Page 3 of Tutkimusmatkailijat Travel Blog Posts

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago January 12th 2014

We arrived to Santiago, the capital of Chile, the first time on New Year’s Eve and quickly settled in in Rodrigo’s and Christian’s lovely apartment. Our attempts to book a table at a restaurant were clearly too late, in addition to that most of the places we tried to book were closed, so we ended up with our plan B, making our own luxury dinner at “home”. The apartment had a big balcony overlooking the western parts of Santiago, so we reckoned we would have a spectacular view of all the fireworks while dining. The fireworks were however only fired at midnight, not like in Finland where it starts at 6 PM and reaches its peak at midnight, so that part of the plan didn’t work out. We did get our share of fireworks, at Torre ... read more
Santiago - the city from above
Santiago - free city tour
Santiago - houses for the street dogs

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso January 8th 2014

Valparaiso, or Valpo as locals call it, is just 120km away from Santiago, but the atmosphere between the two cities couldn’t be much more different. While Santiago is a busy big city, Valparaiso, even though not small either with its 400.000 inhabitants and a busy port, seems more like a tranquil harbor town. Most that is interesting about Valparaiso is set on several hills around the town center: they are filled with colorful houses, cafés and artisan shops. It’s obvious that Valparaiso is quite a creative and artistic place: you just have to look at the amount of arty shops, skillful graffiti, and things like concrete stairs painted in bright colors you can find all over the place (who said stairs always have to be grey anyway…). The houses were often much like in Iceland or ... read more
Valparaiso colors 2
cheerful stairs and few dogs
another set of stairs and one of the hundreds of street dogs

South America » Chile » Coquimbo Region » La Serena December 31st 2013

Finally we left the drier than dry dusty desert landscapes behind, and took direction towards the coast. Even though, the coast is also desert in Northern Chile, but at least there is the fresh ocean air instead of just dust. We boarded a bus to the town of Copiapó (which btw is where those 33 miners were trapped and then rescued three years ago), but never made it there, because in the course of our bus journey, it became apparent that regarding our plans to visit Pan de Azucar national park, it would make much more sense to get off in the town of Chañaral instead. Only we worried a bit whether we would find a place to sleep in that small town arriving quite late in the evening, so we decided that once the bus ... read more
emerging from the sea (actually I'm escaping a wave)
algae on the beach
picture of taking picture

We arrived quite early in the morning to Chile and San Pedro de Atacama, a quiet desert town 45 km from the border to Bolivia. Our Salar de Uyuni tour left us at the border where we also got our exit stamps from Bolivia, then we took a bus to San Pedro where we went through Chilean immigration. The border to Chile was probably the most strict we had passed this far in South America, here our luggage was x-rayed while no one seemed to care what we were carrying on the other border crossings we have passed through on this continent. As it had been a quite exhausting stay in Bolivia with lots of activities, we decided to take it easy. During the first three days in San Pedro we mostly sat in the shade ... read more
San Pedro de Atacama - Star gazing
San Pedro de Atacama - the hot spring in Puritama
San Pedro de Atacama - Biking in the desert

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Salar de Uyuni December 20th 2013

It’s easy to describe our three day trip to Salar de Uyuni with one word: a-ma-zing. Probably you have never even heard of such a place (unless you are reading our blog to get information about it), and we hadn’t either, until we were planning for this trip. Now that we have seen it, it’s hard to believe Salar de Uyuni is not world famous- it should be. And after all, most of it is only salt. Salt, and a few flamingo filled lagoons in all colors of the rainbow, of course. And oh yea, some geysirs and thermal pools as well. To reach this wonderful place we took a night bus from La Paz to the desert town of Uyuni. It was a rough ride with several hundred kilometers of bumpy unpaved road, so again ... read more
piles of salt
digging and piling of the salt
more of salt piles

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz December 17th 2013

La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, is situated high up in the mountains, and at 3650 meters it easily gains the title as the world’s highest capital. On advice of our hostel in Copacabana we booked our trip there with Diana Tours who turned out to be a tour organizer, not a regular bus company. This meant we got a ride all the way to the center of the city instead of going to the bus terminal. As we didn’t know where to go from there we then had to take a cab that drove us a staggering 2 blocks to our hostel. Our first day in La Paz we decided to take a walking tour recommended to us by some fellow travelers in Copacabana. It was again a walking tour where the guide worked for ... read more
La Paz - witches market
La Paz - view of Huayna Potosi
La Paz - hiking on Chacaltaya

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Lake Titicaca December 14th 2013

After Machu Picchu we spent one more night and day in Cusco just chilling (literally) out and running a few errands. The next day we started our journey towards the Titicaca lake, which lies between Peru and Bolivia. We found a cool way to make the long bus journey from Cusco to the town of Puno on the Peruvian side of the lake; instead of taking a normal one, we took a sightseeing bus, which stopped along the way at several interesting sights, that way the trip felt more like being on a tour rather than just a very long bus journey. The tour included visiting a church, an archeological site and a museum, and stopping at a viewing point for taking pictures of snowcapped mountains. Puno didn’t seem like a very nice place, just busy ... read more
small islands next to Isla del Sol
there were many pigs roaming freely
Isla del Sol has beautiful beaches

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 10th 2013

One of the places we had looked forward to seeing, and one of our main reasons to returning to Peru a second time, is Machu Picchu. Although trashed by Madventures who we like a lot, we still wanted to see the most known Inca ruins of them all. As our travels are not that planned we decided to skip the Inca Trail option which you need to book several months in advance. Instead we decided to just take the train to Aguas Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu), stay the night there and visit the ruins the following morning. Already when we started to look at train tickets we realized that it would be an expensive trip. The tickets were starting at 60 US$ and going all the way to 350 US$. As there are ... read more
Ollantaytambo - the ruins
Ollantaytambo - the train to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu - view from the train ride 2

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco December 9th 2013

The former capital of the Incas is definitely the most touristic spot in Peru (after only Machu Picchu, perhaps), and that is quite obvious, as every second person roaming the historic center seems to be a foreigner with their outdoor clothing and cameras, including us, naturally. In addition, you only have to look at the prices in cafés and restaurants to come to the same conclusion. We arrived in Cusco after a sleepless night in Colombian capital Bogotá, and having left for the airport at 3.30 in the morning, we were rather tired when we were picked up from the airport by Mauricio, our host. Cusco lies in the altitude of 3500m, which probably also contributed to the fact that we spent most of the day and evening in our (relatively) comfortable bed, only leaving it ... read more
Cusco main square
walking the narrow streets
many locals still dress traditionally

South America » Colombia » Bogota December 6th 2013

Our first impressions of Bogota weren’t that positive. There were long queues to the taxis, the street numbering in Bogota is so confusing our taxi driver had problems finding our hostel, and it was cold and gray. Also, we weren’t that impressed by our hostel. The room was noisy with a bar right outside the window, both mattresses and pillows were protected with plastic bags so they were hard and noisy to sleep on and the room was cold. After the first night we almost changed hostel, but in the end we were too lazy to move for one and a half more nights, so we just changed into sleeping in our sleeping bags on the thick blankets we got which made the bed a lot less noisy. The first morning in Bogota it was raining, ... read more
Bogota - Botero's Dancers
Bogota - seashell from the gold museum
Bogota - miniature raft from the gold museum

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