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Chile

Photo of the Day – explora Patagonia, Chile

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – explora Patagonia, Chile

The vast majority of visitors to South America’s picturesque Patagonia region spend their days hiking through pristine mountains and glaciers and their nights roughing it in makeshift camp sites. But as I learned last month, there is another way to experience the wonders of Patagonia with no camping required. Keep the hiking but ditch the tent for a few nights at explora Patagonia. The plush Hotel Salto Chico is set on the shores of Pehoé Lake with a show-stopping view of the famed Cuernos del Paine, this über-green property wows with casual elegance, expert local guides and an unsurpassed natural backdrop that creates dramatic views from every window. I was lucky enough to spend a few nights there on RTW #8 and I still finding myself dreaming of the views from my room. It truly was a posh base for exploring the beauty of Patagonia.

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Posh Patagonia

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 | 0 comments

Posh Patagonia

Last year, on RTW #7, a random twist of fate introduced me to the wonderful world of explora hotels in Chile. I was visiting Easter Island staying at a reasonably-priced, modest B&B when my friend Jill asked if I could perhaps hop over to explora Rapa Nui for a few nights to review it for her London-based site EcoLuxHotels. Never one to turn down an “upgrade,” I happily agreed.

After two nights at the incredibly magical explora Rapa Nui, I became a big believer in the explora culture of experiential, eco-friendly yet luxurious travel. At explora, the focus is always on “in-depth exploration of the surroundings and the luxury of the essential.” As a firm believer that luxury is almost always “of the essential,” I was dying to return someday to indulge in their other two Chilean properties – Patagonia and Atacama. Since my Antarctic adventure would already have me in the Patagonia Chile neighborhood, I figured there was no time like the present to check out explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico

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Save the Date for Round the World #8!

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 | 7 comments

Save the Date for Round the World #8!

It’s that time of year again…one month from today I’ll be departing on my 8th annual trip around the world! It’s going to be another whirlwind globetrotting adventure exploring 14 destinations in 10 countries and for the first time on all 7 continents.

Many of you know that Antarctica has been on my list for several years and this year I am finally making it happen. Yes, I’ll be cruising all the way from Argentina to the great white continent with Quark Expeditions and I am impossibly (some would say annoyingly) excited about it! This year’s trip will start in Buenos Aires and be the longest yet at a staggering – when you consider the name of the website – 54 days.

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The Mystery of Easter Island

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 | 2 comments

The Mystery of Easter Island

It’s one of the most remote islands on earth. A startling 2,200 miles west of the nearest continent and 1,290 miles east of the nearest populated island. The United Nations has proclaimed Easter Island the most isolated inhabited island in the world. It’s also one of the world’s greatest mysteries and an undisputed archaeological treasure. The island is home to more than 20,000 archaeological sites. But despite intensive study of these sites, the question still remains: What caused the dramatic rise and fall of this ancient Polynesian culture?

Known as Rapa Nui to the native population and Isla de Pascua to Chileans, the English name commemorates its European discovery by a Dutch expedition on Easter Sunday in 1722.

I arrived on Easter Island late Wednesday night after my un-glamorous airport adventure in Lima. I had 6 days to explore this perhaps most fascinating of the world’s sacred sites. Since most accommodation on the island consists of simple guest houses, I’d booked a room at the highly recommended Kaimana Inn. My host, Marcelo, was cheerfully awaiting my arrival at the airport late that night and after more than 24 hours of travel to reach the island I was grateful for the short drive into town and to my bed for the next few nights.

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Photo of the Day – explora Rapa Nui Picnic, Easter Island

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 | 2 comments

Photo of the Day – explora Rapa Nui Picnic, Easter Island

You haven’t really had a picnic until you’ve had and explora Rapa Nui picnic. On my last day on Easter Island, my plan was a morning visit to Tongariki, followed by a hike along the northern coast to the island’s two beautiful beaches with explora guide Joanna. After our hike, we returned to the car and our driver headed out in search of the site the day’s picnic lunch (which changes daily). I hadn’t been told much about the explora Rapa Nui picnic lunch experience since they like to keep some things under wraps at explora. What I did know was that fellow guest Walt from Kansas City told me, “if they ask you if you want to go for a picnic lunch, just say YES.  Don’t ask questions.” So, when Jo asked yesterday if I’d like to join the picnic lunch the next day, I took his advice and just said yes. And I wasn’t disappointed. 

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Photo of the Day – Ovahe Beach Easter Island

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 | 1 comment

Photo of the Day – Ovahe Beach Easter Island

I’ve posted lots of pictures of the cultural sights on Easter Island in the past few days but you may be wondering if Easter Island has any great beaches. I’m happy to report that it does! Today I visited both Anakena and Ovahe Beach Easter Island, both on the northern side of the island, and they rival the beaches of any great South Pacific island. Yesterday I started my day with a private guided tour of Tongariki – the site of the largest area of restored moai and what you see in most pictures of Easter Island. Thanks to the cleverly-timed arrival of my guide, Jo, we had this spiritual site all to ourselves. It was simply amazing. Later, we hiked the northern edge of the island making stops at both Ovahe and Anakena beaches before meeting up with a few other guests of my hotel for a picnic by the sea – Explora Rapa Nui-style – which is to say, first class all the way. We sipped champagne by the crashing waves as the hotel chef grilled up fresh seafood and local specialties. It was definitely my kind of picnic! This afternoon, I’m sad to say it’s time to leave Easter Island and head back to Santiago before moving on to Europe later this week. This island has been a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience and I can’t wait to tell you all about it and share many more pictures!

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