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Experience the Uros Islands with Crillon Tours

In Bolivia, there is a vast indigenous population. One of these groups is ‘The Uros’ on Lake Titicaca, who have been around since 5000 BC and still live by the lake today.

A visit to Lake Titicaca offers travellers the opportunity to meet the indigenous people of the Uros islands and for the community to be introduced to the international travellers.

What makes the Uros people different is that their homes are on the water, protecting themselves from wild animals and other threats. They lived, and still do, on ‘Floating Islands’ that are made of totora reeds. 

Crillon Tours first met the community on the shores of the Desaguadeo River and offer a unique opportunity to meet with the survivors of the Urus Iruitos, consisting of 32 families, who work together and share their culture and traditional handicrafts with visitors.  

The islanders wish to progress, but in a way, that retains their identity, dignity, traditions, lifestyle and their cosmovision – to help with their understanding of the universe.

They have received much recognition, on the 5th July 2007, the government of La Paz officially declared that the Urus people were “Cultural and Intangible Heritage to the Living Human Treasures of the Department of La Paz”.

You can request this unforgettable visit to the ‘Uros Iruitos Floating Islands’ on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. It can be added to any of Crillon Tours’ Lake Titicaca and La Paz programs; or as an extension to a bespoke itinerary with the exclusive ‘Deluxe Hydrofoil Cruise’.

For more information please contact Crillon Tours today on info@titicaca.com.  

A cultural immersion experience with the Brazilian Ribeirinho community

This day trip starts by departing Manaus by boat up the Rio Negro to arrive at Nova Esperança or Terra Preta. On arrival you will meet with the local leaders who guide you through the village, talking about their way of life, where they came from and the history of the people. You will visit the school to meet some students, the local church, and the small health center, to understand what life is like in the Amazon. 

BE Brazil has partnered with Amazon Ecosight in the Amazon,  to help develop several projects in Manaus, such as donation and installation of water filters, educational lectures, sports and competitions with children and young people, distribution of toothbrushes, toothpaste and fluoride application, clothes and shoes, especially for children. They also donate lines and sewing material for the mother’s club, reading glasses and basic medicines like aspirin, vitamins, first aid kit to help where required.

During the trip back to Manaus you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the area and visit one of the small Indian tribes of Tatuyo or Satere Maué, where you learn about their history, way of life, rich culture and rituals.

Please contact Anna Nagy at BE Brazil today for more information- annanagy@bebrazildmc.com.br

Local and sustainable tourism with ADSMundo

ADSMundo Chile has been developing new experiences geared towards cultural experiences and sustainable tourism with local communities, which seek the right balance between your guest’s experiences and the respect for the local indigenous communities.

Aymara, Kunza, Rapa Nui and Mapuche communities are the most represented in the Chilean territory and they all have a strong identity as well as real authentic cultural roots that are interesting to discover.

On a trip with ADSMundo, we can introduce you to one of the best possible cultural immersions into the Mapuche world, as well as the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina.

The “People of the Earth” have a rich culture as well as a common social and religious structure oriented towards the belief in the strength of nature and its connection to their people via the role, amongst others, of the Machi (shaman).

Memories, stories, and beliefs, often very local and specific, are a significant part of the Mapuche traditional culture, which we want to discover through three days’ stay in the Bio Bio Region next to Concepción.

Sharing local activities with the Chilean inhabitants and discovering how they keep their lifestyle, traditions, and language alive (Mapudungun), which is now taught in rural schools of Bío-Bío, Araucanía and Los Lagos Regions again, which will certainly be a unique and unforgettable experience.

Please contact Claude Dumontet at ADSmundo for more information.

Peru – The essence of the Andes

Getting to know the locals in Peru

The richness of Peru can be enjoyed in many ways: walking through its impressive archaeological sites, trying the tasty ingredients of its varied cuisine, and even sailing among the rivers that cross its mysterious Amazon. However, this wealth is also lived by sharing with communities and appreciating their traditions, creating unique and unforgettable memories.

At Lima Tours, we encourage you to put skills with your hands into practice, by participating in a class guided by a local master craftsman. During this activity, you will paint a ‘Pucara bull’ – a typical figure of Andean folk art, synonymous with good luck – and learn two art techniques: Cusco’s colonial glass ceramics and gold leafing.

Chinchero, a town near Cusco, is famous for its beautiful weavings. Made with sheep or alpaca wool, the details you can see in the weaver’s work has a meaning – every flower, every colour, every stitch. Immerse yourself in the magic of this tradition and understand the process of creating each piece of garment: see them dye the fabric using plants, and how they use implements inherited from their ancestors, such as the loom.

Connect with the Inca essence of Cusco in Huilloc, in the heart of the Sacred Valley. You will be greeted with joy by the members of the community and then learn about their way of life. Share with them the tasks in the field, cook using traditional techniques, participate in the ‘minka’ or community work or teach at school. Let them all leave a mark in your life!

For more information please contact Lima Tours by emailing them today  marketing@limatours.com.pe.

Take a hike up Baru Volcano in Panama

Magnificent views from the volcano trek

Barú National Park, founded in 1976, protects the magnificent biodiversity as well as the thick forest on the mountainsides of the volcano. It lies to the south of the continental divide between North America and South America, near Talamanca’s mountain range.

The volcano hike takes around 8-10 hours and starts early in the morning to take you to the top of the mighty Barú Volcano, which at 3,475 metres is the highest point in Panama. It’s a strenuous day of walking, therefore it’s recommended that you have a good level of fitness. It starts with a steady uphill walk for 13.5km (8.5m), which takes 4-5 hours. The hike down then takes 3-4 hours.

From the top, and on a clear day, you can experience magnificent views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The park is home to 250 species of birds which include hummingbirds, the yellow-thighed finch (Pselliophorus tibialis), black-cheeked warbler (Basileuterus melanogenys), crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis), bare-throated bellbird (Procnias nudicollis), sulphur-winged parakeet (Pyrrhura hoffmanni), and the mythological quetzal (Pharomachrus).

During the hike, you will be able to experience the lush flora, countless types of orchids – including some exotic ones, shiny bromeliads, giant oaks, and huge bamboos, as well as primary and secondary forests. In the first phase of the hike, you will see the vast valleys below and the small city of Boquete; before going deep into the thick forest, sometimes, you will be immersed in its characteristic mist, and when you arrive at the top, where you will enjoy the most magical views.

For more information on this tour, please contact Panama Journeys on marketing@panamajourneys.com

The top 3 adventure activities in Medellin, Colombia

Canyoning

With moderate temperatures, Medellín is regarded as Colombia’s city of ‘Eternal Spring’ and is located at the base of the Paisas Valley, which is overlooked by the Andes mountain range.

Medellín offers many activities for the adventurous traveller: hike in the surrounding hills and visit picture-perfect waterfalls, white water raft in Samana, or try canyoning – a truly exhilarating experience!

La Miel eco hike
This half-day hike takes visitors on the eco-trail to visit La Miel waterfall in the foothills of the Andes. The hike takes approximately 90 minutes and has a medium to low level of difficulty, and a good level of fitness is recommended, as there will be some rocks to climb on the route. The 20-meter waterfall is reached by following a small river trail through the Andean cloud forest. During the tour there is an ecological activity to learn about the flora and fauna, you can swim in natural pools and experience the biodiversity of the La Miel nature reserve.

Rafting in Samaná
You will be transferred from Medellín to Santa Bárbara (1½hour) for a two-hour guided rafting experience. Start with an incredible descent on class 4+ white water rapids through Colombia’s pristine rainforest. Travel on through a beautiful silver-blue rock canyon, where you will feel calm and tranquillity in nature. Witness rare birds, butterflies, and exotic plants in the lowland tropical rainforest. There is the option to camp overnight in sheltered hammocks in the rainforest, close to a secluded lagoon or you can return to your hotel after the tour.

Canyoning near Medellin
Canyoning is a fun adrenalin-inducing activity that takes place to the west of Medellin, in the village of San Felix. You will launch yourself into a stream or waterfall, using ropes to climb down into the canyon. The canyoning guide will explain the proper techniques before the tour and will also provide all the required equipment. The activity is for 90 minutes or 180 minutes – depending on how much adrenalin you can take in one day.

For more information on any of these fantastic activities contact Colombian Journeys today on marketing@colombianjourneys.com.

Gravity Falls – an adventure awaits in Costa Rica!

Gravity Falls day trip

If you are ready to push yourself and put your limits to the test, Costa Rica’s newest and most extreme adventure tour is a must!

Imagine a river tour with canyoning or rappelling – take it up a few notches, and we have the extreme challenge of ‘Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping’, a multi-sport activity that takes you through a beautiful canyon in the middle of a tropical rainforest.

The day starts out easy enough, with a nice drive through the Costa Rican countryside, to go deep into the forest, where the adventure begins! Get your adrenaline going with a 140 ft rappel down a gushing waterfall, take a plunge into the cool, clear pool below, and make your way to the shore. Continue your journey and jump down a series of waterfalls and cliffs, that range from 5 to 25 feet in height, trek through a narrow canyon passage and experience the magical combination of hiking, swimming, and rock climbing along the river. Professional guides will accompany every step of the way to ensure your safety and help you test your limits. Finish up the day with a delicious all you can eat buffet at the ‘Hunters & Gatherers’ riverside restaurant, before heading back to your hotel for a rest.

The gravity falls experience can be enjoyed as a day trip from your hotel in La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano. Contact Camino Travel at info@caminotravel.com for more information.

Jump into the waterfalls of Tzimoleras, Mexico

Tzimoleras Waterfalls

Following the Río San Vicente in the state of Chiapas downstream to Tzimol – about 13 km from Comitán – you reach a green paradise in almost untouched nature, where the three waterfalls of Tzimoleras invite you on an adventure. The waterfalls are not designed for mass tourism and should remain so. On arrival, you will have an amazing view of the jungle and get the chance to experience Mexico’s countryside in the most tranquil surroundings.

Guided by a local guide and equipped with life jackets, participants follow the river both in and out of the water. Among other things, they jump down the first seven-meter high waterfall into a small natural pool. The water leaves the pool over a 45-metre high ledge and offers a fantastic view into the depths, while the water of the raging Río San Vincente washes around you (Please be aware that there is a guide with you to keep everyone safe).

A path leads to the next level and thus to the third waterfall, which can be admired with a drop of around 60 meters. Please note that this tour is for the more daring and adventurous traveller. For more information and to plan your trip, please contact Native Trails – info@nativetrails.de

The best in Paraguayan gastronomy

Paraguayan gastronomy has its origin in the fusion of the Guarani indigenous culture and the Spanish heritage, combining the Hispanic culinary techniques and the use of native products, such as legumes, corn, and cassava, and others introduced and acclimatized by the Spanish colonizers, such as different vegetables, rice, and beef.

The main ingredient in Paraguayan cuisine is corn, which is used ground, cooked or fermented to prepare different dishes. Some typical dishes of the country are chipa (similar in appearance to bread, but prepared with cassava starch, cheese, milk, eggs, butter and salt), Sopa Paraguaya (a sponge cake with cheese, onion and milk) and chipá guazú, which is very similar to the Sopa Paraguaya but prepared with corn.

One of the most famous products is Terere, considered part of the cultural heritage of Paraguay. This is a typical drink whose main ingredient is yerba mate, a cold tea widely consumed in Paraguay.

Paraguayan cuisine has developed in recent years maintaining the base of traditional cooking but merging the local ingredients with well known international ones – putting it on a level with some of the best in South America.

Tierra Colorada restaurant

The name of this restaurant relates to the characteristics of Paraguayan soil. This place invites guests to experience a unique combination of flavours of Paraguay, with a simple menu, but with a few delicate dishes of contemporary Paraguayan food, where the tradition of Paraguayan cuisine merges with creativity and modern cooking techniques.

Tierra Colorada restaurant entered the list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America in 2016, becoming the first restaurant in the country to receive this distinction.

Email Martin Travel today at incoming03@martintravel.com.py for more information on trips to explore and experience the best of Paraguay.

Experience world-class steak and wine in Buenos Aires

Fogón restaurant Buenos Aires

Discover the Asado tradition, served with a twist, in a memorable evening beyond the usual steakhouse experiences.  Fogón is a closed-door dining experience that explores new ways of serving the famed Argentine Asado (BBQ). While seated at a counter surrounding the grill, guests will see, feel and experience the different techniques of cooking over wood and coals, up close and personal, whilst chatting to the cook and learning what makes the Argentine Asado special.  Argentines prefer their beef to arrive on a plate pretty much as it left the cow, with the sole intervention of direct heat, either al carbon (charcoal) or a la leña (wood). The Asado is Argentine’s most popular method of consuming beef and is reminiscent of their gaucho past. 

Every Argentine’s Asado is unique but always includes the best cuts of meat available and fire-roasted seasonal vegetables. The chefs at Fogón have designed a tasting menu to combine new grilling techniques with traditional Argentine recipes, which elevates the Asado to new heights.

Commonly accompanying the beef is the chimichurri (spicy sauce), and guests at Fogón will be able to quickly learn to prepare it!

For more information on trips to Argentina or the best restaurants to experience an Argentine Asado contact our partners ATP DMC info@atpdmc.com