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Sitting 180 meters above sea level, these stunning salt flats (the third largest in the world) cover an area of over 4,700 square kilometers, stretching over two provinces. This is a solitary and desolated, but stunningly beautiful area, past deserted routes, walnut tree plantations, lagoons, red sandstone mountains, and the odd herd of adorable vicuñas. As this is an active salt flats, you’ll likely find workers if you arrive during the daytime. If you can manage some Spanish, they’ll happily show you around and explain how the salt is washed and scrapped. Otherwise, you can simply walk around to admire their beauty, which extends as far as the eye can see. Most visitors start their trip at the nearby town of Purmamarca, where just over 2,000 residents make their living either working in the salt flats or selling handicrafts to tourists in the town market. Tours to the salt flats also leave from here, including trips to the nearby Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colors).
Lovers of magic realism and the writings of Gabriel García Márquez will fall for the sleepy charms of Mompox. It features prominently in the Nobel laureate’s book The General in His Labyrinth and is thought to be the inspiration for the fictional town of Macondo in his most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Mompox was once a prosperous cog in the trading route between the Caribbean coast and the Andes, famed as the spot where “El Libertador” Simón Bolívar recruited his army to gain independence for neighboring Venezuela. Now, this colonial relic along the muddy shores of the Magdalena River is truly a town that time forgot. Though it lacks a wealth of things to do, many visitors find themselves spending far longer than planned strolling through the cobbled streets; soaking in the ambience of the colonial architecture; or taking boat trips through the Pijiño Swamp, a popular attraction for birders.
If you’re an art lover, don’t miss Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), with its vast and impressive collection of international and Cuban art. The collection is housed in two buildings, and includes works from ancient times to the present day. Clad in sumptuous Italian marble, the restored Spanish Renaissance-style Palacio del Centro Asturiano was designed in the 1920s by Manuel Bustos. It displays international art, including works by European Masters; ancient art from Greece, Rome, and Egypt; and works from Asia, the United States, and Latin America. The Spanish collection, in particular, is a highlight. The striking marble sculpture, Form, Space and Light, greets visitors at the entrance to the second venue, which dates from 1959. This Rationalist-style Palacio de Bellas Artes building displays a thought-provoking collection focusing on Cuban Art from the 17th century to the present day, including sculptures, prints, and paintings.
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 extra info 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.
Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island, drips with history, culture, and a captivating mystique. Live music wafts through the cobbled squares in Havana’s World Heritage-listed Old Town, vintage cars still cruise the streets, and the beautiful old buildings in Cuba’s colonial cities evoke the feel of a country frozen in time. Cuba also abounds in natural beauty. This vast island has more than 5,000 kilometers of coastline, much of it rimmed by dazzling beaches. Coral reefs glimmer in the turquoise waters, and Cuba’s lush countryside and sublime islands have played host to presidents; provided refuge to revolutionaries; and inspired writers from around the world, Hemingway among them.