The Galapagos Islands, to go or not to go? I get seasick, dislike swimming in the open sea and have a morbid fear of sharks. And for a backpacker with limited funds, a trip to the Galapagos is hugely expensive.
But in January I booked a week’s Galapagos trip. It turned out to be quite an adventure.
Travel companies are always affected by world events. In recent years the banking crisis, the ash cloud from the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, the Arab Spring and the Zika virus have all had an impact on travel. In the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 atrocities there was a global downturn in travel.
By Manuela de Mendonca
In this week’s blog, Manuela celebrates Christmas in Medellin with fireworks and travels down to the ‘white city’ of Popayán for the New Year.
The Amazon river runs for some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) across South America and has over a thousand tributaries, 17 of which are longer than 1,000 miles. It discharges about 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic every second. The Amazon Rainforest is home to at least 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, 16,000 types […]
Manuela de Mendonça is a 23 year old geographer, currently backpacking through Latin America. In this week’s blog she signs up for Spanish classes and finds she has become the darling of hostel employees.
The image of Colombia in the public mind has changed dramatically in the UK over the past 5 years. A picture of staggering mountain ranges, lush beaches and a culture rich with compassion has emerged from a country previously known solely for its contribution to the narco trade. I met several people who’d just left as I made my way through Panama and their faces lit up when I told them my next destination. If I thought the people were lovely in Panama, Colombians were sweeter; if I’d thought Costa Rica was beautiful, Colombia would blow me away.
By Manuela de Mendonca, 3 December 2018
Poverty rubs shoulders with prosperity in Panama City’s old town, the Casco Viejo, where this week I visited the Fonda La Sexta cafe set up by the Calicanto Foundation, an organisation helping disadvantaged and vulnerable women with a menu by Mario Castrellón, Panama’s answer to Jamie Oliver.
Sri Lanka is a small country of immense charm and impressive cultural heritage, where people are friendly and engaging, welcoming travellers with a ready smile. There has been a steady growth in tourism to Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war in 2009. Indeed, visitor numbers exceeded two million for the first time in […]
By Manuela de Mendonca, 26 November 2018
“You have good energy,” my taxi driver tells me, “Keep it up, people want to share it.” I am on my way to the border with Panama heading for Bocas del Toro and the San Blas islands.
By Manuela de Mendonça, 19 November 2018
If you are travelling through Costa Rica as a backpacker on a tight budget and do not have the funds to hire a car, then bus, boat and plane are the best means of transport for longer journeys. Aeroplanes are quickest but can get expensive if you need several flights on your itinerary whereas buses are used by locals and travellers alike….