South America

Visit the Colourful Coastal City of Cartagena, Colombia

Columbia is a country of contrasts in many different aspects and Cartagena is one of these places that adds to it. Located on the Caribbean side of the country, it is classified as a port city, however, it is a popular beach destination. Places like Isla de Barú and Islas del Rosario – reachable by boat, are well known for their white-sand beaches, palm trees and coral reefs.  Look deeper though, and you will find a place rich in culture and a pleasure to explore. Read more about Visit the Colourful Coastal City of Cartagena, Colombia

Great Stargazing Short Breaks

Since the dawn of human civilization there is something about the skies that captivates us and can have us looking up for hours. It never fails to fascinate the observer, to the point where we have spent billions studying and exploring our skies. So we have found some worldwide destinations where the stargazers among us can look to their heart's content. Read more about Great Stargazing Short Breaks

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Enjoy The Adventure of the Famous Dakar Rally, South America

They say Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America, so maybe it's not that incongruous a starting point for the race formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally.  Founded in 1978, the bone-shaking, engine-rattling ride attracts adventurers on cars, quad bikes and motorbikes, and is one of the most thrilling and dangerous event in sport.

It has been held in South America since security concerns forced it away from its traditional route, which ran from the foot of the Eiffel Tower to the capital of Senegal. Read more about Enjoy The Adventure of the Famous Dakar Rally, South America

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Run One of the World's 10 Toughest Marathons

BADWATER 135, CALIFORNIA USA
Traditionally referred to as 'the world's toughest foot race', Badwater was forced to alter its traditional route through Death Valley in 2013.  The Death Valley Park authorities placed a ban on strenuous events taking place during the summer months, when air temperatures (in the shade) reach over 48 degrees.  So organisers came up with an alternative route, one with more than 5,200m of cumulative vertical ascent (compared to 3,962 in the previous route), and 3,900m of cumulative descent (compared to 1,433m).  While temperature might not reach the sizzling heights of Death Valley (ultra-runner Dean Karnazes once reported that between his team car handing him a cheese sandwich and him eating it, said sandwich became a toastie), the world's toughest foot race just got tougher.

Race facts: The race takes place in July; 135miles(217km); Maximum 48 hours, there is an entry fee. Read more about Run One of the World's 10 Toughest Marathons

Escape to Costa Rica

Named the 'Rich Coast' by Columbia in 1502, Costa Rica has up it tourism credential its only a backpacker's paradise but it now caters for the wider traveller, including a eco-luxe holiday destination in little over a decade thanks to sustainable tourism and excellent value to money.

This enchanting land laidback surfing communities, empty beaches and active volcanoes. Go and explore the bird-filled cloud forests of San Gerardo, the rich rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, riding the parched plains of Guanacaste and swim with turtles off the Pacific beaches. Read more about Escape to Costa Rica

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6 World Wide Desert Adventures

HIKE HE SINGING SAND DUNES OF THE GOBI DESERT, MONGOLIA
When Marco Polo travelled across the Gobi Desert, some 750 years ago he was scared for dear life because he thought the sound of the sands were the sounds of evil spirit.  Well Khongoryn Els sands dunes of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert have this rather odd habit of, singing, which is not normal for sand dunes. It’s a fairly rare phenomenon and just about 30 dunes worldwide are musically inclined — the rest are pretty quiet.   It's more of a constant low rumbling moan, with the occasional booming explosion - but it makes for a slightly odd encounter in the desert. Scientist said it’s something to do with the curve of the sand dunes forming a natural amphitheatre. Read more about 6 World Wide Desert Adventures

Short Break with Hazards

Street Luge
Presumably invented by lazy skaters who couldn’t be bothered to stand up, the extreme sport of street luge involves lying prostrate on a giant skateboard and hurtling, feet first, down a road at pant-wetting speeds.  Lugers can reach speeds above the ground, that feels even faster than it sounds.

With no hint of machine power in sight, lugers are sent crashing downhill by the force of gravity alone.  You steer around bends by leaning into them and brake by using your feet.  The fact that lugers must wear full motorcycle leathers and a crash helmet indicates that, yes, this pursuit isn’t without risk.  Street luging is popular in the States, Australia, Switzerland and Germany and UK.

Paragliding Read more about Short Break with Hazards

See Candelaria Festival: Peru's Biggest Festival

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Cited as the second biggest party in South America after the Rio Carnival, The Le Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria (Cinderella Festival) is Peru’s biggest festival. The two weeks festival takes place 40 days after Christmas, in honour of the virgin Maria of the Candelaria. It celebrates how a vision of the virgin Maria warned Peruvian miners that an enemy army was approaching. The festival is a mixture of spiritual and cultural celebration of Peru’s history and traditions. Read more about See Candelaria Festival: Peru's Biggest Festival

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Explore Argentina's Salta and Catamarca Provence

saltaMost of us visiting Argentina flock to popular Buenos Aires, Mendoza and other hotspots, but the outback of Salta and its adjoining Puna Desert in the Catamarca are some of the gems waiting to be explored.  At altitude of over 3000m, Salta and Catamarca are located in northwestern Argentina; this giant adventure playground shows you another side to Argentina. The scenery of the region rivals that of Atacama and Uyuni allowing you to come up close to its volcanoes: llamas, flamingos and vineyards.

As you travel south of Salta down to Puna and Catamarca, you pass through the red-rock canyons of Quebrada de las Conchas, home to the Devil’s throat – a sort of stone amphitheatre.  Next is Cafayate, one of Argentina’s most famous wine towns, known for the fruity white Torrontes, the red malbec, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon. Read more about Explore Argentina's Salta and Catamarca Provence

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