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  • Spending a Day in Viña del Mar

    Viña del Mar is Santiago’s weekend and summer getaway, a coastal city with a long beach walk, museums, a castle, a large park, interesting architecture, a famous casino and of course, wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean to look at from many points of the city.

    Below are some places and activities to interest visitors of all ages to this sunny city that’s just 15 minutes from the UNESCO-listed Valparaíso, and about an hour and a half from Santiago.

  • Photo: Jinx!

    The “Gabo Trail”: García Márquez’s Colombia

    When Nobel-prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez passed away on April 17, it felt like Colombia as a whole went into mourning. Though Gabo, as he was affectionately known, had lived in Mexico City for years prior to his death, Colombians still felt a strong connection to the grandfather of magical realism. He was a beloved figure among Colombians of all ages – upon his death, Colombian President Santos described him as “the greatest Colombian who ever lived.”

  • Off the Street and into the Gallery

    In a city known for its vibrant, rapidly evolving urban art scene – picture garage doors enlivened with splashy color, tall buildings covered in dreamy murals, brick walls tattooed with politically charged stencils – graffiti is no longer relegated the outdoors. The street art enthusiasts behind Graffitimundo have opened UNION, a new gallery and project space dedicated to exhibiting the work of prominent urban artists in Buenos Aires and beyond.

  • Tigua Art: Artist Julio Toaquiza

    You’ll find Tigua Art everywhere in Ecuador. It’s a staple of artisanal markets, craft stores and souvenir shops. But, what is Tigua? The word could come to mean a style of quintessentially Ecuadorian naïve painting, at least that is what most people equate it to today: strikingly colorful landscapes with hills and mountains, rural farmland, patchwork valleys, straw huts, maize fields, an occasional snow-peak (namely Cotopaxi) and Andean regulars such as the Condor, the Llama, the Masked Dancer, the Potato Picker, the sheep, the poncho-clad farmers …

  • Bogotá Day Trips: Zipaquirá

    It’s nearly impossible to spend more than a day in Bogotá without being peer-pressured by locals to make the trek out to the nearby town of Zipaquirá. The main attraction in town is the Salt Cathedral, a somewhat peculiar, religiously-inclined sort of museum inside a massive salt mine – however, the city is also a lovely example of a typical central Andean village, and there’s plenty to see in addition to walking through the Stations of the Cross in an underground salt mine.

  • A Hidden Treasure: Old Cathedral in Cuenca

    Parque Calderón, Cuenca’s main square, is dominated by the view of spectacular Catedral de la Inmaculada, also known as Catedral Nueva (meaning New Cathedral), the enormous monument that impressed Pope John Paul II to the point of déjà vu. “I feel like I’m in Rome,” he apparently told a crowd of thousands when standing in front of it for the first (and only) time in his life. This emblematic brick-laid ‘beast’ was meant to replace the smaller, much less impressive original temple, today commonly known as the Old Cathedral (Catedral Vieja), found across the park on Calle Benigno Malo.

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