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Monthly Archives: June 2014

10 irresistible photos of Brazil

1. Sunset over the Bahian coast


2. Hiking in Chapada Diamantes


3. Scuba diving off Fernando de Noronha


4. Dolphin watching off the south coast


5. Bird-watching in the Pantanal


6. Cruising down the Amazon River


7. Staying at a beautiful pousada


8. Helicopter over the Iguaçu Falls


9. Walking down through the Pelourinho in Salvador


10. Taking a schooner cruise along the Costa Verde


RELATED: Top 5 holidays in Brazil

20 Quotes from Charles Darwin


Charles Darwin was the first person to really put the Galapagos Islands on the map with his descriptions in The Journal during the voyage on the Beagle. Here are twenty of our favourite Charles Darwin quotes.

1. “I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men” – Charles Darwin

2. “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.” – Charles Darwin

3. “Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.” – Charles Darwin

4. “Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.” – Charles Darwin

5.  “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” –  Charles Darwin

6. “The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin

7. “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

8. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin

9. “The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognise that we ought to control our thoughts.” – Charles Darwin

10. “I am not the least afraid to die” – Charles Darwin

11. “Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds which follows from the advance of science.” – Charles Darwin

12. “We are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it.” –  Charles Darwin

13. “He who understands baboons would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” – Charles Darwin

14. “The very essence of instinct is that it’s followed independently of reason.” –  Charles Darwin

15. “Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.” – Charles Darwin

16. “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.” – Charles Darwin

17. “One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.” – Charles Darwin

18. “In conclusion, it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.” – Charles Darwin

19. “Our descent, then, is the origin of our evil passions!! The devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather. ” – Charles Darwin

20. “I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me” – Charles Darwin

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Patagonian International Marathon


Have you thought about racing in the wild of Patagonia? If not, here is a good opportunity for you to experience this remote area of South America in a different way. The race takes place within the Torres del Paine National Park, in the Chilean Patagonia and this year will be held on the 27th September. The event is divided in four distances such as 63 km, 42 km, 21 km and 10 km, along multi-coloured  lakes, glaciers, granite mountains and a vast range of wildlife including guanacos, foxes and condors will make of this race an unforgettable experience. Competitors will start the race at different points according to the distance they will be running, however, they will all finish at the same location. Since the first event in 2012 the marathon has attracted professional and amateurs runners from all over the world. The event aims to contribute to the responsible development of the region and support the conservation of Chilean Patagonia. A three will be planted for each runner in the National Park in order to collaborate with the reforestation of native species in the Chilean Patagonia.

If you would like to join the Patagonia Marathon please get in touch.

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A short history of Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova has an interesting history. Created in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1950s it rose in popularity over a six year period in what is known as the Bossa Nova movement.  Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd are just a few of the notable Bossa Nova artists. This fusion mix of jazz and samba began during a new beginning for Brazil. With its economy booming many were moving to the cities and a middle class was emerging – this was the music of the young intellectuals. During the early 1960s its popularity began to grow around the world, particularly in the US where João Gilberto and Stan Getz’ version of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ sung by Astrud Gilberto, became a huge hit reaching the top of the charts. But this was not to last. In 1964 backed by the US government, a military coup ousted the left-wing government and along with many things, Bossa Nova began to be censored and even repressed. Over the years Bossa Nova has be synonymous with carefree spirit of the Brazilian people and lives on through artists like Bebel Gilberto and Sitti Navarro.

Start your own Bossa Nova tour of Brazil by getting in touch.

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Q’oyllur Riti Festival Peru


Q’oyllur Riti is one of the most intriguing festivals in the Andes, combining Pre-Columbian fertility ceremonies and Catholic processions with colourful dancers and Andean music. Said to be the greatest indigenous pilgrimage in the Americas. Each year just before Corpus Christi the people of the district of Ocongate in Peru perform a ritual based on the image of Christ. The main ceremony is held at the foot of Mount Ausangate, at 4,700 meters (15,416 feet), above sea level, where temperatures often plunge below freezing. The ritual brings thousands of pilgrims, including shepherds, traders and the merely curious who gather at the shrine. Legend has it that the infant Christ, dressed as a shepherd, appeared to a young highland Indian boy, Marianito Mayta  who died, and the image of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i appeared on the stone. Qoyllur Rit’i also means Lord of Star Snow. Another interpretation is that it is worship of the Pleiades star constellation that reappears in June and signifies the upcoming harvest. More than 10,000 pilgrims climb to the snowline, accompanied by dancers in full costume as various mythical characters following stone cairns, built along the way, to atone for their sins. An elite group of sturdy queros set out for the mountaintop, at 6,362 metres (20,867 feet), in search of the Snow Star, reputedly buried within the mountain. On their way back down they haul massive blocks of ice on their backs for the symbolic irrigation of their lands with holy water from the Ausangate mountain. Video.

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New Inca Path to Machu Picchu discovered

Photo: Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco/El Comercio

Photo: Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco/El Comercio

The Incas themselves may have provided Peruvian tourism officials with a partial solution to help alleviate Machu Picchu’s overcrowding problem. Archaeologists have found a new Inca path that leads right to the fabled citadel of Machu Picchu. Under the dense vegetation lies an Inca ‘road’ from Wayraqtambo, at least one and a half kilometres long ends at a viewing platform over the ruins. This offers and impressive view of the dwelling areas of the citadel and could offer visitors a new aspect of the well known ruins. Local news sources say that part of the route is through a man-made tunnel this is still in a good state despite being over 500 years old. The Inca engineers crafted in stone and were built to survive earthquakes. If you are interested in Peru’s civilizations we suggest our Luxury Peru trip.

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This guy is the world’s biggest football fan!

The FIFA 2014 world cup is just around the corner, but how much of a fan of ‘the beautiful game’ are you? Probably not as much as São Paulo resident Nelson Paviotti, a Brazilian lawyer whose love of the game has made him the world’s most famous football fan. Back in the 1994 World Cup Paviotti promised that if Brazil beat the USA (which they did) he would only wear clothes in the national colours of yellow, green, white and blue which he has done ever since.

Nelson describes himself as a patriot who loves his Brazil, his land and his people. His passion and love for the country and team are so great that he claims to only eat green and yellow food.  He has also recently decorated his house, office and cars in the city of Campinas in order to celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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