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TRA 165 Wild Argentina & Chile with Easter Island Extension

Course Description

Supporting the vast bulk of South America is a great wedge of continent called Patagonia. Here, at the southern tip of Argentina and Chile, giant waves, born on the shores of Antarctica, assault wild rocky beaches. Clusters of black and white penguins pitch and porpoise in the roiling surf and then shuffle ashore. Here also, great tracts of grasslands, brightened with colourful patches of wildflowers, sweep beneath immense cerulean skies and nurture exotic creatures with exotic names such as gauanaco, rhea, tinamou, huemul and mara. And above it all rise the chiselled flanks of the mighty Andes and the windswept wings of the largest flying creature on earth, the magnificent Andean condor. One of the great scenic spectacles in Patagonia is Fitz Roy Massif, in Parque National Los Glaciares in southern Argentina. Seeing that cluster of peaks for the first time, most people are deeply impressed by their raw jaggedness and the steepness of their granite flanks. The indigenous people called Fitzroy "the smoking mountain" because of the mantle of cloud that often enshrouds its summit.

Easter Island Extension

No other island in the Pacific has generated the historical excitement, ecological speculation and strong tourism interest of Easter Island. The island's iconic stone heads, averaging four metres in height and 12 tonnes in weight, are recognized the world over. The story of how ancient Polynesians colonized this isolated speck of land, thrived, and then succumbed to environment collapse offers a fascinating glimpse at humanity and a poignant travel experience. It's little wonder that Easter Island is frequently listed by travel magazines as one of the 'must-see' destinations in the world.

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