Chile, the long, skinny country that takes up much of the west coast of South America, is perfectly situated for wine. It’s the place of the rediscovery of the long-thought-lost Carmenere grape, and a country that bases much of its export economy on Chilean wine. Certainly no visit to Chile is complete without a vineyard visit, or at the very least, some wine tasting. But beer lovers need not fear, there is plenty of cerveza to go around.
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.
Photo: Ilan Greenfield
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: Natalie Southwick
The US gets a lot of (well-deserved) attention for its stellar breakfast food, but Colombia knows how to hold its own when it comes to the most important meal of the day.
From the bustling central cities to the laid-back Caribbean coast to the rural campesino communities in the south, everyone stocks up on energy food – and, of course, lots of carbs – before heading out to greet the day. Any Colombian will tell you that food here varies immensely by region – and the battles between different areas for culinary supremacy are fierce. Each part of the country has its own spin on the beloved arepa, its own fruit juices, its own cheese, bread, potato dishes, rice – you get the picture. This is just one of the many things that makes traveling throughout Colombia such an adventure: you’re always trying new flavors and dishes, no matter where you go!
It could take pages to go through all of the options available for morning foodies, but here’s a quick primer on a few of the most typical Colombian breakfast dishes, ranging from the positively mouthwatering to the ones that might make you wish you’d never gotten out of bed. Of course, all of them come with a fresh-brewed cup of Colombian coffee!
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.
In recent years, Santiago has seen changes in immigration, which can be seen on the street where, for example, certain neighborhoods attract stores catering to specific nationalities, such as a strip of shops along the Plaza de Armas selling Peruvian products and courier services to Peru. We’ve also seen a change in culinary offerings from other countries in Latin America, but since the early 2000s, from considerably farther afield. This is due not only to immigration, but also to increased Chilean interest in trying foods from other cultures. One of those is Indian. We still don’t get restaurants specific to different states of India, but if you’re looking for something a bit more saucy, spicy and international than the usual Chilean offerings, the following Indian restaurants are a good place to start.
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.
Photo: Alfredo Miguel Romero
People around the world are in the midst of celebrating my favorite pastime and ultimate passion – travel. Commemorated each year on Sept. 27, the United Nations created World Tourism Day back in 1980 as a way of recognizing the positive contributions travel makes to local economies, cultural preservation, environmental protection and personal growth and enrichment.
Our planet is a big place, full of majestic destinations to discover. While there are a heap of world wonders to uncover, this amazing Andean nation should be toward the top of your list. Here are the nine reasons you should visit Peru now!
Photo: Cafe La Furgoneta
There was a time when I found it strange that visitors to Brazil would complain about the coffee. That sort of complaint didn’t seem to gel with the numbers (Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, producing around 1,350 million kilos of coffee per year, which clocks in at one-third of the world’s coffee production) nor my experience in country (we have amazing cafes in São Paulo, after all).