The Six Kinds of Trips Everyone Should Experience

Different people are drawn to different kinds of travel.  Some like the carefree Caribbean weekend, lapping up sunshine and playing in the waves with their significant other.  Some prefer the cozy snowy cottage surrounded by family.  Still others like to go off and explore a new place on their own.  While everyone has their personal … Read more

My Top 10 Super Awesome Surprise London Adventures

United Kingdom - London - Train

My ten-day London (and the Home Counties) adventure was supposed to be 60% work/40% try-really-hard-to-grab-some-sightseeing time, but our host office ended up being the most awesome place ever and throwing in some really cool side trips.  That, combined with how easy London and the Home Counties are to explore, and I’ve racked up some amazing … Read more

Visiting Rio de Janeiro’s UNESCO Site: the Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

I love the way that UNESCO names their sites. Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and Sea–the phrase might as well be the description of a movie with flying birds and lapping waves while the camera pans from the top of Corcovado down to the sea. The natural landscape in Rio is breathtaking, so much so … Read more

Luquillo, Puerto Rico: Taking in the Sunset at the Capital of the Sun

Between the rainforest and the sea sits Luquillo, “La Capital del Sol,” or the Capital of the Sun.  The lagoon is carved into the island, has soft red sand, an unobstructed view of the horizon, and a coconut grove.  The waves are more gentle than on other parts of Puerto Rico’s northern Atlantic coast, due to the … Read more

Visiting Puerto Rico’s UNESCO Site: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site

The Atlantic ocean curls around the shore of Old San Juan, waves slapping the beach.  Kites fill the sky, while children scoot and run around.  The sunset fades to purple.  That’s how I experienced EL Morro and La Fortaleza in Puerto Rico.  It was magical. From UNESCO’s description: The main elements of the massive fortification … Read more

Uruguay Travel: Things to Know Before Visiting Uruguay

Uruguay Travel Resources Uruguay is an elegant country with amazing cuisine, gorgeous beaches, beautiful architecture, what seems like a billion cows, and…almost no guidebooks.   Most of the usual suspects (ahem, Lonely Planet), relegate it to a chapter in books about Argentina.   The plus side to this is that you’ll end up doing a lot … Read more

How to Visit Granja Colonia Pencil Museum in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Granja Colonia’s World Record Pencil Museum

Yesterday, I wrote about my visit to Colonia del Sacramento, and I mentioned that on the tour there were some strange stops.  Organized tours usually need to tout the number of places they visit to compete with other vendors and to show the overall value of their package.  I always check to see if the other places seem interesting enough to spend time in or if they add enough value to be worth the time.  Sometimes these places end up being fantastic, other times they just distract you from getting to spend more time at the main event.  For example, in Rio de Janeiro, a lot of tours combine visiting Corcovado to see the Cristo Redentor statue (Christ the Redeemer) and Sugar Loaf, which visiting independently would take much more time and organization.  Since both are must-sees, this can be a great benefit.  However, some tours add on stopping at Tijuca National Park.  This is great for people who want to see the rainforest.  But some want to skip this, and some want much more time.  Always check out all the stops listed on a tour and decide if that’s the best way to go before getting started.  

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