Bonus Nachos

Musings about early retirement with no fixed address

Montevideo Is Worth The Splurge

Montevideo is full of unique architecture, palm trees, and ocean breezes. The port city and capital of Uruguay is a pleasant destination, consistently ranked at the top when it comes to quality of life in Latin America. We stayed in the Old Town area, which is very walkable and has a nice pedestrian-only street bisecting it. We spent our time gazing at the interesting buildings, appreciating the locally-focused museums, and strolling along the salt water.

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Mosquitoes Suck The Fun Out Of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is filled with tree-line streets and European-style architecture. The large city has numerous parks and top notch museums. Prior to our visit, it seemed like a place that we would really mesh with. The timing of our visit could not have been worse however, as it coincided with unprecedented and relentless swarms of mosquitoes. These parasites made it basically impossible to enjoy any of the green spaces, and most of the time, it was hard just being outside at all. The indoor activities we found were not nearly enough to offset the otherwise miserable outdoor conditions.  

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Mendoza Leaves Us Wanting More

Situated close to the foothills of the Andes, Mendoza is Argentina’s top wine producing region. The metro area of 1,000,000 is mostly flat and very green with lots of trees. It’s considered a jumping off point for exploring the nearby mountains. There are a number of separated bike lanes and running paths around the city that we constantly saw being used. But for a relatively large urban area, we didn’t find that much to do.

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Valparaíso Keeps Things Interesting

On any list of the best street art cities in the world, Valparaíso, Chile ranks near the top. This colorful port city is overflowing with street art and graffiti. Nestled into the steep hills on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, it’s full of old funiculars and great viewpoints. We encountered a ton of  wildlife, which was a pleasant surprise. Several earthquakes and a major wildfire also kept things interesting.

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Mountain Views And Summer Fun In Santiago

Santiago is a metropolis nestled into a large valley in the foothills of the Andes. It’s an interesting mix of high rise apartments, neglected old buildings, and fancy new construction. Many of the building facades are filled with graffiti and street art, especially in the downtown. There are a number of pedestrian only streets and the thrift store scene is off the charts. The views are almost universally great with giant mountains in most directions. The tallest of which were still snow-capped despite summer temperatures. 

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Falling In Love With Mexico City

It’s hard to overstate just how fantastic Mexico City is. The enormous Mexican capital has so much to offer. There are enough things to see and do that even after staying 9 weeks, we still left without crossing everything off our list. It’s the largest city in North America, but it’s not a concrete jungle. Full of great parks, large trees, abundant museums, historic churches, and distinct neighborhoods, it’s easily one of the best cities we’ve visited. We both fell in love with Mexico City.

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The Pyramids Of Teotihuacan

Situated about an hour outside of Mexico City, the ancient historical site of Teotihuacan is a must see. The pyramids there date from almost 2000 years ago. These massive structures were once at the center of life for a thriving city, estimated to have around 125,000 people at its peak. Full scale restoration efforts began about 100 years ago, and today Teotihuacan is the most visited archeological site in Mexico. 

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The Iconic Photography Of Steve McCurry

While you may not be familiar with the name, you almost certainly know the images. Steve McCurry is a renowned professional travel photographer, and his most famous photo of “The Afghan Girl” made the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. Recently we attended a special exhibition of his work spanning his entire 40 year career as a photojournalist. Titled Steve McCurry Icons, the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City offered a stunning hand-picked collection of 100 of his best photos.

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Querétaro Embraces Its History

Downtown Querétaro is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the area is made for slow strolling. There are many pedestrian-only streets and multiple squares that are a wealth of activity. Many small-time vendors pack these streets selling a variety of items, most commonly clothing or jewelry during the day and food at night. Old colonial buildings with large courtyards are everywhere and churches are common. Querétaro is one of the most popular tourist destinations in colonial Mexico.

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