Central & South America

Lake Quilotoa is gaining a reputation as one of the most attractive destinations in Ecuador. The surrounding area, of rugged mountains and dirt roads, offers some of the most rewarding cycle touring in the Andes.

Biking Ecuador’s Spectacular Avenue of the Volcanoes

Home to a string of high peaks, including 20,564-foot Chimborazo, the area offers some of the finest cycling, hiking and adventuring country anywhere

The dream of a gold miner—a nugget so big it can be handled like a small marble.

Hunting for Gold in the Amazonian Jungle

The author joins two American fortune-seekers on a gold-panning outing at the confluence of the Negro and Paute rivers


What Makes These Avocados Different From All Others?

The spectrum of the fruit here is almost as varied as the people who grow them, and for avo advocates, Ecuador is an excellent place to go tasting


Vilcabamba: Paradise Going Bad?

Life in this legendary town in Ecuador's Valley of Longevity may be too good—and too long—to be true


When Cane Juice Meets Yeast: Brewing in Ecuador

The sugarcane trail takes the author across the Andes, into liquor distilleries and from juice shack to juice shack as he pursues fermented sugarcane wine


What Makes the Trout in Ecuador Look Like Salmon?

Aiming to catch a few trout for dinner, the author decides to try his luck at one of the region's many "sport fishing" sites

The intent stare of an unknown dog strikes dread in the experienced cycle tourist. Most healthy-looking animals, no matter how mean, probably do not have rabies, but if bitten one must receive treatment.

Bike, Bark, Bite, Blood: The Perils of Cycling in Rabies Country

An unfortunate run in with a mutt in Ecuador turned into a trip to the doctor's to be treated for rabies, a surprisingly fatal disease

Footballer in the making? This young Ecuadorian seems drawn to the oblong shape and peculiar design of a football on a soccer field in the city of  Cuenca.

A Football Team With No One to Play Against

Listen closely around the public parks of Quito, Ecuador, and you just might hear that familiar sound: "Hut hut hike!"


Strange Ball in a Strange Place: Watching the Super Bowl in Ecuador

America's Biggest Game brings excitement, curiosity and some boredom to Ecuador

About 15 miles north of Quito, a yellow line representing the Equator runs up a long, regal walkway to the base of the Mitad del Mundo monument, built in 1979. The thing is, they built the structure several hundred feet south of the true Equator.

Much Ado About Nothing at the Equator

Just north of Quito stands a grand and glowing tribute to one of Ecuador’s proudest features: the Equator. The problem is, it was built in the wrong place

This sign just north of Tumbes is a clear sign, if the mangroves aren’t, that one is entering the muggy, and in some ways dangerous, tropics.

Ecuador, Land of Malaria, Iguanas, Mangoes and Mountains

The author leaves Peru behind and crosses into Ecuador, where he encounters his first sign of a mosquito


What to Eat—or Not—in Peru

The ceviche carts and meat grills are colorful pieces of scenery, but eating a cherimoya or a sweet and starchy lucuma could be the truest taste of Peru

Accompanied by a mat of long brown hair, these broken bones on the side of the highway most likely belonged to a woman.

Braving the Pan-American Highway of Death

Along the roadway in Peru, hand-built memorials to accident victims occur almost as regularly as the kilometer markers themselves


No Place Compares to the Unrelenting Lifelessness of Peru’s Sechura Desert

From tropical mountains, we descended into a landscape of flailing-armed cacti, spiny succulents like giant artichokes and sand dunes as high as mountains

The miserable sprawl and slums of north Lima make a poor first impression for tourists fresh out of the airport. Here, the author’s brother, Andrew, is shown 15 kilometers north of Lima, on the way to the mountain town of Canta.

From the Slums of Lima to the Peaks of the Andes

After unpacking and assembling his bicycle at the airport terminal, the author heads north on the Pan-American Highway toward the mountain town of Canta

Peru’s mountainous terrain is the landscape of dreams for climbers, hikers and cyclists.

A Short Bike Ride in the Peruvian Andes

The author kicks off 2013 with a 1,100-mile cycling journey through the Andes from Lima, Peru, to Ecuador's lofty capital of Quito

Marcos Rodrigo Neves says that his passion for creating street art saved him from gangs and drugs.

A Look Into Brazil’s Makeover of Rio’s Slums

The Brazilian government’s bold efforts to clean up the city’s notoriously dangerous favelas is giving hope to people who live there

It was at the La Comédie-Française where Hugo brought his controversial new play, “Hernani,” that became a spark plug for Paris’s greater societal and political tensions

Take a Tour of Victor Hugo's Paris

As a film version of his Les Miserables hits theaters, consider traveling in the French writer’s footsteps


Volcanoes: The Top Hotspots of the World

Volcanic landscapes draw countless tourists to rumbling mountains, rivers of lava and boiling geysers. Here are a few of the hottest destinations


Sao Paulo Traffic Jams Extend 112 Miles, On Average

With so much time spent in cars, it’s inevitable that life events like meeting your future spouse occur there, too

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