Today I have been travelling in South America for 2 months. Things have gone right, things have gone wrong, it’s not always easy, but it’s almost always worth it! I’ve met some amazing people and truly fallen in love with South America!
Here’s an overview of my story so far…
I started in Lima, Peru after flying from London Gatwick where my family dropped me off to make the long 23 hour journey to the unknown.
I travelled through Peru, where I went sand boarding and buggying in Huacachina
Then due to an earthquake I had to skip Arequipa and the colca canyon as there was no buses running for almost 2 weeks! Then the Peruvian Independence Day was upon me and I had not booked to stay in Huacachina which was fully booked, I had to move on and decided to visit Paracas, everything was closed because the celebrations were in full swing! There was a surprising amount of pelicans on the beach where I fell asleep and tanned my feet so it looked as though I had socks on with pale legs! Oops.
I was then able to board a bus to Puno to make it to Lake Titicaca – this was not straight forward! Unfortunately no one had advised me, but due to the earthquake and the poor condition of the roads, they were not allowing transportation to pass during the night and the 17 hour night bus I had taken pulled over by the road for around 9 hours, by the time I arrived in Puno it had been almost 30 hours, the attendent couldn’t understand that I was vegetarian and provided me only with ham sandwich’s! I feared that my accommodation on the floating uros island would not be able to be reached at the late hour I arrived, but they were well prepared and even had a blanket for me for when the speedboat raced me to my totura island. I was greeted with corn soup, Peruvian bread and tea! It was perfect! I then spent the following day on traditional titicaca boats, exploring the local floating houses of the uros people and front flipping into the freezing cold lake!
Next stop was Cusco! Here I took on the hike to the stunning Humantay lake, trekked the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu and visited the Peurto Maldonado, part of the Amazon jungle.
Then I moved on to Chile! However faced more transportation issues, I had a flight to Santiago via Lima, And my connection was cancelled! I would not recommend flying with Avianca, not because they cancelled my flight, but because of how they dealt with it. It was total chaos!! However I managed to get booked onto a Latam flight the next morning and was at the airport about 12 hours waiting.
I finally made it to Chile!! I had my first experience of an AirBnb and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful hosts or a more beautiful house to stay in! Situated in Santiago, a few minutes from the metro! I spent four days wondering around Santiago, I went on the free walking tour and learned allot about the Chilean history, I visited the san Cristobal and saw wonderful views of the city whilst eating popcorn! I visited the human rights and pre-Colombian art museums! I even managed to find a morning to go to the skatepark, no one spoke a word of English, but it was still rad!
Next stop was the Easter Island! Rapa Nui is a 5 hour flight from Santiago and was the most unusual place I’ve ever been! You can’t imagine the Moai until you experience them yourself! I rented a Suzuki jeep and explored the island and the gorgeous anakena beach where I swam and jumped over waves of the Pacific Ocean whilst the beach Moai looked over me.
I then moved south down to Pucon! Pucon was also amazing. I stayed in the chili kiwi hostel and made friends for life. I went snowboarding on active volcano villarrica, whilst its little plume of smoke puffed away behind me. I visited the gorgeous Termus Geometricas which was my first experience of thermal pools, there was 17 pools of varying temperatures and it was snowing. I also went hydrospeeding which was extremely scary but extremely fun!
I then ventured back north on the night bus to colourful Valparaiso via Santiago, I had a wonderful few days here exploring the city, learning about its history and street art on the free walking tours.
Mendoza was next, despite an unpleasant hostel, I tasted some great wine during a vineyard tour and visited the Aconcagua national park, as I had time to spare I also squeezed in another visit to the local Termus cacheuta, but if you have time you can have a mud spa up the road! I travelled by bus to Mendoza directly from Valparaiso and the journey provided spectacular views of the Andes mountains. This is the best way to travel here.
I then travelled by bus to Buenos Aires for a connecting flight to Iguazu, yet again my flight was cancelled! Latam kindly provided a local 5 star hotel, wth transfers, and food. Together with a rescheduled flight for the next morning. I spent the day exploring recolleta where my hotel was, including the quirky bellavista art gallery, the floralis Generica and the recolleta cemetery where Evita is kept.
When I made it to the Iguazu Falls, they were incredible! I visited both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, and took the ride in the speed boat which takes you under the waterfalls. Serious fun! Not to mention Laura and Vanessa the wonderful ladies from South Africa who were fantastic company!
I then spent a week at my second AirBnb with Natty in Buenos Aires, she is the best host I will ever have. She gave me amazing breakfast, and advice on what to do and when! I had a great time exploring Pallermo, San Telmo, La Boca! I also saw La Traviata, the opera at the Teatro Colon.
The last 10 days of my first 2 months has been spent in the outstanding Patagonia! I visited both El Calafate where I walked on the Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten where I hiked to the beautiful Fitz Roy!
I love South America so much, I’ve extended my stay by another month!!
Love B x