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Vilacabamba, Ecuador’s Valley of Longevity

Vilcabamba is one of the most magical places in Ecuador and yet relatively unknown. Located in the south, just 40 minutes away from the city of Loja, it’s in a region with a diverse offering for travelers.

The region is full of energy and unexplainable mysticisms and known as the Valley of Longevity because many locals live for over 100 years. Why do people here get to live more? Maybe it’s due to the harmony of the environment, minerals in the water, or a healthy and active lifestyle? The reason for this longevity is unknown, but scientific studies are trying to find out about this enigma.

On a stay here you can enjoy a range of activities such as self-guided hiking and trekking, biking, birdwatching, admire the beautiful rivers and waterfalls, or sit in your hammock and enjoy the peaceful environment.

A visit to Vilcambaba can be combined with an itinerary that includes a visit to the pretty town of Zaruma, to see the houses and churches that are crafted out of wood. Excursions to visit El Sexmo Gold mine or a cocoa plantation are also on offer, before visiting the coastal town of Guayaquil.

Geo Reisen invites you and your clients to visit this scenic area of Ecuador and experience the magical secrets behind this remarkable valley. The hotels in this region are 3*, for more information on a trip to Ecuador please contact Fernanda Machado today: fernanda@georeisen-ecuador.com

Wildlife and cowboy culture in Colombia’s Eastern Plains

Colombia continues to be recognised abroad with the Llanos Orientales (Eastern Plains) included in the ’52 Places to love in 2021′ covered in The New York Times. We want to inspire your next trips to our country with this wild and untraversed destination.

This region offers wide-open savannahs covered with flooded grasslands, lush forests, wild rivers that derive from the vast Orinoco basin, and a diversity of wildlife such as deers, capybaras, jaguars, pumas, howler monkeys, pygmy anteaters, and hundreds of bird species. The llaneros continue to preserve their traditional ranching culture, which includes horseback riding barefoot, singing to call and ease their cattle, cooking a tasty smoky barbecue, and playing the harp and the cuatro guitar. Declared an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage Site’ by UNESCO in 2017, llaneros songs are a means of vocal communication sung in a cappella style to include themes of herding, horses, adventures, and love.

Colombian Journey’s offer different packages to visit private nature reserves, home to all this biodiversity combined with cultural experiences to discover a wildlife paradise in Colombia. For more information, please email us at marketing@colombianjourneys.com

Mirjam from Crillon Tours shares her favorite places to visit in Bolivia

When asked about my favorite places in Bolivia, it was hard to narrow it down, since when travelling through this country, I had found something special and unforgettable in every corner, making each place special and worth visiting.

Nevertheless, I do feel that the calmest and relaxed place I have ever been, is definitely “Sun Island” not only does this island come with a fantastic legend and is the most important island on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, but its problem-free lives of its inhabitants rubs off on one. Walking through its small bucolic villages, seeing herds of llamas and small farm animals, such as pigs and chickens, one knows that you are in a special place, away from streets, noises, pollution, and hoards of people. The experience of staying in the bungalow style Posada del Inca Lodge is magical. Here you can enjoy its beautiful garden, spectacular views over the blue lake, and the eucalyptus trees making soothing sounds in the breeze gave me inner peace and the motivation for reflection.

Something similar I have also felt standing in front of the Green Lagoon in the Eduardo Avaroa Nature Reserve, close to the border with Chile. The whole area is just otherworldly, and one gets surprised over and over again by fauna, colors and nature’s humorous creations being displayed by rocks, mountains and flora. But standing in front of that Green Lagoon, the silence, the landscape surrounding it which lets its jade colors stand out even more, had me experienced something that does not happen much today-my mouth dropped open!

Last but not least, I would also always want to return to the Amazon Region of Bolivia. The Madidi National Park and Pampas had me placed in such a completely different scenario from my everyday life, taking me out of my routine being able to share the habitat of unusual exotic plants and numerous animals, allowing me to wake up to the sound of monkeys, letting me swim with pink dolphins, feeling suspense spotting the red caiman eyes during a night river tour, going on an anaconda observation walk, fishing piranhas and so much more..

This was written by Mirjam at Crillon Tours, who are experts in tailoring trips of a lifetime with unique hotel stays along the way. For more information about tours in Bolivia please email Darius Morgan – dariusjr@titicaca.com

Adventures and sunsets in Casanare, Colombia

All my life I have dreamt about visiting the destination of Casanare. I often heard the fantastic stories from my family who once visited Colombia’s vast plains and valleys. They told me about the wildlife, fauna, and cowboys, and these stories were imprinted on my memory making me dream of visiting. Lucky for me, my dream came true! I was offered a trip to explore this region through my work in tourism for Colombian Journeys.

Travels that made my dreams come true

My trip started with the arrival in Yopal, the capital city of Casanare region in Colombia, and after a very warm welcome from our hosts and a good night’s sleep we had an early start. We checked out of our hotel after breakfast and headed to the airport to take our flight in a small charter plane for only six passengers- such a small flight was an exciting experience for me! After a flight of about one hour, we landed in the middle of El Lagunazo.

We were surrounded by nature and friendly warm people, I felt like I was in paradise by a beautiful lagoon and in the middle of flatlands named Los Llanos. We arrived, had lunch, and we started a short hike in the afternoon and took a canoe trip that ended with a picnic while watching a magnificent sunset. I had never imagined that my first day at El Lagunazo would be the best sunset I had ever seen.

For the next four days, I had several incredible experiences. The nature in this part of Colombia is very different from the rest of the places that I know and it was a delight to see. During the walks and safari trips that we took, we saw a huge variety of colored birds as well as geese, parrots, ducks, owls, horses, wild pigs, deer, caimans, and hundreds of capybaras. The sight was spectacular, and I experienced different sunsets during a safari trip and a hike looking for a boa and a jaguar.

Living like a Llanero

I learned not only about nature but also about the local people. They showed us that tourism helps to maintain themselves and the sustainability of their natural habitat. They work hard every day with the community to improve what they offer. It was no more than their rustic houses, the stunning landscapes, the spectacular food, and their smiles (with a big hug included) and to show us how it is to live like a Llanero (Colombian cowboy).

This trip was very special for me, I felt very privileged for what I have seen and done in Casanare. I fell in love with Los Llanos and I am sure that anyone visiting Colombia would love to discover what I experienced. I will surely come back not just once, but many more times. It was a once in a lifetime experience!

By Catherine Morales

Credit to @bycathy and @kthymorita for the photos.

Retreat to Carmelo for peace and quiet, and total relaxation

Andrea from Bueme’s favourite place in Uruguay is Carmelo.

“The peace and quiet that you find in Carmelo is priceless. Surrounded by vineyards, countryside, and nature, the only sound you hear is birds singing. All of the accommodation options are boutique and with personalized service, and by being small, you feel that the entire property is just for you. Gourmet food paired with some of the country’s best wines are the perfect add-on. If you are feeling active, you can go horse riding or have buy propecia online no prescription your own cheese and olive oil tasting while enjoying some of the country’s best sunsets. A great time to visit is around February, as it’s harvesting season and you can also collect your own grapes. However, Carmelo is a destination that can be visited throughout the year. It is the ideal way place to visit to relax and recharge at the end of a trip to South America.”

For more information on Carmelo and Uruguay please contact Andrea at Viajes Bueme’s:  acambon@buemes.com.uy.

A magnificent full solar eclipse will be visible in Patagonia this December

Invite your clients to book a once in a lifetime experience to see a total solar eclipse surrounded by complete serenity and clear starlit skies. 

On December 14th, 2020, the eclipse will be visible in Patagonia. On a trip to Southern Argentina, your clients can discover the best of Argentina’s Bariloche Lake District, staying in a luxury art hotel on the coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake, and then experience this astronomical event at a privileged location along the central axis of the eclipse. An exclusive observatory tented camp with full comfort, amenities, delicious gourmet food and premium wines, makes it an excellent place for this experience. The world goes still, almost seems to hold its breath, the light slowly dims, the stars come out… and when the sun finally cheap ambien buy online returns one instinctively rejoices and can understand the mystical power this event has always had on mankind. 

In July 2019 ATP had the opportunity of seeing the previous total solar eclipse from different viewpoints;  some of us from the city rooftops, our guide Erica at a special location in the foothills of the Andes, and Merina on a horse-riding picnic in the Cordoba hills. We all agreed that it was a thrilling experience and would love your clients to share in the excitement this coming December. We still have accommodation available at El Casco Art Hotel for a 3-night program (or more!) and the exclusive Observatory camp for Eclipse day. 

Click on this link for the Full Solar Eclipse program in Patagonia and email Matias Gomez ATP for more information: mgomez@atpdmc.com

Hunting Sunsets –by Regina Meirelles of BE Brazil

” I was invited on an incredible trip, to ‘Hunt Sunsets’. How cool is that? Besides the amazing sunsets, I was gifted with the opportunity to visit unforgettable places and meet new people.”

Day 1 –
Our flight departed Rio International airport at 13:55, to Natal where we arrived at 16:50. On arrival, we were met with a huge smile, and I was certain we would have a great week ahead.

Our transfer to Sao Miguel Do Gostoso took just over 1hr 30mins along the beaches of the North Coast of Natal.

Our first stop was at Mi Scereto, which is a sophisticated hotel. With 19 rooms, the pousada is incredibly charming, with rustic furnishings and a cozy ambiance. We then continued to Portofino which has a beautiful pool, delicious breakfast, a spa, and all the bungalows are very spacious. It is super, I recommend it for those who are looking for kitesurfing and windsurfing in Brazil.

Portofino in North East Brazil

Day 2 –

We had a very early start at 6:20 am to Maxaranguape, which is a small albuterol inhaler side effects children village. On arrival, we were offered a simple breakfast before we took a speed boat to the natural pools famous for diving.

There are many platforms for diving, for the more adventurous with a tank, or for those that enjoy a simple snorkel. The platforms are very well structured, with local bars serving lobsters, shrimps, and drinks. The instructors are very professional, I confess I was a little tense, as it was my first time. The depth is from 1,80m to 3m, we saw corals and lots of small fishes – it was fascinating!

We returned to the beach and the adventure continued by walking along the beach, to another diving base, where we ate fresh fish for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, we continued on quad bikes through and over the dunes and beaches to watch our first sunset. A once in a lifetime experience!

In the evening we had a 4×4 jeep tour, through the beaches and to Pousada Mar de Estrelas (Sea of Stars pousada) where we had a lovely moment enjoying some drinks in an open-air lounge area with a bonfire.

A delicious and amazing fish roasted in coarse sea salt was served for dinner.

A perfect day: diving, cocktails, and sunsets!

Day 3 –
Another day of adventure was waiting for us. We departed to Pousada Kauli, after visiting the pousada, we were able to enjoy various activities like SUP, biking, or just relax at the beach.

At the end of the day, we were graced with another stunning sunset at Tourinhos beach.

Pousada Kauli and a magical sunset at Tourinhos beach

Day 4 –
After breakfast, we started our journey to Tao Paradise, it’s a day club, and located 45mins from São Miguel do Gostoso. A true paradise built from a mineral water spring. The owner receives a maximum of 20 people a day, its structures have tents with tables and chairs, and lunch is served in a hut on stilts.

After lunch, we continued to Touros, a small village located 41 minutes from Tao Paradise. We stayed at Vila Galé Touros Hotel. It’s a big all-inclusive hotel, so not for everyone.

Cooling off in a mineral water spring

Day 5 –
After a delicious breakfast, we left for Galinhos, another small village, 170km away from the capital, with its lagoons that form natural pools between the dunes, isolated beaches that appear and disappear with the tides. From there, as cars are not allowed, we took a 10min speed boat transfer to a neighboring village called Galos. We checked in at Pousada Peixe Galo (Moon Fish Pousada), a beachfront pousada.

We left our luggage in our rooms and a boat was waiting for us for a tour through the region. Tubarão was our captain and guide during this tour. He is a well-known boatman, and we were treated to fresh oysters (fished by Tubarao), and drinks on the dunes while we waited for yet another breathtaking sunset, before enjoying dinner in a local restaurant.

Fishing and sunsets

Day 6 –
Our morning was fun and relaxing stand up paddleboarding on the river. Lunch was served at Pousada Amagali, a pretty and comfortable pousada. The service was very good, and they made us feel like we were at home. In the afternoon we went to the lighthouse to hunt down another incredible sunset, I felt incredibly spoilt to experience such stunning views over the beach as the sunset in the distance.

Regina enjoying Galinhos

Day 7–
In the morning we returned to Natal to make our way to Ponta Negra, located 15km from Natal. We stayed at Vogal Hotel in front of the beach. It is a good 5-star hotel, and my room had a veranda facing the beach with a fantastic hot tub to enjoy in the evening.

Vogal Hotel, Ponta Negra

Day 8 –
After breakfast, we departed to Ponta Negra to visit a local village. I confess this day was very special, as we all got to interact with the local embroiderers, and understand the art of embroidery, some of the pieces take months to get ready. The oldest embroiderer is called grandmother by many locals. She runs the administration of the village and is well respected. The day ended with another spectacular sunset on Potengi river, that we watched on our speed boat.

Grandmother sewing in the Ponta Negra

Day 9-

We checked out of our hotel after breakfast and headed to Natal airport to take our flight back home. This trip was very special for me, I felt very privileged to “Hunt” so many amazing sunsets, I would love to share with you and our guests this amazing experience. If you are looking for something off the beaten track, I invite you to “Hunt sunsets in Brazil!”.


THE END.

For more information on this trip and the experiences please contact BE Brazil by emailing Anna Nagy – annanagy@bebrazildmc.com.br

Discover the timeless culture of Bolivia on a family adventure

A family holiday is special and memories from these travels will last forever. Visiting Bolivia offers families the opportunity to discover fascinating history, rich and diverse culture and enjoy some of Latin America’s most diverse and stunning scenery.

The administrative capital of La Paz is the gateway to Bolivia and the highest city in the world, with an elevation of 3,640m above sea level. In La Paz, you can enjoy riding on the world’s largest urban cable car system called Teleferico, while in the air, imagine you’re like a Condor soaring above the city with wings outstretched – the view of all of the city below is fantastic!

Otherworldly scenery on the Uyuni Salt Flats

Another unmissable visit is to see the world’s largest salt flats, which cover an expanse of 10,582 square kilometres. On the Uyuni Salt Flats, the battle of Crait was filmed for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. One of our favorite robots, the C-3PO visited the salt flats – which was incredible!

From Uyuni, you can also enjoy a visit to Chiquini Cave, which is a subaquatic cave formed prior to the formation of the glaciers, caused by volcanic eruptions when the Salt Lake was still filled with water.

Tiwanaku – An endless story (1580BC-1187AD)

Tiwanaku, a Pre-Colombian archaeological site, resides on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and it’s the capital of Bolivia’s lost civilization and regarded as the spiritual birthplace and center of the cosmos. Archaeologists are still revealing secrets of Bolivia’s past, and a guided visit allows you to learn about the indigenous people’s history and why this place is so sacred to them.

The Sacred Lake Titicaca, a cradle of ancient cultures

The magical Sun and Moon Islands and the Urus Iruitus floating Islands can be visited in the comfort of Crillon Tours hydrofoil cruises. At Inca Utama Hotel and Cultural Centre, learn about the Limachi Brothers, who are famous for designing reed boats, you will also be able to see the RA II replica reed boat. The boat was used in 1970, by Thor Heyerdahl, a famous Norwegian adventurer, who successfully sailed from the west coast of Africa to Barbados. Visiting Lake Titicaca offers a place to learn about the local culture, handicrafts, and way of life. If it’s a sunny day, take a walk around the lake and enjoy snapping some photos of South America’s largest freshwater lake.

Crillon Tours are experts in tailoring trips of a lifetime with unique hotel stays along the way. For more information about a tour for families please email them. They will also be exhibiting at ITB Berlin in Hall 23.b/Stand 112 from 4th-8th March. If you are attending please email Americas about making an appointment.

Family cultural experience in Ecuador

Exploring unique cultural experiences, while having fun with all the family is important when planning a family holiday to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Flexibility is one of Geo Reisen’s mottos. We include in our programs plenty of activities for families with children, and even in the bustling colonial city of Quito, there are activities for all.

In and around Quito, these activities include the Chocolate Museum, where everyone can taste three different types of what is considered high-quality chocolate in the world. A mandatory stop is at an artisanal ice cream store whose “Helado de Paila” ice cream recipe is often passed down from elders to the new generations. Something exciting and traditional for children is to attend a spinning top workshop, where children learn how a top is manufactured and thrown.  Going to the Yaku Museum (“Water” in Quichua viagra online for women language) is an educational and fun activity, where families have many interactive experiences related to the importance of preserving and using water responsibly. The International Cultural and Scientific Museum, located at the exact point through which the equator passes through, is the place where exciting science experiments are done.  Another experience that will leave lifelong positive memories is a cooking class in an ancient hacienda surrounded by one of the highest snowcapped volcanoes of the world – the Cotopaxi Volcano. Families learn the secrets of national cuisine, using traditional, regional utensils and ingredients from many cities in Ecuador.

For more information on these experiences and tours for families, please contact Geo Reisen today to make an inquiry. We are a very personable and friendly Ecuadorian DMC and we look forward to chatting with you.

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