to offer the traveler who is looking to get off the beaten path, and explore some of its more remote regions.

One of the more famous of these attractions is Iguassu Falls, located along the border between Brazil and Argentina. Iguassu is a collection of more than 275 waterfalls compressed into an area that is roughly 1.5 miles in length. Some of them are as tall as 270 feet, and the total amount of water that crosses over Iguassu Falls is more than twice that of Niagara.

While Iguassu doesn’t see nearly as much traffic as Rio or the other major cities, plenty of intrepid travelers still make the journey to take in that natural wonder. For something a bit further off the tourist radar, consider a trip to the Brazilian region of Pantanal, a tropical wetland, much like the Florida Everglades, but on a much larger scale. During the rainy season, the Amazon River overflows into the area, creating a unique and diverse ecosystem with literally thousands of species of birds, fish, and other wildlife. Exploring the area by boat is akin to taking an African Safari, with giant river otter, colorful maccaw, marsh deer, and even piranha on display.Of course, the most famous region of Brazil is the Amazon Rainforest, the vast region that covers much of the South American continent in a dense jungle that is home to more than tens of thousands of plants alone, and thousands more animals. This is a part of the world that most travelers never venture into, even if they come to Brazil, but it is possible to camp and trek through the rainforest, And for those that want to experience the place for themselves, but don’t feel like roughing it, there are a number of eco-lodges in the region, such as the Araiau Towers.

Finally, for the truly adventurous, there is a little known region that falls on the border of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana known as Roraima. This very remote place was the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, and has become a favorite destination for backpackers. Roraima lies beyond the Amazon Basin, and is in the most distant area of Brazil. The tallest mountain in the country can be found here, and it is possible to hike to the summit of the “table-top” mountains, known as “tepui”, that are the hallmark of Roraima. Adventurous travelers can expect to spend four to five days en route to the top, where they’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding area.

While Brazil has a much deserved reputation for being a party destination, there is also plenty to offer the adventurous traveler who goes there as well. Get out of the large metropolitan areas, and there is plenty of unique and interesting places, unlike anywhere else on Earth, that will give you a completely different impression of the country.