You Can Travel Affordably in South and Central America

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Byline: George Hobica and Kim Liang Tan Daily Herald Correspondents

Those who want to visit South and Central America now have a new option with FlySouthVacations.com, an Internet travel company offering affordable travel to these regions.

It is the goal of FlySouthVacations.com to provide authentic holidays while maximizing the benefits and minimizing any negative environmental, cultural and social impact of tourism on these destinations.

It offers a wide variety of packages that range from simple air- inclusive city breaks (six nights air-inclusive in Buenos Aires starting at $549 from New York) to more elaborate combinations such as Rio, Iguassu and Buenos Aires, a nine-day air-inclusive package selling for $999 from New York.

FlySouthVacations.com offers packages to Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay and Costa Rica from many U.S. gateways. Travelers can choose from air-inclusive package vacations or they can customize their own vacation to suit their interests, such as adding a side trip or extending their return air date to go off exploring on their own.

For more information on packages or to build your vacation, visit www.FlySouthVacations.com or call (800) 234-5245.

Hitting the highlights of Las Vegas

Las Vegas offers much more than just gambling and showgirls: Entertainment, sightseeing and dining are among the best anywhere. No wonder it's the country's top tourist destination.

If you go, we highly recommend that you catch a show or two by Cirque de Soleil. It has three permanent shows there (the newest is the racy "Zumanity," but "O" and "Mystere" are fabulous, too), and there's another on the way.

It's not a bad idea to see a show every night of your stay, because there's nothing like Vegas' entertainment scene back home. Although ticket prices can be expensive, the quality of the shows - comedy, magic, vocal performances, headliners - cannot be beat. Just be sure to get tickets far in advance.

Spend one day doing a tour of the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon (tours are easily arranged by your hotel's tour desk or concierge). For some "down time" try a couple's massage at one of the many spas, such as the Spa Bellagio (www. …