Insider Blog

 
  • Classic Peruvian Cebiche And Its Contemporary Counterparts

    by Erika Schuler

    Cebiche is getting a lot of attention right now, but for us Peruvians, it’s hardly new. In fact, it’s part of our prehispanic culture. Raw, fishy, spicy, light and delicious.

    Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and some other countries have their own version, including some with tomato (yuck) but in Peru it’s pretty straight forward; it´s all about the fish.

  • A Foodie’s Photo Gallery of Peru

    Professional food photographer Matt Armendariz recently visited Peru with fellow foodies Gaby Dalkin and Adam Pearson. While Matt certainly captured the mouth-watering beauty of Peruvian cuisine, he didn’t limit his subjects to what was on the plate. Matt also snapped a cornucopia of Peruvian ingredients, where they’re grown and the breath-taking Peruvian landscape. We hope you enjoy Matt’s work, it’s clear he does.

  • Enjoy Peruvian Food at 30,000 Feet

    LAN Peru is giving travelers who have had Peru on their foodie destination radar another incentive to book that trip sooner than later. For a limited time, LAN Peru is helping travelers start their culinary experience the minute they step onboard by serving iconic, traditional Peruvian cuisine on the in-flight menu from Los Angeles, New York, Miami to Peru.

  • Mistura’s Greatest Hits

    by Erika Schuler

    Lima, September.
    An enormous grey blanket looms over the city, but there hasn’t been any rain. Some say Lima is gloomy in winter. But if you look closer, the city is having a party.

    Mistura is on.

  • The Corks Pop, and the War Is Declared

    Okay, you’ve got four sommeliers, 32 of the best Chilean wines and eight hours. We need you to build a Chilean-inspired wine bar, and be ready to serve over 500 people this evening.
    Oh, and this is a competition. There are three other teams with exactly the same assignment. Yes, it’s going to be challenging, but the reward is pretty sweet; LAN Airlines will fly the winning team in our Premium Business class for a once in a lifetime trip to Chile.
    Ready? Go!

  • We Made the Dean’s List

    LATAM Airlines Group, comprised of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines, was just named “The Best Airline for Students, Latin Market.” That’s according to StudentUniverse, the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth.

  • FODOR’S Is Fond of Our Premium Business Class

    The folks at Fodor’s know a bit about travel, so when they recently cited LAN as having one of the “6 Outstanding International Business-Class Experiences,” well, we felt pretty honored.

    But then, our Premium Business Class has been getting rave reviews from our passengers for years. And given the myriad amenities we offer, including our flights to South America, it’s easy to understand why.

    • Full-flat 180 degree reclining seats
    • Menu of regional cuisine created by Head Chef Hugo Pantano
    • Wine list curated by Hector Vergara, South America’s only Master Sommelier
    • Individual, 15.4-inch, high-resolution screens for onboard entertainment
    • Over 110 films, 40 TV programs, 1,300 CD’s and 20 games to choose from
    • Data posts compatible with tablets, cell phones, digital cameras and USB devices
    • Amenity kit with products from Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Meet the newest member of our family – The Boeing 787-9

    So when we heard Boeing was making a new 787, you know we had to get some. And now they’re here. The new 787-9 aircraft became a part of the LAN Airlines fleet back in April, and we’ll gradually roll them out across the fleet.

    For you, this means some welcome advances in in-flight comfort:
    • New air humidification techniques reduce feelings of dryness and fatigue by providing cleaner air
    • Windows with up to 40% greater surface area
    • Overhead luggage compartments 30% larger (!)
    • LED illumination and aerodynamics that provide for a smoother flight

  • Gretchen Bleiler:
    Protecting Winter… All Year Long

    Gretchen Bleiler is one of the most accomplished women in all of snowboarding. She’s an Olympic Silver Medalist; four-time X-Games Gold Medalist; two-time US Open Champion; World Cup Champion; World Superpipe Champion; Espy Award Winner and more. Gretchen lives in Aspen, and is on the Board of Directors of Protect Our Winters (POW), a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing climate change’s effects on snow-based sports and local mountain communities. As a part of the Peak Seasons promotion, LAN will be making a donation to POW.

  • Exploring an Outdoor Art Gallery in Buenos Aires

    Living in Buenos Aires is like living in an open-air art gallery where the exhibitions don’t change – they simply accumulate, slowly crowding the city walls with larger-than-life murals and bold stencils that seem to appear overnight. On a recent tour with Buenos Aires Street Art, our guide, Sophia, explains the phenomenon in the simplest terms: “It’s really easy to paint here,” she says. “It’s really easy to get a wall.”

  • Gretchen Bleiler: Crossing the Equator with a Snowboard

    Gretchen Bleiler is one of the most accomplished women in all of snowboarding. She’s an Olympic Silver Medalist; four-time X-Games Gold Medalist; two-time US Open Champion; World Cup Champion; World Superpipe Champion; Espy Award Winner and more. Gretchen lives in Aspen, and has ridden at Chile’s Valle Nevado numerous times, so who better to shed some insight on the two resorts featured in our Peak Seasons promotion?

  • LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines Opened the Largest VIP Lounge in South America!

    Skift.com couldn’t have said it better – our new VIP Lounge launched this April 2015 is a physical representation of the diverse cultures of our region, South America.

    Located on the 4th and 5th floors of the western sector of Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Chile, this space is much  more than just a VIP lounge. Here are some fun facts and main features of our sleek new space in SCL:

     

  • Photo: Spectacularly original rooftop show that uses the towering walls in Buenos Aires buildings

    A Breathtaking Rooftop Show in Buenos Aires

    If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss in Buenos Aires right now, it’s this. Al Ver Verás / Música Para Mirar (Music to Watch) is a spectacularly original rooftop show that uses the towering walls in Buenos Aires buildings as blank canvases on which to project images and animation set to live music performances and DJ-spun tracks. Hard to picture? That’s what I thought, too. But it’s magical: you just have to see it for yourself.

  • Take A Bite Out of the Big Apple in Brazil

    São Paulo is often called the New York City of South America, so it makes sense that there seems to be a restaurant trend in the last few years of well-known New York City restaurants opening up in São Paulo, many of those being their first foray into the international market. And why not? Both cities are worldwide gastronomic hubs; they share an eat-or-be-eaten lifestyle; and both cities never close. They might as well have dinner together, too.

    Here is our three favorite spots to take a bite out of the Big Apple in Brazil:

  • Elite Hotels of Santiago, Chile

    For years, Santiago had a reputation as a sleepier version of other cities on the continent, with adequate lodging offerings, but not much that really stood out. In recent years, that trend has reversed, and Santiago has several elite options, from traditional international chains, to fashion-forward boutique hotels. There’s something to fit nearly every upscale taste in Santiago.

  • A Quick Getaway to Uruguay: Colonia del Sacramento

    Though it’s just an hour away from Buenos Aires, you’ll need your passport to travel: Colonia del Sacramento, across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, is the gateway to Uruguay. Many travelers come to Argentina with intentions of visiting the historic riverside town, settled by the Portuguese in 1680. And they always ask the same questions — how, why, when, and what is there to do there? Without further adieu, let’s address these frequently asked questions.

  • The French Café Boom in Santiago

    Got an early morning in Santiago and want to start it off with flaky pastry, or some crusty bread? Or you’ve already had a hotel breakfast but walking around downtown Santiago and beyond has got you hankering for a mid-morning snack? The French are masters of pastry, and whether it’s a second breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, Santiago’s many French bakery/cafés have got you covered, from downtown, up through Bellas Artes, Providencia, in Las Condes and Vitacura. A croissant and a café au lait, or your drink of choice is never too far away at one of these French or French-inspired cafés.

  • Holy Week in Colombia

    The week before Easter Sunday, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is the biggest travel week in South America, with flight prices that rival Thanksgiving levels in the US or Christmas elsewhere. In Colombia, only Thursday and Friday are official national holidays, but schools, universities and many offices and businesses give students and employees the other three days off, allowing families to take the whole week of vacation.

    But if everyone goes on vacation, where do they go?

  • Photo: Embratur

    Charming Cobblestones: Brazil’s Sleepiest Colonial Towns

    The Portuguese left an indelible mark on Brazil when they finally got out of town in 1822. There are number of charming colonial towns built by the Portuguese throughout the country. These sleepy towns and villages, flush with whitewashed architecture accented by a kaleidoscopic array of flash and color, are the perfect spots to kickback with nothing to do but wander the stuck-in-time cobblestoned streets. No photographic skills necessary, these gems do all the work for you, around each and every turn a new postcard Brazilian moment.

    If you visit any of these sleepy Kodak-moment towns, you can impress the locals with your knowledge of the local vernacular. The word for “cobblestones” is one of the most entertaining words in Portuguese: Paralelepípedos.

    Good luck with that!

  • 4 Best Sunset Spots in Lima

    Lima can be a crazily hectic, incredibly busy city. When I want to reconnect with nature and have a few moments of peace, I head to the Pacific. For some reason, the sea always brings me solace.

    One of my favorite times to head there is just before dusk, when the ocean and the sun meet briefly to steal away a goodnight kiss.

    The way the sun sets the sky ablaze in fiery reds and oranges really is unparalleled. While you can catch this Pacific sunset anywhere along the 1,400 miles (2,250 km) of Peru’s pristine coastline, there’s something really special about Lima’s.

  • Photo: SubAstor1

    Beyond the Caipirinha: Meet Brazil’s Other Best Cocktail

    No doubt due to an insufferable hangover, most folks already know that Brazil’s national cocktail is the caipirinha, made from the national spirit, cachaça, along with sugar and fresh limes, but what else is there to drink?

    When you are ready to shake things up a bit, branch out and ask the bartender for Brazil’s next best cocktail, the Caju Amigo (Cashew Fruit Friend) – every bit as Brazilian as the caipirinha but not nearly as famous.

  • LAN Airlines and Easter Island: Our Unique Relationship with A Special Place

    Geography is destiny. For proof, look no further than Easter Island. It sits in blessed isolation, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, with nothing around it for over 1,000 miles. The closest continental point is in Chile, over 2,000 miles away.

    As one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, it has managed to preserve much of its aboriginal Rapa Nui culture. Its isolation, however, has also created some unique challenges, many of which LAN Airlines is helping to solve.

  • Hawaii of Peru: Family Fun and Adventures in Máncora

    For our neighbors to the north (Northern Hemisphere, that is), spring break is here and summer is just around the corner. For those hoping to get away for a little vacay, now is the perfect time to start planning it.

    One region that I recently discovered is Northern Peru. Its pristine beaches, endless outdoor activities and cuisine all its own make it a great getaway for the entire family. Plus, Northern Peru already serves as a playground for Peruvians, so the infrastructure for family-friendly activities and accommodations are already in place.

    Perhaps the most developed city to visit in Northern Peru is Máncora. Called the “Hawaii of Peru,” Máncora is one of Peru’s most popular beach towns. Consistently warm weather and clear skies mean vacationers flock here year-round.

  • Photo: Pudim de Leite

    Brazil’s Best Sweet Treats

    If you have a sweet tooth – you know who you are – than Brazil is going to knock you out. Some foreigners even complain that some of Brazil’s most beloved desserts are just too sweet but no self-respecting sugar addict would ever say such a blasphemous thing, now would they?

    Brazilian sweets come in all shapes and sizes and are available everywhere from the streets and beaches to padarias (bakeries) to dessert specialty cafes – you are never far from a sugar coma – and owe a debt to combined influences from Portugal (anything with eggs as the main ingredient!) to West Africa (certain pastries and the like).

    Here’s how to get your sugar high in Brazil!

  • Beyond the Boardroom: How to Get the Most out of a Business Trip to Peru

    Between shuttling from the plane to your hotel suite to the boardroom, more often than not, business travel is anything but a vacation. No matter how exotic the location, for businessmen and women, trips abroad often consist of back-to-back meetings sandwiched in between long flights.

    To break up the monotony and even get inspired, it’s important to stretch your legs, get a little fresh air and take in the culture of the places you are visiting.

    If you are coming to Peru for a business trip, chances are you will be stationed in the capital, Lima. This sprawling metropolis of nine million inhabitants provides the perfect opportunity to experience the city a few hours at a time. 

    Peru Pro Tip: Check out our guide to the Peruvian Power Lunch for tips on how to have a successful and memorable business lunch.

  • Paragliding through the Andes

    If you’re looking for somewhere to sprout wings, Colombia has the answer for you. Though not renowned as a center for extreme sports, the strong winds that spill over the country’s three Andean ranges make it an ideal location for paragliding pilots and enthusiasts alike. From Valle del Cauca in the southwest to Santander near the border with Venezuela, there are a number of quality takeoff points throughout the country – there’s even a great place to fly just outside of Bogotá!

  • Photo: Ben K

    5 Brazilian Beaches You Must Visit Before You Die

    Come to Brazil for a little fun in the sun? Well, you’re in luck. There’s 4654 miles of sun-toasted coastline for that. But therein lies the problem: How to choose? There are plenty of great beaches where tourists routinely go – Rio de Janeiro, Búzios, Salvador, Recife/Olinda, Fortaleza, etc – but these are urban destinations with urban beaches, so finding that postcard-perfect patch of paradise and having it all for you and yours just isn’t going to be in the cards.

    And while there probably aren’t too many places left at all in Brazil where you can have an entire beach to yourself (it’s not impossible mind you!), you can do a whole lot better than the crowded city beaches in Brazil’s most on-the-beaten-path destinations. Brazil’s best beaches are the ones that few people visit, either due to isolation or legislation.

    If you want to escape the crowds, the beach vendors, the wayward frescoballs and the surfers, keeping the sun and sand to pretty much yourself, look no further than these five, of all which you must see before you die (you and everybody else – just not at the same time!).

  • Photo: Ken Bosma

    How to Do Machu Picchu in 36 Hours

    In order to really take in everything Machu Picchu and the surrounding Cusco region have to offer – their Andean peaks, Inca ruins and seemingly endless adventure – you’d have to spend weeks in the area. While experiencing the ins and outs of the region is worth it, the truth is, most vacationers don’t have that kind of time. The good news is, a trip to Machu Picchu doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you are just passing through Peru on a business trip or a long layover, you can make it to Machu Picchu and back to Lima for your flight home in less time than it’ll take you to binge watch the first two seasons of “Friends.”

    Note: LAN has flexible flight times that can suit even the tightest of vacation plans. This is a mock itinerary meant to show you that Machu Picchu is a possible feat even on the shortest of time budgets. Feel free to copy it and change the times and activities to suit your needs.

  • Ice Cream Cravings in Colombia

    It may be frigid across most of the northern hemisphere, but it’s always ice cream weather in Colombia – which could explain why the locals are always hungry for ice cream. It’s possible to find delicious dairy treats on just about any street corner, though if you’re looking for something extra-special, you may want to check out one of Colombia’s several excellent chains. Rest assured, though, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with ice cream here.

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    Channelling Andy Warhol: Lima “Pops” with Two Temporary Modern Art Exhibits

    Walk down any street in Peru’s densely populated capital and you’re sure to become enveloped in this city of contrasts. Modern skyscrapers neighbour colonial mansions with Spanish tile roofs. Restaurants serving ancient Peruvian recipes like anticuchos also dish up new fusion-style cuisine. And museums abound, some with artifacts from another era, others with contemporary art from some of the 20th century’s most influential photographers.

    Such examples of this can be found in Barranco’s two art museums where haute couture fashion photographers’ work is currently on display in both permanent and temporary exhibitions. 

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Chegou in São Paulo: Now What?

    You’ve arrived in São Paulo and it doesn’t take long for you to realize that the options for getting yourself out of the airport are as dizzying and overwhelming as the city itself! But rest assured, that’s only because you probably aren’t familiar with GRU Airport and you probably don’t speak Portuguese. But calma, as Brazilians would say. We’re here for you.

    One notable pleasantry that differs significantly from the arrivals hall of other countries in South America is that in Brazil, you don’t have an army of unauthorized transport services screaming at you and tugging at your sleeves as you emerge from customs. You might have one or two folks ask you politely if you need a taxi, but it’s rare, less insistent and certainly less obnoxious than Spanish-speaking countries.

    Here are your options (from the costliest to the cheapest)!

  • Quirky Colombian Transportation

    Planes, trains and automobiles are old news, but what about Willys?

    Due to its historic isolation, varied terrain and natural barriers, Colombia has been forced to get creative over the decades when it comes to moving people and things around the country. Of course, there are plenty (some might even say too many) of trucks, cars, taxis and buses circulating throughout Colombia’s major cities, but what about the farmland that makes up the rest of the country? From the rivers of the Amazon to the rolling hills of the coffee region, there are still plenty of places in the country where people still get around in ways that make cars look boring.

  • Sunday Funday in Liberdade

    São Paulo’s Liberdade neighborhood is the epicenter of what is said to be the largest Japanese population outside Japan. Brazil is home to an estimated 1.5 million Japanese-Brazilians, many of them living right here in this bustling neighborhood 1km south of Centro, with a tad bit of Chinese and Korean sprinkled in for good measure (some of the city’s best Chinese restaurants are here and South Korea’s Melona honeydew melon-flavored popsicles are wildly popular in the streets as well).

  • Vendimia: The Wine Harvest Festival

    Vendimia is the wine harvest festival and associated activities in Chile (and Argentina) related to the harvest of the wine grapes, and is generally celebrated in Chile in March and April, though dates vary from year to year, and valley to valley. Celebrations include tastings, music, food, dance, contests, and much merriment. They’re a great way to spend a day, afternoon, evening, weekend or more, getting to try many wines for a reasonable price, and all in one place. Here are some spots you may want to check out for Vendimia events in 2015. 

  • Photo: Vichayito

    Happy Campers: Beachfront Glamping in Máncora

    This may come across as a bit of a surprise, but I am not a camping kind of gal. While the idea of sleeping in a tent beneath the stars intrigues me, the idea of sleeping in a tent beneath the stars also terrifies me. You see, even though I’m an adventurer at heart – I like to surf and white water raft and mountain climb as much as the next adrenaline seeker – I much prefer to come home to running water, flushing toilets, and a plush mattress draped in luxurious linens when the adventure is over.

    That’s why when I heard about glamping in Máncora, a beach town on Peru’s northern coast, I jumped at the opportunity.

  • Rafting in Chile

    Starting in about October and November, the Andean snowpack in Chile starts to melt, increasing water flow to the country’s many rivers. By December, they are in full force, and, not coincidentally, that is when some of Chile’s best river rafting starts. There are four main places where river rafting takes place in this long, skinny country, and below are details of each, what to expect, and how long to plan for. 

  • Photo: Riotur

    Carnival is Coming! But What the Heck Is it?

    It’s that time of year again – the World’s Largest Catholic Party!

    The official Carnival dates for 2015 are February 13-17 and no South American nation does Carnival better than Brazil (no offense, Barranquilla!). Whether you are with the millions crowded into the beaches and blocos in Rio de Janeiro or celebrating small-time on island paradises like Fernando de Noronha, Brazil has a Carnival for you. And even in places that don’t care much for Carnival (German-settled Blumenau in Santa Cantarina, for example), you still get a multi-day holiday where nothing much else happens other than drinking. But for the uninitiated, what exactly is it?

  • Buenos Aires From Above: Galería Güemes

    I’ve been trying to get up to the top floor of Galería Güemes for some time now. That’s because the century-old building, located on Florida street in downtown Buenos Aires, offers the chance to explore three of my personal interests: wandering around inside glamorous art nouveau landmarks, staring down at cityscapes from unusual viewpoints, and creeping around the one-time stomping grounds of great writers.

  • Photo: Elena

    A Sip of Summer: The 5 Must-Try Drinks in Peru

    Limonada Clasica

    On a hot summer day, few drinks replenish your body quite like an ice-cold limonada. Made from water, sugar and Peruvian limes, this tart beverage will quench your thirst and cool you off like none other. The best part about the limonada is that most restaurants make it to order, so you can get more or less sugar depending on your sweet tooth.

  • A Hike (or Not) Up Monserrate

    Ask any Bogotá native what you should do in the city, and one of the first words out of his or her mouth will doubtless be “Monserrate.” Along with the famed Gold Museum, this mountain is one of the absolute musts on a Bogotá visitor’s to-do list, and you’ll never be forgiven if you leave the capital without making the mandatory pilgrimage to the famous peak.

    So what’s the big deal about some mountain, anyway?

  • 3 Neighborhoods for Shopping in Santiago

    One of the fun things about visiting a new city is finding something perfect to bring back with you that reminds you of where you’ve been. Maybe it’s something small, like jewelry, something you forgot to pack, like a sun hat or an exquisitely woven or knitted sweater, or something you thought you’d never buy, like an antique milk bottle, scale or even a chandelier.

    Santiago has a neighborhood for everything, and in fact, souvenirs aside, much of the commerce in the city is arranged in zones, where certain streets have certain items, such as Bandera for used clothes, 10 de julio for car parts, and San Diego for bicycles. And while you might not need any of the above items as souvenirs from your trip to Santiago, the following three neighborhoods might yield something more memorable or useful. And if not, or you’re just not a souvenir person, all three are also pleasant places to stroll.

  • Photo: Mocoto

    A Trip to Mocotó

    It came as no surprise to anyone that 34-year-old Rodrigo Oliveira from São Paulo’s Mocotó restaurant was named Chef of the Year in Veja‘s annual Comer & Beber issue for 2014-15, a bit of a gastronomic Bible for foodies in the city. The guy is humble, immediately likable, soft-spoken, good-looking, mild-mannered and knows his way around a kitchen. But what he has pulled off at Mocotó, and the more upscale Esquina Mocotó next door (which took home honors for Best Brazilian Restaurant, incidentally), is truly remarkable. 

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    10 Tips of Taking Taxis in Lima (The Airport Edition)

    When I travel in my native U.S.A., I know exactly what to do to get from point A (usually the airport) to point B (usually my hotel). I always have a friend or family member pick me up, rent a car or take a cab. Little preparation needs to be made prior to my trip because the process is straightforward in the states. Plus, even if it isn’t, everyone speaks my language, so I can easily ask for help should I need it.

    Traveling abroad, however, is a different story. It always gives me a bit of anxiety. Will there be cabs waiting for me? How will I know which one to take? How do I give the driver directions? How do I make sure they charge me the right amount?

  • Colombia’s Hidden Coffee Gems

    Colombia’s famous Eje Cafetero (Coffee Axis) has earned UNESCO recognition and is generally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful regions in the country. However, it isn’t necessary to go all the way out to the provinces of Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío to find quality Colombian coffee. Though they don’t get the same amount of attention (or visitors), there are plenty of other excellent fincas (coffee plantations) and production centers from the Caribbean coast all the way down to the Ecuadorean border. If you don’t have time to make the trek out to the Eje Cafetero, here are some of the other places in the country to get your coffee fix:

  • Photo: LWYang

    3 Ways to Cool Off in a Santiago Summer

    Visiting the southern hemisphere in December, January and February is a great way to get away from the colder temperatures (and snow) back home up in the United States. And while Patagonia generally has cool temperatures, and the coast is breezy and cool much of the year, it can get pretty warm in Santiago. Here are a few ways to cool off if the change proves to be a bit more than you expected.

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    Ají Peppers: The Secret is in the Sauce

    It´s no secret: Peru is all the rage and Peruvian food, which is quite literally on the tip of everyone´s tongues, has taken center stage. What sets the nation´s dishes apart from the rest of the world is as much the preparation as it is the fresh ingredients. After all, without this special combination, lomo saltado is nothing more than steak and potatoes. One ingredient that really brings even the simplest foods to life is ají, a type of chili pepper endlessly used in everything from chifa to ceviche. It´s been used as long as people have been cooking in the country currently known as Peru (we´re talking about 7,000 years), so the trial by fire (pun intended) period is over. Peruvians have the ají, and how to use it, down to a science.

  • Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula

    The wild northern Guajira peninsula is one of the most underdeveloped – and stunningly pristine – parts of Colombia. Tourism is still relatively new in most parts of La Guajira, and visiting requires a certain amount of patience and willingness to try unusual forms of transportation. If you can make it work, though, you’ll be rewarded with a totally unique experience in the northernmost part of South America, where the desert meets the Caribbean and indigenous culture is the law of the land.

  • Photo: BruceW.

    4 Ways to Enjoy the Trip up Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago

    Cerro San Cristobal, the large hill that overlooks much of Santiago, Chile, is many things to many people. It’s a spot for religious pilgrimage, visiting the 22-meter marble statue of Mary atop the hill, or the small chapel nearby. It’s a proving ground for cyclists and runners, who use the hill’s smooth asphalt to train. And it’s a spot for family outings and photo-ops, atop the hill at Plaza Tupahue, where several vendors sell mote con huesillo, a local (nonalcoholic) drink made of reconstituted peaches and wheat kernels.

    How you get up the 300-meter hill is up to you. If you’ve got a bit of time and energy, maybe you’d like to walk. A little less time but more energy, maybe a bike rental is for you. Or if not, there are a couple of motorized options listed below.

  • Photo: Troy Tolley, RPP and Toshiyuki IMAI (left to right)

    Cheers to National Chilcano Week

    Argentina and Chile are world-renowned for their wine. In Brazil cachaça, made from sugarcane, is king. For Colombia, the liquor of choice is an anise-flavored aguardiente. And in Peru, our national trago is a grape-derived brandy called pisco.

    Peruvians often add a little local flair to traditional cocktails by holding the rum (in say a mojito) or forgoing the tequila (in a margarita), opting instead for a pour of pisco. And while this Peruvianizes just about any drink, it’s not nearly as authentic as one of Peru’s favorite cocktails, the chilcano.

  • Photo: Avodrocc

    Activities for Families With Kids in Santiago

    Bringing your kids traveling is a great opportunity to spend some family time together. With schedules changed, the family in (usually) closer proximity, and favorite pastimes left at home, it’s the perfect time to explore the food and culture of a whole new place. And when that place is Santiago, Chile, there are many choices that are great for families. If you want to be nearly assured of a good day, make sure to pack in some kid-specific activities like those listed below.

  • What to do in January: Buenos Aires

    Lots of travelers plan trips to Argentina in January – a few weeks that happen to be the hottest (and quietest) of the year in Buenos Aires. But there are benefits to spending a few days in the capital city this month: since many locals are away on vacation, there’s lighter traffic and shorter wait times at popular restaurants. Here, a few ideas of where to go and what to do in January to take advantage of an emptier-than-usual city.

  • Terra’s Top Travel Resolutions for 2015

    January — it’s a month of new beginnings, a time when people vow to better their lifestyles, kick a bad habit to the curb and become more productive. The problem with these New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely stick. Busy lives get in the way or people discover that their goals were a bit too lofty. Whatever the reason, many people fail at resolving their resolutions.

    That’s why this year, I vowed to make my resolution one I can look forward to beforehand, enjoy while I’m actually doing it, and look back on with fond memories. My resolution is to see more of Peru and I am inviting you, dear Only in South America readers, to join me.

  • Photo: n.karim

    A Neighborhood Guide to Cartagena

    Photogenic Cartagena is practically a mandatory stop for first-time visitors to Colombia, yet many people never venture beyond the walls that once marked the limits of the old city, except perhaps to explore the beaches on Isla Barú or the Rosario Islands. Though there’s enough to do in the walled section to fill a weekend, the city itself doesn’t end there, and it’s worth exploring other areas as well, or at least knowing what they’re called. Here’s a handy neighborhood guide to get oriented in Colombia’s biggest coastal tourist destination.

  • Salsa, Salsa, Salsa at the Feria de Cali

    December is a big deal in Colombia, and not only because of the Christmas season or because everyone is on vacation. The end of the year also brings the Feria de Cali, a multi-day salsa extravaganza (salsastravaganza?) that packs the streets of this southwestern city with parades and dancers of all levels. People practice for months to show off their best moves, so prepare to be blown away by some of the country’s most talented dancers and a city that really knows how to party.

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Weekend Getaway: Fortaleza

    The Northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, like Bahia to the southeast, is one of the country’s dreamy states: Endless summers, endless beaches, bottomless cocktails and bottomless sunsets, all nicely packaged by a laid-back population that subscribes 24/7 to the tropical lifestyle. The capital, Fortaleza, is jumping off point for some of Brazil’s most cinematic beach destinations – Jericoacoara, Canoa Quebrada – but it’s no flyby travel hub. Fortaleza offers plenty of worthwhile recreational distractions with the added bonus of big city infrastructure (population: 3.6 million) – and a beautiful bronzed population at that!

  • Photo: Gisela Giardino

    How to Volunteer in Peru

    Traveling to the corners of the world has given me so much. Perspective, compassion, adventure, insight and knowledge are just a few of the traits I’ve brought home with me after exploring sights and places previously unknown. Journeying through Peru is no different.

    This country, so full of rich treasures, provides travelers with an unparalleled experience: the Amazon, with its densely verdant landscape and diverse ecosystem; the Andes, which took millions of years to form and now wind through seven South American nations; and the coast, complete with butter-soft sand and breathtaking views. Pair Peru’s natural wonders with its complex history and booming future and you’ve got a nation that gives travelers more in one visit than they could have ever dreamed of.

  • The Fruits of Chilean Summer

    One of the joys of traveling is trying out local tastes and traditions. Chile has many main dishes and drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic that are part and parcel of summer. For example, the stewy potage of porotos granados, with corn, squash and beans is typical of summer, as those ingredients come in to season. Mote con huesillo, the sweet peach punch with wheat kernels and reconstituted, dried peaches, and cola de mono, a sweet café-con-leche concoction made with pisco are also popular at this time of year. But if you want to get a little more basic, head to the markets (or supermarket) and check out some of the fruit that comes into season as if to remind us that the long days of summer are just ahead. 

  • Photo: Ulrich Peters

    Brazil’s Top 5 Urban Markets

    From the bustling souks of Morocco to the sophisticated Ferry Building in San Francisco, urban markets are always a requisite stop on the tourist trail. There’s something so overwhelming about all the sights, sounds and smells of a foreign land’s shopping and Brazil is no exception. Some of South America’s biggest and best markets are here, ready to assault your senses with a kaleidoscopic cornucopia of everything from exotic tropical fruits to regional handicrafts. Here are my five favorite!

  • Cartagena Re-writes Itself

    By Carlos Serrano, in Magazine
    Photos by: Alvaro Delgado

    With a cool, new vibe that has earned it the nickname “JetSetManí,” this neighborhood represents the best and most cosmopolitan aspects of the city where Gabriel García Márquez wrote some of his most memorable stories.

  • Buenos Aires for Francophiles

    Paris is almost seven thousand miles away from Buenos Aires. But French cultural roots run surprisingly deep in Argentina. That’s because, after Spanish and Italians, French make up the third largest ancestral group in the country: according to the official records, around 261,000 French people immigrated to Argentina between 1857 and 1946. (One of the most notable? A two-year-old boy named Charles Gardes, who left France with his mother in 1893 – later known as Carlos Gardel, the greatest tango legend of all time.)

  • Photo: ChristmasStockImages.com

    The Perfect Peruvian New Year’s Party

    New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching, which means if you’re coming to Peru for the festivities, you should start making plans for how you’ll say goodbye to 2014 and ring in 2015 now.

    The epicenters for New Year’s Eve celebrations in Peru are Lima and Cusco, though parties and festivals go down in every city throughout the Andean nation. For a no-frills celebration, reach out to your hostel or hotel to ask what it has planned. Depending on the property, you can expect everything from a simple champagne toast at midnight to a raging party that continues into the wee hours of the morning.

    If hitting the bars and clubs is more your thing, keep reading. 

  • Three Lunchtime Market Options in Santiago, Chile

    One of the main reasons we travel is to try foods from other countries. Coincidentally, all that sight seeing, museum hopping, checking out parks, long walks, photography tours and all the rest can leave you hungry as well. The main meal in Chile is often eaten at lunchtime, and there’s no better place than the few blocks surrounding the Cal y Canto Metro/Estación Mapocho in Santiago to see what’s on people’s plates come noon (or two, the preferred lunchtime). If you’re feeling peckish, here are three markets, all within a few blocks of each other for you to try.

  • How To Add a Peruvian Twist to Any Holiday Meal

    It’s that time of year again. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (Nov. 27), Hanukkah (Dec. 16-24), Yule (Dec. 21), Nochebuena (Dec. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25), Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1) or something else entirely, chances are sometime within the next month, you, your family and your friends will gather ’round the dinner table to express your blessings and share a meal together. And while tradition – I’m talking foods like turkey to latkes and everything in between – is nice, sometimes it’s worth spicing up the holiday spread. 

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Pop-Up Pizza in Rio de Janeiro

    São Paulo has always been Brazil’s pizza city; in fact, it ranks right up there with New York, New Haven, Naples or any other of the world’s best places for a little dough, tomato sauce and cheese. Rio de Janeiro, on the other hand, is not a pizza city. Not at all. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great pizza.

  • Chile Picante Restaurant: A Surprise in Puerto Montt

    Puerto Montt, one of the most important ports in Chile, has a gorgeous coastline, and great access to both the lakes region and journeys through the fjords of Chile as well as the large island of Chiloé. As a port town, it’s mainly a workhorse for Chile, and you can see this reflected in some of the industrial areas, and even in the food offerings. Food is cooked traditionally (and plentifully), especially in the market area of Angelmó, where a set of restaurants on stilts lays down giant plates of fried reineta (pomfret), steaming bowls of caldillo de congrio (conger eel soup), and other Chilean specialties. But what might surprise you is that Puerto Montt also has a restaurant for those looking for a more delicate touch, foodies in search of what’s cool and new and traditional all at the same time. 

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    A Chocolate Factory in Peru that Would Make Willy Wonka Proud

    It’s been 50 years since Roald Dahl penned the story of the penniless Charlie Bucket getting his hands on the winning chocolate bar in his 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The golden ticket, which was tucked inside the chocolate bar, gave Charlie and four other kids access to a world most children can only dream of – chocolate rivers surrounded by “eatable marshmallow pillows, likable wallpaper […], hot ice creams for cold days, cows that give chocolate milk, fizzy lifting drinks [and] square sweets that look round.”

    That book, which Hollywood later turned into two movies has inspired anyone with a sweet tooth to dream big. That’s why I decided I had to celebrate Dahl’s semi-centennial with a trip to Peru’s very own chocolate factory – the ChocoMuseo.

  • Photo: ruggin

    Five Stunning Views in Chilean Patagonia

    Patagonia is an area extending down from about the Lakes Region in Chile (and Argentina) to the southernmost reaches of the continent. Most visits to Chilean Patagonia include a little bit of the Lakes Region (near Puerto Varas), and then a flight much further south to the area near Puerto Natales. From streaky sunrises to fiery sunsets, and all the hues of daytime blue from glaciers and lakes, it’s no surprise that the area packs a photographic punch. Here are some stunning views you can catch in Patagonia, though of course, there are many more spots to photograph and pick as your own favorite.

  • Photo: Linda Paul

    The Boleto Turístico: Everything You Need to Know About Peru’s Tourist Ticket

    Even before Peru became a nation, Cusco was an important city. Five centuries ago, it was the heart of the Incas. During its prime, the Incas used Cusco as the capital of their ever-growing empire and actually viewed it as more important than Machu Picchu. It is where the Spanish established their power which lead to the decline in the Inca empire and the rise of Spanish control over Peru. Nowadays, Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place that nearly two million visitors embark on each year.

    For these reasons Cusco, and the surrounding area known as el Valle Sagrado, contain a wealth of history, museums and archaeological sites. 

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