“It took several minutes before I realized that an entire squadron of baby spiders was repelling down from the thatched roof above me and into my cup of hot aba* punch”, relates David Knight, Intrepid’s Community Based Tourism researcher in Peru.
“My research assistant and Spanish-Quechua translator, Nilo, seemed all too amused. Together, we had been invited into the home of a kind local woman to shelter from the hail that had begun to fall in destructive force upon the high Andean town of Amaru, where we’d been conducting research for several weeks. As the tiny spiders descended upon me to escape the fury of the elements, I couldn’t help but laugh with my companion in contemplation of the unique challenges and experiences we’d had thus far in these remote and breathtakingly beautiful highlands.
Real cultures, people and places are what our friends at Matador Network are always wanting to discover. So who better to talk to about the highlights of Buenos Aires than these talented travel journalists who have either lived, or are living, in Argentina’s iconic city…
Tom Gates, Matador Nights:
Arguably the best Japanese food in Buenos Aires is at Comedor Nikkai, which is, not surprisingly, located in the Japanese Cultural Center (Av. Independencia 732, San Telmo).
Sure you can get a buzz on roller coasters, jet boats and hang gliders, but as Intrepid’s Ella Benjamin discovered, sometimes a simple piece of ply board can give you the most thrilling ride of your life…
“Flying face-first down a hundred foot mountain of sand is one of the most exhilarating and adrenaline pumping experiences of my life.
Huacachina, a tiny town in southwest Peru, has increasingly become an attraction for tourists drawn by the sport of sand boarding and taking dune buggy rides. The town is built around a small natural lake in the middle of the desert and is surrounded by enormous sand dunes.
One of the best travelling thrills is to arrive somewhere new and discover that a festival in full swing.
Not only is this a chance to join in all the fun, but as Sean Kennaway discovered on his Intrepid Patagonia trip, it also gives you an ideal opportunity to sample some mouthwatering food…
You’ve decided that Peru and its famous Inca Trail is at the top of your travel wish list, but how do you make it happen? Is it within reach for an inexperienced hiker and what should you know before you go?
No doubt about it. The sheer abundance of wildlife in the Galapagos is enough to overwhelm even the most ardent nature fan.
From sea lions to tortoises, to blue-footed boobies and rare iguanas, you’ll quickly lose yourself in the many wonders of these incredible islands.
For most of us it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so you want to make sure you cover off all the highlights and then some. Here, travel bloggers and possibly the most adventurous couple we know, The Planet D, nominate their must-see experiences on a tour of the Galapagos…
Central and South America will whet any traveller’s appetite for real adventure with its jungle-clad ruins, steamy rainforests and wildly rugged landscapes. It’s the ultimate destination for the curious and daring, so we’ve tracked down the most intriguing lost cities of this legend-fuelled land…
5. The City of Caesars
Thousands of kilometers of uncharted plains, lonely lakes and ancient forests that were once roamed by dinosaurs – if you were looking to hide a lost city, Patagonia would be the place to do it. But if you’re lucky enough to find yourself exploring this pristine wilderness, chances are you’ve heard the words ‘City of Caesars’ echoing through Patagonia’s glacier filled passes. Typically, the legend speaks of a remote fort filled with unimaginable treasures hidden deep within the Andes.
Emily Mitterhuemer knows firsthand that trekking in Patagonia really puts you through your paces, but reaching your goals in this awe-inspiring region of South America has the greatest rewards…
“I know that hiking up a mountain is not for everyone, but bear with me for a moment. The feeling that you get when you have slogged your way up the toughest part of the trail and the perfect lookout point appears from over the ridge, is a particularly special one. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention privilege, to be in a hard to reach place that is difficult to achieve any other way. Patagonia is a particularly rewarding place to test your endurance and get back into shape (like you have been promising) with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery and the cleanest air imaginable.
If you’re feeling a little blue, then travelling to Bolivia could be right up your alley thanks to a great local treat.
Maize is a food with endless permutations; fresh, popped, ground into flour for bread, as a syrup, or an oil. Travelling through Latin America you will find so many delicious foods with maize as the main ingredient. Travelling in Bolivia you will find something extra special. A blue maize drink called api.
Have you ever experienced something so different to anything else you’ve ever seen or done before, that five years on you’re still unable to believe you were there?
“It was a sight so out of this world that I’m still getting flashes of the colour and vibrancy of the most amazing four hours of my life. Flashbacks of the fireworks exploding from the back of our float and wow, I’d almost forgotten about the transvestite ballerinas!