The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It's considered one of the world's foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos' species later inspired his theory of evolution.
Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Patagonia is a region encompassing the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. The Argentine side features arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, while the Chilean has glacial fjords and temperate rainforest. Argentina’s famed RN-40 highway passes the pinnacles of Monte Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and Mexico City. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551, during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
The Falkland Islands consist of two main islands and several hundred smaller islands in the south Atlantic Ocean, off the east coast of southern South America. They are a United Kingdom Overseas Territory, but nearby Argentina claims jurisdiction under the name Islas Malvinas. Most visitors to the islands come between October and March (Southern Hemisphere summer) to enjoy the spectacular wildlife and quaint rural lifestyle. The windswept and almost-treeless territory is made up of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, as well as hundreds of smaller islands and islet. The most popular reason to visit is for the scenic beauty and the flora and fauna. Conservation is high on the islands' agenda. Bird and marine species are the most prevalent fauna and include five species of penguin, four species of seal, albatross, petrels, the Falkland flightless steamer duck (logger duck), other duck species, geese, hawks and falcons. The striated caracara (johnny rook) is a rare bird of prey found only on the Falkland Islands and some islands off Cape Horn. Porpoises and dolphins are often sighted with the occasional sighting of whales.
Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 meters (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-meters (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 meters (92 ft) wide. Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss first suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in the mid-1850s to honor Princess Isabel, regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II, but the project was not approved until 1931.