Spain and Latin America Tips & Travel Stories | Pura Aventura
3
Oct
2017
53

South America celebrates Oktoberfest!

Bavarian brew fiestas reach South America this month. Brazil and Argentina are typically known as lands of samba, tropical fruit & cachaça and tango, beef & malbec respectively. Few know about the polka, wurst, and beer-making tradition that was brought in these two countries by German immigrants in the middle of the 19th century. Of the many places that celebrate Oktoberfest in Latin America, two in particular have gained some authority worldwide. The first one,...
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29
Sep
2017
47

15 Expressions for Día de Muertos

With Mexico honouring its dead for Día de Muertos on November 1 and 2, we’d like to give you an insight to the famous festivity by giving you some great examples of original expressions to help you understand the philosophy behind this unique celebration, and attitudes to death in general. So first thing you should know before we start is that Mexico’s approach to death is quite distinct to that of Europeans. Instead of being...
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28
Sep
2017
72

Returning to the Picos de Europa

It has been five years since I went to the Picos de Europa. Five years during which I have constantly hassled my brother, a mountain leader based in the French Alps, to come and see this beauty with me. We finally made it last autumn. Although it was a short five-day trip but that was enough for him to at least see all the places that had blown me the first time I went there....
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27
Sep
2017
32

Latin America’s best food festivals

Salon de Chocolate, Ecuador There are many chocolate festivals around the world, but none deserves mention more than Quito’s. The event was first ‘borrowed’ from France about 20 years ago with the growing interest in the origin/terroir of the cacao, hence the name. Each May, about 15,000 visitors come to enjoy exclusive chocolate tastings from Ecuadorean producers (both large and small) at this mouth-watering event. The climax occurs on the final day when the winners...
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26
Sep
2017
32

Meeting Federico, owner of Bosque de Paz

As I pull up in my 4×4 in Bosque de Paz’s car park, a large, smiley-eyed man comes to greet me; the lodge’s owner, Federico González-Pinto. After some small talk we sit to talk about what he does here up in the hills of Bajos de Toro… Federico explains that he bought the site and Bosque de Paz reserve with a vision. Birds from the north were unable to connect to the southern regions before,...
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1
Sep
2017
74

Community-Based Tourism

With the recent protests against mass tourism in Venice, and other European hotspots, we are reminded more than ever how important it is to preserving the environment and culture of the people and places we visit. So it’s probably the right time to talk about ‘Community-Based Tourism’. In case you are not familiar with the label, it gathers together tourism initiatives that mix ecotourism with social projects where local communities open their doors to small...
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24
Aug
2017
64

Learning Spanish: How to order a coffee in Spain

Coffee is an important part of the Spanish way of life. While some might argue low-quality coffee (torrefacto technique) is frequently used here, they make it taste great. In any case, a new wave of coffee roasting is taking hold in urban areas of Spain. For today’s Spanish lesson, we’ve listed 53 ways of ordering a coffee in Spain, including some of the most representative regional specialities. Please note that while some names might change...
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22
Aug
2017
49

Costa Rica Live – as it happened

Earlier this month the Pura team brought a little piece of Costa Rica to Blenheim Palace. As well as providing tips and advice on travel to Costa Rica at Countryfile Live, we also offered visitors the chance to win a holiday to Costa Rica for four people!Here we tell you the story of this successful four-day event which we organised for the very first time…
28
Jul
2017
71

Mountain Lodges of Peru

Buying land and building things on it is a fairly surefire recipe for trouble with the locals. Kris Tompkins of the Patagonia Land Trust can tell you all about that. Saying that, even when you’re from the area it’s not easy. So it was for Enrique Umbert when he decided to build a series of remote lodges in the Salkantay valley of the Peruvian Andes. A couple of decades ago, when Enrique visited the region...
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27
Jul
2017
164

8 telenovelas to get you started

Melodramatic telenovelas are often thought of as soap operas, in Spanish. However, they are really a genre all of their own. Usually lasting between six months and a year, they are characterised by complex plot lines, usually based on a magnificently dramatic main plot surrounded by a lot of smaller, always highly dramatic, side plots. If we are being unkind, they also have a tendency to flimsy sets, a near total lack of extras, wildly...
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26
Jul
2017
185

12 sayings to show how Spaniards love their food

Because food is an important part of the Spanish identity, it is with no surprise that food-related expressions figure so largely in the Spanish language. Here’s a taste of our favourites: Ser del año de la pera Literally meaning ‘to be from the year of the pear’, this expression is used when people refer to something old fashioned. Dar las uvas In Spain it is a tradition to eat twelve grapes at the stroke of...
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24
Jul
2017
35

Meet Luis, the bird expert

Luis is from the town of Tortuguero and works at Manatus Lodge as the hotel’s guide. A Tortuguero native, Luis has kind eyes and a small frame, from which a pair of binoculars seem to permanently be strapped. Boating down the river, he sits at the front of the boat, his eyes scanning the green rainforest bordering the water before him. He lights up at the sight of something, snatches his binoculars and peers to the right. He...
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29
Jun
2017
57

Onçafari Project

Caiman Lodge in the heart of Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands is one of the most significant and largest conservation projects in the country. As part of its work, it is home to the Jaguar protection and monitoring group, Onçafari. I was lucky enough to stay at Caiman in May, and to spend time with the jaguar team. They have done incredible work, including the world’s first successful re-wilding of two orphan jaguars. They are hoping to...
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29
Jun
2017
54

Kris Tompkins

On December 2015, the world lost one of its most ambitious conservationists when Doug Tompkins passed away following a kayak accident at Chile’s Lago General Carrera. Fortunately, during his 25 years of tenacious activism he wasn’t alone as Kris, his wife, has been at his side from scratch on the conservation battle… Originally from California, Kris’s life has always revolved around a passion for the outdoors. After working 20 years as CEO of Patagonia, Inc....
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19
Jun
2017
42

Travel moments in Costa Rica

Walking out of the airport in San José, you suddenly realise you are in the tropics as the warm, humid air hits you. Things don’t sink in sometimes until we are in the moment, living it. That smell of hot wet tarmac took me back a decade and brought a tear to my eye – reminiscent of the smells and feelings of living in the Dominican Republic when I was fifteen. Throughout the past two...
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