Blogs from South America


South America » Colombia » Ipiales May 30th 2016

Okay so Ecuador wasn’t on the initial plan, just like Colombia. Ecuador was in fact added when calculating the best way to travel to Peru. We looked up flights from Colombia to Peru and they all came up to a figure of around $300US each. Bearing these figures in mind, why on earth would we take a flight straight to Peru when we could spend nearly 2 weeks exploring Ecuador beforehand for the same price of flying over it? For us it was a no brainer. For some, I think a barrier to crossing the border between Colombia and Ecuador (apart from not having ‘time’, or a lack of interest in Ecuador altogether) is the consideration of safety. We read that the road leading up to Ecuador all the way from Popayan was known for robberies. ... read more
Gothic Revival in style
The detail up close
Inside the Guáitara River canyon

When one thinks about Rio de Janeiro images of sun kissed beaches, bikinis, women, legendary nightlife, futbol, and a vibrant and friendly populace come to mind. Everything you have heard, read, dreamed about and then some is true. I spent about a week in Rio (probably should have stayed longer) and it has been one of the absolute highlights of my trip to date. It was the exact recharge and reinforcement I needed for me to again get my state of mind to where it should be. Welcome to "The Magnificent City". Up early in Porto Seguro I was able to secure a taxi for the 1km ride to the airport for a cost of R$20. Really a total ripoff considering you can take a long distance 50km bus for the same cost, but at 3am ... read more

Where Llamas are the Kings of Rock & Roll. It is dusk when we arrive. Takya Hotel de Piedra aka The Hotel of Rock. Mountain peak overlooking us...village next to the Salar below. Sometimes ya gotta play the right music...before you get your socks off. A teenage girl lets us in...massive bedroom...the silence of corridors in the middle of nowhere. No other tourists. We are yet again the only guests. In high season this place would be pumping. For over three days now we haven't seen another tourist...not one!!! I wander among the rock ruins of the burnt village behind...a stone tower...the bleet of sheep in a deep rocky pen...llamas settling for the night further up...sunset descending in orange and red. We are near the Chilean border. When Chile invaded last time, they burnt the village. ... read more
Llamas are the Kings of Rock & Roll
Llamas are the Kings of Rock & Roll
Llamas are the Kings of Rock & Roll

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Tiwanaku May 26th 2016

Lundi 25 avril 2016 Simon A une soixantaine de kilomètres au nord-ouest de la Paz, à proximité du lac Titicaca, se trouvent les vestiges d'une civilisation qui conserve bien des mystères... Cette civilisation serait apparue entre 2200 et 1200 avant JC sur l'Altiplano bolivien, ses habitants ont réalisé de nombreux ouvrages sur le site du même nom, plusieurs temples, une pyramide, des jardins et un 'ombre important de sculptures et de gravures. Le temps et les conquistadors espagnols n'auront malheureusement laissé que des bien qu'on peut passer à côté en les prenant pour des tas de pierres...d'ailleurs, peu de touristes daignent s'y arrêter. Pourtant, en les regardant de plus près, ces pierres s'avèrent plus qu'intrigantes...ce sont des quadrilatères aux angles à 90 degrés, aux arêtes vives, taillés dans du basalte ou de... read more

South America » Ecuador May 26th 2016

"It's about the journey, not just the destination!" During the past year, I've had the pleasure to travel with G Adventures on 4 different tours, ranging from 7 to 33 days - in Indonesia, Ecuador and Central America. I've had so much fun travelling and witnessed beautiful landscapes, but more importantly I've gained an appreciation for different cultures. Let me start by saying that G Adventures is unlike any other travel company out there. They create and provide authentic small group adventure tours, using local guides, local transport and locally owned accommodation wherever possible and have some of the best CEO's (Chief Experience Officers) in the world. Their core values and tour operator standards have redefined excellence and the way in which G connects with their customers. They are one of the most innovative companies in ... read more
Henry, our Ecuador CEO, in the Amazon rainforest
Luke & Teddy, fabulous CEO's in Central America
Dinner with CEO Ron's family (Sumatra, Indonesia)

South America » Peru » Cusco » Inca Trail May 26th 2016

Day 2 We were woken by the cry of cockerels early, even before the target time to rise of 5:30. The porters brought us cocoa tea - a couple of fresh leaves in hot water, followed by a bowl of warm water for washing. Breakfast was a sort of porridge, quinoa with apple, followed by omelette with potato. We left the site at 6:50. It was distinctly chilly as we climbed gently through forest. This second day was by far the hardest. Although we only walked 11km, it was mostly uphill and some if it was very steep. So from around 3,000 metres we climbed to 4,200 metres. The photos don't do it justice because not only do they not show the true steepness of the path but they give no indication of the impact of ... read more
Typical vegetation for this high altitude forest
Next to the stream showing alpine vegetation
Tony on the Inca paved path

South America » Brazil May 25th 2016

Brazil – January 2016 – Buzios, Vitoria, Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Brasilia, Salvador Bahia, and Porto Seguro Monday to Wednesday, 4 to 6 January, 2016 – Buzios, Brazil Buzios is a small coastal town located on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean about 3 hours by coach north of Rio de Janeiro. We spent two and a half days there. The peninsula boasts 23 beaches. Buzios was a small whaling village until the mid-1960s when it was ‘discovered’ by Brigitte Bardot and was transformed into the ‘St Tropez of Brazil’. Now there is a Bardot cinema, a life-size bronze statue and a beach named for the French actress. It has become the playground of Brazil and Argentina’s rich. The Rue das Pedras, at just over 600 metres, is full of cool bars, sophisticated restaurants, designer ... read more

South America » Peru May 25th 2016

Day 1 A little surprising to both of us, Martin and I were up at 5:00, showered, breakfasted and packed ready to be collected from our hotel at 6:00. The six English visitors from our hotel were joined by three Americans from two different hotels. One of these required the minibus to go up such a narrow street that even at the turning area at the end there was barely anymore width than the length of the minibus, thus requiring a nine point turn. The town was quiet at that time of the morning and we made rapid progress through the suburbs and over the hills on the same route as before to Ollantaytambo. The central square was full of bustle, minibuses manoeuvring and visitor from many countries mingling with locals. We were pointed in the ... read more
Group at the start of the Trail
Typical view of the Trail on the first day
Urubamba River

South America » Chile » Santiago Region May 24th 2016

Die erste Woche hier ist total schnell vergangen. Ich hatte jeden Tag 5 Stunden Spanischunterricht und bin danach nachmittags und abends meistens mit anderen Leuten aus der Schule unterwegs gewesen. Zwischendurch hatte ich trotzdem noch ein bisschen Zeit für die Ausflüge, die man als Tourist in Santiago definitiv mal gemacht haben sollte. Gestern war ich am Aussichtspunkt San Cristobal auf einem Hügel mitten in der Stadt. Der ungefähr 1- bis 2-stündige Aufstieg hat sich wirklich gelohnt. Eine vielleicht noch bessere Aussicht hatte ich heute vom höchsten Gebäude Südamerikas - dem 300 Meter hohen Costanera Center. Wir haben es sogar geschafft, genau zum Sonnenuntergang oben zu sein.... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo May 24th 2016

Ollantaytambo is a fortress at the confluence of two rivers in the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the northwest of Cusco. It took us about an hour and a half one to travel there by minibus, making our way through the uncontrolled housing development on the outskirts of Cusco and then climbing over a pass with views of the Andes. On the way we stopped and Chinchero, the site of three Inca palaces. This small Andean village is high up on the plain of Anta at 3762 m above sea level. We were given a demonstration of dying wool with local natural materials, spinning it and weaving cloth. Ollantaytambo is the best surviving example of Inca city planning with the modern buildings using the foundations of their Inca predecessors. The site has the most amazing ... read more
Martin at the bottom of the Oily terraces
John and Martin at the Temple of the Sun
Martin with granary in background

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