Latin American Holidays
Travel and Holidays in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and California.
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Latin American Flora and Fauna

The incredible variety of locations, landscapes and habitats makes Latin America extraordinary; no other region on Earth presents such an assortment of ecosystems and astonishing array of wildlife.

Of the many ecosystems that characterize the region, the greatest single draw is the rainforest. The rainforest has enormous structural diversity, with layers of vegetation from the forest floor to the canopy 30m above providing a vast number of habitats.

The Amazon rainforest in
South America has an overwhelming abundance of plant and animal species. Over six thousand species of plant have been reported from one square kilometer tract of forest, and there are close to a thousand species of birds (the Amazon contains one in five of all the birds on Earth) spread about the forest.

The Brazilian Amazon
is easily accessible through gateways such as Belem or Manaus. Ecuador is another good place to experience the Amazon rainforest. Bolivia and Peru are probably better places to experience the excitement and magnitude of the rainforest, but because northern Bolivia and eastern Peru are relatively undeveloped it is not so easily reachable. The Amazon Rainforest can also be reached from French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.

Central America
boasts a rich diversity in both flora and fauna, however to a lesser extent than South America. Central American forests are richly populated in birds, reptiles and insects, whereas mammals are much less common. The vegetation of Central America is diverse and can be described as a tropical rain forest for the eastern half of the low lying portion of the region. The high interior region of Central America is mainly covered in mountain forest. Especially Costa Rica is famous for its enlightened approach to conservation and has probably the greatest range of accessible flora and fauna in Central America.

Although the rainforests have all the fame and glory, the seasonally flooded landscape of the Pantanal has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Latin America. The Pantanal is a tropical wetland and one of the world's largest wetland of any kind. Most of it lies within the Brazil, but it extends into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay, it receives runoff from the upland areas and slowly releases the water through the Paraguay River and tributaries. The species found there include 3,500 species of plants, 102 species of mammals, 652 species of birds, 177 reptiles, 40 amphibians, and 264 fish. Even if you are remotely interested in wildlife, the Pantanal is one of the best places in the world to visit.

The Belize Barrier Reef is another ecosystem of the region worth mentioning. It is the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. This reef lies parallel to the coast of Belize, and stretches about 180 miles in a north to south direction. The Belize Barrier Reef is widely regarded as one of the world's best diving and snorkeling sites and is home to about 375 species of fish and about 60 types of coral. It is well worth a visit for those interested in marine ecology.

Patagonia is another nature lover's paradise and you are likely to encounter guanacos, rheas, gray foxes, Andean condors, sea lions and delightful Magellan penguins. Patagonia is a region of extravagant beauty, whose rugged, snow-capped mountains are fringed by huge lakes and windswept grasslands. The region offers you the rare opportunity to have access to pristine natural beauty.

Off the coast of Ecuador are the Galapagos Islands, first made famous by Darwin. This group of islands is unique in that it has been almost untouched by human hands. As a result of the islands isolated location several one-of-a-kind animals are native to these islands, and today they are surely on every wildlife enthusiast's dream-list of places to visit.

Latin America has many other things on offer for the eco-tourist. The warm Caribbean Sea is plentiful with coral fish; all along the Atlantic coast are beautiful, wild beaches, home to penguins, colonies of sea lions, seals, and opportunities to watch whales from close quarters; Argentina's Esteros del Ibera is scattered with open-water lagoons, an endless horizon of marshland grasses, aquatic plants, and floating islands, it is home to over 40 species of mammals, 35 species of amphibians, 80 species of fish, and 250-300 species of birds. Latin America is really nature lover's paradise.

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