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Treading in Che Guevara’s footsteps

Treading in the footsteps of

Che Guevara

From Buenos Aires to Havana

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In 1951, Che Guevara sets out with a friend from Buenos Aires on a trip through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. He concludes his journey in the capital of Cuba, Havana. We follow in his footsteps and show you the most beautiful spots he visited.

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In 1951, Che Guevara sets out with a friend from Buenos Aires on a trip through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. He concludes his journey in the capital of Cuba, Havana. We follow in his footsteps and show you the most beautiful spots he visited.

Buenos Aires

Before Che embarks on his trip he is often found in the elegant parks of Buenos Aires, fantasising about the long journey he wishes to undertake. A dream that finally comes true.

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Parks for the elite

Dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793-1877) built some of the largest and most lush parks in the city for the Buenos Aires elite. You will find these in the neighbourhood of Palermo. Mingle with the locals on weekends to enjoy the ponds, colourful rose gardens, Japanese garden and the Buenos Aires Zoo. You can also rent a boat, play a game of football with the future Messi or take an aerobics class. A day in the park in Palermo is all about having a good time.

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Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado celebrated New Year's Eve 1951 in Buenos Aires before embarking on their big adventure on 4 January 1952.

Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado celebrated New Year's Eve 1951 in Buenos Aires before embarking on their big adventure on 4 January 1952.

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The Argentine way of life

To fully experience the Argentine way of life in Buenos Aires, visit the Plaza Serrano. This square is nestled in the heart of the artistic neighbourhood of Palermo Viejo. Plaza Serrano is surrounded by bustling bars, street artists and restaurants that serve the most delicious and juicy steaks. Get a taste of the Argentine lifestyle.

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Tip for motorcycle enthusiasts

The Norton Model 18, which Che and his friend ventured off on, can be viewed at the Che Guevara Museum in Alta Gracia, Argentina.

Tip for motorcycle enthusiasts

The Norton Model 18, which Che and his friend ventured off on, can be viewed at the Che Guevara Museum in Alta Gracia, Argentina.

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Valpararaíso

Two weeks later the two friends find themselves in Chile. They make an unsuccessful attempt to reach the Easter Islands. An alternative destination is the small town of Valparaíso.

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Colourful streets

Valparaíso is without a doubt the most unique city in South America. Until UNESCO put Valparaíso on the World Heritage List, the city had been an undiscovered gem for many Chileans and tourists. Today, the city is home to a thriving community of artists who literally have a free hand to paint the town. The many steep and narrow streets are decorated with an array of murals and the houses are painted in every colour of the rainbow – a cheerful sight indeed!

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu leaves a deep impression on Che. Various Panamian newspapers print stories of Che visiting the ruins of the ancient Inca city.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu leaves a deep impression on Che. Various Panamian newspapers print stories of Che visiting the ruins of the ancient Inca city.

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Stunning hiking trail

For most travellers to Peru a visit to the lost Inca city is the icing on the cake. Much of the Inca civilisation has been preserved here. There are two ways to reach Machu Picchu: by train or by foot. If you prefer the latter option, you can expect a gorgeous hike with snow-capped mountain peaks, waterfalls and small temples. After two days you arrive at the Sun Gate from where you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu.

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Bogotá

On 2 July Che and Alberto arrive in the Colombian capital of Bogotá. Here they watch a football game between Millionarios and Real Madrid. They stay for a few days to recover from their trip.

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Arts and culture

If football isn't your thing, enjoy a dose of arts and culture. Visit the colourful historic neighbourhood of Candelaria with its colonial churches and buildings. Candelaria is also home to many fine museums, such as the Botero Museum with works by Fernando Botero and Picasso, and the Gold Museum with gold exhibits dating from before the Spanish colonisation. Candelaria is the perfect neighbourhood to soak up the local culture.

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Mérida

By mid-July the two friends discover the beautiful landscapes of Venezuela. They traverse a large part of the Andes and pass through the student town of Mérida.

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Unspoiled nature

The city of Mérida is surrounded by natural beauty. The region is very popular with climbers, backpackers and nature lovers. Mérida is a great starting place for various hikes through lush jungle, snow-capped mountains and national parks. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, grab the longest and highest cable car in the world, the ‘Teleférico’. Sit back and enjoy the sweeping views and pristine nature.

Havana

After his trip Che wants to give something back to the people of South America. He undertakes his first major endeavour on 1 January 1959. Together with Fidel Castro, Che overthrows dictator Batista in Havana and takes the seat of power.

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African influences

Despite the current dictatorship in Cuba, Havana residents still believe that life is to be enjoyed. Artist Salvador Gonzáles is a firm believer in this philosophy. In 1990 he successfully began a project in a street known as Callejón de Hamel to showcase the African influences on Cuban culture. Colourful murals, artwork and a weekly street party with Cuban rumba music and poetry are a feast for the eyes and ears.

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1928 – 1967

Che leaves Havana in 1965 to fight on behalf of the revolution. He decides to continue the struggle in Bolivia. On 8 October 1967 he is arrested by the Bolivian army and executed.

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Freedom fighter or guerrilla

Opinions about Che Guevara are greatly divided. While many see Che as a freedom fighter, others see him as a guerrilla. Nevertheless, the day of Che's death is a day of deep mourning for many Cubans . Che greatly influenced the lives of many Cubans. His face and slogan ‘Hasta la victoria siempre’ (Forever onwards towards victory) are still plastered around the streets of Cuba. Che's adventures may have come to an end, but his story lives on forever.

KLM

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