“Sitting on a beach with a tropical cocktail is all well and good, but a lot of us get bored with that after about ten minutes. We’d rather do something that makes us feel alive. Testing our limits is (sometimes scary) fun, and as travel has come to be less about architecture and more about experiences, a great trip is one that sparks a personal transformation.
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Everyone knows the Galapagos are a phenomenal destination for wildlife. You can walk alongside giant Galapagos tortoises lumbering around in the highlands, blue-footed boobies doing their mating dance, marine & land iguanas soaking in the sun, and more. Then, jump into the water to snorkel or swim with an array of colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, rays and even (friendly) sharks. It truly is a destination unlike anywhere else in the world. The wildlife is abundant and has little to no fear of humans. However, what often gets overlooked is that the Galapagos can also be a wonderful trip for culture, history and hiking.
South America is an immense and diverse continent with a myriad of options for every interest. Because of this, diving in to the initial planning stages of a trip to South America and deciding where to go can be incredibly daunting – with so many places to see and things to do, it’s easy to find yourself asking the question, “What is the best place to visit in South America?”
The Amazon rainforest and the Sacred Valley in Peru are two of the must-sees in South America. With the desire to visit these sites, John and Cara crafted their own personal itinerary focusing on these two contrasting destinations. Highlighting the best of both regions, this itinerary is rich in culture and natural wonders.
Should I hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? This is one of the most important and common questions when planning a trip to Peru. There are three ways to get to Machu Picchu: hike the full Inca Trail, hike just one day of the Inca Trail, or take a train and bus. To help you decide which is the best fit for you, take a look at five of the most frequently asked questions we get from our Inca Trail travelers below. Whether you’ve already planned your Inca Trail trip and are looking to prepare, or you’re just deciding if the Inca Trail is the right fit for you, these questions are a good place to start. Then, give us a call at 612-315-2894 to speak with a Peru Travel Specialist about the many Machu Picchu hike options and to plan your custom South America trip.
One of the first things that we look at when you book a trip with Knowmad Adventures, a travel company that creates active, authentic and sustainable travel in South America, is when your passport will expire. If your passport expiration is less than six months before the date of your trip, we request that you renew your passport before your departure. We lay out the reasons why you need six months on your passport below.
The stunning landscapes of both northern and southern Patagonia were the perfect backdrop for this group of 7 family members and friends. On this trip, they were able to see all of the highlights of the region, including trekking in Torres del Paine, glacier ice hiking, bike riding on Chiloé Island, whitewater rafting, and more!
For the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of living vicariously through our travelers while sifting through hundreds of photos taken in every nook and cranny of South America. What I love most about this process is seeing the world through another’s perspective, learning travelers’ stories through each image and in a little way, sharing in their joy. Throughout the selection process Krista and I commented several times just how difficult it was to pick only three top photos for each category, but, albeit challenging, we managed to pick this year’s Knowmad Adventures Annual Travel Photography Contest winners!
From the white sand beaches and wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, to the ancient Incan ruins of Peru, stunning mountain peaks of Patagonia, and the vibrant culture of Buenos Aires, Knowmad Travelers experienced a lot in 2016.
They snorkeled with sea lions and kayaked next glaciers. They hiked the Inca Trail, and camped under the stars at nearly unknown ruins. They shared stories with gauchos and savored a meal with indigenous leaders. They connected with different cultures, communities and people throughout South America.
Dear Fellow Traveler: Admittedly, we’ve been very focused on the day-to-day here at Knowmad Adventures. Yet, this time of year always reminds us to take a step back and remember the bigger picture.
One of the greatest compliments we can receive is when past travelers come back to us for another adventure in South America. Barbara, Eric, Kathy, and Lenny had done two previous trips with Knowmad, to Easter Island & Patagonia and to the Galapagos Islands. So when they came back looking to go off the beaten track for their third trip, exploring the contrasting deserts of the Atacama in northern Chile and Antarctica, we were really excited to help them plan this awesome multi-generational Chile + Antarctica family adventure.
Welcome to the Casa Oficina. That is the house that is an office, or the office that is a house. Not technically – we don’t actually live here (although during the busy season, many of us feel like that!). We affectionately call it the Casa Oficina because it’s an old Minneapolis house that we remodeled into the new Knowmad Adventures office, and although filled with desks and computers and coffee makers and such, its underlying texture is that of a light-filled home.
With all the possible places to stay when traveling, it can be difficult to know which one is the best one for you and your fellow travelers. Your accommodations can be such a big piece of your trip; letting you relax that much more during your vacation, or immersing you further into the culture. We know it can be difficult to know all of the features of each hotel option, so we wanted to highlight a few of Knowmad’s favorite hotels in Peru’s Sacred Valley, and share the characteristics that make each one a top Sacred Valley hotel on our list.