Archive for the ‘Attractions’ Category

You Went to Nazca but Didn’t Fly Over the Nazca Lines?

This question has been posed to me a few times.

Nazca is a tranquil little city off the Panamericana, on the desert coast.  It’s home to one of the biggest tourist spots in Perú.  The Nazca Lines is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Graffiti: Captured for the Camera in Cali

While travelling in the Colombian Andes earlier this year, I was sometimes blown away by the street art that I came across.  I’d think: Colombian cities provide amazing street gazing opportunities.

Graffiti acts as a visual stimulant.  Painted street decoration can induce thought and introspection.  Sometimes the messages are clear.  But more often, they leave you wondering while you’re wandering along.

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I am Waiting for the Pictures: Memories From Chan Chan

Upon my arrival at the entry point to the vast Chan Chan ruins along Peru’s northern coast, a guide was trying to sell me a tour.  He wanted 50 soles or $18.73.  I wasn’t sure how to respond.

Ah.  Guided Tour.  Señor.  Muchas gracias.  Muy amable.  But I really prefer to see the ruins on my own.”

I was being totally honest.  I thought:  I like to drift solo and not with a guide if I can help it.

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Termas El Salado in Baños

Minutes before arrival at the volcanically heated hot springs of Termas El Salado, I was able to see the smoking Volcán Tungurahua.  I thought: I don’t remember ever seeing an active volcano in front of my eyes.  What a pleasant surprise.  I was glad that I don’t take taxis unless I have to, as the walk rewarded me with a striking view.

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Hot Stone Volcanic Massage

When I think of the little town of Baños, the first thing that comes to mind is  therapeutic tourism. Besides allowing people to easily bathe in thermal springs, the town is home to well over a dozen massage parlors.

Considering I’d been walking past these massage service stores for a week, I figured that it was time to take advantage of the option that was staring me down.

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Bathing in Baños

After walking along a refreshingly misty and windy Baños street, I came to the Termas de la Virgen, one of a few thermal, public baths heated by Volcán Tungurahua.

Termas de la Virgen sits just beside –practically below– the Caballera de la Virgen waterfall.

After paying the $2 entrance fee I went in and glanced around in awe, finding five pools. They vary in water shade, size, and most importantly, temperature.

I was instructed to take a container, go to a changing room, put on swim trunks and place everything else in the basket.

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Valle de Cocora

While sleeping in a hostel dorm room for my first five nights in Salento, I noticed a trend of backpackers coming for one or two nights.  They make it to Cocora for a hike, and then they’re on their way out to see another site at another Colombian destination.  It took me over a week in these idyllic surroundings before I finally got a jeep out to this natural wax-palmed wonderland.

Just a short time after I entered the premises of the national park I was reminded of something.  Not far from where the trail started, memory of footage from the film The Lord of the Rings popped into my mind.

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The Mini Metropolis of Manizales

The smooth 38,000 COP or $20.93 minivan ride through the mountains from Medellín to Manizales reminded of a jaunt from Boston to New York City.  The picturesque Andean landscape is not what made me think of the Northeast of the United States.  I compared the two rides because the time and costs are similar.

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The World-Class Medellín Metro

I never thought I’d write a post about a city’s metro system.  But, I’ve seen a few of the world’s finest and the Medellín Metro is now my favorite on earth.  Using it is also what I believe to be the best activity you can take-part in during your stay in Medellín.

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Alumbrados: Lighting up the Night in Medellín

While on my way across a small stretch of the city, a man on the metro asked:

“¿Sabes Exposiciones?”

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