Comprised of 21 countries from 2 continents and traversing the southern and northern hemisphere lies an area referred to as Latin America. From the northern border of Mexico down through the Isthmus of Central America to the southern tip of South America Latin America spans 21 countries. Latin America is often associated with all of the countries south of the United States. Latin America is also referred to as the countries of the New World where the primary language is Portuguese or Spanish.
Latin America provides a stunning landscape, from the beautiful white sand beaches of the Caribbean to the Volcanoes of Nicaragua making up a part of the Pacific Rim of Fire; Peru’s Atacama Desert gives way to spectacular snow covered Andes Mountains forming the backbone of South America. Cold Argentina’s Patagonia in the south offers a sharp contrast to the steamy jungles of Central America. Warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide a difference to the magnificent fjords of Chile.
The mighty Amazon River, the largest river in the world, flows through 5 of Latin Americas countries. Some of the world’s largest reefs are located off of Belize. Latin America is also home to the highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, with their vast number of species can be found in the region.
Latin America with a multiple of climates and terrain will leave the adventure traveler with unbelievable and numerous choices for activities and experiences. Travelers will find Latin America with a large choice of vibrant cities, from the large cities of the South America to small fishing villages of Mexico.
Latin America offers a diverse range of cultures, both existing and past, from the Mayans of Mexico and their pyramids to the gods, to the Incas of Peru and their great cities in the sky, Machu Picchu; give way to the Carnivals of Brazil and traditional markets of Colombia. Travelers will find that Latin America has some of the most famous landmarks in the world.
Latin America, as of 2007, with an estimated 562 million people is forth in population behind Asia, Africa and Europe. Brazil being the most populated with an estimated 190 million people. The largest city in Latin America is Mexico City with a population of over 19 million people followed by Sao Paulo with over 18 million people.
Latin America or the New World was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, it is said that Italian Explorer Amerigo Vespucci who explored South America during the years 1497 and 1502 suggested that the Americas were not the East Indies. It is from Vespucci Latin name of Amerigo that the name America was applied to the New World.