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Savings in South America Blossoming cherry trees, tulips and daffodils up north mean that the leaves of the beech trees in Torres del Paine and Los Glacieres National Park have all turned red and gold, sure signs that winter in the Southern hemisphere is not far off. But it isn’t too early to start planning your trip for next season to... For the first time in years, the cost of travel to Patagonia has decreased! Chile has eliminated the $160 Reciprocity Fee US citizens were formerly charged upon arrival into Santiago, a considerable savings for families. If you have some flexibility with your dates and aren’t set on traveling over the peak months of December, January and February, you can stretch your travel dollars further by booking one of the discounted shoulder season departures with savings of up to $1000 per person. (See below for a complete listing of discounted departure dates.) I had...

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Be Moved by the Mountains Being surrounded by raw natural beauty stirs the soul in ways that we as humans can feel and recognize but perhaps not accurately describe. Recent Wildland traveler Steve Fors, who embarked on our Machu Picchu Mountain Lodges Trek in March, very eloquently summed up his experience trekking through the Cordillera Vilcabamba.  “Our trekking guides Manolo and Darwin were off-the-chart fabulous in every way. My favorite moments for the trip were as follows; we went out on the upstairs deck at Salkantay Lodge, shut off all nearby lights and saw the most spectacular stars I have ever seen. While the sky above us was clear, there were thunderstorms nearby. The valley below lit up several times. Then lightning lit up Mt. Salkantay and its neighbors several times. When we hiked over Salkantany Pass, the mountain was obscured by clouds and fog. The next morning we awakened to clear sky, the first rays...

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Why Shoulder Season Travel is Spectacular! I recently returned from a trip to Peru with my brother to trek the Inca Trail and search for wildlife in the Amazon region of Tambopata. Our trip was in early March, just a few days after the Inca Trail opened for the 2014 season and right in the middle of Peru’s ‘rainy season.’  Traditionally, this is not thought of as an ideal time to go trekking since most people prefer not to hike in the rain. (Unless you live in the Pacific Northwest, then you are just used to it.)  Our timing wasn’t the best in that sense but we were just stoked to go so we packed the gortex, rain pants and ponchos and hoped for the best. It only rained on us twice in 16 days.  There were occasional wimpy sprinklings in the mornings but those didn’t even merit breaking out the rain jacket.  Mostly we had...
Trekking the Inca Trail with My Brother - Reflections on Family Travel On Sunday I head south to Peru for two weeks to explore the Tambopata Rainforest and trek the Inca Trail. It's a special trip for me because for the first time, I'm able to share what I am lucky to do for a living with a family member; my 'little' brother, Eric, is trading his Sloan Kettering research scrubs and NYC subway commute for ancient Inca footpaths through the Andes and bushwhacking in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Amazingly, though we've both hopped around the world quite a bit and were even somewhere in Europe at the same time, we've never actually traveled together outside of the United States. Growing up Eric and I spent hours outside pretending to explore dense, fearsome jungle (the woods at the end of the street) or imagining we were on safari in Africa, flailing about in the backyard as we acted out the wildebeest stampede...

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I think that sometimes when traveling, we spend much of our time and attention on the grand adventure, looking through a camera lens trying to capture that perfect “National Geographic” shot. The older I’ve gotten and the more I travel, I have become increasingly fond of the small—and often unexpected—moments. For me, the small moments add a richness and another dimension to a trip, making it much more meaningful and memorable. There are no photos of the small moments—they are captured and stored in our hearts. Our last Wildland Adventure took us back to South America—to iconic places in Ecuador and Peru. Our ambitious itinerary included Quito, the Napo Wildlife Center in the Yasuni National Park, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, and in Peru, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lima. A trip designed to fulfill lifelong goals and, from grand sites to small moments, the trip did...
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