Along a street near Bogota, Colombia

“Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love, because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked “on.” Suddenly you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world.”              – Pico Yver

Explore what awaits you in Central and South America.  Central America has a rich cultural heritage that is defined by the seven countries that sit within its borders:  Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.   The swamp land that divides the Pan-American Highway between Panama and Colombia identifies the border for South America—a country with a rich biodiversity and natural heritage that includes Venezuela’s Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall; the largest river, the Amazon River; the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest; the longest mountain range, the Andes; the highest single drop waterfall on Guyana, the Kaieteur Falls; and the driest non-polar place on earth, the Atacama Desert.  


guatemala

Go With the Flow: Life Lessons From Backpacking to the Pandemic

By Natasha Tucker

Some of you may ask why I chose Guatemala — especially if you’re like my parents whose idea of adventure is an all-inclusive trip to Cuba.   Read more

Central and South America Backpacking & Camping Experiences
Exterior of the Pulperias

Pulperías: Where the gauchos gathered

By Ana Astri-O’Reilly

Imagine spending days, even weeks, in the vast plains with only your horse and your loyal dog for company. Herding cattle during the day, sipping mate next to the campfire at night. The need for human interaction will be met at the nearest pulpería, although near and far are relative terms in the … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Adventure Off the Beaten Path Food & Drink
Iguazu Falls with rainbow

On the edge of the world at Iguazu Falls

By Devon Older

Iguazu Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world, made up of 275 cascades, drops, and falls. Standing at the edge of the Garganta del Diablo, which translates to the Devil’s Throat, a visit to Iguazu Falls truly feels as though you are perched on the edge of the … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Family Travel Landscape
Laguna de los Tres, El Chalten. Photo: Devon Older

Path through Patagonia without a tent

By Devon Older

Patagonia is the southern region of South America, covering a large part of the continent’s tip, straddling both Argentina and Chile. Like the rest of the continent, Patagonia is filled with breathtaking views, delicious food, and abundant wildlife. However, due to its growing popularity, it is the most expensive part … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Adventure Backpacking & Camping
Machu Picchu

Peru Officials Arrest Six Tourists For Defecation In Iconic Sanctuary

Six tourists were arrested for allegedly defecating and damaging a sacred temple at the Machu Picchu sanctuary in Peru.    Wilbert Leyva, Cusco regional police chief, said the six tourists, one a French woman, were detained and the public ministry investigating them for the suspected crime against cultural heritage.    … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Social Responsibility
Giant tortoises on the Galapagos Island.

Voluntourism and Galapagos Islands Conservation Practices: The Need for Caution

Join us for thought-provoking conversations that examine voluntourism and the impact that conservation practices and tourism have on the Galapagos Islands. First, voluntourism aka volunteer travel projects are helpful to communities in need.  But, intercultural educator Lena Papadopoulos says that some projects cause more harm to the communities they are … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Volunteer Travel Conservation Social Responsibility

Prison Island Becomes A Paradise For Visitors

Not very many people can say they’ve seen the Fernando de Noronha archipelago and enjoyed its mountain jungles and white-sand beaches. In 1988, about 75 percent of Brazil’s 21 scenic islands had been declared protected – now a national marine park and sanctuary. Today, the area only lets 420 visitors … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Off the Beaten Path
COVER: Sun worshipers welcome the Winter Solstice sunrise with raised hands and open hearts. Photo credit: Renee Alexander

Welcoming the Return of the Sun to Lake Titicaca

By Renee Alexander

Our winter welcome to Bolivia wasn’t exactly warm. For Americans, the visa requirements are extensive. In addition to paying $160 each in unblemished, unfolded US currency, we were required to provide passport-style photos, evidence of yellow fever vaccinations, financial documents proving access to $10,000, confirmed reservations for our entire stay, … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Religious Travel Events & Festivals
Shaman

Ayahuasca Tourism: The Commercialization of Culture

By Jessica Barrett

Used by Indigenous tribes in the Amazon for medicinal purposes for centuries, it’s only in the last 50 years or so that Westerners have come to learn about ayahuasca. La medicina, as it’s often known, is part of a multimillion dollar industry taking hold in South and Central America: plant … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Off the Beaten Path Events & Festivals Social Responsibility
Las Cholitas of Bolivia are indigenous women

Bolivia’s Las Cholitas

By SJ Armstrong

The cholita indigenous women from Bolivia’s countryside, are an indomitable symbol of resilience. In a country ravaged by colonial greed, ransacked resources, and periods of crippling poverty, the Bolivian people are no stranger to adversity. But as recently as ten years ago, the cholita faced the greatest hardships, because they … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Indigenous
High above Bogota, Colombia.

High above Bogota, Colombia

Travel with us to the summit of Monserrate above Bogota, Colombia.  The mountain is part of the Andes and is a focal point in center of Colombia’s capital city.  It rises to 3,152 metres (10,341 ft) above sea level. At the top of Monserrate sits a 17th century church that houses … Read more   Read more

Central and South America History
Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is a setting for the luxury pop-up camp.

Outpost Camp To Send Chile Tourists To Remote, But Spectacular Areas

Outpost, a luxury pop-up camp, has been set up in Aysen, which is a remote area of northern Patagonia, to help people reach some of Chile’s less traveled tourist locations. Travel company Upscale is responsible for coming up with the camp. The goal is to change how visitors) experience the … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Luxury Travel Off the Beaten Path Sustainability
View of Machu Picchu

Peruvian Government Okays Plans For Airport At Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the most remarkable Inca projects, but it’s difficult to get to. Its citadel, which rests at the top, is protected by amazing gorges and peaks that surround the area. However, the Peruvian government released a statement stating the country was starting an international airport so … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Sustainability

Visiting Panama’s Embera People

By Chez Chesak

Our wooden longboat plied the Chagres River deeper and deeper into the Panamanian rain forest. Soon the boatmen, one wearing a loincloth and the other a beaded skirt, were poling us through channels so narrow that it looked like the river had disappeared. We pushed on through the jungle growth … Read more   Read more

Central and South America History Indigenous
View of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a transformative trek

There were many memorable moments throughout my travels across South America, but the most defining memory had to be Machu Picchu. Seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the New World is an unmissable opportunity; one best done now while the ruins are still in relatively good condition. There are … Read more   Read more

Central and South America