South AmericaThis enormous region offers visitors a huge choice of environments, from tall Andean peaks to the dense Amazon jungle. Geography like this is home to a spectacular array of wildlife - the amazing jaguar and Andean condor are amongst the hundreds of species of birds and mammals, and thousands of plant species.
BRAZILAMAZONNorth PantanalSouth PantanalSalvadorIguassu FallsRIO DE JANEIROYacutinga RainforestBUENOS AIRESValdes PeninsulaThe Falkland IslandsLos Glaciares National ParkTorres del PainePatagoniaChiloe IslandSANTIAGOValparaisoARGENTINACHILEIbera MarshlandsAtacama DesertLauca N.P.GUYANAGEORGETOWNECUADORQuitoAmazonMindo Cloud ForestGalapagos IslandsIn focusThe Galapagos CycleClimate - EcuadorDifferent wildlife events happen at different times of the year in the Galapagos. Here we cite a few of our favourites:January - green sea turtles arrive to the beaches to lay their eggsFebruary - greater fl amingos begin nesting on FloreanaMarch and April - waved albatrosses arrive for the start of their courtshipMay - most of the marine iguana eggs hatch from their nests on Santa CruzJune - humpback whales can be seen along the coast of Ecuador to the GalapagosJuly - a great time to see breeding sea bird coloniesAugust - Galapagos hawks begin their courtship displays on Espanola and SantiagoSeptember - Galapagos sealions are very activeOctober - blue-footed boobies raise their chicks on Espanola and IsabelaNovember - an excellent time for snorkellingDecember - hatching of giant tortoise eggs begins and lasts until April Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov DecTemperature max (°C) 22 22 22 21 21 22 22 23 23 22 22 22Rainfall (mm) 99 112 142 175 137 43 20 31 69 112 97 79Top tip:Many of the countries straddling the tropics will have their temperatures moderated by high altitude, so you'll need to pack a variety of clothing for your trip.February Orcas start arriving off the Valdes Peninsula and can be seen until the end of April. Pages 142-145May In Guyana the main wet season from May until August is considered the best time for jaguar sightings (although there are sightings year round). Pages 148-151June The start of the dry season in the Pantanal make this a good time to see mammals such as black howler monkeys, anteaters and crab-eating fox. Pages 134-137July Southern right whales start arriving off the Valdes Peninsula in order to mate and calve. They remain until December. Pages 142-145125ISABELASANTA CRUZSAN CRISTÓBALFloreanaEspañolaSantiagoGenovesaPacific OceanFernandinaTHE AMERICAS | SOUTH AMERICA