With Colombia's internal conflicts diminishing, travelers are rediscovering much more of the country that was previously off-limits. A great example is the fabulous Colombia Llano (the plains), which is the home to terrific rodeos, beautiful wide open spaces, and experiences of unique cuisine. This route is actually a loop, so you can choose to go clockwise or counter-clockwise, with Yopal being the halfway point. Going counter-clockwise, you head east from Bogota through lush green river valleys down the mountains until you empty out into Villavicencio, the gateway to the Llano, famous for its horsemen and ranching.
The most popular attraction in the area is Caño Cristales, a geological wonder comprised of rainbow-colored waterfalls and pools caused by naturally occurring mineral formations. On the east side of the city is also the Bioparque Los Ocarros...
From alpine lakes to Incan ruins to the pulse of the big city, Cuenca - Salinas has something for everyone.
Take a note on this, guys. There are actually two routes west from Cuenca, but the one you want for more scenic beauty is through Las Cajas, a park of alpine trails amid stunning lagoons and lakes. Continue further west and you come to Molleturo, a small community with some quiet and lonely Inca ruins, including vestiges of a pyramid, two complexes, temple grounds, and a plaza.
Duran, just on the other side of the bridge from Guayaquil, is the place where you want to catch the train to Yaguachi, which is a feast for the eyes for bird lovers. Yaguachi is also an important local shrine for pilgrimages.
Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, holds much in store, but the best bets are the Riverfront (Malecón Simón Bolívar), the playful and colorful Barrio Las Peñas district, and the sprawling Parque Histórico de Guayaquil which is a world of its own urban and forest reserves. A second boardwalk (Malecon del Salado) is less touristed and popular with the university crowd. Hang out with iguanas at a park in front of the Cathedral.
PUCON - PUYEHUE
This is one of many routes you can take through Chile's enchanting woodlands and alpine forests that intentionally transport you to scenes straight out Bavaria and Switzerland, because those are the very persons who have immigrated here and their cultural icons with them to blend in with Chilean culture.
Pucon is a great place to start, and you may never leave. It is hugely popular, and beause of that, makes sure to provide an endless amount of entertainment, adventures, hikes
Too often I hear of travelers not even thinking there is a Bolivia east of La Paz, or a Bolivia that has a jungle. Bolivia is a HUGE country with many different climates and histories and cultures, and this route will treat you to some rich and exotic experiences that are very different from the routes of the high Andes.
This route I'm recommending is also a bit unusual in that it's neither the most straight or efficient way to get from A to B, and there are many different ways to get to Trinidad.
TALTAL - LA SERENA
Start your journey in Taltal, a quaint seaside town that is home to several national monuments from its 19th-century railroad days, giving the town a preserved European flair. Particularly interesting are the old buildings made from Oregon Pine that were built starting in 1882 for the Taltal Railway Company. Visit the Club Taltal to see old historical letters and photos of the region.
Head south for some extraordinary outdoor hiking and/or camping, first hitting Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar