Michaela Mersch

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National Geographic Travel

Extra Padding in Patagonia

For all the beauty of the Patagonian landscape — russet pampas, granite spires, and sky blue glaciers abutting the Andes across the southern tip of South America — the wind-whipped region is famously inhospitable to travelers.<p>Campsites have long been the main option in these parts, a challenging …

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The Bolivian Salt Flats of Salar de Uyuni

Shares 606<p>When you think of South America, the <b>Bolivian Salt Flats of Salar de Uyuni</b> might not be the first thing that pops into your head.<p>The annual …

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Volunteer Trips: Working with Kids in Brazil

Last summer, Canadian medical school student Amy Gajaria, 27, joined a Brazilian circus. Gajaria volunteered for three weeks in Rio de Janeiro with …

Hiking the Inca Trail

The security line at my home airport in Washington, D.C., isn’t where I expected to get my first reminder that I should have trained a little more for 19 days of trekking the mountains of Peru.<p>I assumed that lesson would be taught somewhere around 9,000 feet, on the Inca Trail. But before I even …