2087 Chapters
Medium 9781743213933

Central Highlands

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Geographically – and some would say metaphorically – the heart and soul of the country, the Central Highlands are a mix of lively urban centers and vast pastoral and mountainous regions dotted with remote villages. Gorgeous whitewashed Sucre is where independence was declared in 1825. Potosí is a powerful symbol of the natural wealth of the country, built on the silver deposits extracted from nearby Cerro Rico. At a much lower altitude, Cochabamba is one of Bolivia’s most pleasant cities, with a perfect climate and modern vibe.

Throughout, there are lovely, little-known colonial towns gently crumbling with age. It’s well worth eschewing the city-to-city mode of travel to explore them. A more distant past is evoked by the Inca ruins in the Cochabamba Valley, but Parque Nacional Torotoro has the last laugh on the age front: it’s bristling with dinosaur footprints and fossils, some of which date back 300 million years.

AMar Indigenous festival Pujllay bursts into life on the third Sunday in March.

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Medium 9781743215562

Broome & the Kimberley

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Australia's last frontier is a wild land of remote, spectacular scenery spread over huge distances, with a severe climate, a sparse population and minimal infrastructure. Larger than 75% of the world's countries, the Kimberley is hemmed by impenetrable coastline and unforgiving deserts. In between lie vast boab-studded spinifex plains, palm-fringed gorges, desolate mountains and magnificent waterfalls. Travelling here is a true adventure, and each dry season a steady flow of explorers search for the real outback along the legendary Gibb River Road.

Aboriginal culture runs deep across the region, from the Dampier Peninsula, where neat communities welcome travellers to Country, to distant Mitchell Plateau, where ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion stand vigil over sacred waterholes.

Swashbuckling Broome (home to iconic Cable Beach, camel-tinged sunsets and amber-hued watering holes) and practical Kununurra (with its irrigation miracle) bookend the region. Both are great places to unwind, find a job and meet other travellers.

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Medium 9781743215623

Baixa & Rossio

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Built high and mighty on the rubble of the 1755 earthquake, Baixa is Lisbon’s riverfront gateway, its royal flag-bearer, its lifeblood. Trams rumble, buskers hold crowds captive and shoppers mill around old-world stores. The main drag, Rua Augusta, links the regal Praça do Comércio to Rossio, where you’ll find a neighbourly vibe in closet-sized ginjinha (cherry liqueur) bars and street cafes.

MWake up over a 360-degree city view at the top of the neo-Gothic Elevador de Santa Justa before the crowds arrive. Then meander south along Rua Augusta to the riverside Praça do Comércio, Lisbon’s spiritual and geographical heart with its vintage trams, grand arcades and general hustle-bustle. Go old-school shopping in the backstreets for cheese, port and tinned fish, as well as buttons and threads on haberdashery-fringed Rua da Conceição.

RPolish off one of the famous roast-pork sandwiches at Nova Pombalina, saving room for creamy gelato at Fragoleto. Fortified, take a whistle-stop tour of the design world at the free Museu de Design e da Moda. As dusk sets in, head up to Rossio to see its fountains, theatre and neo-Manueline train station light up.

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Medium 9781742207780

Northern Madagascar

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

If you’re unable to decide between a discovery trip and a ‘lace up your boots and forge a new trail’ kind of trip, you’ll love travel in northern Madagascar. Activity junkies will be spoilt for choice with everything from diving to kitesurfing, while all travellers will revel in the region’s diverse landscapes.

The area around Nosy Be is Madagascar’s premier beach destination, with more sea-based activities than you’ll have time to try, excellent seafood and idyllic scenery. It couldn’t be more different from the mainland, where arid plains are fringed with lush ylang-ylang plantations, and two top parks feature both strange geological formations and rainforest. As for the Sava region, those who make it to this isolated part of the country will be rewarded with vanilla-scented air and world-class mountain hiking.

The region also hosts Madagascar’s flagship cultural events, the Donia and Zegny’Zo – unique chances to discover Malagasy artists.

AMay & Jun The Donia and Zegny’Zo festivals bring together artists from across Madagascar and the Indian Ocean.

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Medium 9781741799538

Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan

The region’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia, Uzbekistan is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient cities, all deeply infused with the bloody, fascinating history of the Silk Road. In terms of sights alone, Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s biggest draw and most impressive showstopper.

Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva never fail to impress visitors with their fabulous mosques, medressas and mausoleums, while its more eccentric attractions, such as the fast disappearing Aral Sea, the fortresses of desperately remote Karakalpakstan, its boom town capital Tashkent and the ecotourism opportunities of the Nuratau Mountains, mean that even the most diverse tastes can be catered for.

Despite being a harshly governed police state, Uzbekistan remains an extremely friendly country where hospitality remains an essential element of daily life and you’ll be made to feel genuinely welcome by the people you meet.

Apr–Jun Clear skies, sunshine and cool air combine to create perfect travel conditions.

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