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5 incredible Antarctica activities

5 incredible Antarctica activities

Here’s how to make the most out of your Antarctica cruise. Whether you’re paddling its icy waters in a kayak or exploring its snow-covered reaches on foot, you should never be bored.
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Cusco and Machu Picchu: Three hotels reviewed

Cusco and Machu Picchu: Three hotels reviewed

I just got back from a trip to three gorgeous – but very different – hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Here’s what I loved about each place…
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Planning your trip to Easter Island

Planning your trip to Easter Island

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) with its mysterious moai, is one of the most remote and enigmatic places on the planet. Read on to find out how to plan the trip of a lifetime. Why visit? The island is scattered with more than 900 moai – the world-famous stone statues which measure between 4 and 32 feet in height and can attain weights of 32 tons. The moai and the ahu (platforms) they stand on don’t just look cool staring into the deep blue yonder, they also pose myriad questions about the mysterious civilisation that built them. Another archaeological highlight is the ruins of Orongo where the famed birdman cult took place. Rapa Nui is also famed for its natural beauty. You can hike, bike or horse-back ride to the summits of Rano Kau and Rano Raraku and marvel at the crater lakes below them. Walk along the sandy beach at Anakena and snorkel, scuba dive or surf in the pristine Pacific Ocean. Do be aware, though, that water temperatures hover around the 70F mark, so this is not a beach …
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The Great Inca Trail - Part IV

The Great Inca Trail - Part IV

Day 44 – A 21st-century vision of tourism for Peru With every step on #TheGreatIncaTrail we get closer to #Cusco, even though we still have 1,300 miles to go. It’s taken 700 miles of trekking from #Cuenca, Ecuador to arrive to the outskirts of #Cajamarca and the high altiplano of the #PeruvianAndes. Every day we wake up at first light for breakfast at 6:00am, getting camp loaded to start walking by 8am. It’s then 7-9 hours of trekking along the most important route of the Inca empire, which in 2017 requires a sharp eye and persistent search for a path that goes between original #Inca paving stones, car roads and even an old railway line. By arrival to each day’s stopping point, it’s then time to re-set camp, prepare food and send off correspondence like this before an early turn-in to bed only to repeat it all again the next day...And so has been our routine for almost all the last 44 days in our pursuit of history and a 21st-century vision of tourism for Peru. Why I'm Trekking 2,000 …
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Lodge versus cruise: Exploring the Peruvian Amazon

Lodge versus cruise: Exploring the Peruvian Amazon

You haven’t truly experienced the wonders of South America until you’ve immersed yourself in the canopy of the Amazon and explored its many waterways. Until you’ve got up close and personal with a macaw and heard a howler howl… Why go The numbers don’t lie. The Amazon Rainforest covers about 2,100,000 square miles, making it far and away the largest rain forest on the planet. The Amazon River, without which there would be no forest, is the world’s largest river by volume and – recent studies suggest – also the world’s longest.  The Amazon Rainforest is shared by eight different countries, with Brazil, Peru and Columbia boasting the largest swaths. Photo credit: R.Rodrich / Delfin Amazon Cruises By area 60% of Peru is rainforest, but only 5% of the population calls it home. What it lacks in humans it makes up for with a multitude of plants, insects, birds, animals and fish that is quite simply without compare. The Amazon is the most biodiverse place on the planet and it has to …
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The Great Inca Trail - Part III

The Great Inca Trail - Part III

Day 29 The Great Inca Trail that runs through Aypate connects south by a four-day foot path to an important, but now disappeared Inca Citadel named Caxas near an Inca bath. The walkable route (as the Inca road from Aypate has been covered over) drops in elevation 2,000 meters South from Aypate, weaving between river valleys and cloud forest, before climbing to Caxas. On the third of these four days, you go from the Aranza Valley to Bellavista, where were provided a roof from the hospital director of the local school, whose extra storage house worked as a great covered camp. We’re expecting a full day’s walk to Caxas tomorrow, on what we hope will be preserved sections of the original Inca Trail. Although, the rain has been relentless, coming down a significant part of the day for the last week, meaning we’ll also have a significant amount of mud to work through as well. The constant rain definitely saps the spirits of the team, as it dampens a lots of aspects of life on the trail. …
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5 iconic Amazon animals

5 iconic Amazon animals

Your once in-a-lifetime adventure to the world’s largest and richest rainforest will be packed with wildlife highlights from start to finish. Here are a few of the most exciting species found near Puerto Maldonado... Giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). These graceful river giants, which attain lengths of 8ft (if you include their long tails) and weights of 70lb, are the largest member of the Mustelid family. Only 5,000 remain in the wild (in an area the size of the Lower 48!) but the oxbow lakes of Tambopata in South-Eastern Peru are one of the best places in the world to see them. The sociable otters who live in groups of up to 20 individuals are expert fishermen who eat approximately 3 kilograms of fish every day. Each otter is born with a uniquely shaped patch of cream-colored fur on its throat – much like a human fingerprint this can be used by rangers and scientists to identify individuals. They’re also extremely vocal animals…as you will find out on your Amazon …
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Everything you need to know about Peru

Everything you need to know about Peru

From the vibrant colors of the Amazon to the wispy clouds of Machu Picchu, Peru has it all. We’ve sifted through our archives to compile one megablog that covers every corner of this magnificent country… Lima, the thriving capital With great beaches, the world’s best food (officially!) and a fascinating history Lima really does have it all. Where else can you see a pre-Incan adobe pyramid surrounded by skyscrapers and go on a tour of the oldest colonial house in all of the Americas? Adventure junkies can jog, surf, bike and paraglide to their hearts' content while kids and adults will love the water and lights show at the Parque de la Reserva. Making the most of your Lima layover Colonial Culture in Lima An introduction to Lima Lima through the lens Lima más arriba (amazing aerial photographs of the city) Water and lights shows at the Parque de la Reserva Photo credit: Kenneth Moore Lima, foodie heaven With five restaurants in the the world's Top 50, Lima is …
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The Great Inca Trail - Part II

The Great Inca Trail - Part II

April 22 – Day 11 The Great Inca Trail from Nabon to Oña is one of the more preserved sections we've seen thus far in Ecuador. We were accompanied by two local guides, Eugenio and Lauro, who helped us along from Nabon. Eugenio, who works with the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on preservation and tourism development of the trail, pointed out a major section after Cochapata that was bulldozed over to make a crude vehicle road for no apparent reason. According to a horseman we passed in route, it was just bulldozed weeks before our arrival. Eugenio said it was the most preserved and beautiful section in the Nabon area. The animals and the expedition though, seem to be passing the first hump in getting accustomed to our new reality on the trail. Everyone including the horses were faster and less exhausted at the end of the day. Our local guides, while helpful for the first half of the day, understandably fell behind in the afternoon, not having …
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The Journey on the Great Inca Trail Begins

The Journey on the Great Inca Trail Begins

April 12 - Day 1 We’ve arrived to Cuenca, Ecuador, our staging ground to prepare for our 2,000 mile expedition on the Great Inca Trail to Cusco, Peru. The team has settled into Hostal Maconda, a quaint colonial house which has become temporary headquarters for final preparations. It’s been two days of meetings with local explorers, officials and last minute equipment checks. Flavio, the team cook and our support team of Valentin and Alipio have been scouring the local markets, stocking up on supplies to make sure we have at least a week of nutritious food for the walk ahead. They have come from the heartland of the Inca empire in Cusco, Peru, traveling for the first time by airplane to the northern reaches of Inca domination in modern day Ecuador. When the Inca king Huayna Qhapaq established a Northern capital in nearby Tumebamba, it brought populations, architecture, religion and the Quechua language from the Inca spiritual capital of Cusco. Our Cusco team brings a Quechua (native …
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Making the most of your Lima layover

Making the most of your Lima layover

With a fascinating colonial past, a thriving culinary scene and a gorgeous coastline, Peru’s bustling capital is so much more than a layover. Whether you’re coming from the giddying heights of Machu Picchu or the steamy lowlands of the Amazon, one thing’s for certain: Your once-in-a-lifetime Peruvian adventure will include at least a few hours in Lima before you fly out of Peru. This blog takes you through some of the best ways to capitalize on this opportunity to delve further into Peruvian culture. Eat and drink your way around the city on a food tour Peru has been voted the World's Leading Culinary Destination for five years running, and Lima is the undisputed epicenter of the country’s gastronomic renaissance. Peruvian cuisine has been refined over millennia and the fusion of cultures and variety of local ingredients makes it both unique and exquisite. These highly-rated tours aim to nurture an understanding and appreciation of the culture of Peru by experiencing its food at …
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Introducing Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital

Introducing Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital

The Malbecs are mouth-watering, the wineries cutting edge and the Andes resplendent. Every way you look at it, Mendoza is a delight. The pleasant provincial capital of Mendoza owes its prosperity to the Andes, or more specifically the network of acequias (irrigation channels) that taps into the raging snowmelt torrent that is the Rio Mendoza. Built by the Huarpe and perfected by the Incas, the acequias still flow through the streets of the city and the water they bring is life-giving in every sense of the word. Without it there would be no wine, no fountains and no shady avenues... The many faces of Malbec Argentina is fifth-largest wine producer in the world and Mendoza is its undisputed capital. Malbec, which in its native France is only used in blends, has come into its own in Mendoza’s high-altitude desert environment. While most of Mendoza’s highest ranked wines are Malbecs, there are also several excellent red blends and smattering of wonderful Chardonnays too. Winemakers love …
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