Oaxaca (wa-HAW-ka), the capital of one of Mexico’s southernmost states of the
same name, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting world renowned cuisine, an
impressive array of galleries, museums and colonial churches, a plethora of
pre-Hispanic ruins, colorful marketplaces, fascinating craft villages, as well
as more off-the-beaten-track sights.
Whether for conservation or economic reasons, or both, the Inca Trail is no more the adventure it used to be. Overcrowded and strictly controlled, it pushes travellers to look for an alternative. Some do so because of over bookings. Others – because the Trail in its current state no more satisfies their adventure spirit. For the adventurous, such alternative trail does exist.
bizarre trip, from Havana to San Salvador, took me through five levels of
Central American gun culture.
My journey started in Havana – probably the safest capital in Latin America. The
Castro regime has put so many cops on the streets that I was instantly told from
the very beginning that any assault on a traveller is unthinkable. Scams, theft,
yes. But in terms of violence, it is pretty obvious on the streets of Havana who
is the boss.
Spanish in Guatemala is popular and some places are well-known for it. But if
you want to remain fairly off-the-trail, Xela is the place to go. A large chunk of Guatemala’s tourism revenue comes from teaching Spanish to travellers. It’s not like it’s the only Spanish-speaking country on the
continent, but a number of factors make it a number one choice.
Just a few hours from Rio, Cabo Frio is an excellent option for a four or
five day excursion to the Regiao dos Lagos region. The highlight of this
seaside town is the beautiful sand dune beaches, which are popular for
swimming and sailing. Cabo Frio is also rich in history, and if you can
break away from the gorgeous ocean side, there are many opportunities to
explore the old forts, chapels, and churches that are evident of the legacy
of the colonial era.
changes a country like a war. That which is history books for many nations, is a
yesterday’s memory for this one. I realized that all of the things that struck
me as unusual about El Salvador have to do with those 12 years.
of the way, with nothing extraordinary for the camera, and with a marred
reputation, El Salvador remains one of the least travelled Latin American
destinations. A perfect place to go off the beaten track?
of thousands come back from Peru unaware that just about 100 km or so from Pichu
lies another magnificent complex. Choquequirao has taken over from over-crowded
Picchu as the true Lost City of the Inca.