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Mixed Feelings About El Chocó

Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae), Bahia Solano, El Chocó, Colombia

Humpback Whale, Bahia Solano

El Chocó, the area of Colombia on the Pacific Coast, has been out of reach for visitors until recently, and still receives very few visitors, though tourism, both Colombian & foreign, have shown first signs of take off in the last 2 to 3 years. There are several reasons why El Chocó still is so much Off The Beaten Track: Continue Reading →

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Jardín – So Close & Still Off The Beaten Track

Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conceptión, Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia

Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conceptión

For years, la Zona Cafetera has been one of the most popular areas of Colombia, and large numbers of visitors, Colombian & foreigners alike, have flooded this part of the country. Jardín, a comfortable 3 hour ride from Medellin, is a welcome change! So close from the main tourist centers, and so much Off The Beaten Track: even if the city is no longer completely a well-kept secret, only a handful of “Gringos” can be seen there…

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La Guajira – Colombia’s Wild, Wild East

Playa Taroa, Punta Gallinas, La Guajira, Colombia

Playa Taroa, Punta Gallinas, La Guajira, Colombia

La Guajira – Increasingly Popular

La Guajira’s reputation as a place beyond civilization is easily understood when looking at its past and modern history – A place where centuries ago pirates attacked Spanish ships loaded with precious cargo and strong-willed Wayuu never surrendered. Modern days see different kind of adventurers: large scale smuggling is so widespread, extensive and above all, so obvious that it is almost beyond belief…

The desert-like peninsula on Colombia’s northernmost point is still the home the Wayuu “Indigenos” who have inhabited this extremely hot and barren land for centuries, resisted all intruders and on their part raided towns like Riohacha as late as the 1930s. Things have calmed, but the area still exhibits an aura of lawlessness that – as least for me – seems unparalleled. Continue Reading →

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Boyacá & Santander : Colonial Gems, Remote Villages & Adrenaline

Convento de los Franciscanos, Plaza Principal, Monguí, Boyacá, Colombia

Convento de los Franciscanos, Plaza Principal, Monguí, Boyacá, Colombia

Situated northeast of Bogota, this part of Colombia is more popular than ever, and for good reasons… I had already visited the most famous landmarks of this region back in 2009: Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara & the Chichamocha Canyon. I wanted to go back, amongst others for photography, and actually found in 2016 that areas which were unknown or out of reach a few years back are opening fast and offer many different opportunities, well Off The Beaten Track. Continue Reading →

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Photo Exhibition: “Terra Incognita” ?

New Travel Destinations: Bolivia, Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar

InvitationPapier-TerraIncognita - copieCountries like Bolivia, Ethiopia, Iran or Myanmar have been opening to visitors over the last years and are getting easier and easier to reach, both for experienced and less experienced travelers. These countries abound with highlights and offer different, partly more “authentic” travel experiences. Continue Reading →

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The 15 Best Markets For Taking Stunning Pictures

A Personal Selection of Markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and South America

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar - The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar – The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

No matter where I travel, I immensely enjoy visiting markets. Many of them, especially in Africa & in Asia, but also in the Middle East & in South America, are an assault on your senses: colorful and at times disorientating, aromatic or even intoxicating, vibrant and eventually hectic places… But this is where “the real life” can be found, so different from touristic highlights (though some markets have turned extremely popular in the last years, also amongst tour groups…) Continue Reading →

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Markets Around The World – A Selection Of 40 Pictures

A Photo Essay on Markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and South America

Bac Ha Sunday Market, North Vietnam

Bac Ha Sunday Market, North Vietnam

No matter where I travel, I immensely enjoy visiting markets. Many of them, especially in Africa & in Asia, but also in the Middle East & in South America, are an assault on your senses: colorful and at times disorientating, aromatic or even intoxicating, vibrant and eventually hectic places… But this is where “the real life” can be found, so different from touristic highlights (though some markets have turned extremely popular in the last years, also amongst tour groups…)

Here you find a selection of 40 pictures I took at markets in Asia (China, Myanmar, Vietnam & India), in Africa (Ethiopia & Senegal), in the Middle-East (Oman) & in South America (Colombia & Bolivia). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Brazil

Breathtaking Beaches, Splendid Colonial Cities, Unique Wildlife, Rio de Janeiro & … The Greatest Melting Pot!

View of Rio de Janeiro & the Pao de Acucar from Morro de Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

View of Rio de Janeiro & the Pao de Acucar from Morro de Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In 2007, I spent 4 weeks in Brazil and entered the country from Venezuela, discovering Manaus, Recife & Olinda, Fernando de Noronha, Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo. In 2015, I spent 6 weeks there and visited Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto & Tiradentes), Rio de Janeiro & Ilha Grande, Iguazu (both Brazilian & Argentinian sides), Bonito, the Northern Pantanal (entering from Cuiaba and going to Porto Jofre), Brasilia & last but not least Sao Paulo. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Brazil

Expensive If You Are On A Budget, And Very Expensive If You Are Flashpacking

Sunset over the Pantanal, Porto Jofre, Brazil

Sunset over the Pantanal, Porto Jofre, Brazil

Type Of Travel

My two visits to Brazil couldn’t be more different: in 2007, I was on a Round The World Trip and hence traveling on a budget. In 2015, I was on a 6 week trip to Brazil, and was actually Flashpacking: mostly pleasant Pousadas instead of Hostels, indulging quite a few activities and local tours, usually flying instead of long bus drives and also going to less traveled areas like Brasilia, Bonito & the Northern Pantanal, which turned out to be very expensive. Continue Reading →

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Brazil – A Selection Of 58 Pictures

Jaguar, Porto Jofre, Northern Pantanal, Brazil

Jaguar, Porto Jofre, Northern Pantanal, Brazil

In 2007, I spent 4 weeks in Brazil and entered the country from Venezuela, discovering Manaus, Recife & Olinda, Fernando de Noronha, Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo. In 2015, I spent 6 weeks there and visited Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto & Tiradentes), Rio de Janeiro & Ilha Grande, Iguazu (both Brazilean & Argentinian sides), Bonito, the Northern Pantanal (entering from Cuiaba and going to Porto Jofre), Brasilia & last but not least Sao Paulo.
Continue Reading →

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