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    Activities for Families With Kids in Santiago

    Bringing your kids traveling is a great opportunity to spend some family time together. With schedules changed, the family in (usually) closer proximity, and favorite pastimes left at home, it’s the perfect time to explore the food and culture of a whole new place. And when that place is Santiago, Chile, there are many choices that are great for families. If you want to be nearly assured of a good day, make sure to pack in some kid-specific activities like those listed below.

  • Photo: n.karim

    A Neighborhood Guide to Cartagena

    Photogenic Cartagena is practically a mandatory stop for first-time visitors to Colombia, yet many people never venture beyond the walls that once marked the limits of the old city, except perhaps to explore the beaches on Isla Barú or the Rosario Islands. Though there’s enough to do in the walled section to fill a weekend, the city itself doesn’t end there, and it’s worth exploring other areas as well, or at least knowing what they’re called. Here’s a handy neighborhood guide to get oriented in Colombia’s biggest coastal tourist destination.

  • Where to buy Lapis Lazuli in Chile

    Lapis lazuli, a dark blue semi-precious stone, is a popular souvenir from Chile. Chile is one only a few countries in the world that mine the stone in quantity, with the other major source of lapis lazuli being Afghanistan. Lapis lazuli is naturally-occurring, and is considered more valuable the darker the stone, and the more golden (but fewer white) streaks and flecks it has. The golden flecks are pyrite, also called “fools’ gold,” and the white ones are calcite.

  • A Day in the Vineyards with Mendoza Wine Camp

    It’s time to harvest the grapes in Argentina’s winegrowing capital. Thanks to Mendoza’s reputation as a world-class producer of Malbec – not to mention affordable prices and a stunning location at the base of the Andes – tourist numbers are up. But plenty of visitors arrive with the idea that they can go it alone, renting a car, exploring the country roads, stopping into tasting rooms on a whim. What they don’t know – and what can end up being a terrible disappointment – is that most wineries require reservations that are strictly enforced at the gates by security guards with clipboards. Mendoza is, in short, one destination where you’re better off leaving your plans to the professionals.

  • Colombia’s Colonial Treasures: Barichara

    Often mentioned as a frontrunner for the highly competitive title of Colombia’s most beautiful colonial village, drowsy Barichara, in the Santander department, is a sun-drenched town of historic architecture and one of the country’s highest per-capita concentration of artists and local artisans. It’s slightly removed from the nearby Gringo Trail hotspot of San Gil, and tends to attract more Colombian than foreign tourists, especially on the busy weekends. The Colombian tourists know best, though – Barichara is one of the country’s loveliest towns, and is a haven for artists and art-lovers alike, as well as those who are just enjoying a little warm weather while passing through. You can visit on a day trip from San Gil or stay overnight for a relaxing weekend – either way, there’s plenty to see, even if you never leave the plaza.

  • Ecuador – Beyond the Traditional Tours

    Ecuador in many minds is known mostly for its Galapagos Islands and within Ecuador, Quito and Guayaquil are typically associated as gateways to connect to the Galapagos. Two different cities – one in the heart of the Andean region – rich in Colonial art, history and architecture and one in the Pacific Coast  – a tropical port city that has done so much to re-emerge as a modern and welcoming city.  Both cities are known for their friendly people and are only 30 minutes apart by air.

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