Ushuaia, Argentina is famous as the southernmost city in the world and as the most popular jumping-off point for sailing trips to Antarctica. But it’s also a worthy destination in its own right.
Ushuaia sits on the icy Beagle Channel, beneath the glacier-capped Martial Mountains. It’s possible to visit this wind-whipped city year-round, but the short summer season, which usually starts in late-November and runs through March, is the best time to go. Temperatures are at their warmest then—between about 42° F (6°C) and 64° F (18°C)—and days are invitingly long, with up to 18 hours of daylight. Summer is also a great time to take advantage of the countless hiking opportunities near Ushuaia. READ MORE
Every year 100,000 tourists visit the Galapagos Islands National Park, with 70% of them staying on cruise ships, boats, or yachts. They tour the islands by day and sleep on the vessels by night. Though they see a lot, it is often a hurried itinerary, packed with activities and constant transfers from the boat, to the dingy, to the island, and back. Then it is off to the next island to do it all over again.
Perhaps one of the greatest and most overlooked experiences on the Galapagos Islands is just staying put and not racing from one island to another. Two islands are best positioned for enjoying all of the Galapagos: Isabela and Santa Cruz. READ MORE
Valle Nevado, la Parva and el Colorado are three ski centers located near Santiago, the capital. Each has a special charm and allows winter sports lovers to enjoy a great day trip from Santiago. It’s also possible to stay in a resort up the hill to enjoy the wonderful natural snowy landscapes of the Andes mountain range.
El Colorado offers a 25-mile (40-kilometer) terrain and 70 ski slopes; la Parva has an area of 24 miles (38 kilometers) and Valle Nevado is known for having the biggest skiable surface in South America with 23,000 acres. READ MORE
From the Andean peaks near Mendoza to the snow-capped ranges around Ushuaia, at South America’s very southern tip, Argentina is packed with enough mountains to satisfy even the most enthusiastic skiers. And right now is the best time to go: Late July is the very heart of Argentina’s snow-skiing season, which typically begins in June and runs through August. READ MORE
There is only one thing Ecuadorians have on their mind in the month of August–the beach. This is the month when the people of the sierra (highlands) head for the coast. And it is undoubtedly Ecuador’s most under-appreciated destination by international tourists. Everyone comes for the Galapagos and the jungle while skipping one third of the country’s richest tourism destinations.
Take a brief tour down the coast of Ecuador from North to South…
Northern Coast: Esmeraldas Province
We begin in the Province of Esmeraldas. First stop, Tonsupa, a beach where high rise condos dot the beaches. Next, Atacames, one of the region’s party beaches, fun for some, but not recommended if all you want is to hear the ocean surf. For a relaxing stay, try Puerto Ballesta Hotel.
Further South are the towns of Súa and Same, home to the exclusive Casa Blanca resort and community where many privately owned condos are rented for short stays.
From here, drive down the E-15 highway, a more primitive version of California’s Pacific Coast, and the road turns inland near Tonchigue. Your next stop is Mompiche, a fishing village awakening to the attention of more and more tourists. It caught the surfer’s attention in the 1990s and is now home to the Royal Decameron Mompiche Beach Resort, a 2,000 room hotel and spa on the beach and a village unto itself.