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Better known as the “Train of the End of the World,” this gauge steam railway is considered the southernmost railway in the world. Although it once provided a less happy service of connecting Ushuaia’s penal colony with nearby cities, today it offers a beautiful tourist ride into the Tierra del Fuego National Park. The train departs on new tracks (the original ones can still be seen nearby) from the End of the World station, riding alongside a thickly forested gorge and beautiful peaks all around. In winter, everything is covered in snow here; in other seasons, you’ll appreciate the greens and reds that take over the valley throughout the season. The train makes one stop, so travelers can snap some photos at a local waterfall before continuing on into the national park. First-class passengers will get a chance to taste some local specialties while onboard, including alfajores, biscuits filled with thick caramel, and empanadas, a fried or baked pastry filled with cheese or meat.
Caño Cristales was off limits for decades while in the grip of guerrilla fighters but is officially back in business and welcoming more tourists than ever before. Most visitors come to this remote river canyon in the Orinoquía region to hike between its waterfalls and bathe in its natural swimming holes. While worth the trip in any season, the canyon is particularly prismatic between July and November, when an algae bloom turns the riverbed into a rainbow of colors. The isolated outpost of La Macarena is your base for trips to Caño Cristales, and it’s only reachable by air from Bogotá or Villavicencio. There is also a Jurassic zone filled with the life-size dinosaur replicas he purchased for his son and a wild hippo herd that, after years of heavy procreation, has grown from four to 40 and now represents the largest herd outside of Africa.
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.
Cartagena is the crown jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and one of the best-preserved colonial destinations in the Americas. Take a stroll through the historic walled city, and you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a different era. Maybe it’s the 13 kilometers of centuries-old walls, or the colorful colonial architecture, many of which are now beautifully restored restaurants and luxury hotels. Perhaps it’s the bougainvillea-covered balconies along the labyrinthine streets or the soaring Catholic churches that tower above every plaza. Whatever it is, visitors can’t help but fall for this Caribbean charmer. Beyond the old city center lies laid-back Getsemani, and along the oceanfront is Bocagrande, a newer part of town, where upscale condos and hotels fight for prime seafront real estate. And less than an hour away by boat are islands and beaches, offering ideal getaways and day trips.
My First Two Years As A Digital Nomad: Leaving Australia in early 2021 bound for Europe with a single bag and no plan, I was determined not to be cooped up inside again. My days of office work and rolling lockdowns were over. I knew I was going to catch-up with my Peruvian friend and tattooist Jimmy in Bonn. But I had no travel plans beyond. I was just going to go out into the big wide world and get my life back onto the track I’d envisioned for myself prior to university. Somehow on entering into university my academic ambitions grew beyond all measure. And then adult life took hold. I woke up one day living with my long term partner, engaged. I was working ridiculous hours as a government contractor for the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia. And I had previously made my way through the Department of Home Affairs (Home Office or Homeland Security for my foreign readers). I’d become a sworn Border Force officer and had been cited for excellence. See more information at https://inlovelyblue.com/.
At the southern end of Argentina, Patagonia is famous for its spectacular landscapes: a dramatic mix of the Andes and long stretches of plains and plateaus. Most adventures here start in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Established as a penal colony in the early 20th century and now a popular jumping-off point for trips to Antarctica or around Cape Horn, this town on Beagle Channel is surrounded by a unique landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers, and woods on the edge of the Tierra del Fuego National Park, with its spectacular scenery and diverse flora and fauna. Popular places to visit include the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse – also known as the End of the World Lighthouse – built in 1884 on the Isla de los Estados, and the End of the World Museum. Here, you’ll find exhibits relating to the region’s natural history, aboriginal life, and early penal colonies. The Maritime Museum of Ushuaia is housed in the town’s notorious former military prison, is worth visiting for its many maritime artifacts and scale models of famous ships such as Darwin’s Beagle. Named for Darwin’s ship, the Beagle Channel cuts through the heart of the national park, and you can board a boat in Ushuaia to cruise through this historic waterway.
In a country known for its beautiful beaches, Playa Paraíso (Paradise Beach), on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur, is one of Cuba’s best. This sublime strand of powdery white sand and baby blue sea skirts the sheltered western edge of the island and merges with the equally ravishing Playa Sirena. The island of Cayo Largo del Sur is truly a sun seeker’s destination with a typically dry, sunny climate and few tourist attractions besides some of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba and many hotels and resorts. Cayo Coco is another of Cuba’s idyllic beach destinations and one of its most isolated. The island starred in Hemingway’s novels, Islands in the Stream and The Old Man and the Sea, along with nearby Cayo Guillermo. As part of the Jardines del Rey, the combined archipelago of Sabana-Camaguey, Cayo Coco is connected to the mainland by a bridge, though most visitors arrive by air. Sun-splashed beaches are the prime attraction. Playa Los Flamencos, on the Atlantic side of the island, is a standout with its five-kilometer strand of sun-bleached sand, while the quiet and undeveloped Playa Prohibida offers a peaceful nature trail. The island also offers excellent birding. Connected by a causeway to Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo also boasts a bevy of beautiful beaches, such as the ravishing Playa Pilar, as well as a string of all-inclusive resorts.