When I travel in my native U.S.A., I know exactly what to do to get from point A (usually the airport) to point B (usually my hotel). I always have a friend or family member pick me up, rent a car or take a cab. Little preparation needs to be made prior to my trip because the process is straightforward in the states. Plus, even if it isn’t, everyone speaks my language, so I can easily ask for help should I need it.
Traveling abroad, however, is a different story. It always gives me a bit of anxiety. Will there be cabs waiting for me? How will I know which one to take? How do I give the driver directions? How do I make sure they charge me the right amount?
Photo: Kevin Raub
Although it’s not a household name like some of the famous streets in the world – Rodeo Drive, the Champs-Élysées, Lombard Street, 5th Avenue – São Paulo’s Rua Oscar Freire certainly holds its own against the big boys, clocking in at the 8th most luxurious street in the world and hands-down the most coveted real estate for luxury in Brazil.
Photo: Renato Ganoza
Colombia’s most famous caffeinated beverage may come from beans, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing around for the tea-lovers out there (the sheer number of British expats living in the country should reassure anyone with concerns on the matter). Though tea isn’t literally growing out the ground like coffee, there are a number of cafes and shops dedicated to the fine art of producing a great cup of tea – if you want the leaves read, though, you’ll probably have to go elsewhere.
With its chilly Andean climate and international influence, Bogotá is one of the best places in the country to find a quality cup or two. So if you find yourself without much to do on a rainy Bogotá afternoon, grab a good book (or your iPad) and head to one of these steamy spots.
Now that many of us carry smartphones in our pockets, those multi-functional cameras/voice recorders/GPS devices, it’s easy to grow accustomed to the convenience. When you’re on the road, it can be a bit trickier if you don’t have a local SIM card, or if your phone is not compatible with the local system, especially if you want to avoid data charges. The most elegant and inexpensive solution in Santiago, Chile is to disable roaming, and seek out free WiFi in this capital city. WiFi is often available, in some places you’d expect, and some places you probably wouldn’t. You’ll probably find more free WiFi in Santiago than you will in your home city.
At the beginning of every trip, you arrive, and from that moment, you’ve got to figure out where you’re headed next. Santiago’s Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport airport is located quite close to the city, especially in comparison to some other major cities of the world, where getting to and from the airport can take an hour or more. During low-traffic times, most of Santiago is within about a half-hour’s drive of the airport. Here are four ways to make the most of your time and money when transferring between the airport and your hotel.
Photo: Eileen Smith
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.