Argentina Valongo Wharf, Rio de Janeiro. PHOTO: Brian John Godfrey via Visual Hunt /  CC BY

Published on July 23rd, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut

Valongo Wharf, Rio de Janeiro. PHOTO: Brian John Godfrey via Visual Hunt / CC BY

2 Latin America Sites are Added to UNESCO World Heritage Site List

Designating an attraction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a way that the United Nations recognizes a destination’s “outstanding universal value” based on at least one out of ten criteria. And this month, 21 sites were added to the list, for a total of 1,073. That provides even more Latin America vacation ideas for travelers interested in culture, history, architecture and nature.

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Granted, only two properties in Latin America were added to the list this year. Here they are:

Los Alerces National Park, Argentina: Set in the Andes of northern Patagonia with a western border on Chile, Los Alerces National park features a landscape created by multiple glaciations. Moraines, glacial cirques and clear-water lakes are among the geographic features that make this place special. Visitors can wander dense, temperate forests and alpine meadows against a backdrop of sharp Andean peaks. The park is important as it protects some of the last parts of the Patagonian Forest, and serves as home for endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna.

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Valongo Wharf archeological site, Brazil: Located in central Rio de Janeiro, Valongo Wharf covers Jornal do Comércio Square, in the former harbor area of Brazil‘s former capital. Starting in 1811, the stone wharf served as a landing spot for Africans brought across the Atlantic to serve as slaves, with a total of some 900,000 Africans arriving at this point. Among the archeological layers are original floor pavings, which serve as an important relic of the slave trade in the Western hemisphere.

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Latin American World Heritage Sites in Danger
With more than 1,000 sites around the globe, the UNESCO World Heritage designation provides inspiration for travel to Latin America, from Mexico to the tip of South America. There are too many to list here, of course (you can access an interactive map and list here). But special attention should surely be directed toward the sites that are in danger of damage or extinction. Here they are, by country (click on the country name for LatinFlyer’s travel tips):

Bolivia
City of Potosi

Chile
Humbertsone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

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Honduras
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

Panama
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo – San Lorenzo

Peru
Chan Chan Archeological Zone

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Venezuela
Coro and its Port

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About the Author

The founder and editor of LatinFlyer.com, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.


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