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Worth the Trip: A Visit to Paraty

Posted by on April 21st, 2018

Throughout my years of planning trips to South America, Paraty has always been one of those places that gets overlooked in favor of spending more time in its iconic metropolitan neighbor. Rio de Janeiro is, of course, inarguably glamorous and vibrant; it has one of the most stunning backdrops of any city in the world,… Read Full Post

Wild Galapagos

Posted by on April 15th, 2018

My recent trip to the Galapagos, which included the beautiful western islands of Fernandina and Isabela, among others, was one of the highlight travel experiences of my life. My first morning on the ship, everyone hopped into the pangas (Zodiac boats) to cruise around and get up close to the wildlife. There was so much… Read Full Post

Chilean Slang, ¿Cachai?

Posted by on April 6th, 2018

Chileans speak their own breed of Spanish, and even those with an extensive background in the language will find some mysteries and unexpected animal references in Chilean vernacular. Here’s a quick and fun guide to some common slang that will have you sounding like a local (or just impressing one) in no time! po: the… Read Full Post

A South America Specialist’s Favorite Travel Moments (So Far!) and 2018 Bucket List

Posted by on March 7th, 2018

Every time I check one thing off my South America travel bucket list, I add about 10 more. That’s the thing about this continent: it’s so incredibly diverse that just when you think you know it, countless new surprises and must-do experiences pop up. Here’s a list of my favorite moments I’ve had in South… Read Full Post

2017 Vaya Photo Contest Winners!

Posted by on February 22nd, 2018

Once again this year we received some exceptional photos from our travelers, taken in locations ranging from South America’s bustling metropolises to far-flung islands hundreds of miles offshore, from the Amazon rainforest to windswept Patagonia. Thank you to everyone who submitted photos. We had a difficult time choosing our favorites, but here, in no specific… Read Full Post

New Brazil Electronic Visa (E-Visa)

Rio de Janeiro Mountain View

Posted by on January 30th, 2018

As of January 25, 2018, Brazil has made it easier to obtain a Brazilian Tourist Visa, and has also sped up the process. Currently, Brazil has a reciprocal visa system. If you are arriving from a country that requires Brazilians to have a visa to travel to your country, then you are required to obtain… Read Full Post

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