Tag Archives: South America

5 Alternative Trips for Your 2017 Calendar

Kilimanjaro should be included as one of the Alternative Trips for Your 2017 Calendar

Photo by CC user Chris 73 on Wikimedia Commons

If you are bored with your usual routine it only makes sense to schedule something a little bit different for your vacation. Instead of waiting in line with hundreds of other people to get into the art gallery or museum why not head out where less people are venturing? Here are 5 alternative trips for 2017.

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

If you are looking for an adventure in an exotic country, you can head to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Make sure you spend at least 3 months trekking your local hills and mountains to make sure you are in peak shape. You can find all inclusive packages that include accommodations, meals, guides, cooks and porters. There are seven different routes to choose from and you must climb the mountain with a licensed guide. Here are some pictures to give you an insight into what climbing Kilimanjaro is like.

Narrow boating in the UK

There is nothing like getting back to nature so try narrow boating in the UK. A narrow boat is used to travel along the canals and it is less than seven feet wide. They can be up to 70 feet long so you can enjoy your trip with lots of people or just a few. There are 3000 miles of canals to try in the UK and tons of different rental companies that offer different adventures. It is a great way to sit back, relax, and watch the serenity of nature. You can stop the boat at small towns and see the sights, grab some groceries, stroll through a park, or grab a burger and a pint at a pub.

Trekking in the Andes

A vacation spent trekking in the Andes is great way to rejuvenate. The Andes are a mountain range in South America and they are located in five different countries: Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Peru has the most famous trails and you can visit Machu Picchu which is one of The New 7 Wonders of the World. If you are looking for paths that fewer people have travelled you can find guides and packages to try out the other four countries.

Spiritual Trip to Tibet

If you are fed up with your capitalistic existence it is the perfect time to embark on a spiritual trip to Tibet where you can explore beautiful natural surroundings and visit spiritual sites. Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet and this Buddhist monastery often has Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims praying in front of it. Be sure to watch the Monk Debates at Sera Monastery. You can watch this every day except Sundays. Drepung Monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery and you should try to visit it during the Shoton Festival. Tashilunpo Monastery is a fabulous example of Tibetan architecture. Be sure to stop and visit Lake Yamdrok, the stunning turquoise water will inspire you to make changes in your life. No trip to Tibet is complete without a view of Mt. Everest the tallest mountain in the world.

Relax on a Norwegian Cruise

Take a Norwegian cruise to see the Northern Lights. Cruising through Norway is a fabulous experience where you will see Viking ruins, fjords, and the fabulous northern lights that light up the sky in an amazing array of colours. Make sure you dress warmly with lots of layers so you don’t get cold.

Uncovering the things that make Cusco so cool

photo by CC user Emmanuel DYAN on Flickr

What are the things that make Cusco so cool? There are a number of attractions responsible for its chill reputation, the finer points of which we will explore in this article…

1) It’s the start of your journey towards Machu Picchu

We’re not sure if this actually needs to be said, but we’re going to say it anyway: you’re at the start of your final journey towards Machy Picchu, one of the world’s most important ancient wonders. Awesome! Before hitting the trail though, take your sweet time in getting used to the altitude where you are now.

Going from near sea level to over 10,000 feet will do a number on anybody, and rushing further into the alpine is just begging to get sicker. Once your body adapts to the thinner air, head to the outdoor shops to pick up any last minute supplies for the wilderness and then hit the trail … have fun!

2) The red brick Cusco Cathedral

Despite being high up in the Andes and a long way from bigger population centres like Lima and more culturally rich places on the globe, the red brick Cusco Cathedral is a major attraction that has attracted the attention of UNESCO for its Christian artifacts and its architecture.

Its Gothic Renaissance design will wow fans of the latter medium, and the unique artifacts like the Maria Angola Bell and its depiction of the Black Christ will impress everybody else, so don’t miss it.

3) It’s home to a Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants

Yup, you read right … a Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants. With a place dedicated to something like this, it’s not hard to deny that Cusco is a special place.

Here, you can expect to find the plants that natives in the Andes and the Amazon used to treat their families before modern medicine ever arrived on the scene.

4) Check out one of Cusco’s awesome cafes

While you are waiting for your body to equalize itself to the thinner air found in Cusco, treat yourself to some of the best cafes in Cusco.

Jack’s Café Bar offers some of the best veggie friendly breakfast in town, with their banana pancakes being an especially hot item, while Macondo gets mentions for its cool décor, strong wifi, and potent coffee.

No matter where you park your butt first thing in the morning, Cusco has a lot of choice, so be sure to experiment a bit!

Best cafes in Santiago de Chile

photo by CC user victor san martin on Flickr

While Chile doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to java (Hello Nescafe!), there are nonetheless some excellent cafes in Santiago de Chile that any caffeine fan should visit during their time in this vibrant city. Let’s explore each of them below…

1) Wonderful

With a name that creates high expectations, you likely wouldn’t be blamed for girding yourself for a disappointing experience at this establishment, but Wonderful really does rise to the occasion when it comes to creating some truly remarkable coffee.

Staffed with baristas that are as skilled with multiple languages as they are with latte art, stumbling through your survival Spanish won’t be a concern here, and neither will be getting a good bite to eat, as its menu offers meals that include a wide variety of bagels, salads and sandwiches to go along with your flavorful cup of coffee.

2) Original Green Roasters

Looking for a cafe environment that stays true to the hipster culture of the present day? Original Green Roasters does an excellent job of creating an original vibe that attracts the plaid and lenseless glasses crowd, as its space is filled with homemade furniture, coffee blends sourced from across Latin America and around the world, and a wide selection of coffee types.

To the delight of visitors from Oceania, one of their offerings includes their take on the flat white, which must feel like stumbling across an oasis in a searing desert to our friends from the Land of the Long White Cloud and Down Under.

3) Colmado Coffee & Bakery

Another widely loved cafe in the Metro Santiago region is Colmado Coffee & Bakery, as it focuses on catering to those looking for gluten free and vegan offerings in a stunning courtyard environment. Those that love meat aren’t left out though, as its Spanish ham sandwiches are highly spoken of by expats and locals alike.

When it comes to coffee, they don’t fool around, as their Peruvian and Colombian blends are available in a myriad of styles, from espresso for those that are looking to supercharge their day, to the deep flavor that a French press can provide.

4) Fix

Fix is a tiny spot, but don’t let the lack of seating put you off, as its coffee shines through strongly enough to overcome the lack of a space to park your butt.

Those looking for a culturally congruent experience will want to try the sweet brews that Chileans prefer, while those desperately waving their hand in front of their space on a sweltering day in January will want Fix’s iced coffee, which will cool your insides while delivering a superior taste experience.