As the largest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix has a lot to offer those seeking a tropical getaway. Fairly easy to get to, at under three hours from Miami and under six from New York, beaches, food, culture and recreation make up the best of the island. I experienced all last month while on a trip for an upcoming article for Passport magazine.
From the architecture of the Victorian era Frederiksted and 18th-century Danish-styled Christiansted to the beaches and views of Cane Bay, Buck Island and The Buccaneer Hotel (above), get a visual taste of St. Croix below. Plus make sure to check out my article this summer on the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience.
Recognized by National Geographic Traveler as 2013’s Best Destination, Ecuador offers the Andes mountain range, the Galápagos Islands, relaxing farmlands and large cities with more than just native shopping and restaurants. Among these cities is the capital Quito, which I recently had a chance to explore its diverse offerings and see how its history is preserved, but for the adventurer, you’ll want to go just outside of the city.
First a couple city musts. Filled to the brim with religious and artful history, and as it should be since the whole city is UNESCO World Heritage site, the historic center of town is where a first timer would want to start his or her visit. Here you’ll find colonial plazas, museums, monasteries, convents and churches, including the gold-studded Iglesia de la Compania (below).
More travel should be on everyone’s resolution list for life, but if you’ve made it one of your 2014 goals, I’ve put together a travel photo slideshow for Latina.com that will surely cause you to experience wanderlust.
I lurked through LAN airlines’ hashtag of #OnlyInSouthAmerica, and picked out 20 of the best photos shared by LAN, fellow travelers and two from myself that’ll make you add countries such as Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and more to your bucket list.
Following last week’s Travel Inspiration photo series with Cartagena de Indias, be inspired to hop on the next flight to venture down to Colombia to experience the metropolitan life of Bogota (four hours from LAN Airlines‘ Miami hub). Below, enjoy a set of over 30 images of Bogota’s oldest district, La Candelaria, and the surreal mountain escape of Monserrate (pictured above)—just a cable car away.
Picture yourself in place of my accompanying travel bag on this journey, the Bleecker Legacy Weekend Tote, shown in a couple of the photos below, and make sure to check out my story on luxury travel in Colombia for Latina.com.
As the oldest part of Bogota, La Candelaria is full of history and character. The architecture of the old houses, churches and buildings has Spanish Colonial and Baroque styles, and the neighborhood is home to hostels, universities, libraries and museums. Among the museums, I got to visit the Botero Museum (containing the full-figure works by painter/sculptor Fernando Botero, and works by Monet and Picasso from Botero’s private collection) and the Gold Museum (housing 36,000 pieces in gold, wood, shell and stone organized in its three floors).
But before venturing to these and the streets of La Candelaria, the first stop in your journey should be Monserrate, a mountain part of the Andes Mountains at over 10,000 feet above sea level. Monserrate is both a pilgrim destination and tourist attraction where you’ll find a 17th-century church, restaurants and countless souvenir stands with native crafts, herbal remedies, food, drinks and more. You can climb to the mountain top, but a quicker (and more restful) way is by a cable car or cliff railway.
Forget everything that immediately comes to mind when you think of Colombia. The country has been improving its image, especially in many major cities of business and travelers (with tourism tripling since 2006). On a trip for Latina.com, I got to experience the relaxed Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias (Cartagena for short) and the thriving metropolitan life in Bogota.
Continuing our Travel Inspiration photo series, see select images that’ll make you want to hop the next flight to Colombia. Both Cartagena and Bogota are accessible by a two-to-four hour flight from LAN Airlines‘ Miami hub, depending where you go first.
To accompany me, I selected the handsome and strong Bleecker Legacy Weekend Tote from Coach which proved to be perfect for any weather as we experienced tropical rain the first day in Cartagena, sun with high humidity the next, and Bogota’s unpredictable weather patterns brought a little of all the elements. Picture yourself in its place in a couple of the photos below, and stay tuned for the post on Bogota as well.
A rainy morning, our journey starts high above all of Cartagena in Cerro de La Popa, a convent that attracts tourists for being the highest peak in town and providing spectacular city views at just under 500 feet above ground. Read the rest of this entry
A hundred years old, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is undoubtedly cliché. However, we can’t deny that it still holds true for photographs that are laced with memory and depth.
While we have our smartphones to snap our daily happenings, the quality and detail of photo that comes from an actual camera still trumps the lens of an iPhone. A camera is also like a third eye that can provide a different perspective to what you would normally see, especially if your digital camera still has a viewer, and can create truly beautiful shots.
I remember my first trips to both London and Paris back in winter 2008 and spring 2010, respectively. In full tourist mode, which I at times still find myself during each visit, I snapped hundreds of photos of iconic cities to always remind myself I was there (since at the time I didn’t know if I would be able to go back). Read the rest of this entry