We’ve hand-selected a group of local experts – one from each of our top six destinations – who have the answers to your questions and loads of insider advice to share. So ask away!
When it comes to Argentina, Andrea has the answers. While stylish Buenos Aires is her home base, she’s trekked through Patagonia, ridden with gauchos, sipped wine in Mendoza… and everything in between.
Since moving to Santiago eight years ago, Eileen has sat with huasos at a rodeo in Futaleúfu, eaten chancho en piedra near the river in Talca and bought olives in Punta de Choros. As a travel writer, she dispenses advice for a living, so feel free to ask a question!
Favorite beach town: Pichilemu
Best hiking near Santiago: Parque Mahuida, or Aguas de San Ramón
Favorite spot for lunch in the Vega Chica: Tía Ruth’s
Best place to buy souvenirs in Santiago: Pueblo Los Dominicos
A Lima native, Karina eats Peruvian adventure for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A travel guide in the Amazon and elsewhere, she loves helping people discover and appreciate what makes Peru, Peru.
Favorite Amazonian flower: lobster claw (heliconia rostrata)
Favorite type of ceviche: sea urchin
Favorite place to surf: Los Organos
Co-author of Lonely Planet’s Brazil guide and coordinating author of the Brazil section of South America on a Shoestring guide, Kevin has–not surprisingly–traveled extensively across Brazil. He learned to dive in Fernando de Noronha, sought after the perfect moqueca from Espírito Santo to Bahia and swam with pink dolphins in the Amazon.
Favorite São Paulo Restaurant: Maní
Favorite Beach: Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha
Favorite Bar Snack: Coxinhas at Bar Veloso, São Paulo
Favorite Ecotourism Destination: Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul
Lance Andrew Brashear
Having lived in Quito since 2003, Lance knows Ecuador inside and out, from the jungle to the coast to the Galapagos. When he’s not out there exploring, he’s relishing the joy of being a husband and dad.
Favorite place to get lost: Quito historical district
Favorite museum: City Museum in old town
Favorite Galapagos animal: Blue-footed boobie
This Boston-raised and Chicago-educated journalist never felt so at home as she does in Bogotá. In just over a year, Natalie swam in the jewel-blue Caribbean near Santa Marta, chowed on ceviche in Cartagena, hiked through misty wax palms in Salento, ogled dinosaur fossils in Villa de Leyva and danced salsa into the wee hours in Cali.
Favorite food: Ajíaco
Favorite coffee shop: Juan Valdez Café
Favorite hidden gem: José Celestino Mutis Jardín Botánico in Bogotá
Favorite place to spend all my money: Usaquén Sunday market
Most Popular Questions
Hi Colleen! If you’re interested in dinosaurs or archaeology, the Ischigualasto Provincial Park is definitely worth a few days of your time. The UNESCO World Heritage Site looks like a rugged moonscape—in fact, it’s often called Valle de la Luna (or Valley of the Moon)—and is the site of discovery for some of the oldest-known dinosaur remains. It is also the only place on Earth where nearly all of the Triassic period is represented in the ground. You’ll notice the unique rock-deposit colors in clay formations; they look like tall sculptures standing in file along the ground. The simplest way to visit the park is to either rent a car or take a guided tour. The closest Argentine city to the park is actually San Juan, which sits about 98 miles north of Mendoza. You can rent a car in Mendoza and drive up to San Juan, continue north to the town of San Agustín, and then take the newly-paved routes 510 and 150 to access the park. Once inside, you’ll be able to explore the park’s 25-mile-long Circuito Vehicular, a paved loop that encompasses the heart of the park. From Mendoza, you could visit the park as one long day trip. Another option is to go guided. San Agustín’s Paula Tour and Turismo Veza both offer tours to Ischigualasto Provincial Park. Have a great trip!
Navi. In December I drove to Cuenca from Quito. It’s a long drive and I stayed overnight in Riobamba, which is about half way. The roads are fairly decent, though between Riobamba and Cuenca there is a portion that can be very foggy. Driving in Ecuador requires vigilance. Some people would not be comfortable doing it, in which case the only alternative is for someone else to drive you. Buses are cheap, but they take a long time and you never know what you get in terms of the driver. Many do not have a sense of personal or public safety, but most get to and from in one piece. And it is far more inexpensive than renting a car. A good compromise could be a personal taxi or chauffer service that may be able to take you. I cannot recommend one, unfortunately, as many are informal services. You should consider these options based on who your travel companions are. If you are alone, a bus might be the best way to go for safety reasons. If you want to rent a car, the typical international agencies (Hertz, Budget, Avis) are available at the airport, but other local options exist as well. Costs vary, but they are comparable to U.S. prices, perhaps a little cheaper, but not a lot.
Colombian clothing varies a lot based on the region and weather. In the Caribbean, people wear lighter clothing and sandals, since it’s so hot. They also tend to wear a lot of bright colors. Bogotá and the central part of the country is much more conservative, and many people in the city dress quite formally for work. In cities like Medellin and Cali you’ll see a lot of tight clothing, especially on women, as they like to show off the results of their plastic surgery. Outside of the city, many people dress simply, as most of them work on farm or doing other manual labor. Women across the country often wear heels, and you’ll almost never see men in shorts or open-toed shoes, even on the coast. The only men wearing shorts here are tourists. People like to get dressed up to go out, especially in the fancy sections of the major cities. Each region also has its own style of hats, which are popular particularly among men. The truth though, is that it varies wildly according to the region, so you’re best off doing a bit of research into that particular part of the country if you’re worried about your clothes fitting in.
Hi Barb. I assume you are referring to 2013 Campeonato Carioca final? It will be held at Estádio Raulino de Oliveira in Volta Redondo, which is about 125km inland from the city of Rio.