21
Apr
2017
47

Becoming Spiderwoman on the Calluqueo Glacier 

Jimmy patiently straps crampons onto each of us. There are only four of us but it takes an inordinate amount of time to ensure the fit is secure. It’s a complicated business, reams of ribbon-like, leather straps to hold the metal toes and heels in place. Finally we’re ready and I take my first ever, crampon-clad steps. To begin with it feels odd, like I’m walking in someone else’s shoes. “When you’re ascending, kick your...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in February

Find out our pick of the best sights in February. CHILE & BOLIVIA: salt flats & flowering deserts If it ever rains in Chile’s Atacama Desert, it will probably happen in February. On these rare occasions, flowers appear overnight and you are treated to the spectacle of a ‘coloured desert,’ with the usually dry-as-a-bone, surreal landscapes carpeted in a riot of pretty flowers. The February rains are more predictable across the border in Bolivia, when...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in January

Find out our pick of the best sights in January. COSTA RICA: sunshine & wildlife January is one of the best (and consequently most popular) months to travel to Costa Rica; the weather is relatively dry in much of the country, and everything is still green. With early January being the peak holiday season, aim to travel in the second half of the month when it is a little less busy, but with ideal conditions...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in December

Find out our pick of the best sights in December. CHILE: guanacos & glaciers  Chile’s Carretera Austral is fantastic at this time of year. The weather should be as stable as it ever gets in Patagonia, with long days to explore the glaciers, forests, lakes, mountains and villages of this least known area of the country. The rivers are full from the meltwaters of the glaciers so rafting the Baker River should be great fun,...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in November

Find out our pick of the best sights in November. ANTARCTICA: ice & feathers While the more ‘obvious’ time to visit Antarctica is in January-February for the most wildlife activity, November is an amazing time to go if the landscapes are what draws you the most. The icebergs are yet to melt down, the snowy mountains are pristine, as are the penguin rookeries. To say nothing of the penguins themselves – later in the season they...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in October

Find out our pick of the best sights in October. SPAIN: Autumn colours & flavours In the north, the landscapes of the Pyrenees and the Picos are full of autumn colours, a glorious backdrop for your mountain adventures. The harvest season continues in La Rioja and the colour of the vineyards is stunning throughout the month. This is the peak season for walking down in Andalucía, with sunny warm days which aren’t too hot. The...
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6
Apr
2017
0

Where to go in September

Find out our pick of the best sights in September. PERU: trekking & fine food September is arguably the best month if you’re heading up into the Andes, especially if hiking, as the crowds from the northern hemisphere’s summer holiday season have gone. However, you’re still a good way outside the rainy season, so can expect clear skies for photography, while the nighttime temperatures are slowly warming up – not so many camping nights at...
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30
Mar
2017
58

Picasso’s Path to Guernica

Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía opens “Pity and Terror. Picasso’s Path to Guernica” to the public from April 5 to September 4 this year, celebrating the first public showing of Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World Fair. The major exhibition will bring together some 150 of Picasso’s works from the Reina Sofía’s own collection as well as more than 30 institutions around the world, including the Musée Picasso, Pompidou, Tate...
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30
Mar
2017
72

Best things to do in Ostional

Though the main attraction for many visitors to this stretch of the Costa Rican coast is to hang 10 and enjoy the beach and surf, Ostional is really best known for being a turtle sanctuary. For the past 60 years or so, tens of thousands of sea turtles have been coming to this 7km long beach to lay their eggs. In fact, this is the single most important place in the world for nesting of...
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22
Mar
2017
109

18 facts about Semana Santa

As we’re approaching Easter, here are eighteen things you need to know about Semana Santa in Spain and Latin America: 1 – Semana Santa commemorates the Passion of Christ in the Catholic tradition. 2 – It takes place the week directly before Easter. 3 – It is considered the major celebration in Spain and most Latin American countries. 4 – Each ‘paso’ (religious float carried on shoulders) can weigh over 1,000 kilograms. 5 – It takes about 40-50 men, called...
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13
Mar
2017
76

Sierra Subbetica: The heart of Andalucia

Spanish tourist board straplines are usually dreadful things. Jaén’s ‘El Paraíso Interior’ stands out a recent one we delight in at the office. ‘The interior paradise’ doesn’t really say much about a city, it really belongs on a macrobiotic yoghurt pot but I digress… Andalusia’s Sierra Subbetica local tourist board goes for less hyperbole with its ‘Centro de Andalucia’. On the plus side, it is accurate – within an hour of the sierra you can...
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2
Mar
2017
42

My first time in Catalonia

I flew over to Catalonia for a slice of Spanish life in early February; the beauty of this particular trip being that I was able to see something of bustling Barcelona for two days, before zipping off in my teeny Toyota Yaris to the tranquil countryside, within the province of Girona, for another two days. Having not visited this region of Spain before, I was looking forward to experiencing something undeniably different from that of...
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15
Feb
2017
67

The 5 Golden Rules for visiting National Parks

The recent dramatic wildfires in Chile serve to remind us how fragile the environment is and the importance of leaving as light a footprint as possible. Of course, each country and National Park has its own regulations (all have their own distinctions and therefore their own rules), so the first thing you need to do is head to the National Park Office/visitor centre and ask about the rules. In most national parks you’ll need to...
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3
Feb
2017
80

A view from south of the border

Relations between Mexico and the United States have, through the twists and turns of history, always verged on “Love me, love me not”. Mexico lost almost half of its territory following the Texas Revolution and Mexican-American Wars of the 19th century. Until that point, most of the western side of the USA was Mexico: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. This is a loss which has been very difficult...
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1
Feb
2017
80

Chile Wildfires – Updates

Several years of drought combined with an extended period of extreme heat and dry weather have helped to fuel wildfires which are now considered to be the worst in the history of Chile. The historic wildfires that have prompted President Michelle Bachelet to declare ‘state of emergency’ last week, deploying troops and asking for international help, are mainly spread in central Chile (from Santiago to the Maule Valley). With more than 900,000 acres of forests...
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