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Mariana Zapata

I specialize in sustainable tourism that approaches travel in a way that is respectful to people and nature. I love food, getting lost in new places, and learning different dances.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in the countries where I have lived for extended periods of time: Colombia (where I was born and raised), France, and South Korea. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I have always been a traveler and spent the first five years after graduating college figuring out ways to move from country to country. I have lived in multiple cities in several countries across four continents, and have no plan to stop anytime soon. Now I write about travel for a living."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"The random experiences are the ones that I remember the most: going to read in a park in Cali, Colombia and ending up drinking beer with new friends and dancing salsa in a parking lot food truck overlooking the city; finding a secret snorkel and dive spot in Jeju Island, South Korea; all the street food in Vietnam; getting lost and needing help from strangers in Paris; and all the small and empty roads I stumbled upon in Florence."

Plaza de España, Seville
How Many Days to Spend in Seville

Seville offers the perfect mix of culture, architecture, and gastronomy. With Neo-Moorish structures, beautiful manicured parks, and a welcoming spirit, the Andalusian capital is one of Spain's best cities. Although Seville is relatively small, you should plan to spend at least two to three days visiting its major landmarks, catching flamenco shows, and indulging in tapas to your heart's content.

Panoramic view of Florence
Best Time of Year to Visit Florence

Florence is magnificent at any time of year, but fall is arguably the best time to visit. With mild weather and an absence of large crowds, this season lets you enjoy the city without fighting for space. Spring has similar advantages, and the city comes alive as flowers bloom. Winter is great for people who love holidays and want to avoid long lines. Summer is peak season and brings intense heat, but also provides long days of sunlight and various exciting festivals.

Panoramic view of Florence
How Many Days to Spend in Florence

Once the center of the Italian Renaissance, Florence has evolved into a sophisticated city that holds firmly to its cultural past. Filled with world-class museums and galleries, beautiful churches, and former palaces, this is a city where you'll want to spend at least two or three days—enough time to hit most of the essential landmarks, shop for quality leather goods, and stuff your face with delicious Tuscan food.