Getting a massage after six hours of walking, arriving at the campsite with an amazing view of the mountains, taking a hot shower followed by a delightful dinner made out of local ingredients and falling asleep on a comfortable feather pillow. Believe me, this is how you want to trek the Andes! READ MORE
It is one of the reason travelers migrate to Mexico and Cuzco: the stamp of times past in the ruins of civilizations long gone.
The dominant civilizations of the Americas have left legacies that are the source of hundreds of thousands of visits every year. The Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza and the mystical remains at Maccu Pichu are almost unmatched in their majesty. But the Incas and those who came before have also left a trail of fascinating discoveries in Ecuador. READ MORE
As spring and summer settle on the northern hemisphere, Chile is laying in fresh snow for your “off season” skiing pleasure. Skiing is within easy reach of Chile’s capital city of Santiago, with one of the best, Valle Nevado, just 37 miles away. Recent repaving and widening of the access road have improved travel time to the slopes.
Due to Valle Nevado’s location high in the Andes, this resort has some of the most reliable snow in South America, and even with 80% sunny days, conditions are optimal, due to low temperatures. READ MORE
If you are headed north of Quito, stop when you get to Cayambe and visit a local store to taste the “biscochos” and “hoja de queso.” Then check out the local market in Otavalo for artistan crafts. And along the way be sure not to miss the pristine lakes such as Mohanda or Cuicocaha, of Imbabura Province.
If you travel south of Quito, your family may enjoy a horse-back ride at Hacienda La Alegria in Machachi. Or you might visit the Cotopaxi volcano or one of the other snow-capped peaks in the area. Stop for lunch at the Café de la Vaca, taste the famous ice cream flavors of Salcedo, or consider a detour east to see the spectacular Quilotoa Crater.
As you navigate through the Andes be sure to keep your eye out for one common denominator that all of these destinations share: flowers. READ MORE
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.
Hardcore mountain climbers come to the Andes from around the world to attempt the 13-to-15 day trek up to Aconcagua’s snow-capped summit. Those interested must purchase a permit from the authorities in Parque Provincial Aconcagua.
Thankfully, you don’t need two weeks and advanced climbing skills to appreciate Aconcagua’s beauty. In fact, you can even catch a pain-free glimpse of what it’s like to stand on the summit here. Countless outfitters in Mendoza offer day trips from the city to the park for a close-up view of the peak, as well. Check out Mendoza’s official tourism site list for some options. It’s also possible to rent a car in Mendoza and make the three-hour drive to Aconcagua yourself.
~Andrea, Argentina Insider