Travel !

A Parisian Life In Courses

Rendezvous France Magazine

Advertorial Print Article

A typical visit to Paris elicits a pinprick of yearning to be Parisian. Who can walk under the

warmly lit apartment windows of Île Saint-Louis and not wonder what it must feel like to belong in one of them?

It’s possible to visit the city a dozen times and never push past the unassuming doors of a light-filled studio where breezy conversationists low over canapés and duck confit. Unless you use a service like Voulez-vous Diner, which pairs local hosts with dinner guests, it’s a world reserved for Parisians.

Visitors looking to make the most of their time in Paris can simply log on to Voulez-vous Diner and browse the profiles of the local artists and consummate hosts who’ve opened up their home for private dinners. Each profile includes photos, menus and pricing ($20 to $70). Simply pick an event, and purchase seats online.

Voulez-vous Diner is expanding its exciting dinner party activities of locals hosting visitors. Originally from France, it offers an increasing choice of hosts in Australia.

Some dinners are mini concerts with a sonata played between courses. Others end with a tour of the neighborhood. Menus are seasonal and offer everything from boeuf Bourguignon to a taste of Venezuela. Just as delicious arethe personalities at any given dinner. An entire week in Paris could be spent hopping from table to table, eating, sipping and making friends along the way. And suddenly Parisian life is realised.

The Frenchy dinner party concept extends to several other countries including Australia, with hosts active in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. A campaign, The French Ambassadors, is launching soon to increase the number of hosts.

Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen 

Scenic WA travel magazine

Online Restaurant Travel Article

There are places in the world that, upon arrival, you know that you want to return to again and again. The Musee Carnavalet in Paris – a place where curios, sculpture, paintings and general objects-of-envy sit with blasé elegance in two equally elegant mansions. The collections may not change, yet in the middle of the night, thousands of miles away, the ivy-lined garden will call your name. 

Or Swan Oyster Depot in San Fransisco. Less than 16-untrustworthy stools wait for you to take a seat-of-faith in front of a worn Carerra marble countertop. Men, big men, daintily pour muscadet and shell quarter-size Olympia Oysters. You can get half a crab anywhere in San Francisco but it’s the memory of the way the white aprons shine in the light, the distinct narrowness of the room and the family dynamics of Sean that cheers you on the dourest days. 

These places are perfect and not perfect. Perfect, because they glow with integrity and not perfect because they have heart. Things with heart are always not perfect. 

This is not to say Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen is flawed. It's not one bit. It has a fierce and passionate heart and from that heart steps a technically advanced menu and a wine list that elicits a jig. It’s a chef’s restaurant in the fact that the food is as elegant as it is simple. As simple as walking a tightrope with octopus and quail on the line. Octopus served perfectly to a packed room? Dang amazing. But add lamb, beans, flatbreads and quail – in the hands of many, the breadth of finicky items would go awry. Timing being everything in a restaurant and the timing in the kitchen – just as it was on the table floor – was precise and charismatic. 

I would suggest that if you go to the Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, that you put yourself in the mood to enjoy the whole experience. The walls will shimmer, the wine will flow, the food will lead you down the evening’s path. Place the experience of dining before all else. After all the Musée de Carvalat is just an old house with dust-collectors and Swan is a hole in the wall with no credit card machine and Saffron is just a little jewel box. But if you’re willing to pause and listen to the heartbeat that leaps off the menu you’ll be loathed to leave the room and dream of your return. 

Winner Takes All 

Feature on Champagne 

Feature Print Travel Article

Champagne’s landscape of sloping vineyards, gentle rivers and forests that ripple with wild boar is an active traveler’s playground. It’s an intrinsically kinetic place – the region’s chalk bedrock is the result of

earthquakes that roiled the land millions of years ago, and brought the remains of an ancient ocean floor to the surface.

In the wee hours of the ADs, the Romans mined the mineral-rich chalk and laid the historic cornerstone of Reims. Champagne quickly became a hub of intersecting trade

routes that spread across Europe and beyond. The region has been traversed, invaded and

battled upon for centuries since.

Visitors today can enjoy the very best of life in Champagne, whose bucolic hillsides,

cellars and houses are listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.


A quick 90 minutes from Paris by car, Reims – the City of Kings – serves as an elegant getaway with metropolitan convenience. People come to dine, taste champagne and take in the city’s rich history. Grand châteaux now serve as fine inns, and getting back to Paris by train is a crisp 45 minutes.

Thirty-three French kings have come to the ecclesiastical center of France to be crowned, over more than 1,000 years. Since the 13th century, 25 of these kings have knelt under the 38-meter-high vaulted ceilings of Notre-Dame de Reims. A gothic treasure, the cathedral has maintained an evolving collection of stained glass, including a masterpiece by Marc Chagall. Reims’ tradition of supporting the arts is evident throughout the city. The grand champagne house of Pommery is a forerunner in major corporate sponsorship funding for contemporary art. Their subterranean galleries host regular exhibitions that range in theme from the introspective to the excessive. Reims is also a magnet for fine dining. Château Les Crayères, the former home of the Polignac family, is tucked away in a 7-hectare landscaped park (

The restaurant’s extensive bottle list, and imaginative locally sourced menu by two-star Michelin chef Philippe Mille, evokes the art de vivre of Champagne.

EPERNAY – CAPITAL OF FIZZ Just 30 minutes’ drive from Reims is gracious Epernay, where the UNESCO heritage-listed Avenue de Champagne is lined with champagne houses bursting with glitz and panache. Taste world-famous labels such as Moët & Chandon, and go underground to tour the city’s 110 kilometres of chalk caves.

For a thoroughly enjoyable sampling of several different champagne producers, visit C Comme Champagne’s tasting bar (

Come the second week of December, the Habits de Lumières (Dressed in Lights) festival transforms the neighborhood into a glittering land full of champagne bars, street animations and fireworks. Ask the tourist office about their special Paris-to-Epernay travel deals.


South of Reims and Epernay is charming Troyes, which rewards keen walkers with halftimbered houses and cobbled walkways that ramble into a cluster of pedestrian-only streets.

Long a centre for stained glass and textiles, Troyes has been an administrative and artisanal outpost for much of Champagne’s history. In the Middle Ages, it was the seat of the ruling Counts of Champagne and hosted important medieval trading fairs for textiles, spices and precious metals. The Troy weight is still used to measure gold today.

The city’s Museum of Tools is expertly curated and tells the story of Champagne’s rich history of crafts. Another marvel unique to Troyes is the Apothecary Museum, with its intriguing medical displays.

Four Seasons & Five Senses of Wine

Lake Chelan Grape Growers Association Website

Regional Wine Tourism Article

Breathtaking and Deep

Chelan Valley has it all: beautiful hills, a luscious, long lake, sun to bask in, fresh air, shopping, dining, music, four distinct seasons and wine. 

Really good wine. 


In geological terms, our soil is relatively young with volcanic pumice on top of a glacially aged scape. It’s the kind of soil vines love to struggle in under the blanket of hot summer days and cool summer nights. You can taste the efficiency of our winter, the quick thaw of spring, our intense summers and a gorgeous harvest in any glass of Chelan AVA wine. 

Patience You Can Taste

Winemaking is a lot easier with amazing grapes to work with and wine drinking is a lot more memorable when everything around you is beautiful. Even so, we’ve taken our time to tend to our vines. That’s why wine lovers have made the easy jaunt over the hills to return to us summer, winter, spring and harvest. 

Join us! Plan your trip online at

The Rarity in Everyday

Gold Prospectors of America Magazine

Feature Print Article – Rockhounding in Leavenworth, WA.

When you live in the evening shadow of the North Cascades, two eventualities will occur: 1. you will find yourself in an ardent debate on the various techniques of snow removal 2. you will become a rockhound.

Here, in the sunny, eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, winters are recollected in thrusts of snow, and springs are remembered by the treasures that snowmelt brings.

It might begin with a rough hunk of quartz picked up on a rainy day playdate. Soon, all manner of chalcedony starts to call out from the hiking paths. Friendly little stones routinely rattle around in the washing machine – mementos of the most recent quick wade in the river between errands.

Porches become littered with interesting landscaping finds. Level out a patch of ground hard enough to make Hercules weep and discover a treasure of sedimentary rocks that glint with little secrets in the sun. 

Spring brings a terrifying amount of water down from snow-stuffed mountains. It swells the riverbanks and froths against midstream boulders. Along the way, once unreachable finds are unearthed and freed and a new treasure trove is distributed to riverbanks and creek spits.  

Pretty much every stream or river in the North Cascades will offer a delightful find – be it Nephrite jade or red jasper. Waterways are everywhere and everyday rockhounding becomes an intrinsic part of life. 

But then a surprise find of amethyst or opal changes the game. Passive rockhounding turns into its own endeavor. Friendly meet-ups and outings include a destination and a trunk of buckets, shovels, sifters, and picks. 

Clashing Terranes Carved By Ice 

The dramatic 400 million-year geologic history of the North Cascade range has made for a complicated, mineral-rich chain of peaks. Here, exotic terranes – blocks of land of various origins – have been smooshed, folded, broken, buried, and pushed into a range of mountains garnished with lava and ash. 

Geologists have divided the North Cascades into three general domains: Northwest Cascades Thrust System, Cascade Crystalline Core, and Methow Basin. Large-scale faults mark where these domains meet and in these faults lie shallow intrusions that contain quartz and pyrite crystals.

The Cascade Crystalline Core Domain rocks are made up of a veritable grab bag of accreted terranes pushed up from the Insular and Intermontane belts. The range of material found is astounding to geologists: oceanic rocks, continent-derived rocks, and those formed in the ancient volcanic arc are visible from the mountain passes.  

A cool, tiny sample of the North Cascades is the area between State Route 2 and Interstate 5 / Highway 97 – two of the highways that run east and west over the Cascade Range. Its complex geology has a lot to offer in the way of the nephrite jade, jasper, chalcedony, geodes, garnets, and obsidian locals find on the regular.

Roadside Garnets

On summer days on the shores of Lake Wenatchee – flush set garnets glisten in boulders that lay just out of reach. The crystalline water is never so clear as to when a cluster of gems catch the sun and sparkle with an icy taunt. The memory of their untouchable proximity is haunting. 

No worries, they’ll all be inched downstream in time.

Wait until just after winter to head toward Lake Wenatchee from Highway 2. On State Route 207 – the highway below Lake Wenatchee – snowmelt carries the once out-of-reach garnets to roadside washes.

The area sits on a terrane that consists of highly-folated Cretaceous-aged biotite schist that contains an abundance of garnets and erodes easily. Stop at any given obvious runoff spot on the side of the road and kick the dirt around for pea-sized garnets.

Tips for visiting Lake Wenatchee and its surrounding streams and rivers

Pack insect repellent.

Discover Pass is required to park at Lake Wenatchee 

Tips for Rockhounding on the surrounding National Forest Land

Pick up National Forest Service recreation permit

Only collect specimens if all or part of it is exposed on the surface of the ground. 

National Forest Land doesn’t require special permission or permits to take a handful of rock, mineral, or petrified wood specimens 

Finds can only be used for personal use. Collect specimens for personal use and non-commercial gain.

Remove only 6 inches of soil immediately around the specimen. 

Digging is not permitted. 

You may collect up to 10 pounds of material. 

Geodes and a Chance at Ellensburg Blue Agates 

If you want to work for glory, head south to the Teanaway Ridge off of Highway 97. This is the only area in the world where you can find Ellensburg Blue agates – the third rarest gem in the world. 

You will know you are in the right area when you see the dark dijon mustard-colored roadside outcroppings of Teanaway Basalt that mark the ridges north and west of the forest. The alluvial fan of ancient Teanaway basalt is spread along Reecer Creek Rd and Upper Green Canyon Rd. It was formed as continental plates moved and stretched. In the process, the movement created cracks and fissures that were filled from below with basalt lava. Small cavities formed in the basalt and they were later filled with the silica-rich fluid that eventually crystallized to become Ellensburg Blue agates.

While much of the area is privately owned and only accessible by permission, there are some rockhounding spots available to the public. Once you spot the Teanaway basalt though, keep an eye out for roadside opportunities. One local rock hounder found the Ellensburg Blue agates in a pile of Teanaway Basalt broken apart by roadwork. 

Red Top Lookout off of Highway 97 near Mineral springs is a popular spot to take in beautiful views and rockhound. You can drive right to the summit and head up the trail. The dig site will be obvious, copious holes and pilings mark the spot. 

While a find of Ellensburg Blue at such a well-loved site may be slim, the pilings contain consolation prizes of Carnelian, Jasper, Geodes, and Teanaway Gray Banded agates. Teanaway Gray Banded agates can look like Ellensburg Blue agates. Ellensburg Blue agates will have a definite sky-blue hue when held up to the sun. The more common (but still pretty) pale, blueish agates that most people find cast a pink color when held up to the sun.

An easy option for rockhounding in the area is to call Rock N Tomahawk Ranch and make an appointment to meander the property for a small fee of about $5.00. Located at 2590 Upper Green Canyon Rd, it is an easily accessible, stress-free way to rockhound in what can be a challenging and inaccessible part of the state.

One of the most beautiful public sites where limited rockhounding is permitted is the Teanaway Community Forest. This novel partnership between a local advisory committee and the Washington Department of Natural Resources covers nearly 500-acres of waterways and land conserved for its beauty and importance to the environmental health of the state. There are free seasonal campgrounds that offer a great base camp for wildlife-filled day hikes. 

Rocks in the Teanaway are from the Eocene epoch and are carry-overs from before the Cascade Range existed. The geologic history of the area is wondrous. Plenty of stunning rock formations are prepared to drop a jaw or two. Impressive constructions of Roslyn Formation sandstone stand in memory of 40 million-year-old swamps and rivers. 

Getting There: 

Rock N Tomahawk Ranch.

From Seattle: Take I-90 East for 104 miles. Take exit 106 toward HYW 97 North.

From exit 106, go about .80 mile. Stay straight on the roundabout.

From the roundabout go another .60 of a mile and take a left on Reecer Creek Rd.

Remain on Reecer Creek Rd for 9.15 miles. Reecer Creek makes a sharp right. 

From the sharp right on Reecer Creek Rd travel 2 miles to meet Upper Green Canyon Rd on the left.  

This will take you to the Rock N Tomahawk Ranch.

Teanaway Community Forest: 

29 Pines Campground 20831 North Fork Teanaway Road, Cle Elum, WA 98922.  

Located along the north fork of the Teanaway River, the camp offers 59 campsites with fire rings and toilets. 


Directions: 22 miles north of Cle Elum at the end of the N. Fork Teanaway Road just past the fish hatchery on your left at the 29 Pines summer campground location. 

Teanaway Camping Area 1160 West Fork Teanaway Road, Cle Elum, WA 98922. 

Located along the west fork of the Teanaway River, the camp offers 55 campsites with fire rings and two ADA-accessible toilets.

Directions: Start at I-90 exit 85 (Cle Elum). Go east on SR-970 for 6.9 miles. Turn left on Teanaway Road. Turn left on West Fork Teanaway Road and turn left into Teanaway Campground. Access is provided on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations).


Indian Camp 4394 Middle Fork Teanaway Road, Cle Elum, WA 98922. 

Located along the middle fork of the Teanaway River, the camp offers eleven campsites with fire rings, two group campsites with fire rings, and a toilet. 


Directions: Start at I-90 exit 85 (Cle Elum). Go east on SR-970. Turn left on Teanaway Road. Turn left on West Fork Teanaway Road. Turn right on Middle Fork Teanaway Road. Turn left into Indian Camp campground. Get directions using the following address: 

Tips on visiting the Teanaway Community Forest: 

Visitors are required to have a Discover Pass 

Rock hounds must get permission for the DNR to rockhound on DNR-managed land. Write or call DNR’s SOUTHEAST REGION 509-925-8510, Fax: 509-925-8522 713 Bowers Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926-9301

Red Top Lookout

Head east on I-90, take exit 85. At the stop sign, turn left to continue over the overpass. In less than a half-mile, turn right onto 970 East towards Wenatchee. Continue as 970 East turns into 97 North. 

Just past Mineral Creek Campground, turn left onto Forest Service Road 9738 continue on FSR 9738. Turn left onto FSR 9702. Follow the sign for Red Top Mountain. 

Continue following FSR 9702 for about nearly close to five miles to reach the parking area.

Tips on visiting Red Top Lookout

Bring layers of clothing – the winds pick up as the sun goes down

Pack lots of water

The daily limit for agates or geodes is no more than a gallon of material per person

Hansen Creek – Mineral rich and Near Seattle. 

While it is not recommended, those that have night-hiked the steep Hansen Creek trail have looked up and seen three-story rock faces glittering with quartz crystals. They also heard large cats chatting it up around them. Hansen Creek is hard to beat in both accessibility and heart-pounding joy. 

It's pretty intense hiking and there are very few areas where to set up camp. Diehards have been known to hike up the trail with a few cans of soup and a sleeping bag. One rockhound Kortney recommends, “Just cuddle up on the little flat spot next to your little fire and wake up at dawn to hike up and dig more… [We] Found some of the coolest quartz, amethyst, and pyrite I've ever seen up at Hansen... I had a buddy dig out an ounce gold nugget from Hansen as well.”

Most people say that the first couple of visits can be overwhelming – every find elicits an exclamation. Some of the finest quartz and sulfide mineral specimens in the world come from this concentrated 20-acre spill under Humpback Mountain. 

Formed in the faults and cracks of intrusive breccia – cylindrical structures formed by violent burps of volatiles near the earth’s surface – the area has produced some of the finest quartz and sulfide mineral specimens in the world. Hansen Creek is located in a mineral-rich area. There are many active, privately held claims here and they are routinely patrolled by their owners.

Despite its popularity with rockhounds and wildlife alike, Hansen Creek is still one – some say the best – place to find amethyst scepter crystals in the state. Most amethyst is light in color.

While finds are abundant, they need to be cleaned. Many rocks arrive home with a bag of dirty rocks only to discover them to be light-colored amethyst. A tip from Kortney is to set up a base camp where you can clean and inspect your finds before returning to the trail to uncover even more little bursts of glee.

Getting to Hansen Creek: 

To get to the Rockhounding area from Seattle, take I-90 East and take exit 47. 

Take the first right and the following right-hand turn. 

Take the first left 

Follow the road as it curves sharply to the left. 

You will come to another curve and arrive at the parking area and the beginning of the trail.

Tips for Visiting Hansen Creek 

Keep dust and ticks out: Tuck in all of your clothes. 

There are large, wild animals everywhere.

Do not go alone

Dig sites often collapse. Don’t go further than a body length into a hole. Backfill your holes and do not dig around tree roots. Some ideal hounding areas are privately claimed. The claim owners do not allow collecting. 

General tips for visiting Washington State Wilderness

Be over-prepared with water, extra clothing, and an emergency kit, including a mirror. 

Make sure you’re prepared for random acts of weather, fire hazards, and emergencies.

Don't leave the trail. Stay on established trails and only use established campsites.


Pack it in, pack it out. If you bring it into the forest, be sure you’re bringing it out too. Leave no trace.


Don't take opportunity from the forest. Don’t build structures, disturb or shade the flora and fauna.


Be careful with campfires. Check fire restrictions in the area – there are often bans on open flame.

Do not scavenge for firewood or bring firewood from outside the area you are visiting. There are many roadside kiosks where you can buy firewood.

Be safe around wildlife. Observe wildlife from a squintable distance. Never try to touch or feed a wild animal. 

Respect others on the trail. Keep dogs on a leash or under strict voice command. Learn how to yield to other trail users.

Make sure to pick up the appropriate parking passes.

 A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Pick up a Northwest Forest Pass to visit State Forest land

Walking Season Peru

Southern Explorations Blog 

Blog Post – Peru 

A travel journal to South America would not be complete without a trip into Peru. From culture and cuisine to challenging, high altitude aha-moments, Peru embodies the history, culture, and abundance of all of South America. Family-friendly with tourist-ready infrastructure, Peru’s dry season from April to October easily welcomes multi-generational groups, nature lovers, and active adventurers ready to immerse themselves in once-in-a-lifetime adventure.


Southern Explorations organizes expertly guided Peru tours designed to provide our travelers an iconic experience with expert, local guidance. While each tour is designed with a full travel experience in mind, we are happy to customize any itinerary to include more luxury, education, adventure, and cultural immersion.

Inti Raymi Festival & Machu Pichu

Join our Inti Raymi Festival & Machu Pichu tour for a colorful Winter Solstice in Peru on June 24th, 2022. The entire festive week is a powerhouse of processions and iconic sights as seen in the height of the sacred celebration of the sun king and mother earth. Head to the enigmatic heart of the Sacred Valley and experience the vibrancy of life in Moray and Maras. Explore the cloud forests and shadows of Machu Pichu. Wind down the journey with a captivating city tour of Cusco and an entire day spent in the thick of the Inti Raymi Festival.

If Peru has called to you before, drop us a line by May 31st, 2022. 


Southern Explorations is offering a $350 per person discount on 2022 Peru trips until May 31st,  applies to all travel dates in 2022.

Amazon & Machu Picchu

Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and immerse yourself in the wild depths of the Amazon rainforest. Throughout this 9-day tour of Peru, adventurers take in the iconic mysteries of the Andes and experience the unparalleled biodiversity of the country’s renown rainforests. Southern Explorations’ Amazon & Machu Picchu tour includes a 3-day, 2-night stay at an Amazon jungle lodge, where guests are delighted by the sights and sounds of the rainforest. A favorite itinerary among our well-travelled staff, we have many thoughtful suggestions on how to customize this or any Southern Explorations tour.

A note from the itinerate travelers at Southern Explorations: Book as early as possible for travel in the June to August peak season. Airfares are predicted to rise to meet not just a pent-up travel market but a backlog of travelers. Make reservations for June, July, and August 2022 now.

Choquequirao Peru Hiking Trip

Discover the Lost City Choquequirao, a lightly populated, physically challenging trek on a much less-travelled path. From end to end, the Choquequirao Peru Hiking Trip offers a masterclass on the biodiversity of the Andes, the history of the Incas, and an immersion into daily mountain life. This 10-day journey will satisfy the most active adventurer’s thirst to explore the Inca heartland, alongside an expert local guide and friendly support team.

Fold in luxury, adventure, or local experiences.

Southern Explorations offers thoughtful preplanned itineraries, but as many of our past travelers have noted, our travel savvy staff are experts at putting together custom itineraries that include something for everyone. With international travel returning to pre-Pandemic ease, now is the time to book a well-earned trip to discover the awe of ancient Andean trails and Amazonian wildlife.

Eat. Drink. Learn

Southern Explorations Blog

Blog Post – Food Tours

Southern Explorations curates food tours that offer essential and delectable insight into the history and culture of some of South America’s most iconic dishes. From skewers grilled and served street-side to dinner tables that invite long conversations, Latin life is lived, cherished, and remembered with a meal. Our culinary tours prove that nowhere else in the world does food celebrate the passing of time so vibrantly than in South America. Led by expert guides who are immersed in their local food scene, our food tours offer the kind of insider insight into history and culture that is out of the unguided traveler’s reach. 



Spend a day at the center of the renowned culinary scene of Miraflores – Lima’s seaside destination for shopping, entertainment, and world-class dining. Your tour starts at 10 AM when a local dining expert picks you up at your hotel and takes you on a market tour to learn about the area’s abundance of produce and freshly caught fish. 

Next, a chef from one of Lima’s best restaurants shares the techniques that make Peru’s ceviche so unforgettable. The intimate cooking class highlights other Peruvian favorites such as the celebrated Pisco Sour – the country’s national cocktail. Afterward, spend a long lunch with your guide who will explain all of the dishes on the menu. This tour is sure to illuminate a new understanding of Peruvian cuisine and the memory of the nuanced flavor that only the marine air of Miraflores can impart.

After lunch, visit Lima’s Museum of Peruvian Gastronomy to complete your knowledge of the country’s rich history and culture. The tour makes for a perfect last day in Peru or a wonderful break between more remote adventures. From downtown Lima, return to your hotel or journey on to the airport.

Watch our culinary tour video here and a Pisco Sour demo here!



Argentina’s cuisine is a braid of ancient and modern tradition, indigenous and European cooking techniques, and a vibrant array of meat, dairy, and vegetables. Any given dish incorporates the history of indigenous cultivation practices with the tables of the Spanish Jesuists and European immigrates drawn to the freedom of the fertile Argentinian soil. These Southern Explorations food tours are master classes of world food history served from a nuanced melting pot.  


For every empanada in Argentina, there’s an opinion on its merits. Learn from a local chef some of the different techniques used to make this South American staple. At the end of this 3-hour class, you’ll come away understanding the language of the empanada’s different sizes, crimps, fillings, and cooking techniques and first-hand knowledge of why so many people are passionate about empanadas. Enjoy a glass of Argentina’s incredible Malbec along with this class for a truly delectable experience.  



Argentina’s culinary history and influence on Italian cuisine is on full display during this immersive tour of the street food scene in the tasty Buenos Aires oldest barrio San Telmo. Join our dedicated gourmet guide, Alejandro, or his collaborator Ginette will lead you through a sumptuous sampling of empanadas, choripan (delightful little chorizo sandwiches), and Argentina’s cheesy, rich pizza – the calzone-like dish that forever changed how pizza was served in Naples. Top off the tour with a sweet finish with helado – a hybrid of gelato and ice cream.

Cartega Columbia 

The Caribbean’s Old World past tumbles down from flower filled balconies and lingers in Cartagena’s narrow streets and cool doorways arched with Spanish style. Friendly smiles and sea breezes make it easy to find yourself wanting more of the city’s intriguing vibe – especially, at mealtime where the smell of sancocho and seafood rice beckons you to join the local table. 

Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class (1/2 Day)

Southern Explorations half day culinary tour and cooking class that provides the ultimate market experience and a journey into the heart of Cartegena’s day-to-day life. See the city at its most authentic with a stroll through Bazurto Market where residents from every barrio come to buy everything from clothing to the day’s provisions. Join locals in the early morning when the smell of African spices mix with Spanish tradition and vendors lyrically call to passersby.  

Barely visited by tourists, Bazurto Market is as important to Cartega s La Popa Convent or the Castle of San Felipe and is alive with the intense history and cuisine of the region. You’ll have a chance to buy traditionally made food like cocadas – coconut patties that come in a variety of ingenious flavors. Or simply marvel at the selection of rice dishes, stews, fruits, vegetables, and just caught fish on display in wooden store fronts steaming with the exuberance of life alongside the Caribbean. 

After touring the heart of the Market, you’ll learn how to prepare the seafood, coconut rice and Cartagena specialties in a cooking class that incorporates the sights and sounds of the morning. The cooking class takes place in a colonial house in the city center or in Getsemaní. The Chef will talk about the intricacies of each ingredient before showing us how to prepare typical dishes. The class takes about three hours with a meal to follow.  


Rum tasting in the traditional neighborhood of Getsemaní ( hours) 

Just outside the walls of Cartagena's historic Old City, the bohemian neighborhood of Getsemaní, is world of its own. Here, you’ll find a new crop of local bars, eateries, and street art as well as an opportunity to learn the language of rum. Taste, smell and marvel at the the many flavors, colors, and aromas of the Caribbean’s most famous liquor with this Southern Explorations rum tasting tour. A local, professional mixologist will introduce you new flavors and fusions with inventive techniques and creative cocktails that reflect the spirit of the neighborhood and Caribbean itself.