Archive for ◊ septiembre, 2009 ◊

Views 25 Sep Rio de Janeiro
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations  | 2 Comments

Words actually fall short to describe Rio de Janeiro. But I will do my best to give you an impression about this spectacular city. Of course Rio de Janeiro is famous for it´s carnival and the tiny bikinis at the Copacabana beach, but Rio the Janeiro has so much more to offer than just that.

For one thing, the city itself is beautiful, it is built in between the mountains and this makes an amazing skyline. On one side you have the Sugarloaf Mountain and on the other side there´s Cristo Redentor, a huge statue of Jesus Christ on the hill watching over the richly colored sunny city. A cab driver told me that there´s this competition between people from Sao Paolo (Paulistanos) and the people from Rio the Janeiro (Cariocas), where the Paulistanos say the Cariocas are really lazy and never work and the day the Cariocas start working, Cristo Redentor will clap his hands.

Rio De Janeiro 

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Views 17 Sep A journey into the mountains
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations  | One Comment

Travelling to more remote locations in Argentina and more widely in Latin America, can provide its fair share of challenges but the experiences awaiting the determined explorer can be extremely rewarding. A significant part of that experience often lies in the journey to such secluded locales and this certainly applies to the tiny town of Iruya, tucked away amongst the Andes in the province of Salta, in the northwest of Argentina.

A journey into the mountains

The only way to get to Iruya without a 4×4 is on the buses operating daily from the town of Humahuaca, some 300km away. The remoteness is partly explained by Iruya’s geographical situation, located on a plateau in the Andes, known as the Altiplano in Spanish or high plain. Iruya itself is carved into a mountainside and sits at a height of 2,780m above sea level. There are other historical reasons which determine the relative levels of connection/disconnection between towns in this part of Argentina. The northwest, such a significant leg of colonial trading links between the silver mines of Potosi in Bolivia and the Atlantic Coast, and subsequent European markets, prioritized more accessible cities such as Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán, whilst bypassing hidden pockets of human civilization like Iruya. Most of the smaller settlements situated in the northwest of Argentina consist of villages or towns with relatively undeveloped transport links, and are sheltered between the mountains or near adequate water sources for drinking and irrigation (Iruya itself is located alongside the Iruya River). Of course, Iruya and many of the neighbouring towns and villages dotted within and along the Andes, possess histories which stretch back far earlier to pre-Colombian times, providing that element of mysticism which undoubtedly draws many travelers to the region.

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