It was early morning, our first in Chile, and up on the sixteenth floor of the Grand Hyatt Santiago, we looked eastward through tall windowed walls to a sky streaked with the rosy light of dawn. The sun, newly risen above the distant mountain range, was shining down on the […]
Central & South America
Tucked back into the seaside cliffs of Ocotal, Costa Rica, Villa Casa Blanca overlooks the stunning view provided by Golfo de Papagayo. With seasonal winds creating small whitecaps in the Pacific Ocean, guests gaze out over the blue waters and catch a glimpse of a passing catamaran harnessing Mother Nature’s […]
by DOMINICK and SUSAN MERLE EL CALAFATE, Argentina—“There she goes!” exclaimed our excitable tour mate from Norway as a thunderous boom emanated from a glacier that looked the size of New Jersey. “Nah, just another false alarm,” our skeptical Scottish observer responded. “All noise and no action.” Glacier watching has […]
Long on my blooming bucket list of places to visit, Peru’s City in the Clouds, Machu Picchu, receives thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Twenty thousand years of history and a Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu and the lands surrounding it were home to a scientifically […]
…Jeff, Josh, and I are teaching computer skills on educational laptops in rural Peru with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), and today Josh and I will lead workshops in a little mountain town called Colcabamba. The current of chilly morning air runs through the thatched roof, and I peel the layers of alpaca blankets off my warm body. The dirt floor feels cool against my feet, and goosebumps crawl up my body. Where’s Josh? I wonder.
Chile is a country of extremes and superlatives. The Pacific coast has more than 2,500 miles of beaches, vast deserts, rainforests and spectacular inland seas where glaciers reach the coast. Spring and fall are delightful times to visit and coincide with the harvesting of grapes.
Although he wears many hats, you could call Elio a travel agent; he creates and organizes tours that reflect Argentina’s disparate ethnic groups under the rubric “Cultural Tourism.” But his heart, predictably enough, lies in the story of his own people and in dreaming up tours that document their history in this nation.
You will not find Dulce Fuego in any guide book, and if you ask most locals about this four-year-old establishment you may get blank stares. Dulce Fuego is certainly not on the tourist map and even the taxi driver had to check the location of Calle Cabo de Hornos. When he did turn onto the dimly lit street he had to look carefully to find the house number.
It was a dizzying way to start our trip – especially after a late night landing in Quito and only four hours of sleep. But here we were standing on a mountain more than two miles high. We were on a slope of the Pinchincha Volcano, part of the Yanacocha Reserve in the Ecuadoran Andes. It was our first stop on the way to a week at Tandayapa Bird Lodge…