Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (1904–1973) or Pablo Neruda. A gifted Chilean poet who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. Neruda wrote in a variety of vibrant styles – surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, prose autobiography, romantic & passionate poems like the Twenty Love Poems & A Song Of Despair.
Neruda is considered the national poet of Chile. His wonderful works have been incredibly popular & influential worldwide. There is something about Neruda, about the way he glorifies emotions, sensitivity & experiences, about the spontaneity & directness of his passion that sets him apart. If we want to read one of the world’s best poets, Pablo Neruda is the perfect place to start. Extraordinary creativity with soulful expressions. Fascinating.
Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval (1917–1967). A charming Chilean composer, singer, song writer, folklorist & visual artist. She pioneered the Nueva Canción Chilena (Chilean New Song), a renewal & re-invention of Chilean folk music. Extended it’s sphere of fascination & influence outside Chile. Beautifully played the Guitarrón, a traditional Chilean guitar-like instrument with 25 strings. Parra met Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Laureate who dedicated the poem ‘Elegia para Cantar‘ to her. An incredibly gifted musician.
The Amazon. A vast, vibrant region spanning 8 countries – Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana. 1 in 10 species on Earth, 1.4 billion acres of dense forests, 1/2 of our planet’s tropical forests. 4,100 miles of winding rivers, 2.6 million square miles, 40% of South America.
Thus, there’s a clear link between the health of the Amazon & our planet. The largest tropical rainforest in the world is at extreme risk every minute. Rain-forests contain tons of carbon, stabilise our global climate. De-forestation has catastrophic consequences. Amazon hosts millions of species & unusual wildlife. The last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles, pink dolphins, birds, butterflies, macaws, sloths, pygmy marmosets, emperor tamarins & Goeldi monkeys. It’s natural diversity is staggering – 40,000 plant species, 3,000 freshwater fish & 370 reptiles. Over 30 million people, 350 indigenous groups depend on the Amazon for agriculture & traditional medicine.
Despite it’s mighty splendour, the awe-inspiring Amazon rain-forests & freshwater systems are very fragile. Face warmer temperatures, less rainfall & droughts of historic proportions. Long dry spells wither crops, decimate fisheries & bring forest fires. Forests cleared for grazing pastures & crop land bring huge de-forestation. Infrastructure contamination is dangerous for rivers & marine life.
If only we could welcome & embrace natural diversity into our lives, our world would be a much better place. Donate to Amazon Conservation. The Amazon gives us up to 20% of the air we breathe, stores 25% of our world’s water & controls our climate.
From the Far North & the Altiplano to the Far South of Chile, unusual experiences await. Dream about walking through the driest desert in the world, enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean, feel the astounding fascination of Patagonian forests, the imposing glaciers & millenary ice fields. A land full of imagination, mystery with adventure, gastronomy, bird-watching & eco-travel.
Chile has it all. A great diversity of climates constrained by the majestic Andes to the east, the arid desert to the north & the exquisite beaches along the west coast. Bountiful rivers & a plethora of vibrant valleys give life to the charming cities. An assorted community of indigenous people whose customs & culture are still alive. The Fondas, the Cueca, the lapis lazuli crafts, the carnivals with masks & colourful costumes, the delicious curanto recipes & lamb spit roasts in Patagonia are some extraordinary examples of traditions that make Chile a unique destination.
Renowned for it’s steep funiculars & gorgeous houses on the hills, the city of Valparaiso near Santiago is a great example of Chile’s historical & artistic heritage. A paradise for lovers of bohemian life, street art & poetry of Pablo Neruda. From Violeta Parra’s traditional guitar to the surrealism of painter Roberto Matta, absolutely stunning.
The enchanting islands of Galapagos. An incredibly intriguing & intimate atmosphere. Fabulous wildlife & spectacular scenery. Galápagos Islands is a vibrant volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. A surreal experience. A province of Ecuador, 1,000 kms off it’s coast-line. Isolated terrain shelters a rare diversity of plants, birds & animal species. Charles Darwin visited the island in 1835. It’s wonder & beauty inspired the theory of evolution.
Most of the Galápagos is covered in semi-desert vegetation, shrub-lands, grasslands & dry forest. Discover 500 species of native plants on the islands (90 species of ferns). Explore distinctive endemic species like the giant tortoises, finches, flightless cormorants, Galápagos lava lizards & marine iguanas. A once in a lifetime destination. A dream experience in nature.
Latin American Art Since 1900. An extraordinary synthesis of a century’s worth of amazing art across Central & South America. Discover popular figures like Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo & a wide range of lovely lesser known artists. Edward Lucie-Smith introduces the incredible art of Latin America from the 1900s to the present day.
Explore the political context for artistic development that sets the works in national & cultural frameworks. Creative artists who’ve preserved their indigenous roots & local traditions, while still discovering abstraction, expressionism & new media. They experimented with an energetic, innovative, vibrant palette of colours & styles. Beautiful creativity. A wonderful visual journey.
The incredible Inca city of Machu Picchu is the magnet that draws us to Peru. Surreal. Landscapes range from the snowy peaks of the Andes, home to the soaring condor birds to the lush, wildlife-filled rainforests of the majestic Amazon river. This beautiful South American country has so much wonder to offer.
Capital Lima has an internationally renowned food scene while the inland colonial city of Cusco is a charming gateway to the ancient treasures of the Sacred Valley. The sprawling hill-top, Lost City of Choquequirao is arguably Peru’s greatest mystery. An epic train ride connects to Titicaca, South America’s largest, loveliest lake where the Uros people live on floating islands. Spectacular natural beauty. Explore the mysterious desert-carved Nazca Lines & the mummified remains of the cliff-dwelling Chahapoyan “people of the clouds.” A once in a lifetime experience.