Photo: Jorge Gomez
I know August isn’t a popular month back where I’m from, but it’s my favorite month in Bogotá. For Bogotanos, there are generally only two seasons: if it’s sunny, it’s summer; if it’s raining, it’s winter. This can be intensely confusing for anyone who was taught that it’s impossible to have more than one season in a given day, but that’s generally how it works. Except in August.
More and more, parents are realizing that children can make great travel companions. They keep you focused on smaller details, give you lots of time to run around (or sit still while they do), and to see parts of a city you might not visit if it was just you and your other adult companions. You’ll find people in Santiago are very friendly to families. And children stay out until fairly late with their parents to eat at restaurants being the norm. Here are a few places to help your kids (and you) truly enjoy your stay in Santiago.
Photo: Kevin Raub
Whatever toots your horn: Hiking, biking, diving, mountains, canyons, flora, fauna, dunes, rivers, oceans, caves or prehistoric rock paintings – the list is exhausting, actually! – Brazil has got a reason for you to ditch the Havaianas and get out and about with some sort of nature that doesn’t involve caipirinhas on the beach and sand in your sunga (that’s Portuguese for those Speedo-type bathing suits!).
Over 15% of Brazil is under environmental protection, clocking in at 1.3 million sq km to be exact. Between Atlantic rainforest, tropical rainforest protected wetlands and the most amphibian, bird, mammal, reptile, and vascular plant species on Earth (according to Mongo Bay, one of the world’s most respected environmental science and conservation news sites), Brazil is the world’s most biodiverse country, which leaves a wealth of national parks to explore beyond Ipanema and Copacabana – nearly 70 in total. Here are our five favorites:
Photo: Juan Carlos Martins
To be sure, the towering granite peaks of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park are one of the country’s most stunning (and iconic) landscapes. Yearly, international visitors from all over, and Chileans alike, make the Torres part of their summer vacation. There are day trips, either on the Lago Pehoé side or the Torres side (or both), and the two different hiking trips, the W and the O-shaped circuit. But this is just one of the many national parks Chile maintains. Below are three others for when you’ve got a shorter trip in mind, or want to explore parts of natural Chile that might not make it onto a postcard, but definitely should.
Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius
Gently swaying plum blossom trees and blooming yellow-pomponed aromos (acacia trees) are two signs that spring is upon us in Santiago. By the end of August, as trees are turning gold in the northern hemisphere, ours are blooming in a profusion of colors that will take us through to our fall, in April. There are the pink plum blossoms, and the yellow aromos, the purple jacarandas and the fiery red peumos. Flowers thrive in front of buildings and in gardens, and of course, in the parks.
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: 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: 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.
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