South America

Winery hopping in Mendoza, part II: Visiting the Bodega Catena Zapata Winery
Catena Winery, Mendoza

  A Mayan pyramid in the middle of Argentina? Huh? That’s the first sign you have that Bodega Catena Zapata winery sees itself a little differently than the other Mendoza wineries. Luckily when you turn around, you get a sweeping view of the Andes….and the vast holdings of the Catena family. The winery, started by […]

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Winery hopping in Mendoza, Argentina, part I: visiting Familia Zuccardi with lunch at its restaurant, Casa del Visitante
Winery Mendoza

The highlight of any trip to Mendoza is leaving the city and heading out of town to the wineries. When you see the fields of grape vines up against the Andes, you realize that this is why you came all this way. The province of Mendoza has more than 1,000 wineries and produces 70% of […]


A report from the 2011 Park Hyatt Masters of Food and Wine event, held in Mendoza, Argentina.
Masters of Food and Wine

I’ve had some gluttonous experiences in my day. A four-hour extravagant dinner at Guy Savoy Paris. A multi-day rampage through New Orleans’ po-boy shops. A tasting menu with wine pairings at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia that cost half our mortgage. But for sheer richness of food consumed, as well as the amount of time spent at […]

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Meat & Malbec: A Day in Buenos Aires

by Chris on April 11, 2011

What to do in Buenos Aires, if you have just a day? I managed to visit the San Telmo antique market, have lunch in Palermo Soho and see Eva Peron’s grave at La Recoleta Cemetery.
Things to do in Buenos Aires

My trip to Argentina can only be described as whirlwind. With only 3 1/2 days on the ground, I saw as much as I could – and that included an action-packed day in Buenos Aires. When time is short, it helps to have a good guide. Luckily, my traveling companion Nicole Rodriguez (cousin to John […]


Finding the perfect leather bag at Prune, Argentina – that South American country’s answer to Coach.
Prune Argentina

Leather goods are almost synonymous with Argentine shopping. It makes sense; after all, the country has the world’s largest consumption of beef and there’s about 50 to 55 million head of cattle kept mostly in the Pampas. That’s an awful lot of hide to have left over. I heard about Prune at the Park Hyatt Masters of Food […]


Chilean Cuisine, Pescetarian style

by Chris on February 26, 2011

Chilean cuisine: A look at popular foods in Chile, a haven for pescetarians.
Chilean cuisine

By Michael K. Lavers, Contributing Writer I became a pescetarian nearly a year ago because I wanted to adopt a healthy diet that facilitated my weight loss. Traveling overseas can certainly prove challenging to anyone with dietary restrictions, but Chile’s nearly 4,000 miles of coastline provided an abundance of fresh seafood and shellfish that kept […]


A hotel review from the road: Explora Lodge, also known as Explora Rapa Nui, located outside Hanga Roa on Easter Island.
Explora Rapa Nui, Easter Island

Time for a little hotel porn, Easter Island style. Traditionally, the island’s accommodations have never been ideal, consisting primarily of guesthouses and small hotels in Hanga Roa, Easter Island’s only city. While most of these small hotels provide the basics, they are generally overpriced for the quality that you are getting, with few of the luxe amenities that […]


Moai Madness: Rapanui Pride

by Chris on January 27, 2011

Polynesian Fabios? Well, yes, the Rapanui men are attractive. But that’s only one feature that makes the Easter Island native culture so fascinating.
Rapanui pride

This post is fourth in a series about Easter Island. Before I left for Easter Island, friends who had visited the island before warned me that the Rapanui men were unusually attractive. “Think Polynesian Fabios,” one travel writer told me. And yes, the men, most with long flowing dark hair, tribal tattoos and well-developed arm muscles, […]


Moai Madness: Mystery of Easter Island

by Chris on January 26, 2011

The more you learn about the mystery of Easter Island moai, the more you want to know.
Mystery of Easter Island

This post is third in a series about Easter Island. Today I plan to dive a little more into the mystery of Easter Island, focusing more on the island’s history since “outsiders” arrived. (Read my post on how the moai were built). When the first Europeans arrived on Rapa Nui in  1722 – Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen, who […]


Moai Madness: Rapa Nui History

by Chris on January 23, 2011

It’s impossible to fully enjoy Easter Island without diving into Rapa Nui history. The best place for this is the Ranu Raraku crater, where more than 350 moai lie in various stages of construction.
Rapa Nui history, moai quarry on Easter Island

This post is second in a series about Easter Island. A trip to Easter Island is inconceivable without diving into Rapa Nui history. Otherwise, you can’t begin to understand the origins of the stone statues, or moai, that give the island its fame. Before I left on my trip, I picked up “Collapse: How Societies […]