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  • Photo: Christopher Kirk

    Holiday Traditions in South America

    As a traveler or expat, experiencing the holidays outside the U.S. can be an eye opening and life changing experience. As we usher in a new holiday season and begin to reflect upon the past year, on the surface, traditions around the globe may appear very different, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re all just searching for a cause to celebration. With each country having their own interpretation of food, family and fun, you may be surprised to learn at the core just how similar we actually are, despite personal beliefs and rituals.

    Here are a few of our favorite ways to celebrate the Christmas season in South America.

  • Photo: Kevin Dooley

    Santa In South America

    Every country in South America has its own holiday traditions, but some aspects of seasonal celebrations are universal: being surrounded by family and friends, plenty of food and drink and Santa Claus…or at least a variation on the Santa Claus theme.

    In Chile, for example, children write their letters to the Viejito Pascuero, who comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve. As in many countries, Chileans take the tree down after January 6th, the popular Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day), which in Chile is known as, Pascua de los Negros.

  • Cross the Andes Like a Gaucho

    The Argentine gaucho—often compared to the American cowboy—is a legendary figure revered as a national hero, a rebel and a symbol of freedom. For over three centuries, guachos have roamed Argentina’s grassy Pampas unbounded by geography and authority. Celebrated for their self-reliance and expert horsemanship, gauchos are masters at taming wild stallions, which they use to drive their herds of cattle across unchartered frontiers.

    In 1817, gauchos earned their respected place in history when Argentine General Jose de San Martin called upon them to join his Army of the Andes, a calvary of 3,500 men that famously crossed the Andes to successfully defeat their Spanish foe and eventually liberate Chile, Argentina and Peru from Spanish colonial rule.

  • Photo: Near Miami? Don't Miss Pinta Miami 2015

    Near Miami? Don’t Miss Pinta Miami 2015

    There’s a palpable buzz here in Miami. Art Basel is upon us, which means our city is swarming with art lovers from around the world to attend Basel and the satellite art fairs that surround it . They’ll be taking in the efforts of some of today’s internationally recognized masters, as well as some rising stars.

  • We Made the Dean’s List

    LATAM Airlines Group, comprised of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines, was just named “The Best Airline for Students, Latin Market.” That’s according to StudentUniverse, the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth.

  • FODOR’S Is Fond of Our Premium Business Class

    The folks at Fodor’s know a bit about travel, so when they recently cited LAN as having one of the “6 Outstanding International Business-Class Experiences,” well, we felt pretty honored.

    But then, our Premium Business Class has been getting rave reviews from our passengers for years. And given the myriad amenities we offer, including our flights to South America, it’s easy to understand why.

    • Full-flat 180 degree reclining seats
    • Menu of regional cuisine created by Head Chef Hugo Pantano
    • Wine list curated by Hector Vergara, South America’s only Master Sommelier
    • Individual, 15.4-inch, high-resolution screens for onboard entertainment
    • Over 110 films, 40 TV programs, 1,300 CD’s and 20 games to choose from
    • Data posts compatible with tablets, cell phones, digital cameras and USB devices
    • Amenity kit with products from Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Meet the newest member of our family – The Boeing 787-9

    So when we heard Boeing was making a new 787, you know we had to get some. And now they’re here. The new 787-9 aircraft became a part of the LAN Airlines fleet back in April, and we’ll gradually roll them out across the fleet.

    For you, this means some welcome advances in in-flight comfort:
    • New air humidification techniques reduce feelings of dryness and fatigue by providing cleaner air
    • Windows with up to 40% greater surface area
    • Overhead luggage compartments 30% larger (!)
    • LED illumination and aerodynamics that provide for a smoother flight

  • Exploring an Outdoor Art Gallery in Buenos Aires

    Living in Buenos Aires is like living in an open-air art gallery where the exhibitions don’t change – they simply accumulate, slowly crowding the city walls with larger-than-life murals and bold stencils that seem to appear overnight. On a recent tour with Buenos Aires Street Art, our guide, Sophia, explains the phenomenon in the simplest terms: “It’s really easy to paint here,” she says. “It’s really easy to get a wall.”

  • Photo: Spectacularly original rooftop show that uses the towering walls in Buenos Aires buildings

    A Breathtaking Rooftop Show in Buenos Aires

    If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss in Buenos Aires right now, it’s this. Al Ver Verás / Música Para Mirar (Music to Watch) is a spectacularly original rooftop show that uses the towering walls in Buenos Aires buildings as blank canvases on which to project images and animation set to live music performances and DJ-spun tracks. Hard to picture? That’s what I thought, too. But it’s magical: you just have to see it for yourself.

  • A Quick Getaway to Uruguay: Colonia del Sacramento

    Though it’s just an hour away from Buenos Aires, you’ll need your passport to travel: Colonia del Sacramento, across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, is the gateway to Uruguay. Many travelers come to Argentina with intentions of visiting the historic riverside town, settled by the Portuguese in 1680. And they always ask the same questions — how, why, when, and what is there to do there? Without further adieu, let’s address these frequently asked questions.

  • Buenos Aires From Above: Galería Güemes

    I’ve been trying to get up to the top floor of Galería Güemes for some time now. That’s because the century-old building, located on Florida street in downtown Buenos Aires, offers the chance to explore three of my personal interests: wandering around inside glamorous art nouveau landmarks, staring down at cityscapes from unusual viewpoints, and creeping around the one-time stomping grounds of great writers.

  • What to do in January: Buenos Aires

    Lots of travelers plan trips to Argentina in January – a few weeks that happen to be the hottest (and quietest) of the year in Buenos Aires. But there are benefits to spending a few days in the capital city this month: since many locals are away on vacation, there’s lighter traffic and shorter wait times at popular restaurants. Here, a few ideas of where to go and what to do in January to take advantage of an emptier-than-usual city.

  • Buenos Aires for Francophiles

    Paris is almost seven thousand miles away from Buenos Aires. But French cultural roots run surprisingly deep in Argentina. That’s because, after Spanish and Italians, French make up the third largest ancestral group in the country: according to the official records, around 261,000 French people immigrated to Argentina between 1857 and 1946. (One of the most notable? A two-year-old boy named Charles Gardes, who left France with his mother in 1893 – later known as Carlos Gardel, the greatest tango legend of all time.)

  • Rolling on the River

    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.

  • First-Time Collecting: Where to Buy Art in Buenos Aires

    Buying art is intimidating. But there’s no better place to get started than the Argentinean capital. Buenos Aires is a breeding ground for creative types, and the city imposes few restrictions about where and how art can be displayed – which is why the quickly developing street art scene is one of the most exciting in Latin America.

    Where to pick up a piece for your own collection? If money’s no object, of course, you can just go straight to the long-established art galleries of Retiro and Recoleta. But if you’re a first-time buyer, check out these modern galleries and art events with a youthful edge – offering excellent value on contemporary and small-format works that will likely fit right into your suitcase.

  • Buenos Aires Food Week is Back

    The fourth edition of the quickly growing biannual food event benefits the Buenos Aires food bank – and features fifteen new participating restaurants, Campari aperitifs, and a creative banana split with cognac that everyone’s talking about.

    More than 40 restaurants are onboard for the current edition of Buenos Aires Food Week, running now through September 14th. The three-course menus run AR$140 for lunch and only AR$220 for dinner, not including tip or drinks – unless, of course, you’re counting the complimentary aperitifs offered at many restaurants. Cocktails aside, Food Week is a convenient opportunity to sample the cuisine at some of the city’s more prestigious dining venues. I talked to Anne Reynolds, co-founder of the event, about highlights of this year’s line-up.

  • Wine Country in the Big City

    In winter, it’s quiet in Mendoza – temperatures drop, winemakers focus on protecting their grapes from occasional snowfall, visitors pass through on their way to ski resorts in the Andes. It’s the perfect moment for the region’s culinary talents to escape for a few weeks and bring their olive oil and Bonarda to the tables of Buenos Aires.

    Case in point: Zuccardi at the Palacio Duhau. Starting this week and extending through August 24th, a pair of creative young chefs – one from Familia Zuccardi’s Casa del Visitante in Mendoza, the other of the elegant Gioia restaurant at the Palacio Duhau–Park Hyatt, perhaps the grandest hotel in Buenos Aires – team up to present a special four-course menu with wine pairings.

  • Off the Street and into the Gallery

    In a city known for its vibrant, rapidly evolving urban art scene – picture garage doors enlivened with splashy color, tall buildings covered in dreamy murals, brick walls tattooed with politically charged stencils – graffiti is no longer relegated the outdoors. The street art enthusiasts behind Graffitimundo have opened UNION, a new gallery and project space dedicated to exhibiting the work of prominent urban artists in Buenos Aires and beyond.

  • Rosario to Mendoza: Hometowns of Argentina’s Selección

    You might have noticed Leo Messi’s face around town this past week: his smile was beaming down on the streets of New York, perched atop taxicabs and plastered on the side of phone booths beside the printed words ‘Don’t Miss Buenos Aires.’ Here in Argentina, the tourism campaign prompted a few jokes and some mild criticism – only because the famous futbolista isn’t from Buenos Aires, he’s from the city of Rosario. The conversation got me thinking: where is everyone else from? It turns out that the players on the national team – known simply as ‘la selección’ – represent quite a geographic spread.

  • A block in My Neighborhood: Borges in Buenos Aires

    ‘And the city, now,’ wrote Jorge Luis Borges of Buenos Aires, ‘is like a map of my humiliations and failures.’ Argentina’s foremost literary hero had a complicated relationship to his hometown. The writer was, as his poetry suggests, at turns enchanted and discouraged – seduced and repelled – by the city where he spent his life.

    I find myself thinking about those complexities some days as I run to the subway or walk to the market to buy milk – walking along the Palermo street where Borges used to live as a boy, a street that has since been named after him.

  • Photo: Embratur

    D.I.Y. Iguaçu Falls

    There’s little doubt that the thundering roar of 275 waterfalls saddling two countries is one of South America’s most thrilling and eye-popping attractions. Iguaçu Falls, Brazil’s second-most visited attraction behind Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, stands wider than Victoria Falls and taller than Niagara Falls and more jaw-dropping than both. It’s a must-see for everyone, including those who think they’ve already seen one too many waterfalls. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

  • Where to Get Your Work Done: Buenos Aires

    Forget suits and ties, windowless conference rooms, weak coffee and generic chain hotels – thanks to Apple, Wired, Aloft hotels and Mark Zuckerberg, the modern business traveler is more likely to be wearing Converse, scrolling through spreadsheets on his iPhone and conducting meetings via FaceTime. In Buenos Aires, a handful of stylish workspaces cater to young professionals who take care of business on the move.

  • Lessons in Wine, and in Life, with Uncorking Argentina

    Learning about Malbec grapes – and the importance of creativity, tradition, pleasure, and family – in Argentina’s wine capital.

    When an opportunity arises to visit Argentina’s most famous wine region during harvest, there’s only one thing to do: pack your bags. But you don’t want to show up in Mendoza without a plan. There’s so much to do – wineries, mountains to climb, rivers to raft, a landscape so vast that you need to have a few priorities in mind.

  • 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.

  • 3 Places To See Penguins in the Wild: Argentina

    The first time I saw a penguin in his natural habitat was right here in Argentina. I was with a marine biologist on a speedboat, both of us bundled up against the cold, gliding through the still bay off the coast of Puerto San Julián. As we approached the rocky coast of a small island, I spotted a small group of black and white birds emerging from the water, their plumage sleek and glossy, waddling one by one along the beach in a comical parade. I grew up with Mary Poppins and trips to the zoo – seeing penguins on the beach, and getting out of the boat to walk around their little colony, was an experience I’ll never forget.

  • Channeling Theroux: Riding the Old Patagonian Express

    All aboard La Trochita – revisiting the landscape that inspired Chatwin, Theroux, and Darwin on a slow train journey through a desolate landscape.

    (First, a note: much is made of glaciers, penguins, and whales, but Patagonia is vast, with subtler pleasures to be discovered amid the wide-open spaces and world-famous attractions. In an effort to introduce travelers to a few of these, I’ll be sharing experiences from my own overland travels, starting today in the province of Chubut, where the landscape of the Andes transitions into the Patagonian steppe.)

  • Experiencing Argentina, With an International Twist

    There are plenty of places in Buenos Aires where you can get a good steak. There are not, however, plenty of places in Buenos Aires where you can get a good steak and also learn how to properly fold an empanada, serve mate, and communicate with your taxi driver using only hand gestures.

    To acquire this particular skill set, you’ll need some porteño friends – or you can just sign up to spend an evening at the Argentine Experience. Despite its gleaming storefront in Palermo Hollywood, it’s not exactly a restaurant; regardless of the checkered aprons and empanada diagrams, it’s not a cooking class, either. It’s a ‘culinary experience’ run by an enthusiastic multinational team – Argentine, English, Brazilian – dedicated to introducing tourists to national traditions with a gourmet twist. I heard they happen to serve one of the finest steaks in town, so this past weekend, I went to check it out for myself.

  • Cafés for Coffee Purists: Buenos Aires

    Let’s get one thing straight: I’ll always be devoted to the old-fashioned bares notables of Buenos Aires, the staid waiters in tuxedoes, the grand piano in the corner. I’m a romantic at heart – but I’m also becoming something of a coffee snob. And the ancient espresso machines in this town just aren’t getting the job done. So this isn’t a post about my favorite cafés in Buenos Aires, it’s a post about three places in Palermo where I’ve recently had outstanding coffee.

  • A Mid-Summer Cultural Calendar

    Time to play catch-up: I’ve just arrived back to Buenos Aires after weeks of travel in Mexico, Peru, and the USA. Here’s my to-do list for the hot weeks of summer ahead (well, the cultural events, at least, I doubt anyone’s interested in hearing about getting my air-conditioner fixed or trying to get invited to a friend’s swimming pool.) Art, film, telescopes, acrobats, let’s do this.

  • Escape to the Lakes

    It’s hot in Buenos Aires: prime time to flee the big city. If surf and sand isn’t your idea of paradise, skip the crowds along Argentina’s Atlantic coast. There’s a cooler, mellower summertime getaway awaiting in the lakes district – hike to high cliffs over the water, plunge through a shallow river on horseback, catch a fish, recline at an eco-friendly spa, or just indulge your chocolate addiction in Bariloche.

  • Argentina Captured on Film

    Whether you’re in the middle of an ice storm in New York or suffering through an ongoing heat wave in Buenos Aires, it’s a good time to curl up with a good movie – in front of the fireplace or air conditioner, as the case may be – particularly one that inspires future travel. Here’s a short list of recommended films shot in Argentina.

  • At Home in the Big City

    When you’re visiting one of the largest cities in the world, it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd. But a wave of new businesses are scaling down to offer travelers more personalized experiences in Buenos Aires. Here are a few of my favorites from this spring, including a closed-door restaurant with a gorgeous communal table and a sophisticated townhouse-style hotel with only a handful of rooms.

  • The Art of Eating at an Argentine Parrilla

    At any Argentine parrilla, or steakhouse, you can spot the tourists in a heartbeat. They’re always the ones who arrive too early for the meal – the people silently staring, bewildered, at the thick menu, wondering what the difference is between morcilla and chorizo (and trust me, it’s a key distinction.

    If you’re not lucky enough to have a local friend to show you the ropes, you can learn how to eat like an Argentine with Parrilla Tour, a guided food circuit that takes travelers into a series of hole-in-the-wall parrillas, traditional empanada shops, and artisanal heladerías.

    In the interest of preserving authenticity at these little-known venues, the tour operators don’t allow journalists to publish the names or locations of the restaurants and shops we visited. You’ll have to go yourself – but in the meantime, learn what to order. Just follow the parrilla experts’ advice in four easy steps, illustrated with my photos from last Friday’s tour.

  • Bares Notables of Buenos Aires

    Borges wrote and took his afternoon coffee at these café tables; famous tangos were inspired here in the 1940s. The city’s bares notables, or historic bars, remain the beating heart of old Buenos Aires.

    I’m surprised by how often people ask me to name my favorite thing about Buenos Aires. If I’m in the mood for a more philosophical conversation with the taxi driver or inquisitive traveler who’s asking, I’ll say, ‘listen, it’s a huge and complicated city, filled with dark and light – there’s plenty to love and hate, depending on the day.’ But if I need an easier answer, I’ll simply say ‘the bares notables.’

  • Buenos Aires From a Different Point of View

    Nothing against the fleet of bright red double-decker sightseeing buses barreling at full speed around Plaza Congreso – but you’re unlikely to experience much of the charm of Buenos Aires when you’re listening to generic tourist information through a headphone set. Discover the allure of the Argentine capital with an alternative sightseeing option, from an ‘iPhoneography’ class to tours focused on architecture and street art.

  • Photo: Tarquino

    Every Animal that Walks: The Evolution of a New Argentinian Cuisine

    To understand something about Argentina’s culinary tradition, consider one of their favorite sayings: ‘todo bicho que camina va a parar al asador’ (every animal that walks ends up on the grill). Indeed, it’s a nation of farmers, cows and carnivores, famous for its vast pampas, spectacular produce and grass-fed beef, and, of course, the weekend asado, or barbecue. But the meat-centric national cuisine is developing far past simple steaks on the grill. Here, two takes on la nueva cocina argentina (the new Argentinian cuisine) in Buenos Aires.

  • 4 Reasons to Love: San Miguel de Tucumán

    The northern Argentinian city – capital of the province of Tucumán, nicknamed El Jardín de la República (The Garden of the Republic) thanks to its bountiful crop of fruit and sugarcane – is historic. And warm in the winter. It’s the gateway to a picturesque mountainscape. And you won’t find a better empanada anywhere in the country. Need more reasons to go? Let’s count out four to start.

  • Photo: 878

    Vintage Cocktails in Buenos Aires: 3 Bars Inspired by the Past

    The Italian and Spanish immigrants who originally settled in Buenos Aires had their own well-defined cocktail traditions, but somewhere along the line, mixed drinks went out of style in the Argentinian capital. These days, porteños aren’t big cocktail drinkers – unless you count the ubiquitous bottle of Fernet Branca, a bitter herbal spirit found at every house party in the city – but it’s a tendency that’s slowly changing. Witness the mini-Renaissance of the classic cocktail at three serious watering holes inspired by the city’s past.

  • Breweries at the Bottom of the World

    If you’ve made it all the way to Tierra del Fuego, congratulations – it’s time to crack open a cold one. Luckily for frazzled travelers arriving by plane (picture a thrilling landing over an icy archipelago) or overland (imagine a rocky boat ride over the Strait of Magellan), cervezas artesanales, or craft beers, are all the rage in Ushuaia. Here, a short list of varieties to try from the key microbreweries: you can find them in bars and restaurants around town, or take a few bottles home, learning something about the region’s fascinating history while you’re at it. Raise a glass – you’re at the end of the world!

  • Photo: Santiago Brusa

    Exploring Gourmet Buenos Aires: One Food Tour, and One “Anti-Tour”

    Perhaps you’ve heard: Buenos Aires’ culinary scene has been undergoing a metamorphosis. In the not very distant past, if you weren’t in the mood for grilled meat, pasta, or tapas – the latter two a throwback to the city’s Italian and Spanish heritage – you were out of luck at dinnertime. Today, a growing number of innovative chefs bring much-needed diversity to the city’s dining sphere, while others focus on perfecting traditional recipes for an increasingly discerning clientele. Of course, the foodie scene isn’t necessarily easy to access: as any traveler who’s ever visited a large city can attest, it’s easy to overspend on a mediocre meal. Enter the professional epicures. Though the following two services are quite different – the first a socially-minded food tour, the second a personalized ‘anti-tour’ through the city’s lesser – known food highlights – both provide invaluable entry into gourmet Buenos Aires.

  • 72 Hours in Buenos Aires

    Just three days to see Buenos Aires, the second-largest city in South America? Que bardo (what a situation), a porteño might say. Forget visiting all the sights and focus on absorbing some of the city’s heady blend of old and new – Italian architecture, edgy street art, tango music, modernist cocktails, classic cafes – a dichotomy that makes Buenos Aires unforgettable.

  • Photo: jbstafford

    Buenos Aires: A perfect night out in Palermo Soho

    Few neighborhoods in Buenos Aires are more well known for nightlife than Palermo, and the half of it that makes up the Palermo Soho subsection is particularly hopping come nightfall. The boundaries of Palermo Soho are roughly made up of Avenida Santa Fe to the northeast, Avenida Córdoba to the southwest, Avenida Scalabrini Ortiz to the southeast, and Avenida Juan B. Justo to the northwest. The area contains buzzing Plaza Serrano and is filled with trendy cafés, restaurants, and boutiques in colorful, low-rise buildings. Here, the red-brick streets are strolled by young, fashionable Porteños and expats. You’ll feel more comfortable out and about here if you dress up a bit.

  • A perfect Night Out in Buenos Aires: The Recoleta Barrio

    By day, the upscale Recoleta neighborhood is a top destination for visitors to Buenos Aires. The residential area is famed for the sprawling Recoleta Cemetery, a walled maze of elaborate 19th- and 20th-century crypts and mausoleums. Aside from the architectural wonders, the cemetery has historic appeal, as well: former first lady Eva Perón is buried here. On weekends, the nearby Plaza Francia, which sits adjacent to the cemetery, buzzes with a large open-air market. You can find traditional leather goods, jewelry, and other souvenirs here.

  • Photo: Prayitno

    Learn to Tango in Buenos Aires

    Aside from steak and maybe red wine, Argentina’s most famous export is tango— a sultry dance that originated in the port communities along the Río de la Plata, near Buenos Aires, in the 1890’s. Today, the dance and music are enjoying newfound popularity with young Argentines, infusing fresh energy into Buenos Aires’s nightlife.

  • Argentina’s Most Scenic Ski Resort

    At Chapelco Ski Resort, near the town of San Martín de los Andes, the stunning scenery nearly outshines the thrills of the slopes. Mount Chapelco looms 6,496 feet above cerulean Lake Lácar, and many of its twenty groomed ski and snowboard trails run through tall forests of lenga (pictured above), a type of beech tree native to the southern Andes.

  • Sip Wine & Ski the Slopes

    Just a few miles east of the Chilean border lies the northernmost ski resort in Argentina, Penitentes. The resort encompasses 740 acres of skiable terrain, with 20 groomed trails for beginner to expert skiers. Snowboarders are welcomed at the resort, as well. From the Penitentes slopes, you will be surrounded by the High Andes—you can even spot Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Spanish Lessons in Buenos Aires

    Argentina is a great place to immerse yourself in Spanish and practice your language skills. There are good, affordable schools in Buenos Aires, Bariloche, and many other popular destinations where you can pick up a few basics or perfect the skills you already have in just a few classes or month-long sessions. In fact, many travelers come to Argentina for the sole purpose of learning Spanish—and why not? The cost of living is lower than in the U.S., and the immersion forces students to practice on a day-to-day basis.

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