All posts by Elissa Garay

Elissa Garay is a contributor to ShermansTravel, Fodor's, Yahoo, Condé Nast Traveler, Cruise Critic,, and more. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she has traveled to and reported on some 55 countries and 20 cruise lines around the globe, and has resided in Argentina, France, England, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Follow her @TravelSpiritNYC.
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Bottomless Lakes, Roswell, New Mexico
New Mexico Tourism

Perhaps you’re just passing through en route from Albuquerque to one of southern New Mexico’s must-hit natural wonders (like the superlative Carlsbad Caverns). Or maybe you’re caught up in the company of one of the many UFO hunters who descend upon this legendary little city in droves. But if... Read More

5 Best Wave Season Cruise Deals for 2015
Norwegian Cruise Line

For savings-savvy cruisers in search of great value, welcome to “wave season” 2015. Like clockwork, when the new year rolls around, the cruise industry’s incentive-packed annual sales blitz known as wave season kicks in, as cruise lines compete to curry customers’ favor and kickstart the year’s sales. Look for... Read More

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Buenos Aires Day Trips

From top tango shows to savory steaks, Buenos Aires offers plenty to keep travelers busy. But for those looking for a little outer-city adventure, there are plenty of exciting day trips set within just an hour or two of the big city. From learning to horseback ride out on... Read More

Salt Cathedral in Colombia

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá – an ancient salt mine and monumental masterpiece – draws the devout and the curious alike underground to an evocative subterranean temple. Buried more than 650 feet deep into a hillside about an hour outside of Bogota, Colombia, the mine brings precise engineering to... Read More

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Buenos Aires Walking Tours

Buenos Aires is a city made for walking, but that doesn’t mean your ambling should be aimless. For visitors to BA on a budget, several local companies offer free walking tours in a number of neighborhoods, with guides working solely for tips. Read on for a vetted roundup of... Read More

Buenos Aires Street Art Tours

If you ever wished that walls could talk, Buenos Aires can make it happen. With a vibrant and ubiquitous street arts scene that transforms public spaces into a collective canvas, graffiti and street art here go far beyond quickly scribbled “tags.” You’ll see a rich mix of styles and... Read More

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Great Value Ecuadorian Haciendas

Tucked high into the Ecuadorian Andes, a series of atmospheric colonial-inspired haciendas-cum-hotels unfold in dramatic valley settings, fringed by soaring volcanic peaks. Mostly family-run affairs, some working farms or horse ranches, all are rich in history and hospitality. Recently back from two weeks of hacienda-hopping in the Andean highlands... Read More

Cuenca, Ecuador, south america on a shoestring

Bigger, bustling Quito may get more of the glory, but after spending a week on the ground in both locales, it’s smaller-scale Cuenca – Ecuador’s third-largest metropolis – that wins hands-down for urban charm. It’s little wonder that this colonial city, with roots dating back to the indigenous Cañari... Read More

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Devil's Nose, Ecuador

In the Ecuadorean Andes, you’ll find take-your-breath-away landscapes (quite literally sometimes, considering the high altitude of the region) in the “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” Think soaring peaks, volcanic craters, and verdant valleys. One particularly scenic slice of this mountain paradise can be viewed by descending down to the colorful... Read More

Ingapirca in Ecuador

The enormous Incan empire – the largest in the pre-Colombian Americas – didn’t stop at Peru’s magnificent Machu Picchu. The Incas reached far into Ecuador, too. If you’re visiting, stop by the southern corner of the country, north of Cuenca, Ingapirca. (In the local Andean dialect, Quechua means “Inca wall”.)... Read More

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Quito, Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador, is readying to reel in the tourists, intent on enticing visitors to stick around for more than just a quick stopover en route to the Galapagos. A new international airport just debuted in February, plans for a metro system are in the works, and the old colonial... Read More

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Ecotourism in Amazonian Ecuador

The steamy Amazon jungle, the “lungs of the planet,” requires no introduction, but Ecuador’s share of it – known locally as the Oriente – just might; it’s often overshadowed by more developed ecotourism destinations in Peru and Brazil. The rain forest here – a complex system of towering trees... Read More

Oasis Collection South American Apartment Rentals

Oasis Collections, an American-run, South American-based short-term apartment rental agency – and self-dubbed “curators of stylish pads” – has recently launched a series of budget-friendly upscale vacation rentals, spanning some of South America’s hottest destinations, for under $250/night. ... Read More

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Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

Twenty years ago, tourism to Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, was entirely unheard of. The world capital of cocaine production, Medellin was overrun with drug traffickers (none so feared as ruthless kingpin Pablo Escobar) and the cartel-backed street violence here was downright paralyzing. Proof of what’s possible in just two... Read More

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B.O.G Hotel

Bogotá is abuzz with development. New direct flights have made access to this bustling Colombian capital easier, cheaper, and more comfortable than ever before. Hotels are popping up across the city at breakneck speed (like the much-anticipated W Hotel, set to debut next year), including two of our favorite additions... Read More