Hills full of wine and jungle in the north, whales, penguins and glaciers in the south, pampas and tango fever in the heart - at the most beautiful end of the world, the Tropics and the Arctic Circle shake hands.
Belize / Guatemala
With its palm islands and atolls on America's largest barrier reef, Belize stretches far into the Caribbean. A fantastic underwater world awaits divers, including the world-famous circular Blue Hole.
Globetrotters meet on Caye Caulker, deep-sea anglers, crusaders and bathers on the more exclusive Ambergris Caye. The mainland lures with the white beach of Placencia, Mennonite villages, hidden lodges, numerous national parks and enchanted Mayan sites like Caracol: An inscription tells of the victory over Tikal in the neighbouring Guatemala. Here, in the heartland of the Maya, you’ll find mighty temples, a lively culture of the most diverse indigenous tribes and magnificent colonial cities. The dramatic landscape offers enormous mountains, 33 volcanoes, coffee plantations, dense coniferous forests, the karst landscape of the cone mountains and finally the green jungle of the Petén with its famous Mayan ruins Tikal, Uaxactún, Dos Pilas or Aguateca.
The main magnet for all visitors who land in the metropolis of Guatemala City is Antigua, the old capital with its colonial charm. The highlight not far from Antigua is Lake Atitlán, picturesquely situated in front of the silhouette of volcanoes, with its Tzutuhil communities.
Tikal, Quirigua, Antigua (all UNESCO World Heritage), Uaxactún, Guatemala. Mayan ruins of Lamanai, Xunantunich and Caracol, Belize.
Great Barrier Reef with Blue Hole (UNESCO World Heritage), Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve, Belize. Lago di Atitlan, Coban Cloud Forest, Guatemala
Fishing, Diving, Bathing, (Belize) Trekking, Rafting, Canoeing (Guatemala)
Semana Santa (Easter week) in Antigua, Indian market of Chichicastenango (Sundays and Thursdays) both Guatemala
National dish Belizes is "Rice and Beans" (rice cooked with kidney beans in coconut milk). The most important influences come from Mexican, Creole and Mayan cuisine. Guatemala's cuisine is very similar to Mexican cuisine with Mayan and Spanish influences.
From the popular little town of Livingston in the east of Guatemala a fascinating tour starts up the Rio Dulce to the freshwater Lake Izabal. The boat trip leads through grandiose landscapes, untouched nature reserves and small settlements with straw huts. Again and again there are opportunities to observe animals, especially birds. The Castillo de San Felipe is worth a visit at the terminus at Rio Dulce.
DATES AND FACTS
Country & People:
In Belize live 360.000 inhabitants on 22 956 sqkm. Capital is Belmopan with 165.000 inhabitants. In Guatemala, 17.5 million people live on about 109.000 sqkm. The capital is Guatemala City with approx. 5 million inhabitants.
Belize Dollar (BZD)
Climate & travel time:
Year-round travel countries, best travel time October - May (Guatemala), January - May (Belize).
6 months valid passport for stays up to 30 days.
Mandatory for entry from yellow fever areas (Belize), none mandatory (Guatemala).
CET -7 hours, CEST - 8 hours (April to Sept. in Guatemala -7 hours)
Breathtaking natural paradises, diverse cultures, modern megametropolises - these are just some of the attractions that make Brazil so unique.
Starting with the classic highlights like Rio de Janeiro, the spectacular waterfalls of Iguacu and the baroque city Salvador da Bahia, the black heart of Brazil, up to the impressive dune landscape of the Lençois de Maranhenses. Another jewel of Brazil is Fernando de Noronha (UNESCO World Heritage), an archipelago of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean about 350 km east of the mainland. This pearl is blessed with beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and a diverse flora and fauna. The Gaucholand in the deep south of Brazil is characterized by European immigrants and attracts with unrestrained nature and beautiful beaches in front of which the whales cavort from June to November.
Ouro Preto, Salvador da Bahia, Olinda, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro (all UNESCO World Heritage)
Chapada Diamantina, Pantanal, Lençois Maranhenses
Water sports, Horse riding, Trekking, Paragliding, Biking, Golf
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Festa de Iemanjá (Festival of the Sea Goddess)
"D.O.M.: The New Brazilian Cuisine" by Alex Atala, "Brazil, Brazil" by João Ubaldo Ribeiro
Let your soul dangle for a few days in a beautiful Eco-Resorts or a small, fine hotel-fazenda. Enjoy the colonial flair, the contemplative daily routine and the sparkling starry sky far away from any big city.
DATES AND FACTS
Country and people:
An ethnic diversity of 205 million people lives on a land area of 8.5 million sqkm: The capital is Brasilia with 450.000 inhabitants. The highest mountain is the 3014 m high Pico da Neblina, the Amazon forms the largest river system in the world.
6 months valid passport for stays up to 90 days.
Climate and travel time:
All year round good travel time, tropical, in the south subtropical temperate climate. Rainy season from December to February with heavy, short rainfalls - in June/July in the south and northeast often rain.
Where the seas are made of salt and the stars seem close enough to touch - this is Bolivia. The only country in South America with a predominantly indigenous population also offers unique natural highlights.
The most famous are in the Andes highlands: Surmounted by the snow-capped peaks of the King Cordillera, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, lies at an altitude of 4,000 m. The magnificent Salar de Uyuni, which can even be seen from space, lies southeast of the old silver city and UNESCO World Heritage Site Potosi.
La Paz, the country's seat of government, now boasts the highest urban cable car system in the world and the former residence of the tin barons Ururo attracts visitors with its colourful carnival. Santa Cruz is a hub for trips to the national parks of the eastern lowlands and for exploring the nearby "Ruta del Che", as well as the magnificent wooden churches of the Jesuit missions in the Ciquitania - also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cities of Potosi and Sucre, Missions of Chiquitos, Pre-Columbian Ruins of Tiahuanaco and Samaipata (all UNESCO World Heritage), La Paz
Lake Titicaca, Uyuni Salt Lake, King Cordillera, Noel Kempff National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Madidi National Parks, Pilon Lajas and Metes Caparusch National Parks, Amazon and Rio Beni
Mountaineering, Trekking, Rafting
Carnival of Oruro and less overcrowded the Carnival in Tarabuco (March), pilgrimage festival in honor of the Virgin of Copacabana at Lake Titicaca (August)
Daniel Haller: "Of bitter politics and spicy cuisine"
Restaurant "Gustu" in La Paz, offshoot of the famous "Noma" in Copenhagen, not only offers local cuisine at a high level, but is also a training centre for young Bolivians with its project "Melting Pot Bolivia".
FACTS AND FIGURES
Country and people:
About 10 million inhabitants live on a land area of 1.1 million sqkm, 40% of them indigenous. The capital Sucre with approx. 260 000 inhabitants and the seat of government is La Paz (highest government city in the world) with approx. 1 million inhabitants.
Passport valid for at least 6 months for stays of up to 90 days.
Climate and travel time:
Good to travel all year round. From 3 000 m it is cool at night, around 1500 m temperate; in the lowlands it is humid
Overlong and narrow like a towel, the country spans 38 degrees latitude with over 4300 km of Pacific coast - in the heart Mediterranean, at the southern end ice-cold and at the head glowing hot.