Vaya Adventures Travel Blog

Guatin / Gatchi – an active Atacama option

Posted by on August 18th, 2014

The Atacama Desert has numerous excellent and unique excursion options. While they all allow you to see amazing and extremely varied things, many of them (particularly some of the most highly-touted, like the Tatio Geysers, Atacama Salt Flat, Valley of the Moon, etc.) require quite a lot of time in a vehicle as part of […]

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Wandering the Walled City of Cartagena

Posted by on August 4th, 2014

It’s been over a decade since I started traveling in Central and South America, but I continue to be surprised and delighted by new and unexpected sights, sounds and sabores here. There are certainly common threads and reoccurring themes throughout the region: a plaza in Peru might remind you of one in Ecuador; a band […]

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IGTOA: Looking to the Future of Galapagos Conservation

Posted by on July 30th, 2014
Galapagos sea lions

I’ve been an active member of the Board of IGTOA, the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, for the last 4 years, and I was recently named its new president. IGTOA is an organization consisting of over 40 travel companies that promotes sustainable travel and raises money for conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands. I’m honored […]

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Iguazu Falls: To Visit Brazil or Not to Visit Brazil?

Posted by on July 12th, 2014

Iguazu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil. On a recent trip to Iguazu Falls I had it in mind to answer a question that frequently comes up for my clients who visit the site: if they are not visiting any other parts of Brazil on their trip, is […]

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World Cup Fever Hits South America

Posted by on June 12th, 2014

It’s almost upon us and I can’t wait! While playoff basketball and hockey have been forefront in the minds of many U.S. sports enthusiasts, it is the 20th FIFA World Cup that has me and hundreds of millions of other people around the world on the edge of our seats. Kicking off the festivities on […]

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Ingapirca: Ecuador’s Incan Past

Posted by on May 2nd, 2014

When most travelers think of the Inca Empire they think of Peru and iconic Machu Picchu. It might be surprising to some to learn that at its peak, the Inca Empire stretched through an incredibly large area of the continent, some 300,000 square miles, reaching as far north as Ecuador and as far south as […]

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Isla Negra, the Unusual Seaside Home of Pablo Neruda

Posted by on April 29th, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to visit La Casa de Isla Negra, the seaside home of Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. It is said to have been his favorite of the three houses he occupied in Chile, and the one where he spent the most time – and it’s easy to see why. The […]

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My Grandfather’s Travels Through Latin America with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 1950s and ’60s

Posted by on April 23rd, 2014
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When I was young, before I or anyone in my immediate family had been to South America, I remember hearing that my maternal grandfather, Howard Mitchell, had visited South America several times.  Originally from Iowa, he had left home at the age of 16 to study music at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.  An accomplished […]

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Grassroots Conservation at Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge in Mindo, Ecuador

Posted by on April 14th, 2014
Toucanet

Though Ecuador is a relatively tiny country, slightly smaller than the state of Nevada, it is home to a tremendous amount of biodiversity and natural beauty. From Marine Iguanas lounging on the volcanic Galapagos Islands off the Pacific Coast, to Andean Condors soaring over the central “Avenue of Volcanoes,” to Spider Monkeys hanging in the […]

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End of the Chilean Reciprocity Fee!

Posted by on April 8th, 2014
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On February 28, 2014 the US Department of Homeland Security announced the signing of a bilateral agreement between Chile and the US Government. For those hoping to visit Chile, the agreement holds some very good news. Prior to this agreement, US citizens had to pay a $160 “reciprocity fee” upon entrance to Chile. This reciprocity […]

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