Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:54:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Handy facts to understand the best carnivals in South America [Infographic] http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/handy-facts-to-understand-the-best-carnivals-in-south-america/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:56 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9079 Check out our guide to 6 of the best Carnivals in South America with this handy infographic filled with fun facts and insider tips.

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It’s Carnival season in South America, and many of the world’s largest and most extravagant parties have begun in earnest. A great number of towns and cities across the continent spare no expense to celebrate Carnival, with people of all ages donning fanciful costumes and coming out into the streets for some widespread merrymaking.

From Barranquilla, Colombia to Gualeguaychú, Argentina, Carnival is one of the most anticipated events on the cultural calendar, drawing huge crowds of tourists who come from all corners of the globe to soak in the local history, culture, and traditions. Each place has its own unique selling point – parades, llamadas, corsos, tablados, murgas, and comparsas. These are just some of the customs that make this a fantastic, and extremely entertaining, time to visit. Check out our guide to 6 of the best Carnivals in South America in this handy infographic.

If you are currently travelling through South America and would like to experience the thrill of one of these spectacular celebrations, we offer great Carnival tours in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and Barranquilla. Alternatively, if all the revelry becomes too much and you need to take some time to recover, check out our range of tours on offer in Argentina, Buenos Aires, ChileColombia, Rio, Sao Paulo, and Uruguay. If you need help putting together your itinerary, just drop us a line – we’re happy to answer any questions you have about these exciting destinations.

Designed by Daniela Rivas / Written by Simon Hall

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Festivals and cultural events in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/festivals-and-cultural-events-in-colombia/ Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:51:30 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12045 Colombia is a country without seasons, surrounded by two oceans, which means that all year round the weather is perfect for a beach party or a walk through the snow. This same geographical versatility is reflected in the Colombian popular culture that offers locals and foreigners festivals and cultural events that meet the interests of [...]

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Colombia is a country without seasons, surrounded by two oceans, which means that all year round the weather is perfect for a beach party or a walk through the snow. This same geographical versatility is reflected in the Colombian popular culture that offers locals and foreigners festivals and cultural events that meet the interests of all travelers. In the calendar of Colombia find out which are the most important cultural events that take place each month in this land of magical realism!

The parties in Colombia begin with the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros / Source

Festivals in January

– Blacks and Whites’ Carnival- Pasto. The celebrations in Colombia kick off with this event, which always begins the first week of January. In 2009 it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco and it is a festival that has its origins in 1546. With an explosion of rhythms that reflects the traditions of Andean and Pacific ethnic groups, the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival in Pasto is divided into four stages: the inaugural parade, the blacks’ day, the whites’ day and the closing, which occurs on January 7 with the Day of the Cuy (guinea pig).

When: From the December 28 to January 7

Travel tip: Find the official program here.

– Manizales fair – Manizales. For 62 years, the Manizales Fair has combined the traditions from Seville (Spain) with the coffee culture. Fans of bullfighting will find various activities that are ideal for them, because over the years the fair has had bullfighters like ‘El Juli’, Ponce, Roca Rey, Manolo González and Alfredo Jiménez, among others. Bear in mind that 80% of this fair’s events are free, except for those related to bullfighting.

The closing concert has artists of different genres: vallenato, reggaeton, salsa and mainstream music.

>When: From January 5 to 14, 2018.

Travel tip: Descubre todos los detalles en el the official site.

– Hay Festival – Cartagena. ‘Hay festival’ is a European initiative that seeks to bring together the literati with music and the arts. In Colombia this event takes place in Cartagena, as the main venue, during the last weeks of January.

Year after year, film critics, musicians, writers and journalists from different parts of the world gather at forums, conferences and workshops for a week to debate, comment and inform about the literary works of the moment, making every corner of the walled city come alive. Due to the convergence of foreign artists, the event is intended for both Spanish and English speakers.

When: From January 24 to February 1st 2018.

Travel tip: For the first time, the best Latin American authors under 40 will meet. As for music, Julieta Venegas, Ana Belén and Andrés Cepeda will be performing. Visit the official Hay Festival website to learn more.

The Bahía Group during the Hay Festival Cartagena 2006 event / Photo by: OAGREDOP

Festivals in February

– Barranquilla Carnival: The Barranquilla Carnival is the Colombian festival par excellence. This event has international recognition and stands out among other important festivals in Latin America.

Beginning in mid-January the city is decorated for carnival along with preview dance events, parades and performance troupes. When February arrives, which is the month of the carnival, the city stops everything in order to receive its visitors with the biggest party of the year, where dancing and popular folklore are an excuse to experience this magnificent city.

It begins with ‘The battle of the flowers’ which is a wonderful parade led by the queen of the carnival and preceded by large floats of flowers, typical music of the region and different typical characters. After the opening, there are more parades, music and parties on each block of Barranquilla, because ‘whoever experiences carnival is the one who enjoys it’. The closing consists of the burial of ‘Joselito Carnaval’, a symbolic funeral to dismiss so many days of celebration.

When: From February 10 to 13 2018.

Travel tip: Read up on the official Carnival program and, if you wish, you can book a tour package for the Carnival of Barranquilla that tickets to the parades, accommodation and transportation. Check here prices and availability.

The colorful Carnival of Barranquilla, internationally recognized / Photo by: Ashley Bayes

Festivals in March

– Ibero-American Theater Festival – Bogotá. The Iberoamericano Festival at Bogota Theatre has become one of the most important events in Latin American, bringing together independent theater companies from all over the world. For a week, in the Colombian capital you can see about 20 different exhibitions from galleries and street art, from various genres such as clown, dance, drama etc.

When: From March 16 to April 1, 2018.

Travel tip: Find the official festival programhere and make the most of your days with the best tours and activities in Bogotá to get to know the city.

Nearly 20 plays can be seen at the Ibero-American Theater Festival / Photo by: Carlos Martínez, Ministerio de Cultura

– Holy Week – Popayán. Colombia is the third most religious country in Latin America, so Holy Week, also known Easter, is a very important holiday for the population in general. If you like to partake in religious tourism and want to discover more about Catholic traditions, in the city of Popayán you will find a complete experience from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday: events, processions and allegories centered around reflection and the Christian faith.

When: From March 25 to 31, 2018.

Travel tip: Consult all the details of Holy Week in Popayán on the official web page.


Festivals in April

– Filbo – Bogotá. Bogotá, declared one of the world’s book capitals by UNESCO in 2007, holds its traditional International Book Fair in April, one of the most important literary events in Colombia. There are records of visits from 550 thousand people in just one edition!

During the tour of the 14 pavilions, you can find not only premieres of literary works premieres, concerts, talks by international lecturers but also the pleasure of uniting literature with activities such as cuisine and art through a variety of demonstrations. It is a good opportunity to get that book you always wanted, but also to learn more about Latin American culture.

When: From April 17 to 2 May 2, 2018.

Travel tip: Visit FILBO’s official web page to find out the details.

– Festival of the Vallenata Legend – Valledupar. Half a century recreating the myths and customs of a land through vallenato music, they uphold the Festival of the Vallenata Legend as one of the most important traditional musical events in Colombia. For 4 days the city of Valledupar is transformed into a single sound emitted by the vallenato accordion.

The event not only exalts the music, it also gives space to storytelling, dance and oral narration, making the visitor completely immersed in the vallenato culture. There are different scenarios, depending on the level of expertise of the participants and age. At the end of the event, the “King of Kings” is crowned, which is the highest award that can be received at the event.

Each year the festival has a different honoree, who is an ambassador of vallenato music, and this year it will be the renowned singer Carlos Vives Don’t miss out!

When: From April 26 to 30, 2018.

Travel tip: Find all the information about this event on the official festival web page.

Coronation of the king of kings 2017: Álvaro López / Photo by: Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata

Festivals in May

– Mono Núñez Festival – Valle del Cauca. In order to exalt and preserve Colombian Andean music, several festivals have been created throughout the country; one of the most important is the Mono Núñez Festival. It takes place in a small town called Geneva in the Valle del Cauca, and for three days all the inns, family homes and hotels are full of musicians from different regions and countries, singing to the frets of guitars, bandolas and tiples, from visitors who participate in the festival.

When: From May 31 to June 3, 2018.

Travel tip: The group in charge of organizing the event is Funmúsica, Funmúsica, find their official web page here.


Festivals in June

– Festitango – Medellín. Tango is not only found in Río de la Plata. Medellín has an important tango tradition, even to the point that Carlos Gardel often came to make presentations in the city until the day of his death.

As one of the tango capitals, Medellín holds a traveling tango festival, where you can find not only great dancers but also wonderful interpretations of this rhythm from Rio de la Plata. During three days the festival moves throughout the city, drawing in both children and adults.

Travel tip: consult the festival’s Facebook page for the exact dates and if you are travelling to the city outside of the month of June, reserve a Tango tour in Medellín online.


Festivals in July

– Colombia Moda – Medellín. One of the most important industries in Medellín is that of textile, which makes it Colombia’s fashion center. Because of this, every year the most outstanding Latin American referents of this industry are found at fashion week: Colombiamoda.

About 13 thousand buyers and more than 500 Latin American brands meet at this event to make connections and mark trends. During the event there are free conferences and workshops to catch up on fashion and the industry.

When: From July 24 to 26, 2018.

Travel tip: Learn all the details in the official Colombiamoda web page and enjoy your vacations in the city of eternal spring with the tours and activities in Medellín.

Colombia Moda is the opportunity to know the trends in the region and the world / Photo by: Martín Mortality

Festivals in August

– Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) – Medellín. This festival is known for its traditional silleteros parade, in which not only the qualities of the man paisa but also its origins are glorified. The silleteros are agricultural farmers who head out to the festivities with a wooden frame on their backs, decorated with an immense variety of flowers arranged in such a way that each “silleta” tells a different story. The decorating of the silletas is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, and characterizes the path to Santa Elena.

During the fair there is also the Festival de la Trova, different events in pubs and family run inns, concerts and a large exhibition of Paisa culture in the North Park.

When: From August 3 to 12.

Travel tip: Visit Medellín City Hall’s official web page o learn more about the tradition and reserve a Silleteros and Flowers tour here.


Festivals in September

Colombia to the rhythm of Jazz. In September, different cities and towns in Colombia such as Barranquilla, Manizales and Mompox devote three days to jazz. The largest jazz festival is organized in Bogotá, so if you are thinking of traveling to Colombia this month, we recommend that you stop in the Colombian capital to enjoy the event.

Jazz in the Park – Bogotá. This festival has had, for 20 years, artists on par with Richard Bona or Chucho Valdes. The event takes place at the Country Club, to the north of the city. While you’re at the concert you can eat something, read or just lie on the grass to listen to the invited performers.

When: September 22 and 23, 2018.

Travel tip: If you are interested, you should be aware of this year’s program! So visit Jazz in the Park’s official web page.

Enjoy Jazz at the Park in September at the Country Club of Bogotá / Photo by: Carlos Lema- Idartes

Festivals in October

– “Coffe time” in Quindío! In October International Coffee Day is celebrated. To celebrate it, we invite you to visit Armenia, one of the three cities in the Coffee Region, which is more than a century old. The city festivities take place in mid-October; its theme is in constant homage to the coffee culture, there are parades of the traditional yipao, which are decorated cars with elements of the coffee culture and you can also pick up national souvenirs and international crafts. If you are travelling to Colombia during this month, we recommend that you participate in the festivities.

Travel tip: Take home the essence of the Coffee Axis with the best coffee tours in Armenia, Manizales and Pereira.


Festivals in November

– “Patron Saint Festivals” – San Andrés. The entire group of islands celebrate the festivities of its patron San Andrés. They do it in two very special ways: by celebrating the International Reign of Coco, and the best rhythm of Caribbean music accompanied by the typical dishes of this region.

The event takes place during the last week of November, so we invite you to schedule starting now, in order to enjoy the party and organize your itinerary that includes visits to the other islands, take a walk underwater, party on a cruise, and -Why not? – Do a diving mini-course so you do not miss the beautiful coral reef that surrounds this place.

Reserve tours for a dream island vacation in San Andrés

Celebrate the San Andrés festivities to the rhythm of Caribbean music / Photo by: Sofía Romero

Festivals in December

– The month of the little candles. On December 7 and 8, all of Colombia celebrates Velitas “Little Candles” Day, a Catholic tradition where candles are lit to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The celebration varies in every region. In Quimbaya, a town in the Coffee Triangle, they close off their streets to put out handmade lanterns, and there is music and liquor in all the homes; other cities such as Cali and Medellín light their large lanterns in parks and on the banks of rivers. On the Caribbean coast dawns processions usually take place at dawn, after a long night of celebration. With this holiday, Christmas begins.

Travel tip: Be part of this beautiful tradition with the Christmas Lights Tour in Medellín.

– La Feria de Caña – Cali. Cali is known as the world’s salsa capital, so its grand festival, which always begins after Christmas Eve, is permeated by this rhythm. The Cali Fair or Feria de la Caña is made up of cultural and gastronomic events for everyone: from presentations by national and international artists, to the creation of spaces for music lovers and collectors.

Every year, a branch of heaven opens its doors to the best exponents of salsa, to amateurs and, of course, to all visitors who come wanting to learn more about this Caribbean rhythm.

At the commencement of the festival there is a grand parade that evokes the best of salsa, and the salsódromo is also officially opened.

When: From December 25 to 30, 2018.

Travel tip: As an alternating event the city begins its bullfighting season. Visit the Fair’s official web page to get the details and book your tours and activities in Cali online.

If you spend the end of the year in Cali, do not miss its famous Feria de la Caña / Photo by: Claudio Bustos

After signing a Peace Treaty, Colombia reated new routes to promote tourism and open itself to the world as a country with immense biodiversity and multiculturalism. “It’s time to experience Colombia. You will love it!”.

By: Laura García Betancur, Laura García Betancur, Colombian audiovisual journalist and communicator

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Survivors of the Andes Tragedy organize an expedition to the Cordillera http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/survivors-andes-tragedy-organize-expedition-cordillera/ Fri, 12 Jan 2018 19:37:39 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12036 The survivors of The Andes Tragedy-a plane crash that occurred in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, on October 13, 1972 – will undertake a new expedition to the place where the events occurred 46 years ago, with the aim of paying tribute to the victims. The organizers of the activity, which will be held on [...]

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The survivors of The Andes Tragedy-a plane crash that occurred in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, on October 13, 1972 – will undertake a new expedition to the place where the events occurred 46 years ago, with the aim of paying tribute to the victims. The organizers of the activity, which will be held on 23, 24 and 25 February, have opened a call to add more expeditionists who wish to share this unique experience with the protagonists of the event.

The expedition will arrive to the place where the remains of the plane are located / Source

Spaces are limited and only 40 people will take part in this expedition that will take Carlitos Páez, a survivor of the tragedy, and his family on the last trip they will make to this place. Páez is one of the most well-known faces of this tragedy, as he is the son of the renowned Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró (1923 – 2014), whose most emblematic work in Punta del Este is the famous Casapueblo.

Those who wish to participate in this experience to the Cordillera should know that physical conditioning is important. While there is no technical requirement, it is recommended to train before the departure date, as the final section includes a 12-hour walk between the beginning and the end point. Due to geographical and climatic difficulties it is essential to have all the mountain gear and equipment.


A story of survival

On Friday, October 13, 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plane left Montevideo with 45 people on board and crashed in the mysterious Andes Mountain Range. The group was made up of young rugby players, their friends and relatives. Survivors of the impact were trapped by the snow-capped mountains at almost 4,000 meters of altitude, without enough food, water, adequate clothing and bearing temperatures below freezing.

To survive, they organized themselves under the name of the “Snow Society” and managed to overcome 72 days of hunger, pain and despair. One of the most well-known and highlighted facts by the tabloid press was the survivor’s decision to eat the flesh of the deceased bodies so that they wouldn’t die of starvation.

Finally two of the survivors managed to cross the mountain range on foot that separated them from the Chilean valley and after walking for 10 days, they met a livestock herder, Sergio Catalán, who assisted them and found a rescue group.


Information about the expedition and how to participate

Where: Valle de las Lágrimas “Valley of Tears”, El Sosneado, Mendoza province, Argentina.

Duration: 4 days and 3 nights

Difficulty: Moderate

Maximum height reached: 3.700 meters above sea level.

Organizers: the Uruguayan company Latitud Aventura and Aventura en la Montaña, originating from Mendoza, Argentina are the organizers of the expedition. Both companies have become references of adventure tourism in the south of the continent, especially for offering tourist proposals out of the ordinary, with circuits and tours to less known places. Its directors, Octavio Romano and Francisco “Pancho” Salonia, have more than 30 years of experience as mountaineers and their successful expeditions are based on taking care of every detail of the activities they organize and the passion that motivates them to undertake all their adventures.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Reception and check-in at San Martin Hotel & Spa in the city of San Rafael
Day 2: Departure to Puesto Araya crossing on horseback and arrival at base camp. A total of 12 kilometers will be covered.
Day 3: Hiking to the Memorial where the remains of the plane are located. 13 hours of hiking in total including the way there and the return trip. Return to the camp and then back to San Rafael, Mendoza.
Day 4: After breakfast at the Hotel & Spa San Martin, the expeditionists will attend the exclusive conference that will be held by Carlitos Páez.

Services included:
– Transfer San Rafael – El Sosneado – San Rafael
– Two Nights of Lodging in Hotel and Spa San Martin with Breakfast included
– Breakfast at San Martin Hotel and Spa
– Horses and mules for loading
– Local Guides
– Mountain Guides
– Access permits to the Valley of Tears.
– Full meals in the mountains (breakfasts, energy bars, lunches, snacks, dinners)
– Complete kitchen equipment
– Equipment and First Aid Kit
– VHF communication equipment, satellite phone and Spot satellite
– Camping tents
– Dining tents in Cb El Barroso (fully equipped)
– Informative meetings
– Advice on gear and necessary equipment and clothing

Services not included:
– Trip to San Rafael
– Expenses caused by abandoning the Expedition
– Dinner on the first and last night in San Rafael
– Tips
– Extra expenses such as meals and drinks not described in the itinerary, satellite phone calls and other services not listed as included.
– Travelers Insurance

How to participate in the expedition: To reserve your place in the Cordillera Expedition, you just need to send your personal information and information about your trip to Argentina to the email: hola@daytours4u.com.You can pay the expedition online through Daytours4u and our Customer Service team will answer all your questions, send you a detailed list with everything you need to bring for the trip and request from you any other pertinent information.

By: The Content Team at Daytours4u

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Everything you need to know in order to discover the best beaches in South America http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/the-best-beaches-in-south-america/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:30:56 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12025 The South American biodiversity is perfect for putting together a travel itinerary full of all kinds of experiences: dazzling mountains for hiking, boat trips through imposing glaciers, kayaking across infinite rivers and, of course, you can not miss the paradisiacal beaches of the tropics for spending an unforgettable vacation. In this article you’ll find all [...]

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The South American biodiversity is perfect for putting together a travel itinerary full of all kinds of experiences: dazzling mountains for hiking, boat trips through imposing glaciers, kayaking across infinite rivers and, of course, you can not miss the paradisiacal beaches of the tropics for spending an unforgettable vacation. In this article you’ll find all you need to know to discover the best beaches in South America with our guides from Rio de Janeiro, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.


Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana and Ipanema are the most-well known beaches to tourists in Rio de Janeiro. However, the Wonderful City offers other equally charming options and for all tastes. São Conrado beach, for example, is ideal for the more adventurous who want to push themselves to do a parachute tandem jump; for its part, Leblon beach is a favorite to visit with children.

Read all of the recommendations from our experts in Top 10 beaches in Rio de Janeiro: traditional and alternative.

Go beyond Copacabana and Ipanema, be surprised by the less explored beaches of Rio / Source

Beaches in Colombia

The main advantage of the beaches in Colombia is that they can be visited at any time of the year, since the weather doesn’t change and maintains high temperatures all 365 days. Another interesting aspect of this country is the fact that it is the only one in South America that has two coasts: the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Discover Colombia’s Best Beaches: very complete travel guide and explore the charm of the Colombian sea, whose beauty perfectly complements the kindness and joy of the coastal people.

Guide to the best beaches in Cartagena: ideal for discovering the location of each one, their peculiarities and our advice on where to go and what to do.

Find your favorite beach in the Caribbean or the Colombian Pacific, there are options for all tastes / Photo by Daytours4u

Beaches in Argentina

The atlantic coast of Argentina is a Porteño favorite for enjoying the austral summer. From November to March, the locals travel in family or with friends to cities like Mar del Plata, Pinamar, and Cariló beaches primed to receive visitors with the best comforts. However, Las Grutas in Patagonia is also a choice beach during the summer season, especially for those who prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of the more frequented beaches.

4 great beaches to visit in Argentina: read here about the most important beaches in Argentina and stay cool during South America’s scorching summer.

If the bustling Mar del Plata is not for you, go to Las Grutas in Argentine Patagonia, you’ll love it! / Source

Beaches in Uruguay

With 600 kilometers of coastline, Uruguay represents a true coastal paradise in South America. Although Punta del Este is the queen of the country, Piriápolis and Cabo Polonio offer an intimate and innovative experience for travelers of the world.

Best beaches in Uruguay: this complete article collects all the details of each of the beautiful Uruguayan hidden gems, so you know how to get there, what to see and what to do around the whole circuit of beaches from Montevideo to Punta del Diablo.

Cabo Polonio is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures in Uruguay / Source

Traveling through South America is an experience that never ceases to be new and exciting, because there will always be another place to explore. Come and discover these paradisiacal beaches and all our coasts bathed by an infinite blue and have an unforgettable vacation.

Read our catalog of tours and activities from Daytours4u

By: The Content Team at Daytours4u

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6 energetic destinations in South America to start 2018 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/energetic-destinations-south-america/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 16:00:33 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11982 Energy, mysticism and good vibes are all synonymous with South America. This continent is full of harmonious places to begin the year with the best predisposition and in this article we offer a list of 6 energetic destinations in South America to get off to a good start in 2018. You don’t need to be [...]

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Energy, mysticism and good vibes are all synonymous with South America. This continent is full of harmonious places to begin the year with the best predisposition and in this article we offer a list of 6 energetic destinations in South America to get off to a good start in 2018. You don’t need to be religious or a hippie to perceive all the vitality that our countries transmit, although we warn you that there’s a lot of mystique (and the possibility of non-human life) that surround the places we will talk about. Open your mind!


1. The Atacama Desert in Chile

The Atacama desert occupies first place in some really curious natural aspects: it is the place where the least rain falls on the entire planet, the region with the clearest skies and the site that NASA chose to test its robots before sending them to Mars because of its similarities with the red planet. It is a region charged with intense energy, ideal for those who seek to take a truly introspective journey in the middle of nowhere.

However, many travelers with varied nationalities flock to the desert to explore Cerro Unita where you can see about 500 geoglyphs that, according to archaeologists, correspond to a cave drawing made by humans. Despite this version, there are some doubters who insist that the specific case of the “Giant of Atacama” measuring 86 meters, couldn’t have been a drawing made by humans and some say that aliens created it to be seen from up above. It is worth going to the place and deciding for yourself which version you believe.

Reserve your experience in the Atacama Desert

Atacama is ideal for those who seek to take a truly introspective journey / Photo by Daytours4u

2. Capilla del Monte in Argentina

This is the home of UFOs in Argentina. At least that’s what its inhabitants say and the hundreds of tourists who claim to have seen one during their trip. It is located in the province of Córdoba and upon arrival to the town the figure of alien figure welcomes curious travelers.

The place is simply beautiful, full of spectacular mountains and crystal clear rivers that create a natural spa, perfect for recharging your batteries and starting the new year fresh. There is a huge quantity of quartz on the banks of the Calabalumba river, minerals that are known for balancing the energies of the human being. The blinding brightness produced by these gems is, according to skeptics, the explanation for the alleged UFOs that are sighted in the region.

Regardless, in this location there is a UFO Information Center that investigates the most emblematic historical cases of Capilla del Monte and each year they hold an International Congress of Ovnilogy that in 2018 will celebrate its twentieth meeting in the month of November. Those interested can now reserve their tickets.

Travel Tip: Take advantage of your visit to this place to take home some souvenirs such as quartz, books on how to harmonize the chakras and figurines of the green extraterrestrial at the entrance.

Read more about the UFOs in Capilla del Monte

Find your own UFO in Córdoba / Source

3. Tayrona Park in Colombia

All the beaches in the Colombian Caribbean are magical but Tayrona Park concentrates the most ancestral energy that surrounds this beautiful region of the continent. The four native groups of the area have fought hard to try to protect and conserve this area from the intervention of man and have been successful to the point of achieving the annual closure of the park for a month, with the aim of restoring the spiritual cleanliness of the place.

In addition to enjoying the sea, travelers go to Tayrona Park to take the Tour to Pueblito Chayrama, a mystical place that is accessed after a long walk of three hours and offers as its reward a dazzling landscape where the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta stands. This important archaeological zone is composed of terraces, cobbled streets and aqueducts of this ancient city built by the Tayrona people. The tour ends at the beautiful beaches of Cabo San Juan del Guía.

Reserve your excursions to Tayrona Park

Recharge your energies for 2018 in Tayrona Park / Photo by Daytours4u

4. Paraty in Brazil

The mystery that surrounds Paraty is not associated solely with its natural beauty, as with the rest of the destinations mentioned in this article. The mysticism of this city, located 250 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, comes from being urbanized by the freemasons. So in addition to taking a dip in Ensenada Trinidade, take advantage of your days in Paraty to discover the Masonic symbols.

In the eighteenth century the doors and windows of the houses were painted in white and blue, specifically with the blue of the hydrangeas. The first patron of Paraty was San Roque, an esoteric mystic saint. The streets have a crooked (oblique) layout, as the Masons usually organize them, and the locals say that the three carved stones that are observed in some corners form the Masonic triangle.

Do you still have doubts about the mystique of this place? Well, the columns of the streets of Paraty form a portico, to inform the visitor that a mason lives there and you can even learn the degree of the mason of each residence. Another interesting fact is that the floors of the houses are made to scale 1.33.33, because the number 3 is of great importance to this lodge. The City, obviously, has 33 blocks.

Travel Tip: discover each of these masonic tracks and take the opportunity to clear your mind in the beautiful city with the tours in Paraty.

Discover all the Masonic elements in Paraty / Photo by Daytours4u

5. Marcahuasi in Peru

Peru is a country full of mysticism. Machu Picchu is probably the best-known energetic place on an international scale. However, in the capital itself, Lima, lies Marcahuasi, a plateau of the Andes that rises to 4000 meters above sea level.

In Marcahuasi you can see giant rocks with human and animal profiles that attract the attention of many travelers. Added to this natural spectacle is the fact that it is considered a recognized world energy center, due to its volcanic origin that has fostered the generation of rocks with enormous amounts of quartz and in the depths of the plateau the subterranean waters that intensify the energy of the place.

Local experts believe that the place may have healing effects and lovers of astrology say that there is so much magnetism in the area that there’s likely a gateway to other dimensions. From these types of assertions, rumors constantly arise that both UFOs and spirits appear in Marcahuasi.

Travel tip: you can get to Marcahuasi by bus. From the center of Lima you will go to Paseo Colón and take the minibuses that go to Chosica. After two hours of travel to Chosica, you will take another bus to San Pedro de Casta, the town where you start the final stretch towards Marcahuasi. Travelers can go by foot or on horseback and donkeys can also rented to carry luggage. The trip lasts between 3 to 5 hours, depending on the speed.

Book tours and activities in Peru

Marcahuasi is full of mysterious giant rocks with human and animal faces / Source

6. The Sierra de las Ánimas in Uruguay

The Sierra de las Ánimas is the only place of volcanic origin in Uruguay. It is located right at the point where the Cordillera de los Andes begins to rise between Argentina and Chile with a height of 6,962 meters. Due to the conformation of its soil that also has minerals such as quartz, the place is considered an ideal energy center for adventurers who enjoy hiking.

It’s a private place and that can only be accessed on Saturdays and Sundays. During the Tourism Week (Holy Week) and the week of Carnival the entrance is open every day. The most popular trails are the Cerro de las Ánimas and Cañadón de los Espejos, both of extraordinary beauty, full of small natural pools, with waterfalls and pure water, although very cold, where only the brave will enter.

Travel Tip: Find out all the information about the Walk to the Sierra de las Ánimas and live a refreshing experience in Uruguay.

The Sierra de las Ánimas is a must see for the more adventurous who love hiking / Source

The search for evidence of the energy centers on our planet and the possibility of non-human life in the universe do not stop. Even the Department of Defense of the United States recently recognized the existence of a secret program to investigate UFOs, whose budget exceeded 20 million dollars and just recently closed its doors in 2012.

But you do not need such a large budget to discover the mystique of this magical continent that preserves the strength of its original people with great care, so encourage yourself to renew your energy in South America and don’t be afraid to open your mind because you might just get lucky and you can hunt a UFO.

By: Keilma Rojas, Venezuelan journalist, Web Content Editor of Daytours4u

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Start Your Year With a Colombia Carnival Marathon http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/start-your-year-with-colombia-carnival-marathon/ Thu, 28 Dec 2017 12:00:46 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8901 Colombia never ceases to amaze – this long unexplored enchanting country is the home to an array of wonderful places, welcoming locals, and an unrivalled Carnival schedule. Here we take you around the country, offering you a rundown of the country’s biggest and most spectacular summer festivities. Grab you costume, get in the party mood, and [...]

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Colombia never ceases to amaze – this long unexplored enchanting country is the home to an array of wonderful places, welcoming locals, and an unrivalled Carnival schedule. Here we take you around the country, offering you a rundown of the country’s biggest and most spectacular summer festivities. Grab you costume, get in the party mood, and join the fun.


Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Black and White Carnival)

Parade of the Black and White Carvanal in Pasto, southern Colombia / Source

In Colombia’s south, the most anticipated event on the cultural calendar is undoubtedly the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Black and White Carnival). Born from native Andean and Hispanic traditions, this great celebration in San Juan de Pasto runs from 2nd – 7th January every year and it became recognised by UNESCO as an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2009.

The party itself is utter madness – an explosion of colour and sound. Its initial opening is on 7th December, the traditional Noite das Velas (Night of the Candles), whereupon several pre-Carnival activities light up the city. The main Carnival begins on 2nd January with the Desfile das Colônias (Parade of Colonies), an event that features the residents of Pasto and the surrounding areas parading through the streets in a show of their traditions, legends, myths, and music.

The following day is the Día del Carnavalito (Children’s Carnival). Having originated as a game of children imitating their elders by recreating the costumes and fantasies from Blancos Day, this part of the festival now has a very strong identity of its own and it has grown into a much loved part of the Carnival. Thereafter, the partying and drinking continues into the final days of the festival which are the most significant: Día de los Negros (Day of the Blacks) and Día de los Blancos (Day of the Whites), on the 5th and 6th of January respectively.

The first celebration commemorates the date when African slaves were free to wander the city and exert their flamboyant nature, with revelers doning black cosmetics, painting themselves in black, and wearing elaborate masks. On the next day, people of all ethnicities cover themselves in white talcum as a symbol of equality and integration, and together everybody dances and gyrates to the sounds of traditional Colombian music.  A must visit festival for anybody traveling through Colombia.


Carnaval de Cali Viejo (Old Cali Carnival)

Joining Carnaval de Cali Viejo is a great way to better understand the charm of the city / Source

Santiago de Cali – or simply Cali as it is known – displays spectacular carnival parades year after year. Elaborate floats, salsa dancers, children in costume, and beautiful queens together make these celebrations a truly unique event of colour and music.

This event always begins on 28th December with a parade that revives classic characters, highlights symbols of Cali, and honours other regions and cultures that have left their mark on the city. Joining Carnaval de Cali Viejo is a great way to better understand the grandeur and charm of the city. Our tip: the event starts at 2pm, but be sure to arrive early and grab a good spot to get close to the action.

Book your tours and activities in Cali


Carnaval del Perdón y la Reconciliación (Carnival of Forgiveness and Reconciliation)

Carnaval del Perdón y Reconciliación was declared a Cultural Patrimony of the Nation / Source

On 11th and 12th February, Carnaval del Perdón y la Reconciliación in Valle del Sibundoy (Putumayo) swings into action. Declared a National Cultural Heritage in 2012, the carnival is a sacred event, where the indigenous groups Inga and Kamentsá celebrate the end of the year, and harmony between mankind and agriculture. Both tribes have their own individual parties, but during Carnival they together embrace forgiveness and reconciliation with their loved ones through ‘Clestrinye,’ meaning feast, dance, and joy.

On 11th February, the Kamentsá host a beautiful show wearing their traditional clothing in the presence of Matachín, a masked man who invites all to celebrate with him. The Ingas take centre stage on the following day as everyone makes their way to the church and the main square in costume to dance and sing. Throughout the festival, varying groups from different backgrounds and regions perform for spectators. You can purchase various souvenirs such as native wind instruments, beads, fabrics, masks, necklaces, and other artisanal items. This event is a fusion of the sacred and the profane; a must-do for any local culture enthusiasts.


Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas ou del Diablo (Riosucio Carnival of the Devil)

Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas attracts tourists from around the world / Source

Like many of the others, Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas ou del Diablo is an Intangible Heritage of Colombia and it most certainly lives up to its title, attracting tourists and party animals from around the world.

In the past, Riosucio was comprised of two rival communities (Nuestra Señora de la Montaña and Quiebralom Mining Real) located on either side of the city. Tired of incessant competition, the priests (José Ramón Bueno and Jose Bonifacio Bonafont) told the people that they must make peace, and if they did not fulfill this order, the devil would punish them personally. In celebration of this union, these joyous and jubilant festivities were created, and in 1915, the devil figure was adopted as the image of the festival and it remains central to the celebrations today.

The main events include: Alegre despertar del Carnaval (Joyful Awakening of Carnival), an opening procession that signals the start of the carnival; Gran Entrada de Colonias (Grand Entry of the Colonies); Grandioso Desfile de Cuadrillas de Mayores (Great Parade of Old Crews), and the festivities come to a close with Entierro del Calabazo, Quema de su Majestad el Diablo, Fin de la Fiesta (Calabazo Burial, Burning Her Majesty the Devil, the End of the Celebration), where a paper-mâché devil purpose built for the carnival is burnt, signifying the official end of the festival.


Carnaval de Barranquilla (Barranquilla Carnival)

Carnaval de Barranquilla is a colourful affair / Source

Barranquilla Carnival – simply the most important folkloric and cultural festival in Colombia. Each year, more than one million people including tourists from around the world descend upon Barranquilla for this wondrous occasion. The event has Spanish origins and it has today retained the spirit of renewal and change that was prevalent in the European celebration of the time. In Barranquilla, the festival began as a holiday for African slaves during the colonial era, and they would mark the occasion by taking to the streets with their handmade instruments and decorative costumes, and perform dances and songs from their homelands.

This carnival displays an array of cultural and folkloric elements from the Colombian Caribbean coast, alongside traditional music and local dance. Over the years, Barranquilla Carnival has become renowned for its elaborate floats, ostentatious costumes, and fancy masks, the most popular of which are the bull, the tiger, and the bear. At once satirical and contemporary – always referencing current events – the costumes are an emblem of the collective joy and jubilation.

From 15th January through 9th February, Barranquilla will be a party city in carnival mode, with a range of events and activities. Highlights include the Lectura del Bando (Reading) on 16th January, Fiestas de Comparsas ( Festival of Carnival Troupes) on 23rd January, and Fiesta de Danzas y Cumbias (Festival of Dances and Cumbia) on 24th January. The major celebrations start on 6th February with the Batalla de Flores (Battle of Flowers) and the streets will be packed for four days of vibrant, extravagant, and seemingly endless partying.

Book online the Barranquilla Carnival Parades Package

mAre you going to a Colombia Carnival? We can enrich your South American experiences.

Book your Colombian tours and activities here

By Thalles Santos | Translated by Simon Hall

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Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Uruguay http://www.daytours4u.com/en/uruguay4u/celebrating-new-years-eve-uruguay/ Tue, 26 Dec 2017 19:29:49 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11967 The period that begins with Christmas and goes until to the feast of the Three Wise Men (January 6) is one of the best times to visit Uruguay, both because of the weather and the variety of parties that take place, as well as because of the good spirit you will find in my compatriots, [...]

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The period that begins with Christmas and goes until to the feast of the Three Wise Men (January 6) is one of the best times to visit Uruguay, both because of the weather and the variety of parties that take place, as well as because of the good spirit you will find in my compatriots, most of them already beginning their summer holidays. The bad news is that as many foreigners already know, the demand is high for hotels, inns, and apartments for rent during these dates, which Brazilian neighbors have baptized as “réveillon“, is high. Because of this, prices tend to be higher during those weeks than the rest of the summer. If you are one of the lucky ones who will end the year while visiting our country, understanding several aspects of the local culture will be useful for you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

The New Year in Uruguay coincides with the summer, so take advantage of enjoying those days in front of the sea / Source

WHAT DO THE URUGUAYANS EAT?

Because the majority of Uruguayans are descended from European immigrants -especially from Spain and Italy, but also from the United Kingdom, France and Germany, among others- the foods that make up the typical Christmas and New Year’s menu are usually more appropriate for the cold of the northern hemisphere than for the average 30 degree weather in these latitudes.

The pork and roast lamb are two of the most traditional components on the menu. A small dish with cooked lentils, according to the superstitious people, will attract prosperity and that there will be plenty of food on the table during the year to come. The chicken, on the other hand, would be contraindicated, since it predicts that the year will start out “going backwards”, as this animal does on some occasions. Fruit cake, English pudding, nougat and polished fruits complete the list of typical foods on this date, but are accompanied by several kilos of ice cream, among which the classic flavor of dulce de leche is a must.

Nougat is one of the favorite desserts of Uruguayans for New Year’s dinner / Source

Keep in mind if you are going to have dinner on the 31st in a restaurant in Uruguay, as in Argentina and part of Spain, it is customary to start eating at 9.30 pm or even later. In families and groups of Uruguayan friends, it often happens that when the toast at midnight arrives… they haven’t even eaten dessert yet!


FOR THE SUPERSTITIOUS

Other local traditions, which probably coincide with several Latin American and/or European countries, are:

  • Eating 12 grapes (at midnight on the 31st, one per bell). It is supposed to attract good luck.
  • Filling a bucket or glass of water and throwing it back in the doorway of your house. The belief is that doing it will remove the bad energies of the home and ensure the beginning of the year clean of bad vibrations.
  • Going out with a suitcase, at midnight, and walking around the block. They say that this action will ensure at least one trip in 2018.

COLORS IN THE SKY

Although they have their detractions, for the Uruguayans fireworks are synonymous with Christmas Eve and New Years, so the night sky during the second half of December becomes multicolored. In Montevideo, the Ramblas del Centro, Parque Rodó and Pocitos, and in Punta del Este in the area of the Port, are the places where the most lights compete in color, duration and form during the change of year. After midnight, the area of the Port has been for several years the place where the largest number of people in the spa, of all ages and socioeconomic levels, is concentrated. If you want to start the first day of the year in a more exclusive place, we recommend one of the many VIP parties that will be held in Punta del Este and its surroundings.

If you want to start the year in an exclusive place, do not miss the VIP parties in Punta del Este / Source: Flurmagazine

WATCHING THE SUNRISE

We have around 600 kilometers of beach along Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean, where you can enjoy the spectacle of the first dawn of the new year, which occurs at about five thirty in the morning. But keep in mind that in Montevideo, Punta del Este, the spas of Rocha and other parts of the country you will find several parties where the sunrise is not the end, but the peak of the celebration.

Enjoy the holidays and the austral summer with the best tours in Uruguay!

By: Carina Fossati, Uruguayan, journalist and author of travel blog Hills To Heels

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The challenge of 2018: A travel experience called South America http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/challenge-2018-travel-experience-called-south-america/ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 19:30:35 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11946 There are no impossible obstacles; there are only stronger and weaker wills. Julio Verne It was difficult to finish this article in moments of such political sensitivity as those that were experienced this week in Buenos Aires, where the country that represents freedom of expression in South America, confronted its democracy and fully exercised its [...]

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There are no impossible obstacles; there are only stronger and weaker wills.
Julio Verne

It was difficult to finish this article in moments of such political sensitivity as those that were experienced this week in Buenos Aires, where the country that represents freedom of expression in South America, confronted its democracy and fully exercised its right to be heard. And it seems that this year, this subcontinent wanted to make itself heard in the world and to make our culture be valued and respected not only by the foreigner but also from within us, from the singularity and the difference of each country, from what unites us and what differentiates us.

When we began 9 years ago with our first website of tours in Buenos Aires, with less social networks and less digital media, we had to explain in several occasions some cultural patterns to our clients in Argentina, with the sole purpose of excusing ourselves from some practices that affected their travel plans. Our clients ended up satisfied – or less frustrated – when facing that this country has a different reality than theirs and that a single traveler cannot change a whole country, so there is no other than to embrace this difference.

A couple of years after, we launched our Rio de Janeiro website. The first on offering online booking of tours and cultural experiences in the city. I will never forget the American client who, frustrated by the multiple changes caused by the visit of Pope Francis, complained astonished that the most traditional tourist destination in Brazil (and probably South America), organizing superb events such as the Rio Carnival and having been chosen to host the FIFA World Cup final match and subsequently the Olympics, was unable to foresee logistical incidents.  We wondered how to explain to the client about this social code called jeito carioca, a cultural behavior that defines Rio de Janeiro inhabitants and obviously we can not change. But perhaps, he went to the beach to drink a coco gelado (iced cocnut) or a choppe (beer) in posto 9 and that same jeito carioca saved him from returning home with a distaste provoked by a classic cultural shock.

We could continue telling cultural anecdotes like these, of customers from all over the world having Daytours4u experiences from San Andrés to Ushuaia, that transcend this beautiful continent full of energy, good vibes, skilled, hardworking and honest people, so different and yet so similar, with a culture enriched by immigration and miscegenation, an indigenous heritage that we still need to recognize with pride and appreciation an that completes the picture of our idiosyncrasy, the same we want to transmit through what we call the experience of traveling through South America.

That same experience acquired when you live the life, took us through difficult times and some tense situations this year. Although politics and the world economy suffered setbacks, everything seems to be lived in a more passionate way here. While Colombia took wing signing a long-debated and exhausting peace agreement, Venezuela suffered its own exodus while its neighbours prepared to welcome hundreds of citizens who had left their homes; Uruguay faced with conviction the risks and barriers of progressive measures like the regulation of Cannabis, Brazil exploded the bubble generated by two massive international events in the midst of a painful atmosphere of political tension for society; and Argentina, the ever vibrant queen of the South, shuddered with economic and political changes that wallowed all spheres of society.

The Daytours4u Team preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics / Photo by Daytours4u

Regardless of the situation, we continued working alongside travel agents, tour operators and influencers, with the same humility and resilience, to serve and to inspire those travelers from all over the world walking through our cities, uncovering our natural landscapes, admiring the exuberant beauty and probably feeling amazed and a little confused by the dichotomy of our discomfort and happiness, lack and fullness, kindness and indifference in which we live day by day. To make of every encounter between two cultures, a disruption of the stereotypes in a way that no traveler will return home with the same mentality as when he left.

Citing again the visionary Jules Verne -probably the first experiences specialist known- in his extraordinary travel books, he expressed the idea that each journey is an adventure in which its protagonists must be marked by courage, courage necessary to keep going in the face of adversity and the ability to solve any situation that comes their way. But this is not done alone, rather than in the company of other temporary or permanent, traveling companions and everyone that intervened or helped when it was needed.

In 2017, South Americans demonstrate courage and during this year’s life journey, we also prove that being together makes us stronger.  This was our trip life journey, an intensive training for what is about to come in 2018, an outspread South American travel experience under the brand name Daytours4u, aimed to integrate all these cultural values together thanks to that which we were able to keep afloat.

Thanks to that invaluable human talent that accompanies us, to the operators that walked alongside us and to the clients who place their trust in our work, we were able to end this year with not only one but many adventures that made us stronger, more adult-like, with more desire to undertake new challenges and, above all, more convinced that your next travel destination has to be in South America.

Happy 2018 and happy travels!

By: Nohelia Sánchez, CEO & Co-founder of Daytours4u

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The best-selling tours of 2017: Unmissable excursions according to our travelers http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/the-best-selling-tours-of-2017-unmissable-excursions/ Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11941 The travel experiences South America offers its visitors are inexhaustible. This continent has an infinite catalog of tours and activities that range from outdoor adventures, city tours and native cultural shows, to walks to unique places that are carefully preserved by its inhabitants. In this article we have gathered the best-selling tours of 2017 according [...]

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The travel experiences South America offers its visitors are inexhaustible. This continent has an infinite catalog of tours and activities that range from outdoor adventures, city tours and native cultural shows, to walks to unique places that are carefully preserved by its inhabitants. In this article we have gathered the best-selling tours of 2017 according to the preferences of our travelers, who have been inspired by the charm and diversity that surrounds the continent.

PatagoniaWalking along the Patagonian trails is one of the favorite activities of tourists / Photo by Daytours4u

The best-selling tours in Argentina

Throughout its more than two and a half million kilometers, Argentina, like almost all countries in the region, has landscapes as varied as its cultural offer. Only Buenos Aires is one of the most important tourist gems in the country: 83% of foreigners that visit Argentina are destined for the Capital Federal. In the city, tango is the one that takes the grand prize of the best-selling tours for 2017.

Señor Tango: It is one of the most famous shows in Buenos Aires, recognized for its choreographic performances that evoke the best Broadway shows. There are more than 40 artists on stage who transmit an intense passion of tango.

Estancia Santa Susana Fiesta Gaucha: In the outskirts of Buenos Aires, travelers will enjoy an entertaining dance show, as well as a demonstration of gaucho skills on horseback. The tour includes barbecue (asado) and wine.

Tigre Full Day Tour: Outside of the cultural shows, the most sold tour in Buenos Aires was the Tigre Full Day Tour. It is a beautiful outing through the landscapes around the city, the Paraná River and the Delta Islands.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: One Day in Colonia, although it is not technically in Buenos Aires, it does allow you to leave the Argentine capital and is a great opportunity to connect with the Rio de la Plata culture on the other side of the river.

TangoWatching a tango show in Buenos Aires is the must-see tour in the Argentine capital / Photo by Daytours4u

After Buenos Aires, Patagonia Argentina is the favorite of travelers and the most adventurous will find unforgettable natural wonders in the north. These were their favorite excursions:

Perito Moreno Glacier Tour: It is a full day tour for the Los Glaciares National Park that passes through channels, fjords and bays from where incredible views of icebergs and Patagonian landscapes can be admired.

Torres del Paine Full Day Tour: It goes from El Calafate to the Argentine border to visit Patagonia in Chile. Visit Sarmiento and Nordenskjold lakes until you reach the dazzling Mirador (lookout) de los Cuernos del Paine.

Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side: a trip to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the imposing Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina. The tour leads to the famous Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat).

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: it is difficult to choose because Córdoba and Mendoza offer excellent tourist options. Despite this, Salta is the destination that brings together in one place activities for all types of travelers: families, couples and solo adventurers; that’s why we recommend the Going Around the Heights (Salt Flats), a full day tour with visits to Salinas Grandes, Quebrada del Toro, Cerro de los Siete Colores and more.

IguazuRecharge all your energies in the Iguazu Falls / Photo by Daytours4u

The best-selling tours in Brazil

Our travelers who were in Río de Janeiro and São Paulo in 2017 were fascinated by all the options offered by these cities at any time of the day and at any time of the year. Beach, mountain, walks through the city, gastronomy and adventure are only a small part of the Brazilian offer.

In Rio de Janeiro, the top 3 of the tours preferred by our clients were, as expected, related to the spectacular beaches around the city:

Angra Dos Reis & Ilha Grande Day Tour: Includes a day on the tropical island of Ilha Grande, on the coast of Angra Dos Reis. It is the perfect occasion to leave the bustling city and enjoy a totally relaxed beach day.

Boat Tour to Arraial do Cabo: ideal for those who seek to visit the surroundings of Rio de Janeiro. In this tour you will visit Isla do Farol, the Blue Grotto, Playa do Forno and other tropical places.

Rio Express Day Tour: a very complete excursion that includes a visit to the most emblematic places of interest in Rio in just 7 hours: Sugarloaf, Christ the Redeemer, the Sambadrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral, among other attractions in the city.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: We love the Authentic Feijoada Experience, because we know that gastronomy is a key element to discover the essence of each place visited. In addition to the delicious dishes tasted, the popular Minas Gerais coffee completes this truly authentic experience.

The visit to Christ the Redeemer is one of the best-selling tours / Photo by Daytours4u

In São Paulo, on the other hand, the most sold tours in 2017 were:

Tour to Santos & Guarujá: A refreshing excursion to the beaches of the Costa Verde (Green Coast): Asturias, Ensenada, Pernambuca and Pitangueiras. The tour also includes a tour of the busiest port in Latin America and the Coffee Museum.

Layover Tour São Paulo: Due to the importance of the Guarulhos Airport for the connections of the main airlines of South America and the world, this tour is one of the most sold in São Paulo, because in 6 or 8 hours (depending on the waiting time the passengers) will tour Ibirapuera Park, Paulista Avenue, Metropolitan Cathedral and a dozen tourist sites in the city.

Architecture Tour: São Paulo is the capital of events in South America and, because of that, this tour is the favorite of those who travel to the city to participate in conventions or congress meetings for professionals. The city has a modernist and eclectic design, combining sleek and bright skyscrapers with the classical architecture imposed by the Portuguese Empire.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: the Hot Air Balloon Ride is one of the most fun activities to do in São Paulo. If your dream as a child was to ride on one of these giant balloons, this is one of the safest and most beautiful places to do it.

Spend the day in Santos and Guarujá is an excellent tourist plan in São Paulo

The best-selling tours in Chile

After establishing itself as the world leader in adventure tourism in 2016, Chile has become an increasingly attractive destination for those traveling to South America. Despite offering multiple options for trekking, rafting, surfing or horseback riding, our travelers decided in 2017 for more thematic and relaxed excursions. Here we show you the 3 best-selling tours in Chile:

Magdalena Island Penguin Tour: Chilean Patagonia, as well as Argentina, occupies the first place in the itinerary of our travelers. This excursion in Magdalena Island departs from Punta Arenas to sail through the historic Strait of Magellan until reaching the natural monument, where 150,000 penguins walk freely from November to March.

Concha y Toro Winery Tour: the second place is held by wine tours in Santiago, especially this one to Viña Concha and Toro, which is one of the most emblematic of the city. It was founded in 1883 and its wine -mainly those from the Casillero del Diablo winery- are distributed in 147 countries.

Tour to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar: departing from Santiago, this excursion allows travelers to visit the main cities of the Chilean Central Coast in one day. Among the sites of interest that are visited is the Quinta Vergara in Viña and La Sebastiana, one of the houses of Pablo Neruda, in Valparaíso.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: Valparaiso is a charming city and the Tour to Isla Negra with Wine Tasting is a tour that departs from Santiago and crosses three emblematic places in Valpo: the Pablo Neruda House in Isla Negra, the beaches of Algarrobo and the Valle de White House. An unmissable excursion!

Knowing the best of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar is possible with the full day from Santiago / Source: Tourism Chile

The best-selling tours in Uruguay

Uruguay is the second smallest country on the surface of South America – after Suriname – but this is not directly proportional to its tourist offer. On the contrary, so far in 2017, the country has received almost 3 million tourists, that is, 21% more than what it received in 2016 and it is expected that next year this figure will increase. In the midst of this continuous growth, these were the three most-sold tours in Uruguay according to the preference of our customers:

Punta del Este Tour from Montevideo: the biggest tourist attraction in Uruguay is Punta del Este, that’s why this trip is first in the top 3, ideal for those who will spend most of their vacations in Santiago. You will visit in one day the beaches Mansa, Brava, Atlántida, Piriápolis, the downtown, the Maldonado bar and more.

Sunset at Casapueblo – Boat Cruise: It was the hit of 2017 in Punta. The mythical “Casa Pueblo”, workshop and home of the renowned Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró, is a reference of the city, but appreciating it through a boat navigation as the sun sets is the most romantic experience of all.

Colonia Tour from Montevideo: Colonia is the place of excellence for romantic getaways. Lovers from Buenos Aires come to this city and also those from Montevideo with the intention of spending a relaxing day walking through the beautiful cobblestone streets of the Old City, and touring the Port Zone, the Rambla and the old pier.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: the Primuseum Restaurant Dinner Show is not just any dinner. In addition to the delicious food and interactive tango show where attendees can ask the tangos dancers what they want to hear, the place itself is a unique tourist attraction: it is a mansion in the old city of Montevideo created in 1870 that houses more than 3000 antiques, including about 300 primus, which are the first patented brand of kerosene stoves, from Sweden, that were used in homes to cook, heat and work.

The beaches of Punta del Este are the favorite of most tourists who visit Uruguay / Photo by Daytours4u

The best-selling tours in Colombia

Colombia was voted the destination “revelation of the year” according to our travelers. The economic growth of the country has also been reflected in tourism and it’s a nation that offers its visitors the possibility of vacationing at any time of the year, whether to enjoy its beaches, visit the Coffee Region or submerge yourself in the Amazon. The most sold tours in Colombia this 2017 were:

Tayrona National Park Tours: all the options we offer to enjoy Tayrona were preferred by our clients in Colombia. The charm of the little town Chayrama, as well as the Cañaveral, Arrecifes, Neguanje and Cristal beaches captivated tourists, who took the opportunity to also visit Bahía Concha, a magical place to relax for hours.

Day Trip to Guatapé and El Peñol: the second place goes to Medellín and the city of Guatapé, where visitors push themselves to climb the steep 7,000-foot ladders to reach the top of the Guatapé monolith. The panoramic view is spectacular!

Bogota Layover Tour: after the infrastructure reforms that were carried out at the El Dorado Airport, the number of airlines arriving in Bogota has increased and this is one of the reasons why this tour was so popular in 2017. Passengers can choose from tours that last 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours and it is also ideal for those who will spend little time in the Colombian capital, since their vacations will be centered in Cartagena, San Andrés or the Coffee Region.

Tour recommended by Daytours4u: Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Coffee Triangle is a fantastic 45-minute experience where you can look over more than 340,000 hectares of the beautiful Coffee Cultural Landscape, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011.

Enjoy the Coffee Cultural Landscape from the height with the balloon flight / Photo by Daytours4u

Without a doubt, 2017 has been a year of great experiences and this is just a tiny taste of what South America has to offer the world. Get ready for everything new that 2018 will bring and book the excursions that you would love to partake in during your holidays with Daytours4u.

*The data used in this article was given by the Daytours4u Sales team, who perform a thorough analysis of the reservations made by travelers to our websites. Also, their expertise about each destination was fundamental to the selection of recommended tours.

Por: Keilma Rojas, Venezuelan journalist, Web Content Editor of Daytours4u

The post The best-selling tours of 2017: Unmissable excursions according to our travelers appeared first on Daytours4u.

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Dining in Punta del Este: From La Península to José Ignacio http://www.daytours4u.com/en/uruguay4u/dining-in-punta-del-este/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:56:42 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11934 On the Uruguayan coasts the gastronomy occupies a place almost as important as the beaches: there are located two of the national undertakings that integrate the prestigious ranking “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants”, dozens of choices for where to enjoy the Uruguayan seafood, varied options to try (and fall in love) with the chivito, without [...]

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On the Uruguayan coasts the gastronomy occupies a place almost as important as the beaches: there are located two of the national undertakings that integrate the prestigious ranking “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants”, dozens of choices for where to enjoy the Uruguayan seafood, varied options to try (and fall in love) with the chivito, without missing the pizzas and snacks, paired with wines -the tannat is the national classic-, Uruguayan craft beers and summer cocktails.

In summer (from December to February) the options are multiplied with proposals “golondrinas” that only open for the season, but most of the places we have decided to recommend here are open all year, so that you can enjoy them during whichever month you choose to visit.


IN THE PENINSULA

Buenos AiresLo de Tere is located in the Port designed for demanding palates and pockets / Photo courtesy of Lo de Tere

Uruguay is not left out of the international trend of craft beers and Capi Bar (Calle 27 between Av. Gorlero and calle 24, Tel. 4243 8103) has its own production, under the Capitan Beer label, added to other national variants such as Davok, Volcánica and Cabesas. The gastronomic options to combine them include pizzas, salads, hamburgers, chivitos, calamari, ceviche and fish. Located across the street, the Bigote Food Truck Garage (27th Street between Gorlero Ave. and 24th Street) offers a covered food patio with food trucks, where you can choose between pizzas -in the traditional form or in cones-, chivitos, hamburgers, sandwiches , salads and other fast food selections. Both establishments frequently include live music. Also a casual and moderately priced option is Olivia Restó (Calle 21 and Rambla Artigas, Tel. +598 4244 5121), located half a block from the Port: from its terrace you can have lunch or dinner overlooking the bay.

More demanding palates and pockets will find in the Port to Lo de Tere (Rambla Artigas (Mansa) between streets 19 and 21, Tel. +598 4244 0492), with an author’s menu under the charge of the chef María Elena Marfetán, who combines products of season, the best Uruguayan meats and a carefully selected fish and seafood. There you can eat a la carte, or select a menu of five, six or seven courses. Another favorite option among local gourmets is Cuatro Mares “Four Seas” (Calle Capitán Miranda, 2 de Febrero Street, Tel. +598 4244 8916), located very close to Punta del Este’s lighthouse. As the name suggests, the specialty is fish and seafood; and also offers tapas, ideal for those who want to try a variety of flavors accompanied by a caipirinha or glass of wine.


BOULEVARD GOURMET

Chivipizza is the youthful, economic and relaxed option of Boulevard Gourmet / Source

On the corner of Roosevelt and Pedragosa Sierra avenues, near the shopping center Punta Shopping, a circuit known as Boulevard Gourmet was born due to the concentrated quantity and variety of gastronomic proposals; Every so often, gastronomic fairs take place in which restaurants and cafes open stands on the streets with lower prices: check with your hotel or Google to find out when the next one will take place!

The restaurant La Bourgogne (Av. Pedragosa Sierra and Av. Del Mar, Tel. 4248 2007) is located in this area, by French chef Jean Paul Bondoux, and has the privilege of being part of the prestigious “Latin America’s 50 Best” ranking. It is not suitable for all budgets, but it ensures a unique experience.

On the other side of the island, economic and relaxed is Chivipizza (Pedragosa Sierra, San Ciro, Tel. +598 4247 7777), ideal for trying Uruguayan chivito accompanied by fresh drinks such as caipirinhas, daikiris or frozen mojitos.

If your wish is to enjoy an afternoon snack or a good coffee after the beach, you will not be disappointed by the Felix Caffè (Pedragosa Sierra and Av. Del Mar, Tel. +598 4248 3125). There complete tea for two includes scones, hot sandwiches, cakes, tartlets and cakes, all prepared on sites. These delights can be enjoyed inside the, in their garden – they offer warm blankets for cool evenings – and they also offer the food to-go. If your plan is a tea-dinner, there are also sandwiches, omelets, cocktails, wines and sparkling wines.


IN MALDONADO

Chef Fernando Trocca is the creator of the exquisite menu at La Cantina del Vigía / Source

Punta del Este has a reputation for high prices and among the regular vacationers it is common to travel on several evenings to the city of Maldonado to enjoy a more economical menu. In the last decade there have been options for great gastronomic quality that make the visit worthy beyond just the pricing, such as La Cantina del Vigía (Zelmar Michelini 744 Tel. +598 4226 8075), located in front of the homonymous square of late eighteenth century. Owned by Agustín Benítez and Federico Desseno -the latter is also the creator of the restaurant “Marismo” in José Ignacio-, and with a menu designed by chef Fernando Trocca, La Cantina del Vigía has two wood-fired ovens from which “delights of the sea and the countryside” come out of. Even the American media chef Anthony Bourdain visited here and recommended it on his television show!

Another recommendation, located a few steps away, is the Segundo Almacen del Caballito (Zelmar Michelini 819, Rafael Pérez del Puerto, Tel +598 4227 2108). There you can enjoy a barbecue, potato omelet, mussels, calamari, horderves, salads and milanesas: in the Rio de la Plata we are fanatics of Milanesas and tend to integrate them into the weekly menu of most Uruguayans!

In Maldonado it is also worth visiting Macachín (Santa Teresa 619 bis Tel. +598 94 102 776), a restaurant that emphasizes the creative combination of local ingredients. Examples? Camembert cheese injected with homemade liquor guava (native fruit of Uruguay), gizzards with champagne sautéed in olive oil, corvina ceviche with yellow arazá or kidneys cooked in tannat over a bed of potatoes.


OVER THE BRIDGE

The Parador La Huella is one of the must-see spots in José Ignacio, located right in front of the sea / Source

After crossing the undulating bridge of the Maldonado stream, which leads to La Barra, the main street (route 10) will tempt you with multiple proposals, but you will have to leave a few blocks if you want to discover the secrets of the locals. One of them is Elmo (Calle Los Bonitos, El Cinto, Manantiales, Tel. +598 94 069 111), a relaxed place where wood predominates and at night it receives the diner with soft lighting, soft music and a clay oven. from which come homemade pizzas and pastas; Elmo also stands out in seafood dishes, and has in the dessert menu one of the best sweet milk volcanoes that can be tasted in Uruguay.

Further east, at La Juanita spa, Juana Cocina Bar (Atalaya street, Hector Soria square, José Ignacio, Tel. +598 4486 2639) is an unpretentious homestyle-restaurant offering pizzas and pastas baked in clay ovens, local wines or Uruguayan craft beers. It is also an ideal place to try dessert pancakes with dulce de leche, one of the most traditional in the country.

And, if Punta del Este is considered a top resort, the area of ​​José Ignacio would be “the top of the top”; There, the not-to-be-missed is the La Huella Parador (Calle de Los Cisnes, Playa Brava, Tel. 4486 2279) and do not be fooled by the rustic decoration of the beach hostel or the casual look of its regulars: the restaurant owned by gastronomic entrepreneur Martín Pittaluga makes the ranking “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants” and is the favorite of local and international celebrities. It is not cheap but it offers great value for money, the only drawback is that it is recommended to reserve a table because if not there are usually long waits.


EN GARZÓN

Bodega Garzón has a haute cuisine restaurant and offers walks and tastings through the vineyard / Source

This small town about 30 minutes from the Peninsula became a gourmet spot since Argentine chef Francis Mallman opened the boutique hotel-restaurant Garzón, (Costa Jose Ignacio Street, La Capilla Street, Tel. +598 4410 2811). The prices are extremely high but for those who have the means, it is worthwhile to experience at least once in a lifetime. For guests the menu is all inclusive: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. Another cheaper option for those who want to visit the town without feeling it in their pockets is the cafeteria, rotisserie and Panadería de la Mama (Costa Jose Ignacio Street and La Cantera, across from the main square) which offers homemade breads, sandwiches, cakes, salads and other meals along the way.

On the outskirts of the town is the vineyard and Bodega Garzón, owned by Argentine magnate Alejandro Bulgheroni, which includes a top cuisine restaurant and also offers vineyard and olive grove tours, tastings, picnics in the countryside and even hot air balloon rides.

Click here to see the best tours and activities in Punta del Este

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By: Carina Fossati, Uruguayan, journalist and author of the blog Hills To Heels

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