Southwind Guide Spotlight: Meet Francis Casapino

Francis Casapino, Southwind travel guideOne 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

Peru Blossoms as Unique Destination for Families

Southwind Adventures Launches Kid-friendly Itinerary

Peru and Machu Picchu for familiesWith its wealth of natural and cultural heritage, Peru is growing up as a multi-generation travel destination. Today, an increasing number travelers of all ages are planning bucket-list dream trips together to Peru’s Andes Mountains, Amazon rain forest and ruins of Machu Picchu.

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Condé Nast Traveler Awards Southwind Adventures’ Tom Damon as 2013 World’s Top Travel Specialist

Tom Damon Conde NastSouthwind’s own Tom Damon has been awarded status as Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist. Since 2005, Tom has been recognized on this exclusive list for his mastery in planning trips of a lifetime to Peru, Ecuador, the Galápagos, and Patagonia. His nine consecutive years make him the longest-standing Top Travel Specialist for South America. Continue reading

Deluxe Andean Spa Treatments en Route to Machu Picchu

Good news for spa lovers! Thanks to the new and sophisticated spa facilities in our favorite first-class and deluxe hotels, Southwind travelers to Machu Picchu can expect comfort and deep relaxation in the high Andes. Maybe you’re planning on hiking the rigorous one-day Inca Trail from km 104 and you’d like to treat your body to a soothing sauna session afterward. Maybe you’re traveling to Peru for your wedding anniversary and want to join your partner for a romantic couples massage. Or perhaps you’re traveling with family and need a break from the kids to reward yourself after an active day. Continue reading

Insider Experience: Lima’s Larco Herrera Museum with a Curator

Larco_museum_exterior_3 (1)The fascinating Larco Museum, which covers Peru’s pre-Columbian era, has something for everyone. In fact, it has grown in popularity over the past several years to become Lima’s #1 attraction on TripAdvisor. Even for those who don’t tend to wonder what Peru was like before the Spanish arrived, the Larco Museum stirs curiosity with its collection of over 45,000 pieces that span over 4,000 years of Peruvian culture. Continue reading

Hotels add variety to cruise ship travel in the Galápagos

Giant Tortoise - GalapagosSince the onset of tourism in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands in the 1970’s, small cruise ships have reigned as the classic mode for touring the unique archipelago. Nowadays, however, new and sophisticated hotels are making their debut as a worthy addition to the cruise experience. Galápagos travelers can now enjoy a land-based stay or a combination of cruise and hotel for the best of both worlds.

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Where to Dine in Buenos Aires, Argentina

asado argentinaBuenos Aires is perhaps South America’s grandest and most cosmopolitan city, with a thriving foodie and restaurant scene that can be downright overwhelming. To narrow down the options, we’ve chosen places in or near Recoleta, where most first-class hotels are located. We favor areas that are safe and convenient to reach by taxi. Most of all, we look for high quality authentic dining experiences that reflect Argentina’s world-renowned grilled beef ‘asado’ tradition, its Southern European influences, and the city’s hottest trends like the exclusive ‘closed door’ restaurants. Continue reading

To Be the Inca: An interview with Inti Raymi actor Nivardo Carrillo

Inti Raymi festival in Cusco, PeruIn the Andes, the sun is a reason for celebration. Each year on June 24th, one of the largest and most colorful festivals in Latin America erupts on the cobbled streets of Cusco, Peru. The Inti Raymi festival attracts foreigners and Peruvians alike with a re-enactment of a sacred solstice celebration of the Incas.

For the Inti Raymi event, a cast of hundreds dress in full regalia to welcome the return of the Father Sun, or “Inti”. No deity was more important to the Incas.

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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu vs. Alternative Trek

Machu Picchu with Southwind AdventuresAt Southwind Adventures, we are passionate about exploring South America’s best-loved landscapes. Machu Picchu reigns as one of the most sought-after destinations in the world! The awe-inspiring Incan citadel is surrounded by a network of fascinating pre-Columbian trails, most famously the Inca Trail.

You may be wondering if the classic Inca Trail is the best route for trekking to Machu Picchu, or if other routes unveil a more remote and less traveled side of the area. As Peru specialists, we can help you decide which is the best trek for you!

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Elegance and Adventure in Peru’s Colca Canyon

Colca condorTwice the depth of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon in southern Peru measures up as one of the deepest and most spectacular canyons on the planet. It’s a journey into deep and vibrant Peru, where traditional Andean culture holds on to its roots, condors soar upward from the depths, and iconic Peruvian vicuñas and alpacas roam in the nearby highlands.

Colca is not your typical Andean landscape, however. The region contains Peru’s main concentration of volcanoes and geothermic activity, which translates to unique peaks and natural hot springs.

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