This past August my colleague Kayli and I traveled to Peru for two and a half weeks, and, for me, it was both a magical and intimidating adventure to embark on.
In the weeks leading up to our first South American trip as a family, amidst the ear infections, the packing, and the year-end busyness at the Knowmad Adventures office, I envisioned how amazing the experience in Ecuador would be for them, our kids.
Get to know Amanda Bjorge, one of Knowmad’s Operations Specialists! She loves to experience new cultures and has a passion for South America. Find out which travel memories are Amanda’s favorite, her must-have travel item, and more.
Mark your calendars for the 67th Bi-Annual Outdoor Adventure Expo! Hosted by Midwest Mountaineering, “The Expo” has over 60 exhibitors and more than 100 presentations by experts in a multitude of fields: parks and trails, high-adrenaline adventure, nature conservation, and of course, travel. Chat with fellow adventure travel and outdoor enthusiasts, learn about new gear, and find great deals.
One of my favorite types of trips to plan is what we at Knowmad affectionately call a “combo trip”, where we pair two countries together so that our travelers can get the most out of their adventure to South America. I specialize in travel in both Peru and Ecuador, and pairing these countries together makes for such a wonderful combo trip, not just because they are neighbors, but because of how they compliment each other. In one trip you can walk along paths taken by Incans, dine with local community members as they teach you about their traditions, see the famed Machu Picchu, snorkel with sea lions, stand amongst the giant Galapagos tortoises, and so much more. Joining both the beautiful culture and majesty of the Incas of Peru with the stunning architecture of Quito and surreal closeness to the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands is most certainly a recipe for an awe-inspiring adventure to South America.
“We are a group of ‘seniors’ who love to travel, and are considering a South America destination for our next trip,” wrote Kathy when she first approached Knowmad. So, how is it that her group of adventurous ‘seniors’ ended up choosing Patagonia as one of the focal points of what eventually became a unique, 3-week trip to Argentina and Chile? Their route spanned from Buenos Aires to the jungles of Iguazú falls in Argentina and Brazil, down to the lush Bariloche area of Northern Patagonia, onward to the glaciers of Southern Patagonia, crossed through the Andes Mountains over to the jagged peaks of Chile’s Torres del Paine before ending in the Central Chile to explore bohemian ‘Valpo’, Santiago, and wine country. Read on to find out what makes Patagonia an outstanding destination for over 50 travel as well as for younger, adventurers alike.
The central region of Chile offers travelers a balanced blend of culture and scenic vistas where the traditional and modern live side by side. Inside of the artsy and bustling neighborhoods of Santiago, find deep history, green park oases, and caring people. Just outside of Chile’s largest city, find ocean to the west, mountains to the east, and wine valleys to the south. The nearby bohemian port city of Valparaíso draws artists and adventurers to its cascading hills, while the nearby wineries draw aficionados and soon-to-be wine connoisseurs alike.
Chile has become a hub for many travelers planning to visit South America with its stunning natural landscapes, delicious wine, and local culture. The capital city of this diverse country, Santiago, has often been known as just a stop-over city on the way to explore all that Chile has to offer, but this thriving metropolitan city should not be overlooked.
Chile is a country of contrasts, stretching from the desert in the north to the glaciers of the south, and with the natural borders of the ocean to the west and the Andes mountains in the east. There are lush, temperate rainforests and volcanoes, and wine valleys abound. When planning my own first trip to South America with Knowmad I faced the same question that the travelers I work with every day do: how could I make the most of two weeks in Chile?
What makes someone worthy of the Condé Nast Traveler Experience Makers award? This person is not just an expert in their field, but a person that views crafting the perfect trip as an art form. A person who is considerate, taking the time to listen their travelers’ interests, style, and needs; a person who is knowledgable, always on the pulse of new activities, cultural opportunities, and remote lodges; and a person who is passionate, someone who understands that the each trip is a unique reflection of the traveler that ultimately gets to embark on the journey. We’re proud to say that Jordan Harvey, Knowmad’s Co-Founder, is this person.
Photo by Jan Veen
Getting to the southernmost continent in the world is not easy but that’s not to say it must be a combination of tiring and long travel days. Below we share a Knowmad traveler’s trip to Antarctica by way of Argentina, with adventurous, relaxing, and fun days spent in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, and Tierra del Fuego National Park, all before they embarked on their once-in-a-lifetime Antarctica expedition.
There are two ways to get to Machu Picchu: hiking the Inca Trail or taking a train and bus combo. At Knowmad Adventures, a travel company that creates innovative and custom trips to South America, we find when travelers hear ‘The Inca Trail’ it often summons images of tent camping and multiple days of difficult hiking. But did you know you can hike just a part of the Inca Trail to get to Machu Picchu? An alternate option to the full Inca Trail, this fantastic single-day hike culminates at the Intipunku Sun Gate overlooking the mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu just as the Incas did centuries ago. Find out how you can hike along the Inca Trail for one day to arrive to Machu Picchu and why you should consider including a hike to Machu Picchu in your trip to Peru.
Mix an adventurous, enthusiastic go-getter with a cool and collected travel expert and you’ll get Jena Davison, our newest Knowmad Adventures Trip Specialist. Find out how she landed in the travel industry, why she thinks Colombia travel should be on your radar, and more here: