Most Underrated Destinations in South America

Girls from South America

South America has some of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is no surprise that it attracts so many tourists worldwide every year. It consists of only twelve countries, but each of them is equally charming and interesting in its own way. Some tourist locations on this continent are very well known, such as the Inca citadel Machu Picchu in Peru, the statue of Christ “Christ the Redeemer” in Brazil, Iguazu waterfalls in Argentina, and so much more. But besides all these famous places, there are so much less familiar destinations that are as gorgeous but not talked about enough. We are here to show you the most underrated destinations in South America that you should check out if you love traveling.

Los Roques Archipelago

Los Roques Archipelago is one of South America’s more expensive and lavish destinations. It is perfect for various activities. If you are looking for sandy beaches, crystal clear water with lots of coral riffs for diving and snorkeling, then this is a place to go. This place is truly Heaven on Earth; It is located in the Caribbean Sea, not far away from the coast of Venezuela, and it has around 350 islands and numerous animal and plant species, some of them which are endangered. The main occupations for visitors are, of course, swimming and exploring marine life. Some people are fond of fishing, which is very rewarding here since there are at least 270 species of fish. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are options as well.

There are only two ways to travel here. By plane, which is the way most people do it, or by boat. We should warn you that hotel accommodation is costly here, but don’t worry. You could also camp here, which can be a fun experience, and it will ultimately cost cheaper. You just need to pack everything you may need and enjoy!

Paraguay and Asuncion

Paraguay is a relatively small country located in the central part of the continent. However, it is a fantastic option to check out some unique destinations in South America. Not to mention that this country could be a good choice if you ever try to move internationally. We know that moving to another continent can be very stressful and filled with anxiety, but try to keep a positive mindset. There is no need to worry if you have made the right choice since Paraguay is well known for its safety and mild and pleasant climate. Have that in mind if you ever plan to move there.

As for its capital, Asuncion, located on the banks of the Paraguay River, is filled with exciting content. Here are some examples. The seat of the government of Paraguay, “Palacio de Lopez” is a beautiful construction that is even more extravagant at night when all the lights come on. And if you are an art lover, Asuncion’s Art Museums are must-visit places. There are various: Museo del Barro, Museo de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Sacro, Fundacion Texo, etc. And if you love animals and nature, we suggest visiting the Botanical Garden and Zoo of Asuncion or the delightful Crystal Fall, located in the jungle area.

The city of Valparaíso, one of the most underrated destinations in South America.
The colorful city of Valparaíso should be a must-visit place.

City of Valparaíso

The colorful city of Valparaíso is a must-see if you are visiting Chile. It is located about 80 miles northwest of the much more known country capital Santiago. It is the country’s cultural center, famous for its street art, brightly colored houses, and seaside views resembling some European cities. In 2003 the town was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Poet Pablo Neruda, one of its most famous inhabitants, often described it as beautiful chaos, partly because of its specific geography. Between a mountain range and the ocean, the city is a maze of steep inclines, narrow streets, and staircases, making some cities landmarks reachable only by foot or funicular. So be prepared for a lot of walking that will finally pay off because this is one of those places where, if you like photography, you will not put your camera down for a second.

The Chan Chan Adobe City in Trujillo, Peru.
Peru has a rich culture and wild nature.

Trujillo, Peru

Peru has rich pre-hispanic culture, wild nature, and world-famous gastronomy. That is why it is one of the favorite destinations in South America for tourists. But there is much more than Machu Picchu and Cuzco. Although it gets only ten percent of overall international tourist visits in Peru, the city of Trujillo is an excellent example of an unjustly underrated destination in South America. At least for those interested in pre-Columbian culture and heritage and not fond of high altitudes and problems it brings. Near the city lies Chan Chan, the largest mud city in the ancient world and the capital of Chimu culture. The site is a world heritage site. Some 2.5 miles south of Trujillo is another important archeological site, Las Huacas del Sol y de la Luna, which is very interesting to visit. Huanchaco spa is another place you should not miss.

Black monkey walking on rocks.
Amazon forests are full of wildlife.

Iquitos, Peru

Another location in Peru that deserves your attention is Iquitos. It is the capital of the Mayan province. People also know it as the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. Iquitos is the largest city in the world that isn’t connected to any other by road. The only way to access it is either by boat or plane. And that is part of its charm. Lush nature and the multitude of animals that live in a nearby jungle draw in the tourists that visit Iquitos. Choose one of the boat tours that can take you to one of the protected natural areas in the Amazon. Visit the local community of indigenous people or take a night-time hike in the jungle. These will be fun adventures that you’ll remember fondly. Be sure to try local or international dishes in the Iron house constructed by Gustav Eiffel.

Final Words

There is a reason why popular places are popular, but it doesn’t mean that those less known are not beautiful. If you love traveling, we urge you to consider visiting these underrated destinations in South America. See some other cultures, try new food, and enjoy your visit to the fullest!

10 Most Original Souvenirs To Take Home From a Journey

Souvenir shops

One thing all travelers are currently asking is – is it the right time to travel again? The answer to this question depends on your location and desired destination. Some parts of the world have been affected by the pandemic more severely than others. So, it would be best to wait a bit longer to be safe. After all, we waited this long. What are a couple of months more? However, just because we cannot travel right now, that does not mean that you cannot start planning for your upcoming trip. You can use this time to dig deep and research all the mesmerizing places virtually before visiting. And, while you are researching, it won’t hurt to get some ideas regarding souvenirs. This article is here to help you with that. Here are 10 original souvenirs to take home from a journey. 

1. Argentina – Leather Items 

Argentina is famous for many things, and leather is one of them. So, next time you find yourself in this amazing country, be sure to pick up some leather items. Those can be shoes, belts, bags, wallets, or even watch straps. And, do not worry, you will not get scammed – the leather pieces from Argentina are of excellent quality, so do not hesitate to pay a bit extra.

2. China – Teapots

If you decide to travel to China, one of the most original souvenirs you can come home with is a Chinese teapot. These can be found pretty much anywhere in China. Their prices vary depending on their quality, of course. If you have some extra spending money in your budget, we recommend getting teapots made from Chinese porcelain. And, if you want a complete collection to give you the ultimate tea-drinking experience, you can also get teacups in matching painted sets. And don’t forget to buy some Chinese green or black tea. All of these make for excellent birthday gifts for travelers, too, so keep that in mind if you want to buy a gift for someone special. 

A teapot and cup.
There is nothing more original than a Chinese tea set.

3. England – Cadbury’s Chocolate

Even though Belgium is the world’s chocolate capital, many people argue that England can participate in the competition. But it is not just any chocolate – it is the famous Cadbury’s chocolate. This will also be a perfect gift to an American as this chocolate can no longer be found in the USA. 

4. Belgium – Lace

Speaking of Belgium, this country has a lot more to offer than just chocolate. For instance, Belgium is known for its authentic, hand-made lace and tapestry. Some of the most intricate laceworks can be found in the cities of Brussels and Bruges. You can take this lace home and make curtains, table spreads, or some of the most beautiful pieces of clothing out of it. But, let us warn you – Belgium’s lace comes with a hefty price tag! 

5. France – Macarons

It is no secret that France is famous for its cheeses, pastries and desserts. Some of those famous pastries include Croissants, Éclairs, Crepes, Crème Brûlée, etc. However, one dessert found its way to all of our hearts. The one and only – Macarons. These delectable pieces of heaven come in many colors and flavors. You can buy them almost anywhere throughout France. And even though they look delicate, they will survive the ride home.

A selection of macaroons.
Your friends will love you if you bring them macarons from your trip to France.

6. Ireland -Whisky

Besides food, alcohol and other popular drinks are some of the original souvenirs to take home from a journey. So, in Ireland, do not even think about going home without trying their signature whiskies. Every bar offers a variety of Irish whiskies. Try a couple and then buy a bottle of your favorite as your souvenir from Ireland.

7. Germany – Beer Stein

Most tourists travel to Germany during Oktoberfest. This festival is an excellent opportunity to dance, eat, drink, and simply have fun. Unfortunately, Oktoberfest was not held last year due to the pandemic. Nobody knows what will happen this year, but do not let that stop you from visiting Germany. It is a common travel myth that all the attractions are closed now. They are not! You can still try Germany’s famous beers and buy a beer stein as your souvenir.  

8. Italy – Venetian Masks

If you are looking for souvenirs you can buy that will not only stay on your fridge or your key chains, consider looking for pieces that serve a purpose. So, for example, when in Italy, consider investing in a Venetian Mask. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And, they can be used as art pieces for your home, not only as souvenirs. You can use them to add a personal touch to your office or your living room. 

A Venetian mask.
A Venetian mask can also be a great gift for somebody special

9. Morocco – Ceramic Items 

Morocco is a country famous for being one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. It is also famous for hand-painted ceramic items. Most often, you will see colorful bowls being sold on the streets. But, you can find pretty much anything made of ceramics – mugs, glasses, pots, figurines, and even tiles. What makes them so unique is the color choice and various intricate floral and geometric designs. 

10. Russia – Lacquer Box

One of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Russia is the Matryoshka doll. But, this doll has become a cliché over the years as everybody buys it. So, when in Russia, instead of buying a doll set, consider purchasing the Lacquer box. This is a fantastic souvenir to take home. It too comes in many colors and sizes, but what makes it unique are the pictures from Russian fairy tales drawn on it

And there you have it – 10 most original souvenirs to take home from a journey. What souvenir would you buy?

 

Things To See and Do in Ottawa

Ottawa panorama

Canada’s capital city is beautiful and dynamic, which makes it very interesting to explore. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in the country. If you like discovering magnificent architecture, world-class museums, and strolling through quiet parks, you’ll love this place. This charming city is located along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, right across from Quebec. Its downtown is lively and inviting, and it’s great for walking or riding a bike. Here’s our list of the most interesting things to see and do in Ottawa.

Explore the Rideau Canal

While walking through the center of Ottawa, you can’t miss the Rideau Canal. It’s one of the city’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

During the summer, Rideau Canal is filled with boats. The pathways surrounding it are crowded with walkers, cyclists, and runners. You can tour the canal by boat, and cruising is one of the best ways to experience it. There are more than 30 notable sights along the canal. For those who like to stay fit while traveling, there’s the option of canoeing and kayaking as well.

If you happen to visit Ottawa in the winter, you can still get out on the Canal. Your experience will be totally different but not less impressive, as this canal transforms into the world’s largest skating rink. In case you need a break from the cold, visit the nearby heated huts and stands selling hot chocolate and other beverages.

Visit Parliament Hill

The magnificent Parliament building is an architectural masterpiece, built in Gothic style. It’s located right in the heart of the city center, overlooking the Ottawa River. A gorgeous garden surrounds the structure and attracts many tourists.

The complex and its surroundings are the sites of various national celebrations and shows throughout the year. Guided tours are available in English and French, and they last from 30 to 60 minutes. The highlights of this place are:

  • The observation deck of the Peace Tower offering the best view of the city
  • Changing of the Guard ceremony which happens every summer day at 10 AM (June to August)
  • Northern Lights Sound and Light Show (during the summer months)
Canada's Parliament Buildings in Ottawa
Parliament hill is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Head to the ByWard Market

The ByWard Market in Ottawa is one of the oldest and biggest markets in the country. It’s also conveniently located in the city center. There are main buildings surrounded by open-air stalls offering a wide choice of goods. This colorful, charming place is where you’ll find the most beautiful flowers, the best maple syrup, and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other grocery items. There are plenty of restaurants, fast food kiosks, coffee shops, galleries, and boutiques in the ByWard neighborhood. All of this makes it a great place to discover more about the local culture, tradition, and culinary scene.

Learn about Canada by visiting museums and galleries

Ottawa is home to many national museums and galleries worth visiting, where you can experience the true spirit of Canada, such as:

  • Museum of History
  • War Museum
  • Museum of Nature
  • Science and Technology Museum
  • Agriculture Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Photograph
  • The National Gallery of Canada
  • The Portrait Gallery of Canada

As you can see, there’s something for everyone’s age and interest, from those who like history, science, and technology to those who admire art in all its forms.

Ottawa architecture panorama
Ottawa has plenty of national museums and galleries worth visiting.

Book a biplane flightseeing tour 

Did you know that you could fly in a World War II Biplane? Yes, you can! It’s one of the best things to see and do in Ottawa. You can experience it if you visit the Canada Air and Space Museum in the summer months. During an approximately 25-minute flight, you’ll pass over the Ottawa river, the Gatineau Hills, the downtown, and the Parliament. It’s an incredible experience, and what’s most amazing is that you’ll sit in an outdoor cockpit in front of the pilot because he is in the back.

Relax in Gatineau Park

For a little break from the city and its highlights, head to Gatineau Park – a peaceful oasis and a national treasure. It offers a variety of activities for all seasons. You can enjoy comfortable Ottawa and go hiking, biking, camping, cross-country skiing, or swimming. There are also various heritage sites and beautiful nature everywhere around.

While here, don’t miss scenic Champlain Lookout for the best view from the Gatineau Hills over the Ottawa Valley. One more attraction that shouldn’t be overlooked in Gatineau Park is the Mackenzie King Estate. You can explore the paths surrounding it and peek into its restored cottages which feature various interactive exhibits.

Couple sitting on a bench during Fall in the park in Ottawa, Canada
When in search of relaxing things to see and do in Ottawa, head to one of many peaceful parks.

Watch a sports match

Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport, and lacrosse is its lesser known national summer sport. Ottawa has several professional sports teams, and if you’re passionate about sports, you should complete your visit by watching at least one match.

Canadian Tire Centre is a multi-purpose indoor arena that hosts various sports matches and a must-see for sports lovers. One more place worth visiting is the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, located in the Heritage Building of Ottawa City Hall.

TD Place Stadium is the place where you can see Canadian football. Baseball fans can head to the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park to watch a match.

Moving to Ottawa can be an excellent choice

There are many reasons why one should decide to move to Ottawa, and there are many possibilities once you do it. Apart from unique things to see and do in Ottawa, keep in mind that you’ll be living in a city with great job opportunities, excellent healthcare, great schools, and various cultural activities year-round, as well as great entertainment for all generations.

If you decided to move to Canada’s capital, be sure to leave enough time for a stress-free preparation. To save time and make the process more effective, you should consider hiring a reliable moving company that has all you need for your Ottawa-based relocation. Then you can choose from a wide selection of moving services, such as packing services, storage solutions, and much more. When you finally settle in, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city and discover many of its gems by yourself.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re planning to visit Ottawa only for a short time as a tourist or you plan to relocate to the city permanently, you’ll be delighted by its charm. The number of things to see and do in Ottawa is almost limitless, so there’s guaranteed fun for every season and each person. Good luck with exploring, and good luck to those who come to stay!