Relaxing places in South America
Once a quiet fishing village, Trancoso has been transformed into a popular tourist destination but has managed to retain its beauty and charm. In the centre of the village, the old fishermen’s houses have been beautifully renovated into quaint shops and restaurants and at the end of the square sits the perfect white church that overlooks the beaches.
The beaches are long and not too crowded. You can go for long hikes on the beaches, go horseback riding or sip a beer or Caipirinha at a beach bar. If you are lucky, you can catch a performance by the locals doing capoeira.
Suriname doesn’t have many beaches and none close to Paramaribo. Instead they use the rivers when they want to chill and splash with water. Three kilometers from the airport lies Colakreek Recreational Park, a semi natural waterworld. The water is dark brown, therefore the name. There are picnic tables under shady trees and sandy fields for ball games. It’s a place where locals do things they normally would have done if they have had any beaches. There is another more popular place, White Beach, further south which even has imported white sand. Both places have entry fees.
Long beaches, sand dunes, sea lions and a lighthouse, that's what Cabo Polonio is all about! There are only a few hostels, all small wooden houses on or close to the beach with very basic electricity. Thanks to the fact that Cabo Polonio is a protected area, it can maintain its small size and basic lifestyle. There isn’t much to do except relaxing and going for (beach) walks, but that is exactly the reason for coming to this chilled place. To get there you have to take the park’s 4x4 truck on a sandy road, which already makes for half the fun. It builds up the excitement of getting there and you can do some bird watching in the meantime.
© Luke Kenyon
Punta Del Diablo is the largest of a number of small beachside towns located on the east coast of Uruguay. Still largely fishing villages, these rural, sand-street communities of laidback locals live a life of seafood, Uruguayan meat and warm weather. Considered the Miami of the area, Punta del Diablo during the summer months of December and January is very popular with Argentines, Chileans and Montevideons. The beach is deserted before 3 pm but, in typical South American fashion, it is jam-packed by 5 pm with scantly clad, bronzed bodies taking in the warm Uruguayan sun. Small, wooden bungalows and beach shacks are scattered throughout the sand dunes home to a mix of fishermen and hippies. Further south in Valizas, there is a more relaxed vibe where reggae music and meat platters are in abundance. A 4-hour walk further south along the beach, secluded by the sand dunes, is Cabo Polonio. With only one road in, it has not been overrun by summer-sun searchers and still has that beach hide-away charm.
If you survive the winding trip over the mountains from Maracay, you will be greeted by a cool little place. Colourful colonial houses, palm lined beaches and a local liquor that is only good in small doses, are the attractions here. A popular place for locals in the weekend, but rather abandoned during the week. Nothing much is going on here, so relax, visit the different beaches, and get some sun on your tummy.