UNESCO promotes regional networking Geoparks , and cultural contexts that share similar levels of development , with the aim to facilitate the development of more effective promotional strategies , and exchange of experiences on geological heritage conservation and management their Geoparks (UNESCO, 2008). This allows further support the transfer of knowledge regarding best practices around the development of geotourism and geoscience education . The European Geoparks Network was the first to establish this type of trust relationships. Also, I recently Geoparks Network of Asia - Pacific , which also seeks to join forces for the better development of its members.

Today in Latin America initiatives around the assessment of geological heritage and the creation of Geoparks , which have different levels of development, from the Geopark Araripe in Brazil, the only Latin Geopark network member of UNESCO develop, to enterprises engaged in disclosure of the local geological heritage. In this paper , we outline some of these initiatives in some countries of the region ( Fig. 1) , and are invited to form the Latin American Network of Geoparks .


1) Geopark in Bryn Gwyn Trelew ( Chubut ) : It has a reception center and two tours : paleontological and botanist. Fossils ranging from crabs to wasps and vertebrates ( 40-10 Ma ) , there are also volcanic rocks and glacial records . The Museo Egidio Feruglio , national science center has programs for children and adults, tours, guides , auditorium, and dinoshop Dinobar . A historical / regional tourist circuit.

2) Park in Divisadero Largo Mendoza region of great visual beauty and important geological sites, among which are an obvious fault line , with colorful green , red and violet strata and fossil fauna and flora. Easily go from the desert to the Andes ( Aconcagua ) . These environments have varied biodiversity and an important cultural heritage. The region already receives visitors from around the world for mountaineering , caving , winter sports , spas , wine tourism and scientific tourism .

3) Park Bahia Blanca in the Province of Buenos Aires : still embryonic , but famous for there are the first profiles of Darwin, with giant fossils from the Upper Miocene to Holocene . In Pehuén Co is a fantastic site with bird fossils , footprints Aboriginal 7,000 years, and traces of megaterios gliptodontes with 12,000 years.



Yet there are no laws governing the establishment in Brazil Geoparks . Geological Survey ( CPRM ) inductor has a role for these projects, but by the very philosophy of Geoparks and the size of the country, should be different regional entities created to promote future creation and operation of these units. At present, the situation is as follows :

1) Geopark Araripe : First Geopark of America and the Southern Hemisphere with the seal of UNESCO. The sedimentary basin has Araripe paleontological and geological record of exceptional quality showing important part of the evolution of life from the Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous in Gondwana paleo . In its territory nine geological sites, visits to museums , music groups and local crafts are encouraged.

2) Iron Quadrangle : With 7,000 km2 , and submitted an application to UNESCO. Its geology is of global importance , where the presence of Banded Iron Formation ( BIF , Banded Iron Formations ) and a large variety of Archean and Proterozoic paleo ( 3.3-1.7 Ga ) rocks. This territory has substantially contributed to the national economy with its gold production during the eighteenth century , and now through the extraction of iron .

3) Bodoquena Pantanal : With 40,000 km2 , comprises part of the Pantanal (Brazilian " chaco " ) and Bodoquena saw. Contains pre- Cambrian fossils ( stromatolites and others) among the oldest in South America, caves with fossils of Pleistocene mega fauna and great biological and landscape diversity. Are currently identifying the geological sites, but many are already active interest . It will probably be the next to be elected to UNESCO.

4) Campos Gerais Paraná : It could reach up to 8,000 km2. Its main attractions include sections - type Paraná Basin , Devonian ichnofossils , records of the Permo - Carboniferous glaciation of Gondwana, varied landscapes and cultural heritage. It has excellent tourist infrastructure and communities and develop geotourism activities.

5) High Vale do Ribeira : Spanning 9,000 km2 , the area covers a large pre- Cambrian geological interval with limestone that make very beautiful and of scientific, educational , ecological and geotourism karst landscapes , and one of the largest concentrations of caves in the world. Old mines can be visited. This region is the poorest in the country , so the biggest challenge is to finalize a draft Geopark to ensure that the local population is involved in a process of effective and sustainable development .

6) Rio de Janeiro : Urban Geopark based on the concept of cultural landscape, where the rock , the city and man are part of a single , inseparable unit. Includes rock formation and breakup of Gondwana and the use of rocks by its inhabitants for the development of their city, their culture and art. Of course , between the geological sites are tourist icons such as the " Sugar Loaf " and " Corcovado " .

7) State of Rio de Janeiro : The Costa del Sol is a 200km stretch of coastline with significant tourist potential . Offers a walk through geologic time from the Proterozoic paleo, the Búzios orogeny neo Proterozoic - Cambrian and records of Gondwana break up river , sea and wind Holocene sedimentary deposits , Holocene stromatolites and dolomite formation by microbial action ( described by Darwin) . There are 27 geological sites identified by the " Geological Caminhos " project .

8) Quarta Cologne, RS : Very rich in fossiliferous geological sites, mainly reptiles , dinosaurs and mammals. The region is already a world reference, museum, university , and good infrastructure. With 250 already described outcrops , geological studies are advancing . Historically, there was a core of Italian immigration . The project seeks to develop geotourism and sustainable cultural-historical tourism.

9) Long term projects : The Geological Survey of Brazil - CPRM - has a map and initial studies on thirty ( and that number is still growing ) regions to eventually create future Geoparks , the approximate location of the principal of these is shown in Fig . one , represented by points unnumbered.


There is a project developed by the National Service of Geology and Mining ( Sernageomin ) which aims to create the first Geopark around Conguillío National Park, where the Llaima volcano , one of the busiest in South America is located. Currently , the Geopark is located in stage design, and implementation of interpretive stations , geological design routes , creating interpretive centers , guide training , and development of a geological guide program. The approval and involvement of the Mapuche communities in the region will be crucial for the success of the initiative aspect . With intense and dangerous volcanic activity, will be essential to continue monitoring and improving emergency plans for future eruptions .


The Santa Rosa National Park , consisting of 370 km2 and 780 km2 land sailors, is located in the NW corner of the country , and has been declared as an area of ​​geological interest. In addition to an operational structure developed , has geological assets (200 Ma history of the Caribbean Plate , recording the evolution of island arc of southern Central America; interesting rock types ) , biological ( high biodiversity , with ten different habitats ) and historical ( Casona de Santa Rosa and pens , scene of the largest national heroic epic ) . It is intended that in the future be promoted as the first Geopark in Costa Rica .


The Geological Mining and Metallurgical Institute ( INGEMMET ) develops since 2006 a project called "Heritage and Geotourism " . The dissemination of geological heritage of the country is translating into geotourism guides teaching geological, georutas and geotourism maps, developed in areas which concentrate a large variety of morphological landscapes, lithological diversity , tectonics, fossils, plus archaeological cultures pre - Inca and Inca and great biological diversity. He has worked in four areas of the country :

1) Marcahuasi : Pilot project where the first geotourism guide Peru , which has been delivered for playback on behalf of the community of San Pedro de Casta (tourism and local economy ) was developed. Guide published.

2) Paracas National Reserve : After Pisco earthquake of 2007 hit " The Cathedral Paracas " geotourism icon of booking. Subsequently , educational information for the new geological interpretation center booking and information Paracas eight geotourism routes was prepared. Guide published.

3) Valley of the Volcanoes Andahua : Material was developed with the description of 11 geotourism routes that are currently under review , highlighting the majesty of the Plio - Quaternary volcanism in Andahua monogenetic strombolian , one of the few examples in Latin America. Guide being published .

4) Forest Rocks Huayllay : National Shrine of the center of the country , where there are five routes exhibiting stone figures ( animal and human ) processes and geological features , and four routes interrelated cultural development of man and the Andean landscape ( cave paintings, archaeological and mining heritage of the colony) . Writing Guide .

In parallel is to explain geology to promote conservation in areas of archaeological importance, among which Machu Picchu, Chan Chan and Caral. Machu Picchu , which has the status of world heritage site , has a publication providing geological information and describes the shrine , the Inca citadel and geological hazards that affect it, valuable information for conservation.

Physical design implementation of initiatives in these areas as geoconservation National Geoparks ( interpretation centers, panels, and viewpoints georutas design , training of local guides ) , and the participation of local communities , protected areas and headquarters companies private , is a work which will depend on a short -term success for the nomination of the first Geopark in Peru .


In Uruguay Palace Caves are located about 250 km northwest of Montevideo in the Department of Flores. Are so called peculiar caverns formed by differential erosion of calcareous sandstones of the Cretaceous Formation Asencio . A series of pillars metric diameter and about 2 feet high, with a shell of Tertiary sandstones ferriferous make a series of ducts HF dimensions which are visited by over 8000 people annually. As part of an agreement involving the University of the Republic, the Municipality of Flores, a local NGO, and geologists and cavers Uruguay , Brazil and Spain , have been developing a set of activities related to research, extension , training to guide the local community , and development of educational audiovisual material. This is intended to provide the site infrastructure according to their scientific importance , as an example of a single erosion process in these lithotypes in the region, for the preservation of the natural heritage geotourism purposes.


1) Cubagua - That Geopark will primarily social focus, as a platform for sustainable development of local communities . Currently have already created two paths of environmental interpretation , using the strong relationship of the community with geology : 48% of the points of geological interest have cultural relations with the inhabitants of the island.

2) Chichiriviche Coast - located 50 km from Caracas, is still in early stage of characterization of its geodiversity . In this territory ophiolitic rocks are among the oldest in the north ( up to 1,600 Ma ) , and Paleozoic and Cretaceous rocks . As Cubagua , the Geopark have a strong social orientation.


The creation of Geoparks in Latin America has begun through various national initiatives that have different stages of development, from territories where their geodiversity initial studies performed until Araripe Geopark , first to be included in the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO. It is expected that in the near future Geoparks Network in Latin America and the Caribbean under .