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  • Photo: EMBRATUR

    Navigating Brasília: How to Tackle Brazil’s Befuddling Capital

    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.

  • Photo: rafa-alves

    Day and Night: Santiago’s Bellavista Neighborhood

    Every day of travel brings something new. But most people like to try to fit in a bit of food, drink, activity, culture and shopping in there somewhere. The problem is planning on getting to the places where these things can be had at exactly the right time.

    Enter Santiago’s quirky Bellavista neighborhood. Sandwiched between the Mapocho River to the south, and the towering Cerro San Cristobal to the north, this area has something to offer in all of the above categories with something to suit every budget and taste, from backpacker to luxury.

  • Take a Vega Home

    Speaking of heritage artwork in Ecuador that you may want to take back home with you, I’d like to introduce to you a certain Eduardo Vega. One of the country’s foremost potters, Eduardo Vega is sure to impress you on your visit to Cuenca, or so I’d like to conjecture. Here, you’ll be able to discover the master’s gallery and workshop, located in his own home, which incidentally is only a few steps away from a nice sightseeing stop, Turi Church. The lookout point offers the most spectacular view of the city of Cuenca.

  • 6 Things to Bring Back from Ecuador

    Of course, this list is completely arbitrary. I’ve also tried not to be too mainstream. I don’t want to be like everyone else out there, so I’ve decided to ignore Otavalo for now (I shall revisit, worry not) and speak of signature items that represent Ecuador’s exciting cultural heritage in a more contemporary, off-beat way. Each item is from a different corner of the country.

    Six is a short list, but hey, it’s a good start!

  • Colombia’s Colonial Treasures: Villa de Leyva

    Let’s cut to the chase here – this is not an unbiased post. I have repeatedly and publicly stated, to pretty much anyone within earshot, that Villa de Leyva is one of my favorite places in Colombia. However, I’m hardly alone in this opinion – in fact, I don’t know a single person that has visited Villa and failed to fall in love with it. Cartagena may be Colombia’s most romantic city, but Villa de Leyva seems designed to capture the heart of any visitor, as long as they don’t mind a few cobblestones underfoot!

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