Category: All News (page 2 of 4)

Closed Door Restaurants: The Local Dining Experience

September 9, 2014
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All News, Argentina

For unique foodie experiences head to Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo On my last couple of visits to Buenos Aires my time was limited, so naturally I wanted every meal to count, I wanted it to be great, not just good. I talked to nearly every local I knew to get their restaurant recommendations and I found that on almost everyone’s list was a closed door restaurant. Although they are not a new phenomenon I noticed that there is still a buzz about town for the mysterious puerta cerrada, as it’s known in Argentina. After the economic crisis of 2001, these home-grown businesses became an entrepreneurial trend, and one that has spread to other cities such as the gastronomic hub of Sao Paulo. In my opinion these off-the-beaten-track culinary experiences offer more than the average restaurant. Firstly, the food is just like home cooking, made by passionate and friendly locals…

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The Wonderful Wildlife of Chile: Feathered Friends

September 4, 2014
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All News, Chile

In the previous two parts of ‘The Wonderful Wildlife of Chile’ we looked at the country’s fascinating land mammals such as the elusive Puma as well as under water creatures such as whales and dolphins. That leaves us with another kind of animal that we haven’t yet covered. Up in Chile‘s vast skies, looking down over the longest stretching mountain range in the world and the deep blue waters of the Pacific coastline, the animals are as varied up here as they are on the ground or in the sea below. Now, when talking about Chile’s bird life, a special mention must be given to the Lauca National Park, located high up in the Andes and close to the border with Bolivia. The huge ecosystem that exists here in the Altiplano, the High Andean Plateau, has one of the highest altitudes in the world, but despite the plummeting night time…

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Buenos Aires: An Architect’s Playground

August 16, 2014
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All News, Argentina

A surprise around every corner… When I was planning my first visit to Buenos Aires there were certain things that I was told to look out for; tango dancing in the streets, melt-in-the-mouth steaks, the polo, the leather goods.. I could go on! But something I never anticipated was the huge variety of creative architecture that has been used to build this unique South American metropolis. The main attractions dotted around the city centre are certainly impressive, such as the famous Casa Rosada or the historical Teatro Colón, but more of a surprise to me was the brilliant individuality of every suburban house that outlines the city and it is this that continues to inspire me on every visit. On the edge of the river basin, in the charming neighbourhood of San Isidro (where I was lucky enough to live) you will struggle to find any two houses the same….

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Caroline’s Cookbook: Empanadas

August 15, 2014
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All News, Argentina, Brazil, Chile

It’s that time again! Who else is hungry? This week I will be teaching you about the good old South American empanada (and its closest relatives). The Lowdown In Argentina the empanada is a firm favourite for filling a rumbling belly, adults and kids alike. The typically savoury snack (if you need a visual, it resembles a small Cornish pasty) dates back centuries and was originally brought over from Galicia, Northwest Spain where it was invented as a portable lunch for workmen. I have to say that a visit to Argentina is not complete until you have tried a locally baked (or deep fried) empanada with any of the various fillings. The flavoursome pastries are most commonly stuffed with either ham and cheese, spinach and ricotta, minced beef or shredded chicken and accompanied by chopped onion and a mixture of spices. A plate of warm empanadas is ideal shared as…

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The Wonderful Wildlife of Chile: Land Animals

August 12, 2014
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All News, Chile

After Brazil, Chile has the largest area of protected conservation land in South America. Most of this protected land falls in the rugged and highly untouched expanse of Patagonia. From top to bottom there are a total of 36 National Parks in Chile, all with something a little different to the other, from magnificent volcanic landscapes of Hornopiren to the temperate ‘enchanted’ rainforests and hanging glaciers further South in Queulat. Once inside these parks you can’t help but marvel at the never-ending mountain ranges and beautiful natural wonders that nature has created. It is here that nature has the power to make you feel tiny and insignificant. An important place for wildlife in Chile is the recently rehabilitated Valle Chacabuco, part of which was once a working sheep farm or estancia. Today Chacabuco’s much greener pastures are home to many of the animals that you will find described below. Interestingly,…

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The Wonderful Wildlife of Chile: Oceans and Rivers

July 31, 2014
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All News, Chile

Welcome to the wonderful world of Chilean wildlife; a huge, magnificent and surprising collection of animals inhabiting one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. Chile is a land of extremes; from the driest desert in the world to the cold archipelago at ‘the end of the earth’ and even an isolated pacific island in between. With so much bio-diversity, it’s easy to see how Chile became the place where Charles Darwin made some of his most vital observations, those that would influence his theories on natural selection. Volcanoes and mountains line the interior border with neighbouring Argentina and are home to some very resilient and well adapted land mammals, while birds of all shapes, colours and sizes fill the skies thrilling any visiting bird-watcher. Chile is, in short, a nature lover’s paradise. Today the focus is on fish, mammals and amphibians that exist in the fresh water…

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One to watch: Penguin Post Office on BBC

July 25, 2014
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All News, Antarctica, News

Thursday night the BBC aired its latest episode from the brilliant series Natural World and here at Latin Routes it did a great job of reminding us why we love the Antarctic so much. The fascinating hour long programme, Penguin Post Office, was filmed over a 6 month period on the Island of Goudier in the Antarctic Peninsular. The show follows a colony of over 4000 Gentoo Penguins that live just outside the island’s only Post Office in Port Lockroy. The Gentoo is one of 17 species of penguins that breed in the Antarctic and sub Antarctic islands… that’s a lot of penguins! The film crew documented the colony’s story throughout the 6 month stay, showing us how comical, mischievous and resilient the little Gentoos can be. I wanted to know more about the filming of the show so I started reading the Penguin Post Office blog (https://penguinpostoffice.blogspot.co.uk/), which I found…

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Starry Eyed in Chile’s Atacama Desert

July 22, 2014
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All News, Chile

What’s happening? It’s eyes to the skies in the Atacama Desert, located in the North of Chile, because this place just got even more exciting. It has long been a world renowned hotspot for star gazing but now, thanks to a 1.1 billion euro investment, the desert will be home to the world’s biggest telescope and therefore become the most important site in ground-based astronomy. The new model will fittingly be known as the “European Extremely Large Telescope” or “E-ELT” and will contain a 39 meter mirror that will allow astronomers to look deeper into space than ever before. The entire project will span a decade, with the telescope estimated to be completed in 2024. Stargazing is a popular activity among holiday-makers in the Atacama due its clear skies, high altitude, lack of light pollution or radio interference. The night skies are truly a sight to behold and an evening spent…

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Caroline’s Cookbook: Moqueca Baiana

July 14, 2014
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All News, Brazil

Traditional Brazilian Cooking at its Best Being such an enormous country, it’s to be expected that Brazil should have an equally enormous plethora of culinary delights. The country’s cuisine aptly reflects the diversity and richness of its culture, from African-inspired seafood in the Northeast to succulent slow-cooked meat dishes of the gauchos in the Interior. Today my recipe of choice is ‘Moqueca’, a personal Latin American favourite and a dish that has been cooked by the Brazilian people for at least 300 years. The sea-food stew derives from both the Northeastern state of Bahia as well as the neighbouring Southeastern state of Espirito Santo, with the latter variation known as Moqueca Capixaba. With its use of salt-water fish or shell-fish and fusion of African and European flavours, I personally believe that when it comes to Brazilian gastronomy the Moqueca is as traditional as it gets. Recipe: 1kg skinless firm white…

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Southeast Brazil: Where to Stay

July 4, 2014
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All News, Brazil, News, World Cup 2014

Southeast Brazil is known for its affinity with nature. Greenery, the deep blue sea and golden, sandy beaches combine to give you the ultimate experience in relaxation. The city of Florianopolis is also available to explore along with the beautiful surrounding area. However, some of the hotels e have on offer might make you think twice about leaving at all… Ponta Dos Ganchos, Santa Catarina  Located on a private peninsula in Santa Catarina, 40kms from Florianopolis, this tropical hideaway is certainly a luxury retreat. As exclusive as it is beautiful, it is located amongst secluded beaches and stunning rainforest. The highlight, however, is the view from your window – under unbroken blue skies lies an incredible vista out over the sea, with the mountains framing the horizon. The hotel itself features 25 cabana-style bungalows (some of which have plunge pools for you to relax in) and a range of facilities…

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