Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria infamously ruled the streets of Medellín, Colombia, until his death in 1993. For many long grueling years, Colombians lived in constant terror from violence caused by the drug cartels. The drug-lord’s international fame has increased in recent years thanks to Netflix original series, Narcos. However, today, Medellín is reviving and thriving. Continue reading “True Stories of Pablo Escobar and a Cop Who Fought Against Him.”
Pronounced Med-ay-een, Medellín is (in my humble opinion), today’s greatest Latin American city.
When I talk about how much I enjoyed Medellín, I often get surprised reactions. “Isn’t it very unsafe?” People still associate this vibrant city with its dark drug trafficking days under the rule of Pablo Escobar. Until recently, this city was considered a dangerous place. But big changes are happening in Medellín! For several years now, the city has a thriving flow of tourists. Sadly, parts of the city are still living in extreme poverty, and the effects of the past are still quite visible. But the energy and revitalization are hard to deny. I highly recommend a visit. Be part of what helps turn around the no-longer-relevant reputation, and help Medellin spark it’s economy with your visit. I promise, you will have a blast! Continue reading “Medellín ~ 6 Ways To Have A Blast In Today’s Greatest Latin American City”
This one is overdue. What do a gas stove, a wooden pepper grinder, a temperature nob in a shower, and a surf board have in common? Continue reading “Tarzan Leaves The Jungle”
I began my Ecuador explorations in the lovely city, Cuenca. Cuenca has dozens of museums for art and history. You can visit factories of the famed “Panama Hat” to learn how they are made (Yes, the Panama hat actually comes from Ecuador…). You can walk the streets or follow the river. There are even Incan ruins in the middle of city. Continue reading “Cuenca, Ecuador”
I don’t think I saw this region properly. I don’t often say that. But considering that the Inca Ruins were among the places that I was most excited to explore in South America, I have to be honest and say that if I ever do it a second time in life, I will do it differently. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time and am thrilled that I finally made it here. But those of you planning your Cusco trips, please learn from my mistakes! Continue reading “The Ruins of Cusco & The Sacred Valley – Learn From My Mistakes.”
Having spent a full month just in Cusco, 1 blog post doesn’t seem like fair attention to this fascinating place. So I am going to break this up into 3 posts. This post is dedicated to the City of Cusco, as well as the Inti Raymi festival that I was lucky to be able to celebrate there.
When I first set my sights on South America, Machu Picchu felt like the pinnacle that had to be reached. My initial plan was to start in the South of Patagonia, and finish 4 months later in Cusco, the launching point for visitors from around the globe visiting the wondrous Inca ruins. That is not what happened. After 4 months, I hadn’t even reached Peru. So I returned to South America a second time, this time with 6 months to spare. The second time around, I still had my heart set on visiting Machu Picchu, but I no longer envisioned it as the climax of my journey. After being awestruck by so many unexpected things along my way, Machu Picchu became another exciting stop along a journey that would continue well beyond.
Continue reading “Cusco, City and Celebration”
Arequipa was my “Welcome to Peru” city. I had heard from repeated backpackers that the city center was really lovely, and that the nearby Colca Canyon was something that shouldn’t be missed on a good tour of Peru. So of course, I headed straight there. Continue reading “Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Peru”
La Paz is a crazy, fascinating city. I was reminded while wandering the streets of La Paz of a quote from the movie Clueless that I think describes the city perfectly. “She’s a full-on Monet… It’s like the painting, see? From far away, it’s okay, but up close, it’s a big old mess”.
Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh. Continue reading “La Paz, Bolivia”
I do not believe that I can give an honest assessment of what the city of Sucre is like. It would be like a tourist in New York spending 5 days in the city without ever leaving midtown, except to visit upstate for a day. This is essentially what my time was like in Sucre. I spent entire days only in the city center. I can however say that I really enjoyed my time in Sucre, and if my travel time was not becoming increasingly limited, I would have like to spend a lot more time there. I think it may be my favorite of the big cities I have visited in South America so far. Continue reading “Sucre, Bolivia”
This post is about my first impression of Bolivia. In fact, just entering Bolivia was a weird experience. So I will start there, at the Argentinian/Bolivian border. Continue reading “Welcome to Bolivia”