New Year’s resolutions are like making plans to catch up with an old acquaintance. You bump into them on NYE, smile with too many teeth and say, ‘Oh my god, we should totally do coffee soon. How have we let it get this long? We’ll text. Ciao!’ Then weeks go by and that resolution just sits there gathering dust, rather like those dumbbells you bought two Januaries ago. But Intrepid is here to help. We reckon most resolutions just need a little spice, a twist of lemon or a dollop of chimichurri – and we’ve got just the continent for the job: South America.
South America is a beautiful destination, candid and colourful, but many South American countries are still working towards economic stability and equality. Drained by conflicts over the last few hundred years, these countries struggle to establish basic standards of living for their citizens. And even in the more prosperous areas there will be those that slip through the cracks, like in the favelas of Rio or shantytowns of Peru.
Popular in coastal regions of the Americas, ceviche is essentially raw fish cured in lemon or lime juice. It’s usually spiced with some kind of chilli and toppings such as onions, salt and cilantro aren’t uncommon. It goes rather splendidly with side dishes such as corn, avocado, plantain and sweet potato. Yummo.
Travel in South America is often dominated by the big players: your Brazils, Argentinas, Perus and Chiles. But little Ecuador, sandwiched between the white caps of the Pacific and the humid lowlands of the Amazon basin, is the equal of any of them.
When most travellers think of Brazil they only see the big cities, the crowded beaches and the crazy nightlife. It’s Rio this and Rio that.
Studies suggest that the world’s 300 million indigenous people – living in mainly rural areas across 70 countries – experience greater degrees of deprivation and poverty than non-indigenous people.
As expected, my Classic Peru trip with Intrepid was a phenomenal mix of culture – including Lima, the food mecca of Latin America; Cuzco, the ancient Inka capital of South America; and the islands of Lake Titicaca, which seemed to me a blast from the past as they really have not adopted much of our modern world.
Some of my favorite stops along the way included:
If you love trying new things, then you’ll definitely want to get your teeth into hormigas culonas. This literally translates to ‘ants with a large arse’ but don’t let that put you off!
To try this special snack you will have to go to South America and arrive in Colombia, a country famous for its rare fauna and flora, and maybe its ants.