Colombia’s famous Eje Cafetero (Coffee Axis) has earned UNESCO recognition and is generally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful regions in the country. However, it isn’t necessary to go all the way out to the provinces of Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío to find quality Colombian coffee. Though they don’t get the same amount of attention (or visitors), there are plenty of other excellent fincas (coffee plantations) and production centers from the Caribbean coast all the way down to the Ecuadorean border. If you don’t have time to make the trek out to the Eje Cafetero, here are some of the other places in the country to get your coffee fix:
The wild northern Guajira peninsula is one of the most underdeveloped – and stunningly pristine – parts of Colombia. Tourism is still relatively new in most parts of La Guajira, and visiting requires a certain amount of patience and willingness to try unusual forms of transportation. If you can make it work, though, you’ll be rewarded with a totally unique experience in the northernmost part of South America, where the desert meets the Caribbean and indigenous culture is the law of the land.
Photo: Madeleine Holland
January — it’s a month of new beginnings, a time when people vow to better their lifestyles, kick a bad habit to the curb and become more productive. The problem with these New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely stick. Busy lives get in the way or people discover that their goals were a bit too lofty. Whatever the reason, many people fail at resolving their resolutions.
That’s why this year, I vowed to make my resolution one I can look forward to beforehand, enjoy while I’m actually doing it, and look back on with fond memories. My resolution is to see more of Peru and I am inviting you, dear Only in South America readers, to join me.
Photo: Ryan Hyde
For the last 20 years, nearly 200 heads of state have met annually to discuss how climate change is impacting the world in which we live. This year, the Conference of the Parties (COP) joined together for 12 days in Lima, Peru to hash out how participating countries can reduce their greenhouse emissions.
The COP20 conference just came to an end and it got me thinking – what ways can each of us pitch in? While there are measures each of us can take at home, there are also steps we can take while we are on the road.
Photo: Laura Cahnspeyer
Blessed with two very different coasts bordering two different oceans, Colombia is a surfer’s paradise. From the white coastline of the Caribbean to the more intense, dark-sand beaches of the Pacific coast, there are beaches for all levels of surfers, from newbies to those who grew up in the water.
Though Colombia may be best-known for its tasty beverages and unparalleled rumba, one of the country’s biggest strengths is its natural beauty. With Caribbean islands, tropical beaches, dense rainforest, soaring snowcapped peaks, rumbling volcanoes and sprawling plains – to name just a few of the country’s many ecosystems – Colombia has no shortage of natural wealth. Don’t miss the chance to see these wonders firsthand – enter now for the chance to win a two-week G Adventures trip to Colombia, complete with a personal wildlife excursion guided by a local Wildlife Conservation Society naturalist!
Patagonia is an area extending down from about the Lakes Region in Chile (and Argentina) to the southernmost reaches of the continent. Most visits to Chilean Patagonia include a little bit of the Lakes Region (near Puerto Varas), and then a flight much further south to the area near Puerto Natales. From streaky sunrises to fiery sunsets, and all the hues of daytime blue from glaciers and lakes, it’s no surprise that the area packs a photographic punch. Here are some stunning views you can catch in Patagonia, though of course, there are many more spots to photograph and pick as your own favorite.
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
With an unseasonably warm spring feeling like early summer in Buenos Aires, porteños are firing up their parrillas, standing in line for al fresco dinner tables, and escaping to Tigre on weekends. As the season kicks off, here’s a short background on the river delta: what it is, how to get there, what to do, and where to stay.
Photo: Leonora Enking
Every day 2,500 people enter the gates of Machu Picchu and they are all there for one reason – to experience this beautiful, historical and magical place. But when there are that many people all on a common pilgrimage, problems can arise. To reduce potential issues and to maximize your enjoyment, it’s best to go with what I call the three Ps: a plan, propriety and lots of patience.
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.