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Martian Landscapes and Scenic Beauty: Blown Away by Atacama Arriving in the Atacama Desert this October, I was speechless as the plane began to descend into Calama, the region's capitol. The austere and Martian desert stretched out in every direction and was accented with epic snowcapped volcanoes in shades of fiery orange and rusty red; the salt flats beckoned to the east while smaller, salt mountains signaled the mouth of the Moon Valley to the south. Met at the airport, by my Explora Atacama hosts, I was given my introduction to this remote region of Chile. “The first European explorers to reach what is now known as the Atacama Desert were drawn by tales of a land rich in gold located somewhere south of the Inca Empire. It was due to this quest that the Spanish conquistador, Diego de Almagro, after a perilous journey across the Andes Mountains, became the first European adventurer to arrive in Chile and set foot...

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How to Choose the Right Tiger Park in India India is home to 70% of the world’s remaining tigers. These majestic cats have been making a fantastic comeback due to conservation efforts after being on the verge of endangered just 20 years ago. Seeing one of these big cats is a once in a lifetime experience and there is no better place than on a trip to India to check that item off the bucket list. While it is easy to get lost in the eye of the tiger there are many other factors to take into account when choosing a park including but not limited to quality of lodges, naturalists as well as other flora and fauna. This blog is going to focus specifically on the national parks of Madhya Pradesh, considered the epicenter for tiger sightings in India. MP is also great because they offer full day permits if you’re really interested in seeing tigers. You get...

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A Day in the Life of a Jungle Safari in India Days spent on jungle safaris in India are different than any other you’ll experience on your trip. With a minimum of 2 nights at a lodge and 3 highly recommended you’ll fall into a routine. You wake up with the sun and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle and a full belly. You'll spend hours riding around in a jeep searching for animals and hours relaxing in your room or by the pool. I’ll try to outline to the best I can what a typical day looks like in the jungles of India. Note: These were the times for when I was visiting in October. The times change with the season as the park gate opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. In the heart of winter you’ll find later start times and earlier exit times. 5:00 – Wakeup knock on your door. 5:15 – Tea, coffee, and...

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How I Fell in Love with Jungle Safaris in India I had never been on a safari until 2 weeks ago. It’s not that I don’t love the outdoors, I spend as much time as I can outside and all my vacations revolve around sleeping under the stars. I love walking the trails, climbing to the highest peak in a range, or kayaking down a river. So, I never understood safaris and this idea of going to a national park and driving around in a jeep all day. It seemed counter intuitive to everything I love about wild, natural spaces. Then, I spent 2 weeks on jungle safari in India and my whole philosophy changed. I not only understand the drive (pun intended) to go on safari but think it’s a must-do on everyone’s list for the following reasons: Naturalists: Watching the naturalists work was perhaps my favorite part of the safaris. They drive a car on bumpy, winding dirt...
Best Bang for Your Buck on the Blue Dollar Rate in Argentina I often get questions from our travelers about the Blue Market Dollar Rate in Argentina and thought it would be a good idea to write about it for those trying to get the best bang for their buck so to speak while traveling in Argentina. In Argentina there 3 official exchange rates: 1) The real estate rate (not important for travelers) 2) The Official bank exchange rate (around 1 USD to approx 9 Argentine Pesos) 3) The Blue Market rate (around 1 USD approx 14 ARS) Travelers will of course only get the official rate at ATMs in Argentina and if they exchange money in the banks. The best way to take advantage of the Blue Market Rate is by bringing US cash ($20, $50 and/or $100 notes) and exchanging money at your hotels. Almost all hotels will gladly exchange your US cash at a much higher rate than what...
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Kelsey Wenger
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Rachael Garrett
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Anne Kutay
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Tim Hocking
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