Ihla Grande, Brazil

Ihla Grande is an island off the coast of Brazil. It is covered with rainforest that flows down steep hillsides into green waters. It is famous for the Blue Lagoon, a tranquil spot of crystal clear water well known for snorkeling. We spent one day on a boat hopping between islands and stopping at the … More Ihla Grande, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil was originally a Portuguese colony with large exports of sugar and coffee. Brazil had the largest number of African slaves in the world, upwards of 4 million before slavery was abolished. Because of this, there is a large African influence today including the samba and capoeira dances. Because of the French Revolution, the Portuguese … More Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Paraty, Brazil

Paraty was a very important port during the slave trade, where most of the gold was exported to Portugal. Because of this, pirates frequently attacked the area. The streets in Paraty were made to hide turns to allow local townspeople to escape the pirates. The cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings date back to the 17th … More Paraty, Brazil

Panagea, Uruguay

We spent three days on a cattle and sheep farm in the countryside of Uruguay where we learned about the gaucho way of life. Gauchos are cowboys living in Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. The ranch we stayed at is called Panagea and is run by Juan and Suzanna. Because the ranch is quite a … More Panagea, Uruguay

Colonia, Uruguay

Colonia is the oldest city in Uruguay and also the only UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic neighborhood is inside the old walled fort and is quaint, but adorable. It didn’t take us long to walk every cobblestone street. The most well preserved street in Colonia is the Street of Sighs, funnily named because the … More Colonia, Uruguay

Salta, Argentina

Salta is considered the most beautiful city in Argentina. The name Salta in quechua actually means beautiful. It was established as a main trading hub as it is located halfway between Lima and Buenos Aires. We did a free walking tour around the old town in the morning. The main square in Salta is called … More Salta, Argentina