When moving to Argentina for a yearlong exchange, I expected a bustling city like Buenos Aires or Córdoba. Instead, I landed in a humid little town up North, separated from the nearest city by fifty miles of palm trees. Little did I know this would make my experience all the more special.
With a family across the Atlantic, Thanksgiving equals a travel weekend for me. After last year’s adventure to Big Bend, I met my travel buddy Carmen in Las Vegas this year. We quickly left Nevada behind to embark on a road trip through Arizona and Utah. What follows is an adventurous and packed 4-day itinerary through America’s Wild West.
Mendoza can be divided in three wine-making regions: Maipú, Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. The latter is said to produce the best wines on the most beautiful grounds, with snowcapped Andes peaks towering out over the vineyards. We visited four wineries in Mendoza and came to the same conclusion.
Other than producing delicious wine, Argentinean provinces La Rioja and San Juan are known for two remarkable parks. Ischigualasto and Talampaya National Park contain a unique fossil record of the Triassic Period, often called the Age of the Dinosaurs. The desert area also hosts the annual Dakar Rally.
The provinces of Salta and Jujuy are home to some of the most scenic drives in Argentina. We started in colonial Salta and ended in Cafayate, a wine region praised for its Torrontés grapes.
Iguazú National Park comprises hundreds of waterfalls, right on the border of Argentina and Brazil. The views from both countries are equally spectacular yet entirely different. We picked our favorite after visiting both sides in one day.
Five years after my AFS exchange in Argentina, I showed my parents why I fell in love with this country. We started our trip with an eventful passage through Buenos Aires. Midnight fireworks, passionate tango and ingenious robbery were all part of Argentina 101.
Louisiana is nested deep in the American Deep South, where hurricanes are part of life and food is life. While living in Baton Rouge for eight months, I discovered everything that the swamp state has to offer. This weekend trip embraces Louisiana’s cultural diversity, from a New Orleans cocktail crawl to alligator spotting and a history lesson on antebellum America.
I never pictured myself digging into a mountain of crawfish with my hands, having alligator as an appetizer or considering deep-fried pickles as normal (and delicious). Any food lover should savor Louisiana’s unique culinary history, which few – if any – US states can live up to. These ten signature dishes and drinks will get you started.
No skyline in the world can top the New York City one. Rooftop bars, skyscrapers, bridges and boats; there’s no lack of places in NYC that offer spectacular skyline views. Some are widely known, other best kept secrets. These are my ten favorite spots to catch a stunning view of the New York City skyline.
Any inhabitant of Manhattan should be jumping for joy, but Upper Manhattan residents are the most fortunate ones. Imagine an ever-friendly doorman welcoming you to a beautiful brownstone, Central Park as your backyard and world-class museums within walking distance. Take a sneak peak into this enviable life with below neighborhood guide to Upper Manhattan.
Midtown is the bustling heart of Manhattan. No time to relax let alone promenade here; the endless stream of professionals and tourists will chase you under a cab in no time. With the tourist attractions come the tourist traps, which make a guide indispensable. I picked my favorite activity per neighborhood, paired with a memorable option for food or drinks.
Picking one activity per neighborhood is not easy in the most vibrant city in the world. The part of Manhattan below 14th Street is considered Lower Manhattan; a cultural melting pot, open-minded and creative. As city tripping tends to be exhausting, every activity is paired with an option to fuel up on food or drinks.
During my unpaid internship in the city, I became an expert in finding the best happy hour deals. All the money I saved on happy hour drinks, I could spend in pricey speakeasy and rooftop bars. Ingenious scheme, isn’t it? These 10 New York City bars offer secret entrances, splendid views, sweet deals or a combination of all three.
We topped off our amazing trip to Peru with a relaxing three-day stay in the Peruvian Amazon. A short boat ride from Puerto Maldonado lies Tambopata National Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife. Limited accessibility makes this a relatively undiscovered part of Peru.
The Salkantay trekking to Machu Picchu is a unique four-day hike through extremely diverse scenery. We passed snow-covered peaks, turquoise lakes, coffee plantations, hot springs and more on route to Peru’s Wonder of the World. The tropical storms and frozen fingertips only added to the adventure. On day four, we explored the majestic Inca city before the crowds arrived.
Peru’s Cusco region has something on offer for everyone. Savor Andean specialties, explore the Inca Empire or hike through stunning landscapes. These are ten activities not to be missed in and around Cusco.
The contrast between Rocky Mountain National Park and its neighbors Arches and Canyonlands is striking. Snow-covered peaks and alpine lakes make way for desert vistas and colorful rock formations on the stunning 300-mile drive between Colorado and Utah. Discover all three National Park’s unique landscapes with this 4-day itinerary.
After our intense morning exercise in the Colca Canyon, we could sit back and relax on a ten-hour bus trip to Puno. Following a spectacular sunrise over Lake Titicaca from our hotel room, we launched our kayaks onto the world’s highest navigable lake.
So far we had discovered Peru by air, sea and sand; now we would do so by land. Following a day in Arequipa, we put on our hiking boots for a two-day trek in the world’s second deepest canyon.
The part of US 61 between Memphis and Vicksburg is known as The Blues Highway. Along this road, American music history was made. We drove from Memphis to Baton Rouge searching for the heart of blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, fueled by the best Southern comfort food.
We ended our Florida trip with three fabulous days in Miami. Perfect weather, great food, tropical bars and beautiful beaches assured it was my first but definitely not my last trip to Miami. These are my ten favorites for a first stay.
No need to deviate from the epic Overseas Highway on the way from Key Largo to Key West. The road cuts right through the island towns, offering many great pit stops along the way. We spent three days driving the Florida Keys, gaining one pound per mile.
In between driving the Florida Keys and touring Miami, we reserved two days to discover Florida’s natural beauty. Florida counts three national parks, which share one common good: water. The best way to explore Dry Tortugas’ marine life, Biscayne’s mangroves and the Everglades wetlands is out on the water.
We started our two-week trip to Peru along the Pacific Coast. The country welcomed us with excellent seafood, a shower of bird poop and a private jet ride.