Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine
Jun10

Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine

Patagonia is one of the world’s most renowned hiking and trekking destinations. A place for adventurers and nature lovers where the elements can be challenging, but the scenery and landscape majestic… staggeringly so. Torres del Paine is Patagonia’s most famous trekking hotspot and it is where you will find a variety of different day-hikes and multi-day trekking excursions among a host of other outdoor activities, such as boat cruises, kayaking, horse-riding, glacier trekking, etc. We’ve got an article dedicated to the experience of puma trekking in Torres del Paine, and in this article we’re highlighting two of the region’s best hikes for day-packing – one easy and one not so easy! First things first: Weather First, it is important to know that Patagonia is almost as famous for its weather as it is for its rugged landscape. The wind can be very gusty and icy cold, and from about May to October, the winter season takes hold and everything turns white – this is not the time to hike! We recommend hiking in the seasons in between, when the cold is manageable, and in summer when the days are long and pleasantly warm. There is always a chance of rainfall, even during the summer months from December to February, and the wind pumps regularly, so there is no avoiding that altogether, but that’s all part and parcel of a visit to Patagonia! The Autumn months of March and April are also a very pleasant time to be in Patagonia and it is less busy with tourist traffic, so that’s a bonus if you are looking for more privacy and exclusivity. Summer is very busy in terms of visitors and your hiking trails are going to be bustling with other hikers. March and April are better for quieter visits and the wind blows less vigourously, which is nice for campers, but it is a bit colder and the closer to winter you go, the higher the chance of rainfall, so April-May is risky. Spring in October and November is also a favourable time of year, but it still packs that winter chill, so make sure to bundle up and keep warm. Rainfall is less likely to put a damper on things at this time of year, and there are no crowds comparable with summer, so, bonus! Gear Patagonia is an incredibly social place and it is very popular with young couples and groups of friends, as well as solo travellers who are on a soulful mission to realign with nature. Backpackers and hitchhikers are seen all over the quaint little towns in southern Chile, and especially in Puerto Natales, which...

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Let Us Organise Your Beach Honeymoon in Brazil
Mar24

Let Us Organise Your Beach Honeymoon in Brazil

Newlywed sun worshippers and lovers of sugar-white beach sand framed by turquoise oceans, absolutely must book a beach honeymoon in Brazil. Sophisticated bays, snazzy yacht cruises, and a hint of classic celeb life in the once famous Copacabana region is exactly what beach lovers require from a honeymoon. We can smell the coconut oil from here, taste the fresh mint of refreshing caipirinhas and feel the mild sandy breeze wafting through from the azure oceans. Of course, you can’t fly all the way to Brazil without exploring the major highlights, culture, landscape and bustle of surrounding areas. Our tailor-made beach honeymoon in Brazil package has been tried and tested by one of our own, and she certainly enjoyed all that paradise had to offer. Armed with an arsenal of knowledge, we decided to create this perfect Brazil honeymoon package. Of course, this is merely our suggested itinerary – we can add in a few extra days and destinations. Here are the main regions highlighted in our beach honeymoon in Brazil suggested itinerary : Copacabana Beach : The Place Musicians Write Songs About. Copacabana beach is Rio’s beach paradise, and is a pulsating beach destination that adds a bustling beach dimension to your otherwise peaceful honeymoon. The region experience a golden-age many years ago, but it still maintains its reputation of being a go-to destination for a sophisticated, yet party style beach holiday. During the ever famous Rio carnival, the beach and its cafes burst at the seams with life and the atmosphere is electric. Copacabana is always full of life, but if you’re chasing a more tranquil honeymoon experience, then head there outside of carnival season. Night markets on the promenades and cocktail bars provide plenty of entertainment should you tire of tranquility. And the accommodation? You will stay at the famous palatial Belmond Copacabana Beach, which adorns the shores of the beach. It’s a classic hotel built in 1923, and is currently ranked as one of the great beach hotels of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Búzios : Quaint Bays, Cobbled Village Streets, and Upscale Beaches. This is one of the top destinations on the sunny Costa do Sol Brazil coast, and comprises a stretch of upscale resorts located in pristine bays. The area is ideal for an array of water sports, and the calm horseshoe bay of Ferradura is famous for water-based activities. The quaint villages of Búzios are lined with cobbled streets (Rua das Pedras) with traditional restaurants and bars knitted into the street corners. Known as the Brazilian St Tropez, Buzios certainly holds its own in terms of being a sought-after luxury beach destination. The area...

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Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina
Feb28

Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina

El Chaltén is a small town – probably more accurately described as a village – at the foot of a looming icy peak in Patagonia Argentina. This isn’t to say it’s a dozy, quiet place for reflection in the mountains. It is a hub for hikers and backpackers and it’s bustling with tourist activity. El Chaltén, in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. is the centre of adventurous excursions, hiking trails, glacial melt lakes, water rafting, and ice trekking. It’s surrounded by rises and valleys, peaks and turquoise rivers, waterfalls, and smooth, rocky, rapids. In the village itself, tarred roads are lined with cosy cafes and restaurants, craft breweries, and traditional barbecues. Adventure centres and outdoor stores are well signposted so that wandering travellers know where to go to book their activities in the mountains. If there is anything you do in El Chaltén, make sure it’s at least one of these things… Hike Mount Fitz Roy El Chalten has the unmistakable air of back-backer heaven and just about everything is within walking distance. It’s the trekking capital of southern Patagonia, and there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with its energy. There is so much on offer, starting with hiking the icon of El Chaltén: Cerro Fitz Roy. This jagged peak stands tall above the little town at its feet and it is the first thing you’ll see as you approach El Chaltén. Most often, the peak is shrouded in cloud, so you won’t even see it in all its glory, but in good weather when the granite tower is fully revealed, there is no question why it is one of the best-known mountains in the Deep South of the continent. Climbing Mount Fitz Roy is a challenge plenty of hikers take on, but the last stretch of vertical rock climbing is reserved for the most experienced of cliff-scalers, and not ordinary trekkers without proper experience and gear. The ascent to the foot of the tower is, however, a challenging full day excursion most keen hikers conquer happily. Fitz Roy was named after the captain of the HMS Beagle, who navigated South America in the early 1800s with Charles Darwin in tow! After that, the avid climber who started the clothing brand, Patagonia, used the image of this peak to illustrate his logo after he successfully scaled Fitz Roy in the 1960s. So, this imposing mountain at El Chaltén really is worth the effort! It’s a full day excursion to get to the base, where a magnificent, blue lake shimmers between the granitic rocks, and return to El Chalten. The hike takes you through green forests full of birds, like...

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Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss
Jan30

Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss

Latin America is a place of cultural wealth, untamed wilderness, and ancient history that is preserved in the geological magnificence of the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, the Patagonian steppe, and the Amazon Forest. At the top of travellers’ bucket lists and sought after by Instagrammers and spiritual souls alike, the most naturally beautiful, culturally popular, and all-round unforgettable landscapes of Chile, Peru, and Brazil are not to be missed. World-class hotel groups and leaders in terms of adventurous experiences, fine dining, accommodation comfort, these select luxury hotels in the South American outback come with our stamp of approval. Peru Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu This mindful retreat is all about consciousness in the shade of the Machu Picchu citadel. A zen garden in the tranquil greenery of the Inca Empire, a testament to the peaceful nature of the ancient people. There are blessing ceremonies, coca leaf readings, orchid gardens, and rejuvenating spa treatments to soothe the soul and provide some much-needed relaxation from the general pace of life. Access to Machu Picchu is second to none, as Sanctuary Lodge is the only establishment adjacent to the ancient citadel, so guests have the freedom to arrive earlier and stay later than the day visitors who arrive to pay tribute to Pachamama. The gardens are brimming with the phenomenal birdlife and the botanical beauty of this cherished place, and every inch of the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge celebrates the old Peruvian life that has been encased in history at the one and only Machu Picchu. Las Casitas, Colca Canyon Celebrating one of the deepest – if not the deepest – canyons in the Americas, Colca Canyon, this remote hideaway makes the most of the astounding views, mountainsides, rock-work, and chasms of the great Andes Mountains. Las Casitas is a representation of the local Peruvian art and culture and has produced some of the most blissfully luxurious casitas that cherish the surroundings you find yourself in. The captivating flight of the condor can be seen out in the deep, open crevasses of the Andes, while traditional activities like horse riding through the Colca valley, and learning how to make the perfect Pisco cocktail add incredible Peruvian value to this hotel stay. Painting in the great outdoors, trekking and bird watching, cycling, and taking tea in the orchards are among the many activities to keep you busy in between spectacular meals, luxurious nights of comfort and rejuvenating spa treatments. Chile Awasi Patagonia Patagonia’s wild and hostile landscapes are irresistible to adventurers who flock to the Andean peaks to hike with backpacks and leg warmers in the terrain ruled by mountain lions. The Deep South of...

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All you need to know about visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina
Jan28

All you need to know about visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park near the popular town of El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina. It is the region’s most famous glacier, standing out as one of the most impressive and easily accessible sights of its kind. An enormous expanse of jagged, blue-white ice rising 80 metres up from the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino and damming it up with a statement of rock-solid freeze between the mountain rises on either side. Part of the Andean ice fields, which spread throughout areas of Patagonia and create the dozens of glaciers in the region. It’s staggering to see up close and it is easy to get to, plus visitors can choose to take a walking tour themselves or book a spot on a boat cruise, or with an adventure, guide to go ice trekking. In this piece, we’re talking facts, activities, how to get there, and when to go. This one is not to be missed! Facts about Perito Moreno Glacier Named after explorer Franciso Moreno, this glacier shares it’s named with the town of Perito Moreno, which is (confusingly) a full day’s drive north of Los Glaciares National Park, in which this world-famous glacier is located. It is part of the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water – the southern ice fields of Patagonia – and it is exceptional in that it is one of the world’s only glaciers that is not retreating, and is in fact, advancing. It is said to have started forming during the last ice age 2.6 million years ago, making it alluringly ancient and full of history. The size of Perito Moreno Glacier is estimated to be about 250 square kilometres in size, 170 metres deep, and 30 kilometres in length. At its terminus, where visitors can view part of the wall of the glacier, the ice rises about 80km above the lake’s surface and is 5km wide. Every couple of years the glacier ruptures and enormous chunks break and fall off into the lake due to the immense pressure, but the calving of the ice on a much smaller scale can be seen often if visitors wait long enough during their visit. Sometimes, pieces of ice break off every 20 minutes. How to get there Certainly, the most popular way to get to the glacier is by road from El Calafate, which is a bustling yet quaint and very pleasant town about 80 kilometres away. There are bus rides that depart from El Calafate and take visitors right to the park’s entrance where visitors pay a fee of about US$30. It is not for nothing, but...

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5 Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro
Jan10

5 Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant coastal city on Brazil, famed for its long stretches of sugar-white beaches, turquoise seas and colourful lifestyle. Rio is associated with carnivals, fun and coastal living. The city is Brazil’s bold child; and one of the main reasons why visitors flock to Brazil. The city is brimming with activity, and there’s plenty do in fabulous Rio. This is the city that never sleeps and pulsates with culture and heritage; a truly beautiful city framed by endless beaches. Here are our top 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro. 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro Christ the Redeemer This is the cultural icon of Rio and possibly one of the most visited landmarks in the city. The masterpiece sits at a whopping 30 metres tall and was constructed by world-renowned artists in 1922. The looming statue was eventually completed in 1931 and watches over the city of Rio. It’s perched on top of the tall Corcovado mountain inside the Tijuca Forest National Park. The symbol of Christianity is made-up of soapstone on the outer layer and concrete on the inside and was the brainchild of a local engineer and French artist. Prior to 1920, the city wanted a religious icon to be erected, but due to a separation of Church and state, it took many years for permission to be granted to go ahead with the build. A depiction of Christ with open arms (peace) was the chosen feature and remains a go-to tourist landmark. Although it gets crowded at the top, the views are certainly worth the effort. Sugarloaf Mountain At the mouth of Guanabara Bay sits the recognisable Sugarloaf Mountain. A rounded peak that guards the exquisite bay sits comfortably on the edge of a peninsula that barges into the ocean. And its namesake? It’s said to resemble the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. Watching the sunrise over Sugarloaf mountain is not to be missed. This enchanting and historical landmark is best explored by taking a cable car from the bottom – or hiking from the cable car point to the middle – and then proceeding to the top. At the top of the Sugarloaf, there are exceptional views of Copacabana beach, Christ the Redeemer and aerial views of the beach. The cable car leaves from Praia Vermelha (Red Beach). We suggest you bring money with you – there are a few makeshift food vendors on the mountain and ice-cream/cool drink vendors. Copacabana Beach A must-see! Ooh la la! This is probably Rio’s most famous beach – and with good reason. When you think of Copacabana, you conjure up images of tanned bodies strutting their stuff on...

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The Iguassú Falls in South America
Jan08

The Iguassú Falls in South America

The cascading Iguassú Falls in South America are – without a doubt – one of the great natural wonders of the world. Iguassú fits the bill in terms of being top of the list with the other great falls of the world, which include Victoria Falls, Niagara Falls and Angel Falls. Not only are the Iguassú Falls great in volume and width, but they also boast an impressive height, making them a spectacular sight to behold. Iguassú is actually three times wider than Niagara Falls and comprises 275 separate cataracts spanning over 2.7 km wide. A mind-blowing and impressive set of statistics, and a total bragfest from Mother Nature! The waterfalls border three countries, which are: Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Accessing the falls from the Brazil and Argentina side is the most accessible way of visiting – and the safest. Brazil and Argentina have airport and transport routes, and the scenic cities on either side of the falls are well-functioning. Although the falls actually lie within Argentine territory, the surrounding countries offer interesting vistas and commanding views of the falls. Iguassú Falls sits in the heart of a rainforest which has been preserved by both Brazil and Argentina. This inland rainforest is actually one of the last remaining rainforests in South America and has a unique biome with over 450 species of bird, of which includes 4 types of toucan and eagles, herons, and the rare black-fronted piping guan. The park has abundant Cockspur coral trees, the national flower of Argentina. Jaguars, tapirs, Giant otters and other mammals dwell deep within this sub-tropical national park. The Argentine Park side of the falls was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Shortly after Argentina received this status, the Brazil side of the park gained its World Heritage status. Nearly 30 years later the falls were selected as one of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature”. So who discovered the remarkable Iguassú Falls in South America? In 1541 the first European discovered the falls and named them the Santa Maria falls. Prior to the colonial era, the local inhabitants (Guarani people) had already given their falls a name; a variant of which is used today. A second European expedition led to a rediscovery of the falls, a period of time that was the birth of tourism to the area. Don’t skip out on a trip to Iguassu when you head to South America.    ...

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