Meet a traveller: Kevin Raub, Lonely Planet author and South America expert

Kevin swings in a hammock in Alcântara, Brazil. Image courtesy of Andre Maceira

It will take a seasoned South America expert to guide us through the colour and chaos of this year’s World Cup in Brazil. But it’s safe to say that Kevin Raub is the right person to throw into the fray as our author-on-the-ground.

Kevin has written guide books for Lonely Planet covering Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile, to name just a few. Kevin will be travelling the length and breadth of the nation (taking 20 domestic flights!) to capture the buzz of the World Cup host cities, share his experiences at local celebrations, and perhaps indulge in a caipirinha or three. You can follow his journey and share the ways you’re celebrating Brazil at

We caught up with Kevin ahead of the kick-off in Brazil, to get the lowdown on all his travel dreams and disasters.

Kevin swings in a hammock in Alcântara, Brazil. Image courtesy of Andre Maceira


I just came back from Bonito, Brazil. It’s a gorgeous aquatic wonderland that is steeped in sustainability and wows travellers with a unique natural phenomena: its crystal-clear waterways spring from subterranean sources nearly free of clay, which releases calcium carbonate into the water that calcifies impurities that then sink to the bottom. Snorkelling in the Rio da Prata there is like jumping into a giant aquarium!


As Lonely Planet’s author on the ground for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, I will be travelling all over the country, live tweeting, Instagramming and Vining from host cities, FanFests, matches, and bars (and beaches) throughout the tournament. I have 20 domestic flights booked! It’s going to be…interesting. Suffice to say I won’t be checking any luggage. After that, research trips to Colombia, India and Chile are on the cards.


My first travel-related memory was poring over my mom’s travel albums when I was a child. My father was a very successful State Farm insurance agent, and he always sold enough to win the incentive trip at the end of each year, so my parents were always gallivanting off to Mexico, London, Paris, etc. I used to spend hours combing through their photos, fascinated by the different colours, textures, foods, languages, hairstyles – I was enthralled. I owe every desire I have ever had to seek out the unknown to them.


Window. No question. I feel some sort of a (false) sense of security being next to the window. Besides loving the bird’s-eye view of the next place of exploration, I feel safer in that giant steel bird if I can look out and see that we aren’t plummeting to the ground. It’s a nightmare when I have to use the bathroom, though.


I’m definitely an over-planner. I tend to plan all my meals and movements when I’m on vacation down to the last hour, which in a way is good, since I ensure I don’t miss all the amazing places I must eat at …read more


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