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Community-Based Ecotourism, the Good-Living Tourist Model: An Interview with Felipe Zalamea of Sumak Travel

  • The Travel Word
  • 26 August 2013

Felipe Zalamea is the London-based brain and brawn behind Sumak Sustainable Travel, a tour operator specialising in community-based ecotourism and focusing on building bridges between local communities active in tourism and travellers interested in seeing a different side of the world. The Travel Word had a chat with him about the work he is doing to connect travellers to amazing off-the-beaten-track travel in Latin America.

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Indigenous and Community-Based Tourism in Bolivia

  • Andrew Thompson
  • 5 August 2013

Set in an Andean mountain valley, the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, is headquarters of a unique organisation known as the Bolivian Network of Community and Solidarity Based Tourism (the Spanish acronym is Tusoco). A product of grassroots peasant and indigenous community organisations, Tusoco is a thriving organisation with a new approach to sustainable and responsible tourism.

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Video Spotlight: Vincent Urban in South America

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 14 March 2013

Over time, travel memories become the kind of seconds-long fragments mastered by Vincent Urban, the videographer behind this South America clip. Each one is a slightly extended snapshot, detached from chronology and name. Urban and his crew use the same technique in their short films on Asia and New York, rendering their travels as cinematic versions of fading recollection.

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Video Spotlight: Across the Andes

  • Jakub Riziky
  • 21 September 2012

Take a quick trip through the Andes and over the Altiplano with this week’s video spotlight. Well-paced time-lapse footage follows winding mountain paths across Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, offering breathtaking views of ragged mountain tops, ancient monuments and local city life along the way.

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Five Ecolodges to Plan Your Trip Around

  • André Franchini
  • 9 May 2012

What is ecotourism? To most people, it’s a confusing and only vaguely familiar term. Some ask “Does ecotourism mean staying in ecolodges?” Yes, it does, but that’s not all. Ecotourism is an approach to travel that embraces all the principles of responsible tourism, not just choice of accommodation. Still, if you’re new to eco-travel, ecolodges are a great place to start.

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Voluntourism Innovation: The Mini Grant Program at Sustainable Bolivia

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 13 January 2012

Volunteering abroad, also known as voluntourism, is on fire. More and more, all kinds of people are looking for travel experiences where they can serve the under-served, globally. Who can disagree with such noble intentions? In fact, voluntourism is often hailed as one of the most constructive forms of tourism out there.

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Taking the High Road from Cusco to La Paz: Bus Travel in South America

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 19 August 2011

I weighed the advice of a local tour operator in Cusco, Peru. He was helping me plan the next leg of my trip to La Paz, Bolivia. “I suggest you take an airplane,” he said. I considered my options: a 14-hour overnight bus ride or a one-hour flight. “I think I’ll… take the bus,” I said. I made my decision for a combination of reasons, including my concerns about airplane travel: its heavy carbon emissions and its insulation from the local experience of place and journey in which I believe.

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Top Five Natural Baths Around the World

  • WHL Group
  • 2 May 2011

For ages, people have travelled far and wide in search of a good bath. Journeying to natural pools and hot springs with healing properties has been ‘medical tourism’ in its simplest form. Nowadays, though, a healthy soak in the mineral-rich waters of thermal springs is more than just doctor’s orders; finding the natural hot spots for a relaxing steep is a way to appreciate the unique geographical qualities of a place while simultaneously indulging in some healing.

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Top Five Carnival Celebrations Outside Brazil

  • WHL Group
  • 2 February 2011

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has a well-deserved reputation as host of the biggest Carnival celebration in the world. Nowhere else on earth is this gloriously wanton Christian holiday of feasting before fasting quite as grand in scale. In fact, all over Brazil, wild and massive celebrations compete for the Carnival spotlight. This makes it easy to forget that Carnival is celebrated with the same passion and gusto in many other parts of the world as well!

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Biking the World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia

  • Alan Smithee
  • 14 January 2011

Originating at the 4,650-metre La Cumbra pass, the World’s Most Dangerous Road connects La Paz to northern Bolivia’s Amazon, descending through 69 kilometres (43 miles) of awe-inspiring rainforest scenery to arrive at the sleepy town of Coroico. The road itself is no wider than 3.2 metres at any stage and the lack of guardrails covering the 600-metre precipitous drops means that there is no room for error when negotiating its hairpin bends.

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