Top 100 Iconic Locations: South America

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Staff Pick

Inti Raymi Festival  
Cuzco, Peru
GPS Coordinates:
13° 30′ 27.97″ N
71° 58′ 56.01″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT -13.5077694444444
LON -71.982225
Inti Raymi, or “Festival of the Sun,” is an annual ceremony that takes place every June 24, marking the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice. Traditionally an Incan religious ceremony in honor of the god Inti, the modern festival is held in Cuzco, with a theatrical reenactment of the ceremony performed near the walled complex of Sacsayhuamán. One of the largest annual events in South America, tourists and locals alike are attracted to this weeklong festival filled with many colorful displays, street fairs, live music and elaborate processions, all of which provide numerous photo opportunities.

Virtual Earth™ Tip

The star icon signifies a pick from one of our staff members. Either one of our team members has been there, or we just really like the place. Plus, it’s guaranteed to be a great photo location!

 

Dunes
 
Ica, Peru
GPS Coordinates:
14° 05′ 19.07″ N, 75° 45′ 56.04″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT -14.0886305555555
LON -75.7655666666666

 

Tell a story
There’s always much more to a place than a single frame. As you explore, think about taking photographs that will tell a complete story of the area. Think big and small, focusing on macro and tight compositions as much as you focus on broad scenics.

 

Bartolome Island (Marine Iguanas)  
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
GPS Coordinates:
0° 017′ 05.37″ N
90° 33′ 10.55″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT -0.283958333333333
LON -90.5465277777777

Virtual Earth™ Tip

Type in the GPS coordinates of any location in the fields below the map (try one of the locations featured in this month’s PCPhoto!). Click “Go” and you’ll be taken directly to the location on the map.

 

Overlook at
Machu Picchu
 
Peru
GPS Coordinates:
13° 09′ 47.04″ N, 72° 32′ 44.01″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT -13.1630666666666
LON -72.54555833333330
Located nearly one and a half miles above sea level and home to an ancient Incan civilization, Machu Picchu was built in the middle of the 15th century. It was abandoned 100 years later, but the exact reason for the abandonment is unknown; Spanish conquest or a smallpox pandemic are the most probable causes. It’s a city in the sky constructed of polished dry stone, and is directly saddled between two mountain peaks. Giant walls, terraces and ramps, and a trail that leads to the summit Huayna Picchu were built by the Incans and characterize this massive city. The trail takes about one hour up and one hour down, and once you get to the top of the Huayna Picchu, you can overlook the city, giving you a bird’s-eye view and a great shot. You can walk the streets and explore the temples and other buildings, but only 400 visitors are allowed each day before 1:00 p.m., so proper planning and an early start are essential.

 

Be lens wise
When you’re on foot all day exploring a new destination, the weight of your camera gear seems to grow, hour by hour. Avoid this by selecting one or two zoom lenses that will let you get from wide to telephoto, and leave the bulk of your gear back at the hotel. Lenses with image-stabilization technology can also help you shed the burden of a tripod. For more on the EF 24-105mm, click here.