Photo: Dallas Krentzel
Every year 100,000 tourists visit the Galapagos Islands National Park, with 70% of them staying on cruise ships, boats, or yachts. They tour the islands by day and sleep on the vessels by night. Though they see a lot, it is often a hurried itinerary, packed with activities and constant transfers from the boat, to the dingy, to the island, and back. Then it is off to the next island to do it all over again.
Photo: Alex Grechman
Valle Nevado, la Parva and el Colorado are three ski centers located near Santiago, the capital. Each has a special charm and allows winter sports lovers to enjoy a great day trip from Santiago. It’s also possible to stay in a resort up the hill to enjoy the wonderful natural snowy landscapes of the Andes mountain range.
El Colorado offers a 25-mile (40-kilometer) terrain and 70 ski slopes; la Parva has an area of 24 miles (38 kilometers) and Valle Nevado is known for having the biggest skiable surface in South America with 23,000 acres.
Photo: Fer Quintana
From the Andean peaks near Mendoza to the snow-capped ranges around Ushuaia, at South America’s very southern tip, Argentina is packed with enough mountains to satisfy even the most enthusiastic skiers. And right now is the best time to go: Late July is the very heart of Argentina’s snow-skiing season, which typically begins in June and runs through August.
There is only one thing Ecuadorians have on their mind in the month of August–the beach. This is the month when the people of the sierra (highlands) head for the coast. And it is undoubtedly Ecuador’s most under-appreciated destination by international tourists. Everyone comes for the Galapagos and the jungle while skipping one third of the country’s richest tourism destinations.