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  • 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.

  • 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: 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!

  • 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: 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.

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