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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.
If you’re an art lover, don’t miss Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), with its vast and impressive collection of international and Cuban art. The collection is housed in two buildings, and includes works from ancient times to the present day. Clad in sumptuous Italian marble, the restored Spanish Renaissance-style Palacio del Centro Asturiano was designed in the 1920s by Manuel Bustos. It displays international art, including works by European Masters; ancient art from Greece, Rome, and Egypt; and works from Asia, the United States, and Latin America. The Spanish collection, in particular, is a highlight. The striking marble sculpture, Form, Space and Light, greets visitors at the entrance to the second venue, which dates from 1959. This Rationalist-style Palacio de Bellas Artes building displays a thought-provoking collection focusing on Cuban Art from the 17th century to the present day, including sculptures, prints, and paintings.
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.
But back to Buenos Aires. It’s a modern metropolis of over 15.5 million people. With all of the modern amenities. Every barrio in BA is different and there’s always something new to discover. It’s a digital nomads Graceland. You can work and explore. Balancing life and work in BA. It’s such an amazing city. And it was even more amazing than normal during FIFA. One thing that will stick with me for life was the sound when the final whistle blew and Argentina had emerged victorious. All at once every single inhabitant of Buenos Aires shouted. The entire city erupted into a roar. The partying didn’t stop for weeks after Argentina secured the FIFA trophy. I’ve never seen the city so alive. And I probably never will again.A few weeks later it was back onto a plane. And back to Cuba from Uruguay. Discover extra details on inlovelyblue.com.
Usually simply referred to as Bariloche, San Carlos de Bariloche is a lively city set in the midst of Nahuel Huapi National Park, and Patagonia’s northern Lake District. Skiers, especially those from the Northern Hemisphere seeking snow in the height of the northern summer, flock to Bariloche for nearby Cerro Catedral, the tallest of its peaks and a popular ski resort. One of the largest ski resorts in South America, Cerro Catedral includes more than 100 kilometers of ski terrain and is particularly popular for its stunning views over Nahuel Huapi Lake, in the middle of the national park. Bariloche is a center for active adventure and for exploring the park’s mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests, glaciers, and extinct volcanos. Although the region is rich in opportunities for hiking, rafting, cycling, and climbing, a driving circuit known as the Route of the Seven Lakes takes tourists to the alpine lakes of Nahuel Huapi, Espejo, Escondido, Falkner, Villarino, Correntoso, and Machónico.
In a country known for its beautiful beaches, Playa Paraíso (Paradise Beach), on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur, is one of Cuba’s best. This sublime strand of powdery white sand and baby blue sea skirts the sheltered western edge of the island and merges with the equally ravishing Playa Sirena. The island of Cayo Largo del Sur is truly a sun seeker’s destination with a typically dry, sunny climate and few tourist attractions besides some of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba and many hotels and resorts. Cayo Coco is another of Cuba’s idyllic beach destinations and one of its most isolated. The island starred in Hemingway’s novels, Islands in the Stream and The Old Man and the Sea, along with nearby Cayo Guillermo. As part of the Jardines del Rey, the combined archipelago of Sabana-Camaguey, Cayo Coco is connected to the mainland by a bridge, though most visitors arrive by air. Sun-splashed beaches are the prime attraction. Playa Los Flamencos, on the Atlantic side of the island, is a standout with its five-kilometer strand of sun-bleached sand, while the quiet and undeveloped Playa Prohibida offers a peaceful nature trail. The island also offers excellent birding. Connected by a causeway to Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo also boasts a bevy of beautiful beaches, such as the ravishing Playa Pilar, as well as a string of all-inclusive resorts.