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Train Travel in South America

Train Travel in South America

Earlier this month the oldest subway in South America closed its doors for a modern renovation. The La Brugeoise wagon on Buenos Aires’s Metro Line A shutdown on January 12 and will remain closed until March 8, 2013, when the line will begin operating with new cars. The original trains made their debut in December 1913, which made the line one of the oldest in the world to offer regular transportation service. Government official suggest the retired train cars will be featured in museums, or used at mini-libraries in public plazas across Buenos Aires. They will be replaced with modern, air conditioned units. But transit lovers, do not fret. South America has many other historic and interesting rail rides. Here are just a few. Serra Verde Express Mountain Range Train Where: Southern Brazil, connecting the city of Curitiba to the port town of Paranagua. What: This three hour train ride is noteworthy for its spectacular views. It follows narrow passes from the jungle mountains steeply …
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Best Trips of 2013

Best Trips of 2013

We know South America, but National Geographic knows the world. This iconic magazine and brand has introduced readers to far-flung destinations beyond most of our wildest imaginations. Their name and products are respected globally, so when National Geographic released its picks for Best Trips of 2013, we took notice. Out of the 20 trips selected by the editors of this renowned magazine, two were in South America, and both make great add-ons to our most popular South America travel packages. Learn about them below. Quito, Ecuador It’s good to know we’re on the same page. In October, we wrote about how often overlooked Quito is a must see on the way to the Galapagos, and even worth a visit as a standalone destination. It seems NatGeo agrees, writing that: “For too long, travelers have neglected Ecuador’s capital city en route to the nation’s marquee attraction, the Galápagos Islands.” So just what is there to see in Quito? For starters, it has the best preserved historic center in …
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Dreamliner Direct Flights to South America: Lima and Santiago by LAN

Dreamliner Direct Flights to South America: Lima and Santiago by LAN

Update 1/17/2013: Please note LAN has suspended these flights for the time being. More information found here. Flights to South America from LAX are about to get a lot more comfortable. LAN Airlines recently became the first airline in the Americas (and forth in the world) to receive a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These new mid-sized planes carry up to 290 passengers, use 20% less fuel, and come with enhanced features such as windows that are 40% larger and equipped with a dimming button rather than shades. Last week LAN began operating non-stop flights from Los Angeles International Airport to South America. Passengers can fly on the deluxe airline direct to Santiago, Chile, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; or directly daily to Lima, Peru.  The plane has 217 Economy seats and 30 Premium Business seats. Other cities to be served in 2013 will be Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Frankfurt. This advanced Boeing aircraft is designed to make long-haul flights more comfortable and enjoyable. Dynamic LED …
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A look back at 2012 with SA Luxury Expeditions

A look back at 2012 with SA Luxury Expeditions

2012 has been a busy year for SA Luxury Expeditions. We’ve opened a new office in Cuzco, expanded our in-house team, and continued traveling and checking up on all our recommended hotels and destinations. And throughout it all, we’ve been planning, operating, and overseeing hundreds of private, customized tours across South America. In 2012 alone, our team has inspected the following main South America destinations firsthand (some places visited more than once): Ecuador: Galapagos Islands, Quito, Cajas National Park, Guayaquil, Mindo, Banos, Cuenca Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Chachapoyas Argentina: Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Mendoza, Iguazu Colombia: Cartagena, Bogota Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Sao Paulo, Iguazu Chile: Santiago, Vina del Mar, Easter Island, Chiloe, Puerto Varas But bigger things were going on around us in South America. Several destinations made international …
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Stunning South America travel video

Stunning South America travel video

We’re located in South America, and this video even makes us want to jump out of our chairs and hit the road. This beautiful montage of time-lapse shots from across central and southern South America is the most wanderlust-inducing video we've seen in a while.
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Favorite Part of Peru: Sacred Valley

Favorite Part of Peru: Sacred Valley

We asked fellow travelers and SA Expedition team members to tell us about their favorite part of Peru. Today’s post comes from independent travel blogger Robert Schrader who writes about the Sacred Valley. Since travel to Machu Picchu tends to be the first priority for people who travel to Peru, other tourist destinations in the country like the Colca Canyon near Arequipa and even the Peruvian capital city Lima tend to go unnoticed. Like Machu Picchu, Peru's aptly-named "Sacred Valley" is close to Cusco, the largest city in southeastern Peru and the ancient capital of the Incas. If you only have one day to dedicate to the massive Sacred Valley, take a day trip to the Moray Inca Ruins, about 50 km from the center of Cusco. Bus to the Sacred Valley If you want to explore solo, wake up around 8 a.m.  to head out to the agricultural site of Moray. You can call or hail a taxi to Cusco's Santiago bus terminal. Upon exiting the cab, make your way inside the white walls of the station and …
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South America Gift Guide

South America Gift Guide

With Christmas less than 5 days away, some of you might still be scrambling to find the perfect present.  For giving inspiration and for shopping suggestions for up-coming visitors to South America, here are 7 South America themed gift suggestions. Enjoy! Carved Gourds from Peru One of my favorite Peruvian crafts comes from the highland region surrounding the city of Huancayo. Artisans use sharp scalpels called burils to carve into dried lagenaria vulgaris gourds. The practice of gourd carving in Peru dates back 3,500 years. Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer bringing handmade crafts to a global market. Buy it Visit Peru Magnetic Map of South America This week SA Luxury Expeditions celebrated the holidays with a delicious turkey dinner and a white elephant gift exchange. And after all the gifts were unwrapped, swapped, and stolen back again, I ended up with this gem: A magnetic dartboard map. It probably makes a better gift for the under-10 age group, …
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Favorite Part of Peru: Good Value

Favorite Part of Peru: Good Value

We asked fellow travelers and SA Expedition team members to tell us about their favorite part of Peru. Today’s post comes from our Destination Manager, Riva Bacquet. If you’re like me, you like to travel in comfort and you like to travel often. With these criteria in mind it’s crucial to select the best value-for-quality accommodations out there to make sure you’re getting the most from your investment. A better investment today frees up more spending power for your next trip (which, if you’re like me, is already in the works!). The good news is, there are incredible hotels at every budget level; and regardless of your wallet size, there’s always a first-rate choice to meet your needs. The challenge is figuring out which hotels offer the best combination of high-quality amenities, space, personalized service, and location, while maintaining a fair and competitive rate for their offer. These unique properties (and often specific rooms within a particular property) are a rarity, and it …
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Favorite Part of Peru: The People

Favorite Part of Peru: The People

We asked fellow travelers and SA Expedition team members to tell us about their favorite part of Peru. Today’s post comes from our Destination Expert, Kristina Rudge. When our travellers return home and tell us about their trip, one of the things they never fail to highlight is how important their guides were to their experience of Peru. Knowing our guides as we do, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they receive such universally warm praise, but it’s always something we love to hear about. For me, the people I’ve met when traveling have always been key to my experience. From mountain climbing in Argentina to the deep Amazon jungle, I think that the best life-long memories are forged by the people you share the adventure with, the people you meet along the way. When people ask me what I love most about Peru, I’ll mention the stunning diversity of its landscape and gastronomy, the mysterious ancient cultures I’ve been fascinated with since childhood; even Lima – a city you could never …
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Favorite Part of Peru: Northern Coast

Favorite Part of Peru: Northern Coast

We asked fellow travelers and SA Expedition team members to tell us about their favorite part of Peru. Today’s post comes from Sadler Kirk, part of our finance team. One of my favorite parts of Peru is the northern coast, more specifically Trujillo and the surrounding areas. Trujillo is known as the “City of the Eternal Spring” for its year-round warm weather and generally pleasant climate, and it is also the third largest city in Peru with a population of approximately 800,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Trujillo is about 10 hours one way from Lima by bus, and there is a wide range of buses that can take you. The reasons this city and its neighboring towns are one of my favorite places in Peru are numerous. As I already mentioned the comfortable weather is a plus, but the food is also spectacular. If you ever go, you’ve got to try the ceviche and the cangrejo reventado in Huanchaco, a coastal community about 15 minutes from the beautiful historic center of Trujillo (I can …
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