02/15/2012 07:10 am ET | Updated Apr 16, 2012

10 Winter Escapes In South America (PHOTOS)

When severe winter weather is making headline news in multiple parts of the world, it's easy to overlook the fact that only half the planet is dealing with snow and ice. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's summer - and in South America, there is enough sun and warm weather to go around (not to mention plenty of activities to keep you outdoors and enjoying the summer temperatures).

Summer in South America means different things depending on where you are -- in some parts of the continent it's rather mild, while in others it's quite steamy -- but no matter where your travels take you there will be a long list of outdoor pursuits to choose from. In Patagonia, you can zipline through forest canopies or jet-ski across crystalline, azure lakes. In the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Venezuela, you can trek through steamy jungles to catch a glimpse of colorful birds and exotic animals.

If you've had enough of winter in your neck of the woods, here are 10 places in South America to escape the winter chill.

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Photos by: Marcio Carbal de Mouro, Tim Snell, sakkewiik, B10m, Remy Scalza, World Resources,, dnlpnsk, Cristian Borquez, Muhammad Almeida