Quick Facts - Latin America

  • Talk about greedy. The Amazon has kept over half the world’s estimated 10 million species of animals and plants to itself. Give some to the rest of us!
  • We’re pretty sure they’re hiding a few more species in there somewhere too, but we can’t see through the trees – which are so densely packed  that rain falling on the canopy can take up to 10 minutes to reach the ground. Well-played, Amazon.
  • If you happen to see giant frogs while adjusting to the altitude of Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca – don’t panic!  You’re not hallucinating;  you’ve probably spotted one of the rare Titicaca Water Frog’s. These bad boys happen to be the world’s largest frog - measuring in at up to 50cms long (the size of an adult foot), and weighing up to 1 kilogram!
  • Ok so you weren’t hallucinating when you saw a giant frog, but surely there are no more secrets beneath Titicaca’s surface? In 1988, taking hints from a local legend, divers descended to Titicaca’s murky depths and discovered a 1,500 year-old lost city. We like to think that upon hearing this news, Indiana Jones fans around the world immediately rejoiced.
  • The Galapagos penguin is the world’s only species of tropical penguin.
  • Ever attempted Oct-sober? Dry July? Nice work, but keep in mind that some parts of the Atacama Desert haven’t received a drop of beer, wine, whiskey or rain in over 400 years.
  • Not surprisingly, Ecuador is named due to its proximity to the Equator. More surprisingly, it is also the home of the Panama hat - a traditional piece of headwear that was associated with coastal Ecuador until President Roosevelt was spotted wearing one while visiting the Panama Canal in 1906.
  • Want a good joke to play on your friends? Encourage them to try Chichi - a traditional Incan beverage. Once they’ve slurped down every last drop, let them know that in order to brew Chichi, local women chew corn, spit the residue into a cup and then leave it to ferment. Delicious!
  • OK, so maybe Chichi isn’t everyone’s cup of regurgitated tea. Allow us to restore your appetite with this fact: South American gauchos were known to put meat underneath their saddles before starting a day’s riding in order make it as tender as possible. Yum.
  • Next time you hear someone boast about completing the Inca Trail, let them know that the current record for completing the 39.6 km route is three hours and 26 minutes.
  • And finally, keep an eye out for find blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hondurans. Chances are they are not Scandinavian holidaymakers, but actually direct descendants of the British Pirates that came to Latin America over 500 years ago!