Bolivia is most noted for the Andes, which take up a large chunk of the west, and, to a lesser extent, the vast jungle regions of Amazonia that extend from the Andes’ boundary all the way east into Brazil. But Bolivia has a surprisingly varied series of ecosystems within those two major regions. ... More
Archive for the ‘South America’ Category
Most travlers think they’ve stumbled on a long-lost European country when they get to Argentina. Most Argentines, too, are convinced they are more European than South American. A quick look at the people walking down the avenues of any Argentine city confirms the impression. There are more Italian surnames than Spanish and the largest colony of Yugoslavs outside of their fractured homeland. There are tens of thousands of descendants of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and communities of British, French, and German families enjoy cultural and financial clout far beyond their insignificant numbers. ... More
A patchwork of highland and jungle, this tiny nation is home to colonial cities preserved from the days of the conquistadors, snowcapped volcanoes quilted with green, terraced plots, and the flora and fauna of the Amazon Basin—natural wonders that change the very way we see ourselves and the world. Sandwiched between Peru and Columbia, Ecuador could easily be overlooked, or worse, dismissed as a mere stepping-stone to the more famous Galápagos Islands. But mainland Ecuador itself is an adventurer’s paradise. ... More
Sun, surf, sand, samba and soccer. These are the images that are synonymous with Brazil. The idyllic scenes of the Cidade Maravilhosa (marvellous city), Rio de Janeiro’s white sand beaches, packed with bronzed bodies and overlooked by the magnificent Sugar Loaf Mountain, are among the world’s most recognised picture postcard scenes.
Rio, and its sister city São Paulo are two of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities you’re likely to encounter anywhere. The annual carnaval in Rio is an explosion of sound, colour and human exuberance that takes place toward the end of February or early March. São Paulo is a vast metropolis with an estimated populace of 17 million. A multicultural city of immigrants, there are substantial Arab, Oriental and Jewish communities coexisting here. Millions of Italians came to São Paulo in the late 19th-century while millions more Japanese arrived in the next. ... More
Aside from the sparkling resorts along its coast, gently rolling hills and grasslands are the hallmarks of Uruguay, but its people—well-educated yet unpretentious, industrious yet relaxed—are the most remarkable aspect of the country for many travelers.
Uruguay has long been considered the most European of South American countries. Its population is almost all of European descent—largely Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian—and the influence of these cultures is readily apparent in Uruguay’s architecture and outlook. Even the country’s “traditional cuisine” brings to mind pasta, paella, and slabs of succulent steak. ... More
The two faces of Venezuela’s cities gaze in opposite directions—one romantically toward a colonial past of cobblestone streets and tiled roofs, the other hungrily toward a future of glass, steel, and neon. ... More
Bounded by the sea on one side and the sharp spine of the Andes on the other, Chile makes up in spirit what it lacks in width. The proximity of active volcanoes and crumbling glaciers only increases the lush pleasures of award-winning vineyards, excellent ski slopes, and such beachside resorts as Viña del Mar.
“I live now in a country as soft as the autumnal flesh of grapes,” begins Country, a poem by the Chilean poet and Nobel prize-winner Pablo Neruda. With his odes to artichokes, birds, hope, Valparaíso, fish soup, socks, and September, he sang Chile into being and taught us to inhale its sharp salt air or the dry winy bouquet of its Andean peaks before we hold them to our lips and drink them down. ... More