European travellers are starting to learn why South America has become so popular lately. Take Argentina, for example. It appeals to those who like to have it all in one destination. The country is well loved because of its natural beauty, but its urban scene is equally as strong. Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city that boasts stunning colonial architecture, quaint cobblestone streets lined with cafés, tango bars and markets where bargains can be snapped up in leather goods, handicrafts, and jewellery. Then, close by, golfers can play a round or two on picturesque, immaculate, courses, and wine enthusiasts can sample their way through wines created from the vines that cover the rolling hills. There is so much going on here that you’ll want to linger longer, rent a villa, and get the feeling of life as a resident, not a tourist.
Brazil too is a visit-worthy country for its legendary beaches, steamy nightlife, and incredible eco adventures. One moment you could be watching the parade of people along the beach, then, within a few hours, be gliding along the Amazon River in a small boat. Few countries can offer such an extreme range of activities. Its neighbours Chile, Peru and Bolivia feature different experiences. Chile has the Patagonia region, one of the most ecologically sensitive lands in the world, plus world-class wineries, and awe-inspiring mountains. Couple a visit to Chile with Peru or Bolivia, countries with plenty of ancient history, diverse landscape and friendly, gentle people.
Let’s not forget about Mexico, a favourite holiday destination among heat-seeking Canadians and Americans. Europe is poised to catch on, too. Some of the world’s best beaches line the coastlines of the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, and Mayan archaeological sites like Chichen Itza serve as spectacular links to the past. Honeymooners feel the love in places like Los Cabos and Cancun, perfect spots for a destination wedding or to celebrate a newly created coupling. Mexican cuisine is addictively good so you’ll want to take a cooking class and stock up on some food staples before you leave. Share your memories and your new-found culinary skills with your friends back home.
Why you should go:
Seeing Brazil’s Iguaçu Falls, made up of more than 245 falls, and feeling their mist on your face, is worth the trip to South America alone.
The Argentine beef is some of the best you’ll ever taste, especially sampled along with some chimichurri sauce, made from spice, olive oil and lemon.
Peru is romantic. Just check out the giant statue of two lovers kissing in the Miraflores neighbourhood in Lima.
Rio De Janeiro
Sunday 1st September 2002
Travel Counsellor: Richard Harbourne
My holiday in Rio seems a life time ago now but I remember it like yesterday, an experience I will never forget.
I flew from London via Sao Polo with British Airways which was a long over night flight but was all worth the journey. When we arrived we transferred to our hotel one street back from Copacabana beach. A perfect location to explore the city as we were only there for 5 nights. We stayed in a modern hotel which has recently changed ownership.
Rio has a huge choice of restaurants and bars for dining out and at very affordable prices. The steak was so cheap in Rio I was eating it every night. At night it was always recommended that we took taxis and avoided walking on our own down any of the side streets. We stuck to this plan and only travelled by foot during daylight hours. We found the city safe and very friendly.
Copacabana beach was amazing. There was so much happening on the beach that you wouldn't get bored. The waves were huge crashing in with plenty of surfers riding... view full story
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