Our project of the week this week is the South America Ethical Trail –a perfect combination for eager travellers. So we thought it was only right to look at this amazing continent and check out all the best things to do, see and eat in South America.
Visiting South America:
South America has on offer everything a traveller could ever dream of - from the ancient Inca ruins to the mighty mountain ranges and all this with a great big dose of vibrant South American culture and delicious food. Visitors can explore the almighty River Amazon which quenched the spectacular rainforests of South America or venture up into the mountains to discover the amazing market towns as the charming panpipes of the Andes fill the streets and the Alpaca look on. Each country has a wealth of sites to see, activities to do and food to taste – making a trip to South America one to remember. Thrill seekers certainly won’t be disappointed either with more adventure activities on offer than you can shake a stick at from rafting, climbing, kayaking, biking and horse riding to mention but a few.
Frontier’s South America Ethical Trail:
Frontier’s South America Ethical Trail takes volunteers on a 4 week trip round Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. This nonstop adventure takes our volunteers from high up in the spectacular Andes Mountains to the amazing salt flats of Bolivia and after all that they get to unwind in thermal baths. By the end of the trail our volunteers will have climbed Machu Picchu, stood on the equator and explored the depths of the luscious Amazon rainforest. Here’s just a quick rundown of the trail to find out all the details head to our website.
Kicking off in Ecuador volunteers arrive in Quito and then spend the next 10 days exploring this amazing country stopping off at Otovalo, Riobamba, Cuenca and Montenita. At the market town of Otovalo volunteers can sample the impressive handicrafts and deliciously authentic and traditional cuisine before jumping on the train down to Riobamba – for those daring enough they can join the locals on the roof and really breathe in the stunning landscape. Once in Riobamba it’s off on a trek amongst the atmospheric mountains followed by a swim in the waterfalls at Banos where volunteers can soak up the Ecuadorian vibe. Next on the list it’s the busting town of Cuenca and its cathedrals, museums, colourful markets and sulphur baths before heading to the last stop off in Ecuador – Montenitas. Here volunteers can relax in the glorious sunshine on Montenitas beach before heading into Peru to delve deep into the Inca heartland.
Travelling into Peru volunteers will stop off at Lima and the charming town of Cusco before heading off on a 4 day adventure to Machu Picchu. Volunteers cycle along the ancient paved roads of the Inca trail past waterfalls and small villages on their way to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Then all that’s left is the awe inspiring ascent up the steep Andean hillside to reach the perfectly preserved Inca city – which is thousands of years old. The hike is well worth it as these stunning ancient ruins perched high in the Andes Mountains certainly won’t disappoint. Then it’s on to Bolivia for a grand ending to the action packed 4 week South American Trail.
Our first stop off in Bolivia is the beautiful Lake Titicaca where we venture out to explore the lake’s floating islands. Next it’s on to the picturesque mountain village of Coroico famous for being somewhat of a traveller’s mecca and a hippy magnet to enjoy the chilled out vibe and the legendary reggae bar. We finish of the trail with an adventure to La Paz the highest city in the world before heading to Uyuni to explore the otherworldly salt flats and heading home.
Sites to See:
The South American countries are so crammed full of places to go, sites to see and things to do it was hard to pick just a few, but here’s a taste of just what South America has to offer:
Photo courtesy of Carl Ebert
Peru is without a doubt a mesmerising country with the awe inspiring peaks of the Andes Mountains nestling hidden ancient treasures. For many a trip to South America would not be complete without having visited the magnificent Inca ruins of Machu Picchu whose air of grandeur and mystery must be experienced. This ancient city which lay virtually forgotten until the early part of the 20th century is now the best-known archaeological site on the continent. Many visitors chose to hike the Inca trail before ascending the final peak up to Machu Picchu.
Rio for the Carnival:
Photo courtesy of PedrosKirilos
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is blessed with one of the most spectacular settings of any city in the world with gorgeous mountains, white sand beaches, and luscious rainforests flanking its edges. Home to the famous Copacabana beach and the equally famous Rio Carnival this city has so much to offer its visitors. At night the sound of the samba spreads through Rio’s streets with tourists looking for a taste of the city’s intoxicating and vibrant night life choosing to dance the night away in Lapa. After all that partying Rio style why not surf the great breaks of Prainha, hike through Tijuca’s rainforests or sail across Guanabára.
Photo courtesy of David Berkowitz
Made famous by Darwin, the Galapagos Islands are rich in species diversity and are one of the most precious environments on Earth with 98% of these islands designated as a National Park. Amongst the wildlife to enjoy are land and marine iguanas, various bird species, including the famously studied Darwin’s finches, as well as Lonesome George – an 80 year old saddle back tortoise. Unfortunately he is the last male of his kind, and conservationists are trying to breed to keep his sub species going.
Recipe: Chimichurri Sauce
Photo courtesy of jasonlam
South American has some scrumptious food to offer - indeed Argentina’s steak is said to be some of the best and most delicious steak found anywhere in the world. So we thought we’d bring you a great authentic South American sauce to eat with it. This week’s recipe couldn’t be simpler so if you fancy making yourself some tasty Chimichurri sauce to go with your steak just...
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
8 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 lemon wedge (juice of)
1 tablespoon diced red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pulse parsley in processor to chop.
Add remaining ingredients and blend.
Separate sauce into equal parts and use half for basting or marinade and the other half for table service.
By Hannah Jones