Top 12 Reasons to Visit Chile’s Atacama Desert, the DRIEST Place on Earth!

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Having such an otherworldly appearance, the majestic Atacama Desert of Northern Chile has been compared to the surface of Mars. So similar to our neighboring planet, NASA has even tested instruments designed for their Mars missions in this region. The Atacama Desert sees an average of less than .004 inches of rain per year and some areas have not had rainfall for over 400 years. As one of the rising travel destinations in South America, why should you visit Atacama? Below are the top reasons to explore this unique and magical place. It can be reached by a 2 hour flight from Santiago to Calama, followed by 1.5 hour scenic drive to San Pedro de Atacama (elev 7,898 ft), the base for our adventures. Continue reading

12 Exceptional Restaurants in Cusco, Peru

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Peru is fast becoming a top travel destination on any foodie’s bucketlist. While Machu Picchu remains as the main highlight in any extraordinary Peru voyage, it is important to know the top dining establishments in the friendly and historical city of Cusco–gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the famous hilltop citadel. Continue reading

10 Fabulous Beaches in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica has nearly 300 different tropical beaches along its stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, each with a unique draw and distinct setting. Virgin rainforest with exotic animals, nesting sites for sea turtles, long beaches with white sand, amazing snorkeling, sea kayaking, surfing and swimming – you name it! These beautiful beaches in Costa Rica offer incomparable adventures for nature lovers! Continue reading

What to Do at Machu Picchu

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Exploring the Ancient Citadel’s Top 12 Treasures

At Southwind Adventures, we make sure your journey to Machu Picchu is special and rich in discovery. We’ve put our heads together with our top Peru guides Romulo Lizarraga, Rosa Garcia, and Francis Casapino to highlight what to do at Machu Picchu within the citadel itself. These local Machu Picchu experts have led visitors through the citadel hundreds of times. We’ve also gotten input from Dr. Federico Kauffmann-Doig, a renowned Peruvian archaeologist, historian, and celebrated author of the definitive new book Machu Picchu: Enchantment in Stone – the culmination of 50 years of his research.

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Aboard the M/V Aria: Cruising and Conserving the Peruvian Amazon

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In September 2014, Southwind Adventures Travel Specialist Cynthia Ord embarked on the M/V Aria, a 32-passenger deluxe vessel, for a five-day Peruvian Amazon river cruise. The voyage departed from Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest.

For me, cruising the Peruvian Amazon in the luxury of the M/V Aria had its obvious perks. The experience felt almost like spectating a grand performance. In my cabin I had a floor-to-ceiling panoramic window framing an unbeatable view of the river, and a California king-sized bed with fine Peruvian cotton linens where I could curl up and just watch the rainforest landscape drift by. Continue reading

Southwind Adventures Evolves Its Brand with Launch of New Website

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CENTENNIAL, CO – Southwind Adventures, a boutique travel company specializing in upscale adventures to South America, is pleased to unveil its fully-redesigned website, www.southwindadventures.com. The business has partnered with Fusionbox, a studio based in Denver, CO, for the website’s design and development. The site has been crafted to reflect Southwind’s prestigious, well-established brand, showcasing its growing collection of signature small-group trip itineraries as well as its talent for tailoring private trips.

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New Family Adventure Explores Ecuador’s Top Wildlife Destinations

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Southwind Launches Family-friendly Itinerary in the Amazon and Galápagos

Small but mega-biodiverse Ecuador is becoming a wildlife mecca in South America. Its eastern slope intersects with the mighty Amazon rainforest, home to 10% of the known species on the planet. Its Galápagos Islands form the best conserved tropical archipelago in the world, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Southwind Guide Spotlight: Meet Francis Casapino

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One of Southwind’s best friends and most beloved guides, Francis is a native to the Cusco region of Peru. Francis graduated with a degree in Tourism from the San Antonio Abad University in Cusco. Having worked as a guide, receptionist in hotels, at the regional tourism office, in travel agencies and as a guard in Manu National Park, he has gained over 14 years of experience in the travel industry. When it comes to Incan history and anthropology, Francis has a natural curiosity and keeps himself well-versed in all the recent finds and latest theories. He’s one of the best and most intelligent guides in Peru today. Continue reading