Insider Blog

 
  • Tea Time in Bogotá

    Colombia’s most famous caffeinated beverage may come from beans, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing around for the tea-lovers out there (the sheer number of British expats living in the country should reassure anyone with concerns on the matter). Though tea isn’t literally growing out the ground like coffee, there are a number of cafes and shops dedicated to the fine art of producing a great cup of tea – if you want the leaves read, though, you’ll probably have to go elsewhere.

    With its chilly Andean climate and international influence, Bogotá is one of the best places in the country to find a quality cup or two. So if you find yourself without much to do on a rainy Bogotá afternoon, grab a good book (or your iPad) and head to one of these steamy spots.

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    Andean Weavers: The Thread that Ties Peru’s Past to the Present

    While Cusco has become a cosmopolitan hub – one that overflows with jet setting travelers, luxe hotels and restaurants owned by renowned chefs – the mountainside that surrounds the former Inca capital tells a completely different story. There, life has changed very little during the last several centuries. Villagers still live off of the land, growing and raising nearly everything they eat. And, men and women still shepherd their sheep, llama and alpaca through verdant fields, cook meals over an open flame and participate in a tradition as old as the civilizations that make up Peru – Andean weaving.

  • Photo: garchauro

    Where to Find Wi-Fi in Santiago

    Now that many of us carry smartphones in our pockets, those multi-functional cameras/voice recorders/GPS devices, it’s easy to grow accustomed to the convenience. When you’re on the road, it can be a bit trickier if you don’t have a local SIM card, or if your phone is not compatible with the local system, especially if you want to avoid data charges. The most elegant and inexpensive solution in Santiago, Chile is to disable roaming, and seek out free WiFi in this capital city. WiFi is often available, in some places you’d expect, and some places you probably wouldn’t. You’ll probably find more free WiFi in Santiago than you will in your home city.

  • Wine Country in the Big City

    In winter, it’s quiet in Mendoza – temperatures drop, winemakers focus on protecting their grapes from occasional snowfall, visitors pass through on their way to ski resorts in the Andes. It’s the perfect moment for the region’s culinary talents to escape for a few weeks and bring their olive oil and Bonarda to the tables of Buenos Aires.

    Case in point: Zuccardi at the Palacio Duhau. Starting this week and extending through August 24th, a pair of creative young chefs – one from Familia Zuccardi’s Casa del Visitante in Mendoza, the other of the elegant Gioia restaurant at the Palacio Duhau–Park Hyatt, perhaps the grandest hotel in Buenos Aires – team up to present a special four-course menu with wine pairings.

  • A week in Guayaquil?

    I say no problem! Since the early 1980s, and maybe even before, it was common knowledge that one could only really last a day or two in Guayaquil. Just as people were heading to tiny Ecuador ‘for tourism’, thanks to the hype of the Galápagos Islands, Guayaquil could barely reap the benefits. All that changed recently when the Malecón, the city’s riverside park was revamped, but still, after you’d seen that… then what? Could you last more than two days? What would I do if I were six days in Guayaquil?

  • Photo: Terra Hall

    Shopping for Souvenirs in Peru

    Perdoname,” I said, interrupting a shopkeeper organizing miniature versions of Machu Picchu. “Tiene La Ultima Cena con el cuy.” He didn’t, so, I exited what must’ve been the twentieth store I asked, sighing, “Oh well. On to the 21st.”

    I did finally hunt down the Cusqueñan version of the Last Supper painting my mother requested and now has framed in her living room, but it wasn’t without my fair share of begging, asking, demanding, searching and, of course, haggling.

  • Top 5 Places: Ceviche in Cartagena

    Though ceviche originated (and may have been perfected, depending on who you ask) in Peru, Colombia’s Atlantic coast has put its own distinctive spin on it – camarones en salsa rosada, anyone?

    Cartagena’s diverse and excellent food scene has the challenge of trying to cater to locals and international tourists alike, which has led restaurants to try to outdo each other when it comes to this coastal favorite. Each place – and each resident — has an individual interpretation of what makes a good ceviche, and the possibilities, from Asian fusion to traditional corvina, are almost as colorful as the city’s famous architecture. These are some of the best places in the city to go to get a taste of the full spectrum of flavors.

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