Photo: McKay Savage
Building on our magical realism theme from last week, we’re going to move beyond the (very pretty) superficial level and take a look at some of the most magical experiences visitors can have in Colombia. Of course, you can find magic just about anywhere in this country, but the destination or activity that catches your fancy will depend on your style. The outdoorsy types might find their happy place hiking through the páramos and national parks of the Andes, while others will be completely context luxuriating on a roof deck soaking up the Cartagena sun. Still, whatever your travel goals, these five experiences are sure to give your time in Colombia just a little more pizzazz:
Photo: Ashley Bayles
With Halloween coming up, people across the country, especially in Halloween-crazy Bogotá, are preparing for a night of disguises. But October 31st isn’t the only time Colombians hide behind masks. In fact, the year is full of festivals and carnivals celebrating the country’s history, traditions, folklore and mythology with elaborate costumes and outfits. Here are a few examples of Colombia’s dressiest days:
Photo: Beatrice Murch
You know it’s springtime when the art galleries open their doors to the warm evening air – when you can hear musicians tuning their instruments beneath the trees – when cold champagne flows like water. Read on for three events you won’t want to miss this month in Buenos Aires.
Photo: mabel flores
September in Chile means several things. It represents the much-awaited beginning of spring, the time of year when you first start to see kids and their parents out flying kites, and most importantly, it’s when the national holiday (Fiestas Patrias) is celebrated.
Every year, the 18th and 19th of September, are given over to celebrating chilenidad, all things Chilean, which means the cueca, which is the national dance, national costumes, typical games such as spinning tops and flying kites, and of course, enjoying the national foods.
Below are some foods you won’t want to miss during Chile’s colorful Fiestas Patrias celebrations! Many of these are available year-round, but never in such great quantity, and usually not all together.
It’s entirely possible to spend a whole weekend going out in Bogotá without ever leaving the Zona Rosa. While I wouldn’t recommend this (there’s so much to see in the city!), the neighborhood certainly has enough to offer to keep any visitor entertained for at least 48 hours. As in other Latin American cities, the Zona Rosa is the main “going-out” part of town – but here, it’s so much more than that. Colloquially known as the “Zona T,” for the T-shaped pedestrian zone at its heart, these few square blocks are jam-packed with some of the city’s finest boutiques, tastiest restaurants and trendiest bars and clubs. Sit in La T on a weekend night and you’ll see many of Bogotá’s beautiful people strolling by. If you have more than one day in the city, the Zona Rosa is certainly worth a visit – if you’re looking for the party, look no farther!
Photo: Kevin Raub
In case you might have been tucked away inhaling oxygen while trying to scale Mount Everest and didn’t hear the news: Ticket applications for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil are now being accepted on FIFA’s official web site. If you’re planning on heading to Brazil for the world’s greatest football event, the process is pretty simple.
Our Buenos Aires Querido is, of course, the world capital of tango. Once a year, the city’s dance floors get especially crowded as the best dancers from all over the globe converge in the Argentinian metropolis for Tango Buenos Aires Festival y Mundial, widely considered the most important tango event on the planet. The glittering festival and competition kicked off last night with performances by famed tango musicians Raúl Lavié y Adriana Varela, plus the debut of a brand-new documentary about tango great Astor Piazzolla. Here’s what else is happening at the 2013 edition.
Medellín is known by locals and visitors alike as the “City of Eternal Spring,” and that title is never more deserved than during the first two weeks of August, when the city bursts into a blaze of color for its annual Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival). The festival, which has taken place every year since 1957, is a celebration of Medellín’s traditional products and economy – the region is the center of flower production for Colombia, which is one of the largest exporters of flowers in the world. But it has also become an opportunity for the city, which was recently named the world’s most innovative, to show off just what earned it that honor. With almost two weeks of bright colors, friendly (and attractive) locals and world-class spots to spend your downtime, the Feria makes falling in love near-inevitable.
Photo: Calle del Medio Restaurant
I recommend you start your night at Calle del Medio Restaurant located in front of the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). From the moment this place opened its doors, it was destined to become one of the city’s favorites. This might be because of its colorful and cozy atmosphere, but also because of its signature cuisine made of Andean ingredients, such as Alpaca brochette and Tartare de trucha (Trout tartar).