Travel Tips

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

Posted by on April 23rd, 2014
grandfather thumbnail

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 […]

Read the whole post »


End of the Chilean Reciprocity Fee!

Posted by on April 8th, 2014
la foto 2

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 […]

Read the whole post »


Hemingway and the glory days of Cabo Blanco, Peru

Posted by on November 27th, 2013

Looking at the unspectacular smattering of low-strung cabins and fishing boats on a scrubby cape on Peru’s North coast, you would never imagine that Cabo Blanco had played host to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Joe di Maggio and Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s life-long love affair with Cuba is well documented, but […]

Read the whole post »


¿Cachai? An overview of Latin American Spanish

Posted by on October 25th, 2013
chiles

Of the 469 million people who speak Spanish as their mother tongue, more than 230 million are in Latin America and a further 155 million are Latin Americans living in the United States. Worldwide there are more native speakers of Spanish than there are people who speak English as their mother tongue and Mandarin is the […]

Read the whole post »


The humble potato, The Andes’ greatest export

Posted by on October 8th, 2013
potatoes

While researching a Vaya Adventures blog on Four key ingredients of Andean cuisine, I became fascinated by the humble potato and its role in Andean and world history. It started with an article in the Smithsonian magazine which then led me to an academic paper by renowned historian William H. McNeill and finally resulted in […]

Read the whole post »


Discover Quito: not just a Galapagos stopover

Posted by on September 3rd, 2013
La Compania de Jesus - Quito (int3)

Your once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos itinerary will invariably include at least one night in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. More than likely you’ll spend two nights there – one before your Galapagos transfer and one after – so it really makes sense to take the time to discover Quito. Discover Quito’s geography Quito is the closest capital […]

Read the whole post »


Peru highlights: condors in the Colca Canyon

Posted by on August 27th, 2013
condor

Your Peruvian itinerary will almost certainly include Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu, but this amazingly diverse country has so much more to offer. For breathtaking views, up-close encounters with condors, and an authentic slice of real Andean life, it’s hard to beat the Colca Canyon and its surrounding valleys and villages. Go back in time […]

Read the whole post »


An introduction to South American wines

Posted by on August 14th, 2013
Argentine_wines

Chile and Argentina are two of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of wine, and their wines are readily available in the US and Europe. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t loads of great wines just waiting to be discovered on your visit to the region. Use this guide to scratch the surface, and unearth […]

Read the whole post »


For the best views of Quito, ride the teleferico

Posted by on August 13th, 2013
IMG_1406

If you have some free time in Quito (as I did on my last visit) you may wish to get a bird’s eye view of the city by taking a ride up the teleferico (gondola) to be near the summit of the Pichincha Volcano. From the top you can take in the best views of […]

Read the whole post »


10 fascinating Machu Picchu facts

Posted by on July 27th, 2013
Machu-Picchu-631

You’ve probably been dreaming about your bespoke Machu Picchu trip for yonks, but – if you’re anything like me – this is probably based on seeing millions of photos and knowing a little about the Incas. Here are ten fascinating Macchu Picchu facts I unearthed. Some are straightforward, others not so much, but they’re all […]

Read the whole post »