Vaya Adventures Travel Blog

Ecuador: The New Name in Artisan Chocolate

Posted by on December 16th, 2014
Chez Tiff

When I think about really good chocolate (a not infrequent occurrence), my thoughts tend to drift toward Europe. Belgian chocolate, German chocolate, Italian chocolate: these are the gold standards of fine gourmet confectionery. These countries don’t actually produce the cocoa used in their products, however. Theobroma cacao, the cocoa tree, grows best in very particular […]

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Winetasting and James Turrell at the World’s Highest Vineyard in Argentina

Posted by on December 11th, 2014
IMG_1804

I recently took a trip to the northwest region of Argentina, a vast and less-visited section of the country. Some parts are reminiscent of the American southwest, but with many decidedly Argentine cultural twists (well-preserved colonial towns, gaucho culture), and not a few surprises. Among the surprises is Colomé, home to the world’s highest vineyards […]

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Zen Birding in Santiago and Central Chile

Posted by on December 5th, 2014
Southern Lapwing

Keeping a lookout for different bird species where you are traveling can be a good way to stay in the moment, remain conscious of your surroundings and notice nature’s subtle reminders that you are far from home. While Chile doesn’t have as many bird species as some other countries in South America, there are interesting […]

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Ski Day at Valle Nevado

Posted by on November 28th, 2014
Valle Nevado

Although the past few winters have been a bit shaky with low accumulations of snowfall in the mountains surrounding Santiago, Chile, the Andes Mountains generally boast some great ski seasons. This past winter I was able to head up to Valle Nevado Ski resort (less than an hour drive from Santiago) on two separate occasions. […]

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Beyond Ceviche: Mistura and the Diversity of Peruvian Cuisine

Posted by on October 20th, 2014
Mistura

Many in-the-know travelers rank Peru among the world’s greatest food cultures, and Peruvian cuisine has begun enjoying widespread international recognition. This is due in part to chefs whose fame has grown outside of Peru, such as Gastón Acurio, whose flagship Lima restaurant Astrid y Gastón has consistently been at the top of Best Restaurant lists […]

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Savoring a Stay at a Gourmet Hotel in Argentina’s Lake District

Posted by on October 14th, 2014

Given that the word gourmet is in the name, one would expect Las Balsas Gourmet Hotel & Spa to have a stellar restaurant, but the gourmet experience at this beautiful boutique property in Argentina’s Lake District goes far beyond the food. Of all the Argentina hotels I’ve been fortunate enough to visit over the years, […]

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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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