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I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like haunted museums! Before this, I served in the US Peace Corps in Guatemala. I hold a PhD from Ohio State in Latin American Literature. My wife is a naturalist guide in the Galapagos islands, so I often get to go visit her.

  • Hometown

    Rochester, NY USA

  • Location now

    Quito, Ecuador

  • Work published

    Most of my work has been published only with V!VA, but I have done subtitles for a few films and I did an article for the Toronto Globe and Mail. I also did a translation for a book of Ecuadorian ghost stories.

  • Travel philosophy

    The best travel experiences have less to do with buildings and natural beauty and more to do with the people you meet.

  • Craziest place

    I was in Brazil when they won the World Cup of soccer. That was insane! They were partying in the streets.

  • Bizarre experience

    I was in Spain and my host mother served me fried brains! I'm a tough traveler and I have an iron stomach, but that was pretty gross.

  • Advice

    Don't put travel off: no one on their deathbed ever said they wished they had spent more time at the office! Also, pack a good hat.

  • Dream destination

    I'd love to go to Egypt.

  • Traveled before

    All over. I think I've been to about 30 countries, mostly in South and Central America.

  • Going next

    The Dominican Republic.

Christopher Minster's Guide Book Entries


  • Manuela Sáenz

    Apr 23, 2013 - Ecuador

    Born in Quito in 1795 (some sources say 1797) as the illegitimate daughter of a married Spanish nobleman, Manuela Sáenz ......

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  • History

    Feb 02, 2012 - Bolivia

    The Chiquitania region is home to several old Jesuit missions, and they're well worth a visit. The Jesuits worked in ......

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  • Natural History of Galapagos

    Apr 22, 2011 - Ecuador

    The Galápagos Islands were formed ages ago by what geologists call a “hot spot.” Basically, a hot spot is a ......

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See all Info (9)


  • Northern Jungle

    Nov 30, 2010 - Peru

    The northern part of Peru's Amazon jungle is where you'll find the border town of Santa Rosa as well as ......

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  • North Seymour Island

    Jan 27, 2010 - Ecuador

    North Seymour is a small, flat island located near Baltra and Santa Cruz: it's possible to visit from Puerto Ayora ......

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  • Puerto Velasco Ibarra

    Dec 02, 2009 - Galápagos Island Visitor Sites, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, Ecuador

    The tiny town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra has no more than 200 inhabitants, but does have a small hotel, restaurant ......

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See all Destinations (10)


  • Hostería Pantaví

    Oct 30, 2012 - Around Ibarra, Tumbabiro, Ecuador

    Hostería Pantaví has 12 lovely rooms in a beautiful, peaceful setting. There is a variety of ethnic art on the ......

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  • History

    Mar 12, 2010 - La Paz, Bolivia

    Nuestra Señora de La Paz (our Lady of Peace) was founded in 1548 by Spanish conquistadors and treasure seekers high ......

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  • Iguana Crossing Hotel

    Jan 22, 2010 - Galápagos Island Visitor Sites, Puerto Villamil, Ecuador

    Located at the southern edge of town where the National Park starts, the Iguana Crossing hotel has enviable beach access ......

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See all Hotels (10)


  • El Costeñito

    Apr 15, 2009 - Pedernales, Ecuador

    El Costeñito is an airy, friendly, family-run restaurant located right in the middle of the malecon, the main drag in ......

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  • Palace Hotel Restaurant

    Sep 28, 2007 - Luso, Portugal

    The Palace Hotel in Buçaco is one of Portugal’s most famous and elegant inns, being set in an actual nineteenth-century ......

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  • Cozinha Velha

    Sep 20, 2007 - Lisbon, Portugal

    When the Portuguese royal family was in residence at the Queluz palace, a small army of maids, cooks and servants ......

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See all Restaurants (10)


  • Galapagos Barn Owl

    Feb 10, 2010 - Ecuador

    The Galapagos Islands are home to a thriving population of barn owls. They're easy to spot with their distinctive owl ......

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  • Smooth-Billed Ani

    Feb 10, 2010 - Ecuador

    A large member of the Cuckoo family, the Smooth-billed Ani is a largish, black bird with a big, black beak ......

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  • Lava Gull

    Feb 10, 2010 - Ecuador

    A largish member of the Gull family, the Lava Gull (Larus fuliginosus) lives only in Galapagos. There are estimated to ......

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See all Activities (10)


  • La Tasca Tours

    Apr 13, 2007 - Vilcabamba, Ecuador

    La Tasca is a small tour operator with over 20 years of experience, located just off of Vilcabamba\'s main square. ......

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  • Studying Quechua in Peru

    Jul 16, 2007 - Peru

    Whether you need to speak Quechua in order to live and/or work in certain Andean areas or whether you simply ......

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  • Tropical Dancing School

    May 04, 2005 - La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador

    Tropical Dancing School is a small, friendly place that offers dance lessons in a variety of styles, including salsa, merengue, ......

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  • Shopping in Cuernavaca

    Sep 21, 2009 - Cuernavaca, Mexico

    Cuernavaca is not a shopping Mecca to compare with a place like nearby Taxco, but you can still find some ......

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  • Shopping in the Dominican Republic

    Jan 25, 2008 - Dominican Republic

    If you’re in the mood to pick up some souvenirs while in the Dominican Republic, you’re in luck: there are ......

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  • Galapagos On Line

    Dec 17, 2007 - Galápagos Island Visitor Sites, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

    Galapagos on-line is a popular internet spot just across from the naval base. In the past, the computers here were ......

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See all Services (7)

V!VA List Articles

V!VA Latin

  • Diving in Salvador

    Oct 06, 2006 - Brazil

    May 10, 1624. The Dutch, jealous of the New World empires of Spain, England and Portugal, decide to establish themselves ......

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  • Buenos Aires

    Oct 06, 2006 - Argentina

    It was tango singer Carlos Gardel who said it best, in his immortal tango classic “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” (“My ......

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  • Eating Lemon Ants in the Rainforest

    Feb 15, 2006 - Ecuador

    You’re hiking through the thick, steamy jungle of Ecuador’s rainforest. The hot sun overhead is softened by the dense canopy ......

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See all V!VA Latin (7)

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