After docking in Puerto Montt, we boarded a bus for a 90-minute drive with spectacular views of mountains and lakes.
After our walking tour of Valparaiso, we drove over to Viña del Mar, also known as la Ciudad Jardín. The lovely Reloj de Flores is one of its biggest tourist attractions, and there are a number of castles and palaces.
Northern Chile is a desert – more specifically, part of the Atacama Desert: the driest hot desert in the world. And yet, it is dotted with oases in which are grown a variety of fruits and vegetables of exceptional quality and size. The fruit and vegetable market Mercado Central Municipal was among the best I’ve ever seen, anywhere. It made me want to rent an apartment for a few weeks and do some serious cooking.
You could eat two different kinds of avocado every day for a week and still not try them all. Continue reading
One of the most interesting spots in Guayaquil is Seminario Park, aka Bolivar Park and Iguana Park. It hosts dozens of its namesake critters as well as a turtle pond:
After crossing the canal, we took a bus to Gamboa to visit the rainforest and Soberania National Park, which included an orchid garden (sadly out of season), a sloth sanctuary, a butterfly enclosure (too fast to get good pictures of), a frog house, and an aerial tram over the canopy.