The Three Faces of South America

The Three Faces of South America

There it is, plenty of mountains, beaches, adventures and history, all at an affordable price. What are you waiting for your next trip to South America? As a matter of fact, if you are reading this, you have already decided to go there or, at least ,you are thinking about it. But, where to? I will show you my three favorite locations in South America, you choose by your own.

Peru: Machu Picchu and The Incas Road

Are you the kind of person interested in history and archeological marvels or you would rather go looking for adventure, and a little (or more) fun within it? Whatever option you chose, Peru is the right place for you to go.

Five hundred years ago, the Spaniards ransacked and destroyed most of the legacy of the Inca Civilization. They could not, however, reach the sacred city of Macchu Picchu. These almost intact ruins where found in the twentieth century, and access to the city is believed to have been reserved for the emperor (the Inca) and the nobility (Hiran Bingham, founder of the remains, held that priestesses were raised and prepared here, but this is refused by current scientists)

Peru Machu Picchu and The Incas Road

Peru Machu Picchu and The Incas Road

Macchu Picchu is also some kind of world spiritual centre, people of all credos consider it an incredible point of contact with the spirit. But reaching the Macchu Picchu without walking the Inca’s Road, one of the most spectacular walking roads of the world, would be a sin. The Incas had built a road system only comparable to the one that the Ancient Romans built. The best kept part of the Inca’s road is the one that goes from Aguas Calientes to Macchu Picchu. After paying a USD 50 rate (USD 25 for students with international card), you will be able to start three unforgettable days in which you will walk 60 miles of mountains, with incredible vegetation and landscape.

The contact with the local people is one of the most attractive sides of traveling to South America, and this is particularly noticeable on the Inca’s Road.. You will find several “postas” all along the way (the antique places where Incas messengers got rest), and the natives hired for carrying the heavy luggage (the “portadores”) still resemble those antique messengers: they run at an incredibly rhythm; when you arrive to the “posta” they will have already set up your tent. However, not only rest is to be expected at the end of the day: depending on which “posta” you choose to stop, you can be received but one of the parties enjoyed by the innumerable youngsters that visit Macchu Picchu from all around the world.

The Inca’s Road is usually preceded by a visit to Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, and one of the greatest urban monuments from Colonial times in Latin America.

Yet, if I were you, I would start from the Argentine city of Salta, visit Bolivia, the Titicaca Lake, and just then go to Cusco. It is a bit longer, yes, but you will never forget it.

Brazil Always Summer Travel

What else can be said of Brazil that you have not heard about? Brazil is not a place to be visited once, it is a place to fall in love with. Brazil is also one of the largest countries of the globe, so my first advice is to get a travel guide book, and also one of those promotional plane tickets including 5 destinations for a reduced price.

Brazilians are worldwide known for their eternal smile and happiness; they tend to have less prejudices regarding human relations. That may be the reason why you will find a party almost wherever you find a Brazilian. Although Rio is “the” place for nightclubs, discos, and related events, the entire coast of Brazil is a permanent party.

Brazil Always Summer Travel

Brazil Always Summer Travel

If you are planning a trip for two, let me recommend you Trindage, an almost unnoticed place between Rio and Sao Paulo. The road ends at Parati, a beautiful beach town known for its Colonial architecture. After Parati, you will have to walk 8 kms. (around 3 miles). Renting a car is an option too, but I prefer hitchhiking. Every night there are reggae parties on the beach, and the sky is so clean that you will see several falling stars. You can a take a bath in of the rivers of the zone, but please remember not using soap in order to keep the environment unpolluted.

For those who enjoy adventures, the Amazon is a huge challenge. If you want to visit the jungle but without taking big risks, it is always nice to visit the mythic city of Manaos, with its Opera and its glorious past. Manaos is today a tax-free zone, so you may also find very cheap electronic devices.

Buenos Aires: the most pretentious city in South America

I was not surprised when I read that a London magazine has chosen Buenos Aires as the ‘sexiest city in the world’. With most of its population of European origins, and the frenzy proper of a big city, Buenos Aires has an incredible night life. Fancy nightclubs and pubs (accessible to the tourist, because of the low local currency, the Argentine Peso) are concurred by both young and mature people.

I would recommend going to one of the exclusive restaurants located in Puerto Madero, eat some Argentine meat, and then start the night at the Recoleta, the fanciest zone in Buenos Aires. You will ask yourself whether you are in Milan or Paris (do not dear to remind an Argentine they are from South America, they will get mad at you!).

Buenos Aires The Most Pretentious City In South America

Buenos Aires The Most Pretentious City In South America

Culturally, Buenos Aires is the most active city in South America. Writers, film directors, philosophers and artists of all kind are usually in the city giving performances or conferences.

If you like Theater, Corrientes Av. is some sort of local Broadway, all along which you will find uncountable spectacles. Of course, you cannot leave Buenos Aires without visiting the Colon Theatre, the most refined of its kind in South America.

During the day, you can visit San Telmo square, place of bohemians and artists, home of Tango, the Argentine typical dance. You can always go to a “tangueria” (tango bar) and get some lessons or just enjoy the sensual movements of the dancers.

For the weekend, going to a soccer match is a must. If you want to go to the biggest stadium in Argentina, go to the River Plate Stadium. However, if you prefer something slightly smaller but much more intense, go to the antagonist Boca Juniors Stadium, where 60,000 souls tight in a reduced space make literally vibrate the concrete. Soccer is not just a sport for the Argentines, it is a passion. Although Argentine beaches are not famous, you can enjoy several near Buenos Aires.

The most crowded is Mar del Plata, but the most beautiful is perhaps Necochea. If you are thinking on going a little more to the south, you can visit Las Grutas, the most southern beach where you can take a bath (below that, it is freezing cold). As a matter of fact, this would be an excellent excuse for visiting the entire Patagonia, with the lakes, the mountains and the Pampa, but this is subject for another article on traveling to South America…

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