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Despite a volatile economy and steep inflation, Argentina has been a well-liked budget destination for the past decade, which is fortunate as flights from most North American cities go for around $1,000. When visiting its capital, Buenos Aires, you won’t have to skimp on luxury experiences to save some dollars. Here are a few tips for stretching your budget while enjoying the best of the Paris of the South.
Located in the center of Buenos Aires, the Hotel Pulitzer (a member of the Design Hotels collection) boasts hip modern design and reasonable rates – around $120 a night. Some rooms have balconies and hotel amenities include a 13th-floor open-air sky bar and an eighth-floor pool deck. Read more
From top tango shows to savory steaks, Buenos Aires offers plenty to keep travelers busy. But for those looking for a little outer-city adventure, there are plenty of exciting day trips set within just an hour or two of the big city. From learning to horseback ride out on the Pampas (the plains known for their cowboy culture), to cruising through the Tigre Delta, to playing polo (one of Argentina’s most beloved sports), these three day trips offer those without much time – or money – to spare, a unique taste of greater Argentina, set within easy reach of the capital. Read more
Buenos Aires is a city made for walking, but that doesn’t mean your ambling should be aimless. For visitors to BA on a budget, several local companies offer free walking tours in a number of neighborhoods, with guides working solely for tips. Read on for a vetted roundup of three of the city’s best, free, English-language walking tours… Read more
If you ever wished that walls could talk, Buenos Aires can make it happen. With a vibrant and ubiquitous street arts scene that transforms public spaces into a collective canvas, graffiti and street art here go far beyond quickly scribbled “tags.” You’ll see a rich mix of styles and mediums – “bombs,” stencils, “paste-ups,” “pieces,” murals, and more. (And you’ll know what all those terms mean if you take one of the tours mentioned below.) The art serves as both a soapbox and a showcase for the city’s historical complexities, political and social pulse, and contemporary culture. Far from galleries and museums, Buenos Aires’s buzzing arts scene is perhaps best explored by simply strolling through its many barrios. I recently set out to sample the tours from a trio of unique street art-focused companies based in the Argentinian capital, each offering budget-friendly outings that are sure to have you looking at graffiti in a brand-new light. Read more
For once, here’s a glacier that doesn’t herald the apocalypse. While Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier may appear to be just a big (97 square miles!) chunk of frozen water, it’s actually one of the world’s few ice masses that is still growing. Of the 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian ice field, Perito Moreno is one of three that has skirted the effects of global warming and continues to expand today.
The Perito Moreno Glacier draws travelers from all over the world to Los Glaciares National Park, in the southwest province of Santa Cruz. Tourists and adventure-seekers come to simply see the beautiful frozen wonderland, and some even dare to traverse the icy terrain. Read more
Oasis Collections, an American-run, South American-based short-term apartment rental agency – and self-dubbed “curators of stylish pads” – has recently launched a series of budget-friendly upscale vacation rentals, spanning some of South America’s hottest destinations, for under $250/night. Read more
It’s no secret that there are countless unknown holidays that are celebrated around the world (Talk Like a Pirate Day, Margarita Day…you get the idea), but International Dance Day should be one that is on your radar every year. Founded over 30 years ago, the day’s message is one that transcends all barriers, “The intention of International Dance Day is to celebrate dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural, and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.” To celebrate in our own way we’re bringing you four cities to visit to experience this international language. Read more
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the brass bands warming up. Outside of Bavaria, it’s not the kind of music you’re likely to encounter at other times of year, but for the next two weeks, there’s a good chance the autumn air will be filled with the sounds of accordions, tubas, and clarinets. That’s because at noon on September 22nd, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer, ceremonially initiating a 16-day party on the Theresienwiese. Since October 1810, when the first Oktoberfest celebrated the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen with free food and drink, Germany’s third-largest city has marked the occasion with bratwurst, brezeln (Bavarian pretzels), and lots and lots of beer. Read more
Wine regions have long provided the perfect backdrop for romantic endeavors. Visiting is an inspiring way to get a lay of the land, the grapes, and the locals. Plus, these regions typically have a wealth of romantic accommodations – think chic boutiques, luxury castle accommodations, and wine-inspired bungalows. Herewith, six of the world’s most stirring vino-producing areas:
Morocco is a provocative spot and a tip-top choice among honeymooners, yet few travelers think of wine when they think of this Muslim country. It’s time to reconsider: Morocco produces more than 40 million bottles of wine a year and employs 10,000 Moroccans in this booming business.
Grab the binoculars and Dramamine: Whale-watching season is gearing up, especially on the West Coast, as the gentle giants slowly migrate from colder northern waters down south for the winter. Here, some recommendations for the best whale-watching tours and spots in North America, plus a newly announced camping and kayaking trip in Argentina that lets you paddle right up to the orcas.
First, a quick heads-up: While it should be an M.O. for any type of travel, there are no guarantees when it comes to whale-watching. Nature can flare up with some nasty waves, wind and fog. You might see nary a tail fin, and you might get seasick as a dog. But those unknowns make sightings even more enjoyable. Up your chances of a good experience by eating a carb-rich breakfast and packing anti-seasickness meds, plenty of layers, rainy-weather gear and a positive attitude.
In 2011, follow through with your New Year’s resolution to travel more by making that elusive South America vacation a reality. LAN Airlines has announced a fare sale to South America that includes Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, with round-trip rates starting from $399! Best of all, these fares from select U.S. cities are valid between January 1 and December 31, 2011, so whether you’re trying to exchange the winter blues for a dose of summertime in the Southern Hemisphere, or you’re planning a vacation well into next year, these rates will be your best friend. Flights must be booked by December 15, 2010.
Sample Round-Trip Fares to South America (Excluding Taxes):
• Miami?Quito, Ecuador: $399
• New York?Guayaquil, Ecuador: $429
• Los Angeles?Lima, Peru: $599
• New York?Lima, Peru: $599
• San Francisco?Sao Paolo, Brazil: $799
• Miami?Buenos Aires, Argentina: $899
• And more!
THE VALUE: These fares are an average of $150 off competitor’s rates!
THE CATCH: Blackout dates apply during portions of July, August, and December. Taxes and fees not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit www.LAN.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to help find a hotel to complete your vacation!
Use our South America Travel Guide to find the perfect destination.
Two cruise ships couldn’t possibly be more different than Seabourn Sojourn (www.seabourn.com; shown at left; courtesy of the Yachts of Seabourn) and Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas (www.royalcaribbean.com). I was recently onboard preview sailings of both as they arrived in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and I can tell you they only have two things in common: They are the newest vessels in their fleets (both debuted in 2010) and they are truly fantastic ships. Come to think of it, comparing them is kind of like comparing a Yorkshire Terrier and a Great Dane. Both are best in show, but for very different reasons!
Here’s a rundown of what to expect, beginning with an aft-to-stern comparison:
When it comes to navigating big foreign cities, it’s sometimes best to leave the what, where, and when to the pros. And if you are planning a romantic visit to South America – say, several nights in either Rio de Janeiro (shown at left, courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels) or Buenos Aires, paired with a beach escape or an Amazon/Iguassu Falls adventure – and you have a splurge-worthy budget, then consider putting your enjoyment in the hands of Blue Parallel (www.blueparallel.com). Plus, summer is about to bloom in the southern hemisphere, so the timing is ideal.
Founded in 2002 by Emmanuel Burgio, this award-winning bespoke travel company is based in the U.S. with an operations center in Buenos Aires. Burgio and his team craft custom itineraries featuring South America’s most luxurious accommodations and must-see sights – some of them, such as a private concert by a group of musicians from Buenos Aires’ famous Teatro Colon or a candlelit visit to the magnificent Compañía de Jesús church in Quito, Ecuador, not widely accessible to the general public. Add knowledgeable local guides, who are there when you want them (helping you circumvent traffic jams or expedite lines) and not there when you don’t (when dining à deux) and the effect is a seamless voyage, tailor-made to your needs and budget. Although with rates starting at $1,000 per person per day (all-inclusive, with the exception of international airfare and certain meals), nothing about the Blue Parallel experience is budget.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011′s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
Just one continent over, South America boasts undiscovered beaches, snow-capped peaks, lush tropics, and exotic cities. Discover eight Latin hotspots in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and more with LAN’s summer and fall airfare blowout, starting from just $399 from Miami to Quito, round trip (before taxes). Leaving from the West Coast? Round-trip fares bottom out at $699 from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Flights are available from major U.S. hubs, including Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Denver.
Round-Trip Sample Fares (Without Taxes):
• Miami–Guayaquil: $399
• New York–Quito: $409
• New York–Guayaquil: $460
• Miami–Lima: $479
• San Francisco–Lima: $599
• Los Angeles–Montevideo: $699
THE VALUE: LAN fares are an average $100 lower than non-discounted routes.
THE CATCH: Rates may change without notice, so book soon!
THE DETAILS: Book your flight at LAN Airlines by July 28. Travel from August 16 through December 5.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Check out International Hotels to check into once you arrive.
Read our Adventure Travel blog for other exciting escape ideas.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find other great flight, hotel, cruise, and package deals.
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