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Travel Tips

The Zika Virus – Important Information

Posted by on February 12th, 2016

The Zika virus has recently been in the news, and we want to summarize the relevant available information for our travelers. If you’ve booked a trip or are thinking of booking a trip to South America with us, please read on! The summary version with regard to our destinations is as follows: There is a… Read Full Post

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

Posted by on March 27th, 2015

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 Full Post

Using Your Cellphone While Traveling

Posted by on February 23rd, 2015

The following is a summary of various options you have for using your cellphone while outside of your home country. The information is written for people travelling with US cellphones; however, it generally applies to cellphones from other countries as well. Option 1 – Using WIFI (free option if in a free WIFI zone) If… Read Full Post

IGTOA: Looking to the Future of Galapagos Conservation

Posted by on July 30th, 2014

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… Read Full Post

End of the Chilean Reciprocity Fee!

Posted by on April 8th, 2014

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 Full 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 Full Post

¿Cachai? An overview of Latin American Spanish

Posted by on October 25th, 2013

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 Full Post

The humble potato, The Andes’ greatest export

Posted by on October 8th, 2013

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 Full Post

Discover Quito: not just a Galapagos stopover

Posted by on September 3rd, 2013

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 Full Post

Peru highlights: condors in the Colca Canyon

Posted by on August 27th, 2013

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 Full Post