Top 5 Cities in South America

Number 5 – I have a soft spot for Cartagena in Columbia. The seaside location is peaceful, the town square is historical and the people are some of the most friendly I have come across in my travels.

Number 4 – Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is tough to surpass. Beautiful women, stunning beaches and a nightlife that makes me beg for more. It has everything and more, but does have a slightly seedy side that can’t let me put it in my number one spot.

Number 3 – Medellin in Columbia. Yes, another Columbian favorite. The country has had such a bad wrap because of its sordid past. But the past is the past and Medellin’s future looks bright. Great infrastructure, awesome people and some amazing night spots to party.

Number 2 – Havana in Cuba. Sexy hot salsa. Need any more be said? OK, beaches, old school cars, hipsters on every corner. The place has the most insane vibe ever.

Number 1 – Call me a sucker for a beach, but Playa Del Carmen has my heart. The beach, the chilled vibe and the people are amazing. I like to call it home a few months of each year because it is my ideal location.

Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine and Puerto Natales

Visiting Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine, and Puerto Natales

PUNTA ARENAS

Punta Arenas is located on the Brunswick Peninsula and it is the most important city of the Magellan Strait and it is the capital city of the Chilean Antartica.Punta Arenas was discovered in the 17th century by John Byron and was founded in 1849 as the first Chile’s permanent settlement in Patagonia. It’s harbor was one of the most important in Chile as it was the stop before going around Cape Horn.

The Sun here sets very late into the night so bars will open close to midnight. From Punta Arenas many tourism and scientific expeditions start

As the biggest city in Patagonia region of Chile it has over 120000 inhabitants. Their lowest temperatures are registered in July with approximately 31 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest is registered in January with approximately 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

TORRES DEL PAINE

Torres del Paine are gigantic granite monoliths formed by the forces of the glacial ice. Torres del Paine national park was established on 1959 and it is 75 miles northwest from Puerto Ntales.. Inside its 2420 square kilometers you will find some of the most amazing attractions in Chile.

torres-del-paine-np image
Torres del Paine National Park was declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in 1978
The best time to visit Torres del Paine is from December to March. Weather in the park is very unpredictable, and many will walk to the trek without even a glimpse of the famous towers because of the clouds.

 

PUERTO NATALES

Puerto Natales is a town with 18000 inhabitants located on the mainland but with channels linking it to the sea. Tourists visiting the town of Puerto Natales are welcomed to have a firsthand experience in meat-packing industry and fishing activities which are the two prominent industries in this part of town.

 

 

Santiago – Lake Crossing and Buenos Aires

Visit Santiago Lake Crossing and Buenos Aires

PUERTO MONTT

Puerto Montt in Chile is a city located (12 miles south of Puerto Varas) west on the Gulf of Reloncaví in the far south of the Province of Llanquihue. It is the capital of The Lakes Region in Chile. Puerto Montt is the favorite departure point to visit the Chiloe Archipelago, all the lakes and Bariloche in Argentina. Founded in 1853 and now with approximately 170000 people living here after the Chilean government sponsored immigration from Germany.

Puerto Montt serves two basic functions. One as strategic link between mainland Chile and its islands, and two as provincial and regional exporter of public and private services.

PUERTO VARAS

Located 16 miles south of Frutillar. A small town on the edge of Lago Llanquihue, Puerto Varas is known for the stunning rose arbors that bloom from December to March and is often described as “The Lucerne of Chile.”

puerto-varas image

The amazing views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes are the famous postcards from the Lake District in Chile

Activities like rafting and kayaking, horseback riding and fly-fishing are special attractions in Puerto Varas.

PEULLA – Lake Todos los Santos

A small village located in the west banks of the Lago de Todos los Santos and it is part of the Lake Crossing Circuit from Puerto Montt in Chile to Bariloche in Argentina.

 

Volcanoes of Santiago

Visiting the Lakes and Volcanoes of Santiago de Chile

Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Chiloe

World known as “City of Roses” Puerto Varas invites you to one of a kind tour. This is the 10th Region of Chile.  The place is also famous for its starling architecture, local cuisine, and sweet pastry in Frutillar.

German colonization made a huge impact on the Regions culture specially in terms of architecture and cuisine.  The region is a place of smiling and welcoming community with over a hundred thousand residents.

Puerto Montt is a place to visit for a fish and seafood galore. Tourists in this area will not be disappointed with its rich culture and art in Angelmo.

Nature tripping is best in these parts of Chile. Two of the biggest national parks are located in these regions with picturesque lakes and natural sceneries around. Vicente Perez Rosales National Park offers tourists a chance to experience Cruce de Lagos. Scenic larches can be found in another park called Alerce Andino National Park.

Puerto Montt’s natural attractions includes Todos Los Santos and Lake Llanquihue which you should not forget to visit. If you like volcanoes try Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes and don’t forget to get those postcards worthy images in this area.

volcano-lonquimay-santiago image

This part of Chile serves as starting point for most cruises that includes visits to San Rafael Lagoon with stunning glacier views. You also have an alternative to experience Chiloe Island board a ferry.

 

My Jazz Club Visit In Buenos Aires

Spending time abroad on a vacation can bring you and your family some great memories. Vacations are an excellent time to relax, have fun and make memories that will last for the rest of your life. That kind of experience for me was visiting Argentina, the capital Buenos Aires. It is very easy to have a great time there when Buenos Aires has so much to offer.

Buildings of European design and stone avenues are scattered all over the city. There is also a rich cultural life and the many theatres, museums and music clubs. Buenos Aires was predestined to make me beautiful memories of my holiday.

Street Band Buenos Aires image

But in the mosaic of my memories there was one particular event that contributes the most to my extraordinary experience in Argentina. As a real music lover, I decide to visit a local jazz club one night. I wasn’t too full of expectations because Buenos Aires is a big city and I was just a couple days here so I was hoping to find the right kind of place for me. But still with a slight dose of enthusiasm I started my search. I decided to ask around with local people to see if I can get some useful information. And after a few conversations, I was already happy because many of them told me that I was in the right place because nearby there is great club called Thelonious Jazz Club.

I decide to take a chance and after short wandering among the streets I found the club. I was welcomed as I entered and the barmen immediately recognized that I am a tourist. He asked me one simple question – Are you a real jazz music lover? My answer was yes, so he told me – this is your lucky night.

I have to say it didn’t take too much time to conclude that he was right. It was Saturday night so in the club were two bands in the lineup for performance tonight. Shortly after they started the warm-up, I already felt the rhythm pulsing within in me. This was definitely the kind of place that showcases first-rate jazz. The club was full so I decide to take a seat at the bar. The first thing to grab my attention besides the music, was the broad spectrum of different drinks offered. I decide to try some unusual combination so I order some fashionable drink cocktail called ‘Fernet’ together with espresso to give me a real buzz.

I was surrounded by old fashioned hipsters and jazz fans, but also I noticed some tourists. After a short warm-up the bands has the whole place grooving in a very short time. The music was mostly made on the base of old school and classic jazz songs, but I also recognise some of the great jazz hits from many performers.

The time passed by so quickly (and also the drinks) so after a few hours I was in a delirium. I didn’t want to leave the great performances. I certainly I didn’t feel the couple of hours that I spent there. At the end of the first set, the guys from the bands take few drinks with the guests like they have known each other for a years. I conclude that the most people here are regular guests and they known to the band members. I can’t imagine not being a regular guest at a such place that has offered me so much enjoyment and pleasure. The only fact that I didn’t like was that the party ended and I was forced to leave the place. But the memories will stay for sure. I think that every fashionable city in the world should have a club like this whether it comes to London, New York or Milano. But I think and Buenos Aires is not really lagging behind these cities and for sure Thelonious jazz club is one of the greatest symbols of Buenos Aires.

Easter Island

Vacation in Easter Island

This Island is located in the south of the Pacific Ocean at approximately 2237 miles from the continental coast and it belongs to Chile. With a population of around 3800 inhabitants, most of them living in the capital city of Hanga Roa.

easter-island-heads image
Easter Island is world famous for its Moai (Statues carved of compressed volcanic ash), on its coast line with an approximately height of 20 feet. Easter Island is one of the world’s archeological and historical enigmas. The people of this small Island, the Rapa Nui, are one of these mysteries. It’s still not clear where they originate from and why did they vanish from the Island.

Because of isolation what we know of this Easter Island is just based on archeological finding. Some twelve hundred years ago sea explorers found Easter Island, and called it thus.

For people who love history and natural wonders, Easter Island is the perfect place to visit. Tour around the Island and learn the entire current research findings about the place and be prepared to be amazed.

Visiting Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu

Visiting Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu in Peru

Lima

Lima, Peru is a well known city for its splendid architecture. The sprawling modern buildings and growing business districts San Isidro and Miraflores houses the latest hotels of all sorts and kind, shopping malls and boutiques and other commercial business.

The prosperity of Lima was made official way back in 1535 when Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the city.  Then it was revered place of worship for the local inhabitants. Lima becomes the richest colonial city when it was made the capital of the Viceroy of Peru.

Lima saw profound progress during the 18th century. Being the capital of Viceroy of Peru, the city of Lima was walled by the order of the Spaniards occupants. But it was not the walls that made the city popular but the enormity of monuments and constructions being built here. Once it was called the City of Kings.

Thanks to UNESCO, the Lima Historic Center stands now as ‘World Heritage Site’ preserving the priceless historical monuments and artifacts of the colonial era.

Enjoying a historical tour in Lima is both heartwarming and educational. Lima has numerous museums worth visiting. Look for nearby hotels in the city where you can easily reach the attraction you like. Which is very easy to do because most Museums containing vast Peruvian history and culture are found in Lima.

 

Cusco (Cuzco)

UNESCO has officially named Cusco as ‘Humankind’s Cultural Heritage’.  Making it Peru’s major cultural center. Not only that, Lima has also earned the world title as being the archeological capital of America.

In 1534 Francisco Pizarro a Spaniard conqueror who just landed in Lima also rebuilt Cusco. Cusco was already a flourishing civilization with artifacts dating back to 1,000 B.C. Cusco was the main city of the Incas civilization under Tahauntinsuyo state.  Incas legend has it that the city was founded by Manco Capad and Mama Ocllo. According to the Inca calendar it was on 12th century or earlier.

If you like an archeological galore then you are in for a treat in Cusco. Here you will find sites and attractions like:

  • Sacsayhuaman’s Fortress
  • Pisac’s Terraces
  • Kenko
  • Tambomachay’s Baths
  • Ollantaytambo’s Fortress
  • Manchu Picchu

Thanks to Hiram Bingham who discovered Manchu Picchu in 1911 it’s now called as “Eternal City”. Cuzco has many museums, churches and important sites that have made of this city a tourism center in Peru. The wild and adventurous side of Cuzco can be discovered walking The Inca Trail with amazing beauty of the Incas land surrounding Machu Picchu.

Cusco is not only a place for archeological finds but also a home to adventure sport seekers. The popular ‘Inca Trail’ coupled by the ‘Sacred Valley of the Incas’ are must visit for tourists. The diversity of micro-climates makes of this region an authentic paradise to practice the Adventure Tourism. The combination of factors like culture, the kind and friendly population, the colorful clothing of its inhabitants and the archaeological unique sites create the perfect set up for an adventurer looking for new sensations, pure energy, amazing landscapes and unique secrets of these lands.

 

Cozco Hotels

The city of Cuzco in Peru has many different alternatives for lodging. You can find from the very affordable bed and breakfast to the very exclusive hotel accommodations with their opulent Egyptian bed linen. Cuzco offers a great hotel infrastructure with a unique style and quality provided by the warm and friendly people of the city
Museums in Cuzco.

Here is a list of different art museums you can visit while in Cuzco:

  • Pre Columbian Art Museum
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • Popular Art Museum
  • Regional History Museum
  • Archeological Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Natural Sciences Museum
  • Casa Cabrera
  • Wiese Sudameris
  • Bank’s Culture Room

If you like religious museums plan to visit the following:

  • Archiepiscopal Palace Museum of Religious Art
  • Santa Catalina Convent Museum
  • La Merced Convent Museum
  • Santo Domingo Convent Museum
  • San Francisco Museum
  • Cathedral Museum
  • San Jeronimo Museum

The following are museum right in a popular archeological attraction:

  • Chinchero Site Museum
  • Koricancha Archeological Museum
  • Taki Museum
  • CATCCO
  • Yucay Site Museum

 

Vistadome Train – Pru

You can never go wrong with a lovely ride with Vistadome carriages. The carriages has glass windows allowing passengers to have great view of Peru’s landscape. This is the perfect opportunity if you are in to take stunning pictures of Peru’s landscape.

Aboard the Vistadome you will be taken to Manchu Picchu from Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu. Aside from the stunning panoramic view aboard the Vistaddome, passengers and tourists can also enjoy delectable refreshments and delicacies of Peru.

 

MACHU PICCHU – Peru

Machu Picchu image

Machu Picchu a historical Inca city located in the High Andes Mountains of Peru. Machu Picchu is located 43 miles north-west of Cuzco on top of the ridge. The surroundings are covered by dense bush that is covering some Pre-Colombian cultivation terraces.

Machu Picchu means “manly peak”) was a royal city and religious retreat of the Inca culture. A prominent Inca leader named Pacahacuti Inca Yupangui was believed to have ruled the ancient Machu Picchu city. Because of its elevation at around 8,000 feet above sea level and seclusion very few people from Cuzco knows the existence of Machu Picchu city.

In the city there is around a couple of hundred buildings inhabited by women, children and priests. The Machu Picchu people learned to cultivate the land into terraces where they can plant potatoes and corn.

It’s also a stunning site to see building made from interlocking stone blocks that are meticulously put together. None of the stones are similar, and they perfectly fit together. Some of the stones has several corners too.

By the time of colonial period Machu Picchu was already forgotten. The plague or small fox has nearly wipeout the population of Machu Picchu and the surrounding cities or villages.

 

Hotels in Machu Picchu 

Machu Picchu has very few hotels. Sanctuary Lodge is the closest one to the ruins. Most other hotels are located in Aguas Calientes the closest town to the ruins.

 

 

Santiago Lakes in Buenos Aires

Roaming Santiago Lakes in Buenos Aires

SANTIAGO DE CHILE

Santiago de Chile, a modern and active city with one of South America’s most active economies. Santiago de Chile is the capital and financial center of the country with almost six million of inhabitants being approximately 40 percent of the population in Chile.

Santiago is considered one of the cities in Latin America with the highest quality of living.
Some of the most attractive sites in Santiago are San Cristobal Hill, a mountain with over 800 meters above sea level already included as part of the city. On top of the hill the Virgin Mary statue blesses the city.. You can reach the top of the hill by cable cars with a privilege view of the city and the Andes Mountain Range.

The center of the city is the soul of Santiago with colonial buildings like the Cathedral of Santiago, Municipalidad de Santiago and the Correo Central, located in the Plaza de Armas as well as the Casa Colorada, making a contrast with neighborhoods full of European tendencies of early 20th century like Paris-Londres and Barrio Civico neighborhoods. Skyscrapers with modern architecture also give Santiago the active metropolis accent.

These are some museums you must visit while in Santiago de Chile:

  •  Bellas Arter Museum
  • Arte Contemporaneo Museum
  • Arte Precolombio Museum
  • Historico Nacional Museum
  • Archeological Museum of Chile

Because of the close location to the Andes Mountain Range, Santiago is located in a perfect area for winter sports practice. Enjoy the following skiing spots just a few minutes drive from the city:

  •  Farallones
  • Valle Nevado
  • La Parva
  • El Colorado
  • Lagunillas

In the last years the economical growth and the financial security of Chile have permitted Santiago to be a very important city for business, disputing the title of Financial Capital of Latin America.
BARILOCHE

Located 1001 Miles (2 hours flight) southwest from the capital, Bariloche is the door the Argentinean Patagonia. The Europeans first visited Bariloche on 1917 in an unsuccessful try to convert the indigenous people to the Catholicism than end up in the death of the missionaries. Then in 1870 the Europeans return to conquer what is today the biggest lake area of Argentina connecting it to Chile.
Bariloche is the gateway to all the splendor of the Argentinean Lake District where you will find clear blue lakes and lagoons, waterfalls, woods with unique colors, and off course the amazing Nahuel Huapi Lake.

nahuel-huapi-np-bariloche

The National Park Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche was created in 1943 and it covers over 2 million acres displaying unique regional flora and fauna. The most popular tour in Bariloche is the visit to Isla Victoria in the middle of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, with beautiful views of redwoods at the Arrayanes National Park. Cerro Catedral, Cerro Otto and Monte Tronador are amazing landscapes that are worth the visit as well.
BUENOS AIRES

Is the ninth largest city in the world, composed by 48 neighborhoods each one with different roots and identity. Buenos Aires which holds almost half of the population of the country is the political, economical and cultural center of Argentina.

Buenos Aires is a mixture of European cultures that migrated long ago. Today 85% of the population has European origin. Buenos Aires has its unique style that makes it one of the most attractive, strong and active cities in America.

Ready to experience the widest avenue in history? Visit Buenos Aires and find Avenida 9 de Julio. This avenue connects Plaza Constitucion and Avenida Libertador along with the city suburbs in the northern region of Buenos Aires.

Touring this huge and modern city is quite an experience. Most city attractions and landmarks can be reach via the city railway system.

 

Some of the most attractive areas of Buenos Aires are San Telmo, La Boca, Plaza de Mayo, La Recoleta, Palermo etc, all full of activities, night life, great restaurants and places to visit.
Buenos Aires is a city that will keep you happily occupied.
RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio de Janeiro is the Marvelous City as the Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro Locals) call it. Full or sensuality, beautiful people with a free spirit open to receive and enjoy the stay of any foreigner. Rio de Janeiro with its two famous beaches Copacabana and Ipanema is one of the most attractive destinations in South America. You can find from the most luxurious 5 star hotel to very affordable budget hotels. Samba, sports, beaches and drink are daily activities in this culture that keeps alive the spirit of freedom, friendliness and sharing of Brazil. Rio de Janeiro famous as well for it’s amazing Rio de Janeiro Carnival that takes place in February every year brings thousands of visitors from all over the world to enjoy the uniqueness joy of this Cidade Marivilhosa.