On a long walk on a cool day in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, or one of the rarer truly cold days, or even rarer still, a day with heavy rains, there’s nothing like a warming cup of coffee to give you a break from the weather. If the cozy café has tasty treats, it’s better still. Here are six places to sip some of Santiago’s best coffee. No Nescafé allowed.
While it’s a developing country in many ways, Peru is still one of the most stable nations in Latin America. It’s economy has boomed over the last decade due in part to mining, produce exports and, of course, tourism. And, the middle class has grown from 25 percent of the total population to 60 percent during this time. This surge in the economy is attracting outside investors who want to build relationships with Andean corporations. For this reason, it’s beneficial for foreign business leaders to know the basics for a successful meal and a deal during their time in Peru.
A few weeks ago I found myself in between Internet service providers. In a past life, this is something I could have put up with thanks to uncapped amounts of internet on my phone and at my workplace. But in Peru, my phone plan doesn’t offer unlimited data and I work from the big red couch in my living room from which I am currently sitting. A few days in and I realized I wasn’t only missing out on social media, Netflix and cat videos, but also the important stuff like being able to contact family and friends via mobile messaging apps and doing the research and writing I needed to to bring home the bacon. Instead of toughing it out, I gave in, packed up and trekked to several of the Internet cafes dotting Lima’s zig-zagging streets.
Brazil hasn’t traditionally made it very difficult to give travelers a reason to complain about its airports: Most of them are outdated relics from the ’50s and ’60s and the ones that aren’t, such as Recife in the Northeast, come off at best as missed opportunities. Shopping? Not really. Good restaurants? Not really. Comfortable spaces to kill a few hours between flights, perhaps at a spa, in a sleeping pod or in a very nice cocktail bar? Not really.
That all changes with this month’s opening of Terminal 3 at GRU Airport – Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo’s in Guarulhos, Brazil’s first world-class international airport terminal; a modern, 192,000-sq-m space designed to move 12 million international passengers per year.
Whether your trip to Santiago is bookended with business meetings, or you’ve worked out that you’ve got an afternoon free from all your other plans, here are four different ways to make the most of that time, no matter where your interest may lie.
You know that neighborhood with the wide streets, overarching trees and interesting boutiques, antiques, bookshops, clothing shops, yarn stores and furniture and design stores all laid out on a couple of compact blocks perfect for an afternoon stroll? That’s Santiago’s Barrio Italia.
Whether you’re traveling for business or for leisure, there’s something special about having access to emails as they come in, maps and GPS to get around town, search engines to find restaurant recommendations, messaging and social media apps to stay in touch with friends and family back home, and a phone to make calls. Smart phones, of course, make this possible, but if your mobile plan doesn’t include free-of-charge international roaming, your trip to Peru could get a whole lot more expensive.
But, making calls and surfing the web on your cell phone in Peru is easy and pretty cheap with a little planning and patience.
Photo: Natalie Southwick
Business travel almost seems like an oxymoron at times. Sure, you’re in another country, but if you’re trapped in meetings and conferences all day, it hardly feels like it. Airports and hotels all start to look the same after a while, don’t they? Colombia’s growing economy has led to a boom in business travel, and the business suit types are touching down in the country’s major urban centers with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, hard-working folks here on business don’t have the same schedule flexibility and free time as those on vacation, but a work agenda doesn’t mean you can’t get at least a little taste of the local culture and food before you catch your flight back home.
Though most business travelers have a packed schedule, there’s always the possibility that you’ll have a free afternoon somewhere in the mix. Here’s how to make the best of your stay in one of Colombia’s four largest cities when you only have a few hours to get away.
Despite the fact that São Paulo is the Latin American capital of culture and gastronomy, there’s no denying tourism is not its bread and butter. This is a big, brash, business city, and the economic cradle of Brazil, South America and Mercosur, with an annual GDP of R$450 billion. If Sampa were a country, it would rank the 33rd richest country in the world based on nominal GDP, ahead of both the UAE and Hong Kong. Long story short, you’re probably coming here for a business meeting, not a beach vacation (the nearest beach is nearly 50 miles away, anyway!). So what to do if the meeting lets out early?
Three great options that are surely not to far from the boardroom:
Architects notwithstanding, Brazilians don’t tend to be too impressed with their space-age capital, carved out of nowhere in the 1950s by then-President Jucelino Kubitschek, architect Oscar Niemeyer, urban planner Lucio Costa and landscape architect Burle Marx.
Most think it’s boring (it’s not), too hot (that’s true), too confusing (only at first), tourist-unfriendly (it doesn’t have to be) and an urban symbol of the country’s ills – corruption and bureaucracy, for example – and not the futuristic capital of the country of the future it was built to symbolize (well …). Most tourists (who aren’t architects or budding architects) dismiss it as skippable (it’s hard to tear yourself away from those beaches, after all) and that’s a shame. For as confusing and polarizing as Brasília is, it’s nothing if not fascinating.
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