Insider Blog

Filter By Month: June 2013
  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Top 8 Experiences: Fernando de Noronha

    For those who have never heard of it, the small island of Fernando de Noronha, 200 miles off the coast of Recife in Northeastern Brazil, may not roll off the tongue easily, but it sure is easy on the eyes. In a country that boasts over 4500 miles of coastline – darn near all of it the prettiest you ever did see – Noronha stands out as a paradise in paradise.  Brazilians equate it with Heaven itself.

  • Photo: jbstafford

    Buenos Aires: A perfect night out in Palermo Soho

    Few neighborhoods in Buenos Aires are more well known for nightlife than Palermo, and the half of it that makes up the Palermo Soho subsection is particularly hopping come nightfall. The boundaries of Palermo Soho are roughly made up of Avenida Santa Fe to the northeast, Avenida Córdoba to the southwest, Avenida Scalabrini Ortiz to the southeast, and Avenida Juan B. Justo to the northwest. The area contains buzzing Plaza Serrano and is filled with trendy cafés, restaurants, and boutiques in colorful, low-rise buildings. Here, the red-brick streets are strolled by young, fashionable Porteños and expats. You’ll feel more comfortable out and about here if you dress up a bit.

  • Photo: Ayahuasca

    Trendy Bars in Lima

    I feel my city is getting more and more exciting each year. Now that winter has arrived and people can’t admit the summer party is over, bars start opening their doors, some for the very first time.

    Check out the hottest new bars and some that have already become classics in the city of kings:

  • Photo: La Mar

    São Paulo Falls Under the Peruvian Spell

    As far as South American cuisine goes, there is none more famous, tasty or more cunningly marketed than Peruvian, where mountain-high piles of citrus-doused raw fish have made ceviche a household name the world over. There is, of course, much more to Peruvian cuisine than raw fish: Lomo Saltado (stir-friend sirloin with spices, tomatoes, onion and French fries), Ají de Gallina (cheesy, chili pepper chicken) and Causa (mashed potato dumplings) are tasty favorites, but are merely ubiquitous introductory dishes to this complex cuisine full of regional variation and locally-sourced ingredients from the sea (black shells, green seaweed) to the Andes (quinoa, Andean legumes).

  • Mario Testino´s Permanent Exhibition in Lima

    As I said before, Lima is becoming a vibrant city with many things happening around.

    Since last July a restored 19th century mansion located in Lima´s bohemian district of Barranco has hosted MATE – Asociación Mario Testino. MATE is a non-profit organization founded by the famous photographer Mario Testino, which promotes artistic and cultural exchange among local and international artists.

  • Wine Tasting in Santiago

    One of Chile’s main attractions, and one of the products for which it is best known, is wine. From the areas nearby Santiago such as the Santa Cruz, Maipo and Colchagua valleys, to the warmer, more arid areas of the Aconcagua valley and further to the north and south, Chile produces wines, most famously, Carmenere, but Cabernet Sauvignon is growing in popularity, as are (newly) a few white wines, including some grown closer to the coast. Pinot Noir is also up-and-coming in Chile, in addition to the better-known reds.

  • Quito Urban Art 2013

    Quito is a little more colorful starting this month, but don’t be surprised if you fail to take notice.  Even though the new urban art project launched for 2013 covers nearly 4,000 square meters of public space (painted on bridges, cross walks, tunnels and walls), many people seem not to notice it.

  • A perfect Night Out in Buenos Aires: The Recoleta Barrio

    By day, the upscale Recoleta neighborhood is a top destination for visitors to Buenos Aires. The residential area is famed for the sprawling Recoleta Cemetery, a walled maze of elaborate 19th- and 20th-century crypts and mausoleums. Aside from the architectural wonders, the cemetery has historic appeal, as well: former first lady Eva Perón is buried here. On weekends, the nearby Plaza Francia, which sits adjacent to the cemetery, buzzes with a large open-air market. You can find traditional leather goods, jewelry, and other souvenirs here.

  • Photo: FEEP

    Train Crucero: Ecuador’s Luxury Railway

    The world often associates luxury and class with speed and sleekness. But along a 447 kilometer stretch of railway that snakes through the Andes Mountains and coastal plains of Ecuador, high class travel has begun to be redefined.

    A symbol of man’s triumph over nature, the Ecuadorean train was a nearly forgotten, historic achievement until it was resurrected and enthusiastically restored over the past four years by the national government.

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Lapinha: Brazil’s Go-To Destination Spa

    Brazil has historically been a few steps behind the modern spa movement – it wasn’t until very recently that you could even get a rubdown in many of the country’s upscale tropical resorts (and if you could, it was usually outsourced) – which makes it all the more impressive that Lapinha Spa located about 55 miles southwest of Curitiba, originally opened its doors in 1972. It wasn’t called a “spa” then but it was way ahead of the wellness/medical spa game. Today, it has won numerous destination spa awards – Best Spa in the Americas, etc. – and has become the go-to spa to light a fire under your pants, shake those bad eating habits and turn you into a whole new you. So what’s it like? Here’s my 10 cents.

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