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STA Travel Blog

High Five…Treks in Latin America!

Latin America has so many unique, once-in-a-lifetime trekking opportunities that we though they deserved a High Five all to themselves.

High Five jungles!

High Five ancient ruins!

High Five awe-inspiring sights!

HIGH FIVE LATIN AMERICA TREKS!

5 of the best hikes in Latin America

Before you can get trekking, you’ve got to get to Latin America (obviously). We have some (very) cheap flights to Latin America right now – get in there quick, before they’re going…going…gone!

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10 Places to Escape Valentine’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed: it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m stood in the queue of a well-known coffee shop chain in West London, waiting for a fat latte to bolster my morning, staring out of the window at the usual humdrum of life. When, suddenly, I become aware of the gooey fact, that, “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around.” I even start tapping my feet.

There’s a guy on the corner with a half-dozen roses; ten feet away, stands a young lady, losing herself in her lover’s eyes. There’s a couple playing out a frisky reunion, and a cheeky grin unravelling across a young man’s face, as he looks down towards his mobile phone.

There’s a white van parked outside. In that van, sits a man. He’s sat quietly in the passenger seat, wearing a dark blue beanie hat. I’d say he’s around twenty-two. His arms are tightly folded, his thick fleece jacket is zipped right up to the top, and his chin is tucked into the collar.

I grab my coffee and a handful of sugar, and walk back to the office, to sit down at my desk, to write a blog post, titled: “The World’s Most Loveable Destinations”.

I had it all planned out; there was a lingering journey through Tuscany, and a sunset sojourn to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands among other heart-warming adventures.

But I couldn’t shake the image of that guy; sitting in his van; isolated from a world of lust. A pane of dirty glass was all that separated him from a world of tumbling romantic gestures. So I deleted the “Loveable” post; took a deep breath, and set about a new direction.

Don't be disheartened by Valentine's Day, we've got your back. | Photo by B.S. Wise

A look at some of the world’s best destinations to embrace the inner-singleton for your year of travel. A round-up of destinations that will leave you, the reader, feeling empowered. If you’ve recently broken up with someone, these selfless bursts of inspiration will help to soothe your achy, breaky heart.

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Ask the Experts: Is the Outback just a big desert?

It’s that time of the week again, when we wheel in the Travel Experts for one of the most popular slots on the STA Travel Blog; that’s right, it’s time to Ask the Experts!

This week’s question focuses on one of Australia’s most legend-laden regions; often mislabelled as one of the seven states, the Northern Territory lives up to its name, and remains a territory of the Commonwealth government.

Also home to one of the world’s most famous icons; some of the planet’s most diverse landscapes, including the World Heritage Kakadu National Park, and some of Australia’s richest running Aboriginal culture.

Before we crack on, remember, if you want to pose a question to the panel, it takes just 30 seconds to email the Travel Experts with your question, and you could see it featured, right here on the STA Travel Blog, in the near future!

Let’s dig a little deeper into the Outback, with a look at this week’s question from Millie in Peterborough:

I’ve seen a lot about Australia’s Northern Territory recently; I’ll be in Oz in September. Is two weeks enough time to explore? Is it all just one big desert — won’t I get bored? Millie in Peterborough

It’s little surprise Millie has been tempted by the NT; it’s long offered travellers to Australia some incredible and inspiring routes; through unmistakable scenery peppered with that famous, and authentic True Blue spirit.

That’s enough from me, let’s throw this open to this week’s Travel Experts, Sarah and Heather!

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Spotlight: Southern Cross in South America

As epic adventures go, the Southern Cross journey across South America is right up there. Within 45 days, it manages to crunch through more icons than you ever thought existed, and cram in more adventures than most people would experience in an entire lifetime.

I’m talking sand boarding on the Ica Desert; marching your way along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; observing the ancient Nazca Lines; tracking wild condors; white-water rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking; visit a working silver mine; wetlands of the Pantanal; the incredible Iguassu Falls; party on Copacabana; and did I mention the dinosaur tracks?

But hey, what do I know; I haven’t journeyed along the Southern Cross, but I know a couple of people who have. STA Travel Southampton‘s Assistant Manager, Ben Hendry, and Travel Expert, Meranda Boldy from our Oxford Road store in Manchester have both been lucky enough to journey from Lima, on the continent’s west coast, right the way across the Andes and beyond to the heady world of Brazil’s party capital, Rio de Janeiro.

I caught up with them both this week, to gain a little more information about their own experience along one STA Travel’s most popular adventure tours.
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Lauren Pegg’s Inca Trail Adventures

One minute you’re clicking through Facebook, looking at pictures of weekends gone by and ruing the day you ever agreed to strike that pose.

The next, you get a phone call from STA Travel HQ, telling you that you’ve just won a trip to Peru, that includes return flights plus a 12 day tour that will take you via the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu, and the heights of the Inca Trail.

And the best thing about it? You get to take along a friend!

That’s what happened for Lauren Pegg who entereed our Like It & Land It competition and won a place for her and a lucky chosen one to on the Amazon to the Andes tour plus return flights for the two them.

Lauren and her friend are not what you would call camera shy! | Photo by Lauren

We caught up with Lauren recently, to ask her how her trip was and to see if there was anything she wanted to let people know about her journey through some of South America’s most enigmatic landscapes.

If there’s anything you’d like to know about Lauren’s journey, feel free to ask a question in the comment thread below this post.

Here’s our interview, with the lovely Lauren…

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