Visiting Punta del Este in Summer: As Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) will tell you, anyone who's anyone from Buenos Aires heads to Punta del Este for summer vacation. The glitzy Atlantic coast resort in Uruguay is packed with South America's jet set from December through February and offers inviting beaches and outstanding nightlife.

Conrad Punta del Este Resort and Casino, Uruguay Hotel - Aerial View of Peninsula

The Eje Cafetero, with its plantain- and coffee-terraced slopes, verdant mountains, and quaint Spanish-style colonial farm houses, remains one of the most traditional parts of the country. Here, you can lie back in a hammock and listen to the birds chirp, visit the hot springs of nearby Santa Rosa, or horseback ride through the endless coffee plantations -- a world removed from the hectic Colombian cities.

The Eje Cafetero, with its plantain- and coffee-terraced slopes, verdant mountains, and quaint Spanish-style colonial farm houses, remains one of the most traditional parts of the country. Here, you can lie back in a hammock and listen to the birds chirp, visit the hot springs of nearby Santa Rosa, or horseback ride through the endless coffee plantations -- a world removed from the hectic Colombian cities.

Watching Blue-Footed Boobies Dance for Love in the Galápagos: Birds are usually shy, especially during mating season. But in the Galápagos Islands, where wild animals have no fear of humans, you can watch male blue-footed boobies spread their wings, lift their beaks, and dance wildly in a performance known as "sky pointing," all in hope of attracting a mate. If the female likes what she sees, she'll do the same. It's a scene right out of National Geographic.

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.

Again, not necessarily this website...  Traversing the Salar de Uyuni by Land Cruiser: The world's largest salt desert and its surroundings in southwest Bolivia are one of the most unusual and fascinating places on planet earth: islands of cacti, red flamingo-filled lagoons, steaming geysers, herds of vicuñas, and hotels made of salt.

Uyuni salt flats Tayka tour is a safe and comfortable tour to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia with the best hotels in the area (Tayka) and private transport.

Cuenca, Ecuador July 2010

Dispatches from a seven month trekking trip around South America. Things to see and do in Cuenca and partying with the South Americans and South American food


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