Sustainability Through Travel

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2017

Sustainability Through Travel

Sustainability Through Travel - Think about that for a moment... What better way to make our world more sustainable than through the help of travel tour operators? Operators such as Cosmos, Gate 1, Globus, Insight, Tauck, Trafalgar... The list goes on and on with operators such as these that have itineraries spanning the world; a world in such need of sustainability! Possibly the best example of Sustainable Tourism is what G Adventures has been doing! The story of Bruce Poon Tip and what he has done not to mention still doing to make our world a better place through G Adventures is nothing short of outstanding in terms of inspirational! His book (LOOPTAIL) tells the story of how an idea born from a backpack journey through Asia turned into a company with a mission to change the world of business by way of taking 90% of the word business out of the business and replacing it with something much more viable!

I'm all for progress and I wish nothing but the best for those who's growth is beyond the norm; however, I'm also for those who don't receive a penny for said success and there are many who don't and have to leave behind generations of tradition in order to find jobs in cities only for their customs to pass away forever. Take the Inca Hiking Trail in Peru that begins in Cusco and ends in the Lost City of the Incas (Machu Picchu). This rural area that spans twenty six (26) miles, is filled with villages of people who are struggling with our modern world, and as a result, culture, language, and traditions of the Inca People will die because there will be no one left to inherit them. Most of us think of travel as traveling towards a destination, taking in the sites, experiencing the food, and holding on to those memories by way of the stamp on our pssports, photographs, & videos. What we end up missing is the "In-Between", which consists of the meaningful stuff... Some operators give proceeds of what they make from you towards the environment, whether it be by way of planting a tree or keeping oceans clean, but what about you being a part of changing someone's world by way of not only traveling through these rural areas, but by also contributing your time? This is what Bruce and his company G Adventures have done. They've incorporated a solution to the problem in all their itineraries and the best part is that you are at the forefront of that solution! You and every other traveler will play the lead as the hero helping those who can't fend for themselves.

Since 2005, Bruce in collaboration with G Adventures has worked with the local women of The Inca Trail to establish what is known as the Women's Weaving Co-Op... Thanks to G Adventures, sixty (60) local Inca women (grandmothers, mothers, and daughters) produce handmade crafts for G Adventures' visiting guests who purchase the crafts directly from these wonderful people in order for them to continue the tradition for years to come. In addition to their Co-Ops, G Adventures keeps everything ABSOLUTELY Local on every one of their trips! Whether it be in the form of eating at locally owned family restaurant or staying at a locally owned hotel, G- Adventures believes small businesses strengthen communities by way of raising the overall quality of life. This is sustainable travel at its best and it's exactly what we need from so many other tour operators with the power to make this much needed shift. It's wonderful that they're investing some of their profits into planting trees, but too much of the money collected on their trips go to massive hotel chains and expensive city restaurants; hotel chains & restaurants that stretch their hands as far as employees, which some would call giving back by way of providing employment, but that only sustains a life in the city, not whole communities.

Spotlight On Buenos Aires

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spotlight On Buenos Aires

Along the Rio de la Plata, stands passionate as the tango, Buenos Aires, the most elegant city in South America. La Reina del Plata sings the lyrics of a tango. A true mosaic of modern buildings coexist with old colonial mansions, museums, theaters, cafes and music halls, able to soak in art, cuisine, culture and of course the tango.

Buenos Aires is Argentina's cosmopolitan door.  The strong European immigration, helps to characterize it's international character and charm. You'll feel influences of Spain in the Plaza de Mayo, Italian in La Boca and French along the streets of Alvear and Arroyo.  You will never run out of things to do.  The city is made up of 50 neighborhoods where you will find around 100 cinemas and 60 theaters, 80 museums, 700 art galleries, more than 10 football stadiums, a hippodrome, and several polo fields and golf courses.  The fifty neighborhoods of the city tell their story while retaining their own characteristics and peculiarities.

Historic Center

The center of Buenos Aires is one of the most vibrant and historic areas of the city. In this area is where you will find governement buildings, as well as shopping. Thus, while the nostalgic memories shakes Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada returns to mind images of the most famous of Argentina's recent history, life moves fast through the streets nearby: Corrientes Avenue and Florida Street . For these flows the activity of the city at a frantic rate: As usual street performers flooded the streets to beat a crowded time, tourists are confused intertidal executive locals and passers accelerated.

Plaza de Mayo
Avenida Rivadavia and Bolívar Esq
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
http://www.madres.org/
This is perhaps the best known of Buenos Aires is the most emblematic and, in turn, the nerve center of government power. The square, like the rest of the historic district, was designed by Juan de Garay and buildings housing the symbol of the great powers: the Casa Rosada, the Bank of Argentina, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo. Here, in addition, meets every Thursday the Association of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo to remind your country and the world that still do not know the whereabouts of their missing.In the center, the Pyramid of May (1811) stands proud as the oldest monument of the city and as a reminder of that first anniversary of the revolution that eventually brought independence to Argentina.

Cabildo of Buenos Aires and Historical Museum of the Revolution
Bolivar, 65
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
Museum Hours: From 10.30 to 17.00, Tuesday to Friday, Sunday: 11.30 to 18.00 h.Saturdays and Mondays closed.
Free admission. Guided tours: Fridays at 15 h. and Sunday at 14.00 h., free and Sundays at 12.30 h. and at 15.00 h., $ 3.
Tel: 11 4342 6729
The Cabildo of Buenos Aires is home to the city council of the capital and former seat of the movements fighting for independence. Built in 1610, was shortly after undergoing a reform that white arches that characterize its facade now spread all over the Plaza de Mayo. Although the arches became eleven, only these days you can see the five that remained when the surrounding avenues improvements to the City Council in 1889 required the demolition of the rest. Inside the building, a modest museum displays memorabilia of the British invasions of the nineteenth century, modern paintings of colonial and early independence, and religious art of the missions of the Jesuits and other orders.

Government Palace in Buenos Aires
Bolivar, 1
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
Hours: Guided tours, Saturdays at 16.00 h. and at 17.00 h. and Sunday every hour from 11.00 h. at 17.00 h. Tel: 11 4323 9489
This is one of the buildings that line the historic Plaza de Mayo, in front of City Hall. Dial French style, with Italian influence, according to the design of other buildings in the area, the building deserves at least a brief stop.

Casa Rosada
Balcarce, 50
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/
Government House Government House is the home to Argentina and the presidential offices, and agencies of the presidency as we tend to think (It is, in fact, in Los Olivos, on the outskirts of the capital, home to presidents-elect) . Government House was built over an old fort and houses of Viceroys. Although the side facing the Plaza de Mayo and from whose balcony Evita addressed his people is the most famous, is necessary to surround the building to see the main entrance.

Museum of the Casa Rosada
Hipolito Irigoyen, 219
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
Hours: 10 to 18 pm Monday through Friday, tours of 11.00 to 15.00 h, Sunday from 14.00 h a18.00-guided tours at 16.00. Saturday closed.
Admission: Free
Tel: 11 4344 3802
http://www.museo.gov.ar/default.asp
Just across the street from the Casa Rosada access to the Museum of the Casa Rosada in to do a brief tour of Argentina presidential history. It should be noted that only those listed in the genealogy who ruled until a minimum of 30 years, maybe so convulsed and sensitivity of the country's recent history.

Columbus Park
Paseo Colon Av
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
In this large park, which extends off the main entrance of La Casa Rosada, the Monument to Christopher Columbus, Florentine work of Arnaldo Zocchi, made of marble.

City Museum
Adolfo Alsina, 412
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo) and E (Bolivar).
Hours: 11 h. to 19 h. Monday to Sunday, including holidays.
Admission: General, $ 1. Mondays and Wednesdays, free.
Tel: 11 4331 9855
http://www.museos.buenosaires.gov.ar/ciudad.htm
The Museum of the City of Buenos Aires makes a fascinating tour of its history, its architecture, the customs of its people and its cultural and artistic events. Old photographs, paintings, furniture, details and artifacts of various kinds are the highlights of a trip through the present and past the city.

Block of Lights
Peru, 272
Transport: Metro line E (Bolivar)
Timetable: 11.00 h. to 19.00 h. Monday through Friday, from 15.00 h. to 19.00 h.Saturday and Sunday. Guided tours: Monday to Friday at 15.00 h., Saturday and Sunday 15.00 h., 16.30. and 18.00 h. Monday, free entry to the Jesuit Procaduría at 13.00.
Free admission. Guided tours, $ 6 to $ 7
Tel: 11 4331 9534
http://www.manzanadelasluces.gov.ar/principal.html
This complex of historic buildings south of the Plaza de Mayo stands out for having been the main training center of the capital and religious landmark, its architectural and cultural past, particularly by the number of institutions thronged. Here is the Church of San Ignacio, built by the Jesuits who settled in this lot in the early eighteenth century, which is the oldest in the city. Next to her, still remain two of the buildings of the Jesuit Procaduría, and around them, succeed cultural institutions that brought fame to this place: the University of Buenos Aires, the elite National School of Buenos Aires, the former House of Representatives and the Public Library, among others. Such was the importance of the enclave in 1821 inspired the newspaper Argos to name it "The Apple of Lights" because of his "inner wealth" in a time when it was the intellectual center of the city. In 1992, tunnels were discovered in her defense that can now be visited.

Ethnographic Museum John B. Ambrosetti
Moreno, 350
Transport: Metro line A (Plaza de Mayo), D (Cathedral) and E (Bolivar)
Hours: 13.00. to 19.00 h., Tuesday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 15.00 h. to 19.00 h. Guided Tours: Saturday and Sunday at 16.00 h.
Admission: A contribution of $ 2.
This museum displays archaeological and anthropological interesting collections, whose objects have been collected over Argentina and other parts of South America.

Metropolitan Cathedral
San Martin, 27
Transport: Metro line D (Cathedral) and A (Peru)
Hours: 8.00 am to 19.00 pm, Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 19.30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays. Guided tours: Monday to Friday 11.30 h, 13.15 h and 15.30 h. Saturdays at 15.30 pm and Sundays at 15.30 am (children only)
Admission: Free
http://www.catedralbuenosaires.org.ar/
It is, in the cathedrals of the city, without a doubt the most important. It was built on an old colonial church was not finished until 1827. In it, include bas-reliefs of the facade on neoclassical columns. Inside the temple you can admire a life-size Christ in wood of carob and the altar, Rococo style. Inside the temple is the tomb of José de San Martín, hero of independence who, though he died in France, later was returned to this place. A torch burns at the doors of the temple in his memory.

Calle Florida and Avenida Corrientes
They go to Buenos Aires with the intention to buy or not, it's worth dropping by these two streets that converge to each other defining the boundary of the historic center. Both full of movement and life, are shown from the bustle with which Argentines live their city. Calle Florida, the most commercial, worth a visit and Corrientes Avenue, with its bookstores, literary cafes, theaters and pizzerias, is the perfect place to simply watch and enjoy a coffee or company.

Central Post
Sarmiento, 151
Transport: Metro line B (LN Alem)
Free admission, but is currently closed for renovations.
Tel: 11 4316 3000
The Central Post Office is one of the buildings surround the city of Buenos Aires, with its French style architecture, excellent maintenance and its imposing dimensions. It was conceived as a projection of the post office in the city of New York. In use since 2003, will soon become the Bicentennial Cultural Centre, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Independence of the country in 2010.

Puerto Madero

If there is an environment in all of Buenos Aires invites you really relax and disconnect that is Puerto Madero, the renovated port area of the capital. The ambitious renovation that has resulted in an interesting complex of docks, warehouses and large rusty cranes conveyors, life has returned to a port that had collapsed more than a century and was therefore abandoned after little more than two decades of operation. Now the dynamic and modern harbor dotted with restaurants, cafes and hotels dazzling, is again out of Buenos Aires to its river of silver and the world. However, the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve extends, meanwhile, gentle on the banks of the River Plate, which, though curious eye jealously hides, water marshes that lie beside him, drawing a unique setting for observation, meditation and rest.

The Galapagos with Lindblad Expeditions

Posted on Monday, March 27, 2017

The Galapagos with Lindblad Expeditions

Sailing along The Galapagos with Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic is  one "amazing encounter". Giant tortoises lumber along the roadside, grazing on scrub. They have no fear of humans. This allows some fantastic  photography and  free observance of  the wildlife  as they roam around the park.

The Galapagos with Lindblad Expeditions

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands is one of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites, designated in 1978. In 2017 Lindblad celebrates its 50th year exploring the Islands.

The 48-passenger National geographic Islander ensures an intimate experience with the surroundings. A combination of incredible close-up encounters with wildlife and Lindblad's experience in the Galapagos will hel to create lasting memories.

This cruise is all about exploration and discovery, and Lindblad's naturalists and guides are tru experts. Their knowledge about the Islands wildlife and history enhance every outing and activity. a photography expert on board offers daily instruction on how to better capture the special moments of each expedition.

Daily activities include walking, hiking, kayaking and snorkeling.

The Galapagos with Lindblad ExpeditionsExperience swimming with playful ea lions, whitetip reef sharks, sea turtles and much more. Walk on olivine and white coralline beaches, hike on lava flows and kayak in crystalline waters among a bale of sea turtles. Beach strolls are often shared by sea lions and marine iguanas, nests of baby albatross and red-footed boobies.

Wetsuits, snorkels and fins are provided for the week aboard. Hiking sticks are available for those who like to use them.
 

The Galapagos with Lindblad ExpeditionsEach Island offers an entryway into the world of wildlife. On Espanola Island snorkel among the sea lions. Floreana Island brings the nesting green turtles and sightings of Galapagos sharks and rays. On Santa Cruz Island, visit the giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Life on board Islander is an outside cabin with a window, and the eight cabins on the top level of the ship have private, glassed - in balconies.

The lounge serves as the general  meeting place and site of all briefings, photography lessons, talks and presentations.

Families and multi-generational groups enjoy this trip during school holidays, however, the average age range on most cruises is 55 to 75 years young.

Hidden Secrets Of South America

Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2017

Hidden Secrets Of South AmericaWhen you think about South America you are probably familiar with the popular attractions like the Amazon or Sugarloaf Mountain. However, there are a lot of hidden gems that tend to be secrets to tourists. Take a look at some of the hidden secrets of South America below.

Laguna Colorado In Bolivia

Located near Chili, this salt lake is fairly shallow with deep red water. Mix that in with the unique surroundings and you have an incredible location. The water gets its color from the algae and plankton that live in it as well as the high salt density. Another treat for the scarce tourist that makes it here are the flamingos that can sometimes be seen wandering about.

Salt Cathedral Of Zipaquira In Colombia

Located 200 meters below the earth, this cathedral was built into salt mine tunnels around 5th century B.C. When salt was mined in the 1950s, miners would stop and pray at a tall cross. Eventually the cathedral was developed. Tourists can walk through the tunnels and salt corridors and the sanctuary.

Floating Islands Of The Uros In Peru

These manmade islands are fairly interesting as they were made with Totora Reeds and are self sustaining. In total there are more than 40 of these islands and to visit them you have to take a boat ride from Puno that’s about 2 hours. Tourists can spend the night at the islands.

Valle De La Luna At The Atacama Desert In Chile

Located along the Pacific coastline at over 600 miles long, this is the world’s driest desert. It only receives an average rainfall of about one millimeter each year. The surface resembles the planet Mars with it’s craters, cracks and crevices. Visiting here might make you think that you are actually in a diferent world.

Perito Moreno Glacier In Argentina

Most people don’t realize that there’s actually a glacier here as South America is one of the world’s hottest places. It stretches more than 19 miles long and has 97 square miles of ice. Even though some of the glacier vanishes every year, a portion of it continues to grow which is something that scientists can’t seem to explain. The Perito Moreno Glaciers is the world’s third largest freshwater reserve.

El Penol In Guatape

Known as ‘The Rock’, it has a height of more than 7,000 feet and weighs around 11 million tons. The Tahamies Indians used to worship the rock. It has the symbols ‘GI’ (the ‘I’ is actually an unfinished ‘U’) egraved on it’s face. This is because both the citizens of El Penol and Guatape wanted to claim ownership of the area so the Guatapeans started to engrave “Guatape” on it, but never finished. Because of harsh weather, the rock developed a crack right down the center and a 644 step staircase was built into the crevice.

New For South America Travel

Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2017

South America is very popular for 2017. The Globus Family of Brands alone is offering 30 tours including Globus, Cosmos and Monograms. Globus's Brazilian Getaway is new for 2017, as well as Vineyards of South America. Learn to make traditional Argentinean empanadas in Buenos Aires; spend time with a local family in their Andean village home for a glimpse into rural Peruvian life.

In Peru’s Sacred Valley, attend a Mother earth Ceremony, performed by a local shaman, asking for good health, wealth, and safe travels. Cosmos is offering Best of Brazil as anew tour for 2017 and Monograms has 4 new getaway tours for 4 days each, including Lima, Rio, Buenos Aires and Santiago. They have also added two new Galapagos cruise/tours to their independent vacation list.

Trafalgar has added their 13 day South America Landscape to their discovery tours, along with eleven old favorites. Experience the ME to WE social enterprise that provides products and experiences that make an impact empowering people to change the world. Me to We is a leader in volunteer travel making an impact by working side-by-side with local communities on a development project like building a school or water wells. You help plant seeds, dig wells or build schools, helping improve livelihoods. Your trip will continue to make an impact long after you return home.

Collette has added Antarctica & Chile's Patagonia twenty days tour to their four original tours of South America. Embrace the captivating cultures and lively rhythms of Brazil, Argentina and Chile; explore the lost city of the Incas in Machu Picchu.

Tauck has added Rhythms of Brazil: Rio to Iguassu Falls twelve day tour to their Essence of South America fourteen day, Patagonia 11 day, Empire of the Incas: Peru & Bolivia, 12 day and Mystical Peru, 8 day tours. Dine at a Peruvian hacienda; learn to tango in Argentina, meet the Peruvian pasos and riders who demonstrate their skills at a local ranch in the Sacred Valley; have lunch overlooking Perito Moreno glacier as it crackles and moans like an unearthly monster, and ice chunks tumble into the water in Patagonia.

Passion permeates the landscape of South America; from stunning coastal beaches to modern urban landscapes, the color of South America is as diverse as its dynamic cultural heritage and history.

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