Chapter 5 Geography and tourism in South America.
* South America is dominated by two mountain regions and three river basics.
* The level of economic development in the continent varies widely both within and between individual countries.
* Most countries rely on only one or two exports.
* Settlement and population patters reflect the effect of topography and colonialism.
* The continent has historically been governed by a power base of large landholders, the army, and the Catholic Church.
MAJOR TOURISM CHARACTERISTICS
* The region is relatively isolated from major tourist generating countries.
* South America is one of the least-visited tourist regions of the world.
* The travel industry is both undeveloped and unreliable.
* The cultural diversity and archaeological sites are the major attractions for visitors from outside of the continent.
* The length of stay is one of the shortest for any major region of the world.
MAJOR TOURIST DESTINATIONS
Cuzco and Machu Picchu, Peru
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
Carnival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Amazon River (Manaus, Brazil and Iquitos, Peru)
Angel Falls, Venezuela
KEY TERMS AND WORDS
Although South America, Figure 5-1, has a great variety of tourist attractions, it attracts less than 5 percent of world tourists, Figure 5-2. Tourists to South America also stay for a short amount of time, averaging only 4.2 days. Visitors to many South American countries are more often visiting for business than visitors to other regions in the world.
The region has only a small number of visitors in spite of the fact that it has magnificent scenery, outstanding beaches, excellent skiing, picturesque towns, cities of great cultural diversity, and archaeological sites as impressive as any in the world.
There are several factors that account for South America's failure to attract tourists. First, the tourism industry is largely underdeveloped. Second, it is far from the main tourist-generating countries of the world, North America and Europe. Third, there are a number of countries that are both closer to Canada and the United States and less expensive to visit than South America. These other countries offer some of the same general attractions as South America and are located between North and South America (intervening opportunities). Fourth, potential tourists may perceive the service in South America as poor and many areas as unsafe. This has become more of a concern today with the problems of drugs and drug wars in Colombia and elsewhere in the continent. Individuals traveling alone are cautioned to be careful as they may be suspected of being involved in drug movement in addition to being caught in the middle of drug raids. With political problems in a number of countries such as Peru, travelers are reluctant to travel in and to South America.
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Although most travelers to the countries of South America come from the other countries of South America, many still come from outside the region. The United States is the single most important tourist source country outside of South America. There are also some important European linkages that account for foreign tourists such as linkages between Germany and Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil, the Dutch and Suriname, and Italy and Argentina.
The physical landscape of South America can be broadly described as one dominated by three mountain or plateau regions and three river basins, Figure 5-3.
The Cordillera of the Andes
The Andes is one of the greatest mountain chains in the world, stretching from Venezuela to the southernmost regions of Argentina and Chile. In places in Bolivia the range is over 200 miles in width, and many mountains exceed 20,000 feet in elevation. Mixed in the folded and faulted mountains are three active volcano groups--in southern Colombia and Ecuador, in middle and southern Peru and along the border of Bolivia and Chile, and in south central Chile.
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The Plateaus of Brazil and Guiana
Northern Brazil and Guiana are dominated by old, crystalline plateaus that have been elevated and then eroded. The surface is very irregular, making transportation difficult. The elevations are still sufficient to modify the tropical climate, making them more attractive to human settlement.
The third region is in southern Brazil, a broad plateau composed of a lava flow, which is more resistant to erosion. Some of the outstanding waterfalls of South America are in this region where the water plunges over the edge of the steep lava formations.
The River Lowlands
Three large river systems drain eastward to the Atlantic. They are the Orinoco in the north, the Amazon basin in northern Brazil, and the Parana in south Brazil. The Parana is called the Rio de Plata in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina; but it is the same river.
Climatic patterns in South America are diverse and complex, Figure 5-4. The dominant climate feature is the tropical nature of the continent. A belt of tropical rain forest extends across the Amazon Basin. Savanna climates are found north and south of this tropical rain forest, while subtropical climates are located in the southern portions of Brazil and in Argentina. They are characterized by high temperatures throughout the year, with only the subtropical area of southern Brazil and northern Argentina having very rare periods of frost. None of the subtropical, tropical rain forest, or savanna climates experiences the extreme winter temperatures found in North America.
The other climatic types of South America consist of a small area of Mediterranean climate in central Chile, a small area of marine west coast climate in southern Chile, and dry steppe and desert climates in Argentina, Paraguay, Northern Chile, and Peru. These dry climates, especially in Argentina, are important for livestock ranching, which was introduced by Europeans.
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Climates in the Andes are modified by elevation, which geographers identify as distinct altitudinal zonation. The tierra caliente (hot land) is the lowest zone, extending to about three thousand feet elevation; the tierra templada (temperate lands) occupy a zone from about three to six thousand feet elevation; while the tierra fria (cold lands) are above six or seven thousand feet. Each zone is characterized by distinctive crops and human activity.
DIVISIONS OF SOUTH AMERICAN TOURISM
South America can be divided into three distinct physical and cultural regions that influence tourism: the Andes countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile; the middle-latitude countries of Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay; and Brazil, which by both its size and cultural distinctiveness is a region by itself.
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The Andes Countries
The Andes countries are one of the most important tourist regions in South America because of their unique historical and cultural attractions. The people of the Andes differ in each climatic zone. The Indian and mestizo (mixed Indian and European ancestry) peoples are concentrated in the tierra fria (high altitudes), the European population is more highly concentrated in the moderate valleys and basins of the tierra templada zone, and a combination of Indians, mestizos, and descendants of African workers who were imported to exploit mineral and agricultural potential live in the tierra caliente of the lowlands. Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are less industrialized countries and share the major economic problems of other countries in Latin America. They have predominantly Indian populations, concentrated mostly in the highlands and engaged in farming. Social and economic problems, especially land ownership, have led to revolutions in all three countries. The richest country of the Andes is Venezuela. Its wealth primarily comes from oil deposits in the Lake Maracaibo region.
Size: 352,142 square miles (twice the size of California)
Language: Spanish, Indian dialects in remote interior
Ethnic Division: 67% Mestizo, 21% European, 10% Black, 2% Indian
Religion: 96% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: February and March
Currency: Bolivar (VBO)
Population: 24.6 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Passports and visas or tourist cards are required. Tourist cards can be obtained from airlines serving Venezuela. Transportation: There is good access to Caracas from North America, Europe, and Trinidad and Tobago. Within the country transportation is by bus, taxi, or domestic air service. Caracas and other major cities have both buses and taxi-like automobiles that travel a regular route picking up and letting off passengers at any point. Health: Concern for malaria, yellow fever, and cholera. Check with local health officials before travel. Shopping: Best buys include Indian wall hangings, hammocks, hand-woven blankets, heavy wooden furniture, leather work, gold trinkets, wood carvings, and masks. CULTURAL CAPSULE Over 80 percent of the people of Venezuela live in urban areas. The majority of the population is mestizo (67 percent). In the coastal regions, there is a concentration of either Europeans (Spanish and Italian) or mulattoes (mixed European and Black). Some 10 percent of the population is Black and 2 percent is Indians. Although the people are mostly Roman Catholic, the church is somewhat less important than in other Latin American countries. Spanish is the official language, but English is required as a second language. It is not uncommon to hear Portuguese as well as a number of native languages. Simon Bolivar, the South American liberator, was a Venezuelan. Consequently, most cities have a Plaza Bolivar near the city center. It is rude to behave disrespectfully in the plaza. Cultural Hints: * Greet and depart with a handshake. * People stand close, and it is not polite to back away. * Maintain good eye contact. * Keep feet on floor when seated. * Pointing with index finger is rude. * Eating and food: Wait for all to be served before eating. It is not appropriate to eat on the street. Restaurants add a service charge, but an additional tip is expected. When finished eating, place utensils parallel and diagonally across your plate. Typical dishes are hot foods, casseroles, meat pies, stews, corn, rice, and pasta. Some specialties are arepa (a deep-fried, thick pancake filled with butter, meat, and cheese), punta-trasera (tender steak), and pabellon criollo (black beans, rice, shredded meat, and plantain).
Venezuela can be divided into four distinct regions: the highlands of the Andes mountains along the Colombian border; the Maracaibo Lowlands around the freshwater Lake Maracaibo; the central plains in the Llanos region; and the Guayana Highlands over the southeastern half of the country. The climate is hot and humid tropical in the lowland areas and more moderate in the highlands.
Venezuela has the highest percentage of visitors traveling for business in South America (Figure 5-5). Both the purpose of visit and the origin of visitors to Venezuela illustrate the importance of the country's large petroleum deposits. Europe and the United States annually account for more than two-thirds of total visitors. As with visitors from the United States, most visitors from Europe are from countries associated with the oil industry (Figure 5-6). The business linkage is reinforced by the good airline connectivity to the United States and Europe.
The government has for a number of years encouraged the development of hotels and resorts in an effort to increase the number of visitors to reduce the export dependency on oil and give Venezuela a more diverse economy. The number of visitors increased by 30 percent in the 1990s to nearly 700,000 visitors annually, (Figure 5-7). Some cruise ships stop in Venezuela also. Location on the Caribbean and the proximity to Trinidad and Tobago and the ABC Islands are reasons for the high number of American tourists.
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The country's main attractions are its superb beaches surrounded by backgrounds of beautiful mountains and forests. Caracas, one important tourist center, is a modern city with botanical gardens, museums, parks, and a cable-car trip to the top of Mount Avila that offers a breathtaking view. Because of rapid growth, colonial buildings have been replaced by modern buildings, many of which are quite impressive. These include the University City, the twin towers of the Parque Central, the Centro Simon Bolivar, and the Circulo Militar. Two important national monuments are the Pantheon Nacional, where the remains of Simon Bolivar lie, and the Capitolio Nacional. There are a number of other museums in Caracas, such as Casa Natal del Libertador, a reconstructed house where Bolivar was born.
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Figure 5-5 Purpose of visits to Venezuela Business 48% Friends and Relatives 25% Holiday 27% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 1998. Note: Table made from pie chart.
In addition to the beaches around Caracas, the Los Roques Islands (requiring an overnight trip) provide beautiful islands with long stretches of white beaches and an excellent coral reef. Venezuela is an important destination for ecotourism. Environmental protection has been effectively implemented, and now national parks or monuments represent nearly 22 percent of the country's territory.
Bolivar, another delightful city, is noted for its handicrafts in gold. It is an active town with river craft bringing all forms of items to the city for trade. Bolivar is popular for shoppers. It also serves as an excellent starting place for tourist excursions into the Indian villages. Bolivar, along with Canaima, is a good place to see the magnificent Angel Falls, which along with Devil Mountain is a scenic wonder. Angel Falls is the highest falls in the world with a drop of 2,937 feet. In Canaima, another Venezuelan attraction, tourists sleep in thatched cabanas on the edge of a pink lagoon that is surrounded by an orchid-filled jungle. The muffled roar of the La Hacha waterfalls serves as background to the panorama--the Rio Currao tumbling over the several falls and the pink lagoon with its soft beige beach.
Size: 439,733 square miles (about the size of Texas and California combined)
Ethnic Division: 58% Mestizo, 20% European, 14% Mulatto, 4% Black, 3% mixed Black-Indian, 1% Indian
Religion: 95% Roman Catholic
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: No peaks; however, North Americans prefer February and March
Currency: Peso (COP)
Population: 43.1 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Passport and proof of onward or round-trip transportation for stays up to ninety days. Transportation: There is good access to Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, Medellin, and Cartagena from North America, Europe, and other Latin American nations. Between cities both bus and air service is good. Public transportation within cities includes buses and taxis. Tourists should use only taxis with green and off-white paint. Health: Concern for malaria, yellow fever, and cholera. Check with local health officials before travel. The tap water is not always safe. Food should be prepared carefully. Caution: Because of sporadic drug and guerrilla activity, travel in certain areas may be hazardous. Check with your Department of State before travel. Shopping: Preferred items include emeralds, brightly colored woolen ponchos, silver work, leather goods, and pottery. CULTURAL CAPSULE Colombia is the fourth most populous country in Latin America. There has been a large migration from rural to urban areas. The urban population of the country is now over 70 percent. There is a diversity of ethnic origins resulting from the intermixture of indigenous Indians and Spanish (58% mestizo) and African (15% mulatto) colonists. Today, only about one percent of the people can be identified as fully Indian on the basis of language and customs. The official language is Spanish; however, English is widely understood in the cities and required as a second language in school. There are some forty different Indian languages throughout the country. The state religion is Roman Catholic (95 percent of the population). Cultural Hints * Use a warm, friendly handshake as a greeting and upon departure. * Yawning in public is impolite. * Do not eat on streets. * To show height of people the flat palm is held sideways rather than facing down. * To show length by using the index fingers spread apart is rude. * Eating and food: Overeating is impolite. The tip is usually included in bill. When finished with your meal, place your knife and fork horizontally across the plate. Typical foods are fruit, eggs, soup, rice, meat, potatoes, salad, and beans. A common dish is arroz con pollo (chicken with rice).
Colombia has extensive mountainous and highland areas, but it also has flat coastal lowlands and plains in the east. The climate is tropical along the coast and eastern plains, but cooler in the mountains.
The tourism industry in Colombia has been handicapped by drug-trafficking and related tourist fears of kidnapping. Because of this concern for safety, the tourism industry is largely made up of domestic and international business travel (Figure 5-8). At present the government is more concerned with solving the drug-trafficking problem than establishing a better infrastructure for tourism. The location and quality of beaches gives Colombia a rich resource for tourism development. There have been some mega-resort developments along the coast and on small islands.
Colombia has nearly a million visitors a year, and the United States accounts for 25 percent of the visitors (Figure 5-9). The major origin countries for visitors to Colombia are regional in character. Other than the Americas, the only other major origin country is Spain, accounting for 7 percent of travel to Colombia and representing slightly more than half of all European travel to the country (Figure 5-10).
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The Andean ranges, interspersed with green valleys and dense jungles, offer a spectacular tourist environment. In addition, as with other Latin American countries, there are some interesting archaeological attractions.
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Figure 5-8 Purpose of visits to Colombia Holiday 49% Business 31% Friends and Relatives 20% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 1997. Note: Table made from pie chart.
Bogota, the capital, is on a high plateau with a mixture of colonial and modern buildings. The Palace of San Carlos where Simon Bolivar once lived, the Cathedral, La Toma de Agua, the Museo de Oro with more than 15,000 pieces of pre-Columbian gold, the National Museum, the Planetarium, and the Museum of Natural History are some interesting places to visit. A funicular railway takes visitors to the top of Monserrate for a good view of Bogota. Around the Plaza Bolivar, the old quarter of the city has barred windows, carved doorways, brown-tiled roofs, and sheltering eaves.
North of Bogota, tourists can visit the salt mine of Zipaquira, which has an underground cathedral that was carved by the Chibcha Indians. It holds about ten thousand people. Cartagena is one of the major attractions of South America. Founded by Pedro de Heredia in 1533, the "Heroic City" was built as a Spanish base for the conquest of the continent--an impregnable port with a heavily armed garrison to protect the gold routes and slave trade. Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Bay of Cartegena, and lakes and lagoons, the old walled city has many forts and other reminders of the early Spanish era, such as parade grounds, colonial baroque architecture with typical balconies, cloisters, patios, stone entrances, and wood doors.
Size: 109,482 square miles (about the size of Colorado)
Language: Spanish and various Indian languages
Ethnic Division: 55% Mestizo, 25% Indian, 10% Spanish, 10% Black
Religion: 95% Roman Catholic
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Seasons: January, July, and December
Currency: Sucre (SUC)
Population: 12.9 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Passport and proof of onward or return transportation is needed. Departure-by-air tax is collected. Transportation: There is international access to North America, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Between major cities within the country, bus and air travel connections are the major systems. Public transportation is by buses, taxis, and colectivos (small minibuses that are more comfortable and faster than buses). Health: Concern for malaria, yellow fever, and cholera. Check with local health officials before travel. Altitude sickness is common in Quito. Shopping: Purchases of Panama hats, handwoven rugs and ponchos, wood carvings from native wood, pottery, basketwork tsantas (goatskin replicas of Jivaro headhunter shrunken heads), gold, and silver are common. CULTURAL CAPSULE The population of Ecuador is ethnically mixed, combining mestizo, African, Spanish, and other European strains. The dominant pre-European group was the Inca. In the fifteenth century, the Inca Empire spread from Peru into what is now Ecuador. Spaniards later took advantage of Inca weakness and tribal resentment to subdue Quito. The people in the Amazon region are mostly Indians and are culturally distinct from others. Ecuadorians maintain their own traditions even in the cities. Spanish is the official language, with Quechua (the Indian language) spoken in the highlands. English is understood by business and tourism officials. Cultural Hints: * A firm handshake is the common greeting. * Touching and closeness are common. * Fidgeting with hands and feet is impolite. * Pointing is impolite. * Eating and food: Common foods are corn, potatoes, rice, beans, fish, soup, and fruit. Typical dishes are arroz con pollo (fried chicken with rice), locro (soup of potatoes, cheese, meat, and avocados), llapingachos (cheese and potato cakes), ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lime and served with onions, tomatoes, and other spices), fritada (fried pork), and empanadas (pastries filled with meat or cheese).
The country has coastal plains and flat-to-rolling eastern jungle surrounding the Andes Mountains and central highlands. The climate is tropical along the coastal area and in the jungle lowland. It is cooler in the highland and mountain areas.
The tourism industry in Ecuador is small but growing. Ecuador's neighbors account for 40 percent of the total visitors with more than 85 percent arriving by land (Figure 5-11). The primary purpose of trips to Ecuador is for holiday (Figure 5-12). The North Americans and Europeans arrive by air and stay longer than do visitors from the region. Because of its equatorial location, Ecuador does not have one dominant season, although the peak season is in July and August, which may be a result of the visitors from the United States and Europe taking advantage of their traditional summer vacation to travel (Figure 5-13). January and December are secondary peaks of tourism as tourists take advantage of Christmas and New Year's vacations.
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The country's high mountains and volcanic ranges are important attractions, offering spectacular beauty with Indian culture. Quito, the capital and third largest city in Ecuador, is set in a hollow at the foot of a volcano. It is very picturesque. The old colonial area has been preserved with its buildings painted white and blue. Quito has many churches such as San Francisco, Monastery of Santo Domingo, and La Compania. Quito also has a number of excellent art museums such as the Casa del La Cultura Ecuatoriana, the Museum of Colonial Art, the Museo de Santo Domingo, the Museo de San Agustin, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museo Colonial y de Arte Religioso. From Panecillo Hill there is a glorious panoramic view of Quito. The enormous statue of the Virgin of Quito is located on the hill's summit.
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One of the most interesting market towns in South America is at Otavalo. In addition to its colorful Indian markets, Otavalo offers a number of other interesting features such as cockfights, bullfights, and a unique ball game. There are actually three markets taking place: a woolen fabrics and shawls market, an animal auction, and a produce market. It is a very busy place on Saturdays.
Santo Domingo, a scenic 80 miles from Quito, is the center for trips into the Colorado Indian villages. Guayaquil is the most important port city in Ecuador and is also the departure point for visits to the Galapagos Islands. The city has many monuments and churches including Santo Domingo and the Church of San Francisco. Built in 1548, the Church of San Francisco is the oldest church in Ecuador. Across the street from the Church of San Francisco is Parque Bolivar, the home of many land iguanas, with trees filled with the prehistoric-looking reptiles.
A fascinating attraction in Ecuador is the Galapagos Islands with their unique plant and animal life. Located six hundred miles off the west coast, they consist of six main islands and twelve smaller islands. The islands are the peaks of volcanoes. Darwin described the Galapagos Islands as "a separate center of creation," and they served as an inspiration for his origin of species theory. A number of plants and animals found here are unique to these islands. The most fabled species are the giant tortoise, marine iguana, land iguana, hammerhead sharks, Galapagos albatross, and a number of exotic birds. The land iguanas are so abundant that visitors almost step on them. Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Center, where visitors can visit the breeding pens of the giant tortoises and land iguanas.
Figure 5-12 Purpose of visits to Ecuador Holiday 72% Business 12% Friends and Relatives 16% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 2000. Note: Table made from pie chart
Size: 496,223 square miles (slightly more than three times the size of California)
Language: Spanish and Quechua, Aymara
Ethnic Divisions: 45% Indian, 37% Mestizo, 15% European, 3% Black, Japanese, Chinese, and other
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Seasons: January, July, and August
Currency: Sol (SOL)
Population: 26.1 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Passport and proof of round-trip or onward transportation required. Transportation: Good international access to North America, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Within-country travel is by bus, air, and rail. Private cars with a driver make semi-regular trips between larger cities for a reasonable price as well. The scenic Central Railway connects Lima with the central highlands of the Peruvian Andes. Health: Concern for malaria and yellow fever. Check with your local health officials before traveling. Caution: Care should be taken because of drug traffickers and the Shining Path guerrilla group. Some areas are unsafe for tourists. It is best to travel with groups. Shopping: Common purchases include alpaca goods, gold, silver, and handwoven fabrics. CULTURAL CAPSULE The people of Peru are ethnically diverse, consisting of Indians (45%), mestizos (37%), and Hispanic Europeans (15%). Other minorities include Blacks, Japanese, and Chinese. Spanish and Quechua (Indian) languages are both officially recognized. Another Indian language, Aymara, is spoken widely. English is understood in businesses and tourist attractions. Most people are Roman Catholic, and the Indians mix their traditional Indian beliefs with their Christian beliefs. There are also Protestant and evangelical churches in the country. Cultural Hints: * Shake hands upon greeting and departing. * Eye contact is important. * To beckon, all of the fingers are waved with palm facing down. * Ask permission to photograph Indians. * Eating and food: Keep hands above the table. No elbows on the table. When finished eating, place your knife and fork parallel across your plate. Summon the waiter by waving. If service is included in bill, a small tip is given. Typical food includes rice, beans, corn, fish, potatoes, and tropical fruits.
The high Andes in the center are bounded by the coastal plains on the west and the lowland jungle of the Amazon Basin to the east. The climate is tropical in the lowland jungle region, cool in the mountains, and hot and dry in the western desert.
Peru views tourism as an important element in its economic development, and encourages growth in visitor numbers. Tourism almost doubled between 1970 and 1975, and by 1998 Peru was receiving about 725,000 tourists a year. Between 1996 and 1998 the country experienced a 40 percent growth in visitors. Although several factors help to explain this rapid growth, including the government support for tourism, the most important factors have been the decline in guerrilla-related conflicts in Peru and a more stable government. The largest hotel chain, ENTURPERU, a state-owned chain, was privatized in 1994 and 1995. If the current growth rate of tourism continues there will be insufficient hotel capacity. Through government incentives more than 100 projects had begun by the end of 1995. To further increase the hotel capacity, Peru is negotiating with the World Bank to further stimulate hotel growth.
Peru's national air carrier, Aeroperu, was also privatized in 1993, and growth in airline capacity has increased. Along with this privatization, fares were deregulated, increasing accessibility both domestically and internationally.
Peru is actively promoting itself as an international tourist destination. However, the country lacks funding for essential infrastructure and private sector investment in hotels. Domestic air services have reached the saturation point at certain times of the year and need to be expanded.
The United States and Europe account for nearly half of the visitors to Peru (Figure 5-14). Although data are not currently available for explaining the purpose for visiting, it can be assumed that a high percentage of visitors are from the United States and Europe because of the quality and type of attractions. Unlike the rest of South America Peru is not very dependent on neighboring countries for its tourist visitors. July and August constitute the peak season for visitors, reflecting the vacation period in the major markets of Europe and the United States (Figure 5-15).
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Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The most famous attraction in Peru is Machu Picchu, the legendary "Lost City of the Incas," Figure 5-16. It sits in the high Andes on a saddle of a mountain with terraced slopes. At least a day is required to see the ruins, consisting of staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers, fountains, sundials, and the Museo de Sitio below the ruins. A hike up an adjacent mountainside provides a tremendous view of the site. The most popular tour consists of a visit to Machu Picchu by a train that departs from Cuzco at 6:15 A.M. and returns at 10:15 P.M. the same day. As a result, most tourists miss the most spectacular experience, which is watching the sun rise over the Andes. In addition to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, the Urubamba Valley has a number of ruins, two well-known folk markets, the town of Puno, and Lake Titicaca, which combines scenery with the floating islands and archaeological ruins at Tiahuanaco to attract tourists to the southeast of Peru.
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Lima, the capital of Peru, was the major city of Spanish South America. Peru has tried to maintain the colonial days in the heart of the city. The Plaza de Armas was the site of Spanish conquistador Pizzaro's palace, and the Museum of the Inquisition at Plaza Bolivar is where inquisition trials took place. The city has important museums, such as the Gold Museum, the National Museum of Art, the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, the Museum of Peruvian Culture, and the Bullfight Museum. These and others display the rich Incan and Spanish history of the region. At Nazca, some 280 miles south of Lima, flights can be taken over the Nazca lines, which are tracings of symbols, animals, and other features (a dog, monkey, birds, a spider, and a tree) extending for miles across the desert. The valley is full of ruins, temples, and cemeteries. Between Lima and Nazca, there are a number of coastal towns and a national park with sea lions and condors. The Colca Canyon is the world's deepest canyon and has a string of Spanish colonial churches in villages, with a culture and costume distinct from other areas. The government is trying to develop the area for tourism.
The Amazon, centering on Iquitos, has become a popular trip for a jungle adventure. River trips are taken from Iquitos into the jungle to observe jungle activity. Belen, a floating village, has a floating market of canoes canopied with palm thatch. Visitors may observe the buying and selling of tropical fruits, fish, and vegetables. The jungle camps provide access to jungle flora and fauna in unique settings.
The Andes are located in the eastern portion of Bolivia, with plains and lowlands on the west. The climate varies from hot and tropical to cold and semiarid in the higher elevations (from the tierra caliente to the tierra fria).
Tourism to Bolivia has not been important, and its government has done little to encourage it. Only 300,000 to 400,000 tourists a year visited Bolivia in the 1990s. There are, however, a number of excellent resources to attract tourists.
The major markets for Bolivia are regional in character, with the four neighboring countries accounting for 44 percent of the total visitors to Bolivia (Figure 5-17). Although the United States and Europe account for another 43 percent of the visitors, only the United States ranks in the top five markets for Bolivia.
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This indicates that the European market is very diverse with tourists coming from many countries to visit Bolivia. Holidays are the major purpose for visiting, and January and February are the peak season (Figure 5-18).
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Capital: La Paz
Size: 424,162 square miles (about the size of California and Texas combined)
Language: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara
Ethnic Division: 30% Quechua, 25% Aymara, 25-30% mixed, 5-15% European
Religion: 95% Roman Catholic, Protestant minority
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: May through November
Currency: Bolivian peso
Population: 8.5 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Visa is not required. Passport required. Transportation: La Paz has airline service connections with North America, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Internal transportation is mostly by air as surface transportation is poor due to rugged terrain. Public transportation includes buses (crowded), minivans (less crowded and faster), and taxis. Health: Concern for malaria, yellow fever, and cases of plague. Tap water is not safe. Altitude sickness is common. Shopping: Local items include vicuna ponchos, alpaca sweaters, fabrics, gold and silver jewelry, wood carvings, and pottery. CULTURAL CAPSULE The population is approximately 60 percent indigenous Aymara and Quechua Indian, 30 percent mestizo, and 15 percent European (mostly Spanish). Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara are all official languages. Ninety-five percent of the people are Roman Catholic with a number of Protestant minority groups and some indigenous tribal religions that mix Indian beliefs with Catholic. Cultural Hints: * A warm handshake is a common greeting. * Close personal space. * Making a fist with the thumb between the index and middle fingers is rude. * To beckon, hold palm facing down and move the fingers in a scratching motion. * Eating and food: Summon waiter by raising hand. Never eat with fingers. Do not eat on the street. When tip is included in bill, leave a little extra. Eat everything on plate. Keep hands above the table. Pour wine with your right hand and with the palm face down. Common foods are potatoes, rice, soups, and fruits. A typical dish is saltenas (meat or chicken pie with potatoes, olives, and raisins).
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
La Paz, the highest capital in the world at twelve thousand feet, is in a natural basin or canyon, with Mount Illimani towering over the city (Figure 5-19). There are some colonial buildings left, particularly in the Calle Jaen. Around the Plaza Murillo in the center of town, tourists can visit the huge cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the National Congress, the Museo Nacional del Arte, and a central market (Mercado Camacho) where Indian vendors sell their goods. The market is characterized by Indians sitting on the ground or in stalls, selling everything from cheese empanadas, to steel wool, canned goods, powdered soup, brazil nuts, sausages, and so forth. The monastery of San Francisco, which was built in the colonial period; Santo Domingo; La Merced; and San Sebastian, the first church to be built in La Paz, are attractive churches in La Paz.
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Near La Paz, the ruins of Tiahuanaco near the southern end of Lake Titicaca are impressive and are being reconstructed. Lake Titicaca provides a number of good attractions for visitors. Copacaban, an attractive little town on the lake, is noted for its restored church and miracle-working Dark Virgin of the Lake. The most popular excursion is to ride on the lake to visit the Island of the Sun, a worship site of the Incas.
Size: 473,094 square miles (three times the size of California)
Ethnic Division: 95% European and European-Indian, 3% Indian, 2% other.
Religion: 89% Roman Catholic, 11% Protestant
Tourist Season: December through March
Peak Tourist Season: December through February
Currency: Chilean peso (CHE)
Population: 15.4 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: No visa is required. A passport is required. Transportation: Good international connections to North America, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Good service to cities within Chile. Public transportation is very good. Santiago has a subway, and all cities have inexpensive bus systems. Health: Some areas have yellow fever. Shopping: Local items include copperware fabrics, Chilean wine, woolen rugs, wooden carvings from Easter Island, leather goods, black pottery, and lapis lazuli jewelry. CULTURAL CAPSULE Chile is an urbanized nation with 85 percent of its population living in urban centers. The largest group of people are Spanish or mestizo (over 95 percent). Only 3 percent are Indians, and the rest are Irish, English, German, Italian, Yugoslav, French, and Arab. More than 80 percent of the population is Roman Catholic with minority groups of Protestant, Christian, Jewish, and some Indians. Spanish is the official language, but unlike the rest of South America's Spanish dialect, Chile uses Castellano. English is taught in schools and understood by many in the large cities. Chile has a booming economy, and its people enjoy one of the highest standards of living found in South American countries. Cultural Hints: * A handshake is a common greeting. * Eye contact is important. * Men rise when women enter the room. * Good posture while seated is important. * Making a fist and slapping it up into the palm of the other hand is very rude. * Eating and food: Summon waiter with a raised finger. Pour wine with your left hand. Do not eat with your fingers. Eating anything but ice cream on the street is considered rude. Common foods are fish, seafood, chicken, beef, beans, eggs, and corn. Typical dishes are empanadas de horno (meat turnovers with beef, hard-boiled eggs, onions, olives, and raisins), humitas (grated corn, fried onions, sweet basil, salt, and pepper), pastel de choclo (beef, chicken, onions, corn, eggs, and spices), and cazuela de ave (chicken soup).
Chile has low coastal mountains in the west, with a fertile central valley and the high Andes in the east. The climate is temperate, desert in the north and cool and damp in the south.
Chile's tourist industry is in transition. It received 1.3 million tourists in 1998, over 46 percent of them from neighboring Argentina (Figure 5-20). The government had invested significantly in developing the tourist industry, and is still encouraging new hotel development and personnel training in tourism. However, it does little to attract North Americans. It has no tourist office in the United States. Consequently, less than 1 percent of the total visitors are from the United States.
Visitor's to Chile come primarily for holiday (Figure 5-21). Holiday activities account for nearly twothirds of all visits by tourists, with business and visits to family friends a distant second and third. Chile's tourist industry is very seasonal. The summer months of January and February are the strongest, drawing 29 percent of total visitors (Figure 5-22).
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Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The country has a variety of attractions to offer. Located in the lush central valley, Santiago, the capital and main tourist city, has a Mediterranean-type climate. Nearly 70 percent of the population is concentrated in this central heartland. Santiago was founded in 1541 and is a well-planned city. The beautiful snow-covered Andes provide a picturesque panorama. The center of the city contains the Cathedral and the Archbishop's palace, the Palacio de La Real Audiencia with the Museo Historico Nacional inside, the Congressional Palace, and Casa Colada, which was the home of the Governor in colonial times and is now a museum of the history of Santiago. There is an excellent view of the city from the first Spanish fort built in Chile at the top of Santa Lucia.
Valparaiso, the second largest city and major port, is also a favorite tourist spot. It is built on a bay with a crescent of hills around it. The snow-capped peaks can be seen in the distance. Few buildings remain from the colonial times because of a number of earth quakes. The city does have a variety of landscapes, from the narrow, clean, winding streets around the center to the hills with tattered houses and shacks and littered back streets. There are a number of excellent seaside resorts around Valparaiso, including the Vina del Mar, which is the most famous and is the summer palace of the president. Visitors can go by ship from Valparaiso to legendary Easter Island, which has huge stone monoliths and has only recently been developed as a tourist attraction. However, since it is nearly 2,400 miles west, most visits are by air. Juan Fernandez, the setting for the classic story of Robinson Crusoe, is another island to visit.
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Located between the Lastarria Range and Reloncavi Sound, the lake region is one of the most picturesque areas in Chile. Chile has also developed a number of mountain resorts in an effort to utilize the many ski slopes in the country.
MIDDLE-LATITUDE SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay are located in the middle latitudes. They have a climate that does not share tropical conditions with the bulk of Latin America. Historically, this region did not have the advanced Indian civilizations of Mexico and the highlands of the Andes, so its development is based on European immigration. The presidents of the countries of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay signed a treaty in 1991 to create a common market and pledged to drop tariffs gradually, removing them by 1995.
Figure 5-21 Purpose of visits to Chile Holiday 62% Business 24% Friends and Relatives 14% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 1997. Note: Table made from pie chart.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Size: 1,056,636 square miles (four times the size of Texas)
Language: Spanish, English, Italian, German, and French
Ethnic Division: 85% European, 15% Mestizo, Indian, other
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 6% other
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: December through March
Population: 37.5 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: No visa required. Passport required. Transportation: International connections with direct flights to North America, Europe, and other South American countries exist. Travel within the country is by train, air, bus, or auto. Buenos Aires has an extensive subway and bus system. Taxis are readily available. Shopping: Local items include leather goods, furs, silver work, and gaucho souvenirs. CULTURAL CAPSULE Argentina's population has been influenced by the waves of European immigrants who came in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Italian and Spanish are the dominant groups (85 percent). Mestizos and Indians make up the remaining 15 percent. There is a sizable number of Syrian, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern immigrants; most are city dwellers. More than 90 percent of Argentines are Roman Catholic. Although Spanish is the official language, many people speak some English, German, French, or Italian. Argentina is famous for its horse ranches and gauchos (cowboys) in the Pampas region. Beef is the single most important food. It is so much a part of the culture that steak is even eaten for breakfast. Also, Argentina was the place of origin and is still home to the tango. It was started in Buenos Aires by a Frenchman, Carlos Gardel. Cultural Hints: * A warm handshake is a common greeting. * Argentine culture includes close personal space, so people stand close when talking. * Eye contact is important. * Hands on hips indicates anger or a challenge. * Yawning in public is rude. * Closing the hand into a fist and extending the little and index finger is a rude gesture. * Eating and food: Hands should always be above the table. Using a toothpick in public is bad manners. Summon a waiter by raising your hand with the index finger extended. Eating in the street is not proper. When finished eating, cross the knife and fork in the middle of your plate. Beef is the most important staple. Common foods include beef, corn, potatoes, and hot tea. Popular meals feature barbecue, meat pies, and locro (a stew of meat, corn, and potatoes).
The northern half of Argentina consists of the rich plains of the Pampas. Southern Argentina is dominated by the flat-to-rolling plateau of Patagonia. The high Andes mountains run along the western border. The climate is mostly temperate, with subtropical and steppe climates dominating.
The National Tourist Office is actively engaged in promoting tourism. It has sought assistance from the Organization of American States for technical advice on the preservation of its colonial cities and towns. Gross receipts from international tourism are now the largest single item in export earnings. As a result, tourism now represents more than 20 percent of total foreign exchange receipts from commodity exports, double what it was 10 years ago. Improved economic conditions have brought about an increase in domestic tourism and more travel by Argentines to other countries, mostly Chile and Uruguay.
Argentina has a well-developed tourism infrastructure, with excellent accommodations to support the largest and most rapidly growing tourist industry in South America. The 4.9 million visitors in 1998 represent an 80 percent increase over 1990. Most arrivals are from neighboring countries (Figure 5-23). The two leading European countries of origin, Italy and Spain, have long-established immigration and language ties with Argentina. The United States has also become an important visitor source, accounting for more than 5 percent of Argentina's non-Latin market in the 1990s.
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The country has a wide variety of landscapes, from tropical rain forests to the glaciers of Antarctica. Argentina's most famous tourist attraction is the capital city of Buenos Aires, the location of the world's widest thoroughfare and the world's largest opera house (Teatro Colon). Although the city has very few of its old buildings left, it has maintained its original design with narrow one-way streets (Figure 5-24). The historic Cabildo (the town hall), the pink Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace), and the cathedral are located in the Plaza de May, the heart of the city (Figure 5-25). The city also has numerous museums, libraries, and art exhibitions. The historical landmarks, cathedrals, palaces, and museums are all tourist inducements that complement the country's excellent cuisine. The famous Iguazu Falls of the Parana River can be reached from Argentina, but most visitors come to the Brazil side of the falls.
Outside of Buenos Aires, there are many other tourist attractions. Tigre is a popular weekend and holiday spot, situated in a delta of the Parana River 18 miles from Buenos Aires. The long coastal areas offer a number of excellent seaside resorts with casinos and wide, sandy beaches. The Mar del Plata, about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires, is a famous resort and playground with private clubs and summer estates of the wealthy.
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In the northwest region, Cordoba, the capital city of Cordoba Province, is the second largest city of Argentina. Argentina. It has a mixture of old churches and modern buildings. Some points of interest are the old colonial building (the Viceroy's House), the Church of La Merced, and the Church of La Compania.
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The foothills of the Andes are in southern Argentina in Patagonia. Patagonia stretches from Central Argentina to the Strait of Magellan. This region contains two completely different geographical areas. First is the towering Andes and a vast terrain covered with sheets of ice and glaciers that spill into huge lakes. The second area, the Peninsula of Valdes in the east of Patagonia, offers a perfect vantage point for the observation of whales, penguins, huge sea elephants, and all kinds of marine life. The area includes the Bariloche and the southern lake district, which attract tourists for a multitude of sporting activities such as hunting, fishing, skiing, and golfing. Even farther south, Tierra del Fuego has a large number of species of birds, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, deep red forests, lakes, and glaciers for the hardy traveler.
The country's topography consists of grassy plains, wooded hills, and low, marshy plains. The climate varies from temperate humid subtropical in the east to semiarid steppe in the Gran Chaco region of the west, which accounts for about 60 percent of the territory but is home for less than 4 percent of the population.
The country is now stressing the development of tourism by organizing tourist weeks, national festivals, and other special promotions. In 1998 Paraguay attracted 350,000 tourists. Argentina and Brazil account for more than 52 percent of the tourists to Paraguay, again indicating the considerable intra-regional travel within South America (Figure 5-26).
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Government: Republic, under authoritarian rule
Size: 254,219 square miles (about the same as Texas)
Language: Spanish and Guarani
Ethnic Division: 95% Mestizo, 5% European and Indian
Religion: 97% Roman Catholic, Mennonite and other Protestant
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: December through March
Currency: Guaranu (GUA)
Population: 5.7 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: No visa is required for stays up to three months. A passport is required. Transportation: There are connections to Asuncion with the United States, Europe and other Latin American countries. Travel between cities is by bus, but roads are not good. Paved roads connect the capital with Brazilian and Bolivian borders. Asuncion's public transportation relies on streetcars and taxis. Health: Yellow fever and malaria are a concern. Check with local public health officials before traveling. Tap water is not safe outside of Asuncion. Shopping: Local items include alpaca goods, gold, silver and handwoven wool fabrics. CULTURAL CAPSULE Paraguay's population is the most homogeneous in South America. It is about 95 percent Spanish, Guarani Indian, and mestizo. There are small minority groups of Italians, Germans, Koreans, and Japanese. The two official languages are Spanish and Guarani. Nearly 90 percent of the population belongs to the Catholic Church. Cultural Hints: * A handshake is commonly used in greeting and departing. * Women should dress conservatively and modestly. * Paraguayans have a close personal space during conversations. * The "OK" sign is considered rude. * Keep feet on floor when seated. * Winking is only used romantically or sexually. * Eating and food: Keep both wrists on the edge of the table. Do not eat while walking. Common foods are chicken, pork, beef and corn, rice, and vegetables.
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
There are a variety of attractions, from the vast Chaco, which for years was inhabited only by scattered Indian tribes and Mennonite settlements, to Asuncion, the capital, to the Paraguay (Parana), Alto Parna, and Pilcomayo rivers that form Paraguay's boundaries. Asuncion is usually the traveler's first choice of a city to visit. It is the largest city, containing many palaces, churches, and museums. The large modern church of La Encarnacion is the focal building in the city. Asuncion has a number of excellent parks such as Parque Caballero with waterfalls and plantations and the Botanical Gardens.
The small, ancient town of nearby Itaugua with its reddish tile roofs is another frequently visited attraction. Famous for spider-web lace, it has all types of other handicrafts, from hammocks to dresses. Ypacarai and Ypoa are Paraguay's major lakes. Both are resort centers with beautiful tropical trees and flowers. Other important attractions are the Indian culture, the open-air markets, and the excursions into the primitive Chaco jungles. Iguazu Falls is on the border of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. However, Paraguay benefits far less from it as a tourist destination than the other two countries.
Size: 110,138 square miles (about the same as the state of Washington)
Ethnic Division: 88% European, 8% Mestizo, 4% Black
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic, plus Mennonite and other Protestant
Tourist Season: Year-round
Peak Tourist Season: December through March
Currency: Peso (URP)
Population: 3.4 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: Visa not required for stays up to three months. A passport is required. Transportation: There are international connections to Montevideo from United States, Europe, and Latin American countries. Buses, with some air service, provide the major form of intercity travel. Within Montevideo, bus service is inexpensive and taxis are reasonable and available. Shopping: Local items include furs, leather goods, woolen goods, ostrich bags, jewelry and precious stones, and gaucho souvenirs of dolls and bombillas. CULTURAL CAPSULE The population is mostly Spanish and Italian (over 80 percent). Mestizos only account for 8 percent and Blacks 4 percent of the population. Most are Roman Catholics (65 percent), with the rest belonging to various Christian and Protestant faiths. There is a small minority of Jewish faithful. Cultural Hints: * A warm, friendly handshake is the common greeting. * Uruguayans have close personal space. * Keep feet on the floor. * The "OK" sign is rude. * Eating and food: To call a waiter, raise hand. Keep hands above the table. When finished eating, place utensils side by side on the plate. Using a toothpick in public is rude. Common foods are meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits. Typical dishes are roasts, stews, and meat pies.
The country consists mostly of rolling plains and low hills. There are some coastal lowlands. The climate is warm and temperate subtropical with very infrequent frosts.
With the assistance of the Organization of American States, Uruguay has been developing programs to improve its tourist industry. Argentina and Brazil account for more than 74 percent of all visitors to Uruguay (Figure 5-27). The country has not been successful in attracting visitors from the United States or Europe because there are few direct flights and Uruguay is not included in the Latin American circuit by tour operators. Seasonality of visitor's to Uruguay is very marked, with the peak number arriving in January and declining rapidly through March, reaching lows in early summer (Figure 5-28). Visitor arrivals increase in December, resulting in a December to March major tourist season.
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Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The principal attraction is Montevideo, the capital, which is situated on a bay with beautiful beaches. The major attraction in Montevideo is the Palacio Salvo. The Municipal Palace contains two fine museums: the Museum of Art History and the Museum of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art. The Palacio Legislativo has pink granite pillars, mosaic floors, and historic wall murals. The Teatro Solis (Theater of the Sun) and the Museum of Natural History are significant attractions. On top of the Cerro (Hill), there is an old fort, which is now a military museum, and the oldest lighthouse in the country. Extending north toward Brazil, there are a number of beaches and resorts, all popular with Argentine and Brazilian tourists. The most popular is Punta del Este, which has excellent beaches backed by sand dunes covered with pines.
BRAZIL AND THE GUYANAS
Government: Federal republic
Size: 3,286,487 square miles (slightly larger than the United States, excluding Alaska)
Language: Portuguese, English
Ethnic Division: 55% European, 38% mixed, 6% Black, 1% other
Religion: 70% Roman Catholic, 30% other
Tourist Season: January through March
Peak Tourist Season: February
Population: 171.8 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: A visa is required. Also, proof of sufficient funds and onward or round-trip transportation are required. Transportation: Brazil has excellent international direct flights to the United States, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Travel to major tourist regions is by air and is expensive. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have rapid transit systems. Buses provide more general coverage, and taxis with red license plates (fixed meters) are best. Health: Malaria, yellow fever, and cholera are of concern. Caution: Street crime is common. Tourists should not wear jewelry, flash money, or call attention to personal belongings. Shopping: Local items include jewelry, gemstones, hardwood items, clay figurines, pottery, soapstone carvings, bone carvings, leather work, snake skin, tiles, basketwork, cotton fabrics, antique silver, and Indian miniature souvenirs. CULTURAL CAPSULE Brazil is the largest and most populous country in Latin America. Most of the people live in the south-central area, which includes the industrial cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Four major groups comprise the Brazilian population: indigenous Indians of Tup and Guarani language stock; the Portuguese, who colonized in the sixteenth century; Africans brought to Brazil as slaves; and various European (German and Italian) and Asian immigrant groups. Soccer is the national sport and is played and watched passionately. Cultural Hints: * A warm, friendly handshake is the common greeting and departing gesture. * Good friends embrace (Abrazo). * Brazilians have close personal space. * The "OK" with three fingers protruding outward is vulgar. * To get someone's attention people say "pssst." * Eating and food: Do not touch food while eating. Summon a waiter by holding up the index finger. Do not cut food with the side of the fork. Do not smoke during meals. Do not drink directly from a can or bottle. Common foods are bread, cheese, beans, rice, meat, and fruit. Typical dishes are imbu (potatoes and bread), feijoada (black beans with beef, pork, sausage, tongue), and meat with egg and French fries.
Brazil has mostly flat to rolling lowlands in the north, with some plains, hills, and mountains in the south with a narrow coastal belt. The climate is mostly tropical with a temperate subtropical area in the south.
Brazil continues to improve its tourist industry but it still has negative balance-of-trade payments. In 1971, Brazil had only 291,000 visitors; by 1975, the number had increased to 517,967, an increase of 78 percent (International Tourism Reports, 1995). In 1998 there were 9.8 million visitors. Like the other South American countries, Brazil has a strong intraregional tourist bias, with more than 47 percent of the visitors coming from other neighboring South American countries, 23 percent from Europe (with Germany having the largest percentage), and 10.9 percent from the United States. The increasing number of tourists from Europe results from the increasing number of low-cost flights and strong marketing by the Brazilian government in an effort to penetrate the European market (Figure 5-29). Both the high percentage of trips for holidays (Figure 5-30) and a peak season in January and February (Figure 5-31) illustrate the typical vacation period for South American countries and the attraction of Carnival for many tourists from North America and Europe.
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Tourist Destinations and Attractions
The three principal tourist areas are Amazonia, the northeast, and the triangle formed by Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo. In Amazonia, the Amazon River's exotic wildlife and vast rain forests offer an experience unequaled anywhere. Amazon tourist activity centers in the area of Manaus. The river trip from Belen to Manaus is becoming increasingly popular. Dominating Manaus is its famous theater (opera house).
Attractive local culture, beautiful church architecture, and pretty towns and cities such as Recife, the "Venice of America," can be found in the northeast. Salvador, the capital of Bahia State, has many churches, fortifications, and other old buildings. The older parts of the city are now a national monument, and considerable restoration work has been completed. As in many Brazilian towns, Carnival in Salvador is exciting and entertaining. There are a number of outstanding beaches in the region. With its 34 islands, the Bahia de Todos os Santos provides all types of water experiences.
Rio, with its famed Copacabana Beach, Figure 5-32, architecture, monuments, and festivals, forms one corner of the tourist triangle, and the capital city of Brasilia forms another. The triangle is completed by Sao Paulo, a modern city with gourmet food, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches, all important to the development of the strong tourist industry in this area.
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Brasilia, the capital, is a completely new city designed to attract some of the population inland from the coast. The public buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer. The center is the Plaza of the Three Powers, with marble buildings, reflecting pools, and metal sculpture. Brasilia is famous for its large number of modern sculptures.
Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and South America, has a modern dynamic skyline. The Butanta Institute, a snake farm, and the old Municipal Market are on the outskirts of town. Sao Paulo has fine beaches and resorts and small colonial villages.
Iguazu Falls, Figure 5-33, in the south, is visited heavily from Brazil since the Brazilian side offers the best panoramic view.
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Figure 5-30 Purpose of visits to Brazil Holiday 71% Business 27% Friends and Relatives 2% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 1997. Note: Table made from pie chart.
The terrain is mostly rolling highlands with a low coastal plain. The climate is tropical hot and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds. The two rainy seasons are May to mid-August, and mid-November to mid-January.
Tourism Characteristics, Destinations and Attractions
Guyana has a limited tourism industry averaging less than 100,000 visitors a year in the 1990s. The United States and Canada account for nearly 60 percent of all visitors to Guyana. Other than Anglo-America and the
Government: Republic within Commonwealth
Size: 83,000 square miles (about the size of Idaho)
Language: English, Amerindian dialects
Ethnic Division: 51% East Indian, 43% Black and mixed, 4% Amerindian, 2% European and Chinese
Religion: 57% Christian, 33% Hindu, 9% Muslim, 1% other Tourist Season: August to October
Peak Tourist Season: July and August
Currency: Guyana dollar
Population: 0.7 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: A visa is required. Proof of round-trip or onward transportation is also required. Transportation: Some direct international flights from United States. Most must connect through Caracas and/or the Port of Spain. Health: Malaria, yellow fever, and cholera are of concern. Drinking water should be boiled. Buses within Georgetown are irregular. Taxi service is available. Shopping: Local items include Indian handicrafts, such as beaded aprons, basketwork, blowpipes, pottery, and clothing. CULTURAL CAPSULE The population comprises five main ethnic groups: East Indian, African, Amerindian, Chinese, and Portugese. The population is concentrated along the coast. Religion is an expression of the population, consisting of a number of Christian faiths, large numbers of Hindus, and a sizable minority of Muslims. Caribbean, the United Kingdom is the only other country with a large number of visitors to Guyana, a reflection of the political and cultural linkages of colonialism (Figure 5-34). The peak tourist season (Figure 5-35) in July and August is reflective of the vacation periods in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The major attraction is the capital, Georgetown, which contains attractive Georgian-style houses of wood supported on stilts. Some of the better sights are the City Hall, St. George's Cathedral, the Law Courts, the president's residence, and the Parliament Building. The botanical gardens have a large number of birds as well as a collection of palms, orchids, and ponds. The Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River is in a class with Niagara and Victoria falls. The falls are nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. Located in a jungle, they can be reached only by small aircraft.
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Government: Military-civilian rule
Size: 63,077 square miles (about the size of Georgia)
Language: Dutch, English, Sranan Tongo
Ethnic Division: 37% Hindustani, 31% Creole, 15.3% Javanese, 10.3% Bush Black, 2.6% Amerindian, 1.7% Chinese, 1.0%
European, 1.1% Other
Religion: 27.4% Hindu, 19.6% Muslim, 22.8% Roman Catholic, 25.2% Protestant, 5% indigenous beliefs
Peak Tourist Season: July and August
Currency: Suriname guilder (SFL)
Population: 0.4 million (2001)
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: A visa is required. There are currency restrictions and exchange regulations. Transportation: International connections are mostly through other Latin American and Caribbean countries. There is direct service with Amsterdam. Paramaribo has adequate bus and taxi service. There is little land travel between cities due to lack of adequate roads and bridges. Health: Malaria and yellow fever are of concern. Check with health authorities before visiting. CULTURAL CAPSULE The population of Suriname is one of the most varied in the world. The major ethnic groups are Hindustani, Creole, Javanese, Maroon (Bush Black), Amerindians, and Chinese. Social relations tend to stay within ethnic groups. The population clusters along the narrow, northern coastal plain.
Suriname is mostly rolling hills with a narrow coastal plain with swamps. The climate is tropical hot and warm.
Tourism Characteristics, Destinations, and Attractions
Suriname has a small but unique tourist industry within the Guyanas. By the end of the 1990s it was receiving around 50,000 visitors a year. Its tourism characteristics are dominated by the linkage between Suriname and the Netherlands. This can be illustrated by the fact that the Netherlands accounts for almost 83 percent of the total visitors (Figure 5-36) to Suriname, and the major purpose of visits is friends and family (Figure 5-37). The peak tourist season in July and August with a secondary peak from September through December is characteristic of visitors from Europe and the United States (Figure 5-38). Paramaribo, the capital, is a modern city with a diversity of cultures expressed in the variety of Catholic cathedrals, Moslem mosques, and Hindu temples. The People's Palace (the old Governor's Mansion), a number of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Dutch-style buildings, and the restored Fort Zeelandia add flavor to the city. The country has a number of nature reserves providing a rain forest experience with a number of species such as sea turtles and a host of birds.
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Figure 5-37 Purpose of visits to Suriname Holiday 15% Business 7% Friends and Relatives 78% Source: Adapted from Organization of American States International Unit, Tourism Statistics and Market Information, 1997. Note: Table made from pie chart.
Government: Overseas Department of France
Size: 35,135 square miles (about the size of Maine)
Ethnic Division: 66% Black or Mulatto, 12% European, 12% East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian, 10% other
Religion: Roman Catholic
Tourist Season: August to October
Currency: French franc
Population: 0.2 million (2001)
Low-lying coastal plains rise to hills and small mountains in the interior. The climate is tropical hot and humid with little seasonal variation.
TRAVEL TIPS Entry: A visa is not required. A passport is required. There are currency restrictions on money taken from the country. Proof of onward or round-trip transportation is necessary. Transportation: There are direct flights from France. International connections with the United States are through other Latin American and Caribbean countries. Health: Malaria, yellow fever, and cholera are of concern.
Tourism Characteristics, Destinations, and Attractions
French Guyana has one of the most underdeveloped tourist industries in South America. Most of its visitors are from France. Cayenne, the capital, is on the island of Cayenne and is the jumping-off place for visits to the jungle and the notorious penal colony, Devil's Island. The second city, Kourou, is the home of the French National Space Agency's Guiana Space Center, from which the European Space Agency's Ardiane rockets are launched.
In Javouhey and Cacao at opposite ends of French Guyana, two Hmong villages contain some 1,200 tribespeople, resettled in areas resembling their former villages in Laos. Tourists can view a wide array of colorful tapestries woven by the Hmong women and purchase traditional Southeast Asian vegetables.
ITINERARY THE ANDES DAY 1 LA PAZ Today we will tour the capital city of La Paz, Bolivia. Like many other South American cities, La Paz is divided into an old section and a more modern section, which is divided by the Choqueyapu River. We will begin our tour on the "right bank" at the Plaza San Francisco and Church and Monastery of San Francisco. This contains some of the best examples of Colonial art and architecture in La Paz. The architecture includes Baroque, Gothic, and Colonial. Next, we proceed down Calle Mercado where we find Mercado Negro (Black Market). This is La Paz's main business street. There are many fine shops selling a rich abundance of food, colorful clothing, Indian handicrafts, and produce. Also in this area, we will find Avenida Camocho and the city's most elegant street, the Prado. Moving on to the "left bank" from the Prado, we will visit the military museum, which contains valuable arms collections and exhibits of the nation's military glories. Further up the street, we will tour the National Museum of Tiahuanaco. This is a large stone building that contains arts and crafts in the style of an ancient Indian civilization. The museum also contains a large library. To finish off our tour of La Paz today, we will visit the Church of Santo Domingo and the Plaza Murillo, which honors heroes from Bolivia. DAY 2 LA PAZ-PUNO We will begin the day with a ride to the town of Huata Jata, a Bolivian naval base located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This is the starting point of a Crillon Tour that provides hydrofoil services to the town of Copacabana. Copacabana is located on a peninsula in Lake Titicaca and is the site of Bolivia's most famous pilgrimage. The Virgin of Copacabana statue, to which many miracles have been attributed, is found here. The Islands of the Sun and the Moon, which are sacred to Inca mythology, are also found nearby. The most impressive Incan structure, the Palace of the Virgins of the Sun, is found on the Island of the Moon. A rowboat or a motorboat can be hired on the beachfront from the Copacobana area to the Islands of the Moon and Sun. Lake Titicaca is set in the beautiful mountains of Bolivia and lies on the Bolivia/Peru border. The lake itself is legendary and is enjoyed by many tourists. Sail, fish, or sightsee around the lake and see the Uros Indians and their islands made of reeds and rushes. From here, we will take one of the famous cruises on a steamship to the other side of Lake Titicaca. This is a twelvehour ride, with overnight accommodations, that will end up in Puno, Peru. DAY 3 PUNO-AREQUIPA-CUZCO After arriving in Puno, there are a few sites to be seen before moving on. Puno is a famous site for archaeological ruins at Sillustain, Juli, Pomata, Chucuito, Sonderhuasi, and Pucara, all of which are the locations of ceramic ceremonial bulls. From Puno, we will catch a train down to the city of Arequipa, the second city of Peru. Arequipa is in a fertile valley at the foot of the snow-topped volcano El Misti. The city of Arequipa is one of the country's most popular stopovers for tourists traveling into the land of the Incas because of its tree-fringed boulevards, flower-filled gardens and patios, and its quaint colonial atmosphere. While we are in Arequipa, we will see the twin-towered cathedral of the Church of La Compania; the Plaza de Armas, around which the city was planned; and the beautiful suburbs of Tingo. From Arequipa, we will take the train to Cuzco, Peru. The railroad passes through many beautiful valleys and climbs to incredible altitudes. Along the way, you will see many signs of ancient terraces along the hillsides, records of the Peru of the Inca. DAY 4 CUZCO Today we will be in and around the city of Cuzco, Peru. With its adobe houses and red-tiled rooftops in a peaceful green valley, Cuzco is often referred to as the "sacred city." Many of the buildings and houses in the streets of Cuzco have been built on top of the old ruins of the Incas. The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo were even built upon the site of the most sacred Incan structure in the city, the Temple of the Sun. This is a beautiful Catholic convent. Other sites to be seen are the Church of Jesus and Mary and the Church of the Triumph. The University of Cuzco is a great cultural center and a liberal and progressive institution. One of the most original churches is that of La Merced, which contains many fine paintings and has a library of over seventeen thousand volumes and many unique altars, including one made of solid gold and decorated with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies. The markets of Cuzco are also a must for they are famous for their rugs and skins of Ilama and alpaca. DAY 5 INCAN RUINS This day will be spent on the outskirts of Cuzco in the lands of the Incas at different ruins. About fifteen minutes from town is the mighty fortress of Sacsahuaman. This is where giant boulders of incredible size were brought from long distances across the valley and strategically placed so that only a few men were needed to defend the fortress on the top of the hill from the attack of many men. At Tampo Machai, another fort outside of Cuzco, a fountain of water emerges mysteriously out of the stones. There are many ancient Incan beliefs about this fountain. The remnants of a big amphitheater, altar, and sacrificial stone that were built by the Incas can be seen at Kkenco. We will also visit Puca Pucara, where the Incas built a subterranean passage that led all the way back to Cuzco in the Temple of the Sun. DAY 6 MACHU PICCHU One more excursion that is a must while in and around the city of Cuzco is a side trip out to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Machu Picchu is a large city built on a narrow saddle in the mountains. It is surrounded by forested mountainsides that were terraced right to the edge to provide land for the inhabitants. The town of Machu Picchu is still intact except for the straw roofs, which have, of course, rotted. Now, the city is a maze of empty plazas, chambers, and palaces that are connected by stairways that are carved out of solid rock. You will also see massive stones that were carved to fit together perfectly without the aid of mortar and have stood up through time. How the Incas got these huge rocks up this mountain is still a great mystery, especially since they didn't have the use of wheels. DAY 7 LIMA Today, we will see the sites and scenery in and around the capital city of Lima, Peru. We will begin in the heart of the downtown at the historic Plaza de Armas. From there, we will go to the government palace found in the central square. This building houses many historic mementos of the old conquistadors. Plaza de Acho, which is nearly two hundred years old, is the oldest and most famous bullfight arena on the continent.
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of tourism to South America?
2. Describe the altitudinal zonation in South America.
3. Why does South America receive so few tourists?
4. What countries in South America have the best tourist industry?
5. What South American countries are likely to have the most tourists? Why?
6. Which South American countries are tourists from the United States most likely to visit? Why?
7. What are the major attractions of South America?
8. Describe the landforms of South America.
9. Describe the climate of South America.
10. Compare and contrast tourism to South America with tourism to Central America.
1. Assume you have a client who wants to go to South America and have the most diverse trip possible. The diversity needs to include as many cultural, physical, and landscape variations as possible. Your task is to write a proposal that will list five countries and detail why those countries would provide the most diverse trip.
2. If you had to select one country to visit in South America to be most representative of South America, which one would you select? Justify your answer.
3. Which country in South America would you suggest a client visit for an adventure experience? Why is that country a better choice than some of the others?
4. Which country in South America would offer the most diverse experiences for a traveler? Justify your answer.
5. A company plans on taking their top salespeople on a week-long trip to Central or South America. Prepare a proposal for them detailing the advantages of South America over Central America since they have many of the same attractions.
INTERNET WEB SITE www.oas.org
The section on Other Activities and Issues provides statistics, links, studies, and results of market surveys of Latin American Tourism.
Through Visitors' Eyes
Exploring Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
by Nancy Adcox Esposito
Guayaquil is the most important port city in Ecuador and also the most populated. Allow one day to visit the Malecon or waterfront area. Along your stroll you will find many monuments including one for the United Nations and La Rotonda, a Moorish-style clocktower. Interesting churches include Santa Domingo and the Church of San Francisco, which was built in 1548, making it the oldest church in Ecuador. Parque Bolivar, directly adjacent to Church of San Francisco, is the home to many land iguanas. At first, you may notice only the ornamental gardens; but look closer. The trees are filled with these prehistoric-looking reptiles. If you are lucky, some will be only a few feet away lunching on the greenery.
Expeditions into Ecuador's Amazon Basin will enthrall your senses. Waterfalls, piranha, jaguar, parrots, toucans, and orchids await your observation. Animals here are not as accessible as in the Galapagos, and you will need patience....
Quito is the capital and third largest city in Ecuador, and is a personal favorite. At an altitude of 9,500 feet, this picturesque city and its surrounding areas have much to offer. Located in the Andes Mountain region, the cool climate warms up as the day progresses, never getting too hot or humid. Items of interest in Quito are Museo del Banco Central (an archaeological museum) and the Museo del Ciencias Naturales (natural history museum). The monastery of San Francisco has exquisite original tile work and baroque wood-carved ceilings and walls, while La Compania de Jesus is said to have used seven tons of gold to gild this ornate structure.
On Panecillo Hill is a glorious panoramic view of Quito and the enormous statue of the Virgin of Quito. La Compania, a sixteenth-century baroque church, and La Plaza de la Independencia are also worth visiting. A wonderful day trip to Saquisili market is advised. Here you will find everything for sale, from animals to furniture to handicrafts.
The Galapagos Islands, described by Darwin as "a separate center of creation" and inspiration for his origin of the species theory, remains a naturalist's wonderland. This archipelago, consisting of forty-eight islands and rock formations, was created over three million years ago by volcanic eruptions. An hour-and-a-half from Guayaquil, the Galapagos's first documented discovery occurred in 1535 when the Bishop of Panama, Tomas de Belanga, sailed off course on his way back to Panama from Peru. Prior to 1959, when Ecuador declared the Galapagos islands a National Park, these islands were used by pirates, whalers, and as penal colonies. The near-extinction of the Galapagos giant tortoise was caused by their confiscation as a food source (they can survive without water and food for almost a year), and by misdirected early twentieth-century research. With only five of the islands colonized and two of these containing fresh water supplies, animals and plants have had to evolve to survive. Existing on the islands are goats that drink sea water and iguanas that have glands above their noses that "spit out" excess salt from their diet.
Our first wet landing was at Darwin Bay on the island of Genovesa. Here we walked along the mounds of black lava rocks to within inches at times of nesting frigate birds, red-footed boobies, and masked boobies. Looking over the edge of a cliff, we saw five very large sharks swimming in the bay. According to our guide, Patricio, there are three types of sharks that live in and around the islands. The Galapagos, white-tipped reef, and hammerhead sharks have to date never attacked humans in the Galapagos Reserve. Given the abundant food sources available, it makes sense that they would not look elsewhere for food that is not on their natural diet. (At least this is what I told myself as I donned snorkeling gear and dove in looking for a close encounter.) As I floated around with the colorful tropical fish and a very playful sea lion, I watched ... in search of sharks. My close encounter was witnessed by other snorkelers. As three of us headed up to complain about not seeing any sharks, three of them swam right between us. Close, but not on Kodak[R] this time. As I returned to shore slightly disappointed, I saw a baby sea lion napping in the sand. He playfully lifted his head, looked around at all the people passing him by, dropped his head and continued to wallow in the hot sun. (In my next life, I want to come back as a sea lion in the Galapagos.) While the land iguanas are so abundant that you almost step on them, the marine iguanas tend to be more difficult to locate because their habitat is rocky, wet cliffs. We later located these elusive amphibians on the other side of the island.
Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Center where you can visit the breeding pens of the giant tortoises and land iguanas. Here, you will be able to visit Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his specific genetic make-up. (There are at least a dozen different tortoise species in the Galapagos).
San Salvador's lava-created water pools allow you to swim with the fur seals, while Bartolome Island is home to the curious and playful endemic Galapagos penguin. Sea turtles, storm petrels, waved albatross, and more mockingbirds and finches than I could name will cross your path on these islands. With over 800 species of plants, 250 being endemic, the Galapagos Islands are a phenomenal experience.
Source: Jax Fax Travel Marketing Magazine, May 1993, pp. 80-82.
Through Visitors' Eyes
Where Else But Bolivia? Moonscapes, Witch Doctors and Reed-Boat Builders
By Wayne and Saima Wirtanen
The central market in the city of Cochabamba was the cleanest and most photogenic of any market we've ever seen in South or Central America. The merchants took great pride in the display of their goods. Stacks of cow hoofs, silvery fish, farm produce, and a bewildering array of colorful spices had been magically turned into art displays for our cameras.
Then there were potatoes--more kinds, sizes, and colors than we ever imagined existed! We saw pure-white ones, jet-black ones that looked like stones, almost fluorescent red-orange ones and many variations in between. A sun-drying process is used to preserve the bountiful Andean potato crop for long-term storage. The prune-like tubers add another whole spectrum to the overwhelming potato scene.
Valley of the Moon
A few miles from La Paz there is a large area of soft sandstone that rainfall erosion has sculpted into an eerie landscape. As far as the eye can see are oddly shaped pinnacles of harder sandstone that has eroded more slowly than surrounding areas. This appeared to be a favorite spot for a wide variety of bird life; the extremely rough landscape makes intrusion by man very unlikely. This area is included in all day trips of La Paz and also can be reached by city bus.
The Street of Witch Doctors
A couple of blocks uphill from La Paz's central square is the street of witch doctors, the source of Andean magical goods that have served this culture for a very long time. In the street of "good" witch doctors, one can purchase a mummified llama fetus that, buried under the foundation of a new house, will assure a peaceful home.
Photography is encouraged on the good-witchdoctor block and forbidden by the vendors in the bad-witch-doctor area. There's an interesting concept at work here: "good spirits" and "bad spirits" exist that must be dealt with in everyday life. Purchase of appropriate amulets, potions and other unidentifiable bits from each street of "specialists" is required to achieve success in love, business, health, and a happy home....
Andean Cultural Display
Darius Morgan, Jr., has collected a unique all-in-one-place, Andean cultural exhibit. For starters, there is an authentic floating reed island with homes of the local Indian fishermen. In addition, stone and adobe buildings from very remote villages (three to five days away by four-wheel-drive vehicles) have been brought to the hotel grounds for reassembly in typical village surroundings.
Why is it that the adobe homes look exactly like ice igloos? Educated speculation is that these people originally made their homes of ice blocks during a remote time with a very cold climate.
As the climate warmed, the traditional construction was so established that, as the ice disappeared, adobe blocks gradually were substituted. The villagers only say, "They've always been built this way."
Kallawaya Fortune Teller
The Kallawayas are a small group of Andean healers and fortune tellers. On the hotel grounds is a museum that displays their herbal medicines and healing techniques. At midnight--the most auspicious hour--our group went to the resident Kallawaya fortune teller for insight to the future.
On the floor of a dimly lit corner of the museum, an elderly Indian sat crosslegged. He was dressed in dark woolen pants, a heavy striped woven poncho, and a traditional colorful Andean knit cap that came down over his ears. He was surrounded by the obscure tools of his trade, which included a crate of used beer- and wine-bottles containing dark fluids. He spoke only a Kallawaya language, so all dialogue was interpreted from Kallawaya to Spanish to English and back.
The Indian was reputed to be able to read one's future by studying the pattern produced when his "client" tossed a small handful of coca leaves onto the braided blanket between them.
Following instructions carefully, Wayne tossed his coca leaves and asked, "What does the pattern predict for my wife's and my health in the next few years?" After careful scrutiny and a few moments of eyes-closed meditation, the response came back through the two interpreters: "You worry too much about that. You will have no serious health problems in your family for many years."
All the forecasts were not as rosy. Others in the small group were touched by the responses they received to sometimes very personal questions and afterward were reluctant to discuss how they felt about their midnight experience.
Source: International Travel News, May 1993, pp. 51-57.
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|Publication:||Geography of Travel & Tourism, 4th ed.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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