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The Allure of Oaxaca, Mexico

Yes, it's gay-friendly, and more

By Alvin Starkman

Oaxaca (wa-HAW-ka), the capital of one of Mexico’s southernmost states of the same name, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting world renowned cuisine, an impressive array of galleries, museums and colonial churches, a plethora of pre-Hispanic ruins, colorful marketplaces, fascinating craft villages, as well as more off-the-beaten-track sights. ...more

July 16, 2008


The Alternative to Inca Trail

Whether for conservation or economic reasons, or both, the Inca Trail is no more the adventure it used to be. Overcrowded and strictly controlled, it pushes travellers to look for an alternative. Some do so because of over bookings. Others – because the Trail in its current state no more satisfies their adventure spirit. For the adventurous, such alternative trail does exist. ...more

July 27, 2007


The Guns of Central America

This bizarre trip, from Havana to San Salvador, took me through five levels of Central American gun culture. My journey started in Havana – probably the safest capital in Latin America. The Castro regime has put so many cops on the streets that I was instantly told from the very beginning that any assault on a traveller is unthinkable. Scams, theft, yes. But in terms of violence, it is pretty obvious on the streets of Havana who is the boss. ...more

July 26, 2007


Learning Spanish in Xela, Guatemala

Learning Spanish in Guatemala is popular and some places are well-known for it. But if you want to remain fairly off-the-trail, Xela is the place to go. A large chunk of Guatemala’s tourism revenue comes from teaching Spanish to travellers. It’s not like it’s the only Spanish-speaking country on the continent, but a number of factors make it a number one choice. ...more

July 25, 2007


Travel to Cabo Frio, near Rio de Janeiro to get away from the busy city

Just a few hours from Rio, Cabo Frio is an excellent option for a four or five day excursion to the Regiao dos Lagos region. The highlight of this seaside town is the beautiful sand dune beaches, which are popular for swimming and sailing. Cabo Frio is also rich in history, and if you can break away from the gorgeous ocean side, there are many opportunities to explore the old forts, chapels, and churches that are evident of the legacy of the colonial era. ...more

July 17, 2007


El Salvador, Part 2: The Thoughts

Nothing changes a country like a war. That which is history books for many nations, is a yesterday’s memory for this one. I realized that all of the things that struck me as unusual about El Salvador have to do with those 12 years. ...more

July 17, 2007



El Salvador, Part 1: The Trip

Out of the way, with nothing extraordinary for the camera, and with a marred reputation, El Salvador remains one of the least travelled Latin American destinations. A perfect place to go off the beaten track? ...more

July 16, 2007


Choquequirao – the Real Lost City of the Inca

Hundreds of thousands come back from Peru unaware that just about 100 km or so from Pichu lies another magnificent complex. Choquequirao has taken over from over-crowded Picchu as the true Lost City of the Inca. ...more

June 21, 2007




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