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Cuba’s cigar sisterhood

ON an island where folks normally don’t buck the system, Zudlay Napoles is breaking an unwritten rule: she is a woman and she smokes cigars. Not only does Napoles love to light up her favorite Romeo y Julieta No. 4: the diminutive 31-year-old has become the face of Cuba’s cigar …

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Cities in the sky

FOR 14 days the Sun God had shined down upon us, bathing us in his benevolence. But on the 15th day he took a rest and the clouds rolled in, shrouding the ruins of Machu Picchu in a cold drizzle. Nestled in the Vilcabamba Ranges of the Peruvian Andes, the …

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Mexico’s spirit of revolution

"DIEZ pesos! Solo diez pesos!" The cry rings out through the subway carriage, above the rattle of tracks and squealing brakes. "Ten pesos! Only 10 pesos!" On Mexico City’s expansive subway network, a dollar can go a long way – and it has nothing to do with the fare, which …

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Drink in the new Cuba

PEUGEOTS and Toyotas – they just don’t look right. When I first went to Cuba 10 years ago, the only cars on the streets of Havana were huge 1950s American saloons and 1980s Soviet Ladas – the products of the superpowers that successively sponsored this beautiful, bewildering island. Today, shiny …

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Must-see US national parks

There’s much to admire and enjoy in the wonderfully varied national parks of the United States, says Lonely Planet. A collection of superlatives, they encompass the highest and lowest points in North America. Indeed, the national parks are the US’s greatest treasure. They protect 136,794km of the country’s most beautiful …

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Carnival time in Rio de Janeiro

THOSE lucky enough to have visited Rio de Janeiro for Carnival say you have not partied unless you have experienced this event. A city that spends most of the year dealing with growing domestic issues comes together to show the world amazing colour, beautifully rehearsed dancing and to play hypnotising …

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