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  • Spending an Afternoon in Santiago’s Quinta Normal Park

    Every day traveling with kids is an adventure. But after a series of art and history museums, long walks in the hot sun and/or foreign foods, what every kid needs is an afternoon of free (or semi-structured) time in the park, where all you need is a ball, a blanket, or some imagination to wile away a few hours in the dappled shade of old trees. The city of Santiago has several parks to choose from, but perhaps none so varied and metro-accessible as Parque Quinta Normal, which is just east of downtown, and has its own metro stop.

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    A Stroll Down Rua Oscar Freire

    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.

  • Day Trips from La Serena

    With long white sand beaches, and a tranquil vibe throughout most of the year, La Serena is one of Northern Chile’s most popular beach vacation spots. For Santiaguinos and foreigners alike, the city’s location on a long beach with swimmable warm waters makes it ideal for a couple of days’ stop on a longer trip, or as a destination unto itself.

    Once visitors have seen the sights in town, which include the beach, the local market and the lighthouse, many choose to head out of town to do some exploration. In nearby Coquimbo are both the Cruz del Tercer Milenio, a monument in the form of a giant cross (visible from La Serena, and you can go inside for great views over the bay) and the mosque. There is also a very lively fish market. But there’s no reason to limit oneself to Coquimbo, either. The area is full of day trip possibilities, some of which are detailed below, so when you find yourself traveling through Chile, check them out.

  • A Day North of the Mapocho River in Santiago, Chile

    Tourists visiting Santiago usually divide their time among uptown, downtown and out of town, where out of town includes the wine country, the coast, the mountains, or a combination of all three. But there’s another way to think of the city, which is to use the Mapocho River—which runs down from Cajón de Maipo through the city—as a dividing line between north and south.

  • La Floresta Gets Café-Trendy in Quito

    I grew up in Quito and then left at adolescence. And while I was gone (about 15 years), it changed monumentally. Almost a million more people moved into the city, for one thing.  It doubled in size. Back then, in the 80s, it was a small town. It felt like it, at least. Of course, it has always been the capital of the country, but there was absolutely no traffic throughout its northern half, where I lived at the time (I can’t say the same, today). And there were virtually no trendy cafés.

  • Photo: Embratur

    Weekend Getaway: Salvador

    Easily Brazil’s richest capital for history and culture, Salvador is the big and bountiful jewel of Bahia, arguably Brazil’s most vivid and beautiful state. The city’s history, steeped heavily in Afro-Brazilian culture, manifests itself in many ways, namely in the colorful colonial center of Pelourinho and, most importantly (in my humble opinion, anyway!), the food, but also in the religion (Candomblé is strongest here), the sport (this capoeira central) and the deeply African-influenced habits, customs and appearances of the population. A weekend in Salvador is a journey through all that makes up the diverse recipe called Brazil in one immensely cinematic city. And just to spice things up a bit, everything here is hot – the people, the weather and the food.

  • Eating Brunch in Santiago, Chile

    Chile’s gastronomic scene is hopping, with new ingredients, and new spins on old ingredients. And now, a new (to Chile) spin on a meal itself, the introduction of brunch to the Saturday and Sunday culinary scene in Santiago. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and can include savory and sweet at the same meal, and essentially flies in the face of both the Chilean breakfast (it’s too big), and the Chilean lunch (it’s too varied). And while that might be the case, it’s catching on like crazy, with options at nearly every price point, and much of the length of the red line metro, from Las Condes down to Santiago Centro. 

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