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A Typical Day in the Galapagos Islands

Tortoise reserve

Posted by on December 27th, 2017

All around us, curious sea turtles popped their heads through the water’s surface like whack-a-moles. Marine iguanas paddled lazily in the waves, unfazed by their human companions snorkeling just a few feet away, and two frigate birds coasted above, their silhouettes looking remarkably like mini-pterodactyls. Suddenly, our guide tapped my arm and pointed through the… Read Full Post

The Red Glow Over Villarrica Volcano

Posted by on December 21st, 2017

The town of Pucón, in Chile’s northern Lakes District, is home to a special sight. The Villarrica Volcano is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, and one of few around the world that has an active lava lake within its crater. While many visitors arrive to Pucón with the idea of actually ascending this intermittent… Read Full Post

Between a Rock and a Quiet Place: the 1N/2D Camping Option in El Chaltén

Posted by on December 14th, 2017

El Chaltén, in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, is one of my favorite hiking destinations in all of South America. The town itself is rambling and a little funky, founded only 32 years ago during a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. This haphazard beginning is still apparent as you walk along the 13… Read Full Post

Comfort Food for a Cold Day: The Chilean Sopaipilla

Posted by on November 30th, 2017

Walk down any city block in Santiago de Chile, and you’re almost guaranteed to pass a panaderia (bakery). On plenty of streets, you’ll find multiple bakeries on the same block. It may seem incredible that a small neighborhood could support a bakery on every corner, but stroll past at about 6:00 p.m., when people are… Read Full Post

The Three Houses of Pablo Neruda

Posted by on November 15th, 2017

He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. “Die Slowly” by Pablo Neruda In Chile, Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904-September 23, 1973) is a beloved poet, politician, and personality. He started… Read Full Post

My prize-winning, published account of a wild jaguar encounter in Brazil

Posted by on November 14th, 2017

When I got home after a jaguar speedboat safari in the Brazilian Pantanal, I felt that what I’d just experienced, racing through a river to come face to face with a jaguar hunting a capybara in the wild, was something truly exceptional – so much so that I emailed my account of the encounter to… Read Full Post

El Caleuche: The Ghost Ship of Chiloé

Posted by on November 1st, 2017

Yesterday, in the spirit of Halloween, I asked my husband to tell me a scary story from his native Chile. The story he related comes from the cool, misty shores of Chiloé Island: The Legend of the Caleuche. An ethereal fog sometimes engulfs the island of Chiloé. Legend holds that occasionally, at low tide, the… Read Full Post

A tale of two hikes – Argentine Patagonia (El Chaltén)

Posted by on October 31st, 2017

Tale 1 – Hiking to Laguna de Los Tres Waking up to the patter of rain, one might be tempted to stay in in bed. When in El Chaltén, however, a light rain is not a deterrent for the trekking enthusiasts.  On a recent trip there, my wife and I found ourselves waking up to… Read Full Post

Exploration of the Amazon River

Posted by on September 8th, 2017

The sun rose cotton candy pink as we cruised over the placid water of the Amazon. Even now I can imagine the scent of the river first thing in the morning, woody, earthy, damp. We were bird spotting, and we did catch sight of a few toucans, macaws, and herons. Even more exciting, though, was… Read Full Post

Hiking in Comfort and Style: The Lodge-Based Salkantay Trek

Wayra Lodge in the sunlight

Posted by on August 24th, 2017

A few years ago I was fortunate to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This was a beautiful experience, and I loved almost every moment of this iconic hike. That being said: while I’m the kind of person who is thrilled to hike for hours every day, the need to crawl into a tent… Read Full Post