Raya

Raya CAN

Raya

My name is Raya and I am from Canada. My boyfriend Braeden and I have enjoyed traveling together for several years and this blog outlines the amazing 6 month backpacking trip we took through South America a few years back.






South America April 10th 2010

Half a year, gone, just like that. Even though I can't believe how fast the time went, we certainly did see and do a lot. We saw 11 countries in 6 months on 40 buses, 12 planes, 3 boats and 2 trains crossing 16 borders and adding 27 stamps and 1 visa to our passports. We managed to do a lot of interesting things including surfing, Spanish school, zip-lining, mountain biking, dune buggying, sand boarding, mountain climbing, trekking, sailing, paragliding, piranha fishing, rock climbing, and touring a 3rd world mine. We also saw the world's largest rodent (capybara), highest city (Potosi, Bolivia), widest avenue (9 de Julio, BA, Argentina), youngest mountain range (Alps), highest capital city (La Paz, Bolivia), biggest rain forest (Amazon), most expensive canal (Panama City, Panama), highest output hydro-electric dam (Ciudad del Este, ... read more
Bolivia
Peru
Peru

South America » Venezuela » Insular » Isla Margarita April 5th 2010

We arrived in Isla Margarita on the 28th following a 2 hour flight from Asuncion, Paraguay to Sau Paulo, Brazil; a 3 hour stopover; a 6 hour flight from Sau Paulo to Caracas, Venezuela; an 8 hour wait in the airport; then a short 50 minute flight from Caracas to Porlamar. We traded some American money for Venezuelan Bolivars with some guy at the airport as we knew that the black market rate (as illegal as it is) was way better than the official exchange rate (6.2-6.4 as opposed to 4.5 official rate). Once we landed in Porlamar, we had to take a cab to our hotel in Playa El Agua as no other mode of transportation was available and ended up costing us Bsf.120. We stayed at 'Posada Nathalie' which turned out to be a ... read more
Isla Margarita
Isla Margarita
Isla Margarita

South America » Paraguay March 25th 2010

We arrived in Villa Florida following a short 3 hour bus ride from Asunción on the 20th. As soon as we arrived we were very happy that we would only be spending one night in the small town as it is definitely not a hot spot for tourists. The write-up in the Lonely Planet spoke of nice beaches and a good place to relax but we never found the nice beaches and the water in the river was disgusting. We spent the night at the ´Pasadas Misiones´ hotel right off the highway which was very basic and roach-infested. The only good thing about it was its location as we were able to catch a bus to Caapucu the next morning from right outside the front doors. Caapucu is a small town 20kms from Villa Florida. We ... read more
Estancia Santa Clara
Estancia Santa Clara
Estancia Santa Clara

South America » Paraguay » Asunciòn March 19th 2010

Despite being the least attractive capital city we have ever been in, Asunción has been surprisingly pleasant and we have had no problem falling into a comfortable, lazy state. It has actually been nice to settle for a short period of time without constantly repacking our backpacks, hopping buses and changing hostels. It has also been nice to sleep in and just hang out without feeling the need to rush around and see everything, especially since there isn´t that much to see here. We arrived in Asunción in the late afternoon on the 10th and checked into the ´Plaza Hotel´. It was nice but expensive at 175.000Gs/2ppl/night ($37.25 USD) so we decided to only stay one night. We ended up moving to ´Hotel Atlantic´ which was really dirty (Braeden spent 45 minutes washing the bed sheet ... read more
Asunción
Asunción
Asunción

South America » Paraguay » Ciudad del Este March 10th 2010

Ciudad del Este is a dump. I swear the entire city uses the streets as their own personal garbage; garbage which gets burned at night so the air becomes very thick and painful to breathe, just like in Bangkok. The city is also very unattractive and doesn´t have a lot to offer. We were told that it is ¨the¨ place to be if you want to shop (especially for electronics) however everywhere was over-crowded with people selling useless junk. There are a lot of electronics vendors but nothing is overly cheap and that is with the assumption that the materials are of good quality and not cheap knock-offs. Needless to say, we did not shop long or buy anything. Nor did we stay long. We arrived in the afternoon of the 8th following a 6 hour ... read more
Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este

South America » Paraguay » Encarnacion March 8th 2010

Hola Paraguay! People have questioned why we would choose to come here, especially considering it is the most corrupt country outside of Africa; one of the hottest countries in the Americas; the 2nd poorest country in South America; 85% uninhabitable; has a 1st language of Guarani; and - according to one of our guide books - sees more jaguars than tourists. The draw, all of the above. We are willing to endure the incredible heat to finally be back in a country that is cheap to visit, especially after spending the past couple months in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. It is also nice to be back in a country that hasn´t been completely taken over (yet) by MacDonald´s or any other major American corporation that can be found in many of its Latin American counterparts. Paraguay ... read more
Encarnación
Encarnación
Encarnación

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Posadas March 3rd 2010

Posadas - not much to say because there´s not much going on. This is a very small town that - as far we can tell - doesn´t see a lot of tourists. The people however are very friendly and, despite there not being much to do, it has been a really nice place to relax for a few days. We arrived in Posadas by bus (5 hours) from Puerto Iguazú in the afternoon of the 28th. We caught a taxi into town with a couple (Ashley and Katka) from Australia/Czech Republic and ended up spending the evening having dinner and drinks with them. Very friendly people which made for a fun night. We also met a guy from the US (David) who we´ve had dinner with a couple times. Funny how the only English-speaking tourists in ... read more
Posadas
Posadas
Posadas

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Puerto Iguazú February 28th 2010

The waterfalls at Iguazú are absolutely breath-taking and well worth the trip to Puerto Iguazú, a small town with not much else going on. We arrived in the tourist town on the morning of the 25th following a 17 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires and got settled into ´Puerto Canoas´, the residencial we spent 3 nights in. It was a nice little hostel, very clean, friendly staff and a kitchen which allowed us to cook all of our own meals. We visited the falls on our 2nd day and were fortunate to have really nice weather as it rained the entire 3rd day we were there. We paid to take the tourist boat (AR.240 each) in the morning which allowed us to get up close and, in certain areas, underneath the falls - we were ... read more
Iguazú Falls
Iguazú Falls
Iguazú Falls

South America » Uruguay » District of Montevideo » Montevideo February 22nd 2010

We now know why other backpackers called Uruguay the ¨budget breaker¨ and opted to camp during their stay here as it is expensive! For this reason, we decided only to make a quick stop in Colonia (2 nights) and Montevideo (3 nights). While we did consider camping at one point, we decided it wasn´t worth having to buy camping equipment for only a few nights, especially since we would just leave it behind. We arrived in Colonia on the 17th at 12:30pm following a 3 hour ride on a very large and luxurious slow boat. We stayed at the ´El Viajero´ hostel which cost us U$1000/2ppl/night for the first night in a matrimonial with private bathroom and TV which was expensive but nice. We decided to stay an additional night but had to switch to the ... read more
Colonia
Colonia
Colonia

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires February 17th 2010

Hello BA! We arrived at 6am on the 9th following a 21 hour bus ride, border crossing included. We were really lucky to have made it through the border within 1 hour, however, without the expected delays we arrived in Buenos Aires way ahead of schedule. Since we could not check into our hotel until noon, we ended up sleeping for a few hours in the bus station (dirty chairs, loud speakers, human traffic and all) then hung out in the hotel lounge area until we could settle into our room. We stayed our first 3 nights at ´Hotel Ritz´ which was conveniently situated on the corner of Avenida de Mayo - the central Avenue of the city which connects Plaza de Mayo (the main downtown area) with Congressional Plaza - and 9 de Julio Avenue ... read more
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires




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