Travel to South America
Travel to South America. Let´s first establish the actual numbers of countries in Soth America. We have separate in-depth introductions in individual posts.
What are the 17 countries in South America?
The countries included are:
Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.
South America is the highest, driest, largest, deepest, and least explored continent on the planet. From Caracas to Tierra del Fuego, there are plenty of superlatives to choose from, ensuring that every traveler finds something to their liking.
The well-preserved Pantanal in Brazil will appeal to environmentalists, while shoppers can choose between expensive boutiques in big cities like Rio de Janeiro and colorful marketplaces in Andean communities. You can see hidden towns of old civilizations, take in breathtaking landscapes practically wherever you go, or indulge your taste buds in delicious cuisine.
When to travel to South America?
Because of its huge area and wide range of altitudes, there is no single optimal time to explore South America. June, for example, brings temperate, dry weather to the Galapagos Islands and a scorching 30°C to the Amazon, but snow and ice will close down much of southern Patagonia, which is best explored between November and February. Steep contour shifts can imply warm temperatures on Chile’s coast but a chilly 5,000 m just 100 kilometers away. In many regions, September/October provides a decent balance, with generally pleasant spring temperatures and dry weather. However, investigate specific places – even within the same country – to assist you adjust nature’s thermostat to your liking when on vacation.
• The climate becomes more seasonal as you travel south, with scorching summers and chilly winters in the latitudes around Buenos Aires and Santiago. Consider more Scandinavian weather conditions as you move south: cooler summers, frequent storms, and thick snow in the winter.
• Keep in mind that the seasons in the southern hemisphere are reversed, with summer lasting roughly from November to February and winter lasting from June to August.
• Because of its proximity to the equator, Peru is a year-round destination. If you go between January and March, however, you’ll be right in the heart of the rainy season. During the month of February, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance.
• Summer temperatures can be found in northern Argentina and Chile, as well as southern Brazil, from November through March and April, with coastal cities and beaches attracting the most visitors.
• Patagonia is at its warmest and most accessible during this time of year, especially in the deep south, which is cut off during the brutal winters. From June to September, many businesses in this area will close their doors.
• South America is known for its Easter celebrations, so keep that in mind if you’re traveling or looking for a place to stay without making a reservation.
• July and August are popular vacation months for those intending to hike the Inca Trail or visit the Galapagos Islands; if you’re looking for Machu Pichu or going animal viewing, book at least six months in advance. Permits are usually awarded in February, but it’s never too early to be on the list.
• The months of October and November are sometimes regarded as the ideal times to visit South America since various countries experience springlike weather, with a plethora of wild flowers and young animals blooming as temperatures increase.
• Popular beach places get busier in December, while natural areas such as the Pantanal and the Amazon experience the worst of the rain. Check to see if the location you’re going to visit is accessible during this time; some parts are closed off, while others can be toured by boat – a magical rainforest experience. These are our first picks:
CARTAGENA ISLAND, COLUMBIA
Cartagena is a major city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. In 1533, the Spanish founded it and named it after Cartagena, Spain. During Spain’s dominance in South America, the city served as the political and economic hub.
Cartagena is a modern city today, but it still has a walled historic center and a fortress that was once the largest fortification in South America. Cartagena has a vibrant cultural scene, with year-round festivals, museums, and art galleries.
Cartagena, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is swiftly becoming a must-see destination, particularly for Americans and Canadians who can now take advantage of new, more convenient flight routes.
Colombia, which was once linked with gangs and drugs, is now known as a major tourism destination. According to data from the official national tourism board, tourism has more than quadrupled from 1 million foreign visitors per year in 2006 to 3.1 million in 2018.
While Cartagena isn’t the capital (that honor goes to Bogota) or the name of a Madonna song (hello, Medellin), its mix of beachy charm and urban vitality makes it a fun and fascinating place to visit. The city center and walls are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so you’ll get your fill of history as well as sunshine.
The fundamentals of visiting Cartegna
Cartagena, like many other Latin American cities, is named after a Spanish metropolis. As a result, Cartagena, Colombia is frequently referred to as “Cartagena de Indias,” or “Cartagena of the Indies.” Cartageneros are the locals (or Cartageneras in the feminine plural).
Cartagena’s historic core is enclosed by the old city walls, which were constructed by the Spanish during the 16th and 18th centuries. It’s known as the Ciudad Amurallada, or Walled City, and it’s where you’ll find the majority of hotels and restaurants, as well as being extremely walkable.
It’s better to stay here if you only have a few days. If you’re planning a longer trip, spend the first few days getting your bearings in the walled city before venturing out.
Because it is located above the main Old City Gate, the famous Clock Tower is frequently used to demarcate the walled city’s boundary. Once you get south of here, you’ll find yourself in Getseman, a vibrant working-class neighborhood.
Getseman is the place to go if you want to see street art, eat at a lower price, and be part of a thriving community.
Boca Grande is a narrow peninsula of land southeast of the walled city. Many of the premium hotels and all-inclusive resorts are located there.
The high points of Cartegna
Many of Cartagena’s most popular sights are within walking distance of one another.
Many of Cartagena’s most iconic buildings are brilliant yellow, as you’ll see if you look at postcards of the city. One of them is the Clock Tower.
The Clock Tower’s strong skyline presence makes it a simple tool to navigate by, in addition to being a fantastic example of where to observe the old city walls.
Cartagena, Colombia, Calle de los dulces
A traditional Portal de las Dulces booth with coconut and dulce de leche on offer.
El Portal de los Dulces, or Sweets Street, is a narrow street across from the Tower.
Vendors set up carts offering local favorites like coconut and panela (brown sugar) biscuits, guava jellies, and dulce de leche shaped like coins, hearts, or babies, with wooden signs with their names affixed above their booths.
Most of these come pre-wrapped, making them simple and enjoyable mementos or gifts for family and friends back home, and you can typically sample them.
Architecture and art in Cartegna
Even if you are unable to attend a performance, the lovely pastel Teatro Adolfo Mejia is usually available for exploration.
This beautiful structure, which was built on the ruins of a cathedral, today serves as a shrine to the arts; inside, search for a massive painting of the nine muses painted on the ceiling by Colombian artist Enrique Grau.
Nearby, you may visit the former home of the late Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, possibly Cartagena’s most renowned son.
Marquez’s famous work “Love in the Time of Cholera” is set in a lightly fictionalized Cartagena, and his former home has a Marquez phrase painted on the side.
You can’t go inside because it’s still a private residence. The painting can be found on the side of a building on Calle 7, near to Hotel Makondo (named after the town in which Marquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is located).
Churches make up a large portion of Cartagena’s most attractive structures. The church of San Pedro Claver is one of the most remarkable, with a stunning stone front.
It was renamed after Pedro (Peter) Claver, who was canonized in 1888, after a church built by Spanish Jesuits in the 1600s. Claver was well-known for providing medical care and food to enslaved Africans who had been taken to Colombia as slaves.
He is currently the patron saint of both Colombia and enslaved people, with a museum dedicated to his life and works at the local church.
Cartagena’s Modern Art Museum is just around the street from the church. This two-story museum, which concentrates on work by Colombian and Latin American artists and offers information in both Spanish and English, is small but well organized.
Food and beverages
Despite its modest size, the walled city is densely filled with everything from street cuisine to scenery high-end restaurants, with lines stretching for half an hour.
Many local favorites, such as arepas with huevo (egg, ground beef, and cheese-filled inside a maize arepa), are fried, which may not be the best option on a hot day.
Another option: Cartagena’s proximity to the sea, mixed with Colombia’s Peruvian influence, means there’s a lot of delicious ceviches.
While La Cevicheria has justifiably received a lot of attention (particularly from CNN Travel), it is notorious for long lines and high prices. If you don’t want to wait in line, go to Cebiches & Seviches, which is next to Portal de los Dulces through a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it door.
There, corvina (sea bass) prepared simply but elegantly with fresh avocado and toasted corn is a must-try. The traditional tleche de tigre, made with lime juice, fish stock, and cilantro, is also excellent.
Colombia also has a plethora of tropical fruits, some of which are difficult to come by outside of the country.
Popsicles made with lulo (a citrus fruit), maracuyá (a tart variety of passionfruit), or corozo are available at small, adorable La Palettera (a reddish berry similar to a cranberry, but sweeter). If you prefer a more traditional ice cream flavor, such as vanilla or chocolate, there are also more traditional ice cream flavors available.
Attractions in Cartegna, Colombia
The ‘Lost City’ of Colombia is older than Machu Picchu, and few people go there. We miss out so much by not visiting.
There’s no better spot to spend a day if you’re tired of wandering than Abaco, a bookstore and coffee shop where paperbacks are heaped to the roof. There’s table service, a robust coffee selection (after all, this is Colombia), and free Wi-Fi, making it the ideal spot to charge your phone and relax.
The nightlife in Cartagena is legendary. Request an outside seat at El Baron, which is located across the square from San Pedro Claver, for small tapas and amazing rum-based cocktails.
At The Beer Lovers, you may sample some of Colombia’s tiny but growing craft beer offerings; seek for companies like 3 Cordilleras, Bogotá Beer Company, and Chelarte (whose brews are named after women like Raquel and Zenaida).
KGB Bar, which is adorned with Soviet-era medals, cosmonaut outfits, and other memorabilia, is worth a visit just for the kitsch aspect. If you ask gently, they will allow you drink while wearing a Russian military cap.
Travel to South America: An absolute must-visit. Machu Picchu in Peru
The ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, sprawling on a craggy, 7,000-foot-high hilltop in the Andes, wilder and captivate travelers and historians alike. A visit to the isolated Peruvian site is a must-do for tourists in Peru, and while some people take scheduled excursions before leaving, many others visit the site on their own.
Where Should You Stay near or in Machu Picchu?
The only method to get to the Machu Picchu ruins is via bus from the town of Aguas Calientes, unless you plan on hiking the Inca Trail (often referred to simply as Machu Picchu). Built with the sole aim of ferrying tourists up to Macchu Picchu, this little hub is extremely uninspiring, yet it is the most convenient site to base yourself when seeing the ruins.
It is also possible to go by train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and explore the ruins in one day, though this alternative may leave some tourists feeling rushed.
Staying at Aguas Calientes allows you to take your time seeing the ruins rather than having to rush back to catch a train.
Regardless of where you stay, each of the three towns serves as a prominent tourist hub for visitors visiting Machu Picchu. In each town, travelers will discover a choice of lodging options, ranging from inexpensive hostels to luxury hotels.
Go down the Inca trail in Machu Picchu
If you’re feeling fit and up for the challenge, the 4-day/3-night Inca Trail trek to the ruins is by far the most compelling way to see Machu Picchu and its surrounding ruins. It is, without a doubt, the most challenging method of visiting the site. It is not permitted to travel the Inca Trail on your own; instead, you must join a sanctioned group or tour organization instead. These programs sell out months in advance, so make your reservations for your hiking vacation in Peru well in advance of your trip.
Rail travel from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is the most convenient option for those who want a less physically demanding route to the archaeological site.
Perurail, Inca Rail, and the Machu Picchu Railway are the three train companies that offer journeys to Aguas Calientes. Perurail, Inca Rail, and the Machu Picchu Railway are the three train companies that offer journeys to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu). Those provided by Perurail, which offers three kinds of service: backpacker, affluent Vistadome, and ultra-luxurious Hiram Bingham, are the most popular options.
Once you arrive at Aguas Calientes, buses with special permits will take you to the ruins on a regular basis (every 15 to 20 minutes). The train station is only a 5-minute walk away from the bus stop on this route.
Machu Picchu tours
The ruins are fascinating, and while it is feasible to see them on your own, taking a tour of the site will provide you with a far more rewarding experience. Alternatively, you can arrange a private tour for your party through one of the many tour companies in Cusco or Ollantaytambo, or have your hotel arrange a private tour for your group.
Once you get to the ruins, you can organize a group or private tour with one of the guides who are stationed outside the entrance of Machu Picchu. If you choose to do so, speak with a few of the guides to get a sense of their level of site knowledge and English fluency before proceeding. It’s also worth noting that it’s standard practice to haggle with these tour guides in order to obtain a decent fee, which is often around $50 USD for a 2-hour tour.
Take note that many aspects of Machu Picchu’s history and function continue to confound historians; reputable guides will make this clear rather than trying to sell you conclusive (and probably erroneous) knowledge.
Machu Picchu tickets .
The admission to the ruins site is restricted and requires a ticket purchase. Purchase your tickets as soon as possible because the location only accepts a limited number of visitors each day, and they tend to sell out during peak season when demand is high.
Attractions and Things to Do in Machu Picchu
When exploring the vast ruins, it is recommended to do so with a guide so that you can see and learn about some of the site’s most notable features such as the Sun Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Temple of the Condor, Sun Gate, and Intihuatana rock.
There are many visitors who want to hike Huayna Picchu, the mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu and is commonly depicted in photographs of the ruins.
When Should You go to Machu Picchu?
Rainy and foggy conditions prevail in Machu Picchu on a regular basis. Early May marks the beginning of the peak season, which lasts until late August, with the driest months being July and August. January and February are the wettest months of the year in this subtropical region. Regardless of the season, you can expect a few light showers throughout your vacation.
Traveling via day trip from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to the ruins may be an unpleasant experience, especially during the height of summer tourism season. This excursion is quite popular between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when it swarms the ruins. Because of the location, you’ll have the opportunity to arrive well ahead of the crowds and stay well after they’ve dispersed, giving you plenty of undisturbed time to explore the ruins on your own. Things to Do in Machu Picchu’s Surrounding Area
A plethora of remarkable ruins, tiny settlements, and sites may be found in the Sacred Valley surrounding Machu Picchu. Plan a day trip to the Sacred Valley from Cusco or Ollantaytambo that includes visits at the Pisac traditional market and Pisac ruins, Ollantaytambo hamlet and Inca ruins, Moray ruins, and the Salineras salt mines.
Travel to South America: Salvador, Brazil
Salvador da Bahia, often known as Salvador, is a city in Brazil that has a lot going for it. It is one of the earliest colonial cities in the Americas, having been built by the Portuguese in 1548. Pelourinho, the historic center called after the whipping post where slaves were thrashed, is a good place to start.
The earliest slave port in the Americas was in Brazil’s third largest city, and vestiges of this African ancestry may still be observed in the local culture, particularly in the cuisine. Salvador is also a party town, as it hosts the world’s largest party, the yearly Carnival festival.
The former capital of Brazil is known for its African-inspired food, music, and architecture. Salvador, dubbed “the Capital of Joy” for its week-long Carnaval celebrations, brims with contemporary music and art set against architecture that has remained unchanged since the 17th century.
See the peninsula off Brazil’s northeast coast
Salvador is situated on a peninsula off Brazil’s northeast coast that protects the huge Baa de Todos os Santos (“All Saints Bay”) from the Atlantic Ocean. The metropolis, which stretches over dozens of kilometers inland from the ocean, is Brazil’s third largest. The majority of visitors flock to the coastal communities that cluster around the point where the bay meets the ocean. Salvador, Brazil, has a tropical climate with lush vegetation and jungles.
A 100-meter cliff spans the length of the bayshore, dividing the city into two sections: Cidade Alta, up on the cliff, and Cidade Baixa, down by the water. Pelourinho, the old city center, is a convenient, albeit tourist-heavy, collection of winding cobblestone alleyways that houses historical buildings, colonial architecture, museums, restaurants, pubs, hostels, artisanal stores, and music/dance/capoeira academies. The latter has a commercial district with a lot of bus traffic from all across Salvador.
Outside of this area, there are numerous beach districts that span along the Atlantic coast from the tip of the peninsula to the northeast. The Barra area, on the peninsula’s tip, is the main alternative to Pelourinho, while the chic communities of Rio Vermelho and Amaralina, a little further northeast, provide a nightlife that is less targeted toward international tourists. The neighborhood of Itapu, which has an active beachside nightlife and few foreign visitors, is a short bus trip beyond these. From there, there are miles and miles of beautiful beaches, all of which are accessible by bus.
Beyond Pelourinho, the bayshore shoreline has a more calm mood and a locally frequented, though less picturesque, beach scene. The “new city” has grown in the interior of Salvador, with residential areas, shopping megaplexes, and congested motorways, all of which can be extremely alienating if you don’t have a friend to show you around.
Tourists like the unusual dancing and music skills of the locals. Residents are also known for being among the world’s kindest people. The majority of locals greet visitors with open arms and welcoming smiles.
Even by Brazilian standards, the residents of Salvador, like those of the state of Bahia, have a reputation for being laid-back, easygoing, and fun-loving. On the other side, this can be seen as laziness and disdain for effort; as a result, Salvadoreans have a reputation that is diametrically opposed to those from So Paulo. The behavior of pedestrians and drivers in traffic appears to contradict this reputation, thus it’s debatable whether it’s accurate. Regardless, few soteropolitanos seem to care about their reputation, even the negative aspects of it, and some even mock their own alleged laziness. In addition, most Brazilians feel that soteropolitanos are generally kind and warm.
• The two huge squares of Praça da Sé and Terreiro de Jesus, which are joined at the corner by the cathedral, are in the heart of the Cidade Alta. The latter is the busiest portion of town, with food carts and stalls open during the day and revelers in the evening. The sleek, L-shaped Praça da Sé contains cool fountains and fenced-off remnants of its namesake church’s foundations. The 1874 funicular railway Plano Inclinado Gonçalves, located at the far end of the plaza, used to transport 30-passenger cars between Cidade Alta and Cidade Baixa on terrifyingly high slopes; it has been out of service since 2011, however proposals to revive it are in the works. The Terreiro de Jesus is a historic place of religious celebrations, ringed by four churches and the XIX century Faculdade de Medicina Building. It is a colorful junction of sellers, visitors, capoeiristas, and colorful inhabitants. The plaza feeds into the Cruzeiro de So Francisco, which is named after the cross that stands in the center of the square.
• Praça Tomé de Souza, Praça Municipal (City Square). It was once the political capital of colonial Brazil, but now it’s a bustling spot for people-watching and panoramic views of the bay. Note the majestic Palácio Rio Branco, which overlooks the square and was renovated in 1919; the old 1549 structure housed the offices of Tomé de Souza, Brazil’s first governor general.
• The Largo do Pelourinho, a small triangular plaza, is one of the city’s oldest areas. You can anticipate what happened there based on its name, which means “plaza of the pillory.”
• Mercado Modelo — Located in the lower town, the city’s primary market is a popular spot to buy crafts and other gifts. Young men frequently perform capoeira, a well-known martial arts dance that originated in the area, in the adjacent square.
• The best site to observe the sunset in Salvador is at Solar do Unho. It is a traditional house in the Baa of Todos os Santos. A modest museum (Museu de Arte Moderna) containing local art works is located inside. There is a jazz concert every now and then on Saturday evening.
• Largo do Farol da Barra – Barra BA, Brasil, +55 71 3264-3296, . is Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra ((Farol da Barra for the lighthouse)). is Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra ((Farol da Barra for the lighthouse)). is Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra ((Farol da Barra for the light The oldest fort in Bahia was built in 1698. The fort has a great nautical museum with antiques and displays from the days of Portuguese navigation, in addition to stunning vistas. As you watch the sun set from the grassy ledge behind the fort or the museum’s lovely terrace café, keep in mind that Salvador’s peninsula is the only place in Brazil where the sun appears to set over the sea. edit
• Elevador Lacerda, Rua da Conceiço da Praia, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil, +55 71 3103-3103 (near the Comércio). 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with longer hours on weekends and during Carnaval. The Elevador Lacerda, a wonderfully preserved art deco elevator, connects the Cidade Alta and Comércio by four elevators that travel 72 meters in roughly 30 seconds. The first manual rope-and-pulley elevator was built by the Jesuits in 1610 to move goods and passengers from the harbor to the village. An iron building with clanking steam elevators was built in 1868, and in 1928, it was replaced with an electric system. The majestic arches of the Câmara Municipal, the XVII century city hall that hosts cultural exhibitions on occasion, face the elevator. edit for R$0.15.
Sites of worship
The Convento de Igreja de S. Francisco (see the 360o Virtual Tour at the following link), , is one of Brazil’s most prominent colonial monuments. The current church was constructed between 1708 and 1723, although the inside was adorned by a number of painters during the course of the nineteenth century. By 1755, the church and convent had received the majority of their decoration. Inside, golden sculpted gilt woodwork and paintings cover all surfaces, including walls, pillars, vaults, and ceilings. The church’s décor is regarded as one of the most comprehensive and striking examples of Portuguese-Brazilian Baroque gilt woodwork art (talha dourada), and is a magnificent example of the “golden church” (igreja dourada). edit
Igreja do Nosso Senhor do Bonfim — This modest church in a northern neighborhood is one of Brazil’s most famous pilgrimage locations. Bonfim’s colorful votive ribbons, known as fitas, are widely recognized across Brazil and beyond. Outside the church, children will wrap them around your wrist for a little price and instruct you to make a wish for each one. The desire will come true if the ribbon falls out naturally; if you cut it off before then, it will not. Bonfim is roughly a 15-minute city bus ride away.
Rua So Francisco, Salvador, Igreja do Ordem Terceira de Sao Francisco (St. Francis’ Third Order Church). 8am-5pm. It is a Catholic church that has been nominated as one of Brazil’s Seven Wonders. The facade was covered in masonry in the late eighteenth century, and it wasn’t until the early twentieth century, when it was being used in the electric system, that the underlying décor was revealed. It wasn’t discovered until a workman installing wiring in the 1930s happened onto the gorgeous, baroque sandstone exterior by chance (the only one of its kind in Brazil). Gabriel Ribeiro was the architect who created the church. Franco Velasco painted the paintings on the ceiling in 1831.
Parks and Beaches like Abaeté Park
Abaeté Park is a protected state park that surrounds the same-named lake. The dramatic contrast between the dark water and the very white sand dunes makes the lake noteworthy. There is a vibrant entertainment district with numerous bars and live music.
Salvador, Bahia (between Avenida Oceânica and Avenida Sete de Setembro), Praia Porto da Barra (Porto da Barra beach). The beach at Praia Porto da Barra is similar to the Pelourinho in that it is small, attractive, generally crowded, and packed with merchants selling everything imaginable, with around half of the visitors being foreigners. The bay’s waters are pristine and quiet, and the people-watching opportunities are endless. Praia do Farol da Barra, to the left of the lighthouse, features a popular surf spot. Barra’s waterfront is packed with clubs and restaurants and is beautifully illuminated at night, however it can feel a little seedy after a while.
Carnival in Salvador, A good reason to travel to South America
Salvador’s carnaval is one of the city’s most renowned tourist attractions. Brazil and tourists flock to Salvador for the world’s largest Carnival, which lasts one week and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest. This year’s celebration will take place from February 22nd to March 1st, 2017, and it will include parades, live music, dancers, and vendors, among other activities. Three circuits serve as the main parade route: one in Pelourinho’s historic center (with mostly traditional groups in costumes), one on Campo Grande, where the majority of bands play samba, and, in recent years, the most popular one in Barra / Ondina, where modern Brazilian Axé music blends with percussion and all kinds of rhythms and styles, and the bands parade between “Camarote” boxes on one side of the street and the beach on the other. With the purchase of a “abadá” shirt, you can either see the procession from the camarote boxes or become a part of a group that accompanies one of the bands throughout the parade. If you are planning a vacation in Salvador, Brazil during Carnival, you can anticipate to have a great time.
Pay a visit to the beach in Salvador
For many people, visiting a Salvador beach is the highlight of their journey to the country. Porto de Barra is a popular beach located in the heart of Salvador’s downtown area. It was the site of the earliest European settlement in Bahia, which dates back to the 1500s. On weekends, the place can get quite crowded. The majority of Salvador’s beaches with good water quality are centered in the country’s northeastern region. Flamengo and Stella Maris are the most popular beaches in the area among tourists and upper-class residents. These islands have a wonderful tourism infrastructure in addition to having tumultuous waves that are perfect for surfing. Jaguaribe, Piat, and Itapo are popular with locals because of their calmer seas, however they can get quite busy on weekends because of this. They’re a fantastic alternative if you want to mix with the locals, but don’t bring anything with you other than your clothes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and cash, as muggings are rampant in this part of the country.
The other beaches in Salvador are not ideal for swimming, but they are still suitable for other activities such as strolling, cycling, and photographing the scenery. Walking around Farol da Barra is challenging due to the rocks, which make it impossible to enjoy the view (particularly at sunset). “Farol” is a Spanish term that meaning “lighthouse,” and this beach is notable for having a lighthouse as well as being popular with surfers. Plakaford, which is a short distance away, is a safer alternative. Families and children will appreciate the calm waves and fine sand beaches that are available here. Tinhare and Boipeba are two of the many beautiful beaches that can be found in the city’s southern region.
The cuisine of Bahia
The cuisine of Bahia is widely considered as being among the best in the country. The majority of restaurants in Bahia concentrate in South American cuisine, however there are a few that cater to those who like different cuisines. Among the many seafood meals available at the restaurant Maria Mato Mouro in Pelourinho, located at Rua 3A Ordem de Sao Francisco, are a wide range of cuisines from around the world, the bulk of which are from South America. One of the most popular dishes is the grilled bahia fish badejo, which is a type of grilled bahia fish. This restaurant is open everyday from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. and provides main meals ranging in price from $15 to $25. It is located on the first floor of the building. Visiting the Terreiro de Jesus is a great opportunity to sample local cuisine from street booths, where Afro-Brazilian baianas dressed in traditional white dresses will gladly serve you. The Abara is a meal that should not be missed. This is a bean paste, dende oil, and onion wrap that is fried in a banana leaf with seasonings and served with rice. Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, and Pizza Hut are just a few of the many fast-food options available if you favor western cuisine. Additionally, casual eating facilities such as Outback Steakhouse are located in the area.
Acarajé, which are small fritters prepared from black-eyed peas and onions that are fried in palm oil and slathered in spicy vatapá, is a must-try dish (shrimp paste). Baianas is a vendor who sells these on the street.
Hotels in Salvador
While on vacation in Salvador, Brazil, tourists can choose from a selection of hotels to accommodate their needs. Some of the hotels are high-end establishments with prime seaside positions. For those on a strict budget, there are also discount hotels in Salvador to choose from.. Some low-cost hotels may not offer all of the amenities that high-end hotels provide. This is especially true for budget hotels. There are several more hostels in Pelourinho that are moderately priced but can get rather rowdy at night.
Take precautions to keep yourself safe.
In Salvador, street violence is well-known, and tourists who wander aimlessly through the streets have a significantly higher danger of being mugged or robbed than they do in So Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, respectively. The fact that tourism is so important to Salvador’s economy means that the city’s most notable tourist monuments, such as Pelourinho and Mercado Modelo, as well as major popular festivals such as the Carnival, are usually closely guarded by the authorities.
If you’re going to be walking, riding, or using the bus, it’s preferable to go during the daytime. Bring only what you need to enjoy your day, and leave anything valuable at home. It is safest to visit Flamengo and Stella Maris beaches during the day, and they are ideal if you simply want to relax on a beautiful beach without being exposed to much of the local culture. In other locations, make an effort to remain in areas where law enforcement officers are present.
• Use caution when dealing with anyone who approaches you in a friendly manner and asks for money or tries to sell you something, regardless of their intentions.
• It is advisable to take a cab out at night rather than driving yourself. Stay in areas that aren’t overly crowded to avoid feeling rushed. In the absence of any other tourists in the vicinity of where you are, you should use extra caution.
When there are a large number of foreigners in a certain region, such as the Barra harbour area, it might become dangerous, especially at night. Go to the beach early in the morning or late in the evening!
• Even during the day, it is recommended to avoid the long, sloping route heading from the old town to the harbor.
In the Barra district, especially at night, be cautious of the favela near Shopping Barra if you are staying in the popular tourist destination. Additionally, the area immediately to the east of the beach might be hazardous.
• Keep an eye out for oncoming vehicles. Even when crossing the street at a pedestrian crosswalk with the traffic light for cars turned red, crossing the street is always a dangerous proposition. For example, one member of the Supergrass band once stated that “in Brazil, green means go, and red means go faster!” ONLY commence the crossing once all vehicles have come to a complete stop on both sides of the road.
Never ever take a taxi with someone you don’t know, especially if they approach you and offer to take you somewhere. Most likely, it’s a hoax to rob you blind!
On Tuesdays, especially at the Geronimo Concert at the ancient church, children in Pelourinho are on the hunt for any cargo pants with low pockets that they can find.
Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina
It is appropriately named Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, as it is home to over 40 glaciers, with ice covering about a third of the park’s 7,200km2 surface area. This glacier, the most famous of Los Glaciares’ frozen residents, and one of the few glaciers on the planet that isn’t melting, culminates in a 60-meter-high wall of turquoise ice that is best explored from the sea. Then there’s the Fitz Roy Massif and Cerro Torre, which, with their shard-like pinnacles, dominate the broad Patagonian skyline at El Chaltén and dominate the surrounding area. For a glimpse of some of Patagonia’s most breathtaking landscapes, don your hiking boots, crampons, or simply board a boat.
The sheer size of the park’s glaciers, mountains, and sweeping vistas will take your breath away, no matter how active or relaxing your trip in this section of Patagonia is planned to be. If you are an active person, your days will be filled with challenging but gorgeous full-day treks through some of Patagonia’s most breathtaking scenery. If you are not an active person, your days will be filled with relaxing afternoons at the hotel.
If you’re traveling with a small group, these excursions may be led, or you may be given free time to explore on your own. Because the trails encircling Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, for example, are clearly designated and regularly utilized, it is an easy alternative to hiring a guide – and there is plenty of space to accommodate all types of eager trekkers. Ice climbing, ice hiking, and even kayaking are all possible around the region’s most accessible glaciers, such as the Perito Moreno Glacier at El Calafate and the Viedma Glacier near El Chaltén.
Los Glaciares National Park can be explored at a more leisurely pace if that is what you choose. Take, for example, a two-hour trek from El Chaltén to some of the most stunning vistas of the Fitz Roy Massif, which are accessible only by foot. Instead of hiking, you can ride horses with local gauchos if you don’t want to get your feet dirty.
While you can undertake ice hiking or ice climbing on the Perito Moreno Glacier with crampons, you can also take a peaceful boat trip along the glacier’s snout or have a stroll along its network of wooden viewing platforms instead. It has been maintained as naturally as possible despite the glacier’s popularity, ensuring that your views of the glacier are not obscured by souvenir shops or tourist cafes.
A handful of estancias (Argentine cattle ranches) located outside of El Calafate allow visitors to enjoy traditional gaucho life, which includes horseback riding and scrumptious asado (barbecue) feasts, among other activities. Alternatively, the Glaciarium Museum, which is located just outside of town, is a great place to brush up on your icy knowledge.
Whether you opt for a small group tour, a tailor-made holiday, or a self-drive tour of Patagonia, a specialist holiday company will be able to arrange your accommodation, activities, entry permits, and transportation for you, seamlessly connecting hikes in the Fitz Roy Massif with boat trips along the towering face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, regardless of your preferred mode of transportation.
Self-drive vacations are simple in this region of Patagonia, with El Calafate possessing a variety of reliable car rental firms as well as a small airport with excellent connections to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, and San Carlos de Bariloche, among other destinations. Roads connecting El Calafate with the Perito Moreno glacier (80 km, 1.5 to 2 hours) and El Chaltén (215 km, 3 to 4 hours) are paved and smooth as they cut through spectacular scenery. Alternatively, the same routes are serviced by Argentina’s world-class and extremely affordable bus network.
Highlights of traveling to Chil
Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Chile.
Unlike other glaciers, Perito Moreno is advancing rather than retreating, making it one of the world’s few progressive glaciers (together with two other glaciers in Patagonia). Boat trips on the Lago Argentino allow you to get up up and personal with the imposing and constantly calving 60m high wall of turquoise ice, while ice treks and ice climbing instruction are provided on the actual glacier.
Massif Fitz Roy in Chile
Two of Patagonia’s most beautiful mountain views is created by the jagged fingers of the Cerros Fitz Roy and Torre, which reach over 3,000 meters into the sky, providing one of the world’s most spectacular mountain vistas. Following a network of well-marked paths from El Chaltén, hikers can discover lonely lagoons, hanging glaciers, and breathtaking viewpoints. From challenging multi-day scrambles that need a stay at one of the Massif’s campsites to shorter round trips to a viewpoint and return that are no less stunning, there is a hike for everyone.
The town of El Calafate is nearly always included in Patagonia vacations, because to its convenient airport connections to and from Buenos Aires, its bus connections, and its proximity to the Perito Moreno glacier. This small city is inconspicuous yet delightfully charming, making it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area. Visit the Glaciarium Museum to brush up on your glacier knowledge, or stop by a local estancia for a taste of gaucho life. You can also stock up on hiking gear while here.
In El Chaltén, Argentina’s calm ‘trekking capital,’ visitors will find a laid-back atmosphere driven by delicious food and a bountiful supply of handcrafted artisan beer made in the region. This summer hiking destination is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts thanks to a variety of paths that go directly from the village into the surrounding mountains. This trip’s high point is the 26-kilometer trek to Laguna de los Tres, which provides breathtaking vistas of Mount Fitz Roy. Horseback riding with local gauchos and boat cruises on the adjoining Lago Viedma are also available as options.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE NATIONAL PARK OF LOS GLACIARES
Between December and February, Patagonia is at its hottest and sunniest, with long summer days that make for ideal trekking conditions. Given that it is peak season, reservations for lodging in El Calafate and El Chaltén, as well as any trail campsites, should be made as far in advance as possible.
It is recommended to travel during the Patagonian spring and fall seasons to avoid the busiest tourist seasons – and the most expensive costs – in winter. From mid-November to December, the weather is green and pleasant, with spring flowers in bloom, and while rain showers are more likely, they are rarely exceptionally strong in intensity. Photographers who want to capture the vibrant autumn hues and magnificent sunsets should travel between mid-March and late April, when the leaves are at their peak.
Although it is still possible to visit El Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier, and the pathways around El Chaltén during the Patagonian winter, you should dress warmly and be prepared for frigid weather. There will be a number of activities and lodgings closed during this time, and if the weather is particularly terrible, certain trails may be closed altogether.
In spite of the fact that it is summer, you will need to carry thick garments and waterproofs with you because the Patagonian wind can be brisk and the temperature can be unpredictably frigid.
Pantanal in Brazil
When it comes to getting to the Pantanal, it can be difficult – most guests arrive by plane or by boat – but once there… Brazil’s Pantanal, which spans a geographical area roughly equal to that of Washington State and is primarily located in Brazil (but also includes Bolivia and Paraguay), is the world’s largest tropical wetland.
Though less well-known than the Amazon’s sister wetlands, the Pantanal is the ideal place in South America to see species such as jaguars and capybaras, which may be found in abundance there.
With 230,000 square kilometers (89,000 square miles) of seasonally flooded land shared unequally by Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, and a diversity of tropical species unrivaled outside of Africa, the area is both pristine and biologically rich. The name Pantanal comes from the Portuguese word pântano, which literally translates as swamp or marsh. However, the region is actually a huge alluvial plain featuring rivers, lakes, grassland, forest, and savanna, as well as a variety of other natural features.
The Pantanal’s Economy
The Pantanal is sparsely populated, and the vast majority of the territory is privately owned (only 135,000 hectares/333,000 acres is designated as a national park). Cattle farming, agriculture (soybeans, rice, and corn are all grown), and, increasingly, tourism are the primary sources of income for the region’s inhabitants.
Diverse assortment of wildlife.
Because of the richness and diversity of animals that may be found there, the Pantanal is a naturalist’s paradise. Similar species can be found here as well as in the Amazon, but they are much easier to spot due to the lack of dense vegetation and, during the dry season, the abundance of birds and mammals around feeding areas such as watering holes, which makes them much more visible.
Approximately 650 bird species have been identified in the area, with the majority of them being wading birds. The 15 brightly colorful parrot species on display, including the majestic hyacinth macaw, which is 1 meter/3 feet in length and is the world’s largest parrot, are particularly alluring.
Observing the animals
With a guinea pigs blunt nose and dog-sized fur, the capybara is the largest rodent on Earth. It is also the world’s largest rodent. Capuchin and howler monkeys can regularly be seen and heard, while the majestic giant anteater, with its long, delicate snout and regal gait, emerges to feed at dusk to graze on its prey. Sightings of jaguars and pumas, two of the world’s most secretive predators, are extremely rare. Armadillos, marsh deer, and coatis are also common.
In the Pantanal, there are a variety of places to visit.
It was in the heart of Mato Grosso that a group of slave-hunters from So Paulo established the world’s first colony, Cuiabá, in 1719, after discovering shallow gold and diamond deposits. One hundred years ago, the city uncovered an untapped resource and quickly rose to prominence as a major supplier of exotic feathers to the Parisian milliners of the time. In today’s world, this affluent metropolis serves as the primary entry point into the Pantanal and as the capital of a vast logging, farming, and mining state. The cathedral church of Bom Jesus de Lapa has a small associated museum of religious objects, and the excellent Museu do Indio Marechal Rondon, which is 10 minutes by bus from the center, showcases the artifacts and way of life of the Xingu tribes. Both museums are worth seeing.
The city is aggressively preparing to host matches at the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The current stadium will be demolished and rebuilt with a stadium that can accommodate 40,000 people. A shopping complex as well as a convention center will be incorporated in the development.
Corumbá and Campo Grande, the state capital, are the two primary access points for the southern Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul. Corumbá is the largest city in the state and Campo Grande is the second largest. A cowboy town since its founding in 1889, it is currently thriving in the western United States. There is a huge natural-history collection at the Museu Dom Bosco (Rua Baro do Rio Branco 1843), as well as notable Amerindian displays, at this location.
The topography of the Serra do Bodoquena is peppered with crystal-clear rivers, waterfalls, and caverns, and the town of Bonito has emerged as the region’s natural tourism center. The town itself isn’t particularly noteworthy, but it serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding natural wonders. The majority of natural sites are located on private land and demand entry; because many are located outside of town, it is recommended that you join an organized tour to visit them (note that Bonito is a protected area, and visitor numbers are limited).
Rio da Prata is a 45-minute drive from Bonito and boasts a stretch of water that is almost completely translucent. As you glide downstream and brush against sub-aquatic plants, you get the sensation that you’re in a massive aquarium, which is exactly what you’re experiencing. If you lift your head out of the water, you will be able to see capuchin monkeys and toucans in the branches above you.
The world’s southernmost city is located on the Beagle Channel, approximately halfway between the Martial Range and the end of the planet. As a result, it is a convenient starting point for excursions to the Cerro Castor and Glaciar Martial ski resorts, as well as wildlife excursions with penguins and orcas in the Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego National Park. And of course, as the closest port to Antarctica, it’s an exceptional site for kayaking, sailing, or simply relaxing in a toasty hotel bar after a long day of exploration.
When we talk about the end of the Earth, we are talking to the city of Ushuaia in Argentina. This is the city with the distinction of being the world’s southernmost. Because to its proximity to the South Pole, it receives approximately eighteen hours of sunlight in the summer, whereas it receives just seven or eight hours in the winter. Tourists, on the other hand, are not deterred from returning to the location.
In the Yámana language, the word “Ushuaia” literally translates as “bay staring west.” It is possible to get lost in this beautiful city, which is located on the banks of the vast Beagle Channel and offers stunning vistas. The geography is dominated by forests, mountains, the sea, glaciers, and the wind, to name a few characteristics. The city is surrounded by mountains, with Mount Martial to the west and Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the east.
Because of their inventiveness, the people who live there have managed to adapt to the strange geography. The modern structures and distinctive architecture of these latitudes, in the view of all visitors, combine to produce an incredibly beautiful and colorful metropolis at these latitudes.
A gastronomic and lodging infrastructure that far exceeds all expectations may be found there as well. The motto “reach the end of the world” draws tens of thousands of international tourists to Ushuaia each year.
Wandering around the city on foot, horseback, or mountain bike, or going on sport fishing expeditions in the Beagle Channel or Lapataia Bay are all popular activities in Ushuaia. Tierra del Fuego National Park is also a popular tourist attraction. The jail at the end of the world is another popular tourist attraction.
During the winter months, tourists can enjoy skiing and dog-drawn sled excursions at Mount Castor Resort. Because of the addition of new chairlifts and a ski school, it has grown to become one of the most popular ski destinations in the country.
Everyone will find something to do in Ushuaia because it is a diverse city. Some people believe it to be the end of the world. Others consider it to be the beginning of everything.
Ushuaia Of Today
Nowadays, Ushuaia has a completely different image: being the most populated and popular city in Tierra del Fuego, it is highly reliant on its expanding tourist industry, which takes advantage of the region’s natural beauty. As a result, the city has a totally distinct image. When you arrive at this resort, you’ll quickly realize that it is the world’s most southerly resort, providing you with numerous opportunities for fame, such as golfing on the world’s most southerly course or riding the world’s most southerly train, among other things. Ushuaia has a number of attractions that are worth seeing on their own, but tourism has been permitted to grow without regard for the town’s unique character, and the town has been altered almost beyond recognition as a consequence. You can still get a sense of the otherworldliness that made Ushuaia so special at times, but if you’re looking for a frontier town in the style of Chatwin, you’ll be disappointed.
Tours and travel information about Ushuaia can be found here.
The Muelle Turistico (Tourist Information Center) is directly across the street from the visitor center.
At the airport, there is also a smaller branch that serves the general public.
Information on hiking and mountaineering activities
If you are serious about trekking or climbing, you should get in touch with the Club Andino Ushuaia, located at Leandro N. Alem 2873, which can advise you on longer expeditions outside of the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego’s more commonly frequented regions and put you in touch with qualified guides. Registration is required before beginning on any individual trek or climb, and can be done here or at the tourist office.
Canal Fun & Nature and Rumbo Sur provide a variety of tours and day excursions, including anything from kayaking and beaver spotting to horseback riding and dog sledding. Avid birders will enjoy journeys that focus on birding, animal encounters and wildlife in and around Ushuai. These trips will take you to the national park, Estancia Harberton, and other locations in the surrounding area.
Travel between late May and early September, when the weather is most consistent, if you want to brag about skiing or snowboarding at the other end of the world. The best time to go is between June and August. Some firms, such as Gotama Expediciones, offer guided back-country skiing for individuals who are more skilled, but the majority of the runs are built specifically for beginners and intermediates. Renting downhill (esqui alpino) equipment is inexpensive, and there are two downhill (esqui alpino) pistes in Ushuaia: the little Club Andino piste, which is three kilometers from town, and the bigger Glaciar Martial piste, which is seven kilometers away.
Better runs, on the other hand, may be found in the Sierra Alvear, which can be reached by the RN-3 and its resorts. Cerro Castor, a modern facility located 27 kilometers from Ushuaia, features 15 kilometers of pistes in runs, including a few black runs that are up to 2 kilometers long and a few blue runs that are up to 1.5 kilometers long. In the Sierra Alvear, cross-country skiing (also known as esqui de fondo or esqui nórdico) is also popular. Additionally, there are other winter sports facilities (centros invernales) located along the Valle Tierra Mayor, including Valle de Lobos and Nunatak, where you can try out snowmobiles, snowshoes, ice skating, and dog-sled excursions, among other activities (trineos de perros). Always remember that winter in this area of the world brings shorter days and freezing temperatures.
Cruises to Antarctica
Although Ushuaia is 1000 kilometers north of Antarctica, it is nevertheless the closest port to the white continent in the world. The majority of travelers visit the city on their way to Drake’s Passage, the treacherous section of ocean that divides it from South America; the two-day crossing is notoriously difficult.
The majesty of Antarctica’s pack ice, rocky mountains, and incredible avian and marine life will take your breath away: whales, elephant and fur seals, albatrosses, and a plethora of penguin species. Among the activities available are kayaking, hiking, Zodiac boat cruises, and diving.
From November to March, regular cruise ships depart, with most cruises lasting 8–21 days. The South Atlantic islands (Islas Malvinas/ Falklands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, Elephant Island, and the South Shetlands) are also visited on some of the longer cruises. Some ships are enormous, transporting 500 or more passengers; passengers generally report a better experience on smaller ships, and the largest ships are prohibited from landing passengers on Antarctica.
Several companies, including Quark, provide packages that include flying from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Antarctica, exploring by Zodiac boat for several days, and then flying back.
Making a cruise reservation
Cruises are pricey, however last-minute discounts (bringing trips to around US$4000/person in some situations) are sometimes available in Ushuaia, particularly on the newest ships and on the businesses’ final cruises of the season. The Antártica Oficina, located next to the tourist office in Ushuaia, gives information on current sailings and can provide advice on what each voyage entails. Otherwise, contact Antarpply, Canal Fun & Nature, Rumbo Sur, or Sim Expeditions, all of which are based in Puerto Williams. Ensure that anybody you book with is a member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), which supports safe and environmentally responsible travel in the Antarctic. . Where to stay in Ushuai Ushuaia features a diverse selection of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels, many of which are centered along the bay’s first four streets. Nonetheless, most are fully occupied during the summer, and all are pricey. The most appealing possibilities are up the mountain on the route to Glaciar Martial, west towards the national park, or on the northeastern fringes; some of them offer shuttle buses into the center.
In Ushuaia, there are a variety of restaurants to choose from.
There are lots of places to eat or have a cup of coffee in the city center, but many of them are tourist traps. If you wander around a bit, you’ll find better-quality cuisine at lower rates – and, more often than not, stunning views — Ushuaia’s cuisine is generally of good quality, and there are various restaurants where you may splurge on a memorable meal and try the local delicacy, centolla. Prices are high; budget travelers should seek self-catering.
Attractions in and around Ushuaia
Casa de Gobierno Antigua
The Muelle Turstico (Tourist Dock), which is located near the pier, is the best place to begin your exploration of Ushuaia. An obelisk commemorates the ceremony in which Augusto Lasserre asserted Argentine sovereignty over this portion of the world, which took place here.
The Antigua Casa de Gobierno, built in the late nineteenth century and originally serving as the governor’s mansion before being taken over by the local administration and then the police, is located on the other side of the street, facing the sea.
It has been meticulously restored to its original form so that you can observe how the wealthy lived during the early years of Ushuaia’s existence.
The Museo del Fin del Mundo is a museum dedicated to the end of the world.
The worthwhile Museo del Fin del Mundo, located a five-minute walk from the Antigua Casa de Gobierno, contains exhibits on the region’s history and wildlife, including the polychrome figurehead of the Duchess of Albany, an English ship wrecked on the island’s eastern end in 1883, and a rare example of a Selk’nam–Spanish dictionary.
Presidi y Museo Martimo
A comprehensive collection of exhibits is housed in the Museo Martimo y Presidio, which was formerly the city’s jail. These include magnificent scale-models of prominent ships from the island’s history in the maritime region, as well as other historical artifacts.
Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon-style jail edifice, with its wings extending out like spokes from a half-wheel, is the main attraction. The majority of its wings have been exposed to the public, making it a famous tourist attraction. The cells in wing four are decorated with horrific details of the prominent offenders who have occupied them, as well as parts of jail life and educational panels in both Spanish and English, which are available in both languages.
The most well-known prisoner was the anarchist Simón Radowitzsky, who was imprisoned in the early twentieth century and managed to escape for a brief while in 1918, as recorded by Bruce Chatwin in his book In Patagon (In Patagon, 1918).
Exhibits on Antarctica and its exploration history, as well as jails from around the world, are located upstairs in an extremely dry environment.
Wing three contains an art museum as well as a gift shop, while wing two contains an art gallery with exhibits that change on a regular basis. Finally, wing one, which has not been renovated and does not contain any exhibits, is maybe the most interesting – the unheated and bare cells with peeling walls are really scary, and provide some idea of what it must have been like to be imprisoned or employed there.
Casa Be Antigua
The Antigua Casa Bebán, located southwest of the center, is a pavilion-style building with a high roof and ornamental gabling that was prefabricated in Sweden in the 1960s. It was founded in 1913 and organizes photo and art exhibitions, as well as occasional cinema screenings, as well as the Ushuaia Jazz Festival every November. mber.
Head up to the dangling (and rapidly retreating) Glaciar Martial for a bird’s-eye perspective over the Beagle Channel. From the Cumbres del Martial hotel, which has a fantastic tearoom, a chairlift (now closed) runs. Glaciar Martial is the closest reasonable skiing to Ushuaia in the winter. During high season, canopy trips are available.
Channel of the Beagle
A cruise on the famed Beagle Channel, the gorgeous, mountain-fringed sea passage south of Ushuaia, is a must-do on every vacation to the city. The majority of boat tours begin and end in Ushuaia, and the best views of the city are from across the strait. On their way back, standard cruises stop at Isla Bridges, Isla de los Pájaros, and Isla de los Lobos, before circling around Faro Les Eclaireurs, which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Lighthouse at the End of the World (the title belongs to the lighthouse at the tip of Isla de los Estados). Look out for black-browed albatrosses, thick-set giant petrels, southern skuas, and South American terns, as well as sea lions, Peale’s dolphins, and the occasional minke whale.
TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK, COLUMBIA
When it comes to conserving the environment and its people while taking in breathtaking views, Tayrona National Park on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is a must-see.
Tayrona is a protected marine reserve that encompasses both land and sea and is the country’s second most visited national park. The plants and wildlife in this area are extremely diverse. There are 300 distinct bird species, over 100 different animals, and 70 different bat species in the wildlife.
Tayrona is probably best known for its breathtaking beaches, which are nestled in deep coves and sheltered by coconut trees. However, most beaches are not ideal for swimming due to strong currents.
Tayrona Park is a great area to view and relax. Chengue, Gayraca, Cinto, Neguanje, Concha, Guachaquita, and more lovely natural paradises offer excellent beaches with crystal clear waters. You can also partake in other activities such as long walks, diving, and archeological explorations of the ancient city of Tayrona’s inhabitants.
The Tayrona Park is great for nature enthusiasts who want to explore diverse landscapes, unwind, watch sunrise and sunsets, and take photographs.
The best part is that you may stay inside the park in a variety of hotels, eco-cabins, and other accommodations to suit your needs and budget. There are 14 ecohabs in the Caaveral region, each with architecture reminiscent of the antique indigenous town of Tayrona.
There are also additional areas, such as a camping area, that are well-equipped to provide an unforgettable experience. The Tayrona Park is a jewel of Colombian nature that you should not miss; it is a touristic location in Santa Marta, offering high-end ecotourism where you can enjoy not only the manglars beaches, but also lagoons and coral reefs.
The park has wonderful lodgings such as the Ecohabs, which are cozy cottages with a design influenced by the park’s natural surroundings and landscape. It also features a camping space in the Arrecifes district, as well as marked routes, parking, eateries, and a 120-person audience.
TAYRONA: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
In summary, it will always be busy and crowded at various locations along the trail and on the beaches (especially on weekends), but there will be times of year when it will increase significantly. Colombians adore their holidays in December and January, and staying at Tayrona for a few nights is a popular choice. Tayrona will be at its busiest, probably at capacity, during these peak season months.
The weather in Colombia varies greatly from region to region, but Tayrona is visited by locals and tourists all year, though it is certainly best enjoyed when the sun shines.
However, many of you may be aware that Tayrona Park was closed entirely between February 2018 and February 2019. This is entirely accurate, and it is a tradition that is likely to continue year after year. The main reason for this is to allow the park’s varied ecosystems, flora, and animals to relax and rejuvenate, especially after the high-season crowds of December and January have taken their toll. The four indigenous communities who have long called the park and the greater Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta home will be able to perform customary cleaning rites and celebrations. We believe this is a fantastic and vital project, and we hope it is maintained in the face of increased tourism demand in Colombia.
However, this means that you won’t be able to visit Tayrona National Park in February, and the closure has historically covered the last few days of January as well (usually from the 28th). We encountered a lot of folks on the road who were unaware of this while arranging their Colombia itinerary and were devastated to miss out on Tayrona – so plan ahead, chicos!
Tayrona Park Hours of Operation | The entry gate is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., however 4 p.m. is the final permitted access. In February, Tayrona is closed.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET TO TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK?
Arriving early at the park entrance (between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. is best) ensures that you don’t have to line for extended periods of time, that you are guaranteed admittance, that you beat the tour groups, and that you have a bed for the night (more on that later).
Another reason for Tayrona’s great appeal is its close proximity to and ease of access from Santa Marta, which is only an hour away. However, we believe that the ideal way to see Tayrona and truly appreciate it is to travel in the morning, either directly from Costeo or from one of the many neighboring lodgings.
It is also feasible to take a Tayrona tour from Santa Marta if you prefer convenience to making your own journey.
COLCA CANYON, PERU
Getting up close and personal with Peruvian countryside life, seeing soaring Andean condors, bathing in secret thermal baths, discovering jaw-dropping views, staying in a remote oasis, and hiking for two or three days through dusty roads into the depths of one of the world’s deepest canyons are all possible at Colca Canyon, also known as Caon de Colca in Spanish.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that it continues to be among the most popular activities in Peru for those seeking adrenaline.
It is significantly more difficult to arrange a walk through Peru’s Colca Canyon than it is to plan any of our other favorite hikes in the country, which is why we recommend you start early. In addition to the fact that there are at least a half-dozen different routes to choose from, each with its own duration, difficulty, and drama, the transportation from Arequipa to the various start-points is not always straightforward, the myriad of different tour types can be misleading if you are not doing it independently, and multiday hikers will have to carry (almost) everything with them on the trail And that’s before we even get to the grueling switchback-heavy ascent that awaits us on the last day.
Due to the fact that many curious tourists like you will want to include a journey out here in your Peru itinerary, we wanted to make things a little clearer and offer our personal experiences, practical ideas, and planning guidance following our own three-day, two-night Colca Canyon Trek without a guide.
Here’s what we believe you should know before visiting the Colca Canyon to ensure that you have the greatest experience possible, taking into consideration your travel style, hiking ability, and financial constraints.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE COLCA CANYON TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
The Colca Canyon is located 130 miles outside of Arequipa and is either the world’s second deepest canyon or not even Peru’s deepest canyon*, depending on who you question. It is the world’s second deepest canyon or not even Peru’s deepest canyon, depending on who you ask. However, it is quite deep (3,300 meters at one point), quite spectacular, and DEFINITELY twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in America. It is also quite deep and spectacular.
As well as being one of the best viewing locations for South America’s most iconic bird, the condor, which can frequently be seen gliding on thermal winds, it is also home to some of Peru’s most beautiful scenery (and the country boasts a plethora of such sights).
Trekking across the Colca Canyon
It may come as a surprise to those expecting complete solitude in the canyon’s depths to learn that small rural villages have thrived for generations here, and they continue to live a relatively traditional lifestyle between the parched quarry-like ridges and the pleasantly lush plots along the Rio Colca.
You’ve arrived in Peru in the ideal location if you’re looking for adventure, beautiful scenery, and something a little different from your normal routine. However, the Cotahuasi Canyon, its neighbor, is deeper and less accessible to tourists, despite the fact that it is significantly more secluded.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
The Colca Canyon can be explored in a variety of ways, the most common of which are as follows:
A one-day tour departing from Arequipa is available.
An independent trip of two days and one night, a guided trek, or a guided tour are all options.
An independent three-day, two-night excursion or a guided trek tour are both options (like this one)
Later in the post, we’ll go over each of these options, the important differences between them (hint: it’s not just about the length of the trip or the cost), and which one is best suited to your travel style and financial constraints. If you don’t want to wait, you can jump ahead to the section under “Colca Canyon Trek vs. Colca Canyon Tour.”
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE LOCATION OF THE COLCA CANYON TREK’S START POINT?
Cabanaconde, a little community situated on the canyon’s rim, is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. Based on whether you’re planning a two-day or three-day trip, there are three main starting points for the hike from here to the trailhead.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT METHOD OF GETTING TO CABANACONDE?
Whatever your level of experience, whether you’re on a guided tour or hiking alone, this is where things start to get a little more challenging. However, even though Cabanconde is the official starting point for the Colca Canyon Walk, you will need to make your preparations and begin your trek in Arequipa in order to complete the trek in one piece.
It is almost certain that you will spend some time in Arequipa before or after your trip because it is Peru’s most beautiful city and because it occurs on most itineraries for its own sake. Although it is only four hours away from Arequipa (on a good day; depending on traffic and mode of transportation, it can take as long as six hours), getting to Cabanaconde requires an early morning start and a four-hour journey (on a good day; depending on traffic and mode of transportation, it can take as long as six hours).
If you join a one- or two-day guided tour, your tour operator will arrange and cover all of your transportation to and from Arequipa; however, you will be required to depart from your hostel at 3 a.m. If you join a multi-day guided tour, your tour operator will arrange and cover all of your transportation to and from Arequipa.
Those who wish to trek the Colca Canyon without the assistance of a guide have two options: either take one of the few large but sluggish buses from Arequipa Bus Terminal, or take one of the faster and more frequent colectivos (public minivans). Both have a somewhat later start time (ranging from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.) and both pass via Chivay on their way to the coast. After reading some incorrect information online and receiving out-of-date bus schedules from the official tourism office in Arequipa, we discovered the hard way which was the best option to take. Fortunately, we were not alone (that was a very stressful morning, let me tell you). However, our flaws have the benefit of allowing you to learn from them and receive the correct knowledge!
Regardless of which route you take, the journey from Arequipa to Cabanaconde via Chivay is breathtakingly stunning in every direction. Despite the fact that we’ve traveled extensively throughout South America, the journey back in a minivan remains one of the most visually rewarding experiences we’ve had – smoking volcanoes piercing blue skies, arrow straight tarmac towards the horizon with nothing but dusty copper plains on either side, herds of wild alpacas lazing together, and steep stacked dull green hills and slopes guarding the way with Incan terrace tiers and locals dressed in colorful traditional clothing dot
No matter how sleepy you are, make an effort to keep your eyes open.
Hikers and daytrippers should leave their large backpacks and bags at their Arequipa hostel, as the majority of them offer free luggage storage for their visitors while they are there. Because we travel with a lot of technology, we have a variety of pricey equipment that we need to store safely when we are out on multiday walks. These items simply cannot be left in luggage storage facilities while we are out hiking (never leave your valuables in them).
Consequently, we spent the better part of a morning in Arequipa seeking for a suitable hotel that would not only provide modest personal lockable lockers for our laptops and spare lenses, but would also be a convenient spot to stay while in Arequipa. We were unsuccessful. Only three facilities met these requirements, with World Backpackers being by far the best. We stayed there for two nights in addition to storing our possessions, and it was the best value for money.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO HIKING IN THE COLCA CANYON?
It’s possible to trek the Colca Canyon Trek at any time of year in Peru, which has two distinct seasons: dry and wet. Each season, on the other hand, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as follows:
This is especially true during the dry season (May – October)
As the name says, the possibility of rain has been substantially reduced, and you may expect hot, dry mornings and afternoons throughout this period. Condors are also more likely to be spotted in this area (but they can be seen all year).
During Peru’s peak tourism season, which coincides with the dry season, expect to see an increase in the number of hikers on the path and an increase in demand for trips (June – August). Finding a place to stay will also be more challenging in this situation. Finally, during the dry season, nightly temperatures plummet considerably, so be prepared for some chilly evenings in the mountains.
The Rainy Season is a time when the rains come (November – April)
We went to the Colca Canyon in November, and we were prepared for it to rain the entire time. We were fortunate in that we had dry, sunny days for the entire climb; if you hike during the wet season, please share your experience in the comments section.
Because it is a less popular time of year to go hiking, the amount of people you will encounter on the trail will be much reduced. Even while nighttime temperatures are less chilly than daytime temps, you’ll still want to bundle up in extra clothing once the sun goes down.
If it rained, the riding would be less enjoyable, and the steep descents would become quite slick.
TREK IN THE COLCA CANYON VS. TOUR IN THE COLCA CANYON
When it is possible, tourists prefer to hike on their own whenever possible. But in Peru, this isn’t always possible (for example, on the Inca Trail), and many visitors prefer the convenience and company provided by guided group trekking or a private excursion, especially when they’re only in the nation for a short period of time or are unable to travel for long periods of time. Skip ahead to the next section, ‘Preparing to Hike the Colca Canyon,’ if you are already aware that you will be hiking the Colca Canyon without the assistance of a guide.
There are a variety of tour options available in Arequipa and on the internet, but it’s important to understand exactly what they entail in terms of viewing the Colca Canyon before making a reservation with one of these companies. There will be little to no hiking within the canyon, and many ‘Colca Canyon Tours’ will include a night’s stay in Chivay rather than in the canyon itself (see an example itinerary here).
Those with limited time or who are less active but still want to see the canyon should opt for one of these one- or two-day tours; however, it’s important to read the itinerary of such tours in advance so that you aren’t disappointed or surprised by what they include (or leave out). We’ve included links to a few highly-rated ones below.
Trek tours through the Colca Canyon, on the other hand – note the use of the word ‘trek’ – will take you and a group down into the valley along one of the most popular hiking routes, and will include one or two nights of accommodation, transportation, a guide, and most meals – see an example of a 3-day trek tour itinerary here. These are the best possibilities for people who want to trek but don’t want to go it alone since they don’t want to risk getting lost. You must, however, be decently fit, prepare / pack correctly for a relatively difficult multiday hike, and plan on spending three full days on the trail.
The Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is a relatively inexpensive walk, which you can learn more about in this post about how much we spent on our trip to Peru. If you’re traveling on your own and on a tight budget, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s possible to complete the trek for very little money.
Booking tours and guided hikes in Arequipa is the most cost-effective option for those on a tight budget. These services are offered by nearly all hostels and travel firms, but the majority of them merely pool clients rather than giving something personalized, so shop around for the best pricing up front.
If, on the other hand, your Peru vacation itinerary does not allow for much flexibility, making a reservation in advance with a trustworthy supplier is a realistic option:
3 Day Trip Tour | The most popular three-day trip schedule includes two nights in the canyon and is the most popular option. For more information and to plan a tour, go to Viator or Get Your Guide.com.au.
2 Day Guided Trek Tour | This trek tour takes you down the canyon for one night and has a very lengthy first day – see the itinerary here for more information on this tour.
Learn more about the 2 day Colca Canyon Tour, which includes sightseeing and a stay in Chivay on the first day, and condor spotting and village visits on the second day – click here.
A one-day tour of the Colca Canyon is a popular option for those who are short on time but still want to visit the Canyon and the Andean condor. However, it involves a round-trip from Arequipa of at least eight hours (see the regular itinerary here), making it a lengthy day. It’s worth noting, though, that the two-day option is typically available for roughly the same price as the one-day one.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro’s setting between the mountains and the sea is so picturesque that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it as a World Heritage Site, stating “the staggeringly exquisite situation for one of the world’s most populous cities.” Its rise has been praised by UNESCO not just for its natural setting, but also for its urban cultural landscape and the blend of architecture and planned open space that has been achieved.
In addition to being Brazil’s second largest city, Rio de Janeiro also served as the country’s capital from 1763 to 1960, when Braslia was created. The city was founded by Portuguese immigrants in the mid-150s, and it quickly rose to prominence as the port for gold shipments from the inland mining districts. As a city, Rio has always seemed to be conscious of its physical assets – the soaring mountains behind it, Sugarloaf looming over its harbor, and miles of crescent beaches – and has worked to enhance the landscape with notable buildings from each era of its history, in addition to a generous supply of public parkland. With this list of the finest attractions in Rio de Janeiro, you’ll be able to experience everything that the city has to offer in a single visit.
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Almost as well-known as Sugarloaf’s unusual shape as a symbol of Rio is the 709-meter top of Corcovado, from where the city is viewed from the base of the huge statue of Christ. Between 1922 and 1931, contributions from Brazilian Catholics enabled the construction of the world-famous landmark to be completed nearly entirely.
The Art Deco statue was conceived by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski, and it was erected by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. The figure stands 30 meters tall and weighs 635 metric tons. Its arms span 28 meters and its body is 30 meters long. It’s composed of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and it’s a beauty. Weddings and baptisms are commonly celebrated in the chapel, which is housed within the eight-meter-high base of the structure. Rua do Cosme Velho is the starting point for the Corcovado rack train, which takes passengers through Tijuca National Park and up the 3.5-kilometer journey to the statue. On a guided Early Access to Christ Redeemer Statue with Optional Sugarloaf Mountain Tour, you will get the opportunity to see this iconic site before the crowds arrive and in the early morning sunlight. A trip up Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car is included in a tour upgrade, which provides even more breathtaking views of the area.
It is the Sugarloaf mountain range, which rises 394 meters above the city’s bay and is the city’s most recognizable sight. In the center of the city lies a peninsula that juts out into the sea and wraps around its harbor, with only a thin strip of land linking it to the rest of the peninsula. A cable car will take you from Praça General Tibrcio to the top of the Morro da Urca, a lower peak from which a second cable car will transport you to the summit of the Sugarloaf. From this vantage point, you can see the entire steep cliff that surrounds the bay and its islands. The 100-meter Praia da Urca beach, located between the Morro Cara de Co and the Sugarloaf, is in close proximity to the location of Rio’s original nucleus. On Cara de Co, there are three forts, one of which, the 16th-century star-shaped Fort So Joo, is open to the public. The other two are closed to the public.
Few cities can boast of a stunning sand beach in the heart of their downtown, let alone one that stretches for four kilometers down one side of their city. Just feet from from the beach’s gorgeous sands, you’ll find charming century-old buildings, fine hotels, as well as popular restaurants and cafés along the Avenida Atlântica, Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, and other neighboring smaller streets. The iconic Copacabana Palace, built in the 1920s and now designated as a national monument, is unquestionably the most important building in the region and among Rio de Janeiro hotels. In addition to being featured in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio and having housed royalty and dazzling cinema stars, the Copacabana Palace harkens back to the golden days of power, money, and elegance when Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s capital city.
The fort of Copacabana, located at the further end of the beach, was the site of a 1922 rebellion by officers, who gained control of the fort and used its weapons to attack the city of Rio. The following day, the government sent in battleships to bombard the fort, effectively putting an end to the insurrection. Exhibitions on this and other aspects of military history can be found at the Museu Histórico do Exército (Historic Military Museum), which is currently located in this location. The fort’s grounds contain artillery pieces dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Between the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon and the four-kilometer-long shoreline of Copacabana, there is a canal called the Jardim de Alá Canal, which drains the lagoon Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The beachfront promenade is lined with luxurious hotels, sidewalk cafés, and restaurants. Despite the fact that they are most known for their beaches, these two areas have a thriving cultural scene that includes art galleries, cinemas, and an avant-garde theater (one of which was made world-famous by the song The Girl from Ipanema). A weekly antiques market is held in Leblon’s Praça de Quental on Sundays; in Ipanema, the Feira de Artesanato de Ipanema is held in Praca General Osorio on Sundays, and both markets feature handmade crafts, live music, art, and regional cuisines.
Carnaval is a celebration that takes place every year in Rio de Janeiro (Carnival)
Every winter, Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the most well-known pre-Lenten celebrations in the world, on par with similar events in Venice and New Orleans. The celebrations begin immediately after New Year’s Day, but the splendor and extravagance reaches a breathtaking climax in the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to street parades, samba parties, and stage performances throughout the country. Carnaval is celebrated in other Brazilian cities as well; it is a major tourist attraction in Bahia and Recife, but Rio’s is the most extravagant of the three cities.
It is the parades of the samba schools, which take place in an arena designed by the famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, that are the most spectacular events of the festival. With a lengthy parade path bordered by stadium-style boxes, the Sambódromo can accommodate up to 50,000 spectators who come to watch the competition of wonderfully costumed dancers in spectacular costumes. The parade path is 700 meters in length and 13 meters wide, with a total width of 13 meters. It was originally constructed in 1984 and restored for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Tijuca National Park
In addition to the Tijuca Forest and other panoramas overlooking the city, the Tijuca National Park contains the huge Christ statue on Corcovado, which is known as Cristo Redentor (the Resurrected Christ). At a halfway point on the rail ride up to Corcovado National Area, you can get off the train and walk through the forest to explore the park. Rio de Janeiro’s Tijuca Forest, which covers 3,300 hectares and is one of the world’s largest urban forests, was established in the late 1850s to protect the springs that supply the city’s water supply. The forest is one of the world’s largest urban forests and is one of the world’s largest urban forests in the world. Most of the trees in the park are native species, and they serve as a haven for a variety of wildlife species, including Capuchin monkeys, quatis (Brazilian raccoons), brightly colored toucans, hawks, vivid blue butterflies, and a variety of other species that you may encounter while exploring the park’s trails and roads.
The Largo do Boticário, located near the Corcovado train station and surrounded by colonial-style buildings, is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most attractive squares. The pagoda-style pavilion at Morro da Vista Chinesa, which is 380 meters above sea level and offers views of the Municipal Park, the Botanic Garden, and a long stretch of the south coast, is a popular spot for photographers. More views are available from Mirante Dona Marta, a viewpoint built on a rocky protrusion above Botafogo Bay that offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Several waterfalls, including the 30-meter Cascatinha Taunay, cascade from the springs in the wooded area. The Museum of Açude, which is located near the park, houses the valuable porcelain collections of the West India Company, as well as old views of Rio de Janeiro by Brazilian and foreign artists, as well as azulejos, traditional Portuguese tiles from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Botânico, which sprawls across 350 acres at the foot of Corcovado Mountain, combines an ecological sanctuary with show gardens and a scientific laboratory, all within a beautiful park-like setting. Attractions such as the Orchidarium, a 1930s iron and glass greenhouse that contains more than 2,000 species of orchids, and the Japanese Gardens, which include cherry trees and wooden bridges as well as koi ponds and Bonsai trees, are particularly noteworthy. Braille indicates the location of a Sensory Garden, which has aromatic plants and herbs. The garden, which is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, is home to over 8,000 plant species, as well as a variety of birds and animals, including Marmoset monkeys and toucans, who make their home there. The gardens are best explored on foot, but you can also take a ride in an electric cart through the canopy of soaring royal palms and pau-brasil trees.
Brazilian football (soccer) fans should make a point of visiting the country’s largest stadium, which held the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It was completely renovated in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has a capacity of more than 78,000 spectators. In addition to hosting concerts, the stadium also serves as a venue for matches between Rio’s top football clubs, including Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama. The fast tour will peak the curiosity of die-hard devotees, but those who aren’t as interested should pass on it altogether.
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, located between Copacabana and Ipanema and where many other Olympic events took place, is surrounded by parks and sports clubs. The waters of the lagoon are famed for regattas and other water sports, and its shores host many other Olympic events.
Escadaria Selarón and Santa Tereza
This historic area, with its steep, silent streets and century-old buildings, is Rio’s most atmospheric district. Artists and intellectuals visit the city’s cafés and restaurants, contributing to the area’s bohemian atmosphere. Although its biggest draw is found merely wandering through its alleyways, which often open out onto breathtaking views, there are numerous sights and activities to do in the area, including the Santa Tereza church and convent, which was built in 1720. It is home to a modern art collection that includes works by Picasso, Miró, and Matisse, as well as Chinese sculpture from the 17th to the 19th centuries, among other artists. Across the street, the Parque das Runas is the abandoned shell of a former socialite’s home that has been transformed into an art, music, and performance venue after falling into disrepair.
Rio de Janeiro’s Escadaria Selarón, one of the city’s most recent tourist attractions, is located on the outskirts of Santa Tereza, where it intersects with the Lapa district. From 1990 until his death in 2013, Jorge Selarón, a Chilean-born artist, covered a long flight of steps in front of his house with mosaics made of tiles, pottery, and mirrors, many of which were painted in the colors of the Brazilian flag: blue, green, and yellow. Selarón was born in Santiago, Chile. As his steps attracted the attention of tourists, individuals began bringing him pottery and tiles from all over the world. Selarón began by salvaging broken tiles from construction sites and ancient building demolitions, but as his steps attracted the attention of tourists, Selarón expanded his collection. There are currently pieces from more than 60 countries on display in the 250 stairs, which encompass 125 meters of stairwell space. The steps are a well-known filming location.
Located on a hill above the bay, the church and monastery of So Bento, considered to be one of Brazil’s best Benedictine complexes, are worth a visit. Aisles were not added to the original 1617 church until the second part of the 17th century, when eight side chapels were built. The church was dedicated in 1617. Benedictine painters of the finest caliber were commissioned to embellish the inside. Domingos do Conceiço, a monk who also carved the figures of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica on the high altar, was the mastermind behind the exquisite carving that covers the walls and ceiling of the church. In the choir chapel, you may see Mestre Valentim’s silver work, as well as 14 paintings by Ricardo do Pilar, a monk who was the most prominent Benedictine painter in colonial Brazil at the time of his death. His masterwork can be found in the sacristy of the monastery.
Martrios (Christ of the Passion).
So Francisco da Penitência is a penitentiary in So Francisco da Penitência
Located in So Francisco da Penitência, the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de So Francisco da Penitência is divided into three sections, each with its own entrance, and the church’s modest facade belies its wealth. An extravaganza of gilded wood carving can be found throughout the interior, which was begun in 1657 and completed in 1773. Portuguese sculptors Manuel and Francisco Xavier de Brito, as well as other woodcarvers and engravers, were among those who contributed to the decoration of the inside of the palace. They had very similar Brito styles, which used intricate shapes that were influenced by Aleijadinho and other Brazilian Baroque masters, and they were very similar to one another. The oldest trompe-l’oeil painting in Brazil is on the ceiling of the choir, which was completed in 1736 by Caetano da Costa Coelho, who also painted the ceiling of the nave in the same style later in his career.
The Municipal Theatre is located in the heart of the city.
The enormous Municipal Theater, which was built in the early twentieth century and was inspired by Charles Garnier’s Paris Opera, has an interior that is even more intricate and expensive than the spectacular towered façade. In addition to sculptures by Henrique Bernardelli and paintings by Rodolfo Amoedo and Eliseu Visconti, the ceilings, the drop curtain, the proscenium frieze, and the ceilings are notable features. It is possible to take part in guided tours, some of which are conducted in English, as well as classical music and ballet performances, among other things.
Quinta da Boa Vista is a resort in the Portuguese state.
The gardens, villas, and royal residences of So Cristóvo have been transformed into public parks and museums, the most well-known of which is Quinta da Boa Vista. In addition to serving as the royal and imperial residences from 1808 until 1889, the palace was refurbished and reconstructed as the Palácio de So Cristóvo in the late nineteenth century. It is the site of the National Museum, which houses the country’s largest zoological, botanical, anthropological, and archeological collections, which total more than a million items and is the country’s largest museum complex. Gardens with lakes, trees, and tunnels may be found throughout the expansive park, which can be reached through a tiny railway that runs through the grounds. Also within the park’s boundaries is an extensive zoo housing over 2,000 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles originating in Brazil and other parts of the world.
Monte do Carmo and Nossa Senhora do Carmo Cornachini, Gian
From 1808 to 1889, the parish church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo was known as the Capela Real (Royal Chapel), and from 1889 to 1976, it was known as the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. A passageway connects it to Monte do Carmo, a second Carmelite church built in 1755 and dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Highlights include the Baroque façade, stone doorway, and white and gold carving by Mestre Valentim in the Novitiate Chapel, all of which are architecturally significant. The former cathedral, which was completed in 1761 and has a silver high altar, is a work of art in itself. Located on a side street in the city is the chapel of Our Lady of the Cape of Good Hope (Nossa Senhora do Cabo da Boa Esperança), the city’s lone extant street oratory.
Aesthetically influenced by Mayan pyramids, architect Edgar Fonseca designed Rio de Janeiro’s new church, which has towering proportions in a contemporary setting. In order to separate it from its immediate predecessor, Nossa Senhora do Carmo, the church was constructed between 1964 and 1979 and features a 96-meter interior that can accommodate 5,000 people in a single seating area. Four stained-glass windows soar 64 meters above the ground to furnish the inside with a dazzling array of colors courtesy of natural light. Nighttime illumination of the church becomes a spectacular beacon on the city’s skyline, thanks to the inside lighting.
Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro for Sightseeing Purposes
Rio de Janeiro is a sprawling metropolis that stretches between the bay and the mountains, with so many attractions that no single location is convenient to them all. Because Rio’s Metro system is efficient and speedy, the best places for tourists to stay are in the safe beach communities of Copacabana and Ipanema, which are close to restaurants and shops and have easy access to the Metro. Botafogo, a residential neighborhood adjacent to Copacabana and within walking distance of the Sugarloaf cable car, is a another option to consider. Here is a list of some of the greatest hotels in Rio de Janeiro.
Exceptional accommodations: The Miramar Hotel by Windsor is directly on Copacabana beach, with sun chairs and umbrellas available for visitors; it is a short walk from Ipanema and other popular destinations in Rio de Janeiro. Belmond Copacabana Palace is a symbol of wealth and glamour in Copacabana, and it has hosted movie stars and aristocratic guests who have luxuriated in Old World splendor. Among the amenities at the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro are a rooftop pool with views of Copacabana beach (which has reserved umbrellas and chairs for guests) as well as a spa and fitness center.
Mid-Range Hotels: The lovely Ipanema Inn, located just a block from the beach and in the heart of Ipanema’s booming food and cultural scene, offers individual service. This peaceful hotel in the center of Copacabana is just a block from the beach and surrounded by a variety of restaurants and shopping options. Located a block from the beach, the Windsor Palace Hotel offers a small rooftop pool, a generous breakfast buffet, and a complimentary airport shuttle service.
There are plenty of dining alternatives surrounding the Ibis Copacabana Posto 5, which is a budget hotel just a few blocks from the beach and close to the Metro station. The Ibis Rio de Janeiro Botafogo is located near the Sugarloaf cable car and next to the Metro station in Botafogo, a residential neighborhood one stop from Copacabana and near the Sugarloaf Mountain. Another choice is the Mercure Botafogo Mourisco, which has higher-floor rooms with views of Christ the Redeemer and the Corcovado mountain range.
Global travelers have discovered the incredible scope of cultures, wildlife, and history woven into the fabric of these regions, and tourism in South America has grown in recent decades. If you’re looking for motivation to embark on your next adventure, look no further; we’ve compiled a list of the top five reasons to visit South America.
1. Its numerous historic monuments commemorating long-forgotten civilizations
Myriad civilizations have left their imprints on South America, from the Tehuelche people of Patagonia to the Tiwanaku culture of Bolivia and the more recent Inca Empire that colonized much of the Andean areas in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Trek the now-iconic Inca trail to Machu Picchu, a mystical Inca stronghold that once dominated the region’s mountains. The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) is the archeological site of an ancient city in Colombia that is thought to be over 650 years older than Machu Picchu and is accessible by a 28 mile (46 km) round trip through deep jungle.
Look into the eyes of the Rapa Nui culture in the 900 monolithic moai figures that dominate Easter Island, 1,289 miles (2,075 kilometers) west of Chile, if you need more confirmation that South America is a treasure trove of fascinating historical relics.
2. Natural formations that are massive and absolutely awe-inspiring
The immense grandeur of South America’s astonishing geological and glacial wonders never fails to captivate visitors. Perito Moreno, Argentina’s 19-mile-long (30-kilometer-long) glacier, is a massive example. Visitors can appreciate its vast scale by viewing it from a path at its foot or by ice walking atop the glacier, which is a reminder of the earth’s ice ages.
The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, with an unbroken expanse of white salt. Iguazu Falls, on the boundary between Argentina and Brazil, are the world’s greatest waterfall system, built by hundreds of cascades falling over the edge of the Paraná Plateau.
3. It has five of the world’s seventeen most biologically diverse countries.
Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil are among the world’s most biologically varied countries, which is unsurprising given the tremendous diversity of wildlife found in the Amazon Rainforest, one of the world’s most incredible and distinctive environments.
It covers about 2 million square miles (5.5 million square kilometers), making it the world’s largest and most diverse tropical rainforest.
4. The cities of South America are dynamic centers of culture and food.
South America is an unmissable destination for culture and world-class gastronomy due to its abundance of dynamic towns. Rio de Janeiro hosts the world’s most famous carnival celebrations, which last for two weeks and feature unrivaled exhibitions of Brazilian dancing, music, and parades in stunning costumes.
Buenos Aires, Argentina’s bohemian metropolis, is unrivaled in its gorgeous, tree-lined avenues, ancient parrillas, and grand plazas brimming with tango dancers. Santiago, which has established itself as a center of food and great wines, is also worth a visit, while Quito’s spectacular colonial architecture attracts travelers from all over the world.
5. Travelers will never run out of exciting places to visit.
South America is your travel soul mate if adventure is what sets your heart fire. Because of the unequaled trekking in Torres del Paine National Park and the intense, world-class rapids in Futaleuf in the Los Lagos Region, Chile was named South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination in the World Travel Awards 2016.
But neither does the rest of South America. Discover how South America is the world’s unrivaled adventure travel destination by slinging your hammock up on a river boat in the Amazon, ranging from Iquitos, Peru, to Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, or Manaus, Brazil.
Guided tours to South America
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South America Tour Specialist Nattrip