Photo: Quark Expeditions
The south of Chile and Argentina are some of the most photogenic places in the world. Stark blue skies, soaring granite peaks, giant rock formations in glacial valleys that show the soft slope where thousands of years ago, giant blocks of ice carved their way down from the mountains to flat land and beyond. And there are glaciers as well, dappled, blue-grey-white jagged surfaces that creak and groan, and sometimes calve into lakes below. Plan a trip to South America to find out for yourself or sign up here for a chance to win a trip to southern Chile and Antarctica with a friend!
Photo: Kevin Raub
Believe it or not, the first time you land in Brazil, it can be kind of hard to find a bar; at least, what most of us from North America and Europe think of as a bar. It is not, however, particularly difficult to find a place where people are drinking! That’s because most Brazilians, especially outside major metropolitan areas, drink at a Brazilian institution known as a boteco (aka buteco or botequim), which comes from the Portuguese word “botica“ and the Spanish word “bodega,” originally meaning a grocery store to buy goods. According to Wikipedia, “In Brazil, the boteco (buteco), or botequim, was traditionally known as a place where alcoholic beverages were sold, serving as a meeting place for ‘bohemians,’ who looked for a good drink, cheap snacks and a chat without obligation.”
These days, porteños go to Abasto’s landmark building to catch a movie, shop at Nike or Zara, take their kids to the Museo de los Niños, or grab lunch at the only kosher McDonalds outside of Israel. But for nearly one hundred years before that, the building served an important function in Argentina’s rapidly developing economy – the Mercado del Abasto was the largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the city.
Photo: Central Restaurante
A few months ago, Central Restaurante clocked in at number 14 on what is perhaps the planet’s most prestigious food awards, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (it was the top restaurant in South America). Now, the renowned Lima eatery, which is owned by chef and restaurateur Virgilio Martínez has done it again, this time capturing the eye – and, one could say tantalizing the taste buds – of Latin America’s most important food awards, the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America (a spin-off of the World’s Best awards).
For the last seven years, food lovers have flocked to South America’s most grandiose food festival – Mistura – and this year is no different (save for a few details). With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Costa Verde on the other, Mistura stretches 37 acres in Lima’s Magdalena del Mar district. It is there that chefs and restaurants from every corner of Peru cook up their most-loved dishes. For 10 days each September locals and foreigners, travelers and foodies walk through Mistura’s gates and into a new world, or as 2014 would have it 12 new ‘worlds.’
The fourth edition of the quickly growing biannual food event benefits the Buenos Aires food bank – and features fifteen new participating restaurants, Campari aperitifs, and a creative banana split with cognac that everyone’s talking about.
More than 40 restaurants are onboard for the current edition of Buenos Aires Food Week, running now through September 14th. The three-course menus run AR$140 for lunch and only AR$220 for dinner, not including tip or drinks – unless, of course, you’re counting the complimentary aperitifs offered at many restaurants. Cocktails aside, Food Week is a convenient opportunity to sample the cuisine at some of the city’s more prestigious dining venues. I talked to Anne Reynolds, co-founder of the event, about highlights of this year’s line-up.
Photo: Daniel Diaz Vera
It almost goes without saying that one of the major draws to visiting Chile is the Andes. Soaring peaks, some of the tallest in the world, are part of our daily view on clear days in Santiago. And after a snow, well, half the city has their head turned to the east, because even if you’ve lived here your whole life, whether you’re a hiker or not, you’re still amazed.
And it’s not just the Andes that you can hike. There are several hikes between Santiago and the coast, such as the visit to the National Park of La Campana, which has two different hikes, as well as natural areas near Santiago like the Rio Clarillo natural reserve or the Santuario de la Naturaleza in El Arrayán. And if you want to make the most of these close-by hikes, or make a go of a bigger trip, you’re going to need the right gear. Maybe you brought most things from home, but just remembered something you’re missing. Or maybe you are just getting started. Here are some places to visit to stock up on hiking gear in Santiago.
Photo: Ilan Greenfield
Puerto Ayora is one of the Galápagos Islands’ few ports, and it’s the town where the bulk of tour operation and organization begins and concentrates. The town is pretty, especially along the port and its Academy Bay, and there is lots to do. Cruise tours have traditionally made it a mere morning stop along the way, but in recent years, those wishing to economize as much as possible, decide to make it to Puerto Ayora and play it from there.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – watching the clouds that hang low over Machu Picchu clear to reveal the former Inca citadel surrounded by a verdant landscape. But that lifelong dream quickly turns into a nightmare when you realize you didn’t buy your tickets in advance.
Fear not, curious explorers, we at Only in South America have you covered.
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