Trip Highlights

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 […]

Read the whole post »


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 […]

Read the whole post »


5 Amazon animal species

Posted by on June 18th, 2013
pictures 097

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!). […]

Read the whole post »


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 […]

Read the whole post »


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 […]

Read the whole post »


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 […]

Read the whole post »


The Finest Galapagos Sailing Tour: the Mary Anne

Posted by on April 1st, 2013

On a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands, I boarded the beautiful Mary Anne, a First Class 16 passenger sailing vessel, and embarked on an out-of-this-world eight day naturalist cruise.   The experience was truly awe-inspiring.  We anchored in many of the picturesque highlight sites of the archipelago, ventured onto six different islands and had some […]

Read the whole post »


Film review: La Nana (Chile 2009)

Posted by on March 22nd, 2013
la nana - chile tours - south america travel - vaya adventures

I watched La Nana (The Maid) knowing nothing about it or its reputation. I was enchanted by the performance of the lead actress and by the humorous script (the same things, I would later learn, that have enchanted audiences around the world) but I was also reminded of the extremely well-drawn class divisions in Chile. […]

Read the whole post »


Four Latin American blockbusters worth watching

Posted by on March 20th, 2013
City of God - south america tours - vaya adventures

Ever since I lived in Argentina, I’ve had a thing for movies from or about Latin America. I haven’t watched everything, but I have watched a lot. Here’s a list of four that have achieved global success. I’ll do a blog post on four lesser-known films soon. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) This tells the story […]

Read the whole post »


Three questions arising from One Hundred Years of Solitude

Posted by on March 18th, 2013
100 Years of Solitude -south america travel - vaya adventures

  Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. The first line of One Hundred Years of Solitude encapsulates not only a book, but also a nation, a continent and a literary movement. Think about it. The […]

Read the whole post »