South America Travel Articles, Photos and Panoramas

The Lost City Trek, Colombia: All You Need to Know

Reaching Teyuna, the Lost City. Colombia

We were out of breath, having just climbed 1,200 stone steps when Celso, our indigenous guide, called for us to join him around a group of stones arranged in a circle in a clearing. In the middle of the circle stood another square stone on top of which lay a pile of coca leaves placed as an offering. Celso explained with trademark calm in a slow, deliberate voice, … [Read more...]

Travel to Colombia: First Impressions

Hiking along the ancient Camino Real to reach Guane, a cute colonial village in the hills of Santander. Colombia.

Call it my imagination. While I looked forward to our visit to Colombia, I harbored the occasional image of thuggy bush-mustached Colombian narco-gangsters and aggressive gold cap-toothed street thieves shaking me down in the back shadows of Bogota or Medellin. (Yes, I realize I’ve probably watched one too many bad airplane movies.)Colombia, thankfully, was … [Read more...]

Next Up: Exploring Colombia and Finding The Lost City

Cartagena

We're headed to Colombia tomorrow. We're off to see a country we were supposed to visit five years ago. We'll be on the trail for Colombian culture -- from the Andes to the Pacific to the Caribbean -- and to find The Lost City along the way. Colombia. It's one of the countries that got away during the 15 months we traveled through Latin America a few years ago. … [Read more...]

Sunrise Towers: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile [360-Degree Panorama]

Torres de Paine

Our alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4:30AM. We were huddled together trying to stay warm against the freezing temperatures of the night in a rented tent that wasn't quite meant for people of Dan's height. The temptation to turn off the alarm and roll over instead of heading out into the frigid pitch of pre-dawn was difficult to resist. Under these … [Read more...]

Machu Picchu, A Different Perspective [360-Degree Panorama]

Machu picchu

Whether you've been to Machu Picchu or not, chances are that the most common images you've seen of it carry a familiar quality about them. Sometimes it takes looking at something iconic from a different perspective, however, to broaden your understanding and appreciation of what it might have taken to create all that's behind the icon. And so it is with Machu Picchu … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador

quilotoa ecuador

4:00 A.M., alarm blaring, almost violent at an ungodly hour. I cursed it and was tempted to roll over. But I knew if I had, I'd regret it. I had a volcanic lake to visit.After a bumpy chicken bus ride, we finally arrived at the lake's edge. The sun was just coming up and we were among the very few people there.Open up the panorama to see Quilotoa Lake for … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Guinea Pig Farm, Peru

guinea pig peru

Guinea pig (cuy) is apparently a critical component of Andean cuisine. At the pre-Incan ruins of Kuelap, we were told that guinea pigs have been domesticated and bred as a source of protein for thousands of years.And although the selection of meats throughout Peru and Ecuador has (thankfully) expanded substantially, guinea pig remains a prized meal. … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Blue Sky Quito, Ecuador

quito church

Quito, Ecuador -- at 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) in elevation, it's just a bit closer to the sky than most capital cities. Walk around Quito's old town and you'll feel it -- not only because of the slight shortness of breath you might experience, but also because of the inimitable cloud-popping blue sky overhead. It's so surreal that you sometimes feel you can reach … [Read more...]