Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for south america

A Grand Canyon in Argentina

By Linda Tancs

Argentina has many canyons that are grand. One of them is Atuel Canyon, in the heart of Mendoza Province. Formed millions of years ago from the winds and waters of the Atuel River, it’s a popular tourist attraction near San Rafael, offering activities like river rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding and mountain biking. At the Valle Grande Dam riverside base you’ll find breathtaking views of the canyon as well as along the Atuel River, south of San Rafael and before Valle Grande Dam.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Rainbow Mountain

By Linda Tancs

If Matisse could’ve applied his color palette to an actual mountain, the result would likely resemble Peru’s Vinicunca Mountain. Also known as Rainbow Mountain or the Mountain of Seven Colors, these peaks in the Ausangate Mountain region of the Peruvian Andes offer an impressionistic portrait filled with turquoise, lavender, gold and other colors. You can thank the sediment and atmospheric conditions of the region for the rainbow-like appearance of this growing tourist attraction. A day trip from Cusco, there are plenty of bus tours offering treks, which is best done between March and November.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Gateway to the Amazon

By Linda Tancs

Known as the Gateway to the Amazon, Belém is the capital of the Brazilian state of Pará. Founded by the Portuguese in the 1600s, the city boasts well-preserved, Portuguese-colonial architecture along the riverfront district. The docklands also feature South America’s largest outdoor market, Mercado Ver-o-Peso, a site offering not only foods and vegetables but also crafts and antiques. A big highlight this time of year is the city’s religious festival known as Círio de Nazaré (The Taper of Our Lady of Nazareth), inscribed by UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The event culminates in a procession on Sunday, when a wooden image of Our Lady of Nazareth is carried from Sé Cathedral to Sanctuary Square, accompanied by hordes of pilgrims from around the country.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Where Old Trains Go to Die

By Linda Tancs

Most tourists visit the region of Uyuni, Bolivia, for its impressive salt flats. But the area has another unusual attraction, a Great Train Graveyard bearing silent testimony to a once burgeoning rail system designed for the transport of the area’s rich mineral resources to Pacific Ocean ports. The salt air has not been kind to these British-built trains of the early 20th century, their skeletal remains lending an eerie feel to the place. An easy cab ride away, it’s better to pay your respects in the early morning or evening to avoid the hordes of tourist buses.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Aristocracy in Argentina

By Linda Tancs

In the shadow of the bustle of Buenos Aires is the well-to-do suburb of San Isidro. It’s regarded as the capital of rugby because it houses two of the historical clubs of the sport in Argentina: Club Athletic San Isidro and San Isidro Club. You’ll also find the Hipódromo there, one of the largest horse racing tracks in the Americas, flanked by busy restaurants. Art, class and culture merge at Villa Ocampo, the riverside mansion of the late Victoria Ocampo, a prominent Argentinian writer and intellectual. Her estate is one of many in this wealthy enclave, one of the most aristocratic in the country.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Resurrected Ox in Brazil

By Linda Tancs

You might be surprised to learn that one of Brazil’s biggest festivals centers around the story of a resurrected ox. Popularly known as Boi Bumbá, it’s second only to Carnival in Rio in terms of popularity, no small feat considering its locale in the middle of the Amazon. The legend goes that a farmer killed a wealthy landowner’s favorite ox (boi) to satisfy his wife’s craving, creating a feud that resolved only when the local medicine doctor succeeded in bringing the prized animal back to life. The story is told over the last weekend in June by a maze of dancers in a presentation that’s partly theatrical, musical, puppet show, religious procession and tribal ritual. Held in Parintins, it’s an easy flight away from Manaus.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Latin American Art

By Linda Tancs

The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA) sports an impressive collection of Latin American art amassed by Argentine real-estate developer, philanthropist and patron of the arts Eduardo Costantini. Its permanent collection features contemporary art from the 20th century and includes artists from across Latin America. Among those represented are Botero, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Xul Solar. Commentary is provided in Spanish and English. Take a few hours to enjoy the galleries, and get there early to avoid potentially long lines.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Cusco’s Sun Temple

By Linda Tancs

Koricancha was the main Inca temple in Cusco (Cuzco), Peru. Its interior was ablaze in gold leaf, befitting its status as the temple of the Sun god. The church and convent of Santo Domingo was built on its Inca foundations by the Spanish in the 1500s. You’ll find the ruins of the ancient temple around the patio of the convent, which also contains a gallery of paintings that includes 17th and 18th century canvases. A guided tour of the site lasts about one hour.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Garden City of Chile

By Linda Tancs

Chile’s enchanting Viña del Mar is called The Garden City. Its gardens are indeed beautiful, as are its castles, old mansions and beach resorts. Think of it as a cross between Miami and Beverly Hills. And throw in a little Monte Carlo thanks to its glamorous Municipal Casino. You can admire all its charms with a horse and carriage ride along the breathtaking promenade. It’s easy to lose track of time, but you’ll find that, too, at the giant botanical clock (Reloj de Flores) on a sloping lawn at the foot of Cerro Castillo. An icon of the city, this fully functional musical flower clock was built for the 1962 FIFA World Cup. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, it flowers year round.

Made From Scratch

By Linda Tancs

Brazil’s third most populous city, Brasília was built from scratch (an empty plateau in the heartland) in the 20th century, intended to replace Rio as the nation’s capital. It’s perhaps best known for its futuristic buildings such as the National Congress, the crown-like, hyperboloid structure of the cathedral and the presidential palace. Take in the bird’s-eye view from the TV tower, the highest point in the city.

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