Part of my job as a Knowmad Adventures Peru + Ecuador Trip Specialist is to scout out new and exciting experiences for our travelers. I stay at the new hotel everyone’s talking about, dine at that hot, up-and-coming restaurant, and experience the latest adventure that’s getting all the press. But I also search for the unknown: the tucked away restaurant only the locals know about; the small, five-room property that’s so welcoming you feel like you’ve found your long-lost family; the handicraft workshop where you will learn about culture and tradition from a local; and all of those hidden gems that turn a good trip into a great trip, one that’s completely authentic and unique.
Travel alongside Nancy, Jeff, Mary, and Kevin as they embark on an unforgettable custom Chile trip to Patagonia and Valparaíso. They explore both Southern and Northern Patagonia, venturing to Torres del Paine and Puerto Varas to discover the breathtaking sights and possibilities of the region.
We welcomed Belén Scot Harvey into the world just under three months ago on July 27th. It had been a hot and humid month in the land of lakes, and I had spent many afternoons with our son Trey, now three and a half, in the backyard: him, up to his toddler antics and me, soaking my swollen ankles in the kiddy pool thinking how much better life would be if I didn’t have to pee every ten minutes, or could tie my own shoes, or better yet, had a gin and tonic in hand. Needless to say, by the end of my pregnancy I was miserable and over it and I was so ready to meet the little one in my belly.
Fellow adventurers, sightseers, and wanderlusters, the time has come again for the best gear and travel event in the Twin Cities, the Outdoor Adventure Expo! Hosted by Midwest Mountaineering, the Outdoor Adventure 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.
Just 10 years ago, the Atacama Desert was almost completely unknown to the North American traveler. Accessible only to backpackers and the savviest of travelers, this unique area—which reminds me of Yellowstone, the American Southwest, and Mars all rolled into one—was a hidden gem.
Today, the gorgeous landscapes combined with the fascinating pre-Columbian indigenous cultures have turned the region into one of Chile’s top attractions alongside Patagonia and Easter Island. Its rising popularity among discerning adventurers is thanks in part to a blossoming of luxury lodges in the area that offer a tantalizing combination of world-class comfort and active adventure.
Four friends took to the trails with Knowmad for a journey through Peru unlike any other. In ten days, they visited the Huchuy Qosqo ancient ruins, kayaked beautiful lakes, and camped at one-of-a-kind sites to experience spectacular Peru a wide variety of ways!
Are you wondering where to stay at Machu Picchu or which places are the best Machu Picchu hotels? There are three common areas travelers stay in when visiting the sacred site of Machu Picchu: Cusco, the Sacred Valley, or Aguas Calientes. Hands-down, the best place to stay is Aguas Calientes. Just a short bus ride down the mountainside from Machu Picchu, staying in this small town means you’ll spend less time en route to Machu Picchu the day of your visit, and, therefore, more time at what is undoubtedly one of the most majestic and inspiring sites in the world.
Covering the southern-most areas of both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is an incredible, out-of-this-world experience whenever you’re able to visit, and a region where you’ll be privy to some truly special features unique to each season. Patagonian springtime brings about the beautiful wildflower blooms and milder winds; their summers are full of warmer weather and longer days to spend out on the trails; and the fall brings with it striking color transformations and a quiet from fewer travelers. With each season having its own distinct benefits, your trip to Patagonia can be personalized to either shoulder season or high season to make it your own custom-crafted South American adventure.
Before experiencing the Galapagos Islands for myself, I was a bit of a skeptic. Wildlife and nature shows rave about the place and play spectacular footage of the archipelago all the time, but photographers have so many tricks, and I’ve been to plenty of places that didn’t live up to the hype. However, my week-long cruise in the Galapagos turned me into a true believer – not only did it live up to the hype, it became one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to and goes down as an unforgettable adventure.
Inca Trail permits for 2018 are going on sale this year earlier than ever. Unlike past years when permit sales have opened in January, permits will go on sale this October, a full three months earlier than past years.
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.