Category Archives: Uncategorised

Somewhere in Latin America – The Quilotoa Loop

The Quilotoa Lagoon spans over 2 km in the crater of a volcano. In this continuing account of her travels, backpacker Manuela de Mendonca describes the three day trek known as the Quilotoa Loop.


Costa Rica – Best Holiday Destination for 2019

“Blessed with incredible food, hotels and spectacular sunsets – and a mecca for surfers and yogis – Nosara on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is a thrilling discovery.” Daisy Hoppen, Evening Standard, 7 March 2019. Link to article: Evening Standard Lifestyle Magazine   Costa Rica a wonderful destination for honeymooners, families and independent travellers of all ages. […]


Somewhere in Latin America – The Galapagos Islands

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.


Brexit and the Travel Industry

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.


Somewhere in Latin America – Salsa until Sunrise

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 – Earth’s Greatest River

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 […]


Somewhere in Latin America – Spanish with a Smile

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.


Somewhere in Latin America – Impressions of Colombia

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.


Newsletter – Revealing Sri Lanka

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 […]


Somewhere in Latin America – La Sexta Cafe in Panama’s Casco Viejo

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.


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