South America Archive

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San Cristobal de las Casas Spanish place name

What All Those Spanish Place Names Mean

You probably rattle off Spanish place names many times a year, especially if you live in the western USA. But do you know what all those names mean? I’m writing this from Baja (Low), California, where I’m visiting The Capes, The
Manizales cheap rent living in Colombia

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Colombia?

The country of Colombia is not in my World’s Cheapest Destinations book, but it is in my cheap living abroad book A Better Life for Half the Price. It has a whole lot going for it as a place to live.

Peru’s Salkantay Trek vs. the Inca Trail

  Twice in my life I have spent several days off the grid in Peru, slogging up and down the Andes Mountains on the way to Machu Picchu. Once I did it on the Inca Trail, another time on the Salkantay
Salta Argentina, now a cheap place to travelagain

Argentina’s Cheap/Not Cheap Travel Light Has Turned Green Again

For the moment, it’s financial crisis time again in the land of tango, which means this is suddenly a great time to travel Argentina on the cheap. It was less than a year ago when I returned from Argentina and lamented
Coca leaves on the Inca Trail in Peru

The Good/Bad Coca Leaf in Peru

If people make a plant product into candy, chocolates, and tea, can it really be all that bad? Well, if you’re U.S. Customs, yes, but for people in the Andes, the coca leaf is life. If you don’t process it into