Puerto Madero There was another reason to hurry to get to Buenos Aires by January: Helen dreamt of celebrating her birthday in the capital of Argentina. We chose Puerto Madero, the old port district, for our celebrations. Today the area is considered one of the most prestigious and expensive in the city. Looking at its wide avenues and glass skyscrapers, you can hardly believe that several years ago Buenos Aires’ authorities thought about razing the entire district to the ground. The idea came up once a new port was built, and Puerto Madero got deserted and became one of the most [...]1234565
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Safety in Buenos Aires During our stay in Argentina, the boys still stuck to their usual schedule: they went to bed well after midnight, therefore, as a rule, we explored the capital in the evening. Buenos Aires is far from being the safest place for evening walks. The expats that we had a chance to communicate with warned us away from walking in the city in the dark and recommended us to be cautious, to leave expensive devices and jewellery at home, to dress casually, keep a low profile, divide money and cards into two wallets (to give the thieves the [...]1234565
We chose January, the hottest month in Argentina, for our visit to the country. The region is famous for its natural wonders, and we certainly dreamt of going to Patagonia, wanted to walk around its national parks, admire the huge breathtaking waterfalls, and see glaciers. However, we realized it was quite impossible to try to accomplish that with two-year-olds, so we decided to stay in Buenos Aires during our first visit to Argentina to explore the country and its culture from the capital’s perspective. History of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires — one of the largest capitals in the world — is [...]1234565
Orosi Heading southeast of San Jose, you can find yourself in a small village - Orosi, hidden amid green hills. It’s one of the oldest settlements established by the first Spanish settlers in Costa Rica. The valley’s climate and soil were perfect for agriculture, while River Reventazon provided the locals with freshwater supply. Orosi is still inhabited with a population of around 5,000 people. It’s a very quiet place with a calm atmosphere - it feels like time here is frozen. In fact, this is where you can find Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi - the oldest still-active Catholic church, [...]1234565
Else Kientzler Botanical Garden We found information about an interesting place on TripAdvisor - Else Kientzler Botanical Garden which is not far from the capital. After reading plenty of positive reviews, we decided to pay it a visit. The Garden is part of a large agricultural company - InnovaPlant S. A., which cultivates and grows decorative plants for international export. In 1998, the company’s owner, Ludwig Kientzler, decided to establish a botanical garden and named it after his mother Else. At the moment, the 7-hectare park territory houses over 2,000 species of plants, including unique species from New Zealand, Japan, Madagascar, [...]1234565
San Jose - the capital of Costa Rica Even though we decided not to live in San Jose, we still decided to set some time aside for a visit. After all, a country’s capital is the center of its life and culture. This was when we first experienced the unpredictable local weather. We drove in wearing t-shirts and shorts, since it was a clear, warm day. But people in San Jose, which was only an hour’s drive away, were wearing jackets - it was rather cold outside. The temperature suddenly dropped to 13-14 degrees, which we never expected, so we got [...]1234565
Leisure with children First, we tried to hire a babysitter for the children, but we quickly realized that it was almost impossible. No one wanted to move out of the city away into the forest. So, we took care of the boy ourselves, always coming up with different forms of entertainment. The boys loved it in the new house. This was their first house without a bathtub, so we bought plastic tubs, where Robert and Michael Jr. could splash around gleefully. https://youtu.be/xr9liLlKmww It was around this time that their interest in music reached new levels. We gathered all the pots, [...]1234565
While planning our travels, we tried to keep up with the summer, so we continued to go south. And so, our next stop was Costa Rica - one of the greenest countries in the world. As we get to a new country, we often stop in the capital so we can immerse ourselves deeper into local culture. But the idea of settling in San Jose, one of the top 10 most polluted and ugliest capitals in the world, didn’t sound great. At first, we thought of living by the sea, and we were even choosing between cities on the Caribbean and [...]1234565
Chichen-Itza Perhaps, the most famous Mayan complex in Mexico is Chichen-Itza - a large city covering over 80 hectares. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit what is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world. It is believed that the first Mayan settlement was founded right here in 455 AD. The city quickly developed and expanded, and by the end of the 9th Century it became a strong State, controlling almost all the northern Yucatan territories. In the 10th Century it was taken over by the Toltecs, becoming the capital of these tribes. The influence of Toltec [...]1234565
Mexico is a large country divided into a few dozen states. Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located in Quintana-Roo. We decided not to limit ourselves to this region, so we planned a trip to the northern areas of the peninsula and explore the Yucatan state territory. After all, that’s where you can find one of the largest ancient Mayan complexes in Mexico - the city-state Chichen-Itza. History of Valladolid Halfway between Cancun and the ancient Chichen-Itza complex lies a little town called Valladolid. At first glance it may look like yet another provincial town, but it actually has a rich, [...]1234565