Though not distant, these destinations are exotic and inspiring.
Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls
Buenos Aires, Argentina is the most European of any city in South America, both in lifestyle and in its architecture. The city's neighborhoods are small, each with its own character and colors. Stroll through La Boca and San Telmo, catch a street-side tango performance, and explore the Recoleta cemetery, with its art deco and Art Nouveau monuments. A day trip to a gaucho ranch outside the city includes horseback riding and a traditional parrillada barbecue, plus a performance of folk song and dance.
Iguazu Falls is one of the most jaw-dropping sights on the planet. Located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, this natural wonder is comprised of 275 individual waterfalls. Special walkways have been built around the falls so you can get close. A long pathway along the canyon (on the Brazilian side of the falls) is complemented by helicopter trips over the water to allow a completely uninterrupted experience of the splendor of Iguazu.
Costa Rica boasts 210 species of mammals, around 878 species of birds, and 218 of reptiles; 800 miles of coastline; and year-round average temperatures in the 70s. Go hiking in rain forests, laze on a golden beach, and get closer than you ever imagined to the country’s extraordinary wildlife—from colorful butterflies and frogs to four types of monkeys, sloths, jaguars and tapirs. A volcanic mountain chain runs down the spine of Costa Rica, creating a wonderland of cones, craters, lagoons, boiling mud pools, and hot springs. The vast coastline means superlative snorkeling and diving. Enjoy the amenities of an all-inclusive resort on the beach, with countless ways to explore all the natural wonders of this rare environment.
Panama City & The Panama Canal
Bordered by the Caribbean on the north, the Pacific on the south, Columbia on the east, and Costa Rica on the west, Panama is a natural crossroads. Panama City was founded in 1519 and made wealthy by the plundered treasures of Peru. Evidence of its turbulent history can be seen in the city's historic districts, but the modern Panama City of soaring glass skyscrapers is its most striking feature. On its doorstep are dense rainforests and the eighth wonder of the modern world, the Panama Canal. Visit the Miraflores locks to watch enormous ships pass by, or make a short transit through the locks to Gatun Lake. Excursions into the rainforest take you to a village of the Embera tribe for lunch, a dance ceremony, and a display of tribal crafts.