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Galapagos

2016 Vaya Photo Contest Winners!

Posted by on February 2nd, 2017

From the stiff breeze of Patagonia at the bottom of the Southern Cone, to the lush green landscapes surrounding Machu Picchu, all the way up to colorful markets of Colombia and everywhere in between, this year’s photo contest made it difficult for us to choose the winners.  In no specific order, here are the winners… 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

Arequipa & Colca Canyon as an Active 3-Night Extension

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015

On a recent trip to Peru I had the chance to visit some places that are slightly further off the radar than the iconic Cusco and Machu Picchu. I spent about a week exploring Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, and Lake Titicaca, which was a nice amount of time for a leisurely exploration of all three…. Read Full Post

Winetasting and James Turrell at the World’s Highest Vineyard in Argentina

Posted by on December 11th, 2014

I recently took a trip to the northwest region of Argentina, a vast and less-visited section of the country. Some parts are reminiscent of the American southwest, but with many decidedly Argentine cultural twists (well-preserved colonial towns, gaucho culture), and not a few surprises. Among the surprises is Colomé, home to the world’s highest vineyards… Read Full Post

Beyond Ceviche: Mistura and the Diversity of Peruvian Cuisine

Posted by on October 20th, 2014

Many in-the-know travelers rank Peru among the world’s greatest food cultures, and Peruvian cuisine has begun enjoying widespread international recognition. This is due in part to chefs whose fame has grown outside of Peru, such as Gastón Acurio, whose flagship Lima restaurant Astrid y Gastón has consistently been at the top of Best Restaurant lists… Read Full Post

Savoring a Stay at a Gourmet Hotel in Argentina’s Lake District

Posted by on October 14th, 2014

Given that the word gourmet is in the name, one would expect Las Balsas Gourmet Hotel & Spa to have a stellar restaurant, but the gourmet experience at this beautiful boutique property in Argentina’s Lake District goes far beyond the food. Of all the Argentina hotels I’ve been fortunate enough to visit over the years,… Read Full Post

Guatin / Gatchi – an active Atacama option

Posted by on August 18th, 2014

The Atacama Desert has numerous excellent and unique excursion options. While they all allow you to see amazing and extremely varied things, many of them (particularly some of the most highly-touted, like the Tatio Geysers, Atacama Salt Flat, Valley of the Moon, etc.) require quite a lot of time in a vehicle as part of… Read Full Post

Wandering the Walled City of Cartagena

Posted by on August 4th, 2014

It’s been over a decade since I started traveling in Central and South America, but I continue to be surprised and delighted by new and unexpected sights, sounds and sabores here. There are certainly common threads and reoccurring themes throughout the region: a plaza in Peru might remind you of one in Ecuador; a band… 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

Grassroots Conservation at Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge in Mindo, Ecuador

Posted by on April 14th, 2014

Though Ecuador is a relatively tiny country, slightly smaller than the state of Nevada, it is home to a tremendous amount of biodiversity and natural beauty. From Marine Iguanas lounging on the volcanic Galapagos Islands off the Pacific Coast, to Andean Condors soaring over the central “Avenue of Volcanoes,” to Spider Monkeys hanging in the… Read Full Post