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Beautiful South America (América del Sur Hermosa)

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South America is made up of a variety of countries where there is an abundance of culture, music, arts, and street food that will blow your mind (sometimes literally due to the spiciness).

This vibrant country is also a popular destination for many backpackers who not only want to party and go to the beach, but also for seeing the wonders of Amazon. Watch out for the reputable and extremely large anacondas which are recognised for swallowing big mammals whole! If you decide that the Amazon is something that you want to experience, make sure to hire an experienced guide.  

Another attraction to South America is the massive array of extreme sports, ranging from paragliding to rock climbing, to mountain biking and much more! If you like the sound of these active activities, do not forget travel insurance to cover these sports. You do not want a huge bill, for a minor injury, which may end up cutting your trip short.

Also, if you are doing extreme sports, this will obviously cause you to sweat more than normal. Unfortunately, due to the combination of moisture and odour that results from this, you will become more attractive to mosquitoes. Also, when you are participating in physical activities, you produce more lactic acid, which is a scientifically proven mosquito attractant. In order to ensure that you stay protected from mosquitoes, which are common in tropical climates, use our 30% DEET Trek Ultra mosquito repellent. This effective product not only protects you for up to 12 hours, but it is also sweat and splash resistant.                                                                                                           

Rio Blog Trek

Although every country in South America has something amazing to offer, there are some countries that attract more tourism than others. These are listed below:

Mexico

This country has a plentiful array of food markets and street food stands. You cannot visit this country and not have a traditional quesadilla, or if you are feeling more adventurous why not try some tasty critters, many of which are recognised as being local delicacies.  

Cricket Meal RioA crunchy cricket meal

Mexico is also home to one of the liveliest and picturesque coastal cities in the world, Cancun. This destination is particularly popular for honeymooners who want to be pampered and have unforgettable memories. Why not check out Secrets The Vine Cancun, an AAA four diamond all-inclusive hotel, with an award winning spa and eatery.  

Another key attraction to Mexico, is the Day of the Dead festival, which takes place in Mexico City on the 1st and 2nd of November. On the 1st, the local families welcome back children who have passed away and on the 2nd, it is the adults that are welcomed back. If you go to this festival, you will be able to admire the intricately detailed face paint creations and extravagant outfits worn by the attendants. If you have seen the James Bond film Spectre, you will have got a taste of what this festival entails.

Brazil

This fascinating and lively country is located next to Bolivia, on the eastern side of the South American continent. At the border of Brazil, between Brazil and Argentina, you will come across one of the most incredible and beautiful natural wonders of the world, the Iguassu Falls. The waterfalls are made up of 275 individual falls, and tourists can visit the Iguassu falls from Brazil, via Foz do Iguaçu. If you want to fully appreciate the Iguassu Falls, and see them up close, you can choose to take a helicopter tour.

Another main attraction to Brazil is Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil. If you want to save money while holidaying here, there are some fantastic sites to see which will definitely keep you entertained.

Rio BlogRio de Janeiro

If you are an admirer of architecture and a keen bookworm, then we recommend that you go to the ‘Biblioteca Nacional’, which is recognised by UNESCO as being one of the largest libraries in the world. Choosing a book to read can be challenging enough with the wide array of genres and authors. Imagine having ten million titles to choose from!

If you are looking to keep active whilst in Brazil, take a trip to the ‘Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas’. This glorious lagoon is surrounded by trees, sheltering the avid runners and cyclists who follow the path around the lagoon. Activities in the lagoon also include; pedalos, sailing and water skiing.  

Travel Health in South America

Zika Virus

South America has hit the headlines for much of this year due to the deadly outbreak of the Zika Virus, transmitted by the infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito. On the 1st of February this year, the WHO declared this virus to be a public health emergency. Health officials have also confirmed that the Zika Virus can cause microcephaly in babies and are warning that this is only the beginning, as they expect to find other health deficiencies resulting from the virus. The WHO also believes that by the end of this year, approximately 4 million people across America will have contracted this virus.

As there is no current cure for this virus, you need to take the necessary precautions when travelling to South America. Firstly, it is advised that you go to your local GP and tell them exactly where you are going and when, so that they can give you appropriate vaccinations.

Secondly, it is crucial that you stock up on our Trek insect repellents for the ultimate protection against mosquitoes. Our Trek Sensitive insect repellent contains 20% Saltidin and can protect you for up to 12 hours, from one application. This is due to the micro-encapsulation technology which allows the mosquito repellent to be released gradually over time.   

Trek Sensitive Rio

A DEET mosquito repellent is also suitable for the protection of the Zika Virus, and pregnant women should also note that they can use insect repellents containing 50% DEET or less.

Chikungunya

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can also spread Chikungunya Fever to humans, via their infected bites. In December 2013, for the first time, there were locally transmitted cases of Chikungunya. As of May this year, this fever has been identified in at least 10 countries in South America.

The symptoms of this fever can include: joint pain; headaches; nausea; vomiting; back pain and a rash.

There is no vaccination that can prevent this fever. However, if you recognise these symptoms, see a doctor immediately to get appropriate medication, as well as drinking lots of water and taking naps throughout the day.

It is vital that you wear mosquito repellent during the day and sleep under a mosquito net at night to reduce the risk of contracting mosquito borne diseases.  

Malaria

This is a deadly disease, caused by a plasmodium parasite. These parasites are transferred into a human’s bloodstream when an infected mosquito bites. As previously mentioned, one of the highlights in Brazil is a cruise along the Amazon, which unfortunately is a high risk area for mosquitoes. We are not telling you to miss out on the amazing opportunity to go along the Amazon, but we do recommend that you stock up on a powerful DEET repellent, such as our Trek 50 mosquito repellent which contains 49% DEET. This mosquito repellent will protect you for up to 6 hours, then simply reapply more.

Also, if you are camping in the Amazon jungle, we highly recommend that you purchase our Pop-Up Dome mosquito net which springs open for instant use. The beauty of this net is that it can be folded up and put into a small bag, perfect for trekking through the jungle. This treated mosquito net uses our unique, advanced Zi technology net treatment (a combination of permethrin and a unique binding agent), allowing the net to protect you for up to 2 years.  

 Pop Up Single Green  

We wish you a fantastic adventure, soaking up the South American sun on the stunning beaches and tasting the delicious food! 

Written by Kirsty
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