Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
One last look

At a Glance: Tijuca National Park is one of the largest urban-surrounded forests on earth, taking up some seven percent of Rio’s area. It is not original growth, but is secondary re-planted and otherwise re-grown Atlantic rainforest. After it was realized that the cleared land had eroded and polluted the city’s water supply, Emporor Dom … Read more

In Love at Perito Moreno

After leaving Ushuaia, we drove northwest to El Calafate, a small town of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants in the southwest corner of Argentina. Here, we are staying in a private room at a lovely hostel for the week (a choice we made based on how expensive this region is, but one we are quite happy … Read more

Tierra del Fuego National Park

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by Ian in Argentina | Parks - (3 Comments)
Tierra del Fuego National Park

Here are some things you absolutely need to know about Tierra del Fuego National Park: The entrance is 11 kilometers west of Ushuaia, meaning it is the southernmost national park on the planet. The park was founded in 1960, bordering Chile and running south to the Beagle Channel. This land of beech forests, mountains, glaciers, … Read more

Salar de Uyuni

December 31st, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Bolivia | Parks | The Places We've Been - (12 Comments)
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

The star of Bolivia’s famous Southwest Circuit, Salar de Uyuni is, quite simply, the world’s largest salt flat and by far Bolivia’s most important tourist attraction. Located 11,995 feet above sea level, it is over 4,000 square miles of pure flat whiteness, punctuated in only a few places by “islands” of rock and cacti. Formed … Read more

Machu Picchu

Long before Ian and I met, we both, separately, dreamed of one day visiting Machu Picchu. For two people with inexhaustible collections of places we’d like to go, things we’d like to see, and activities we’d like to do, this magical spot in the Peruvian Andes for some reason stuck out. I’m not even sure … Read more

El Cajas National Park

November 13th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Ecuador | Parks | The Places We've Been - (2 Comments)
El Cajas National Park in Ecuador

About 20 miles west of Cuenca on the highway to Guayaquil lies El Cajas National Park. Originally established as a National Recreation Area in 1977, it was promoted to a National Park in 1996. The origin of the name El Cajas for this jagged highland area is not entirely clear; alternate explanations link it to … Read more

Soberanía National Park

August 29th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Panama | Parks | The Places We've Been - (2 Comments)
Anteater in Soberanía National Park, Panama

Twenty-five kilometers north of Panama City, bordering the eastern flank of the Canal, is Soberanía National Park. Founded in 1980, the park’s 55,000 acres of humid tropical forest are a welcome respite from the ten-car-horns-a-minute hustle and bustle of the city just twenty minutes away. Home to an estimated 525 species of bird, Soberanía is … Read more

Footbridge into Pico Bonito

Parque Nacional Pico Bonito is just south of (and towering over) the beach town of La Ceiba, Honduras. Here are some numbers and facty things: Founded in 1987, the park covers approximately 1073 square kilometers It is named for Pico Bonito, a dramatic mountain rising up over 2400 meters just 10 miles from the Caribbean … Read more

Cayos Cochinos

June 12th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Honduras | Parks | The Places We'll Go - (2 Comments)
Chachahuate, a Garifuna village in Cayos Cochinos

Some 30 kilometers northeast of La Ceiba is a coral archipelago known as Cayos Cochinos (“hog islands” — legend has it that British pirates planted pigs on the larger islands to ensure they would have a supply of meat the next time they were in the neighborhood), made up of two hilly and lush islands, … Read more

Spider Monkey at Reserva Natural Atitlán in near Panajachel in Guatemala

Just northwest of Panajachel is the Reserva Natural Atitlán. Founded in 1995 as a butterfly house and a few trails traversing the dense vegetation of the mountains overlooking the lake, the reserve has expanded since its inception. It now includes a visitors’ center, a few rooms for rent, camping spaces, a small restaurant, an outdoor … Read more