South America – Travel & Tea http://travelandtea.com Brits travelling the world, one sip at a time Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:16:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Would You Like a Foreign Biscuit with That? http://travelandtea.com/like-foreign-biscuit/ http://travelandtea.com/like-foreign-biscuit/#respond Mon, 20 Jan 2014 20:23:15 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=2261 No matter where in the world you drink a cup of tea you will want a biscuit with it. After all, a drink’s too wet without one. So what biscuits are you likely to come across on your travels?  Here are some of the best ones which are made and eaten in some of the […]

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No matter where in the world you drink a cup of tea you will want a biscuit with it. After all, a drink’s too wet without one. So what biscuits are you likely to come across on your travels?  Here are some of the best ones which are made and eaten in some of the countries you might be interested in visiting.

Springerle

This is a German biscuit which is made using a mold so that an intricate design is pressed into them. They are most common in the run up to Christmas and they are lovely. If you are planning on seeing one of the famous Christmas markets in Germany then you might want to take some of these home with you.

Alfajores

This is a type of sweet biscuit found across South America but the ones in Argentina are probably the best ones. There are two different types of alfajor commonly sold; homemade, light and crumbly ones and factory produced chocolate covered ones with firmer biscuits in the middle stuck together with dulce de leche. Both types are fantastic with the latter being a good deal sweeter.

Pierniczki

These Polish gingerbread cookies have been popular for centuries. These days they are often made in shapes such as hearts or stars. If you travel to Poland near Christmas time you should be sure to try them, while you can also find recipes online if you want to give baking yourself them a try at home. Your family will thank you for it.

Krumkakes

This is a type of waffle cookie which is traditionally eaten in Norway. It doesn’t look like the kind of biscuit Brits are used to eating with their tea but we can class it as a biscuit if we use our imagination a little. They are rolled up into cones and look a bit like crepes. While Norway is their spiritual home, you may also come across in Germany and even as far away as the USA. They are often filled with sweet stuff, so unless you have a very sweet tooth you are more likely to eat one as a dessert rather than with your tea.

Tcherek

These are Algerian biscuits which are formed in the shape of a crescent and filled with chopped up almonds. The North of Africa is a great place to eat some biscuits or sweets and you are almost certain to come across some things you have never eaten before. They also drink a lot of tea in this part of the world, although it may take you some time to get used to it.

Sablé

The food is sure to be one of the highlights of any trip you make to France. These biscuits are a round type of shortbread which are crumbly and really rather fine. There are different flavours of them made, with almond, orange and lemon among the most popular. They are traditionally eaten in the Normandy region, although you might get lucky and find some elsewhere.

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Forget the Tea for a Minute and Take a Coffee Break http://travelandtea.com/forget-tea-minute-take-coffee-break/ http://travelandtea.com/forget-tea-minute-take-coffee-break/#respond Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:40:26 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=2067 Some of the best travel memories you can build up are those where you sit back and sip a nice drink while enjoying watching the world go by. In the UK you might do this with a cup of tea but what if you go a country with a strong tradition of coffee drinking? There […]

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Some of the best travel memories you can build up are those where you sit back and sip a nice drink while enjoying watching the world go by. In the UK you might do this with a cup of tea but what if you go a country with a strong tradition of coffee drinking?

There are a great many places where you can enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee and really feel a part of the local culture. Here are a few of the best ones.

Colombia

You will find that even a humble looking restaurant or café here can serve you an amazing cup of coffee in Colombia. some of the finest coffee in the world is grown and served here. There are a number of tours of the country’s coffee growing region available and these are eye opening experiences. . If you are in neighbouring Ecuador then you will also enjoy some great coffee, although Colombia is where you should really take advantage of the national produce. Perhaps the biggest compliment we can pay to Colombian coffee is that you will probably starting looking out for in your local supermarket once you get back home.

Turkey

Contrary to what some people think, Turkish coffee is a way of preparing the drink rather than something made with special beans from the region. It can be made using any kind of coffee bean and is found in many of the countries around Turkey too. However, if you sit down in a café in Istanbul with a cup of this amazing drink you will feel as though you are really sampling the way of life. You might like it enough to try it at home. Basically, it involves grinding up the coffee beans very finely and adding them to boiling water. This results in a thick, creamy type of coffee with the ground beans settling at the bottom of the cup.

Finland

Maybe you wouldn’t automatically assume that Finland would be a good choice of destination for a coffee drinking holiday. However, there is a very good reason for including it here; it is the top country in the world in terms of coffee consumption. They drink 12 kg per person per year, which is a pretty staggering amount. In the UK we only consume 2.8 kg per person. After Finland the next highest placed countries are in the same part of the world; Norway, Iceland and Denmark.  Even in Colombia they only consume 1.8 kg per person per year. So what is so special about the coffee in Finland? Well, they certainly don’t grow the stuff here but it seems that drinking a cup of coffee or three is a huge part of the national culture. Apparently they like it very lightly roasted here and coffee breaks are a mandatory part of the day in Finnish work places. After spending some time here you might get so used to seeing Finns drink coffee that you end up addicted to the stuff as well.

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Are You Planning on Going to the World Cup in Brazil? http://travelandtea.com/are-you-planning-on-going-to-the-world-cup-in-brazil/ http://travelandtea.com/are-you-planning-on-going-to-the-world-cup-in-brazil/#respond Mon, 23 Dec 2013 17:17:04 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1882 The home nations had mixed fortunes in their World Cup qualifying groups, with only England making it through to the finals in Brazil. However, no matter which part of the UK you are from you might be interested in seeing this fascinating event. So what do you need to know first of all? Where to […]

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The home nations had mixed fortunes in their World Cup qualifying groups, with only England making it through to the finals in Brazil. However, no matter which part of the UK you are from you might be interested in seeing this fascinating event. So what do you need to know first of all?

Where to Go

Brazil is a massive and diverse country. Games are going to be played in a number of different cities so it is important that you consider where you want to be based. For example, if you want to see England’s group games then you need to be in Manaus, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte on the different dates they are playing. This is going to involve a fair bit of travelling. If they get out of group D then they could end up in Rio de Janeiro or Recife for the next stage. If you want to stay in just one city and see the best games then Rio is a good bet, as the final is going to be held here, as well as some earlier games.

The Cost of Staying

You might think of Brazil as being a low cost destination but it has been getting more expensive in recent years. The country’s economy has been booming for some years now and it is more expensive than you might think. Of course, the massive influx of fans, players and officials is going to push the prices of food and hotels up even further. The Northern part of the country has traditionally been seen as the poorest region, with lower prices for just about everything. The further South you go the more prices will tend to rise.

The Flight

A flight from the UK to Brazil will take you between 11 and 12 hours usually. Sao Paulo has a huge airport and will probably work out as your easiest point of entry. The price of travelling form the UK varies wildly so it is well worth checking out a few offers before booking. It could even suit you to go a couple of days earlier than planned to save some money. A few extra days in Brazil can never be a bad thing, after all.

Other Factors

You should check with your doctor about vaccinations before travelling, especially if you are going to the hot, humid areas in the Amazon region. The yellow fever jab is one which is usually recommended. In fact, you will need to prove you have had this vaccination before you enter the country if you have been in an infected area recently. Safety is the other big concern for many fans heading to the World Cup. Clearly, such a big concentration is going to cause some security issues. Being smart and steering clear of potential trouble spots is your best bet. The Brazilian people are generally open and welcoming with visitors but you should still keep your wits about you at all times and not do anything silly which you wouldn’t do at home.

Photo by 31103315@N00 on Flickr

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National Drinks You Might Find on Your Travels in South America http://travelandtea.com/national-drinks-you-might-find-on-your-travels-in-south-america/ http://travelandtea.com/national-drinks-you-might-find-on-your-travels-in-south-america/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:17:44 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1621 Every Brit knows there is nothing like a cup of tea to brighten up the day. However, you might not have access to this lovely drink everywhere you go. So what other national drinks will you try as you travel the world? There is a variety of different hot and cold beverages for you to […]

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Every Brit knows there is nothing like a cup of tea to brighten up the day. However, you might not have access to this lovely drink everywhere you go. So what other national drinks will you try as you travel the world? There is a variety of different hot and cold beverages for you to try out and here some of the most interesting ones you might want to sip in South America.

Inca Kola – Peru

This drink is a national icon in Peru and you might even decide to buy an Inca Kola t-shirt before you go home. It bears some sort of passing resemblance to the Scottish Irn Bru, with a bright colour and an unexpectedly weird taste. Another factor it has in common with Irn Bu is that it sells more than Coca Cola and Pepsi in its home country. Peru, Scotland and India are the only three countries in the world where a national soft drink beats both of these international brands and that alone makes it worth a try.

Mate – Argentina

Mate is a herbal infusion which you will see drunk in a few different countries but Argentina is where it is most widely associated with. The preparation of it looks a bit strange, with hot water being poured over dried, crushed herbs in a small gourd. It is then drunk through a metal straw and passed round from person to person in the group. It is definitely an acquired taste but if you are going to be in Argentina for a while then it is worth giving it a try.

Guaraná – Brazil

This next one on the list is an energy drink found in Brazil. You might already be familiar with guaraná in a different form, as it has been used in chocolate bars in the UK in the past. You can buy cans and bottles of this stuff but drinking it fresh is far better. You need to look out for little snack bars which have those big drinks containers which constantly stir the contents in them. Once you see a dark, fruity looking drink in one of them ask if it is guaraná and get ready for a unique taste experience.

Coca Colla – Bolivia

The final drink of the list is one you might find a little difficult to get hold of. It is a Bolivian national soft drink which is mainly found in the city of La Paz. The clever name comes from the fact that it is made from coca leaves – as Coca Cola was once made from and which some people claim it still is – and is made by the indigenous Colla people of the region. The fact that coca leaves are used in the production of cocaine might make you wary of this drink. There is a bit of a debate about whether coca leaves in themselves can be considered a drug but here it is a considered as an incredibly useful natural remedy which does everything from fight fatigue and stave off hunger to alleviate altitude sickness.

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Drinking Strange Tea All Over the Planet http://travelandtea.com/drinking-strange-tea-all-over-the-planet/ http://travelandtea.com/drinking-strange-tea-all-over-the-planet/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2013 01:53:54 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1271 If you love a cup of tea then you will be delighted to discover that it is popular in just about every country you could possibly visit. However, the cuppa you are served might not always bear much resemblance to what you drink at home. Coca Tea – Bolivia We know that the coca leaves […]

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If you love a cup of tea then you will be delighted to discover that it is popular in just about every country you could possibly visit. However, the cuppa you are served might not always bear much resemblance to what you drink at home.

Coca Tea – Bolivia

We know that the coca leaves are a principal ingredient in the manufacture of cocaine. However, in Bolivia they are sold legally and are used mainly for chewing on. The local culture has a strong belief in the powers of this plant to do everything from fight hunger and fatigue to deal with altitude sickness. In its simplest form coca tea involves pouring hot water over a bunch of leaves. More modern presentations include little tea bags filled with the crushed up leaves. You might be offered a cup of this tea if you are suffering from altitude sickness. It isn’t a drug but some tourists still prefer to give it a miss.

Mint Tea – Morocco

If you have ever tried mint tea- known as Touareg tea – in Morocco then you were probably at least as impressed with the method of preparation and serving as you were with the taste. This delicious variety of tea is made from mint leaves and green tea, is popular in most Arabian countries and is a big part of life for the people there. When a guest gets invited to drink some mint tea the serving of the drink can turn into a rather elaborate ceremony involving the tea being finally poured into glasses from a decent height. It is usually the male head of the family who prepares and serves the tea, with the guest typically getting 3 glasses of more of the stuff. If you are suffering from a dry throat on a hot day then this refreshing drink has a wonderful cooling effect.

Butter Tea – Tibet

It sounds weird, but butter tea is a strong tradition in Tibet, Bhutan and parts of China. It involved tea, yak butter and salt. A few bowls of this tea gets a typical Tibetan ready for a day of work and it is also usually served to guests. It is said to be an idea drink for providing energy at high altitude and for helping avoid chapped lips. In fact, many people (especially nomads) are said to drink dozens of cups of this drink every single day.

Matcha Tea – Japan

Japan is another country where the drinking of tea is a highly ceremonial occasion. This typically involves a green tea called Matcha which includes a lot of antioxidants in it. The tea ceremony in Japan has a long and complex history and it continues in homes and tea houses across the country. If you ever drink a cup while you are in Japan then expect a long and elegant ceremony ending with a deliciously intriguing cup of tea with a flavour which it might take you some time to get used to.

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The Best Countries for Drinking Wine http://travelandtea.com/the-best-countries-for-drinking-wine/ http://travelandtea.com/the-best-countries-for-drinking-wine/#respond Mon, 05 Aug 2013 00:00:07 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1188 If you are a fan of wine then you have probably tried some from a few different countries. Wine is a drink which is produced in a wide variety of countries and going to see the wineries where it is produced can add a fascinating twist to your visit to a wine producing country. Here […]

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If you are a fan of wine then you have probably tried some from a few different countries. Wine is a drink which is produced in a wide variety of countries and going to see the wineries where it is produced can add a fascinating twist to your visit to a wine producing country. Here are some of the best places to enjoy some on your next trip.

Argentina

Strange as it may seem, Argentina is the 5th biggest wine producer in the world right now. The quality of the wine made here has increased vastly in recent years. Mendoza is where most of the good stuff comes from and it is also a beautiful region to explore. You can make a trip to a few of the different bodegas and sample their different wines while getting to see a lot of the place and speaking to many locals. Interestingly, they claim to produce the world’s highest altitude wine here, although if you cross over to Tarija in Bolivia you will find that they make the same claim about their wine.  If you want to take in a few countries on your South American wine tour then there is also some excellent stuff produced in Chile as well.

Australia

You have probably tried an Australian wine at some point. This country is one place ahead of Argentina in the list of wine producing countries but sends out a far higher percentage of the drink to other parts of the world. Norfolk Island is famed for being home to some of the world’s biggest wine consumers, so you might like to go there to sample some of the local wine culture. Otherwise, Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley are some of the country’s most famous wine producing regions. It is easy to arrange either short or long wine tours in Australia if you are short of time but exploring these wine producing regions on your own can be even more rewarding.

Spain

The third biggest producer of wine on the planet is Spain.  Production is spread out all over this country. In fact, it is the country with most area dedicated to wine production. This means that it isn’t going to be easy to take in all of the different regions. The best idea is probably to focus on one area, such as Galicia, Catalonia or Rioja in your trip. There is a massive amount of grape varieties used in Spain and the wines produced in the different regions are all distinctive, so you might like to sample a few and make your decision on where to go based on this. The country also has an enviable wine culture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, of sitting back after a meal and drinking a glass or two of the good stuff. Even if you don’t make it to a bodega you can still enjoy a few glasses in a local bar or restaurant and add an extra special touch to your time in the country.

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The Best Cities in the World for People Watching http://travelandtea.com/the-best-cities-in-the-world-for-people-watching/ http://travelandtea.com/the-best-cities-in-the-world-for-people-watching/#respond Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:00:15 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1141 One of the greatest delights of going abroad on holiday is that you get to indulge in a bit of people watching. This is something which doesn’t come naturally to Brits at home but in other countries it seems to be almost a national hobby. So where you will do it next? Paris Where else […]

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One of the greatest delights of going abroad on holiday is that you get to indulge in a bit of people watching. This is something which doesn’t come naturally to Brits at home but in other countries it seems to be almost a national hobby. So where you will do it next?

Paris

Where else in the world can you get so much enjoyment from watching young lovers walk along the streets with their arms entwined? Paris has some great cafes, which is one of the most important points for people watching, but it is also a fine place to sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur or under the Eiffel Tower and watch the world go by. This will be even more special if you do it with a loved one at your side, of course.

Rome

We could really choose anywhere in Italy and put it on this list. The Italians love to sit and watch the people go past and you will too. Immaculately clad, beautiful people will wander past like movie stars while you drink your cappuccino or sit in a piazza enjoying the atmosphere and the fun. The famous Spanish Steps which lead from the Piazza di Spagna is a particularly good place to do this but it can be a great way to pass an hour or so just about anywhere in Rome.

Buenos Aires

The Argentine Capital has the same kind of café / people watching culture as the other places we have looked at, and it shares with Italy the added benefit of the Latin temperament. Here, you are just as likely to be treated to the odd flare up between taxi drivers, protest matches or a shouting match between shopkeepers as the sight of good natured football supporters or groups of teenagers hanging out. There are some wonderfully atmospheric cafes here but if you want the authentic experience you could try some mate. This is an herbal infusion which the Argentines drink almost constantly. Get yourself a thermo flask with hot water, a mate gourd and a packet of herbs and can sit down in the Plaza de Mayo and see what happens next.

Bangkok

If you decide to go somewhere really exotic like Asia then your senses are in for a treat. From food stalls on the street, to floating vegetable markets to shops selling stuff which you don’t even recognise, this continent is a fantastic place for seeing a different way of life. As street food is such a popular pastime in this city you could just prop yourself up against a stall and watch the people go about their business while you chomp away. It is one of those cities in which something always seems to be happening and you will find that it is fascinating to just watch as the action unfolds in front of your eyes. Just be careful you don’t get in the habit of brazenly people watching, as your neighbours and work colleagues might not be too impressed about you staring at them when you get home.

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Quito Is Ideal for an Adventure http://travelandtea.com/quito-is-ideal-for-an-adventure/ http://travelandtea.com/quito-is-ideal-for-an-adventure/#respond Mon, 01 Jul 2013 00:15:36 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1114 When you look at a map of South America it is easy to overlook Ecuador. Beside the giants of the continent such as Brazil, Argentina and Colombia it is easy to think that this smallish country might look rather insignificant to you. However, there are some good reasons for visiting Ecuador and spending time in […]

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When you look at a map of South America it is easy to overlook Ecuador. Beside the giants of the continent such as Brazil, Argentina and Colombia it is easy to think that this smallish country might look rather insignificant to you.

However, there are some good reasons for visiting Ecuador and spending time in Quito. Here are some of the best ones to bear in mind.

The Old Town

The most striking thing about the appearance of Quito is how there is such as marked difference between the Old Town and the New Town. It is almost as though someone took a typical colonial Latin American city and rammed a modern city from somewhere else in the world onto it. The new part of the city is where you will find modern shopping conveniences but the Old Town is where you will be delighted to find historic, well preserved buildings and lovely, old world plazas such as the Plaza de la Independencia. There are plenty of churches in this part of Quito and wandering along the narrow streets feels like stepping back in time.

The Centre of the World

Did you know that the equatorial line runs through Ecuador just outside of Quito? There are two different tourist facilities here where you do things like see how water goes down a drain on the equator and how to balance an egg on the head of a nail. It is pretty fascinating stuff and is likely to be one of the parts of your trip that you never forget about after getting back home.

The Trips

Ecuador may be modestly sized but it is one of the most bio diverse countries on the planet. Quite is nicely positioned to act as a base from which you can travel out to the rainforest, the cloudforest, the coast and the mountains among other places. It is by far the smallest of the countries which are generally listed as the top 10 most bio diverse in the world, which makes it the easiest to explore. Apart from all this, you can enjoy one of the finest markets in the continent in the town of Otavalo, which you are unlikely to leave empty handed from. There are many other great destinations but one stands heads and shoulders above them all; the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin was inspired by this magical, unique archipelago and you will be too.

The Language Studies

Quito is one of the top places in South America for taking some language lessons. This probably comes down to a few different reasons; the fairly neutral accent, the friendly people, the relative cheapness and the manageable size of the city. There are a number of Spanish schools here and a common approach is to place students in a family home during their studies, which really helps with the learning process. This, plus the previous points, all mean that this is one of the best cities you choose as your starting point for a trip around Latin America.

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5 Breathtaking Backpacking Trips That Aren’t in Europe http://travelandtea.com/5-breathtaking-backpacking-trips-that-arent-in-europe/ http://travelandtea.com/5-breathtaking-backpacking-trips-that-arent-in-europe/#respond Mon, 01 Apr 2013 00:00:06 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=815 Travelling to other places is one of the most important things you should take advantage if you want some time to relax and unwind, as well explore more. Well, it’s true that not every backpacker wants and looks for the same experience. But no matter what you are really looking for, it would be best […]

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Travelling to other places is one of the most important things you should take advantage if you want some time to relax and unwind, as well explore more. Well, it’s true that not every backpacker wants and looks for the same experience. But no matter what you are really looking for, it would be best to backpack at places that will be convenient enough but where you’ll also be experiencing something different. If you are then planning for your first backpacking trip outside Europe, here are 5 breath-taking places that you can visit and enjoy.

1. The Morocco Adventure

Morocco is a paradise you should visit if you are after a great adventure. It is such a great place where you will find superb coast, wild deserts, and fabulous mountain vistas. While you are there experience sands in your shoes from the Sahara Desert. You can also walk around Rabat which as an impressively clean neighbourhood and has so many interesting things that you can explore. Don’t forget to try tagine which is a typical Moroccan dish baked in a closed clay pot put over a fire and served together with round bread. If you are travelling alone and on a tight budget, Morocco is the perfect destination for your kind of adventure. The best time you can visit this paradise is during spring by mid March to May and during the autumn seasons from September to November.

2. Explore Australia, The Land Down Under

World famous for its amazing beauty, Australia is a great place for backpacking. This wonderful continent is smooth, easy, and safe to travel around. If you would like to witness stunning city views in Australia, as well as bliss of blue waters, you can watch from the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you love the beach, just grab your hat, put on some lotion, and sun bathe. You can also try snorkelling and more excitingly dive at the Great Barrier Reef to. With so many interesting stuffs in Australia, you cannot possibly see and do everything in just one trip. Australia is definitely a must for every traveller like you if you wish to explore a natural wonder.

3. Enjoy Amazing Tranquillity in India

A country of contrast and a lot of dimension, India is one place you should surely get to visit and enjoy at. India is a huge Southern Asia country that is simply fascinating because of it great tourist attractions. If you get the chance to travel to India, you will get to see the marvels of the Himalayan peaks, swim through and chill on their exotic beaches like the beaches in Goa and Kerala. For great tranquillity, you can visit spiritual places and temples in India such as Haridwar, Varanais, and Bodhgaya. For sure, you will definitely enjoy their food that is extremely cheap and lodgings that are given out on a bargain.

4. Discover the Wilderness in Uganda

Uganda is one of the most popular places in the world where you can get to find the greatest safari attractions. Said to be the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda features more than 10 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as the Murchison Fall National Park which is the largest park in Uganda and the Queen Elizabeth National Park that is said to be one of Uganda’s outstanding treasure. If you love and enjoy birds, Uganda is the place you can go because it has more than a thousand bird species. Nonetheless, getting to Uganda’s national parks and sanctuaries can be roughing it because you will have to hire a private vehicle.

5. Heavenly Argentina

With superb landscapes and truly untouched regions, Argentina is a place you should include in your great backpacking places to visit. As soon as you get to step in Argentina, you can visit most of its amazing place like in Patagonia where you can be alone and easily escape the crowd. If you wish to experience great nightlife, the capital Buenos Aires welcomes you with it great clubs, bars, and restaurants. With all these things, you will surely never go wrong about choosing Argentina as your next travel destination.

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Live the Luxury Lifestyle in Uruguay http://travelandtea.com/live-the-luxury-lifestyle-in-uruguay/ http://travelandtea.com/live-the-luxury-lifestyle-in-uruguay/#respond Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:05:27 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=675 The glamorous resort of Punta del Este has been the place for Argentinians and international jet setters to flock to for years when taking a Uruguay holiday . This is a really happening spot where you can sunbathe all day and party all night. Here are best of the best things to see and do […]

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The glamorous resort of Punta del Este has been the place for Argentinians and international jet setters to flock to for years when taking a Uruguay holiday . This is a really happening spot where you can sunbathe all day and party all night. Here are best of the best things to see and do whilst on holiday here.

Relax on Playa Mansa

This beach is one of the two that make up the resort of Punta del Este. Playa Mansa is the quieter one, while Playa Brava tends to be busier. The shallow, calm waters and gently sloping sands here make it perfect for families and great for swimming. The offshore Gorriti Island protects the beach from the wind. If you’re looking for water-sports, you’ll be better off heading to Playa Brava.

Wander Around Jose Ignacio

This sleepy fishing village, a short distance from Punta del Este is an up-and-coming destination. There’s a lovely laidback vibe here which makes it an enjoyable place to spend at least an afternoon, watching the fishermen pull in their nets and enjoying some of the local seafood in a beachfront restaurant. You’ll find some of the region’s most stylish boutique hotels here, so many choose to actually stay here and visit Punta del Este for the nightlife.

Do a Wine Tour

Organised tour companies such as The Wine Experience offer all-inclusive daily wine tours from Punta del Este. Accompanied by a private guide, you’ll be escorted to a few nearby wineries where you’ll enjoy wine tastings and a wine-paired gourmet lunch as well as a multi-course evening meal at sunset. If you like, you can even go horse-riding from the estates, chat with the winemakers and owners and explore the cellars of the bodegas.

Visit Isla de Lobos

This day trip takes passengers out by boat from the port of Punta del Este to the Isla de Lobos 8 kilometres offshore – famous for its sea lion colonies. The animals within this protected nature reserve are friendly and curious and will swim up to you to take a closer look. It’s a fantastic experience for adults and kids alike.

Party in La Barra

The best parties can be found in the bar-rich area of La Barra. Bars, pubs and clubs pile up next to each other to create a wild atmosphere. Some of the bigger clubs, such as Ocean Club, provide a whole night of entertainment from food and drinks to international DJs and bands. A lot of the big hotels along the front regularly hold rather fabulous beach parties, but these more often than not require an exclusive invitation.

Do a Day Trip to Colonia de Sacramento

A few hours’ drive from Punta, this old village is still really worth a visit. Standing on the tip of a peninsula is the old, walled part of the city. You walk in across a wooden drawbridge, where the peaceful cobbled streets aren’t thronged by tourists. The rustic buildings and old street signs on every corner seem as if they have been left unaltered for a hundred years. It’s a very pretty spot with lovely cafes and views across the waters to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires.

Photo by jikatu on Flickr

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