Months of anticipation and its finally here, we’re going to South America! Travelling around South America has been something I’ve wanted to do for years so its a pretty surreal feeling that its finally here. Since I’ll be gone for over four months and I’m sure there are countless adventures to be had, I’ve decided to temporarily turn this blog into a travel blog. It will act as a travel diary for Mad and I to look back at and remember all of the fun times that we’ve had. It’ll also be a way to give my family back at home peace of mind that we’re not getting up to too much trouble (I’m talking to you mum). But to start us off I figured that since so many of my beautiful friends have asked what our plans are I’d begin with a post about what we’re planning to do, the route we’re going to follow and some of the things that I’m most looking forward to.
Our South America Travel Route
While we’ve booked nothing other than our first three nights accomodation, we have come up with a rough route that we are planning on following. Of course its open to change and we’re sure we’ll be adding in things along the way, but here is an outline of where we’re thinking of going:
Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro
The first leg of the trip will see us making our way from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After landing in Buenos Aires and spending a few days exploring the bustling city we plan on catching a ferry over to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. From here we’ll head over to Montevideo before making our way back into Argentina and all the way up to the border town of Puerto Iguazú. After exploring both sides of the falls we’ll be doing the coastal route of Brazil including São Paulo, Paraty, and Ilha grande, ending in Rio De Janeiro.
Ushuaia to Santiago
From Rio we’re catching a flight down to ‘the end of the world’, a town called Ushuaia in Argentina, where the second leg of our adventure begins. Our journey into Patagonia begins as we travel back into Chile to the town of Puerto Arenas. Next up is Punta Natales which will be the starting point of our Torres del Paine trek. From here we’ll travel through El Calafate, El Chalten, and other small towns along the way to San Carlos de Bariloche. Most of this part of the trip is unclear but I have a whole heap of glaciers and national parks that are on my ‘to visit’ list so we’ll likely stop in towns close to these. Eventually we’ll end up in Santiago and from here visit the coastal town Valparaiso.
Santiago to Lima
Now that we’ve made it to the capital of Chile its time to continue on up the country and into Peru. Along this journey our main point of interest is the Atacama desert and neighbouring town San Pedro De Atacama. From here we’ll make our way across the Peruvian border and towards the town of Arequipa. While here we’ll hike the Colca Canyon before making our way along the coast of Peru, through towns like Nazca and Paracas, until we make it to our destination of Lima.
From Lima we’ll make a detour inland to the town of Iquitos where we’re thinking of catching a boat into the Amazon!
Cusco to Uyuni
The plan is to make it to Cusco before Christmas day, when Mad and I will be joined by our friends Steph and Bridget who will be travelling with us for the next month. Here we’ll acclimatise to the altitude and get ready to do the Inca Trail. After visiting Machu Picchu and departing Cusco we’ll head down to the town of Puno, next to Lake Titicaca. Next up we cross the border into Bolivia and stop off at Copacabana before making our way to La Paz. From here in the capital we’ll make our way through Bolivia, stopping in places like Coroico and Sucre before making it to Uyuni. Departing from Uyuni we’ll do a multi day tour of the salt flats.
After this, we part ways with Steph and Bridget who will make their way back up to Cusco for their flight home while Mad and I head back down to Buenos Aires.
Uyuni to Buenos Aires
From Uyuni we’ll head back into Argentina and make our way down the north of the country. On the way back to Buenos Aires we’re thinking of stopping in Salta and Cordoba, with the potential to also visit Rosario and Sante Fe.
At this stage thats the plan for our four months exploring 6 South American countries, it will be interesting to see how much of this changes as we go.
Things I’m looking forward to
For as long as I can remember seeing Machu Picchu has been at the top of my (very long) bucket list. But as time has gone on and I learnt more about the beautiful countries, the longer my list of things to see has gotten! Some of the things I’m most looking forward to doing and experiencing are:
- Spending a month hiking in the beautiful region of Patagonia! One hike I’m particularly looking forward to is the Torres del Paine, but with all of the beautiful landscapes, impressive glaciers and fascinating wildlife I’m sure there will no shortage of breath taking scenery.
- Experiencing the epic Iguassu Falls and the hundreds of waterfalls that make up this impressive sight. We’ll be viewing the falls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides.
- Hiking the Inca Trail and arriving at Machu Picchu on the 1st of Jan, what an incredible way to start 2018! With such a high altitude I’m sure it will be no small feat but I’m so excited to experience the beautiful scenery that I’ve heard so much about on this multi day hike.
- Immersing myself in the culture! From learning to tango in Buenos Aires to improving my Spanish speaking skills and meeting the locals in each place we go, I’m really looking forward to seeing all that the vibrant latino cultures have to offer.
- Spending days exploring the worlds largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. They say this is the spot ‘where heaven meets earth’ because in the rainy season a layer of water lies on the ground turning the flats into a giant mirror!
- Seeing the stars in the Atacama Desert! Due to the high altitude, extremely low level of light pollution and clear skies, this is supposed to be a spectacular spot to see the milky way.
Really theres far too many things to list but these are a few of the highlights. I’m sure I’ll do and see some things I’d never even heard of, thats part of the fun of spontaneous travel and leaving plans open to change.
So there you have it, a map of what the next four and a half months are going to look like. The plan is to post fairly regular updates on here but who knows we may be too busy or having too much fun. Either way I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures over on my personal instagram so make sure you’re following along over there too.
Hasta luego Melbourne, America del sur we’re coming for you!