Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius
Gently swaying plum blossom trees and blooming yellow-pomponed aromos (acacia trees) are two signs that spring is upon us in Santiago. By the end of August, as trees are turning gold in the northern hemisphere, ours are blooming in a profusion of colors that will take us through to our fall, in April. There are the pink plum blossoms, and the yellow aromos, the purple jacarandas and the fiery red peumos. Flowers thrive in front of buildings and in gardens, and of course, in the parks.
The northern Argentinian city – capital of the province of Tucumán, nicknamed El Jardín de la República (The Garden of the Republic) thanks to its bountiful crop of fruit and sugarcane – is historic. And warm in the winter. It’s the gateway to a picturesque mountainscape. And you won’t find a better empanada anywhere in the country. Need more reasons to go? Let’s count out four to start.
Bouldering, indoor, free rock, trad rock, solo and alpine climbing … I still get confused with all these names. I’ve only tried bouldering and indoor climbing, but they both were fun and physically demanding. I thought you need to be extremely strong but I was wrong. It is not all about the strength. Balance, creativity and control play a very important role as well.
Although this activity has been present in Perú, specially in the Andes, it has grown in popularity over the last years. Here I’ll share two places to practice this sport in Lima and the northern highlands.
Photo: Micah & Erin
One of Colombia’s main draws for tourists is its wide range of natural beauty – but, as we all know, beauty doesn’t last forever. Whether it’s deforestation or rising water levels from climate change, landscapes don’t stay the same forever, especially when humans get involved. Luckily, many of the folks involved in the country’s tourism industry are already wise to this, and are focusing plenty of energy toward supporting ecologically friendly, sustainable development and tours. A short Google search will lead you to several excellent companies that operate with a sustainable focus, but if your main concern is the destination, here are a few of the country’s “greenest” spots.
Photo: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo
Though little known outside of Brazil, the small but adorable Swiss-inspired mountain village of Gramado, 124 miles northeast of Porto Alegre in the deep Brazilian south, is a little island of giddy European charm surrounded by an ocean of Tropicália. During winter break, Brazilians flock here, all too happy to don hats, gloves and galoshes while they pretend that cold is kitsch between bites of fondue in fireplace-toasted restaurants. Sounds like hell frozen over? Not so fast.
Chiloé is a large island in the south of Chile that has unique geography, history, culture, architecture and food. It is famous the world over for its palafitos, stilted houses that jut over the water, and the wooden churches that dot the island. Visitors also come to shop for the thick, water-resistant woolen sweaters and blankets and to take long drives down the winding roads lined with bright yellow flowers, which were originally brought to fence in sheep.
To understand the historic significance of the Argentinian pulpería – a combination of tavern, general store, and guesthouse that served as a gaucho institution from the early 20th century onward – you have to consider the vast size of Argentina itself, the eighth largest country on the planet.
Though it has pristine beaches and breathtaking ocean vistas, the coast is not a destination that people associate with Ecuador. The reason has more to do with other great things to see first (Galapagos, Amazon Jungle, Andes Mountains) than it does a lack of beauty and attraction.
The Ecuadorean coast is a rustic, unexploited charm often enjoyed by the more casual international traveler who has time to meander along the ocean. It is also a popular destination for local, Ecuadorean families seeking a respite from the Andean scenery.
But typically, the coast gets overlooked by more refined travelers from overseas. However, two destinations in Manabi Province stand out as locations to be considered by any traveler: Casa Ceibo in Bahia de Caraquez and Palmazul Hotel & Spa in San Clemente.
Last month was a busy one for Colombian fashion, as the country’s fashion cycle culminated in the fourth annual Colombiamoda, the industry’s biggest event of the year. The three-day extravaganza, which takes place each year in trendy Medellín and is Latin America’s second-largest fashion event (after Sao Paulo), highlights local designs, offers a space for vendors and buyers to mingle, and provides a launching pad for Colombia’s best new designers. But even before Colombiamoda began, the country offered inspiration for innovative designers. If you didn’t make it to the runways this year, here are a few local names, both well-established and on-the-rise, to look out for on your next shopping trip: