South America

Yerba Mate 101

By Steph | February 14, 2019

My brilliant entrepreneur husband  recently started his own e-commerce store selling yerba mate. I had never heard of mate before I met him, but I quickly learned about this important staple of Argentinean culture. In honor of this drink my husband loves, here is everything you need to know to understand mate culture. While Argentinean […]

Travel Regrets: How to Do Peru Only Using Five Vacation Days

By Guest Poster | September 9, 2016

I find that as a 20-something traveler with limited paid time off I try to make the most of every vacation. That comes with maximizing vacation days and minimizing travel mishaps– though travel problems seem to stalk me like a 6th grade crush. There was the time I booked a bad hostel only to wake […]

Things to Do in Cartagena, Colombia – A Weekend Guide

By Megan Stetzel | June 6, 2016

Cartagena has been growing steadily as a popular destination within Colombia, a country that has been struggling to overcome its bad reputation for some time. Cartagena proper is a rough, bustling, dirty, screeching mess of a city but a weekend in the Centro Historico district or neighboring Getsemani will leave you in awe, plenty stuffed, […]

Rio de Janeiro on a Shoestring

By Kay Rodriguez | March 24, 2015

Imagine sun tanned beach-goers sipping on cool coconuts, striking rock formations, and dazzling spectacles of music and dance… All of these things exist in one incredible city – Rio de Janeiro. There’s a reason they call it the Marvelous City! Of course, you’ve probably seen tons of photos of Rio on TV or online and […]

How to Explore Carnaval in Brazil

By Kay Rodriguez | February 2, 2015

One beautiful, sunny afternoon in Rio, I was listening to my professor drone on and on about something I didn’t understand and looking out the window when a brilliant idea popped into my head: What if I decided to jump on a bus to another city for the weekend? As my professor’s words slowly drowned […]

Inside Santiago’s Fiestas Pátrias

By Kay Rodriguez | September 14, 2014

Classes were wrapping up on a Friday morning in mid-September, and my Brazilian Portuguese teacher casually mentioned we wouldn’t be having class the following Thursday or Friday. Before I could bat an eyelash, I found myself perusing plane tickets, buying one from Rio to Santiago, Chile and frantically packing my bags. I hadn’t really done […]

Journeying Through Brazil By Bus

By Kay Rodriguez | August 13, 2014

When I began planning my solo adventure around Northeast Brazil, everyone I knew expressed their concerns of me, a non-Brazilian, petite female, traveling alone in one of the most dangerous areas of the country. Despite being known for its drug-related violence and corruption, the Brazilian Nordeste is one of the cultural centers of the country, […]

Language Learning On A Time Crunch

By Kay Rodriguez | July 13, 2014

It’s easy to see that the best way to explore a place is if you know the language and communicate with people there. However, language learning can be a tricky task, especially for those who have never learned one before. When living in Brazil, I had one month to learn Portuguese before taking my study […]

Mythbusting Brazil

By Kay Rodriguez | April 28, 2014

What do you think of when you hear Brazil? Sparkling, sandy beaches and giant rock formations might come to mind, or an image of the giant Christ statue towering over the city of Rio de Janeiro. Maybe you think of women (and men) in tiny swimsuits and the grandiose costumes of Carnaval. Perhaps you’re thinking […]

Interview with Céline Cousteau on Conservation and Sustainability with Contiki

By Michael Tieso | May 21, 2013

I had the amazing opportunity and honor to travel with and interview Céline Cousteau in the Galapagos. She is the daughter of the French explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, and the granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau and Simone Melchior Cousteau, the ocean explorers. The interview took place only an hour or so after we went diving counting sharks. One of the most memorable experiences […]

The Weird and Wacky World of Blue-Footed Boobies

By Michael Tieso | May 12, 2013

Blue-footed booby jokes never gets old and the Galápagos locals are taking in the English interpretation to the shops. T-shirts are sold throughout the islands that say “I Love Boobies” with a picture of the birds. I felt like a ten year old making booby jokes but it’s still hilarious. Blue-footed Boobies are most commonly found in the Galápagos. A […]

Things I Didn’t Know About Galapagos

By Michael Tieso | May 10, 2013

One of the main reasons why I travel is to learn about the world we live in. I could easily travel around the world for travels sake and not learn about the world but that doesn’t sit right with me. I was talking to my dad about my trip to the Galapagos on the phone […]