Search Results for Category: South America


Seniors Stop In Winooski


Winooski /wɪˈnuːski/ , seniors learn is located at the mouth of the Winooski River, and is part of the larger Burlington metropolitan area.

Winooski, Vermont is home to immigrants from countries such as Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Rwanda, and Somalia. As a result, Winsooki is the most diverse, as well as the most densely populated municipality in northern New England, which comprises the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Sound interesting? It is, and the river adds lots of character to the town.


Five thousand years ago a single family of paleolithic Native Americans came to what is now the city. The prehistoric campground for this transient group is one of Vermont’s significant archaeological sites.

Other native people came to Winooski in the years that followed. In 1846, James and Lucinda Stone from Winooski settled in Sheboygan County in the Wisconsin Territory and named their new settlement Winooski, Wisconsin .

Seniors Like Four Quarters


Situated on a main travel route, Winooski most likely started out as a trading city. With a set of waterfalls to assist the growth of industry, it soon became a center for wool processing. The mills closed in 1954.

In the 1980s, two old mills were converted into commercial, office, and apartment space, helping to revitalize the area. Senior visitors enjoy reliving the history of the wool business at the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum.

Last and certainly not least, lies an inimitable brewery tucked away in Winooski. Four Quarters, host of Firkin Fest, has been brewing imaginative beers that defy intuition since 2014. Plan to take a tour and do some sampling of the micro-brewery beers.

Seniors Enjoy St.Michael’s Playhouse


Winooski combines outdoorsy, down-home Vermont with a splash of art and culture. On weekends, downtown Winooski is the site of an artist “Pop-Up.’’

Saint Michael’s Playhouse on the campus of Saint Michael’s College , known by the locals as St. Mike’s , is one of New England’s more popular regional theater companies. St. Mike’s is a private Catholic college of approximately 2,000 undergraduate students.

Birdfolk Collective is a popular store where seniors can find unique gifts. It is an eclectic brick and mortar building celebrating handmade and independent designers. Read what Facebook has to say about Winooski. -jeb


Senior Single Men Seek Travel Tours


USA Today recently wrote that Seniors who love to travel have many options for exploring the world, even by themselves. Several companies offer trips geared toward senior single travelers.


Special features like a slower pace, tours that aren’t too physically taxing, and social gatherings like nightly dinners and dances with other tourists near the same age make the tour attractive to senior single men.

From Mediterranean cruises to escorted treks through South America, travel opportunities for single seniors cover a broad range.

Senior single men, Vacations To Go offers a cruise for singles. Each year, they  select several itineraries in different regions of the world, on various cruise ships, and negotiate an extremely low rate for single customers.


Trained hosts from their headquarters organize get-togethers, cocktail parties, dinner seating and more, allowing individuals or friends to travel as part of a large and fun-loving group of singles.

Senior Single Men Enjoy Road Scholar

Road Scholar is a premier program with many solo travelers. I have had the pleasure of serving as a Tour Group Leader with this organization and they are first class. They are trusted and well known for offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere for couples and solo participants alike. The atmosphere you’ll find is of learning in the company of a small group of individual friends, rather than traveling with a collection of couples.

land-ho-2-1 If you are single and over 50, traveling by yourself may seem daunting. If Cancun was the go-to destination when you were 20, it may not be your scene anymore.

At Stitch , they have scoured the globe for the 5 best travel destinations for singles over 50 that will give you the best opportunity to enjoy your travel.

Tips For Senior Solo Travel

Allianz features 11 Secrets for Successful Senior Singles Trave l. Looking for a travel companion who shares your love of river cruising, fine wine and Paris flea markets? Look in the mirror. Traveling solo might seem daunting, but it’s easier — and more rewarding — than you think. These 11 tips for senior singles travel can help you create the perfect solo vacation.


About Travel has an article called Tours and Cruises for Single Seniors . They list several companies and organizations that provide single seniors tour information. This is one of the best sites I have found that addresses the topic and provides so much help. So “O Solo Mio” and get going.

Lastly, Fodor’s has a link on Single Senior Citizen Travel with comments made by single folks who experienced solo travel. This blog is simply a step in helping you to make some choices on your own.

Talk with your travel agent who is experienced in travel for those who prefer to travel alone, but not be alone on the trip. Enjoy making your plans, and better yet, enjoy your solo adventure wherever you choose to go. -jeb


Senior Women Enjoy Travel Options


We are often asked about programs that feature senior women who can travel with other senior women. Yes there are programs all over the world that cater to solo female travelers. Sorry men, this one is just for the women.

There is often comfort afforded to women who prefer to travel with other women and usually it is of the same age range.  Today we highlight programs that focus on travel for women as the French say “d’un certain age.” That is a nice way of saying “older.”

Journey Woman notes that if you’re an older adventuress, this is an absolutely wonderful time in your life to be traveling. In most cultures, age brings respect. Children will gravitate to you.


Local women will be protective, you’ll suffer less from pesky unsolicited male advances, and your travel budget absolutely expands with all the lovely discounts your age group is offered. The possibilities are endless. Take advantage, ladies. You’ve earned the right.

Senior Women Travel Solo Together

Women Traveling Together was started in 1997 by a 40-year old business woman who desperately wanted to do some vacation traveling, but didn’t want to go alone or travel as a single on a couple’s tour.  Unable to find a ready-made solution that met her needs, Debra Asberry spent seven months interviewing women in order to design a travel company that catered to the needs of women traveling solo.


Women Traveling Together (WTT) has a large and loyal repeat client base that has grown year after year since 1997, making it possible to offer more than 60 trips a year.   “80% of WTT travelers come solo. We really should have named the company “Women Traveling Solo Together” because that’s in a nutshell what we’re all about. Select your tour and be assured that fellow WTT travelers are as interested in and excited about the destination as you are.”

Senior Women’s Travel Days Not Over

Two senior women traveling together in a convertible car

Why travel alone when you can connect with like-minded women on a trip led by knowledgeable, local guides? At Rio Grande Travel , senior women can find thoughtful and well-planned vacation packages. Women can choose pre-planned trips alone, a travel group for senior women or perhaps embark on a journey with a bunch of friends!

A while back we featured a travel blog for Senior Women . Please check out the programs on that site and learn about the various opportunities that are available.


Senior Women’s Travel focuses on trips for 50+ women with a passion for travel. “It was founded on the premise that your travel days are not over .

Senior women — widowed, divorced, or with a mate who no longer wants to travel — should still be able to travel with zest, comfortably and safely. No-hassle travel, everything is done for you. No single supplements, exciting destinations, culture, good food, and interesting companions.”

So take you pick ladies and enjoy the trip. -jeb


Seniors Explore The World

continents_map This senior was curious to find out the largest cities in the world by population and the largest countries by surface area. Get your coffee and let me show you what I discovered. I figured that China was the largest both by population and surface area. I was wrong, very wrong. What do you think the two or three top would be? I’ve been to three of the largest five cities.

Tokyo is far above New York Metro with 33,200,000. I remember trying to take a photo of Tokyo and found that it is impossible. NYC came in second with 17,800,000 and Seoul, Korea missed NYC by only 100,000 and Mexico City by 300,000. You can look these up yourself and many are surprising, at least it was to me. Bombay (Mumbai), Calcutta (Kolkata), Delhi and Chennai are huge in India.

largest cities

Now let’s consider the largest countries by total population. China, right. And who follows by only 100 million? Yes, India. But did you know that the USA ranks third just ahead of Indonesia and Brazil.

Seniors Explore The World Some More

So, how are you doing? Now let’s explore the largest in size by area. Any ideas? China? They came in #4 behind Russia, Canada and the USA. Any idea of #5 or #6? Try Brazil and then Australia. They have a lot of land and like Russia, Canada and China, lots of the area is unused and desolate. Not so with the USA.


Russia encompasses 17,075,200 sq. km. Seniors, do you know how much a kilometer is? Well, it is 0.621371 miles and 1 mile equals 1.60934 kilometers. Voila, there you have it, that really helps a lot, doesn’t it? Canada has about half as much land as Russia with 9,994,670 sq. km. I always wonder who is able to figure out those stats right down to the last kilometer . Just 9.7% of the land of Canada is privately held and of course Russi has Siberia.

Seniors Explore The World Even More

Well, perhaps you are totally bored with all those figures by now. I will depart today’s blog with one last piece of information for those seniors among you who are still reading this article. Curious what the largest bodies of water in the world are?


As you may already know, the Earth is often referred to as the “blue planet.” This particular nickname was given due to the immense volume of water covering the surface of our planet; more specifically, 70% of the Earth is covered by water, making up  326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons. Now who did that calculation?

The Pacific Ocean is not only the largest body of water, but it is also the oldest. I’ll let you go figure that one out… I had no idea.  See you back at tomorrow. Ciao. Au revoir. Auf  Weidershehen. Arrivederci. Aloha. Adiós. Sayonara. Shalom. Totsiens. Vale and Zàijiàn. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Colorful Viña del Mar


Viña del Mar, a city on central Chile’s Pacific coast, was recently selected as one of the top places for a visit in South America. Viña del Mar means “Vineyard of the Sea” and senior travelers find that it is a highly popular tourist attraction.

Often referred as “La Ciudad Jardín” (Garden City), Viña del Mar is located within the Valparaíso Region, and is Chile’s fourth largest city with a population of 325,000.


Commonly called Viña , the city developed in the 1870s as an exclusive residential and summer area for Chile’s well-to-do. It is still that, but has evolved into Chile’s premiere seaside resort, often called Chile’s Riviera . A major attraction in town is the beautiful Flower Clock (like the one in Geneva) created with seasonal flowers.

TripAdvisor suggests several must see sites such as the Jardín Botánico Nacional and Reñaca beach. This beach plays host to a famous Festival de Viña del Mar every year in mid-February that attracts international performers and audience.

Seniors Discover Alfajores


Lonely Planet notes that clean and orderly Viña del Mar is a sharp contrast to the charming jumble of neighboring Valparaíso. Senior visitors will find manicured boulevards lined with palm trees, a sprawling public beach and beautiful expansive parks.

Make a note that a very popular treat in Viña del Mar is the alfajor , a typical argentinean/uruguayan type of cookie that has also been popularized in Chile. My wife and I love them and ate a lot of them in Argentina.

The establishment of Refinadora de Azúcar de Viña del Mar (Sugar Refining Company), CRAV in 1873 and the arrival of the British company of Lever & Murphy in 1883 gave the necessary economic push to transform the young city into one of the most important cities of Chile.

A Castle And A Racetrack


In 1917, a seaside villa was rebuilt as what is known today as Wulff Castle. The Valparaiso Sporting Club horse racing track is another major landmark. Some of the major events during the year include Derby Day, held the first Sunday in February, and the international Festival de Cine de Viña del Mar during the second week of October.

So visit with your travel agent and make plans to spend time in Viña. Senior visitors will find luxurious estates, including the summer home of the President of Chile, waterfront hotels, parks and gardens, social clubs, a municipal casino and theater, sport facilities, beaches, golf, tennis, horse racing, lively nightlife, fine dining, and easy access to the nearby beaches and resort towns of Zapallar, Concon, Cachagua, and the fast-growing and hugely popular town of Reñaca.

My wife and I have been to Chile and would not hesitate to return again tomorrow. Viña del Mar invites senior travelers to discover its secrets and enjoy their events throughout the year. Your stay in Chile will be memorable. - jeb


Seniors Seek Out Salta

The-Cozy-Mountain-Town-Salta-Argentina-The-Borderless-Project Senior travelers opt for quality time in Salta , a provincial capital in mountainous northwestern Argentina. Known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Andean heritage, the city centers on Plaza 9 de Julio.

This elegant, cafe-lined square is bordered by the neoclassical Salta Cathedral and El Cabildo, an 18th-century town hall turned historical museum. Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña (MAAM) nearby houses Incan artifacts, including mummies.

Salta is said to be the most Spanish city in Argentina by physical appearance: so much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and cities in Andalucia. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity.


Founded in 1582, it’s now the most touristed spot in northwest Argentina . The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. A very popular option is to hire a cab to explore the surrounding area.

Seniors Find Jewel-Box-Size Getaway

I have come across articles by the NY Times noting that Salta has traditionally served primarily as a supply center for the Spanish mining sites located in present-day Bolivia. A concerted effort to encourage new hotels, restaurants and shops is now paying off in a stream of visitors attracted to Salta’s updated colonial charm.

Today, the old city center is recognized as a jewel-box-size getaway, perfect for exploring on foot and finally appreciated for its rich cultural offerings, grand neo-Classical buildings and thriving night life. The famed Hispanic architecture of the city makes it unique among other cities in Argentina.


For senior oenophiles , plan a trip along the Route of Wine consisting of more than twenty wineries. The relation between winemaking and the Province of Salta is already over three centuries old, in fact, the Jesuits who arrived in these latitudes were the first ones to introduce the vines and they were experts in wine making.

Seniors Enjoy Fertile and Scenic Sites

In one of the most fertile and scenic sites ever created by nature, 367,550 people call Salta home. The Province of Salta, boasting a mild climate, is a premier senior tourist destination year round.

For panoramic views of Salta, take the famed cable car from the Parque San Martín to the summit  of Cerro San Bernardo and inhale some crisp mountain air as you admire the views.


Museums, churches, historical buildings, squares and cafés give evidence of the colonial influence, in one of the most jealously guarded historical quarters in Argentina. There can be no doubt that the past is carefully preserved in Salta.

Senior travelers, p erhaps you already know about Empanadas , humita , locro , huaschalocro and tamales that are the traditional dishes from northern Argentina. I have been to the northwest area of Argentina. We have close Argentine friends in nearby Corrientes on the huge Paraná River.

Enjoy your stay. -jeb


Seniors Choose Bariloche


San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly called Bariloche ), in Argentina’s Inner Patagonia, is a town bordering Lago Nahuel Huapi, a large glacial lake surrounded by the snow-crowned Andes. Senior visitors will enjoy it for its Swiss alpine architecture and its chocolate, sold in shops lining Calle Mitre, its main street.

Bariloche is a popular base for hiking and skiing the nearby mountains and exploring the surrounding Lakes District. The “American Switzerland,” as it is called, is famous for skiing and also for sightseeing, water sports, hiking and climbing. Senior visitors enjoy its Swiss-like atmosphere and its breweries.


The truly brave at heart can take a plunge into icy Lake Nahuel Huapi, which, even in summer, never rises above a chilling average temperature of 57°F. Could you do that? Great souvenir memory with lots of goosebumps.

Beaches like Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul are attractive, but a word of caution…try to avoid Bariloche  in July, when the town is inundated with high-school students celebrating graduation. They like to call the town simply “Bariló.”

Seniors Enjoy Nahuel National Park


Senior travelers will find plenty to see and do starting off with the Nahuel National Park. This massive national park is the largest in Argentina, nearly 2 million acres. Established in 1934 with mountains, lakes and forests and many outdoors activities.

Tronador is an extinct stratovolcano in the southern Andes, located along the border between Argentina and Chile.  The mountain was named Tronador by locals in reference to the sound of falling seracs ( a block or column of glacial ice, often formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier). Add that term to your geological terminology knowledge as I did.

Seniors Take in the Beauty


So what is there for seniors? Plenty. Lonely Planet notes that being strung out along the shoreline of Lago Nahuel Huapi, in the middle of the national park, Bariloche has one of the most gorgeous settings imaginable.

Combined with a wealth of summer and winter activities in the surrounding countryside, Bariloche has become the Lake District’s principal destination. And chocolate. There are a host of chocolate shops lining main street. Makes for a great edible souvenir, that is, if you can make it home with them as gifts.

So travel south, seniors, and enjoy the healthy air of the Andes, the variety of water activities, the fine array of local dishes (Bariloche is famous for its smoked foods, particularly deer and trout,) and the beauty of the area. -jeb


Seniors View A Lot Of NaCl


Senior friends, get your coffee and join me in Bolivia this morning. We’re going to visit Salar de Uyuni , a pile of blissfully, beautiful salt, very famous and one of the most stunning scenes in the world. Made up of some 4,633 square miles of salt, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia is located in the southwestern region of Oruno and Potosi, near the top of the Andes, at an altitude of 3,650 meters.


More than 40,000 years ago, the area was part of a giant prehistoric Lake Michin that dried up and left Lake Poopo, and Uru and two salt deserts, Salar de Coipasa and the Salar de Uyuni. The second is the larger of the two and 10,582 square km is about 25 times the size of Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

Seniors Discover Flamingo Breeding Grounds

Once a year, in November, Salar de Uyuni becomes  breeding grounds for three species of South American flamingos: the Chilean Flamingo, James’s and Andes. Flamingos chow down on microbes that are attracted by mineral deposits and the potassium salt crust of shallow lakes creating snow rings.

sal de-uyuni_andean-flamingos

The landscape is entirely flat, bar a few small ‘islands’ such as Isla Incahuasi, which only accentuates its surreal beauty. The Bolivian Altiplano (high plains) has many beautiful lakes, some fresh, some saline and very colorful, some dry.

The collection includes the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni, that is dry for most of the year, but is covered by a this layer of water during the rainy season (usually November-March).

Know anything about lithium? It’s pretty important for electronics today. Salar de Uyuni holds half the world’s reserves of lithium and is used to create high energy density lithium batteries like those used by Tesla, the resources have not been exploited so far.


Seniors Find An Other-Worldly Experience

Given the remoteness of Salar de Uyuni , this is a very popular place, and not just with senior tourists. Miners working in the Salar produce a whopping 25,000 tons of salt each year and it is still a drop in the bucket compared with the overall reserves of 10 billion tons of salt offered by Uyuni.

What a neat place to visit? Exotic, yes. For the adventurous, yes. Bolivia, yes. Salar de Uyuni offers an other-worldly experience for seniors that has to be seen to be believed. When it rains at Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the landscape transforms into a giant and shallow reflection pool that is said to be the World’s Largest Mirror .

sal de James_Flamingo

Equally extraordinary is the salt flat’s ‘flatness’ . Over the entire 10,582 square kilometers, there is only an average altitude variation of one meter . The area is covered in a several-meter thick salt crust which also covers a pool of lithium-rich brine.

Senior travelers who seek adventure and a new place to explore, here it is: Salar de Uyuni, breathtakingly beautiful, providing an extraordinary experience that will not be quickly forgotten. jeb


Seniors Find A New Hot Spot!


This senior read recently in a Sunday newspaper that Medellín, Colombia is now a hot spot for tourists . The city has undergone a massive social and economic transformation and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that enrobe local churches, buildings and parks as well as the Medellín River.

I have a friend who went on a mission trip to Medellín and found it to be fascinating. Today it is considered a Colombian hub for business, industry and technological development. Medellín (pop. 2 million) is  surrounded by 8 smaller towns and together they form the Area Metropolitana with almost 3.5 million people.


Its pleasant climate, like Cuernavaca, Mexico, gives both cities the nickname – the City of Eternal Spring, with 80 degrees Fahrenheit every day . Rich in cultural institutions, the city has three universities, several 17th-century churches, and a national mint.

Seniors Find Good Roads and Tourism in Medellín

Medellín , officially the Municipality of Medellín, is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia. The varied topography of the department of Antioquia allows going from one climate to another in just minutes thanks to an excellent road infrastructure that promotes trade and tourism.

Located in a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America, Medellín sits 4,905 feet (1,495 meters) above sea level in a valley surrounded by tall green mountains. Its close proximity to the Equator ensures constant spring-like temperatures year round.


Medellín is today becoming one of the “it” cities in the world, with throngs of tourists and  ex-pats. Read from the NY Times and Henry Alford who reported that he had just got back from Medellín.

Another reader reports…“I have visited this fascinating city 5 times over the last 3 years. The paisas are the most wonderful, warmest and accommodating people in all my latin travels. Visit the Fernando Botero museum, great shopping at El Tesoro and Santa Fe, fantastic night life at El Poblado.”

Art/Culture, Great Restaurants And Great Weather…


Medellín is served by José María Córdova International Airport (IATA), located in the nearby city of Rionegro. Huffington Post reports that.. “With the world’s best weather, great restaurants, tons of art/culture and amazing nightlife, it should be on any curious traveler’s bucket list.”

Medellín has been transformed. It’s now a vibrant destination for senior travelers seeking a culturally rich vacation. The Pablo Escobar Daily Tour is a popular history tour emphasizing the true story of the life and death of Pablo Escobar, the “King of Cocaine.” Colombia is one of the world’s top coffee producers, therefore it’s every visitor’s duty to sit down and enjoy a cup or two.

In the last 20 years Medellín has undergone transformation: big improvements in public safety, Colombia’s first metro system, as well as new parks and libraries. Talk with your travel agent and set your sights on Medellín. Buen viaje , senior travelers! -jeb


Seniors Visit Temuco


The seniors this time are this guy and his wife before they joined the ranks of seniors…along with a group of middle school students on a school exchange. Yes, the Beckers led a student group to Temuco, Chile for a two weeks stay.

We loved everything about Chile and Temuco. Founded in 1881, Temuco is of the Araucanía Region in southern Chile south of Santiago. The Director of our school in Iowa arranged this exchange.

My wife and I were guests with a family that lived on a farm. As we made our way to school each day, we could see Llaima Volcano smoking. It erupted in 1994. We had never witnessed a smoking volcano before, have you?


Seniors Get Acquainted with the Mapuche

One of the teachers in their school took us into the surrounding countryside to enjoy the Chilean scenery and to see severals Mapuche homes called rukas . The Mapuche are famous for their 350-year struggle against Spanish and, later, Chilean domination.

The Mapuche is the most numerous group of Indians in South America and numbered more than 1,400,000 at the turn of the 21st century. They live today as they have lived for centuries, retaining their language, dress and cultural habits.

Temuco is a relatively new model city and was for a long time under the control of the Mapuche. Their culture, crafts and way of life are still very visible in and around the city, especially in the central market. The market is an historical place famed for its Mapuche crafts: textiles, carved wood and silver jewelry.


We enjoyed strolling though the local covered market where we saw a wide range of native vegetables and fruit that we did not recognize.  Meat was hanging on large hooks as were dressed chickens and rabbits. We were told that they leave the feet on the rabbits so that folks will know that they are not cats.

Temuco’s economy is based on agricultural and forest production. Abundant plantations of pine tree and eucalyptus can be found in this zone and several characteristic native forests. Within the manicured grounds of Plaza Aníbal Pinto in the city center, is a sizable La Araucanía monument depicting the clash between the Mapuche and the Spanish.

We Loved the Araucania Trees


Our family took us on a trip into a forest with huge tall, prehistoric trees, called Araucania. The Conguillio National Park near Temuco is where you will find thousands of the Araucania trees.

Temuco, with its 275,000 inhabitants, has plenty to offer visitors . With its leafy, palm-filled plaza, its pleasant Mercado Municipal and its intrinsic link to Mapuche culture, Temuco is most pleasant of all Southern Chile’s blue-collar cities, giving a sense of the culture of the region.

Senior travelers, I hope you make it to Chile one day, and if you are in the south of Chile, be sure to include Temuco in your itinerary. We would go back tomorrow. jeb

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