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Category Archives: Photography

REACH FOR THE STARS IN CHILE

Chile is probably the best place in the World for star-gazing. Whether you are a casual star-gazer, or a professional astronomer, Chile is hard to beat. Astronomy is gaining popularity as more people are interested in the wonders of the sky and the mysteries of the universe. Much of this long country are sparsely populated which reduces light pollution. The dry desert climate in the north creates some of the clearest nights in the world and its location provides an ideal view of the southern sky. In the 1960’s, ESO (European Southern Observatory) built its Observatory La Silla in the outskirts of the famous Atacama Desert. In 2019, La Silla will celebrate 50 years of operation. 2019 will also be the year of a total eclipse in Northern Chile on July 02nd 2019. The Moon will cover the Sun completely in the late afternoon and turn the day into night. La Silla is organizing a ‘2019 Total Solar Eclipse Event’. Tickets sold out immediately. Accommodation almost anywhere in the zone of the eclipse also sold out a while ago. All is not lost however, we can offer a Glamping Experience for a 4-day/ 3-night trip from La Serena to the Elqui Valley (1-4 July). You will stay in the heart of the desert and be able to sip cocktails around a bonfire. A trip will be made to a unique observation point. Visit villages and sample the local cuisine and Pisco beverage. Other activities include sightseeing and bathing in thermal springs.

Even if you are not an astronomy enthusiast, the breath-taking view of the star-filled sky is always worth a visit. Tip: If you are heading to the Atacama, avoid the full-moon, so stars will be more visible. Contact us for more information and star-gazing programs in Chile.

RELATED: 8 Amazing Journeys You Should Take In Chile

The best drone footage of Latin America

Aerial footage from drones is fast becoming the most creative way to make short travel films. Capturing Latin America’s diverse landscapes, iconic monuments and natural wonders up close and from above adds a new perspective not seen in more tradition handheld camera films. Here are some of the best drone films from Latin America.

Peru

Iguazu – Argentina, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Mexico

Whale watching, Baja California – Mexico

Patagonia – Chile, Argentina

Galapagos – Ecuador

Easter Island – Chile

Orcas, Valdes Peninsula – Argentina

Guatemala

Costa Rica

Panama City – Panama

South America

To begin making your film of Latin America, get in touch today.

RELATED: Our picks for the 2018 hotspots in Latin America

Martín Chambi exhibition in Lima

Chambi

Hailed as Peru’s finest photographer, Martín Chambi was one of the first pioneers of indigenous photography. Now the Art Museum of Lima (MALI) is launching a retrospective exhibition of his work that documented the lives of Andean culture, people and landscapes.

Chambi was born into an indigenous family near the shores of Lake Titicaca. After the passing of his father he travelled to Arequipa where we began an apprenticeship in photography with his teacher Don Max T. Vargas, a rarity for someone with such humble beginnings. After training Chambi moved to Cuzco where we founded a portrait studio near the Plaza de Armas.

Although economically he did well from his commissioned portrait work, his passion was where his roots lay – the Andean indigenous culture, people and landscapes. He did many trips out of Cuzco to the Sacred Valley, capturing the lives of people many regarded as inferior. He left an archive of over 30,000 images.

Many newspapers including Peruvian La Cronica, the National in Buenos Aires and National Geographic published his photographic work.

“I have read that in Chile it is thought that Indians have no culture, that they are uncivilized, that they are intellectually and artistically inferior when compared to whites and Europeans. More eloquent than my opinion, however, are graphic testimonies. It is my hope that impartial and objective witnesses will examine this evidence. I feel that I am a representative of my race; my people speak through my photographs.”- Martín Chambi

The exhibition at MALI runs until the 14th February 2016. It is comprised of over 400 of Chambi’s photos including studio work, self-portraits, archaeological sites including Machu Picchu and indigenous photography.

To include a tour of his work start planning your tour of Peru today or call us on +44 (0) 207 407 1478.

RELATED: French artist projects faces of Amazon tribe onto rainforest canopy

8 Amazing Journeys You Should Take In Chile

Chile is spectacular although often overlooked as a Latin American destination. It is however rising in popularity so we thought it was time to but a handy guide together for 8 incredible mini-journeys you can take in the country from the dry northern desert of Atacama to the snow-capped mountains and peaks of Torres del Paine and the mysterious Polynesian island Easter Island. Many of these can be combined to make much larger itineraries.

1. Arica to Lauca

Out of all of Chile’s destinations, this is perhaps the most overlooked. However, this isolated region of Northern Chile located near the borders of Peru and Bolivia have much to offer. Begin in the coastal town of Arica, easily reachable from a direct flight from Santiago. This small city has a wonderfully warm climate all year round. As well as good quality beaches, it also has some of the best surf available in the country. From here you can visit the Azapa Valley from which you can see some ancient mummies. Just a couple of hours by road inland lies the Lauca National Park located in the Central Andean dry puna ecoregion. Between 3,300 and 6,300 metres above sea level it won’t just be the scenery that leaves you feeling breathless. Hiking is the best way to see this national park. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to see llamas, guanacos, vicuñas and maybe even cougars. There are plenty of bird species including Andean goose, Chilean flamingos and Andean condors to name just a few.

2. Atacama to Altiplano

What the Northern desert of Atacama lacks in flora (although there are some regions towards the coast that have colourful wild desert flowers) it certainly makes up for in landscapes. Most base themselves at in the small town of San Pedro de Atacama. There are plenty of places to stay from budget to seriously luxurious. From here take day trips out into the wilderness. Must see places include Moon and Death Valley whose landscapes have been compared to Mars (in fact is has been used for as a location for many films) and is best seen during the evening when you watch the famous sunset. The geyser field of El Tatio does require an early start but doesn’t disappoint. Over 80 geysers shooting steam up to 6 metres high make this the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere. Although the Atacama salt flats are not as large as the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, they are no less impressive. Lastly a visit to Miscanti and Miñique lagoons in the high Altiplano in Los Flamencos National Reserve reveal some fantastic wildlife including Chilean flamingos (hence the name).

3. Santiago to Valparaiso

The capital of Santiago is the entrance point to Chile for most and is well worth a few days. The district of Recoleta has a large variety of luxury and boutique hotels from which to base yourself. A guided tour from a local is one of the best ways to see the city and usually include visits to the Recoleta cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, Santa Lucia Hill, the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and the nightlife is as good as Buenos Aires’. After you’ve had your fill of Santiago head East to the port city of Valpairaiso a journey of around two hours. This colourful, gritty port city has had a resurgence in recent years, many spending more time here than the capital. The UNESCO World Heritage historic quarter is a fine example of 9th century of urban development in Latin America.

4. Wine tasting in Rosario

From Santiago head to the Rosario Valley region located between Casablanca and San Antonio, one of the world’s best wine growing regions. This 9,000 hectare enclosed valley has the ideal climate and topographic conditions for red and white wines. This spring-like climate makes it an ideal place to stay, even in the height of summer. Spend four nights at the seriously comfortable Matetic vineyards. Spend each day hiking, horse riding or biking through the beautiful countryside whilst enjoying superb cuisine, of coursed paired with excellent wines. As well as activities and wine there is also much flora and wildlife to be seen in the area. The dry coastal zone makes it perfect for wild flowers like the red Chilean bellflowers and there are plenty of mammals such as foxes and birdlife including thrushes, birds of prey and parrots.

Flickr: sharloch

Flickr: sharloch

5. Lake District, Pucon to Puerto Varas

The Lake District is located about half way from Santiago to the very south, between Temuco and Puerto Montt. This area is rich in forests, volcanos and of course, lakes. Popular with German, Swiss and Austrian immigrants in the 19th century was probably due to its similarity to the Alpine region of Europe. After flying to Temuco from Santiago transfer to Pucon. The town sits right on the edge of Villarrica Lake and Villarrica Volcano. It’s one of the hot spots of adventure sports in the country, so as well as hiking, there is plenty of kayaking, rafting, horse riding, canyoning and climbing. In the winter it’s also an excellent place for skiing and snowboarding. Head further south to Puerto Varas, another adventure sport playground, but somewhat quieter than Pucon. Towering over the town are Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Here you can fish, hiking, ski and climb. We recommend taking a guided tour of Osorno and visiting some of the local hot springs.

Flickr: Bitterroot

Flickr: Bitterroot

6. Lake Crossing to Argentina

The lake crossing between Chile and Argentina is certainly a more scenic way to cross the border. Beginning in Puerto Varas you will be transferred to Petrohue bordering Lake Llanquihue. Along the way take in the impressive sights of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes. Visit the impressive Petrohue Falls in Vicentre Perez National Park. Set sail to Peulla crossing over Todos los Santos Lake. Once you arrive take some time to relax and enjoy lunch before boarding a bus to Puerto Frias passing through the border. Arrive and take your second board across Lake Frias before boarding bus to Puerto Blest. Here you will take your last boat navigation across Puerto Nahuel Huapi Lake arrive in Puerto Pañuelo where you will continue by bus to Bariloche.

Torres del Paine

7. Torres del Paine

After flying into Punta Arenas and travelling through the town of Puerto Natales, you’ll reach the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Located in the far south in the heart of Patagonia between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonia Steppes, this is truly one of our favourite places in Latin America (if not the world). There are just a handful of places to stay within the national park. For luxurious glamping try the EcoCamp that is not only located in a fantastic location but provides easy access to some of the best trails and makes for a very comfortable base. Although horse riding and biking can be arranged, the best way to see the park is by foot, either with days trips, or on the five day W Trek staying in refuges or camping. Taking a boat trip to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers will not leave you disappointed and is included on most trips to the region.

Easter Island

8. Easter Island

One of the most remote islands in the world. The six hour flight from Santiago puts many of visiting this Polynesian Island, but those who make the long journey are treated to interesting scenery, a culture very different from that of mainland Chile and some of the most mysterious histories on earth. It’s most famous for the 887 Moai statues created by the early Rapa Nui people who to begin with thrived on the island, but overpopulation, the introduction of rats and extensive deforestation severely reduced the Rapa Nui’s community. Excellent local guides will help you discover about the fascinating history of the Rapa Nui as well as offering excellent hiking and horse riding. There are also plenty of tropical white sandy beaches to relax on.

To start arranging your bespoke tour of Chile do get in touch with us or take a look at some of our example tours.

RELATED: 5 Natural Wonders You Can See In Chile’s Atacama Desert

11 Experiences You Can Have In Costa Rica

1. Scale a volcano

Arenal

Every fancied hiking around a volcano? Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano is one of the best for hiking in the world. You can even do a night hike should you wish.

2. Smell the coffee

Coffee tourFlickr/Andy Rusch

Costa Rican coffee is considered some of the best in the world. They produce over 168,000 tons of the stuff each year, most of which is exported. Try the Doka Coffee Estate for an excellent introduction to Costa Rican coffee production.

3. Stay in a luxury jungle lodge

Lapa Rios Room

Costa Rica has no shortage of luxury jungle lodges. Head south to Corcovado on the Osa Peninsula and stay at the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge for the best. The sixteen private bungalows are nestled along ridges that overlook the thousand acres of private natural lowland rainforest. Not only is this wonderfully luxurious, it’s also a wildlife lover’s paradise.

4. Learn to surf

SurfFlickr/Petey

The Nicoya Peninsula in the west of the country is one of the best places to surf in the world. Try Playa Santa Teresa, Playa Carmen and Malpaís which have many surf schools.

5. Help protect sea turtles

TurtlesFlickr/Steven Gerner

Conservation of the endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica continues. Tortuguero, located in the east of the country has the largest green turtle rookery in the Western Hemisphere. Leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles also nest here.

6. White-water raft

White waterFlickr/David Berkowitz

Costa Rica has some excellent white water rafting opportunities. We suggest visiting the Pacuare River, which blends great white water rafting and stunning scenery.

7. Search for the resplendent quetzal

QuetzalFlickr/vil.sandi

One of the most beautiful birds on the planet can be found in Costa Rica…….if you know where to look.

8. Visit a national park

National parkFlickr/Beth and Anth

There are currently 50 national parks in Costa Rica and over 25% of the land mass is protected by the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion.

9. Visit a sloth sanctuary

SlothFlickr/Jenny Jozwiak

Love wildlife? There’s is no better place to see the sloths, both in the wild and in sanctuaries. We suggest a visit to Aviarios del Caribe Sloth Sanctuary which looks after sloths which have been injured or orphaned.

10. Take soak in a hot spring

Hot SpringsFlickr/Jeremy Vandel

After all those activities, take a nice long soak in one of the many hot springs dotted around Arenal Volcano. Tabacon Hot Springs is one of the best.

To start planning your holiday to Costa Rica get in touch with us here.

RELATED: 10 exotic creatures you’ll see in Costa Rica

12 Vintage Black & White Photos From Travels Around Brazil

We’ve been creating memorable adventures around Brazil for almost 30 years. Here’s a collection of some of my old black and white photos from travels around this fascinating country.

Angry Brazilian Woman Brazilian Amazon Brazilian Man Brazilian Woman Brazililan Family bw house bw paraty beach boats bw Paraty bw Sao Paulo 2 Collecting Water Happy Kids Woman WeavingAll photographs © David Horwell – all rights reserved. Contact for any usage requests.

RELATED: 38 Outrageously Luxurious Hotels In Brazil

We have launched our new brochure. Get it hot off the press

Brochure Cover
We are pleased to announce the publication of new brochure. This beautiful 96 page full colour booklet is packed full of our favourite hotels, country information, tours and maps to give you itchy feet and help with the planning of your next adventure in Latin America. To order you free copy, please get in touch.

Patagonia Overland Safari Our New Product

Fancy a different way of exploring Patagonia? Why not trying our new Patagonia Overland Safari tour?

This can be either an eight or six days program where you will discover the most amazing corners of Patagonia on both the Argentinean and Chilean sides, including the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine National Park with the fascinating Grey glacier and Los Glaciares National Park which provides stunning views of Mount Fitz Roy.

Both programs can be combined with a visit to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, the imposing Iguazú falls and with a Malbec wine tasting in Mendoza. At the same time we can include a few days exploring the marvelous Atacama Desert in Chile.

To start organizing your visit to Patagonia get in touch.

RELATED: Motor Cycle Patagonia Awesome Video

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