Trippin' in Tarija!

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I'm back from Tarija! After having to put off this trip two times I finally spent an amazing ten days in Bolivia's beautiful wine country. I personally visited 11 hotels, tons of tourist attractions, took over 3000 photos, ate every single meal at restaurants, and had a blast getting all the information needed to put up the most complete and detailed section on Tarija you'll find anywhere on the net! It will take me some time now to put all of that information together, design and upload over 50 pages for the site, and organize it all so you can enjoy, but my goal is to have it all up by the first week of May.

I arrived just in time to throw my suitcases into a room and head over to inaugurate Tarija as a new Earth Hour city. Two days later the city council had made celebrating Earth hour every year a law! Now that's commitment. My friends at the Green Hearts Project worked with WWF the conservation agency, also the Earth Hour coordinators, and it was very successful.

Tarija also has the prettiest Easter week in Bolivia. This year the government for some reason known only to them scheduled elections for Easter Sunday (which means you can't drive anywhere) so the town of San Lorenzo, famous for it's Pascua Florida, was really bummed about that. It prepared all year for this day on which many tourists visit. We went on Saturday and had a great time photographing the preparations and watched as the townspeople decorated the streets and cathedral.

In addition, April is Tarija month! Tarija celebrates the Battle of La Tablada on April 15th and an intense schedule of cultural activities throughout the entire month. At the time of this writing, it's still ongoing! Check out our Eventos page for the full cultural program.

The San Jacinto dam, Museum of Paleontology, Tarija's gorgeous wine country, Casa Dorada, churches, plazas and parks, hills and waterfalls, vineyards, restaurants and hotels, fairs and festivals, San Lorenzo Easter preparations, and everywhere else I went will all be online soon.

I fell in love with Tarija. In fact, I rescheduled my return to Santa Cruz two times just so I could stay a little longer (and then a little longer). I think you'll love it too! So to get you through the wait, I've put up a Tarija photo gallery, Tarija music gallery, and have already finished a listing of all the hotels I visited and reviewed personally for you! Tarija is famous for its vineyards, chapacos, lively music and beautiful women. Enjoy!

The International Baroque Music Festival!

The 8th International Renaissance and Baroque Music Festival begins on Thursday, 22 April 2010 (which is also Earth Day). Over 800 musicians from about 20 countries will give over 100 concerts in 13 towns covering over 1000 kilometers over the next 11 days! It all takes place in the department of Santa Cruz. Here's the concert schedule!

Other April and May events

Jaime Escalanate, known as the best teacher in America died on March 30th. Did you know he was a Bolivian immigrant who settled in East L.A. If you haven't seen the movie Stand and Deliver, which was made about him, do it!

Children's Day (Día del Niño) was on April 12th. Here's why we celebrate this day.

Earth Day is today! Read about it here in English or here in Spanish

World Book and Copyright Day is Friday, April 23rd. Here in Bolivia an author will be honored but our big Feria del Libro (Book Fair) takes place in May 27th-June 6th. See our events page for more.

The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth is going on at this moment and ends on Earth Day (Thursday, 22 April). Over 15,000 people from all over the world are in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba right now discussing what can be done to demand world leaders take a firmer stance on mitigating climate change and environmental damage. Check our events page for more on this.

Mothers Day is May 27th in Bolivia.

May 1st is Labor Day in almost every country except the US. In Bolivia "Día del Trabajador" is a national holiday.

Stay informed throughout the month

The Message Board is where I post messages about things I think you might be interested in throughtout the month. Anything goes as long as it’s useful! Check it out daily – things change here quickly. You can also sign up to my RSS feed to get updates each and every time I add or modify a page. It’s the best way to stay informed between issues of this Ezine! You'll find interesting news, great flight deals, reviews of new books about Bolivia, highlighted articles, and anything else that's useful to Bolivia tourists and expats.

18 New Shops at Bella Store!

Bella Store has been totally revamped for 2010. Shop for alpaca sweaters, Andean handicrafts, leather, ceramics, arts, souvenirs and more. Bella Store is a National Geographic and Novica affiliate. When you Shop the National Geographic Store! All purchases support research, education, conservation, and exploration.

18 new shops at Bella Store!

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