Doing the Huayhuash Trek in the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru had been a dream of ours for over a decade. Although our expectations were high, the reality of our experience far exceeded them: eight high mountain pass crossings, surrounding peaks of 6,000+ meters (20,000+ feet), turquoise alpine lakes, stunning glacier-covered mountains, and a diversity of landscapes.
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, “This is a place where we should let go of our impurities, our negative thoughts and emotions.”
Are you interested in traveling to Brazil, but only have a limited amount of time? Maybe you have a couple of weeks and you feel overwhelmed by Brazil's size and variety of destinations. Don't worry, we've been there. That’s why we created this Brazil Experiential Travel Guide to get you started in organizing and planning your own trip.
In this piece, we explore the nature and meaning of favelas in Brazil and the ethics of favela tours. Through conversations with residents and community leaders in Vidigal favela in Rio de Janeiro, we consider how community-driven favela tour experiences can create positive social impact and reduce the exclusion and separative otherness of marginalized communities.
Argentine steak, empanadas and pizza play a big role in the country’s cuisine, but there’s much more to food in Argentina. From asado (barbecue) to the stew-like national dish of locro, our Argentina food guide offers an extensive list of traditional dishes, European-influenced Argentine food favorites, desserts and wine. And it’s drawn from our travels across Argentina for four months, including meals in family homes, cafes, wineries and restaurants.
When readers ask, “I’m traveling to Colombia. What should I do? Where should I go?” We’re left wondering how we’ll keep it short.
Because the country is so huge and diverse and serves so many different styles of travel, the answer is: it really depends on what you’re after.
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 altogether different. We spent time on our own, under the auspices of friends, on tours, in cities, way up in the hills, on the coast, and in destinations in between.
No narco-gangsters. No untoward experiences, for us.
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. We didn’t skip it because of safety concerns — in fact, even at that time ever more travelers were saying the opposite and urging us to go. We just happened to pass it at the height of rainy season and we figured we’d return when we were certain to have ample time to explore.
We didn’t expect it would take five years to return, but here we are.
We leave for Colombia tomorrow.
Maybe you'd like to visit wine country in Argentina. You've heard about Mendoza, but you wonder: How to I go about wine tasting and touring wineries there? The options are many, but if you'd like to have a meaningful, enlightening wine tasting experience and an awesome time, here are a few tips on how to do so without blowing a ton of cash.
Have you ever glommed on to a piece of information and carried it with you, even if you can’t remember its origins or vouch for its accuracy?
That was me with the city of Valparaiso and hot dogs (or completos, as they are called in Chile).