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Located in the northwest of the country in the province of Salta, Cafayate is a small town of just over 12,000 residents. Although charming and with a few attractions worth visiting – including an archeological museum featuring objects from the local Indigenous people – most people arriving here are on their way to the Quebrada de Cafayate (or Quebrada de las Conchas). An area known for its towering reddish rock formations, the quebrada offers one of the most stunning drives in South America on Route 68. More than 60 kilometers of paved roads cut through colorful sandstone, offering plenty of stops to discover narrow canyons, natural amphitheaters, towers of sandstone and clay, and the shores of the Rio de las Conchas.
Caño Cristales was off limits for decades while in the grip of guerrilla fighters but is officially back in business and welcoming more tourists than ever before. Most visitors come to this remote river canyon in the Orinoquía region to hike between its waterfalls and bathe in its natural swimming holes. While worth the trip in any season, the canyon is particularly prismatic between July and November, when an algae bloom turns the riverbed into a rainbow of colors. The isolated outpost of La Macarena is your base for trips to Caño Cristales, and it’s only reachable by air from Bogotá or Villavicencio. There is also a Jurassic zone filled with the life-size dinosaur replicas he purchased for his son and a wild hippo herd that, after years of heavy procreation, has grown from four to 40 and now represents the largest herd outside of Africa.
When beach towns and resorts all start to seem the same and you’re looking for unique things to do in Cuba, Santa Clara will add some depth to your Cuban itinerary. This is the famous site of the last guerrilla battle led by Che Guevara in 1958. Che’s body was laid to rest here, and his mausoleum (Mausoleo del Che Guevara) and monument, the Memorial Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara, are the town’s big attractions. Etched on the bronze statue of Che Guevara in Plaza de la Revolucion is his final letter to Fidel Castro, while the mausoleum lies beneath. Adjacent to the monument, the Museo Historico de la Revolucion exhibits some of Che’s personal items. Che fans should also see the poignant Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, a small boxcar museum and the site of the final battle between Che Guevara and the Batista troops.
Cartagena is the crown jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and one of the best-preserved colonial destinations in the Americas. Take a stroll through the historic walled city, and you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a different era. Maybe it’s the 13 kilometers of centuries-old walls, or the colorful colonial architecture, many of which are now beautifully restored restaurants and luxury hotels. Perhaps it’s the bougainvillea-covered balconies along the labyrinthine streets or the soaring Catholic churches that tower above every plaza. Whatever it is, visitors can’t help but fall for this Caribbean charmer. Beyond the old city center lies laid-back Getsemani, and along the oceanfront is Bocagrande, a newer part of town, where upscale condos and hotels fight for prime seafront real estate. And less than an hour away by boat are islands and beaches, offering ideal getaways and day trips.
My first day seeing sunshine in a couple of weeks, without hesitation I booked the first Airbnb I could find. And of course, I went out drinking. That night I wandered out onto my stoop to get wifi and noticed all the police had retreated from my area at about 10pm. Then the knives came out. Still unable to freely travel into and out of Cuba the tourists had all left. And the average Cuban relies on tourists to make ends meet. As you’d imagine by mid 2021, having been without tourists for 18 months things were starting to boil over among the less affluent populations in Cuba. So when I stepped out of my front door to get wifi and noticed all the police had taken off, I learnt that a running gang battle involving large knives, broken bottles and bricks had erupted. Right on my door step. Fantastic. Discover even more details on https://inlovelyblue.com/.
The city of Puerto Madryn lies on the shores of Golfo Nuevo in one of the most sheltered places on the Patagonian coast. Founded by Welsh settlers in 1886, the city’s deep-water port and abundant nature reserves make it one of the most popular cruise destinations in Argentina. Its rugged coastline attracts water sports enthusiasts, particularly windsurfers who enjoy defying the strong Patagonian winds. Nature lovers find plenty of things to do on the Valdez Peninsula, an important nature reserve listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diverse wildlife. Guided tours of the reserve are a must, and visitors normally leave having seen everything from right whales (here to mate and calve), along with elephant seals, sea lions, and orcas. It’s also an important breeding ground for migratory shorebirds, in particular Magellanic penguins. Learn more about the environment of this beautiful coast at the Natural Science and Oceanographic Museum, set in a beautiful heritage building overlooking the harbor. The museum features displays of Patagonian flora and fauna, including a whale skeleton and a fascinating exhibit about giant squids.
With all this history and beauty, as well as superb diving and fishing, Cuba offers a depth and diversity few Caribbean islands can rival. Explore this captivating country with our list of the top attractions and places to visit in Cuba. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Habana Vieja or Old Havana is a well-preserved slice of Cuban history. Strolling around the cobbled streets and gazing up at the grand Baroque and neoclassical buildings, it’s easy to imagine what life in Cuba was like 200 years ago. Extensive renovations are now breathing new life into the historic buildings. Major attractions here include the Plaza de la Catedral, home to the Cuban Baroque Catedral de San Cristobal; the legendary restaurant and Hemingway hangout, Bodeguita del Medio; and the military fortress, Castillo de la Real Fuerza. Also in the Old Town, Plaza Vieja is one of the top places to visit in Havana. This vibrant gathering spot is home to some notable buildings, including the 18th-century Casa del Conde Jaruco, with beautiful stained-glass windows on the first floor. Nearby, the camera obscura offers fantastic views from its 35-meter tower. Allow at least a day to explore the Old Town and more if time permits.