Casa de Campo Casa de Campo is one of the wealthiest and most famous reservations in the Dominican Republic. It is listed among the world’s most fashionable resorts. Surprisingly, in 1917, the area looked completely different: it was fully covered with sugar cane plantations. In 1967, the American businessman Charles Bluhdorn acquired the territories, but a few years later, sugar prices fell due to an economic crisis, and the business wasn’t profitable anymore. Thus in 1975, Bluedorn decided to create a resort on the site of the former sugar plantation. That’s how Casa de Campo (Country House) was founded. The reservation [...]1234565
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Bávaro Resort Bávaro is famous for its beaches. Its coastline is about 50 km long. Looking at luxurious tourist settlements, you can hardly believe that the area was a complete wilderness just 30 years ago. As tourism started to develop here, the coast was gradually cleaned from mangroves and turned into a resort called royal today. There are no architectural or historical landmarks here. But there are a few national parks near Bávaro. Palm Cemetery is one of the most interesting places. It’s a marshy plain where you can see tree trunks rising right from the water. The place has a [...]1234565
We’ve been travelling around Latin America for quite some time and started to miss unhurried beach recreation. Thus we began to look for a place with a clean sea and warm weather to recover from Lima’s humid climate and the health problems associated with it. Finally, we settled on the Dominican Republic, which is famous for its resorts and is not far from Peru. But this time we decided to break our habit of staying in the capital and preferred Bávaro—an area whose beaches are among the most beautiful ones in the world—to the capital of the country, Santo Domingo. A [...]1234565
San Isidro and Olive Grove Park Together with Barranco and Miraflores, San Isidro is one of the most developed districts in the city. It’s a prestigious place mostly inhabited by wealthy citizens. Architecturally and culturally, it’s not particularly interesting. The only historic landmark is Huaca Huallamarca, another ancient Indian pyramid, but a smaller one. The rest of the district is made up of tall glass buildings, multi-storey dwelling complexes, and local celebrities’ and attachés’ mansions. The district is considered the financial and diplomatic centre of the capital. Its status is proved by the fact that it’s here that the main offices [...]1234565
Lima Beaches The coastline of Lima and its surroundings is over 3,000 km long, but it’s almost impossible to swim here. Who’s to blame? The above-mentioned cold Humboldt Current. There are some exceptions though: a few beaches in the northern part of the suburbs, which the warm El Niño current flows by. But even these places are only comfortable to swim at certain times of the year. Moreover, the Pacific Ocean is unquiet near Lima. High waves rise here all the time, which makes the waters unsafe for swimming. However, the coast is popular with surfers. We often saw people in [...]1234565
Climate Lima is located in a tropical zone, so we expected warm weather and occasional showers. But the climate is unique in the capital: it’s a tropical desert! It rains here almost as rarely as in the Sahara. The city’s coast is washed by the cold Humboldt Current, starting from the shores of Antarctica, while the other part of the city is covered by mountain ranges creating a kind of a shield. That’s why the humidity level in Lima is really very high, but instead of abundant precipitation, low thick clouds often hover over the capital. We noticed this feature of [...]1234565
The next stop in our journey around Latin America was Peru, the cradle of the ancient Inca civilization, a country with incredible history and magnificent natural landmarks. We decided to stay in Lima, as it’s easier to study the culture and feel the rhythm of local life living in the capital. We usually spend a month in every city. But getting ready for the trip, we read a lot about Lima and figured that there was, presumably, not much to do there, so we decided two weeks would be more than enough for a visit to the capital. After Uruguay, we [...]1234565
After visiting Punta del Este and relaxing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, we decided to go searching for a genuine colonial colour that we missed in Montevideo so much. We heard a lot about a special place called Colonia del Sacramento, which is probably even more famous than Montevideo. We wanted to see this small old town with our own eyes. Colonia Suiza (Nueva Helvecia) We were driving to the west of Montevideo and decided to drop into another interesting place—Colonia Suiza that was renamed Nueva Helvecia (New Switzerland) some time ago—on our way to Colonia del Sacramento. The [...]1234565
Montevideo is a city with nice beaches, but the water there is dirty, which makes it totally unfit for bathing and water amusements. We started to miss classic seaside holidays, so we decided to go to Punta del Este, the most popular resort in Uruguay. According to tourists’ reviews, fabulous beaches, warm ocean waters, and a peaceful atmosphere were awaiting us there, so we rented a car and went exploring a new city. Punta del Este: History and Geography Punta del Este is a resort city located 140 km away from Montevideo. It’s Uruguay’s easternmost point whose long spit projects right [...]1234565
Carnivals in Uruguay We arrived in Montevideo right in the heat of the carnival that is, by the way, the longest one in the world and lasts 45 days. First street performances started to be organized in the country in the 19th century. Dark-skinned slaves were given a few days off in the middle of February, so Africans dressed in colourful clothes, went out to the city streets, and danced to rhythmic drum beats. https://youtu.be/oaMfZlXGHuw The citizens often joined the slaves’ processions—first, as spectators, then as active participants. The Uruguayan carnival gradually became a mix of African culture and Spanish [...]1234565