Author Archives | Tim Leffel

About Tim Leffel

I'm the author of five travel books, including The World's Cheapest Destinations and A Better Life for Half the Price. I also serve as editor of the award-winning online magazine Perceptive Travel.

The Rums of Central America

Centario rum

One of the great benefits of traveling through Central America is that it’s easy to find really good rum for a ridiculously low price. While most people associate rum with the Caribbean, many of the best ones actually come from the mainland of Central America. They might not be as famous or as heavily marketed […]

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June 23, 2015 by | Comments Off on The Rums of Central America

Exploring the Buda Side of Budapest

Budapest Children's Railway

While Pest is a glorious place to tour museums, sample Hungarian wine, or do a Budapest pub crawl, the Buda hills are where many of the wealthiest residents live—for good reasons. This side of the city offers them forests of trees, fresh air, and rolling hills. It’s a bit of countryside in the city. Going […]

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December 21, 2012 by | Comments Off on Exploring the Buda Side of Budapest

Out-of-the-Ordinary Peru: Ballestas Islands and the Nazca Lines

Cruising Ballesta Islands

How many tours take you past 1,000-pound sea creatures by boat in the morning and then flying above an ancient mystery in a small plane in the afternoon? A world away from Peru‘s iconic images of llamas and Inca ruins in the Andes are two very different attractions. One is a set of rocky islands […]

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August 29, 2011 by | 2 Comments

Watery Mexico City on the Canals of Xochimilco

Michelada in Xochimilco

When Montezuma and his gang of Spanish invaders reached what is now Mexico City, it was a very different place geographically than it is today. The Aztec empire’s Tenochtitlan city of pyramids was on an island connected to the mainland with a causeway, with lake water on all sides. Many crops were grown on floating […]

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August 9, 2011 by | Comments Off on Watery Mexico City on the Canals of Xochimilco

Highbrow & Lowbrow in Downtown Nashville

Would you prefer bourbon sipped neat in an oak-paneled bar or longnecks in a rowdy honky-tonk? A fine arts museum in an art deco building or country music museum in a building shaped like a piano? In downtown Nashville, you can go highbrow or lowbrow all within a few blocks.

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April 6, 2010 by | 1 Comment

Exploring Mexico’s Pyramids of Teotihuacan

If you can’t get your tongue around pronouncing Teotihuacán (tee-oh-tee-wah-KAHN) while in Mexico City, then just say you want to visit “the pyramids.” Most of the other pyramids in this area are gone. Either they were dismantled (the stones used to build Spanish colonial churches) or they were used as a base for other colonial […]

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February 25, 2010 by | 1 Comment

Mexico City: Top Boutique Hotels

Where to sleep in Mexico City? For a long time Mexico City was dominated by big business hotels and international chains. As crime has plummeted and more tourists have arrived, developers have felt more confident in opening the kind of intimate, stylish hotels found in other great capitals around the world. So if money is […]

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February 16, 2010 by | Comments Off on Mexico City: Top Boutique Hotels

Biking Across Eastern Europe

When you envision a biking tour, the former Iron Curtain countries of eastern Europe may not be the first places that come to mind. Yet eastern Europe has some of the most scenic routes on the continent. And thanks to hard work from some forward-looking leaders (and cooperation from private and public groups), bike trails […]

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February 8, 2010 by | 3 Comments

The Hungarian Wine Story

What is a Szekszárdi Kadarka supposed to taste like? Or a Borpalota Szürkebarát? What kind of a grape is a kéknyelű? It was in Hungary, at the Hungarian House of Wine (now closed), in the cellar of a small building a few cobblestone-blocks away from Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest. A few signs offered clues about […]

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February 3, 2010 by | 3 Comments