Photo: Eileen Smith
Got an early morning in Santiago and want to start it off with flaky pastry, or some crusty bread? Or you’ve already had a hotel breakfast but walking around downtown Santiago and beyond has got you hankering for a mid-morning snack? The French are masters of pastry, and whether it’s a second breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, Santiago’s many French bakery/cafés have got you covered, from downtown, up through Bellas Artes, Providencia, in Las Condes and Vitacura. A croissant and a café au lait, or your drink of choice is never too far away at one of these French or French-inspired cafés.
The Portuguese left an indelible mark on Brazil when they finally got out of town in 1822. There are number of charming colonial towns built by the Portuguese throughout the country. These sleepy towns and villages, flush with whitewashed architecture accented by a kaleidoscopic array of flash and color, are the perfect spots to kickback with nothing to do but wander the stuck-in-time cobblestoned streets. No photographic skills necessary, these gems do all the work for you, around each and every turn a new postcard Brazilian moment.
If you visit any of these sleepy Kodak-moment towns, you can impress the locals with your knowledge of the local vernacular. The word for “cobblestones” is one of the most entertaining words in Portuguese: Paralelepípedos.
Good luck with that!
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
Surrounded, and often overshadowed, by the countries that border it — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru — Bolivia remains mysterious to many travelers. Luckily, there’s a small but vibrant Bolivian presence in Buenos Aires that’s on colorful display at street festivals and in the city’s very own Barrio Boliviano.
Photo: Lorena Flores Aguero
Lima can be a crazily hectic, incredibly busy city. When I want to reconnect with nature and have a few moments of peace, I head to the Pacific. For some reason, the sea always brings me solace.
One of my favorite times to head there is just before dusk, when the ocean and the sun meet briefly to steal away a goodnight kiss.
The way the sun sets the sky ablaze in fiery reds and oranges really is unparalleled. While you can catch this Pacific sunset anywhere along the 1,400 miles (2,250 km) of Peru’s pristine coastline, there’s something really special about Lima’s.
No doubt due to an insufferable hangover, most folks already know that Brazil’s national cocktail is the caipirinha, made from the national spirit, cachaça, along with sugar and fresh limes, but what else is there to drink?
When you are ready to shake things up a bit, branch out and ask the bartender for Brazil’s next best cocktail, the Caju Amigo (Cashew Fruit Friend) – every bit as Brazilian as the caipirinha but not nearly as famous.
Photo: Kai Hendry
Everyone knows which country we can thank for tango music, Lionel Messi and Pope Francis. But most are unaware of other key Argentinian exports that may figure prominently in your everyday life. Let’s have a slow clap for the top four.
Geography is destiny. For proof, look no further than Easter Island. It sits in blessed isolation, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, with nothing around it for over 1,000 miles. The closest continental point is in Chile, over 2,000 miles away.
As one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, it has managed to preserve much of its aboriginal Rapa Nui culture. Its isolation, however, has also created some unique challenges, many of which LAN Airlines is helping to solve.
Photo: Theodore Scott
For our neighbors to the north (Northern Hemisphere, that is), spring break is here and summer is just around the corner. For those hoping to get away for a little vacay, now is the perfect time to start planning it.
One region that I recently discovered is Northern Peru. Its pristine beaches, endless outdoor activities and cuisine all its own make it a great getaway for the entire family. Plus, Northern Peru already serves as a playground for Peruvians, so the infrastructure for family-friendly activities and accommodations are already in place.
Perhaps the most developed city to visit in Northern Peru is Máncora. Called the “Hawaii of Peru,” Máncora is one of Peru’s most popular beach towns. Consistently warm weather and clear skies mean vacationers flock here year-round.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (which, surprisingly, Colombians enjoy celebrating as well), we’ll take an imaginary bar crawl through some of Bogotá’s best and most authentic – or as authentic as it gets – pubs.
Photo: Holy Burger
If you have a sweet tooth – you know who you are – than Brazil is going to knock you out. Some foreigners even complain that some of Brazil’s most beloved desserts are just too sweet but no self-respecting sugar addict would ever say such a blasphemous thing, now would they?
Brazilian sweets come in all shapes and sizes and are available everywhere from the streets and beaches to padarias (bakeries) to dessert specialty cafes – you are never far from a sugar coma – and owe a debt to combined influences from Portugal (anything with eggs as the main ingredient!) to West Africa (certain pastries and the like).
Here’s how to get your sugar high in Brazil!