Insider Blog

Filter By Month: November 2012
  • Salta: Argentina’s Red-Rock Capital

    Founded in 1582 by Spanish conquistadors, Salta is one of the oldest remaining settlements in all of Argentina. The city’s rich history is evident on nearly every corner, from the Pepto-Bismol pink, 19th-century Catedral Basílica de Salta in the main plaza, to the rows of colonial houses fanning out beyond.

  • Photo: Quito Tourism Office

    Get Ready for Fiestas de Quito

    Though already marked by controversy with the canceling of Quito’s quintessential act of celebration, the bullfights, this year’s “Fiestas de Quito” will still have more than 450 events held during the next three weeks for residents and visitors alike.

    Fiestas de Quito is the capital city’s celebration to honor its founding, officially marked as December 6, 1534 when 204 Spanish conquerors entered the city where the Spanish would remain for three centuries during their colonial reign. Though the Spanish many years ago, their influence has remained to the present day. Though the diminishing cultural spectacle of the “toros” would seem a significant blow to the city, ever since the 1960s Quito’s annual celebration has grown in ways previously unimaginable.

  • Alternative Tours in Cusco

    If you are the type of traveler that likes to travel off the beaten path, here are some alternative tours in Cusco for you to explore.

    Land of the Yachaqs

    Yachaqs means Wise in Quechua, the language of the Incas. Less than two hours away from Cusco, in the Sacred Valley, there are communities that carry on the wisdom and way of life of Incan ancestors. You can visit eight of the many communities in the area and experience their traditions, agricultural and artisan techniques.

  • The Rooftop of the Andes: Cerro Aconcagua

    Looming over the picturesque vineyards of Mendoza in northwest Argentina, Cerro Aconcagua tops out at 22,841 feet. That makes it the tallest mountain in the world outside of Asia, bigger than Mount McKinley or Kilimanjaro. Only the Himalaya are higher. Best of all, Aconcagua is an easy day trip outside the wine-region hub of Mendoza.

  • Photo: Tourism Office of Guayaquil

    The Big Deal About Chocolate

    The old history of chocolate is the story of how people forgot where it came from. The recent history is about re-discovering its origins.

    What you should know if you visit Ecuador is that, although this country does not produce an especially large amount of cocoa, it does produce the greatest volume of fine or flavor beans in the world.

  • 24 hours in Lima

    Lima is a huge city with a population of almost 9 million “Limeños”. As in any big city there are interesting things happening all around. But where to go if you have a free day? Don’t worry, I will give you recommendations on culture, gastronomy, and nature that you can enjoy walking or by bike.

  • Photo: Peter Meier

    Ecuador Birding

    For many, birding is a numbers game. All serious birders keep a list, referred to as the Life List, which is the complete list of bird species seen (and documented) during a lifetime. Realistically, how many birds can you see before you die? Assuming you never left your own country, Ecuadorians could probably see twice as many as U.S. citizens.

  • Argentina’s Icy World Wonder

    Covering more than 97 square miles—about the size of 50 U.S. football fields—Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most incredible sights in all of South America. But what makes seeing this massive spectacle in person so thrilling is that the ice does not stand still. Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers on Earth that is advancing, not retreating.

  • Photo: Hansel & Gretel Bakery

    Guaguas de Pan

    When the Spanish arrived to South America they discovered what they considered to be an eerie tradition among the native inhabitants. Once every year throughout the sierra and coastal regions the indigenous people would remove the bodies of their loved ones from their burial tombs for a procession and celebration.

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