South America & Antarctica

Geography

South America is the fourth largest continent in the world. It can be divided into three distinct regions: the mountains and highlands, river basins, and coastal plains. Mountains and coastal plains mostly run in a north to south route, while highlands and river basins largely run in an east to the west course.

The climate of South America is primarily wet and humid. However, the large size of the continent makes the climate of South America varied with each region, depending on the factors such as geographical location, ocean currents, and winds. The countries in the northern South America such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela have more constant high temperatures and rainfall throughout the year. Meanwhile, the countries in southern South America such as Chile and Argentina have lower temperatures with less rainfall.

Antarctica is almost completely covered by ice. The continent is unique as it does not have a native population. The Transantarctic Mountains splits Antarctica into eastern and western areas. It has a tremendously cold and dry climate. Summer temperatures in the region range around 0 to 9 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, during the winter, temperatures generally ranges from -10 to -30 degrees Celsius.

Culture

South Americans are passionate about their distinct culture and customs. South American architecture is influenced by the European as observed in cities like Buenos Aires. Spanish and Portuguese are the most common languages used in the region. Some places have inhabitants speaking either English, French, or native languages. Latin Americans are very fanatical about dancing. Buenos Aires is well-known for its enchanting tango, and Brazil is renowned for its lively samba and rhythmic bossa nova. Other types of dance distinctive to South America are salsa, merengue, and the mambo. Football is the most popular sport in South America. Some South American countries are the best teams in the world. In fact, Brazil has the world record for most World Cup wins in the of the annual tournament.

Transportation

Airplane

Those who have limited time to completely explore South America should seriously consider flying as the best choice. South America’s major cities are all connected to regular international flights. Domestic flights also connect the main cities to every known country. However, unlike traveling overland, flying usually costs more and at the same time you do not get to fully experience the beautiful landscapes and sceneries.

Bus

Bus travel is the most common form of transport in South America. The quality of the buses differs tremendously. The high-end companies have hordes of modern, air-conditioned buses with reclining seats. The budget options run old, smoke-belching horrors that are usually overcrowded and uncomfortable. Always choose to ride with the mid-range to high-end bus services. The top-tier buses feature speed limiters and regularly do not overwork their drivers by giving them just the right amount of hours for their normal shift.

Boat

Boat travel is exciting and provides an excellent chance to see the Amazon. The Amazon River and its streams become the main pathways of transportation. Passenger boats make the sluggish journey to cities such as Manaus in Brazil and Iquitos in Peru. However, trips can last up to four to five days and sleeping is uncomfortable since a hammock is required to be set up on deck alongside all the other passengers. Amazon River and its tributaries become the main arteries of transport. Passenger boats make the slow voyage to cities such as Manaus in Brazil and Iquitos in Peru.

Traveling through ships and rubber boats is the most popular way to explore Antarctica as planes can be unsafe because of the weather. This continent’s unique experience can be further explored by using different modes of transportation from the simple walking and hiking to using quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Car Rental

Generally, it is challenging to drive in South America. The traffic can be stressful and risky, especially at night. is a good way to see nearby sights but it is not advisable for prolonged trips. does provide greater freedom, but the cost makes bus travel a more feasible choice for budget explorers.

Food

Argentina has a wide array of dishes with Mediterranean influences from Italian and Spanish cuisines incorporating local ingredients. On the other hand, Brazil’s cuisine has an excellent diversity of using meats and barbecue. Feijoada, its national dish, is a stew made with meat and black beans prepared over a fire in a clay pot, typically served with oranges and rice on the side. Contrary to Brazil’s meat, Peru is known worldwide for its incredible seafood. Ceviche is one of their most famous dishes.

It’s made with freshest raw fish marinated in lime juice and is frequently served with raw onions and toasted corn. Ecuadorian food is exceedingly varied between meat and potatoes from the mountainous section and an abundance of fresh fruit in the lower areas.

In Antarctica, people normally eat twice a day, late in the morning and late in the evening. Seafood, pork, and duck are the popular choice of food in the continent.