• Trekking in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Chile

    Escape to the Edges While Traveling Through Chile

    Sometimes, the best purpose of a vacation is to shut down the hubbub and plugged-in chatter of everyday life. It’s good, on trips like that, to spend some time with the big mysteries of nature and civilization. Oh, and to pause now and then to ponder it all over a fine glass of wine. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Chile </a>ticks all of those boxes, as you will quickly discover on our new itinerary that ranges from the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Atacama Desert</a> to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Santiago </a>to enigmatic <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Easter Island</a>.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGm&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BhJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Out on the edge of everything — in a tiny village huddled on a sky-high plateau or on a volcanic Pacific speck guarded by moai—it’s just about impossible to feel anything but awe. The ancient is always close. The gargantuan efforts that long-lost people made to leave a mark are humbling. In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Chile</a>, even in the nation’s urban capital, the tallest skyscraper looks like a toy against a backdrop of the snow-crowned Andes. It’s an adventure rich with how-is-this-even-possible moments.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="View of Andes Mountains" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGm&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DWh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>It’s hard to imagine the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Atacama</a> — even after you’ve been there. Here, it’s amazing business-as-usual to see flamingos tiptoeing in a lagoon up against a tumble of crimson rocks at the foot of a steaming volcano. At Pukara Quitor, you walk in the ruins of a 12th-century fortress that’s one of the first places where the indigenous people met the Spanish. And if you doubt for a moment that it’s possible to live in this near moonscape, you’ll learn otherwise when residents of a pre-Inca village invite you in for lunch.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGm&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DWX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Heading south, you get a chance to explore Valparaiso. Native son Pablo Neruda gave it one of the all-time great descriptions: “Valparaiso … you haven’t combed your hair, you’ve never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.” Words like Bohemian and “crazy” capture this city just about perfectly, as you discover on a guided visit. A miracle of how to squeeze great wine from a waterless land, the Casablanca Valley is home of some of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Chile’s </a>finest vineyards. You’ll spend time amid the vines on one of the most famous ones and sit down to the most scenic tasting of white varietals that are especially happy in this micro-climate. You also have two nights in Santiago with plenty of time to explore, join the locals for an evening promenade, and see some of the architectural treasures from the Colonial era. <br><br>Then, all of a sudden, time kicks into reverse as you cross a patch of the southwest Pacific Ocean to Rapa Nui, known to us as Easter Island. The first inhabitants came from the opposite direction — from Polynesia — nine centuries ago. You already know about the relics they left behind, the moai statues, but you honestly cannot begin to appreciate them until you see them in person, and you’ll have plenty of time for that on your two-night visit. You just want to let yourself soak in the solitude and the mystery of the island. There are gorgeous trails for walking, and the luxury resort where you settle in shows great hospitality that couldn’t contrast more with the glares cast by the moai. You’ll be well connected with experts who help you understand the unfathomable obsessions that created this place that’s unique in all the world.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Penguins in Chile" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGm&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DWm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>We love the way that this view of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Chile</a> drives home just how small the world we inhabit every day really is. Out on the periphery – where an Andean breeze carves an Atacama moonscape, where stone faces five times as tall as you stand guard against who-knows-what — you get to feel what you’ve never felt, learn what you never knew, and have the time of your life in the process.<br><br><b>SEE THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN 2020 </b><br><br>As rare as total solar eclipses are, it’s even rarer to experience the event in a setting as dramatic as Patagonia. On December 14, 2020, the path of totality will sweep across a narrow sliver of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank">Chile </a>... and you can count on us to get you there. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more or call 800.200.3887 to speak with guest services. <br><br>Ready to reserve? You can make your reservation <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/reservations/" target="_blank">here</a>. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SGm&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BhE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Tayrona National Park, Columbia

    4 Reasons You Should Visit Colombia Today!

    A decade or two ago, who could have imagined a story about <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Colombia</a> that focused on bird watching and leisurely evening promenades on cobble-stoned Caribbean streets? Well, in case you haven’t heard, times have changed and so has <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Colombia</a>! As the world is finding out, this multi-faceted country is a super-rich trove of culture and nature. At this big inflection point in Colombian history, you have a special chance to be in the lead in the rediscovery of this spectacular land. Here is a roundup of the top four reasons you should visit Colombia now: <br><br><b>#1 - Colombia is Easy to Get To</b><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Colombia</a> is the South American country closest to the United States, and the moderate climate gives you the option of visiting in most seasons. It’s a diverse destination too with vibrant cities, coffee plantations, a coastal Caribbean jungle and, best of all, local people who couldn’t be happier to welcome you. You’ll also be pleased to know that there are <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">5-star hotels</a> and luxury boutique properties that make for very comfortable nights at the end of active days.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Coffee Plantation and landscape of Colombia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATHq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7IZ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#2 - It&#39;s Off the Beaten Tourist Track</b><br><br>The fun of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Colombia </a>is that many of the best places to visit are ones you’ve never heard of. Consider Guatapé, a rural pueblo that’s often called the most colorful town in the world. Almost every square inch is covered with decorative tiles and vivid paint. At the edge of town, La Piedra de Peñon is a giant, sky-high thumb of granite at the top of which the views are flat-out amazing.<br><br><b>#3 - The Coffee is Some of the Best in the World</b><br><br>In most books, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Colombia</a> equals coffee. One of the country’s oldest plantations is a 500-acre family farm set in a nature preserve full of waterfalls and birds near Santa Marta. It’s a real revelation to meet and talk to the farmers about how they grow, harvest and process their crop. (Did you know that the beans are the seeds of bright red coffee cherries?) The artisans who craft the plantation’s blends make sure you get to taste the freshest roasts you’ve ever had.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Man picking coffee beans" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATHq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7Ie" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#4 - Enjoy Both Stunning Nature and Lively Cities</b><br><br>A visit to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Tayrona National Park</a> is a natural high like no other. Mountains slow down the access from the park’s mainland side, so the best bet is to approach on a short boat ride and pull ashore on a golden Caribbean beach. The forest hugs the coast, so it’s easy to plunge right into a jungle walk with one of my naturalist friends. Cotton-top tamarin monkeys are plentiful, as are birds from Blueheaded parrots to Red-legged honeycreepers. With a whole day at Tayrona, there’s time for lots of exploring, a picnic and maybe even some lolling on the beach.<br><br>The ideal tactic to bracket these heart-of-Colombia experiences is with time in two of the country’s best cities. These days, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Medellín </a>is trend-setting for its lively arts scene. Its civic claim to fame is Metrocable, the system of high-flying gondolas that 30,000 locals use to commute every day. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Cartagena</a> is a fantastic finale to your visit. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with cobbled streets, bougainvillea-draped balconies, and 500-year-old San Felipe Castle. It’s also home to one of the schools founded by the world-famous singer, Shakira. She’s paying her success forward in our homeland with these schools for underprivileged kids. A visit with a chance to talk to the students and teachers is sincerely inspirational.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATHq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7Ij" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Easy-going, happy, proud of their long heritage and looking forward to their future, Colombians have found their groove. And the word is getting out. If you like to jet ahead of the travel curve, now is the time to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">experience it all</a>.

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  • Coastline in Central America

    Top 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Visit in Latin America

    UNESCO World Heritage sites are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration that represent our legacy from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/latin-america-tours/" target="_blank">Latin America</a> contains a wealth of these phenomenal sites, both natural and manmade, that make up our world&#39;s most impressive cultural and natural heritage. The aim is to encourage regions to preserve and protect parts of our history while promoting tourism as a sustainable way to take in the magnificence our world has to offer. To help you get the most out of your next trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/latin-america-tours/" target="_blank">Central or South America</a>, we&#39;ve created a roundup of our top 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites you can&#39;t miss! <br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">#</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><b>1 Machu Picchu, Peru</b></a><br>Perhaps one of the most famous archeological UNESCO sites in the world, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> sits high in the Andes Mountain range surrounded by tropical forests and towering peaks. This pearl of the Incan Empire is a popular tourist destination for a reason. It defies belief with amazing architectural achievements, surrounding natural beauty and spiritual significance. Explore the ancient Incan ruins while breathing in the tremendous isolation and preservation of this incredible ancient kingdom deep in the Peruvian mountains. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Man taking a picture at Machu Picchu" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9uV" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize" target="_blank"><b>#2 Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System</b><b>, Belize</b></a><br>Belize&#39;s extensive reef system is considered one of the largest barrier reefs in the northern hemisphere. This impressive coast is home to hundreds of sand cays, mangrove forests, lagoons and several endangered species who call this reef home. During your time here, cruise on a Catamaran, snorkel in the best spots in the reef system, and kayak on turquoise water at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Ambergris Caye</a> to fully experience the wonder this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Young girl Kayaking in Belize" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9t8" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 Tikal National Park, Guatemala</b></a><br>Tikal National Park is surrounded by a tropical jungle and is home to the tallest pyramid in the Western Hemisphere that was once one of the most important spiritual sites to the ancient Mayan civilization. The ceremonial center and ruins of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Xunantunich</a> display the fascinating and mystifying culture of the Mayan civilization that once called this countryside home from 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. This important reserve also contains unspoiled biological and ecological habitats that will amaze along with impressive wildlife like howler monkeys and colorful birds that can be spotted in the treetops. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Xunantunich ruins, Guatemala" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tD" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><b>#4 Rapa Nui National Park (Easter Island), Chile</b></a><br>Easter Island, also known as Isla de Pascua or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Rapa Nui</a> by the Spanish and Polynesian is one of the most spectacular and alluring sites on earth. This sacred Polynesian settlement is famous for its enigmatic giant stone figures built centuries ago. These massive &quot;<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Moai</a>&quot; figures are a mystery to historians and remain one of the only links to the ancient culture and tradition embedded in this gorgeous island. Visit Rapa Nui to revel in the park&#39;s beauty and its stone sculptures that act as a testimony to an isolated cultural evolution.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-atacama-easter-island-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Easter Island Moais" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tI" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#5 Galápagos Islands</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b>, Ecuador</b></a><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos Islands</a> are a volcanic archipelago drifting in isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, brimming with incredible wildlife that once inspired Charles Darwin&#39;s theory of evolution. Walking amongst the wildlife and spotting the islands&#39; Big Five (giant land tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, penguins, and marine iguanas) will delight all visitors and provide a real live exhibition of evolution before your very eyes. This island is one of the last unspoiled places on earth where man has respected the boundaries of mother nature and is a treasure in the middle of the Pacific worth visiting.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Young boy taking a picture of a seal on a beach" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tN" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">#6 Los Glaciares National Park</a> (<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">Chile </a>&amp; <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/argentina/" target="_blank">Argentina</a>)</b><br>Located in the picturesque region of Patagonia in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">Chile </a>&amp; <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/argentina/" target="_blank">Argentina</a>, Los Glaciares National Park is an area of exceptional beauty with rugged mountains, glacial lakes and a variety of stunning natural sites. Hikers flock here to explore the hundreds of trails while others seek silence and solitude among the remote valleys where views stretch for miles.<br><br><b><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank">Solar Eclipse Sidenote:</a> </b>On December 14, 2020, the day will turn to instant night in one of the few places on land where the total eclipse of the sun will be visible. It is a once-in-a-lifetime sight to see! <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> is offering a special <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-solar-eclipse-2020-tour/" target="_blank">2020 Total Solar Eclipse tour</a> to view this incredible moment while perched atop a Chilean mountainside. <br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman near a lake in Patagonia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9uQ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><b>#7 Town of Cartagena, Columbia</b></a><br>Cartagena is the perfect Caribbean city overflowing with history and enchanting beauty thanks to some of the world&#39;s best-preserved colonial architecture lining the streets. This colorful town is wonderfully walkable and chock-full of cobbled streets draped in bougainvillea where current residents live in close quarters with traditions of the past that linger in this port city. Dominating this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the nearby <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank">San Felipe Castle</a>, boasting over 500 years of defending the ancient city from pirates and foreign invasions <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-cultural-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Colorful street in Cartagena" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/panama-tours/" target="_blank">#8 La Amistad National Park,</a></b><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/panama-tours/" target="_blank"><b> Panama</b></a><br>This massive national park, on the border between Panama and Costa Rica, contains lush tropical rainforests and unique fauna and flora interbred between the biospheres of North and South America. Arguably, one of the best ways to see this biosphere reserve is to walk <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama-tours/" target="_blank">El Retoño trail</a> and learn about one of the highest and wildest non-volcanic mountain ranges in Central America. As you explore the lush ecosystem of the park, look up and search for the incredible variety of birds ranging from Quetzals to Tapaculos, and Flycatchers.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Waterfall in Panama" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"><b>#9 Old Havana and its Fortification System, Cuba</b></a><br>Old Havana (<i><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">La Habana Vieja</a>) </i>describes the most central and original portion of the Havana, Cuba. This 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is the original <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">heart of Havana</a>, built by the Spanish, burned to the ground by pirates, and is still considered a fine district of baroque and neoclassic buildings with great architectural character you can&#39;t find elsewhere. Explore the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Plaza de Armas</a>, Castillo del Morro, and Museum of the Revolution to learn more about the rich history and culture of this precious island. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"><img alt="Old Havana street and Capitolo" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9u1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank"><b>#10 Viñales</b> <b>Valley, Cuba</b></a><br>With its fertile soil, favorable climate, and wide valleys, this area in western Cuba is known for its tobacco cultivation and high rising cliffs that surround the valley. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank">Parque Nacional Viñales</a> is located in the Pinar del Rio province and the dramatic cliffs surrounding the valley hold numerous caves full of dripstone and ancient rock art from past inhabitants. Enjoy the abundance of greenery in this province and learn of the traditional methods of agriculture that have survived here unchanged for several centuries.   <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank"><img alt="Landscape of Viñales Valley" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATY5&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9tm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>If you&#39;re interested in visiting one or more of these iconic locations, check out the different trips offered by <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/latin-america-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys to Central &amp; South America</a> to explore some of the worlds most culturally and naturally stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

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