Tag Archives: Colonial Cities


Paraguay is a country of fascinating contrasts. It is rustic and sophisticated. It is extremely poor and obscenely rich. It has exotic nature reserves and large man-made dams. It is a place where horses and carts to carry forward for Mercedes Benz, artisans workshops confronted with glitzy shopping malls and the Jesuit ruins in rural villages near Encarnación are a few kilometers from sophisticated colonial cities such as Asunción. Torrid subtropical forest with metallic butterflies contrast with the dry border and wild northern Paraguay and the Chaco. Here, many Mennonites have created their haven, living alongside some of the many indigenous groups in the country, while European influence is particularly strong in the quiet villages, such as Philadelphia and more chaotic capital.

Surprisingly, the backpackers are rarer than pumas in Paraguay, but the journey is always a gift-able – whether on a bus trip of bone kamikaze-style noise or slow waddle to the Paraguay River aboard a rickety boat. While the Paraguayans are more accustomed to visits by their immediate neighbors, which is relaxed, friendly and curious to anyone – share a tereré (iced herbal tea) and will be taught the secrets of his country attractive. The residual effects of dictators, corruption and smuggling contributes to a general feeling that, for many years, much of the Paraguayan life has taken place behind closed doors, as their people to participate in public protests with confidence.

Incarnation is a cut-rate shopping center, the heart of the Paraguayan Carnival and the gateway to the nearby Jesuit ruins of Trinidad and Jesus. The old town used to run in the lowlands near the river. When the next resumption of Yacyretá was built, businesses and offices were moved to higher ground in preparation for the flooding that was (and still is) to occur.
Years later, the floodgates have not yet been opened. He currently occupies the old town, decaying public buildings is a massive tacky bazaar. Amid the chaos is the Municipal Market Fair, ideal for a cheap meal. On higher ground, the modern city pleasant and functional features shops, a place very nice and modern facilities.


Colombia is back. After decades of civil war, Colombia is now safe to visit and travelers are discovering what has been missing. The diversity of the country may surprise you. Modern cities with skyscrapers and nightclubs? Verify. The beautiful beaches of the Caribbean? Verify. Amazon jungle walks and safaris? Verify. Colonial cities, archaeological ruins, high mountain trekking, whale watching, coffee plantation, diving, surfing, the list goes on.

No wonder the style of ‘magical realism’ of the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, left here – not a dreamlike quality in Colombia. Here in Ecuador, with the sun up forever, the fertile soil beneath your feet, heart-stopping views in all directions and the warmth of the locals that puts you at ease – you may find it hard to leave.

Colombian culture, as the country’s climate varies with altitude. The essence of Colombia is in the alpine mountains in the cities of Bogota, Medellin and Cali, and the smaller cities of the coffee. This is the industrial heartland. Geographic isolation has kept the accent relatively unaffected by external influence; Spanish here is accurate and easy to understand. The infrastructure in the mountainous region is good, clean water, roads in good condition. In the heat of the Caribbean coast, life is slower and more relaxed culture. The accent is the accent leisurely Caribbean Basin, and infrastructure, unfortunately, is still in need of some attention.
In darkest days people used to say, “if only it were not for the violence and drugs, Colombia would be paradise.” Well, the drugs may still be here, but the violence is gone, at least for now, and is indeed paradise. It is an easy country to fall in love with, and to many travelers. Could well become your favorite country in South America.


Simply superlative – this is Bolivia. The nation’s highest, most isolated and most rugged of the hemisphere. It is among the coldest of the earth warmer, the most windy and erotic. Is among the driest, saltiest swampiest and natural landscapes in the world. Although the poorest country in South America (Bolivia and a little child gets tired of hearing this), is also one of the richest in terms of natural resources. It is also the most indigenous country in South America, with over 60% of the population claims indigenous heritage, including Aymara, Quechua, Guarani and over 30 different ethnic groups. Bolivia has it all … except, that is, to the beaches.

This landlocked country has the highest peaks of the Cordillera Real around Sorata and the salt flats of Uyuni hallucinogenic, the rainforests of the Amazon basin and wildlife rich pastures of the Southeast. Incomparable beauty is reflected in its vibrant indigenous cultures, colonial cities such as Sucre and Potosi, and the murmurs of ancient civilizations. This is exactly what attracts visitors, and with good reason. Bolivia is now well and truly on the radar of travelers, opportunities for cultural activities and adventure and exploring off-the-beat-trail have skyrocketed. But while most travelers stick to the beaten track of the Altiplano, there are many things found elsewhere, including the tropical regions of eastern and southern lowlands.

Social and political fronts in Bolivia have been in flux since the appointment of the country’s first indigenous president. Optimism is generally high, especially among the indigenous majority, although many changes are afoot. The protests, marches and demonstrations are a permanent part of the amazing landscape of the country. This is a truly extraordinary. Put on your glasses high altitude, take a deep breath (or three) and live superlatively.


La Paz is dizzying in all aspects, not only for its well-publicized altitude (3660m), but for its peculiar beauty. Most travelers come into this extraordinary city scattered across the plains of the great city of El Alto, an approach that hides the sensational surprises over the valley. The first vision of Peace literally breathless. The buildings of the city, clinging to the sides of the canyon and spill spectacularly downwards. On a clear day, the imposing showy, snowy Mt Illimani (6402m) to the bottom flat.


Free from the tourist crowds, Panama’s natural gifts shine. While most backpackers in Central America set their sights on tourist-soaked Costa Rica and Guatemala, it is difficult to avoid the feeling in Panama that you are a secret the rest of the world traveling has yet to be discovered. Although the ‘gringo trail “has swung south to the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro, the neglect overdevelopment that plagues most cities of the Costa Rican beach remains refreshingly absent here. In fact, highlights of Panama is still far off the beaten-path destinations, although it is likely to change in coming years.

Until their exploits anticipated tourist boom, however, Panama is still accessible to backpackers on a budget, and no shortage of beaches, mountains and jungles to explore. The Pearl Islands in itself could occupy your entire trip, with its endless islands and islets, sublime beaches and crystalline waters. Volcan Baru National Park is home to only volcano in Panama and some very picturesque trekking opportunities, while the interior is a veritable gold mine of colonial cities, exquisite handicrafts and friendliest people in the country. Panama is also home to one of the most independent of the indigenous groups in Central America, the Kuna, who live independently in the Kuna Yala, as well as one of the last real frontier in the Americas, the notorious province Darien.

In short, the most famous city of Panama is a sprawling slum of decaying colonial grandeur and desperate human existence. Before 1869, the Panama Railroad connects Panama City and Colon was the only rapid transit around the continental Western Hemisphere. However, once the U.S. transcontinental railroad was established, Columbus became an economically depressed city overnight. Although the city was revived temporarily during construction of the Panama Canal, the city’s economy collapsed after the completion of the canal, as it simply was not enough work for the thousands of unemployed workers soon.
In 1948, Zone Libre (Free Zone) was created at the edge of Columbus, in an attempt to revive the city. Today, the 482 hectares of the Free Zone is the largest free trade area in the Americas. That connects North America, the Far East and Europe with the Latin American market and is home to over 1600 companies and banks of several tens. Unfortunately, none of the 10 million U.S. dollars in the annual trade turnover seems to go beyond the walls of the compound and the Free Zone exists as an island of materialism floating in a sea of ​​unemployment, poverty and crime.