Photo: Carlos Leiva
Every day traveling with kids is an adventure. But after a series of art and history museums, long walks in the hot sun and/or foreign foods, what every kid needs is an afternoon of free (or semi-structured) time in the park, where all you need is a ball, a blanket, or some imagination to wile away a few hours in the dappled shade of old trees. The city of Santiago has several parks to choose from, but perhaps none so varied and metro-accessible as Parque Quinta Normal, which is just east of downtown, and has its own metro stop.
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
Walk on a glacier, gallop with wild horses, catch the biggest fish of your life – then throw it back into the river. Some of the most memorable travel moments you’ll have in Argentina are outdoor adventures that, like the monster-sized salmon on the line, you can’t take home with you.
The hometowns of two of Argentina’s athletic heroes – tennis star Juan Martín del Potro and fútbolista Lionel Messi, considered the greatest soccer player in the world – double as wintry weekend getaways from Buenos Aires.
Between June and mid-December, some of the largest mammals in the world, Southern Right whales, gather for breeding season in the Atlantic waters just off the Valdes Peninsula. The wind-whipped coastline in Argentine Patagonia, about 870 miles south of Buenos Aires, is the best place in the country for incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities. Along with whales, you can also see Magellanic penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, and dolphins year-round.
Photo: Phil Whitehouse
At 269 feet high, 490 feet wide, and 2,300 feet long, the horseshoe-shaped Devil’s Throat waterfall provides an undeniably impressive spectacle. But what really makes this cascade worth visiting is what’s nearby. For in Iguazu Falls National Park, in northeastern Argentina,
Devil’s Throat is just one of more than 260 waterfalls visitors can see. Every one of the waterfalls is cloaked in palm trees and thick jungle, with resident toucans, capuchin monkeys, and a rainbow-spectrum of butterflies.
Photo: David Horowitz
The central zone of Chile, located between two mountain ranges: the Andes and Coastal ranges, is home to fertile valleys bathed by different rivers. Taking advantage of these special characteristics, this area of the country has seen the establishment of vineyards that produce different and exquisite varieties of wines. It’s led to Chile being recognized as one of the main exporters of wine from the “new world.”
Photo: Lance Brashear
When people think of visiting the rain forest in Ecuador, images of jungle lodges along the Amazon River tributaries come to mind.
The Amazon begins at the base of the Eastern Cordilleras of the Andes, but what sits on the other side of the mountains along the slopes of the Western Cordillera or mountain range? Many tourists have actually discovered some wonderful destinations in the tropical and cloud forests just a couple hours west of the capital city of Quito.
Photo: Geoff Gallice
Peru is considered one of the most- biodiverse countries in the world with some unbeatable records such as number one in diversity of butterflies and number two on birds species. If you are a nature lover, Peru offers not only lively culture but unique experiences in diverse ecosytems.
Photo: Andy Price
When visiting Chile in the winter, why not plan on taking a relaxing bath in one of the many hot springs (termas) around the country?
There are different types of hot springs, such as a natural hot springs, mud baths, swimming pools, and therapeutic massage, among others.
Hot springs are known to have a therapeutic effect on the nervous system, skin illnesses, stress, rheumatism, lumbago and other types of back pain.
If Argentina is associated with any one beverage, it’s usually wine, not beer. But many families in Argentina trace their roots back to Germany, and nowhere is that heritage more evident than in the massive Oktoberfest celebration each spring in Villa General Belgrano, a picturesque town in the province of Córdoba.
Photo: Carlos Adampol Galindo
Carved by the rivers and estuaries, which find their outlet to the sea in this warm and humid expanse of urbanity, Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, offers visitors a blend of nature, history, and tradition. Here are eight great places to check out as you stroll around the city:
Photo: Mabel Flores
Chile celebrates its independence from Spain in September and the entire month is recognized as the “Month of the Nation.” The weather has begun to change, spring has almost arrived and the sun sets the mood for a celebration.
Fiestas Patrias, or more commonly, Dieciocho, are the names given to the holiday celebrations that take place on September 18 and 19. This year festivities will also take place on Monday the 17th. But don’t be surprised if you discover that the celebrations already got started. Because Chileans are patriotic and like to always have fun, the Fiestas Patrias provide a great excuse for a party.
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.
Photo: Eduardo Zárate
Have you ever run not to reach the finish line but to conquer one of the wonders of the world? If you answered no, this is your chance.
Inca Trail Marathon and Races:
Since 1998, a local tourism agency has organized the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon, which is a strenuous run over mountain terrain that takes you from 8,000 to 13,500 feet to reach the Lost City of the Incas. This is recommended for very experienced runners.
Photo: Mr. Juninho
Marathons in Colombia have become an important leisure and fitness activity. For globetrotters looking for good places to run and practice for marathons throughout the year, check out a complete calendar of sport activities you won’t want to miss. In Colombia, May, August and September are great months to find road races and other competitions. You can sign up as an individual or as a group for a chance to win prizes of up to 30.000.000 Colombian pesos (USD$17.000).
Run for Fun at this Altitude?!
It was a bit of a surprise to find out there are a lot of enthusiastic runners in the Andes, but it was a shock to discover they have been around for 50 years.
I assumed the idea of “running for fun” was a North American concept, but it seems to have just as long a tradition in Quito.
The tradition of running for fun has grown to the point where you can find road races, marathons, and other competitions throughout the country, at every altitude, almost every week. Find a complete list of races by month and city at Carreras Ecuador.
Photo: Daniel Diaz Vera
Road races are increasingly becoming more popular in Chile. Nowadays it’s easy to run a marathon on Santiago’s streets or a triathlon or a road race in other regions of the country throughout the year. All you have to do is search for these runs and sign up!
Photo: Elvert Barnes
Last year, more than 7,000 runners crossed the finish line of the Buenos Aires Marathon and set a record for the biggest running race in the history of the nation. This year, on October 7, the city is aiming to break that record yet again. If the countless marathon fliers papering the capital right now are any indication, this year’s race may very well be its largest yet.
Few people outside of Ecuador realize how popular the coastal region is, not just for nationals who like to escape to the beach – particularly those who live in the Andes – but another entire population invades the coastal waters from June to September—whales! They come from Chile, Argentina, and even points further south.
Photo: Karin Paz
No matter what your interests and travel preferences are, you will be sure to find amazing destinations to explore on your next vacation in one of Chile’s diverse regions.
North: San Pedro de Atacama is a place not to be missed in the northern region of Chile. A small village located in the Chilean altiplano (high plains), it is a cornerstone of Chile’s archeological history. From Santiago, catch a plane to Calama and then a bus to San Pedro (90-minute trip). Here you will find a wide variety of accommodations such as hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts or camping. If you love the outdoors and don’t mind cool nights, pitch your tent and enjoy some of the clearest skies in the world.