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The Best Traditional Cafés in Buenos Aires

The coffeehouses of Buenos Aires have played an important role in Argentine society since the mid-19th century. Although some have unfortunately closed up shop, there are still over 50 of these traditional cafes. Café culture is big in Argentina and many porteños prefer the café notable to the modern.

Arguably the most famous café in Buenos Aires is Café Tortoni. This traditional coffeehouse was founded by a French immigrant in the mid-19th century and was named after the Café Tortoni on the Boulevard des Italiens in Paris. It was once the haunt of the famous Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and has recently been named one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.


Café Tortoni, Av de Mayo 825, 1084

Cafe Tortoni


Las Violetas, Av Rivadavia 3899


Confiteria Ideal, Suipacha 384


Bar Plaza Dorrego, Humberto Primo 424 y Defensa


La Biela, Av Pres. Manuel Quintana 596

la biela


Café Margot, Av Boedo 857

cafe margot


Café de los Angelitos, Av Rivadavia 2100

Cafe de los Angelitos


Clasica y Moderna, Av Callao 892

Clasica y Moderna


El Federal, Carlos Calvo 599

El Federal

To start planning your tour of the coffeehouses of Buenos Aires get in touch with us here.

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Biking the mountains of Peru [VID]

Truly awesome aIn the winter of 2014, three friends set out on a self supported ride, looking for nothing more than a truly genuine experience. The goal: to circumnavigate one of the most wonderful and wicked mountain ranges in the world – the Huayhuash, by bicycle. Huayhuash is the story of genuine adventure and the challenges that come along with it.

To start planning your mountain bike tour of Peru get in touch with us here.

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Our 20 favourite places in Latin America

Latin America is a culturally and geographically diverse place. Here’s 20 places (in no particular order) you absolutely have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

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Driving across this alien landscape of white salt crust dotted with cactus-studded black islands is a magical experience not to be missed.

Machu Picchu, Peru

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One of the seven ancient wonders of the world, enough said!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

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The sight of vast pieces of ice carving of this glacier and smashing into the lake below is truly awesome.

Easter Island, Chile

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Lying around 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, this island has more in common with Polynesia than the Chileans who colonised it.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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Quite simply one of the best wildlife spotting regions on planet earth.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

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This small archipelago off Brazil is often overlooked and fantastic for snorkelling and scuba.

Torres del Paine, Chile

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The snow capped mountains and lakes of the Torres del Paine National Park is best explored by foot.

Cartagena, Colombia

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It’s colourful, fun and exciting with wonderfully friendly people all overlooking the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

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Vast rolling sand dunes punctuated by hundreds of turquoise lagoons.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

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Probably the most famous pre-Columbian ruins in Latin America, built by the Maya people.

San Blas, Panama

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The pristine Archipelago includes picture-perfect coral islands with white sand and coconut trees surrounded by a sapphire sea..

Lake Titicaca, Peru & Bolivia

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The highest navigable lake in the world, with its deep blue waters and interesting locals and history sandwiched between Bolivia and Peru.

Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

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Unmissable wildlife encounters, from colonies of sea lions, penguins and seals to orcas that come to feed near the shore.

Atacama Desert, Chile

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The north of Chile is an arid but beautiful landscape, with fascinating wildlife that is protected in a series of national parks.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

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Watch the smoky, active volcano and natural fireworks of lava tumbling down its slopes from the hot springs of Tabacon.

Iguazu, Argentina and Brazil

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One of the seven natural wonders of the world and not something to be missed lightly. Hear the thunder and feel the spray of water from the Devil’s throat walkway.

Amazon, Brazil, Peru, Ecuado and Bolivia

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Meet indigenous tribes in their home which boast more plant and animal species than any other ecosystem, and is the heart of our planet.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

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British novelist Aldous Huxley once called this lake ‘’the most beautiful in the world’’. Few can disagree.

Chan Chan, Peru

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Often overlooked, Chan Chan is the  largest Pre-Columbian city in South America.

Pantanal, Brazil

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A vast wetland and wildlife haven where caiman nonchalantly cross the road and myriad birds, monkeys, armadillos and jaguars can be seen.

Want to visit any of these? Contact us here.

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8 Landscapes In The Galapagos You Never New Exsisted

1. The red beaches of Rabida Island

The island of Rabida (also known as Jervis) has bright red beaches created by eroded iron-rich cinder from the cliffs to the west. Young pelicans can be seen waddling along the coastline or plunge diving into the sea.

2. The blowhole of Española

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Along the rocky trails on Española Island you will arrive at a good vantage point at the cliffpoint where you can contemplate the power of the sea whilst watching the vapour shoot 25m though a blowhole.

3. The Pehoehoe lava flows on Sullivan Bay

The bizarre waves of black basaltic rock on Sullivan Bay is truly an awesome site. Although this looks ancient, it’s actually very young in geological terms at only a hundred years old or so.

4. Giant prickly pears on Santa Fe

The Opuntia, a cacti more commonly referred to as the prickly pear grows in huge numbers of the island of Santa Fe and can be seen during the trail hike. Although they bear fruit, it’s unfortunately not as pleasant as real pears.

5. The Devil’s Crown off Floreana

Devil's Crown, Floreana, Galapagos

The Devil’s Crown is a sunken cinder cone filled by the sea so the water is shallow inside but deep outside. Corals abound with reef fishes such as the parrotfish.

6. The vast caldera on Sierra Negra Volcano

This is a place not to be missed. This active volcano’s crater is second only in size to the Ngorongoro volcano in Africa.

7. The scalescia trees on Santa Cruz

Related to the daisy family, these giant versions grow up to twenty metres tall. They can be found in great numbers in the Highlands of Santa Cruz.

8. The lava tunnels on Santa Cruz

Lava Tube, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

There a few different lava tunnels to visit on Santa Cruz Islands, the most impressive being at Primicias Farm. You can also see giant Galapagos tortoises nearby which is equally as impressive.

Would you like to visit any of these places? Start planning your Galapagos holiday today.

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Preserving Lonesome George [VID]

This fascinating documentary takes you through the taxidermy process of Lomesome George, the last known Pinta Island Tortoise, at the American Museum of Natural History. Lomesome George has always been an icon of conservation around the world since finding him alone on Pinta Island in the Galapagos Islands in the early 70s. He was thought to be over 100 years old at the time of his death in 2012.

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Oh My Gourd! Engraving from Peru

Peruvian gourds

The mate burilado or carved gourd, is one of the most skilful examples of Peruvian folk-art. Dating back hundreds of years this tradition comes from the small village of Cochas in the Andean highlands near Huancayo.

The technique has been passed down from generation to generation, each workshop is a family run business and crafted by men, women and children who learn from a very young age.

Most of the colours are natural earthy tints produced by dyeing with minerals and by burning with embers and polishing. Charcoal or chalk are rubbed in the carved lines to better show the designs.The sun-dried gourds are related to pumpkins and come from the lowlands and were traded for corn and beans.

Historically gourds were used as storage jars for salt, spices and drinking vessels for chicha (corn beer). The images depicted told stories, myths and recorded events like weddings. The intricate designs are often carved from memory, more recently with images showing birds, animals, people and dances. Archaeologists have found carved gourds dating back from over 4,000 years. They make a great memento from Peru and are light and easy to carry home.

Want to pick up a gourd for yourself? Why not visit Peru in 2015.

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Cola de Mono Recipe: A Delicious Chilean Christmas Drink

Colemonkey

This unusual and traditional Chilean Christmas drink is a favourite right across the country.  Although there are now different versions, the simplest and most common recipe combines milk, coffee and aguardiente (fire water). The literal translation of the drink is ‘monkey’s tail’. There are few theories about its name, one of them is linked to the former president Pedro Montt and another theory is that it’s delicious taste will have you swinging like a real monkey.

Serving: 2 litres
Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
5 cloves, whole
1 nutmeg, grated
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup of water
3 tbs instant coffee
2000 ml milk
12 tbs sugar
250 ml aguardiente

Method
Place the cloves, nutmeg, the cinnamon sticks and water together in a pot, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on top. Add half of the coffee in the hot water with the spices, half of the milk and the sugar, stir until the sugar and coffee are dissolved. In a separate container mix the remaining coffee with the cold milk, once the coffee is dissolved add to the main mixture together with the aguaardiente and stir for a couple of minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cloves, put the drink into a bottle and store in the fridge.

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