South America has long been a bucket-list destination for me and in just 4 days I’ll be heading there myself for the first time. It’s so close I can literally taste the Pisco Sour.
So what’s so exciting about South America anyway? Well, for anyone unfamiliar with this epic continent, here’s a round-up of some of the things I’m looking forward to most when I explore Peru. And if there’s some stuff that I definitely shouldn’t miss, make sure you let me know in the comments below.
Travel to Colombia and you’re sure to come back talking of the country’s stupendous beauty.
It’s the only South American nation with access to both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, contains sectors of both the Amazon and Andes, and is said to pack in higher levels of biodiversity per square kilometre than any other country. Add into the mix its stately Spanish architecture, a temperate year-round climate and the infectious local exuberance for living life, and you have a country that despite its previous hardships is a place that’s unrivalled.
Ever been to a country and realised quickly that you will be planning a return trip very soon?
That was the case for Daniel Klein of The Perennial Plate. Daniel and his wife Mira have been travelling the world documenting their amazing food adventures on video and this episode shows why Argentina holds a special place in Daniel’s heart…
I am not a writer or a storyteller. I am a man of flavours and ingredients coming from a faraway land of a mystic culture and exotic products.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to rediscover my own country of Peru. Through flavours I was able to understand a culture that I kept in my childhood memory, that influences my palate and is a part of who I am today.
Ok, so we know there’s a heap of amazing places to travel to, so why choose to explore Guatemala over all the others?
8. Really cool ruins
If you’ve ever fantasised about being Indiana Jones for a day or just love old, stone things, Guatemala’s ruins will blow you away. The most famous is coastal Tikal, which will impress even the most jaded traveller. Then you’ve got the remarkable ruins of Yaxha, Uaxactan and Quirigua scattered around the country looking fabulous. And if you’re up for a 5-day hike and a bit of roughing it, then El Mirador lies deep within the jungle and is believed to be the cradle of Maya civilisation.
Chances are if you’re travelling to Peru you are thinking of visiting Machu Picchu.
These legendary ruins are certainly worth the hike (quite literally if you embark on the Inca Trail), but you may not be familiar with the wealth of other captivating and crowd-free ruins that are littered across this ancient and impressive landscape.
Now it’s time for David to put his head down and write up his PhD thesis…but not without sending us some more enchanting observations…
Just imagine the Galapagos…with no majestic giant tortoise, no quizzical looking blue footed boobies, no sea lions taking over the park benches on the water front, or no dinosaur-like marine iguanas sun-baking on the rocks.
It’s a scary thought – but if not for one action 50 years ago, that’s how the Galapagos Islands could be now.
Maybe it’s the broadening of existential horizons that comes with seeing how different folk dwell – or perhaps it’s just long beach-bound days perfectly suited to naval-gazing – but overseas travel has a habit of bedevilling the professional ambitions of even the most career-satisfied.
You know the score: one week you’re perfectly content toiling away in the sensibly chosen industry of your sensibly completed qualification, the next you’re in Cuba ruminating that your true calling may be as an antique watch-repairer. And while such whimsical wanderings usually last no longer than the evening’s final mojito, overseas adventurings can on occasion herald vocational redirections of the most drastic variety. Take Charles Darwin for instance.
Why have fountains flowing with water when they could be splashing about in the country’s national drink?
Yes, Peruvians are so passionate about their beloved Pisco that on the first Saturday in February they honour their famous cocktail with Pisco Sour Day. On this day each year the fountain at Plaza Mayor in Lima even pours with thousands of litres of the local brew!
If you can’t make it to this huge Pisco party, there is another chance to celebrate the iconic liqueur on National Pisco Day in July. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can join Intrepid’s special Pisco Making Urban Adventure in Cusco to discover why this national drink has a way of bringing locals and travellers together.