Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo. What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults.

Currently Matson is the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” Conducting interviews from the studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards.

Matson also writes about his experiencs in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produces videos for National Geographic.com, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.

Street parades, art, and music provide the rhythm of life in Salvador, so I decide to see if any locals might be willing to teach me how to party like a Salvadoran.

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I may not share the lifestyle choices or even the same perception of reality with the characters I’ve met on my travels, but I will always appreciate their commitment to carving out little spaces of their own.

The Inca built many of these trails 500 years ago, and they’re still the only way to reach all of our destinations—Machu Picchu and also a few seldom visited yet equally impressive Inca sites, such as Choquequirao; the water shrine Picha Unuyoc; and Vilcabamba, also called Espíritu Pampa, the last city of the Inca.