Latin America (47)

15611480090_388d5a8a34_b.jpg?profile=RESIZE_1200xHarry D.

 You've of course heard of Tikal, Antigua, and Guatemala City. But 2,330 metres (7,644 feet) up in the western highlands just two or so hours from the capital, this country’s second largest city (pop. around 225,000) is a dynamic, untouristy trove that not only has a lot to offer on its own terms but is also a great jumping off point for other attractions, including Lake Atitlán and several of Guatemala's awesome ecotourism wonders


 Originally the pre-Columbian Mayan city

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Colombia is just packed with remarkable landmarks, sights, and experiences, and this one is singular, indeed: a vertiginous 220-metre (722-foot) hill - rising abruptly near a small town two hours from the city of Medellín in the department of Antioquía - is in a class by itself. The Peñón de Guatapé (Rock of Guatapé, also known as the Piedra del Peñol, Stone of El Peñol), was venerated by the prehispanic Tahamí, and many visitors come to pay homage to it today - including some pretty

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Panama: the Canal & the Capital




We were up at silly o'clock for this trip  ... but we caught the Bridge of the Americas at sunrise, and that's quite a sight.

It is written, somewhere, that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That might be true for dates, job interviews and the like, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to places. We’ve visited a number of cities we weren’t too impressed with at first sight, but grew to like.

Panama City struck us as a warren of high rise: the guide said they weren't quit

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L2F-Jun-18-Brazil-Rio-de-Janeiro-Saude-street-mural-640x480.jpg?profile=RESIZE_930xphotos | Sarah Brown

by Sarah Brown

Though most famous for Carnival, golden beaches, and world-famous landmarks, the real heart of Rio de Janeiro, for those in the know, lies in its downtown, most notably in SaúdeGamboa, and the surrounding neighbourhoods hard by the port. For it’s this area that’s steeped in a complex history that dates back half a millennium to the Portuguese colonisers’ founding of Rio and the centuries of brutal slavery which followed.

A good place to start is Praça Mauá, a o

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7 Ecotourism Stars of Honduras


Though Costa Rica is Central America´s (and perhaps all of Latin America´s) premier star when it comes to ecotourism, there´s also an undersung but incredibly rich trove of eco treasures to be explored next door in Honduras, with lush rainforests and stunning coastlines, among other things. On the marine side – exploring the richness of the world´s second largest coral reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the islands of Roatán and Utila are better known. But here are a few mo

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Nifty (and Gnarly) Puerto Escondido, Mexico


Esconced on the lower Pacific ¨Emerald Coast¨ in the state of Oaxaca, the town of Puerto Escondido (which means ¨hidden port¨) was up until the 1960s barely a pinprick on the map, with dirt streets and just a handful of residents mostly devoted to fishing. Then in 1960 a coastal road reached the village, making it accessible to the outside world, and a village hall was built. Most consequentially for tourism, it was during that decade that surfers (pioneered by a group of Venezuelans

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Reluctantly, we left Tortuguero, and, once more, cruised down the river to meet the coach that was to take us up into the hills to La Fortuna. On the way, at one place, we came across a level crossing sign. I thought Costa Rica had no railways? But here was a narrow gauge track, which didn't seem to have been used for some considerable time. Indeed, at one point, a bridge had disappeared completely, but the track remained. I found later that the railway had been used in former times to transp

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The "Isle of Enchantment" offers an amazingly diverse menu of options to visitors, in capital San Juan and well beyond - history and culture, for sure, but also tasty eating, drinking, and beaching, along with memorable partying and much much more. But one side of Puerto Rico you should definitely not miss is its wealth of eco opportunities, from glowing "bioluminescent" bays to spectacular waterfalls, and most especially a large swath about an hour's drive from San Juan:

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On Colombia´s Caribbean coast near better known Cartagena, Barranquilla is famous for its gorgeous inhabitants, Caribbean culture, and vibrant Carnaval celebrations. Even if you're here to celebrate the festivities the nightlife in Barranquilla is well-known for its traditional salsa dancing and late-night events.

The beach is open all year long for a day of surfing or just relaxing in the numerous bars as well as beach bars. The fourth-largest city in Colombia is a thriving port along the Carib

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It is impossible to go to Tulum without visiting the Mayan ruin, but you should take the morning tour to make your time for sunbathing or taking a dip in the clear blue waters at Playa Paraiso. You can also try snorkeling in one of the many cenotes (or subterranean swimming pools) or take a boat ride along to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

You can easily book your cheap flights to Tulum with the Lowest Flight fares and enjoy a trip.

Playa Paraiso

A little to the south of the Tulum ruin, the v

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What might be the most surprising thing to travelers concerning Havana is how well-rounded the city is. The art lovers will be delighted by the extensive collection of Cuban artwork on in the Museum of Fine Arts. People who love history will likely be in awe of the artifacts displayed at the Museo de la Revolucion while readers will be giddy when they see Finca Vigia, Hemingway's former residence. To really experience Havana's charm, take a stroll through the lively streets (streets) that make u

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12130786258?profile=RESIZE_930xMatthew Paulsen

Beginning in the 1990s, this small Central American country essentially pioneered the ecotourism boom that has spread across the globe. Besides its vaunted Pacific and Caribbean beaches, packed into just 19,730 square miles -  a good bit smaller than West Virginia and a bit over twice the size of Wales - Costa Rica boasts 29 national parks, 19 wildlife refuges, eight biological reserves, and an additional slew of protected areas. And here are a dozen of its most prized eco oppo

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In the beginning of the 1990s, Tulum was a sleepy town located on Mexico's Riviera Maya. It was a day journey from a hotel located in Playa del Carmen or Cancun to visit the ruins and wander around the town. At the end in the second half of 20th century Tulum was on its journey to becoming a major destination. It was first a hot spot for hippies who wanted Yoga and retreats for meditation, later for famous people, and finally for developers. International investors, hoteliers restaurants of Mexi

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In Cuba, Go West, to Pinar del Río & Viñales


marcin jucha

For visitors to Havana, one of the most popular day and overnights trips besides colonial wonder Trinidad is a visit to the far west of Cuba, the mostly rural province of Pinar del Río (whose locals, by the way, have over the years endured much teasing by other Cubans as guajiros – "country-bumpkin" peasants – though at least these days inaccurately, as far as I’ve been able to tell).  It’s home to not only the eponymous city – which makes for a charming visit in its own right – b

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Tortuguero, Costa Rica's Watery Eco-Enclave

We were up at silly o' clock in our hotel in San Jose, for our trip to Tortuguero. We just had time for a coffee and some pastries for breakfast, but were promised a much more substantial second breakfast en route. At Guapiles, we stopped for our first substantial meal in Costa Rica; scrambled eggs, corn hearts and fried plantain. Unusual, but very tasty. This was followed by a short walk through the woodland behind the restaurant.


The Laguna Lodge, where we were staying, can only be reached by

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Santiago is a pleasurable blend of old European influences and an ultramodern, Bohemian life. While in the history it has not attracted as numerous excursionists as other South American centrals, Santiago is snappily rising as a little-given jewel. It's a megacity where Belle Époque armature shares pavements with glass towers and premises full of win trees. While over 40 of the population of Chile live in Santiago, the megacity maintains a relaxed pace, with its moping lunches at out-of-door caf

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The Basics Of Guayaquil, Ecuador

It's a great idea to make the trip to Guayaquil with an array of activities, regardless of how big or small your group. We're not going to advise the places and attractions you go to while in Guayaquil, however, we could provide some suggestions regarding what there is to do in the city. Similar to many other towns, Guayaquil has both good and bad spots to go to and, if this is your first time to Guayaquil or if you've visited previously, you must take advantage of your visit. It's a good idea t

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South America's Iconic Vicuñas


Visitors to part of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru (where it's the national animal and is even on the country's coat of arms) may come across this quintessential South American mammal, a camelid related to guanacos, llamas, and alpacas (which are descended from vicuñas) The smallest of the camelids, vicuñas stand about three feet tall at the shoulder; weigh between 70 and 150 pounds; and have long necks and legs as well as relatively small heads with long pointed ears.


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5 Highlights of the Holidays in Puerto Rico



There may be no snow - and precious little ice skating or hot cocoa - on this lush, tropical Caribbean island, but there’s certainly holiday cheer, and lots of it, for a good long time – in fact, Puerto Rico takes pride in having the world’s lengthiest season of Navidad (Christmas), around 45 days or so, beginning right after Thanksgiving (meaning the third Friday in November) and lasting through mid-January. Along the way are various festivities, activities, and highlights not to mis

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