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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Buy one get one free on Antarctic Cruises

Ocean Diamond Copyright (CIP)Our Antarctic Cruise Sale begins today and will run until Friday 26 September. There are 8 voyages on a buy-one-get-one-free promotion so if you’re thinking of going to the Antarctic this year its the perfect time to book your cruise.

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
Sea Spirit – 7 November 2014
Sea Adventurer – 16 November 2014
Sea Adventurer – 26 November 2014
Ocean Diamond – 2 December 2014
Sea Adventurer – 6 November 2014
Ocean Diamond – 11 December 2014

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica: Explorers and Kings
Ocean Diamond – 14 November 2014
Sea Spirit – 17 November 2014

Call us on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or email for more details on the itinerary and pricing.

10 Amazing Facts About Peru You Probably Didn’t Know

1. There are over 55 varieties of corn produced in Peru

CornJenny Mealing/Flickr

2. Peru has not one but three official languages – Spanish, Quechua and Aymara

PeopleMaurizio Costanzo/Flickr

3. Peru is home to the oldest university in the Americas – The National University of San Marco founded in 1551

San_Marcos_UniversityOle Husby/Flickr

4. There are over 3000 varieties of potato

Potato_peruJagubal/Flickr

5. Peru has over 90 different micro climates

peru_climateanoldent/Flickr

6. Chicama has the world’s longest left hand wave at 4km long

Chicama_peruJordan Fischer/Flickr

7. Cotahuasi Canyon is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon

canyonalexanderjwatts/Flickr

8. The bowler hats that indigenous woman typically wear were introduced by British rail road workers in the 1920s

bowler_hatvil.sandi (away)/Flickr

9. 65 million guinea pigs are eaten every year in Peru

CuyNestor Lacle/Flickr

10. Peru is home to the world’s largest sand dune. Cerro Blanco measures in at 3,860 feet

cerro_blancoMedhus/Flickr

Drink Mate Like a Gaucho in Seven Steps

Mate is a traditional herbal tea commonly consumed in the southern cone of South America. Its named after the mate gourd from which it is drunk. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and has numerous health benefits. There is far more to the ritual of making mate tea than simply adding mate and water. Here’s how to make mate in the traditional style in 7 steps.

1. Get yourself the right kit

photo 2To make mate properly you’ll need three things. The cup part is traditionally made from hollowed calabash gourd, but is also available in metals or ceramics. Second you will need a bombilla, a metal straw. Of course, you also need the yerba mate.  Everything is available at Casa Argentina online shop.

2. Fill the cup

photo 4Fill the gourd with mate. Don’t fill the cup more than half full.

3. Remove the powder

photo6To stop the bombilla from getting blocked you’ll need to remove the powdery tea. Place hand over the top of the gourd, upturn it and shake gently. Do this two to three times.

4. Create space

photo 8Lift the gourd to an angle and tap to allow the mate tea to fall to one side and creating a space on the other.

5. Add the cold water

photo10Insert the bombilla into the gourd and pour cold water into the empty space into it reaches the top of the tea. Allow this to be soaked up by the mate.

6. Add the hot water

photo 11Add the hot water in the same way as the cold. Use water at 80 °C as boiling water will make the mate bitter. Try to resist stirring the mate as this will block the bombilla straw.

7. Share

Gauchos Sharing mateMGPanoramico/Flickr

Traditionally mate is shared. The server drinks first, consuming all the water before refilling with hot water and passing on. The same tea should last around 8-10 refills.

10 ancient South American wonders you absolutely need to visit

1. Machu Picchu
Machu PicchuPedro Szekely/Flickr

Where: Cuzco, Peru
What: Extremely well preserved (and restored) 15th century Inca settlement located in stunning mountainous surroundings.
How: In the Footsteps of Incas

2. Tiwanaku
TiwanakuFrançois Bianco/Flickr

Where: Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
What: Capital of a pre-Inca civilization which dominated a swathe of the southern Andes between 500 AD and 900 AD
How: Tiwanaku & Beyond

3. Kuelap Fortress
KuelapMihai/Flickr

Where: Chachapoyas, Peru
What: The remains of a vast walled complex that contained over 400 buildings dating back to the 6th century and occupied until the Spanish Invasion.
How: Warriors of the Clouds

4. Chan Chan
Chan ChanCarlos Adampol Galindo/Flickr

Where: Trujillo, Peru
What: Covering an area of over twenty 20 km², Chan Chan is biggest Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Latin America.
How: Warriors of the Clouds

5. Tierradentro
Tierradentroinyucho/Flickr

Where: Cauca, Colombia
What: Underground tombs and burial chambers decorated with motifs dating back to the 6th century.
How: In Search of El Dorado

6. Chavín de Huántar
Chavininyucho/Flickr

Where: Ancash Region, Peru
What: A place of worship and one of the oldest pre-Columbian sites dating back to 1500 BC located in the high Andes.
How: Contact us

7. Ingapirca
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAJulia Rubini/Flickr

Where: Cañar Province, Ecuador
What: One of the only and largest Inca complexes built in southern Ecuador and used as a military outpost.
How: Cotopaxi & the Devil’s Nose

8. Ciudad Perdida
Ciudad PerdidaSarah Tz/Flickr

Where: Sierra Nevada, Colombia
What: The ‘Lost City’ founded around 800 AD and rediscovered in the early 70s by a group of local treasure looters.
How: Contact us

9. Nazca Lines
Nazca LinesVéronique Debord-Lazaro/Flickr

Where: Nasca, Peru
What: Gigantic geoglyphs etched into the desert between 500 BC and 500 AD and still a mystery to archaeologists.
How: Contact us

10. Moai Statues
MaoiArian Zwegers/Flickr

Where: Easter Island, Chile
What: Human statues created by the Rapa Nui people between the 13th and 16th century some of which weigh up to 82 tons.
How: Origins of Chile

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