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As the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, Aconcagua is certainly impressive. The peak has a summit elevation of 6,961 meters and is part of the Andes, close to the border with Chile. For climbers, Aconcagua has special meaning, as it’s one of the Seven Summits, the ultimate climbing list that includes the highest mountains in each continent. The mountain falls within the limits of the Aconcagua Provincial Park, a protected area that offers a number of activities for outdoor lovers, including hiking and skiing. For those who are up for something a bit more challenging, the Horcones-Confluencia trail takes hikers up to the basecamp on the route up to the summit. It’s a 14-kilometer-long trail with an elevation of 538 meters. Laguna Horcones, a stunning blue lake fed by glaciers, is another popular attraction within the park.
Colombia’s most popular hike is undoubtedly the four-day, 44-kilometer trek to Ciudad Perdida, a lost city hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains that was only rediscovered in the 1970s. Built and occupied by Tayrona Indians between the 8th and 14th centuries, this ancient city is said to be one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements discovered in the Americas. Much of the site remains buried beneath a thick jungle quilt-the modern Indigenous inhabitants of the area have banned excavations-but you’ll find that the stone terraces and stairways are in outstanding shape. Independent treks are not allowed, you will need to go with a sanctioned and approved tour operator who will provide a guide and all meals. You can book a tour from Santa Marta in advance. If you decide to go, be prepared, this is no walk in the park. You’ll face blazing heat, stifling humidity, rainstorms, copious quantities of mud, and insects. The trail, although easy to follow, is never flat, plan to always be going up or down. However, it’s not all drudgery. Along the way, you’ll be treated to spectacular jungle views and the opportunity to swim in rivers and ponds. Hikes start early, usually around 5am to make use of the coolest part of the day. At the designated campgrounds, you’ll either sleep in a hammock or on a mattress; mosquito nets are provided. You should count on being able to walk about 12 to 14 kilometers or seven to nine hours in a single session. The trail is closed every September as part of an agreement with the local Indigenous community. The best time to go, with the least rain, is January and February.
When beach towns and resorts all start to seem the same and you’re looking for unique things to do in Cuba, Santa Clara will add some depth to your Cuban itinerary. This is the famous site of the last guerrilla battle led by Che Guevara in 1958. Che’s body was laid to rest here, and his mausoleum (Mausoleo del Che Guevara) and monument, the Memorial Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara, are the town’s big attractions. Etched on the bronze statue of Che Guevara in Plaza de la Revolucion is his final letter to Fidel Castro, while the mausoleum lies beneath. Adjacent to the monument, the Museo Historico de la Revolucion exhibits some of Che’s personal items. Che fans should also see the poignant Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, a small boxcar museum and the site of the final battle between Che Guevara and the Batista troops.
Cast all of your outdated ideas aside, like drug wars and gangsters, and you’ll find that Colombia is a nation brimming with confidence and rushing headfirst into a more peaceful and prosperous future. In this land of contrasts, you’ll encounter snowcapped Andean peaks, tropical Amazonian jungles, turquoise Caribbean coasts, and two sun-kissed deserts. You’ll also find a host of spectacular attractions at the places in between, from the magic of Cartagena and the buzz of Medellin to the quiet colonial villages of Salento and Mompox. Above all else, the famous Colombian hospitality will undoubtedly find you coming back for more. Find the best places to visit with our list of the top attractions in Colombia.
This is my first two years as a digital nomad. It’s more of a diary entry and it’s intended to show you, my readers, that there’s a big wide world out there to explore. And that you needn’t be chained to a desk working a traditional 9-5 job. The notion that you can only work in a specific office at certain times of the day is old fashioned. We’re in a digital age and the internet has made the world of work far more flexible. If you want to be a ‘digital nomad’ you just need to think outside the box. And the first step is realising that the things chaining you to your job or city are of your own making. They’re a product of your own choices to date. You can consciously make different choices. See extra info at https://inlovelyblue.com/.
The main hub for tourists visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, the small town of El Calafate offers plenty of accommodation options and other amenities for visitors. It’s here that most visitors join excursions to see the park’s popular glaciers, most notably the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive 30-kilometer-long ice formation (and the world’s third-largest freshwater reserve) just 78 kilometers from the town center. Named after a 19th-century explorer, it’s just a two-hour trip from El Calafate to the glacier’s large visitor center, and from here just a short walk to the glacier. For those wanting to climb the glacier, ice trekking tours are available that range from an hour’s walk over the ice formation to longer five-hour excursions. Another important feature of Los Glaciares National Park is the 3,359-meter-tall Monte Fitz Roy, a stunningly beautiful mountain straddling the border with Chile that is reputably harder to climb than Everest.
Varadero is one of Cuba’s most famous beach destinations, and home to one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. It stretches along the Peninsula de Hicacos, which juts into the sea off the north coast; a drawbridge connects it to the mainland. More than 50 hotels line this popular palm-fringed strip, and its magnificent white-sand beaches draw visitors from around the world. Varadero highlights include Parque Ecológico Varahicacos (Varadero Ecological Park), and its two caves, Cueva de Ambrosio and Cueva de Musulmanes. Also in Varadero, the peaceful Parque Josone is home to lush flower gardens, a restaurant, swimming pool, and a small lake where visitors can paddle about in rowboats. Other popular things to do, besides diving and snorkeling, are deep-sea fishing, golf, skydiving, and day trips to cultural attractions.