Chile is the narrowest nation throughout the world, yet its borders provide some of the most diverse terrains. From waterfalls to mountains, hot springs to volcanoes… you never know what you might come across next. It's no secret that the country provides a vast array of exciting things to do and see for people of all ages. As a foreigner entering the nation, you will find that the rich culture, fantastic cuisine, lively nightlife, and sightseeing can keep you busy for a lifetime, so we've created a list of four of Chile's best destination spots that you must-see first.
Santiago is the capital of this majestic country, and it certainly doesn't lack character. As the largest city in Chile, you will find that residents and tourists favor it for many reasons. Each neighborhood nestled within the city's borders is distinctly different from the next. For instance, as you enter Bellavista, you are introduced to historical European homes and a free spirited energy you can't ignore. With colorful buildings, marketplaces, and street art around nearly every corner, your eyes could wonder each crevice and still find new details while your ears get to hear the pleasant sounds of live music fill the air.
Shared by nine South American countries and covering 5.5 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles), the Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on our planet. Around 60% of the Amazon basin sits within Brazil, although tours within the Peruvian Amazon are on equal standing. The starting point for a journey in the Brazilian Amazon is usually Manaus, while for Peru, it is Iquitos. Any trip to the Amazon will usually combine the following activities.
Home to 1,300 bird species, the Amazon is home to the largest diversity of birdlife on the planet as well as 10% of our known fauna. Scientists estimate that there are around 40,000 plant species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals, and at least 2.5 million different insects within the depths of the rainforest.
Toucans, anacondas, boa constrictors, caimans, dart frogs, giant otters, howler monkeys, sloths, and capybaras - the largest rodent on earth - are just some of the creatures you might encounter. Your chances of seeing the fauna with your own eyes are most likely when you explore with your knowledgeable jungle guide.
Madrid has been inhabited since the Stone Age, but its rise as an essential city within Spain began in the 1500s, and it became the country's capital in 1606. The city population grew rapidly over the centuries, but most notably in the early 1900s around the time of a civil war. Madrid underwent many changes since going from a politically oppressed town to today's booming and prosperous city.
Here are several of the top adventures that await you in Spain's central capital.
1. Prado Museum
The Prado is not only Madrid's most famous museum, but it is one of the most popular in the world. Filled with paintings and sculptures, the museum showcases Spanish, Italian, and Flemish styles of art.
2. Plaza Mayor
This renaissance square dates back to the early 1600s and surrounds you with cafes and bars where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the beautiful architecture and atmosphere.
3. El Retiro Park
This luscious park offers activities for the whole family. Enjoy walking among formal gardens, including a rose garden filled with over 4,000 roses. Let the kids enjoy the playgrounds and take the entire family on a paddleboat ride.
Next week, AmaWaterways and I will team up to present a fun and interactive virtual event about sailing on the Rhone River in France.
Connecting France and Switzerland, the Rhone is one of the most important rivers in the whole of Europe. Cruising along its waters is an unforgettable way to soak up the picturesque French cities, villages and countryside of Burgundy and Provence. Along the way, you will have plenty of opportunities to disembark and explore the towns, nature and vineyards of two of France’s most alluring regions.
Located in eastern France, Burgundy (Bourgogne) is one of the nation’s most prominent wine regions and produces both red and white varieties. The most highly acclaimed wines to come out of Burgundy’s patchwork of vineyards are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Due to the exceptional terroir and high quality of these wines, they are some of the most expensive in the world.
Burgundy is historically poignant and the whole region is peppered with castles and abbeys. Scattered amongst its rolling plains are idyllic villages which encompass all the rustic charm of France. Of all of these, Vézelay is one of the most beautiful with its hilltop location and Sainte Marie Magdaleine basilica. Meanwhile, the moated Château de Cormatin with its landscaped gardens is a masterpiece of 17th-century French architecture.
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