Insider Blog

 
  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    The View from Rio De Janeiro: Previewing the World’s Biggest Football Tournament Finale

    It seems like only yesterday that Brazil defeated Croatia to kick off the world’s biggest football tournament and greatest month of nationalistic sport way back on June 12. Where did the time go? Brazil has proved itself a worthy host over the course of the last four weeks, putting to bed all of the pre-tournament panic that dominated news headlines for the two years leading up to this moment: The stadiums were gorgeous, the travel infrastructure didn’t collapse (in fact, it was efficiently glorious!) and the protests drifted off with a whimper after the tournament’s first week.

  • Top 5 Haciendas in the Andes

    This is just my humble intent of trying to single out the best mountain haciendas in the country, which is not an easy task. There are just too many high-quality accommodations in rural Ecuador to name such a few. Haciendas, colonial estates that would also flourish during the early Republican era in Ecuador, were basically enormous farms owned by wealthy families. As the industrial revolution helped create modern cities and left agricultural livelihoods behind, many of these haciendas lost their purpose; today, some have become first-rate tourism ventures instead, beautiful places to stay with excellent accommodations, reflecting a deep history and offering dreamy Andean landscapes to savor.

  • Worth a Thousand Words: Tips and Tricks to Get the Perfect Shots

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos travelers take on their adventures through Peru are enough to fill the pages of many a novel. While we will undoubtedly remember their four-day trek to Machu Picchu, over time the details - like how the scenery looked under the cloudless, bright blue sky - can be forgotten. Thankfully photos take us back to those moments in time that might otherwise be lost.

    That’s why I recently sat with wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer of Rainforest Expeditions. He and his team not only take curious travelers to the Amazon, they also provide high-end equipment and training to travelers eager to learn how to snap shots like a pro. After all, pictures are one of the best souvenirs to bring home with you – why not have the best ones possible?

  • Cabo de la Vela: Cape of Kites

    Nestled on the western side of the Guajira peninsula, a remote spit of desert split between Colombia and Venezuela that juts out into the Caribbean, the pocket-sized town of Cabo de la Vela has quietly become a major eco-tourism destination – for those daring enough to brave the trip to try to find it. A two-hour drive from the nearest highway, Cabo de la Vela is the definition of “off the beaten path,” a tiny fishing village with a few houses and restaurants, a nearby lighthouse and some of the most beautiful water on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

  • Photo: Kevin Raub

    Weekend Getaway: Búzios

    French bombshell Brigitte Bardot didn’t discover Armação dos Búzios (Búzios for short) but when she decided in 1964, at the top of her fame, to hide away in this small, unknown fishing village north of Rio de Janeiro for three months, she helped the world discover Búzios. The timeline of this gorgeous Brazilian beach resort, home to 23 some-odd beaches, each more perfect than the next, can be divided in two parts: B.B (Before Bardot) and A.B (After Bardot).

  • 3 Winter Soups to Try in Chile

    Winter is upon us in Chile, and that means cooler temperatures, with more humidity, and the ever-present snow capped Andes on clear, sunshiny days. And with those cool temperatures come all the ways in which humans like to keep warm. We’ve got layers, and scarves, woolen gloves, hats and scarves. But perhaps the most warming thing of all is a nice bowl of hot soup.

    Chile has many soups to call its own, and though they are popular year-round, this is a particularly good time of year to order some cazuela, a caldillo, paila marina or mariscal.

  • Off the Street and into the Gallery

    In a city known for its vibrant, rapidly evolving urban art scene – picture garage doors enlivened with splashy color, tall buildings covered in dreamy murals, brick walls tattooed with politically charged stencils – graffiti is no longer relegated the outdoors. The street art enthusiasts behind Graffitimundo have opened UNION, a new gallery and project space dedicated to exhibiting the work of prominent urban artists in Buenos Aires and beyond.

  • Tigua Art: Artist Julio Toaquiza

    You’ll find Tigua Art everywhere in Ecuador. It’s a staple of artisanal markets, craft stores and souvenir shops. But, what is Tigua? The word could come to mean a style of quintessentially Ecuadorian naïve painting, at least that is what most people equate it to today: strikingly colorful landscapes with hills and mountains, rural farmland, patchwork valleys, straw huts, maize fields, an occasional snow-peak (namely Cotopaxi) and Andean regulars such as the Condor, the Llama, the Masked Dancer, the Potato Picker, the sheep, the poncho-clad farmers …

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