At the foot of Cerro San Cristobal, is La Chascona, the Santiago home of renowned poet Pablo Neruda, where he lived with his muse Mathilde. The house was vandalized by right wing thugs after the 1973 coup d'etat. Now it stands once more restored and celebrates the life and vision of the poet.
History has passed Paraty by. Once a thriving port, serving the gold industry in the green mountains inland, it was long ago superseded by new roads, new supply routes. Its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, with polychrome windows and doors are thronged only by tourists, in search of a beer by the sea these days.
Rio de Janeiro has a big year coming. Construction of new infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics is making some areas difficult to navigate, but the combination of sand, sun, forest mountains and sea is a potent one. Whilst some come for the beaches (and the hot, humid weather makes the cooling Atlantic waters tempting), the true glory of the city is the view from above.
Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe has one great cascade. Niagara, on the US/Canada border has two. But there is only one candidate for the greatest in all things waterfall, and that is undoubtedly the stupendous collection of cataracts shared by Brazil and Argentina, where the red-brown waters of the Iguazu River raise their unequalled spectacle.