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Get your wine on in Chile

Get your wine on in Chile

​​​​​​​In recent years the Chilean wine industry’s focus on quality has really paid off. Chile’s extreme topography means there’s an incredible variety on display in its wines. Read on to find out more about some of our favorite regions.
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Choosing your Torres del Paine lodge

Choosing your Torres del Paine lodge

​​​​​​​The Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia is one of the most naturally spectacular places you’ll ever go. It’s also home to some really fantastic lodges – but which one is right for you?
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5 unmissable Patagonian highlights

5 unmissable Patagonian highlights

​​​​​​​Every inch of the vast untamed wilderness that occupies the lower half of Argentina and Chile is incredible in its own right. But if time is short these are the spots you simply have to see…
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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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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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Antarctica wildlife highlights: penguins, whales, seals…

Antarctica wildlife highlights: penguins, whales, seals…

Prepare to be charmed by endearing Adélie penguins, wowed by muscular orcas and won over by enigmatic leopard seals. Antarctica isn’t just the coldest, driest and emptiest continent, it’s also home to the most pristine and untouched ecosystem on the planet. You’ll be amazed by the sheer abundance and diversity of life down South. Read on to find out more about the a few of the standouts… Penguins Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap penguins are the three remaining members of the Pygoscelis genus and you will likely encounter them all on your cruise. Gentoos are the largest and most numerous of the three, and they’re also the fastest swimmers of all penguins…Attaining speeds of 22mph puts them in the same echelon as Usain Bolt! They’re distinguished by their white ‘bonnets’ and red beaks. Adélies are the most penguin-like of all penguins, so much so that they are almost caricatures of themselves. Named after the wife of French explorer Dumont D’Urville, these small penguins are purely black …
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Experiencing Antarctica is easier than you think

Experiencing Antarctica is easier than you think

What do you get the man who has everything? A ticket to Antarctica of course. With icebergs, penguins, whales and more, it’s the very definition of a bucket list destination. The White Continent. Terra Australis. The Seventh Continent. The coldest, highest, windiest, driest, and remotest place on the planet. There are many ways to describe it, but every single one of them inspires wanderlust. Fortunately, visiting Antarctica has never been easier than it is now… We’ve described two of the most popular itineraries below, but guests who want to spend even longer exploring Antarctica should simply ask one of our Destination Experts about the other possibilities. Option 1: Fly in – 6 days cruising in Antarctica – Fly out This option starts and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile and allows you to a) maximize your time in Antarctica and b) totally avoid the rough and treacherous waters of the Drake Passage. The two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica is an attraction in itself, but the …
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Shopping for Souvenirs in Santiago, Chile

Shopping for Souvenirs in Santiago, Chile

Nobody wants to be given a lousy T-shirt or a tacky teaspoon. We’ve put together a list of distinctly Chilean curious and keepsakes. And we’ve even told you where in Santiago to buy them… Crafts and artesanía Indigenous peoples may only make up 5% of Chile’s population, but the average Chilean contains over 35% Amerindian DNA. The contributions made by tribes such as the Mapuche and Atacameño are rich and many – most notably in the fields of silverware, textiles and ceramics. Pueblito los Dominicos (Photo: Rodrigo Pizarro) Instead of lugging merch all the way from Patagonia or the Atacama, we’d advise buying your artesanía in Santiago itself. There are quite a few places that sell authentic items and channel the profits straight back to the communities or individuals who made them. For the widest selection try Artesanias de Chile  or Ona both of which have very good charitable credentials. Otherwise, the Pueblito los Dominicos is a quality open air market on Avenida Apoquindo in …
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Introducing Chile: Land of extremes

Introducing Chile: Land of extremes

Measuring 2600 miles from North to South but averaging only 110 miles in width, Chile is home to both the driest desert on the planet and some of the world’s most prolific glaciers. Wedged between the bountiful Pacific Ocean and the towering Andes, this is Nature on a grand scale. There’s kayaking, skiing, fishing and trekking galore but there’s also oodles of culture, food and fun. For nature lovers Chile spans nearly 40 degrees of latitude, and it offers some of the most diverse climates and landscapes on the planet. The town of San Pedro de Atacama in the Atacama Desert is like Arizona on steroids: some weather stations have never recorded precipitation, and the snow-capped volcanoes, high altitude geysers, and freakish rock formations make it a fantastic place for photography, star gazing and contemplation. A little further south you come to the beaches of La Serena (rustic) and Viña del Mar (snazzier), but be warned: the water in Chile is almost as cold as an Oregon beach in …
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Chilean architect scoops prestigious Pritzker Prize

Chilean architect scoops prestigious Pritzker Prize

The Chilean architect famous for re-imagining low cost housing in Latin American cities and for rebuilding the city of Constitución in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, has been awarded architecture's highest prize. Alejandro Aravena's work is not 'beautiful' in the strictest sense of the word, but his buildings and ideas have dramatically transformed several Chilean (and Mexican) cities dramatically, and many see his philosophy of 'participatory design' (involving communities in the design of the cities and buildings they will live in) as the future of urban architecture. Half a good house   This was a technique he first tried in Iquique, where he asked residents of a proposed low cost housing scheme for their input. Facing revolt and hunger strikes if he persisted with high-rise blocks (the only financially feasible plan), Aravena hit upon the idea of building "half of a good house" instead of a bad house. In other words, Aravena provided families with 860 …
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BREAKING NEWS: After 43 years Chile’s Calbuco erupts

BREAKING NEWS: After 43 years Chile’s Calbuco erupts

Calbuco, near the popular Patagonian tourist centres of Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas has erupted for the first time since 1972. Calbuco is one of Chile’s largest and most active volcanoes, but scientists have been taken by surprise by the recent eruptions. Alejandro Verges, an emergency director for the region, said Calbuco had not been under any special form of observation. The first eruption occurred at about 6pm local time on Wednesday 22 April, and sprayed a thick plume of ash and smoke several miles into the sky. This later formed a spectacular mushroom cloud which glowed red as the sun went down, and was illuminated by occasional lightning bolts during the night. Canadian expat, Trevor Moffat, who lives only 6 miles from Calbuco described the event with gripping detail: “It sounded like a big tractor trailer passing by the road, rattling and shaking, guttural rumbling …We left everything there, grabbed my kid, my dog, got in the car with my wife.” WATCH a spectacular time-lapse …
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Mouth-watering South American fast food: Empanadas

Mouth-watering South American fast food: Empanadas

‘Empanada’ means ‘wrapped in bread or dough’ which is a very apt description for these little beauties which originated in Spain in the 1500s. They made their way across the Atlantic (together with a whole host of less pleasant Spanish traditions!) and are now an indelible fixture on the South American culinary landscape. Empanadas are similar to British savoury pies (and in particular the Cornish pasty) although they are (usually) smaller and the fillings are not as sloppy. Empanadas vary greatly from country to country and from province to province, so here’s a rundown of the most popular. Empanadas at a gas station in Argentina. (Picture: JP Pagan) Argentina This is arguably the home of the South American empanada, and the ground beef (with sliced onion, boiled egg and – sometimes – raisins and/or olives) variety is the most common. Argentine empanadas are on the small side. Other popular fillings include: ham and cheese, chicken and (during Lent) fish. Bolivia Bolivian …
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