Every year, the travel specialists at geography and exploration magazine National Geographic draw up a list of the best trips to make over the next twelve months – and they’ve seriously outdone themselves with this year’s selection.
From Ethiopia to Georgia, Ireland to Chile the editors have handpicked the finest sights across the globe to keep us stocked up on wanderlust for the whole of 2018. Check out some of the incredible destinations that caught our eye just below.
Laid-back Harar, Ethiopia
Little frequented by European travelers, with most preferring the more easily accessible countries of North Africa, Ethiopia’s Harar has been hailed as “the most surprising city in East Africa” bythe magazine.
Recognised as the fourth holy city of Islam by UNESCO, the colorful, maze-like streets of Harar are home to more than 110 mosques and many more shrines.
I’m hopeful. As we set sail from Puerto Pirámides our guide Sebastian confidently assures us that we have a ‘100% chance’ of seeing Southern Right Whales today. He’s not wrong. Almost as soon as we get out into the deeper water a mother and baby are spotted from the team’s lookout point.
Whale watching season is in full swing in Puerto Madryn in Patagonia, Argentina, and I’ve been kindly invited to experience this natural wonder by Say Hueque who specialize in tours around Argentina and Chile.
I arrive in Puerto Madryn on an Argentine bank holiday. The sun is shining and the beach is packed. There are colorful parasols everywhere, children squealing as they paddle in the waves of the Atlantic and teenagers competitively playing football, using flip flops dug into the sand as goal posts. Everyone seems to be in a good mood.
Argentina is one of the most awe-inspiring countries in the world, with dramatic glacial landscapes, legendary tango performances, impressive wine and food scenes, and of course, cities like Buenos Aires. Now, thanks to the recent drop in value of the Argentinian peso—plus the new tax refund foreigners get on hotel stays—there’s never been a better time to visit. Here are 15 photos that will inspire you to visit one of South America’s most alluring and beautiful countries.
Los Glaciares National Park in the Argentine part of Patagonia is one of the country’s crowning glories, comprised of mountains like the jagged Mount Fitz Roy, lakes, and glaciers.
The neighborhood of La Boca, known for its brightly painted tin buildings and impromptu tango performances, helps make Buenos Aires one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Journey across South America discovering the thrilling landscapes, cities and cultures of Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina on this exciting tour. Highlights include Peru’s renowned sacred Inca site of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you will tour and explore independently. Discover the historic highlights of Lima and tour Cusco, including the impressive Baroque cathedral and fascinating Inca remnants such as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman outside the town. Explore Chile’s enchanting capital, Santiago, and visit the renowned wine-producing region of the Casablanca Valley, touring a winery.
Cross the towering Andes from Puerto Varas, cruising across the shimmering Todos Los Santos lake and driving through breathtaking mountain landscapes. In Argentina, explore the natural beauty of the Circuito Chico, with alpine forests and lakes in Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Far away but absolutely worth the long flight, South American countries like Brazil, Peru and Chile offer plenty of unique experiences encompassing food, festivals and city sights.
If you’ve been itching to travel to the other side of the globe, but are hesitant about the dollars spent and the insanely long journey, it’s time to reconsider! South America is becoming an increasingly popular destination for today’s travellers, and for good reasons.
Faraway and exotic, the region boasts stunning scenery, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, innovative alcohols, heart-stopping festivals and non-stop adventures.
Here are 10 experiences to have in South America that you should put straight on your bucket list.
1. Scale 2,500m up one of the New Seven Wonders
Dubbed the “Lost City of the Incas”, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu is without question one of South America’s top attractions.
Nature has its own ways to surprise man. Argentina’s Perito Moreno is among the three glaciers in the world that are growing rather than receding.
The spectacles of Patagonia are truly remarkable. And there are not many places in this world, where a dream meets the reality. Located in southern America, Perito Moreno glacier is a science fiction dreamscape. If you aim at visiting only one glacier in your life, Perito Moreno has to be it. At an impressive scale of 30 km in length and over 250 sq km in size, Perito Moreno Glacier is true “The wall in the north” ( of course minus the wildlings from The Game of Thrones;). Intrigued, yet?
A tribute to the World Heritage Site is being featured on the most famous website in the world.
Google has honoured Argentina’s “stunning” Los Glaciares national park with a doodle that will run on the homepage today, May 11.
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the park which counts its main attraction as a cluster of mountain peaks at its northern boundary.
Designated an area of outstanding natural beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, the park contains Argentina’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Argentino is supplied by the Perito Moreno Glacier, which grinds a path through the Patagonian Andes mountain range.
“As the powdery blue glacier advances, the ice often gives way with a resounding crack, plunging into the chilly lake and calving enormous icebergs,” notes Google in its description of the day’s doodle.
An organization of the United Nations called UNESCO has a special task of finding, protecting, and preserving various sites or heritages around the world which are of cultural and natural importance and are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. By this, an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. Originally, there were only 12 entries to UNESCO’s World Heritage list but now, there are more than 1,000 sites all over the world, given that approximately 25 global sites are added to the list each year. Nonetheless, each of the sites in the list holds an outstanding universal value and are very stunning in their own, unique ways. Here are seven of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Iguazu Falls or Iguaçu Falls, depending on which side of the gigantic South American waterfalls you are referring to, are not one of the natural wonders of the world without very good reason. These falls are taller and twice as wide as the famous Niagara Falls, with three times its flow capacity. If you are visiting South America, this UNESCO world heritage site should be at the top of your list!
Situated at the tri-border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, it is recommended that you visit the National Parks in both Argentina and Brazil to experience the two-mile chain of jaw-dropping waterfall cascades in all their glory.
How to Get There
The most spectacular waterfalls in the world can be reached easily by plane or bus.
Argentina’s largest national park is Los Glaciares, while its oldest is Iguazu.
Argentina is widely known as a football nation. It has its capital in Buenos Aires which is also the largest city. There is no official language in the country, but Guarani, Qom, and Mocovi are the recognized regional languages. The country has a unitary presidential system of governance led by President Mauricio Macri. The country’s education system is highly ranked globally with a free education system in all levels. The country is highly urbanized with over 92% of the population living in the urban areas. Subtropical plants dominate the Northern parts of Argentina. The fauna includes reptiles, caiman species and all the big cats. There are 33 national parks in Argentina with 7% of the country being made up of protected areas. This article discusses the largest national parks in Argentina.