Last updated: 20/01/2017 [Design & Pictures by Simons Nature]
Americas
Belize is a small country east of Guatemala and southern of Mexico. It is primarily known by the offshore islands (Caye) and the reefs, a paradise for scuba divers. However, I traveled during the hurricane season in Central America and therefore I decided not to visit the coast, but to travel into the jungle.
Bolivia is considered the poorest country in South America. This may well apply to the economic situation, but not on the nature and the people. The plateau towards Chile impress with austerity, interrupted by lagoons in green, blue and red. Besides the rich history that includes the sad tale of exploitation of the indigenous population at the time of the Spanish occupation, especially feel close to Potosi still, the country offers plenty of space and room to let the mind wander. The endless sky, the clear, cold air, and friendly people remain always positive memories for me.
Brazil, one of the largest countries in the world, home to many animals with an incredible landscapes. Comparatively, the prices are higher than elsewhere in South America, but each dollar is absolutely worth to spend. Rio de Janeiro and Paraty are interesting and beautiful cities, the one upcoming and busy, and the other small and remained somehow in time. The coast surprised with beautiful sandy beaches and many treasures hiding in the interior, ready to get discovered. The small town named Bonito houses incredibly clears rivers, in the Pantanal, in addition to millions of mosquitoes, the fauna is just stunning.
Costa Rica - Switzerland of Central America. In any case, this country is very peaceful; it has no army since 1948 and is more prosperous for Central American relations. I heard a lot about the incredible nature of this country, and in this summer during one month of 'unemployment', I’ve changed my job, I took the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to discover the incredible nature and visit the friendly people. It was a trip exactly to my taste. Lots of nature, a perfect group and many motives for my camera.
September 2007, a dream of mine came true. A week Galapagos is a dream for every nature photographer without patience. I have definitely not a lack of patience, however, the island offer enormous wildlife and the animals are not afraid of people. It is easy to take close picture similar the one I show in my galleries. We must, and this is rightly so, to move on marked paths, a guide is always there and the animals may not be touched. Unfortunately, there are always idiots who don’t respect the bids and to jeopardize this unique natural paradise. Such people make me furious, and it takes a lot until I lose my composure. It is also better to be seaworthy, because most of the time is spent at sea, as a staying on land is possible only at a few places.
Guatemala is a country in Central America with a very diverse nature, rich culture and many problems. The country is poor and deforestation increases the risk of flooding rapidly. During the time when I was in Guatemala, many roads were impassable due to mudslides and the lakes overflowed their banks. Moreover, crime is a problem, but of which I myself have not felt a thing. The people are helpful and friendly. Guatemala City, I would not recommend the city, it looked bleak and sad to me.
Guyana, not to be mixed up with French Guiana, is a small country (formerly a British colony), between Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela, in the far north of South America. Certainly not a normal destination for tourists, but it offers different landscapes with impressive waterfalls (Kaieteur Falls, 240m high and 100m wide), jungle and savannah. Because of the diverse landscapes there live many different animal species including Jaguars and Tapirs (unfortunately I have not seen any of them), many birds (Cock-of-the-rock) and the rare giant otter. I spent just three days there, but I want to get back one day. There's so much to discover in this very pristine country.
Peru, a country of contrasts, a country of high mountains and long history. There are many treasures to discover; Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city in the enchanted mountains; the vast Lake Titicaca or the green sea in the lowlands. Even the friendly and interesting people are among the positive points of this South American country.
Suriname is in Europe, outside the Netherlands (the former colonial power), almost a terra incognita. The country in the north of South America, with French Guiana and Guyana adjacent, with about 90% of forested area is in particular a paradise for nature lovers. Year around it is hot and humid, the only change are two short dry periods interrupting the rainy season. In October, the time i was visiting this country, it stayed dry. When I was visiting in October, it was very humid but the rain stayed away. Most people live in the capital, Paramaribo, and on the coast. Inland, there are no roads; the villages are accessible only by boat or plane. Palumeu e.g. has an airport and a river nearby, but no road. To visit the neighbors in the nearest villages, the people must travel by boat either 4 hours downstream or 9 hours upstream.
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