Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Points Guy: Trip Report on Iguazu Falls

Have you seen Pixar's movie, Up? Well, I have a feeling it's based on Iguazu Falls, a breathtaking natural wonder at the convergence of the Parana River on the border of Argentina and Brazil.

I wasn't really planning on a visit during my month in Argentina, but everyone told me I absolutely had to go, so I did. I even used British Airways miles to book a LAN ticket there rather than paying $500, and then stayed at a Sheraton so I could earn Starwood points during my stay.

Half-touristy and half-breathtaking, I do think it's worth a visit, though don't expect an amazing cultural experience or great hospitality. Instead, enjoy the splendor of the falls and then head to your next destination.

To read about how I used miles to get here and suggestions on what to do during your stay, read my post here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Points Guy: Wine Wednesday Porto

For today's Wine Wednesday post on The Points Guy, I decided to cover one of Europe's most fabled and specialized wine regions: Porto and the Douro Valley. Though you might have noticed more and more table wines coming from this region, it is, of course, known much more for the fortified wines it has produced for centuries as well as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city from which it derives its name, Porto.

This is truly one of Europe's most beautiful wine regions thanks to dramatic scenery, delicious cuisine and hospitable people, not to mention budget-friendly wines that are still in a world-class category.

If your next jaunt to Europe takes you to its western reaches or anywhere near Portugal, I'd highly suggest a visit.

In the meantime, read all about what you should to and taste in my post.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NY Post: Luxury Safaris

If you've been following me for a while now you know that one of my travel writing specialties is that luxury market niche of "glamping," or glamorous camping.

I've covered glamping experiences far and wide, from Africa and Australia to Chile, Finland and Montana in series for HotelChatter, JustLuxe and other outlets.

After my recent trip to South Africa where I stayed at Savanna Lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, a colleague of mine at the New York Post asked me to write a roundup of some of the most interesting glamping experiences in Africa that won't necessarily break the bank - though the term moderately priced is relative when it comes to safari, since even the baseline is expensive!

With a bit of research and an eye for anything new and interesting, I made up a list of five great camps that let visitors do everything from hanging with highland gorillas to tracking elephants in the Namibian desert, with a lot of lion-watching and giraffe-spotting thrown in.

I'll let you read the details in my NY Post piece on luxury safaris, titled "Animal House."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Points Guy: Wine Wednesday Colchagua Valley Chile

For today's Wine Wednesday post on The Points Guy, we shifted not only back to the New World but also the Southern Hemisphere to visit one of South America's most famous wine regions: Chile's Colchagua Valley.

I had a great trip here back in May of 2011, visiting tons of wineries, checking out delightful wine country towns and just getting a sense of Chile's dynamic and ever-evolving wine scene.

Though the tourism infrastructure here is still developing, it's still easy to plan a trip here, especially since it's just a two-hour drive south of Santiago and there are more great hotels and inns than ever, not to mention world-class wineries and some fantastic fine-dining opportunities.

To read more about what you should taste and do in Colchagua, read my post here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

JustLuxe: Wine Tasting in France's Loire Valley

For my next JustLuxe article, I decided it was time to do another wine-tasting piece - this time on France's Loire Valley.

You might have noticed Loire wines showing up more and more on restaurant wine lists - though you'll probably seem them named by their specific region such as Sancerre, Vouvray, Chinon and Bourgueil...among many others.

Not only is this one of France's premier wine-producing areas, but it's also rich with history and home to the country's most famous chateaux. Take the TGV and make Tours your base like I did, and then head out to visit the castles and taste the wines from this wonderful region.

Read more about what I saw, did and tasted here.