The first big stop in Argentina was at El Calafate where we arrived after a 27 hour bus ride. The first funny thing that we found out about Argentinians is that they have dinner very late and in the evening restaurants are closed until 8 PM. Even on the bus to El Calafate when almost all the gringos on the bus were already sleeping at 10 PM, the bus crew waked us up to have dinner.
This region is one of the most beautiful ones in Chile and probably one of the top things to see in South America. It’s the Chileans’ favorite place to spend a vacation because here you have tons of options to spend your time. You can go horse riding, which we did. It was very nice as it was just the two of us and the guide so we had time to enjoy the nature. Because it was our first time we went horse riding we needed some time to learn how to “drive” the horses but afterwards we had so much fun in telling the horses how fast to run. Read more
Oh my God, we arrived in a country where drivers stop at the “STOP” signs and pedestrians are not invisible anymore… it’s unbelievable…. Jokes aside, Chileans are very friendly and are the first ones we see in South America which seem to really respect the pedestrians and their colleagues in the traffic. In fact driving in Chile is considered very safe and corruption is almost inexistent in the cases of policemen. Chile belongs to the countries which have very good corruption perception indexes in the world being at the same level as the United Kingdom or the United States. Read more
We arrived in Uyuni and because the town is nothing spectacular we hurried up in finding a hotel and went to look for an agency which could offer us a tour to the salt flats and the lagoons. If you google for deadly accidents in the Salt Flats you find a frightening amount of results. This is either because the Bolivians just like to drink alcohol (drivers included) or because of the bad condition of the 4WD cars that are used for the tours. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this… between 2008-2009 16 people died in the flats, including 13 tourists because of drunk drivers who were speeding. So I thought it’s worth spending a few hours google-ing for a tour agency which offers safe tours to probably one of the world’s most spectacular sceneries. Read more
After we successfully crossed the border to Bolivia, we stayed for one day in Copacabana before going to La Paz. In Copacabana people have to pay 1 Boliviano just to enter the town and people who bought a ticket directly to La Paz also have to pay it, no matter if they want or not…. Welcome to Bolivia, that is… Read more
From Cusco we went to Puno on the shore of the Lake Titicaca. It is called the highest navigable lake in the world at 3812m. From Puno we booked a tour to the floating islands of the Uros people. The islands are made of bundled reeds and are completely floating and the first steps on the islands felt a little bit strange. Here people live like hundreds of years ago and you really have the impression that the time stopped centuries ago. Their houses are very basic and are also made of reed and in the house they have just one bed where sometimes 10 family members sleep together. Read more
Cusco is one of the most touristic places in South America because it’s the main starting point for all the treks or trips that go to Machu Picchu. Though it’s very touristic we liked its nice little old town and the markets where you can buy almost anything.
If you want to go to Machu Picchu there are a couple of treks or options. The most famous one is the Inka Trail which lasts 4 days/3 nights but this one must be booked at least 3-4 month in advance because there is only a limited amount of tickets to the trail per day. Read more
In Arequipa we stayed a lot longer than we initially planned because we went to a Spanish course for one week. We also decided to stay with an Arequipan family because the Spanish school has a list of families which are recommended to the students. The family which hosted us was really friendly and we also got the opportunity to improve our Spanish knowledge in our spare time. The Spanish School was recommended to us by Jochen and Christina who we met in Huacachina at the sand buggy tour and we also went together to the hiking tour in Canon del Colca. Read more
Last weekend we went for a 3 day trekking tour in the Canyon del Colca, the deepest canyon in the world which is situated near the city of Arequipa. The trekking tour was for sure one of the highlights of our trip so far, not only because the scenery was very beautiful but also thanks to our guide Roy. Read more
We took the bus from Lima to Huacachina and we chose a company named Cruz del Sur because it was recommended by almost all the travelerswe met in South America. It sounds crazy but the bus services that you have here cannot be compared with anything else in Europe. It could probably be compared with a flight ticket in the first class because you get dinner, can watch movies and the passengers can even play Bingo and win prizes. You also have internet over wi-fi and can transform your seats into a bed where you can sleep very comfortably. Read more
We decided to go by bus from Quito to Lima, a ride that takes around 35 hours. The planned departure of the bus was 03:00 AM but we were told to arrive at the bus station around 22 – 23:00 because the bus comes all the way from Venezuela and could arrive earlier and after a short break it would leave (without us)
We were not expecting much from Lima as most or all of the travelers that we met told us they did not like Lima but let me tell you one thing, WE LOVED IT. People are extremely friendly, everybody that we met tried to help us, Read more
After we did not find good offers in Quito for a cruise in the Galapagos Islands we decided to fly there and try to find some better offers directly in the main port, Puerto Ayora. And we’re glad we did because it was not a high season anymore and we found offers up to 30% cheaper than the ones in Quito. The best way to see the Galapagos Islands is with a cruise because in 4-5 days you can see a couple of islands each with different vegetation and animals and you have a naturalist that explains you everything in detail starting from the origin of the Galapagos Islands, to the specific species that can be found here and ending with the history of the people that inhabited these places. Read more
Right after landing in Quito everybody tries to rip you off somehow because you’re a gringo (slang word used to denote you’re a foreigner). Starting with the taxi driver which asks for 3 times the normal amount for a ride from the airport, continuing with the hostel manager that tells you a price in the evening and in the morning it’s suddenly more, then the guy from the grocery “forgets” to give you the change, then the next taxi driver drops you off 1 km from the expected location just “because it’s too much traffic and you can walk the rest” Read more
Miami was one of the closest cities to South America that we could have chosen for our last stop in the US. Not only from the geographical point of view. In Miami 70% of the citizens have Spanish as the first language and right from the airport you really have the impression you landed in a Latin American country because everybody speaks Spanish. There’s a joke in Miami about this that says “If somebody says he is bilingual, it means he also speaks English”. Read more
All the three canyons Grand, Antelope and Bryce are real wonders of nature.
Grand Canyon has three rims that are accessible for tourists and after leaving Las Vegas we headed for the West Rim which is not the most beautiful of the rims but it is home to the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk. Unfortunately the weather was not good there as it started to lighten and because of this the authorities decided to close the Skywalk. So we drove further to the South Rim which is supposed to be the nicest and most accessible of the three. Read more
Oh my… this is one of the craziest places I’ve seen. And before somebody asks…. “No, we did not get married in Vegas”
Before going there I thought it will be just a place with lots of kitschy stuff. But now I’m so glad that we went there and can say for sure that this is definitely one of the places that I will visit again. You can easily spend 1-2 weeks here without getting bored as you have a lot of entertainment options starting from gambling (what a surprise) to concerts and shows everywhere and tons of restaurants or you can just stay at the pool and relax. And where else can you see the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids, take a ride with the gondola under the Rialto Bridge, see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge and go to the Colloseum all in one day? Read more
In LA I finally met my cousins Crina and Ionut who I haven`t seen in 7 years. We had a great time together with their families and on weekend we went together to Long Beach on the ocean. Crina lives close to Disneyland and in the evening we walked through Downtown Disneyland and saw the beautiful fireworks. Read more
Yosemite National Park is known for its spectacular granite cliffs, the waterfalls, giant sequoia groves and the biological diversity.
In Yosemite we drove through the Yosemite Valley where we saw the rock formation “El Capitan” which is very popular between rock climbers. Read more
After a short stopover in Salt Lake City where we visited the Mormons temple we drove to San Francisco. On the way we stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats, which is the place in the salt desert where all world land speed records were measured. Afterwards on the way to San Francisco we drove through the states of Utah, Nevada and California seeing almost nothing but desert areas. Read more
Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the world, established in 1872. It is known for the many geysers and hot springs as well as for the diverse wildlife that can be seen here like bisons, grizzlies, black bears, wolfs and so on. Read more