5 Best Wildlife Spotting in South America that you can't miss

South America is second to none when it comes to the diversity and intricate beauty of its wildlife. Most people's minds immediately jump to the luscious Amazon rainforest when thinking about wildlife adventures in this part of the world, but there really is so much more going on than just the Amazon! This article looks at five of the best wildlife spotting destinations in South America, giving you all the information you need to make the most of your holiday time this summer.

5. Península Valdés

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Jutting out from the coast of Argentina, Península Valdés pokes into the Atlantic ocean. The peninsula is a nature reserve, and can be found in Biedma department, Chubut Province, Argentina. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1999, this area is famous for the amazing diversity of marine mammals which roam its waters. Elephant seals, fur seals and sea lions can all be spotted around the peninsula. The area is particularly famous for killer whale watching, where they surf into beach to grab seals - in hunting method that is unique to these shores.

There’s also the chance to see Southern right whale, which are gorgeous creatures, and can be seen in the area from mid-May to December when they retreat from the open ocean to the calmer, warmer waters around the land to mate and breed.

4. The Pantanal

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The vast Pantanal is one of the largest tropical wetland areas in the world; so vast, in fact, that it straddles the border of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. The Pantanal is a gorgeous mixture of flora, fauna, and moist wetland home to over 1,000 bird, 480 reptile, 400 fish, 300 mammal and around 9000 invertebrate species. Whatever your particular passion, there is a type of animal to suit anyone in this gorgeous area. The Pantanal makes a great stop of a Brazil holiday  and is often taken in as one of the major stops on a tour of the country.

3. Colca Canyon

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Colca Canyon, nestled in the Andes mountain range invites a vast flock of tourists every year. It is almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, almost a third of Peru's tourists are drawn to it every year to spot gorgeous birds such as the Andean Condor and the Mountain Caracara.

2. The Galapagos Islands

Recognised by many as the destination of Charles Darwin's Beagle expedition in the 1830s, a visit to the Galapagos Islands allows you the chance to follow in the footsteps of this world famous scientist and observe Darwin's finches in their natural habitat. As well as this rare treat, the island is home to a vast array of colourful and sweet singing bird species for you to enjoy. Many species of reptile and sea life - such as the penguins - are unique to these very remote islands.

1. Yucatán Peninsula

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Spanning the dividing line between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is a perfect place to find the gorgeous whale shark, the largest shark species known. These creatures gather in their hundreds in the water around the peninsula for seasonal feeding, and the largest gathering of these creatures was recorded in the waters around the peninsula in 2011. It should be noted, though, that this particular species is endangered, so tourists must take great care not to disturb or harm them in any way.

With the five destinations described above, there should be more than enough to keep even the most avid nature lover occupied during the summer months!

This article was written by wildlife and South America travel fan Jamie P. 

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