Archive for South America

Vineyards of ArgentinaThe Europeans know Argentina — it has been one of their playgrounds for decades. Travel and tourism accounts for better than 10% of the GDP of Argentina, and it holds real bargains for the North American traveler.

The distance from Argentina’s northern tip to Tierra del Fuego in the south runs 2,264 miles.

    • Patagonia is a nature lover’s dreamscape. The spectacle of whales and penguins on the Atlantic Coast against a backdrop of the peaks and glaciers of southern Patagonia is nearly without equal.
    • Hikers travel from all over the world to trek Patagonia. The terrain includes amazing granite spires, enormous glaciers, and dense forests.
    • The wine country of Mendoza has come into its own. Luján de Cuyo is home to the Malbec, Argentina’s signature varietal.
    • From the wine regions it is possible to drive west into the Andes. Wild mountain roads will take you to the base mighty Mt. Aconcagua.
    • The Argentina Lakes District is one of the world’s great mountain vistas and offers the traveler adventure activities as well as scenic drives.
    • Buenos Aires is home to more than 40 percent of the population. This South American metropolis has a rich, passionate history that is inseperable from its character.
    • Buenos Aires resonates as an almost European city. The colonial architecture was built by French, Italian and Spanish immigrants echoes of its European culture are distinct and everywhere.
    • The tango has its origin in Buenos Aires. Each year in February and March the annual Tango Festival holds sway for 6 days. Tango lovers from all over the world mix with locals. Both experts and beginners are in attendance at the many dance salons.
    • Argentina’s Presidential Palace, known as the Casa Rosada, is the site of Eva Peron’s famous balcony. The iconic pink building was once a Customs and Post Office before being converted into a presidential residence.
    • La Recoleta Cemetery, burial place of Evita Peron, is a tourist attraction of note. The monuments of Argentina’s ruling class are visited daily by thousands of travelers who leave flowers at Peron’s grave.

Buenos Aires

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Categories : South America
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Jul
07

Have you fallen for water falls?

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waterfallMSNBC named the10 Most Beautiful Waterfallsand we thought it would be nice to share the top 6 with you.

Why 6 and not 3 or 5? Because one of our favorites is listed at number 6!

  1. Marvell at the Plitvice Lakes, where 16 lakes are connected by cascades and waterfalls on the Discover Croatia tour.</o>
  2. Explore the massive Iguazu Falls in the heart of the rainforest during the Discover South America tour.<./li>
  3. While on the California Coast, see the sights, landmarks, and waterfalls that make California so unforgettable at Yosemite National Park.
  4. Take a walking tour of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World during Exploration’s Namibia and Botswana small group tour.
  5. Discover one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders, the two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall on the Wonders of Iceland tour.
  6. Experience the thundering and awe-inspiring Niagara Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist on Collette’s Best of Eastern Canada tour. (We’re in the best time of year to visit the greater Niagara region and Eastern Canada!)

The other waterfalls named were: Hanakapi’ai Falls in Hawaii; Sutherland Falls in New Zealand; Angel Falls in Venezuela; and Langfoss Waterfall in Norway – of which Collette travels to all of these destinations except Venezuela. Do you think MSNBC’s list could be added to? Where are your favorite waterfalls located?

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Categories : General Travel Tips
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Santiago, Chile, has been named the top location to visit in 2011 by The New York Times’ list, Places to Go in 2011.

Collette offers two tours that visit Santiago, Chile: the 11-day Wines & Wonders of South America which spends three nights in Santiago, and the 15-day Discover South America tour which spends two nights in Santiago. South America continues to gain international recognition as an affordable, rewarding destination that exceeds expectations.

“Chile is an incredible destination!” says Allison Flint, Collette’s Product Manager for the region. “It is modern, cosmopolitan, with great shopping and full of opportunities to indulge in delicious Chilean wines – Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is the perfect city to start a South American adventure!”

For travelers on a Collette tour, you will find yourself immersed in the culture of Santiago during a welcome dinner, complete with Chilean wine, and a folkloric show interpreting the cultures and traditions of Chile. A locally guided tour of the heart of the city, the Plaza de Armas, provides a great overview of the history of Santiago. I recall the amazing views of Santiago and the Andes when I had the opportunity to ride the cable car up Cerro San Cristobal to admire the larger-than-life Statue of the Immaculate Conception. With your Collette tour manager leading the way, you’ll view all the significant sights of Santiago including O’Higgins Park, the Palacio de la Moneda government building, and the many culturally rich and historic neighborhoods of the city.

Another highlight for me and a pleasant optional day trip from Santiago is the coastal resort towns of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar including a visit to the Pablo Neruda museum. And on Wines & Wonders of South America, Santiago is the base from which you explore the famous Colchagua wine valley on the Tren del Vino and spend the day learning about carmenere and other famous varietals. Not to mention the unforgettable gourmet lunch with wine at the Santa Cruz winery!.

Categories : South America
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