Trip Highlights

Machu Picchu Travel Tips

Posted by on July 16th, 2013
MP

Visiting Machu Picchu will almost certainly be the highlight of your Peruvian adventure. With real bucket-list destinations it pays to do your homework before you go, so that you can make the experience everything you imagined it to be. Follow these Machu Picchu travel tips to get the most out of your visit. Three ways […]

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Chasing icebergs in Patagonia

Posted by on July 10th, 2013
Chasing Ice Poster

I just finished watching the award winning 2012 documentary Chasing Ice, a visually stunning film that follows National Geographic photographer James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey.   His project captures time-lapse images of receding glaciers in Greenland and Alaska, a phenomenon he describes as “a miraculous, magical, horrible, scary thing.” The film reminded me of my own […]

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A brief history of Cusco

Posted by on July 2nd, 2013
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Cusco is so much more than the gateway to Machu Picchu. It’s probably the most important historical city in South America, and its architecture includes Killke, Inca and Spanish constructions. Before the Incas Located in a valley, at an altitude of about 11 000 ft, Cusco is surrounded by mountains in the truest sense of […]

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Zen Birding in South America – Macaws in Peru

Posted by on June 26th, 2013
clay lick tambopata research center

While preparing for a recent trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador, one of the most bird species-rich areas of the world, with over 450 species of birds, I stumbled across a book by David M. White and Susan M. Guyette entitled Zen Birding which reminded me of my experiences with macaws in Peru.  […]

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Darwin and the Galapagos: Part 2

Posted by on June 25th, 2013
darwin old

If you’re planning a luxury Galapagos cruise it pays to know a bit about the history of the place. Last week’s blog looked at Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos in 1835. This week I examine what happened between then and 1859, when On the Origin of Species was published. It’s as much a tale of […]

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Darwin and the Galapagos: Part 1

Posted by on June 20th, 2013
darwin young

Darwin would not be who he is today were it not for the islands. Likewise, the islands would not be as coveted a destination as they are had Darwin not visited and written about them. But what really happened on that fabled trip in 1835? What did Darwin do and where did he go? And […]

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5 Amazon animal species

Posted by on June 18th, 2013
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A trip to the Amazon is on many people’s bucket list, and with the variety of species on offer it’s no wonder why. Here’s a list of five animals that were highlights of my months in the jungle. (I’ve strategically left sandflies and mosquitoes off the list – the less said about them the better!). […]

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Four key ingredients of Andean cuisine

Posted by on May 1st, 2013

The Andean region is characterised by high altitudes, low rainfall and bitter winters. Not only does this make it hard to grow crops, but it also results in a hungry populace. Here we look at four cornerstones of the Andean diet, with a particular focus on Peru and Bolivia. Potatoes The potato was first cultivated […]

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Understanding South America through its History of War

Posted by on April 14th, 2013

It pays to know at least a little bit about the history of a place before you visit it, and wars are a good place to start. They shape fortunes and borders but they also form memories and national grudges. Here are three post-independence wars in South America that are still important today. Falklands War […]

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Two Werner Herzog Movies Set in South America

Posted by on April 6th, 2013
fitzcarraldo - south america tours and travel - vaya adventures

Reading Nick’s article on his favorite Latin American movies, I just can’t help giving a shout out to a couple of my own particular favorites. Both are by the same director, Werner Herzog, and both are set in the Amazon: “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Fitzcarraldo.” Aguirre Wrath of God starts off with an […]

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