Category Archives: Uncategorized

Community Tourism in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a good place to get closer to the country and people by visiting or staying in a communtiy tourism project.  Esteli in the north of the country probably has the most well known project with many family homes where you can stay, eat local food and go hiking and horse riding.  The island of Ometepe also has plenty of fincas and family homes where you can stay.  Into Latin America’s Central America consultant recently visited the village of Santo Domingo in the Chontales region of Nicaragua to discover what there is to see and do there, and to stay with a local family.  You can read all about it here

Sloth in Nicaragua

The very lazy sloth in Santo Domingo

 

Santo Domingo Panorama

Santo Domingo, Nicaragua Panorama

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Howlers and Hanging Vines on Nicaragua’s Volcanoes

Into Latin America’s Karen plus Little O (aged 3) just got back from a fun-filled visit to Nicaragua – where you just can’t avoid the volcanoes.  More on Nicaragua”s Volcanoes

Active volcano Masaya

Peering into the very active Masaya Volcano

 

Mombacho Volcano

Wake up to howler monkeys on top of Mombacho Volcano

 

ometepe sunset

Sunset on the volcanic island of Ometepe

 

Tunnel Mombacho

Tunnel formed by lava on Mombacho Volcano

 

Charco Verde Swing

Vines make perfect swings in Charco Verde Reserve, Ometepe

 

More on Nicaragua’s Volcanoes

Ecuador at the Beach

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

Ecuador BeachEcuador Beach in May-JuneEcuador Beach in May-June

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Beach

Iguazu, Iguassu or Iguacu Falls

Forget Niagra, or even Victoria Falls – if you want to see a truly spectacular, noisy, powerful waterfall; then you need to get to Iguazu Falls.  Whatever you call them, these falls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nominated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and just beautiful, spectacular, romantic and all the other superlatives you can think of.

What is so special about Iguazu Falls?

The River Iguassu starts in the Parana region of Brazil and makes its way west until it arrives at a huge volcanic plateau.  At this point the largest average flow of water in the world falls an incredible 269 feet into the lower Iguassu River.  The Falls make a U shape with 2 miles of falls interspersed with islands making 275 different cascades of different sizes and intensities.  Where Iguazu beats other waterfalls is just how easy it is to see the falls up close from different viewing points along the upper and lower walkways; as well as the intensity of the waterfall.  See the falls from above, from below, from a boat below the falls and from a distance for a fantastic panorama.

The Devil’s Throat

The most spectacular section of Iguazu Falls is the Devil’s Throat, where fourteen falls drop 350 feet with such force that there is always a 100 feet cloud of spray overhead.  You can see the full Devil’s Throat from the Brazilian side or, for a close up view, take the trail in the Brazil National Park to the base of Salto Floriano and take the elevator to the top of the falls.  From the Argentine side you can take follow a series of walkways above the falls, or get a soaking on a boat ride into the falls.  Take a trip out to Iguazu at full moon for a truly romantic view.

Where is Iguazu?  

Iguazu Falls is located at the meeting point of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.  The Rver Iguassu (or Iguazu) forms part of the border of Argentina and Brazil.  Below the falls, the River Iguazu empties into the Paraná River at the point where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay join; an area known as the Triple Frontier.  Two-thirds of the falls are within Argentine territory.

What’s In a Name?

The name “Iguazu” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words y, meaning “water”, and ûasú, meaning “big”. The falls are called Cataratas de Iguazu in Argetina and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil.  They are also known as Iguassu Falls.

What about the setting?

The falls are located within a practically virgin jungle ecosystem.  It is protected by Argentine and Brazilian national parks on either side of the cascades. You can tour the Argentine side of the falls in the Iguazú National Park where there are jungle trails and bird hikes.   The huge park is home to 450 species of birds including macaws, toucans and Harpy Eagle. Mammals include ocelot, peccary, tapir, anteater, monkey.  There is a also a huge range of bright butterflies to be seen

How to get there

In Argentia, the nearest town is Puerto Iguazu serced by the Cataratas del Iguazu international Airport (IGR).   There are flights to here from Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina.   In Brazil the nearest town, Foz do Iguaçu, is served by the airport of the same name (IGU).  The Brazilian airport has flight to Sao Paolo and Rio plus one daily flight direct to Lima.  Note that US nationals require a visa to enter Brazil; even just for a short trip to visit Iguaçu.

Take advantage of LAN airline’s cheap flights between Lima and Iguaçu to visit Iguazu Falls and Machu Picchu in one  unforgettable trip.

Where is this?

Baňos, Ecuador.

The hot springs capital of Ecuador, a great place for rafting canyoning and visiting waterfalls; and for spotting occasional spumes of smoke coming out of the active Tungurahua Volcano.

Baňos, Ecuador

Baňos, Ecuador

Special Offers

10% Off Argentina Tours

Iguazu, Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Patagonia and more.  Take your trip to Argentina before October 1st 2011 and qualify for a massive 10% discount.

Discounts on Galapagos Cruises

Free Galapagos flights and other discounts if you take your Galapagos Cruise between now and October 2011.   Tell us how many people and when you want to travel here and we’ll get back to you with our special Galapagos prices.

Enjoy a Free Meal in Peru

Meal at Ciccolinas

Meal at Ciccolinas

We love food in Peru so much that we want to treat you to a full meal out at one of our favourite Cusco restaurants.   Just book your tour to Peru before July 31st 2011 and we’ll treat you to an evening out at a top Cusco restaurant.


Our Man In Lima

Into Latin America’s man in Lima is the lovely Nilton.  He has been guiding visitors all over Peru for 15 years, but he still has a soft spot for his home town of Lima. Here we ask him about his home town and learn a little bit about Nilton:

Nilton in the Amazon

Nilton in the Amazon

What makes you a Limeño?

The pride of being in the Capital City and having access to everything  you can’t find in the rest of the country. We are proud to have good movie theaters, theaters for plays, great museums, schools, universities, discos and bars, etc. Of course we are proud to have the beach nearby and great beach resorts. Food makes up a great deal of our pride! Cebiches, Mariscos, desserts, anticuchos.  Oh and the cold beer! So cold that “it can destroy your throat” …

Describe Lima in 3 words?

Informal, fun, summer

What do visitors not know about Lima?

They don´t know that Lima has so much culture because of the mixture of traditions, ways of life,  of people from different parts of the country. Migration has made that possible.

They don´t know that a lot of Lima´s economical activities are very informal and they may not know that people in Lima are incredibly hardworking and skillful.  So much so that they can do great business without even finishing school or reading the business section in the newspaper! Some people are just really good at doing business.

Visitors might not know know that Lima has one of the oldest cemeteries in America.  A real treasure that can easily be visited.

Visitors may not know that in Lima, a city that most people simply pass through, one can find Humboldt Penguins!

Where is your favourite place for a day trip from Lima?

There are quite a few but for a day trip Lunahuaná for canoeing rafting.

For a half day excursion Pucusana is one of my favorites.

Boobies in Pucusana

Boobies in Pucusana

What is your favourite restaurant and food specialty in Lima?

For a fine meal the restaurant “El Señorío de Sulco” is great…They have the best “Causa a la Limeña” I have ever tried.

And for a set menu , the way locals eat on regular basis there´s one in Miraflores , in front of the Faraona Hotel , I forget the name but it´s really good deal for a 8 to 10 soles!. Try the Parihuela Soup!!! It’s Fantastic.

What is the best place for people who are interested in history?

The Pachacamac archaeological complex is a good start since it covers 4 periods of Peruvian history. Several museums in Lima are complete and good for a background on Peruvian history.

Nilton with a 'huaco'

Nilton with a 'huaco'

What are best and worst things about Lima?

That is relative because what I see as best may be worst for others. However I am the one interviewed so…one of the best things of Lima is that you can find EVERYTHING you can think of including galleries, local markets, street vendors, black markets, etc. Lima has great characters on the streets …people dressed like big women with big ‘bubbies’ and huge bottoms made out of balloons selling candies…, people that sell  full meals for 3 soles on the streets (and people that eat them!) . The way Limeños interact, especially the ones from middle to lower classes, their interaction is a real street play and if you are there in the right place you can have a laugh and/or learn a lot!.

The best in general is the mixture of people´s culture, faces, food, ways of living. It is not a boring city… completely the opposite!

How can travelers be responsible in Lima?  (Responsible tourism)

  • Don’t give money to the children on the streets.
  • Do not throw toilet paper in the toilets.
  • Do not leave water running more than necessary.

What’s the big topic of conversation in Lima nowadays?

Gold mining situation in the rainforest.

Latin Music Festival June 11th

Meet Nilon on one of our Tours in Peru