Darryl

Post it Dazza's Travel Blog

My travels around Latin America and other Latin countries (like those one's in Europe!)

Latin countries visited so far:

Fuerteventura, Spain, Italy, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia (so far!)

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March 2015

Fuerteventura Panoramas

"Say it with a panorama", as the saying goes. Well, ok there's no saying which actually says that to be fair! As well as taking some stunning photos whilst in Fuerteventura, I took the liberty of doing some awesome panoramas too. Normally when I take these I usually forget about stitching them afterwards, but in this case I remembered to remember!

The first few are taken at El Cotillo beach, which is on the north west side of the island, and then others are taken at Morro Jable, which is a more touristy location in the south.

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 
 

Burial of the Sardine

Our trip fortunately coincided with Fuerteventura's age old annual festival The Burial of the Sardine! This is the most bizarre thing I've seen and on an island that seems so slow-paced and sparcely uninhabited! A procession of festival revellers form a mass of slow-moving fancy dressed people through the streets and into town. There doesn't seem to be an overall theme to their costumes too - anything goes. The more creative the better it seems!

We were staggeringly impressed as to the efforts that people had gone to, to impress the crowds, but then again this was their one big annual festival. I'd say it's probably worth visiting Fuerteventura just to see this, when it's on. Amazing!

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Playa de Bandera

Kite Beach is a remarkable place. One of those places which you can spend a whole day on and you'd never get bored. There's so little to do, other than faff around on the beach and run around on the sand dunes!

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Las Dunas Arena

Just in case we hadn't indulged in enough sandy beaches already, we headed to the local sand dunes just south of Corralejo, just a short bus ride away. Once you come away from the beach you are very quickly in what feels like a desert of sand and towering dunes! Really underrated actually I thought and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves!

Naturally, we took the liberty to get create on the photography front in between doing somersaults down the dunes like kids!

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Morro Jable & The Chipmunks

In Morro Jable (south part of the island) they have random chipmunks, which are I suppose like the Fuerteventuran equivalent of the British fascination that is the squirrel! They are fairly timid creatures who don't like having their photo taken so I had to be fairly covert about it, but if you feed them nuts they go mental. So basically a squirrel then!?

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Morro Jable & The Beach

We decided to go to Morro Jable, even though it was 2 and a half hours away from where we were staying in Corralejo. Morro Jable is quite touristy compared to the other places that we visited on the island. The high street comprises shop after shop of duty free and restaurants.

We made our way off...

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

El Cotillo

El Cotillo is like an underestimated hidden gem of Fuerteventura. We made a day trip there paying special attention to the beach and unspoiled characteristic postcard-style perfect sands.

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Puerto del Rosario

It seemed logical to visit Puerto del Rosario, since the city is central to the island and generally close to the main airport. I found it to be pretty boring though, and we couldn't really find any interesting sights of touristic value. I presume it must be a place where people go to work, but...

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Las Turbinas de Viento

The 2 wind turbines in north Corralejo are key landmarks on the horizon, so, we took the opportunity to visit them and explore the volcanic, rocky seashore around the area. The bay is great and the surrounding dirt tracks looked amazing for off road quad biking, but unfortunately we didn't have any...

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

 
 

Corralejo

Our base for the entire stay was the enchanting northern town of Corralejo. We stayed in the north near the wind turbines, which seemed to be where most of the island's locallers lived. Corralejo itself is quite a nice place and we found it easy to get around as you can nearly walk everywhere in...

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Posted in: Fuerteventura

September 2014

 
 

Plaça d'Espanya

Although it was a very wet day, we hauled our severely hungover selves over to Plaza d'Espana before getting totally washed out by the rain. We subsequently took refuge in the local shopping mall (Centro comercial de Las Arenas). We proceeded to drink coffee in a group effort to maintain morale and...

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Posted in: Spain

 
 
 

Barcelona Beach and Barceloneta

Having finished the rather taxing historic information overload that was the Gothic Street tour, we slipped away and made our way towards Barceloneta and the beach. It was a blazing hot day and Peter had brought the card game Uno, so we sat on the busy beach and played a few games. We somehow...

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Posted in: Spain

Barcelona Streets and Gothic Tour

Back to Barcelona again! We had an early morning Gothic streets tour lined up - well, not that early, only 10:30am, which wasn't aided by a late night's drinking. We arrived fashionably late of course and met up with our group. We had an excellent host, who showed us around barrio Gothic, filling us in on some of the richer parts of Barcelona and Catalan history. The tour took us through the backstreets and lasted a good 3 hours.

Afterwards, we headed to the beach to sunbathe and then onwards to the marina near Barceloneta and long walk back to the hotel.

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Posted in: Spain

June 2013

 
 

Ostuni

For our final outing, we visited Ostuni (an hour to the north of San Vito where we were staying) which gave us a perfect finale to the week. Once again, different in its own right to the rest of the places we saw but still very Italian with the food, the Italian looking buildings and the intense...

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Posted in: Italy

 
 
 

San Vito dei Normanni

We had to fetch a new gas bottle for the house so the compulsory trip to the town doubled up as a mini tour around the laid back streets of San Vito dei Normanni.

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Posted in: Italy

 
 

Porto Salvaggio

By recommendation of a friend, we headed to Porto Salvaggio, which was surprisingly difficult to find, but after a bit of driving in circles and group arguments we found ourselves soon at the exclusive, covey, wooded location that is Porto Salvaggio. I must admit, the sea was a tad cold, but we...

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Posted in: Italy

 
 

Gallipolli

Gallipolli was the farthest we ventured south on the heel of Italy and we drove down for a day trip to sample the much recommended food and sunshine. It felt like there may have been a thicker more diverse broader Mediterranean influence here as opposed to back up in San Vito, 2 hours North. We...

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Posted in: Italy

 
 

Lecce

We hired a car whilst in Italy which allowed us to drive down to Lecce, which was a nice little town with cobbled streets and a plaza. We stopped for cappuccino's and lunch in an authentic restaurant.

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Posted in: Italy

 
 

San Vito dei Normanni The House

Here's some photos from the amazing house that we stayed in. The whole area around the house was like one big garden with fig and olive trees and grapes. We had access to the pizza oven where we made a few pizzas one night. To get the oven hot, you have to burn a lot of wood and olive branches...

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Posted in: Italy

Puglia

Featuring a trip to Italy - San Vito dei Normanni, Lecce, Gallipolli, Porto Salvaggio and Ostuni.

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Posted in: Italy

January 2013

 
 

La Sagrada Familia

We visited La Sagrada Familia on the Saturday, cunningly jumping the ridiculous queues by buying our tickets online at the hostel.

Antonio Gaudi's architecture and internal decor work is something to be proud of. We first went up Torres Passio (Passion Tower) which is about 90m up.

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Posted in: Spain

 
 
 

Barcelona - Part 2

Part 2 of the fabulous Barcelona pictures.

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Posted in: Spain

 
 

Barcelona

We managed to walk around Barcelona visiting La Plaza Catalunya, Las Ramblas, Plaza Colombia and Barceloneta.

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Posted in: Spain

Barcelona and Casa Consell

Casa Consell was the amazing hostel that we stayed in whilst in Barcelona. I decided it be worth a mention because, considering it's a hostel, the facilities were amazing and the house huge for the price we paid. Whilst there, I took a few snaps of the place.

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Posted in: Spain

September 2012

 
 

Varadero - Out and About

Before heading back to sunny England, we were able to squeeze in another few hours at the beach in the crystaline clear warm Cuban waters and many more hours in the markets.

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 
 

Varadero y la Playa

Apart from spending hours on the beach (as it looks seems from the pictures) we spent the rest of the time in the markets, walking around the area and eating cheeseburgers and drinking Tukola! All in all, a well planned holiday!

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

Casa Lida - Varadero

After 5 full-on adventurous days in Havana, we headed to Varadero which is about 4 hours away by coach. Based on the success and quality of the casa particular (hostel) in Havana, we were recommended a place to stay in Varadero. A lovely family housed us in their spare guestroom for 4 nights, which...

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

Havana Viejo (Old Havana)

After a fantastically hot time 'sunning it' at La Playa del Este, we were picked up by our personal taxi driving chauffeur again and headed towards Havana, or La Habana as it's seemed to be called by the locals. In the space of a few hours we managed to eat a restaurant meal, watch some Cuban...

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

La Playa del Este - Part 2

Part 2 of the pictures from La Playa del Este. We stayed on the beach until about 7pm and watched the sun go down in its spectacular warm orange sunset across the sea.

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

La Playa del Este

La Playa del Este is a good beach accessible from Havana and is about 45 minutes away in a taxi. As anticipated we had to haggle the price down from the hiked up quoted premium before getting in to what can only be described as a boneshaker of a car. Cheap and cheerful though, and certainly got us...

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

Vedado and the Streets

Just walking around the streets in Vedado was a unique experience; people just hang out and chill and get on with their lives, play football in the streets etc. The Cuban way of life seems to be devoid of the clutter of mindless technologies that 'we' find time to waste on, namely computers and...

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Posted in: Cuba

 
 

Avenida de los Presidentes

Cuban streets are certainly not like streets in the UK! It is common for people to strike up a conversation with you completely out of the blue. As a result, we ended up socialising, chatting, walking and drinking with local Cubans from day 1!

Our daily walk into town was up Avenida de los...

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Posted in: Cuba

Casa Lilly, Vedado, Havana, Cuba

Casa Lilly was the hostel (or casa particular) that we stayed at whilst in Havana or "La Habana" as it's called locally. The hostel is amazing and the family too so thanks to Lilly and her family for an amazing stay whilst there. We had only planned to stay for a few nights but ended up staying longer and opted for the fantastic breakfast addon for only a few CUC extra. Breakfast is served outside on the balcony and at the time included a tropical fruit salad, eggs however you like them and fruit juice, tea & coffee. Whilst there we were able to take some paroramic shots of the city from the balcony.

Casa Lilly Panoramic

 

We spent 5 nights in Vedado and from here we were able to visit Plaza de la Revolucion, Malecon Promenade, Habana Viaje (old Havana) and Playa del Este - the closest 'nice' beach.

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Posted in: Cuba

March 2012

 
 

South America Travel Summary

Here's a list of interesting statistics about our epic backpacking journey around South America.

Countries

  • Total countries visited: 7 (in order Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil)
  • Total number of days in South America: 110
  • Average time budget for each country: 15-16...

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Posted in: South America in General

February 2012

South America Interactive Map

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Posted in: South America in General

 
 
 

South America Map

South America is a huge continent! We had to carefully plan our route to take in all the main South American locations.

Here is our route that we ended up taking around South America, starting in Bogota, Colombia at the top and heading anti-clockwise finishing up at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We...

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Posted in: South America in General

January 2012

 
 

Christ the Redeemer

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) was a morning job in the interest of beating the masses of tourists flocking to the 38m statue. Opting for the train option to take us up to the top (as opposed to a minibus) we made the summit and went photo crazy.

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 
 

Rocinha Favela Tour

Rocinha is the biggest favela in Rio de Janeiro. We had a recommended tour guide through our hostel who we met at the bottom, then we each in style took motorbikes to the top cycling through the hustling and bustling streets.

On the way down, we stopped at Favelado Do Sucesso's house (our...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar)

Pão de Açúcar -- or Sugarloaf Mountain to us English speakers -- was high on the list of things to do on our week in Rio and we decided to make a day of it. Pictures speak for themselves, but you do the ascent in 2 stages of cable cars, the second peak (Sugarloaf itself)...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana and Botafogo

Being particularly well-known for its famous beaches (well, certainly Copacabana and Ipanema) we decided to see what all the fuss was about by starting with a metro journey from near Santa Teresa (Largo de Mercado) to Leblon beach; the farthest beach away.

We then walked from Leblon to Ipanema...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Chinese Vista, Rio

Tijuca National Park and the Chinese Vista were the order of the day and we headed out first off to the Botanical Gardens which were apparently within walking distance from Tijuca. A 20 minute walk in the blistering sun took us first to the bottom of the winding road which snakes up towards the...

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Posted in: Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro was our final destination before flying back to the UK after 16 weeks of travelling! Whilst there we stayed in Casa 579 Hostel which offered a prime view of Christ the Redeemer Statue from the top of Santa Teresa. The rooftop terrace was perfect.

From our hostel we visited Lapa, Santa Teresa, Rocinha Favela, Flamengo and the famous beaches of Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and Botafogo.

If you are there for 1 week, I would recommend visiting Sugar Loaf mountain and Christ the Redeemer, both offering excellent views of Rio on clear days. The latter you will want to do as early as 9am to avoid the crazy amount of tourists obscuring your classic and obligatory photos of the white statue. When we were there it was about 50 Reais (which is about £20), which covers the train return and entrance, which you can pay at the train station at the...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Dois Rios Beach Trek

The walk to Dois Rios beach is a good few hours - we managed it in just under 2 on the way there and then about 1 hour 30 on the way back, mainly because it started raining so we got our march on a bit lively!

Pretty tricky walk actually, 1 hour through the jungle up hill and then 1 hour down...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Lopes Mendes Beach Trek - Part 2

Part 2 of the Lopes Mendes beach trek. We made it!

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Lopes Mendes Beach Trek - Part 1

We walked to Lopes Mendes beach from Angra Dos Reis. A very tough walk, roughly 3-4 hours through the island's jungle via Palmas beach and Santo Antonio. The result was well worth it though, beautiful pristine white sands with a secluded beach facing the pacific.

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Parrot's Peak Trek - Part 2

Part 2 of the Parrot's Peak trek pictures.

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Parrot's Peak Trek - Part 1

Parrot's Peak is the second highest point on Ilha Grande. The views from the top are f-ing amazing!

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Vila do Abrâo

Vila do Abrâo is the main village on Ilha Grande. There are no cars on the island (apart from the Island police) and the only roads are dirt track access roads to other areas of the island. After a heavy night on the Cachaça with our Caipirinha cocktails on the first night...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Ilha Grande 2

Some more snaps of the awesome Ilha Grande island in Brazil. Most of the beaches we visited were so secluded that there were only a handful of people on the beach. In particular Dois Rios which is only accessible by the 2 hour hike or by boat from Vila do Abrâo village

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Mangaratiba to Ilha Grande

We got the ferry which went from Mangaratiba to Ilha Grande.

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Posted in: Brazil

Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is an absolute must even if you're going to Rio de Janeiro! It's about 4-5 hours from Rio which included the boat trip across. Ilha Grande is an enchanting island which offers paradise beaches and plenty of sun!

How to get to Ilha Grande

If you are coming from Rio then you will want to go to Mangaratiba and then from there you will need to get a boat (or the ferry) across to the island. If you're coming from Sao Paulo or Paraty then you'll need to go to Angra dos Reis where I believe the ferry and boats run from too. The public ferry only runs once a day so you will need to organise your arrival. We came from Paraty and got an organised transfer connection service, courtesy of Che Legarto hostel in Paraty, which was 50 Reais each.

Getting to Rio from Ilha Grande

We left the Island by taking the public ferry from Abraao (The main beach on Ilha Grande)...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Paraty (Part 2)

Part 2 of the Paraty photos.

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Paraty (Part 1)

Paraty seems to be a place where the local Brazilians go on holiday to get away for the weekend. It's a cool little village and worth a visit as it offers over 300 beaches. A good beach that we missed unfortunately is Trinidade beach about 30 minutes away from Paraty. Nonetheless, whilst at Paraty...

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Posted in: Brazil

 
 

Iguazu Falls (Part 4)

Part 4 of the Iguazu Falls pictures from Argentina.

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Posted in: Argentina

 
 

Iguazu Falls (Part 3)

Part 3 of the Iguazu Falls pictures from Argentina.

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Posted in: Argentina

 
 

Iguazu Falls (Part 2)

Part 2 of the Iguazu Falls pictures from Argentina.

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Posted in: Argentina

 
 

Iguazu Falls (Part 1)

Part 1 of the Iguazu Falls pictures from Argentina.

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Posted in: Argentina

December 2011

Buenos Aires

We spent about 9 days in Buenos Aires, 7 of which were in an apartment that 4 of us hired in Barrio Palermo, bookended with a night in Hostel Estoril and the Amazing Social Hostel. Both hostels were excellent in their own way but the apartment allowed us to cut down the costs a bit, cook interesting meals and have a solid base from which to investigate Buenos Aires properly!

Whilst there we visited Boca, Recoleta, Palermo, Plaza Italia, Puerto Madero, San Telmo and Retiro, the latter being where we got the coach in and out of BA.

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Posted in: Argentina

 
 
 

Mendoza

Mendoza is definitely worth the visit if you are planning to go from Chile (Santiago) to Buenos Aires. From Santiago to Mendoza we travelled by coach which should have taken about 8 hours because of the ridiculous fath at Chile/Argentina border control, although we travelled Xmas eve and so the...

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Posted in: Argentina

 
 

Santiago

From Valparaiso we went to Santiago, Chile's capital. We spent 3 days there in the coolest hostel so far, La Chimba. Whilst there, a group of 8 of us went out to a Thai fusion restaurant called Restobar Ky (on Peru - put the following in Google Maps search: -33.426405,-70.639665). Some of the best...

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

Vina del Mar

We did a day trip to Vina del Mar from Valparaiso since it was so close. Collectivos go from Valparaiso to Vina for about 1,500 Chilian Pesos so it works out to be about 70p each for three people! We started at Reloj ("Watch" in Spanish) and walked around Vina del Mar until finishing up at the...

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

Valparaiso

We decided to sneak Valparaiso into our itinerary before heading to Chile's capital Santiago. From here we did a day trip to Vina del Mar to get an idea of beaches in Chile. Valparaiso is by no means boring as it is set on many hills which separate the various barrios, most offering a great view of...

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

Laguna Verde, Bolivia

The breath taking Laguna Verde (Green Lake) that we encountered on the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats tour in Bolivia. We passed this beauty on the last day just after we'd been to the outdoor thermal hot springs.

When I get round to it, I'll post the hi-res panoramas as these small ones just don't do...

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Posted in: Panoramas

 
 

Salar de Uyuni Tour - Day 3

Day 3 of the Salar de Uyuni tour.

View Day 1 Here »

View Day 2 Here »

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

San Pedro de Atacama (Part 3)

Part 3 of the photos taken at San Pedro de Atacama. Read Part 1. The art of keeping costs down by cooking for yourself, which became a useful thing indeed! Also, see the sights of San Pedro village. Having travelled from Bolivia, San Pedro is a much welcomed destination to remind you of...

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

San Pedro de Atacama (Part 2)

Part 2 of the photos taken at San Pedro de Atacama. Read Part 1. We watched the sunset over the Atacama Desert.

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

San Pedro de Atacama (Part 1)

We arrived at San Pedro de Atacama in the middle of the day and, upon alighting the Chilean border minibus transfer, were immediately poached by a friendly-sounding Chilean to stay at what was advertised as "The best hostel in San Pedro"! Since we were 4 (myself, Matt, Fabricio and Cornelia all...

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Posted in: Chile

 
 

Salar de Uyuni Tour - Day 2

Day 2 of the Salar de Uyuni tour.

View Day 1 Here »

View Day 3 Here »

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Salar de Uyuni Tour - Day 1

Pictures from our epic 3-day trip from Uyuni, across the Salar de Uyuni (The Salt Flats) and into San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

View Part 2 Here »

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Salt Flats Photos - Part 2

Part 2 of the Salar de Uyuni Bolivian salt flats piccies.

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Salt Flats Photos - Part 1

Funny pictures from the Bolivian Salt Flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

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Posted in: Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni and The Salt Flats

A true highlight of Bolivia is the famous Salt Flats. We did a 3-day jeep tour (like most people do) that began at the small town of Uyuni which is on the edge of the salt plains. The images pretty much speak for themselves! This is a must for anyone visiting Bolivia and Chile.

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Potosi and the Silver Mines

Potosi -- The highest city in the world @ 4,090m above sea level -- harboured an unusual tourist attraction for us and gringos alike; the silver mines. The silver ("plata" in Spanish) mines created a boom in popularity for the area many years ago, making Potosi the largest city in the world back in...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Sucre and the Waterfalls

Sucre is the kind of place where you could spend a few weeks. We were there for about a week, mainly socialising with the Gringos in the much respected Gringos Rincon hostel, run by the German one-man-workhorse that is Mike. When you say to Mike "Mike, we are leaving today, shall we pay you?" he...

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Posted in: Bolivia

November 2011

 
 

Death Road - Part 4

Part 4 of the Death Road photos!

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 
 

Death Road - Part 3

Part 3 of the Death Road.

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Death Road - Part 2

Part 2 from the Death Road.

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Posted in: Bolivia

Death Road - Part 1

Death Road (Yungas Road) began with a relatively early start from La Paz (this time we stayed in the notorious Loki Hostel; another hostel renowned for its lively gringo-partying atmosphere! After a combination of unfortunate circumstances including a 4am wake up call from some pisshead girls trying to get into our 8-bed dorm and my dodgy cheap watch, which I bought in Copacabana, displaying the wrong time, I decided to just get up and wait for our minibus about 5am! In the meantime I used the continually unreliable South American internet before the nominal coffee and jam sandwiches area (or breakfast bar as they endeavour to call it) opened at 7:30am. At 8:15 we, a group of 6 of us, were out the door and boarded a minibus where we met a few other Death Road-ers from The Wild Rover hostel around the corner. A few hours on the bus (about 3) and we arrived at the...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

3 Day Pampas Jungle Tour

A 3 Day Pampas Jungle Tour from Rurrenabaque, Bolivia from 24th - 27th November 2011

The Pampas tour from La Paz was our first taste of wild Amazonian-like jungle life. We managed to place a booking easily, which was the case for all our La Paz-based events & excursions. Using our newly...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

La Paz

We spent just over a week in La Paz, although our stay was split down the middle with a trip to the Pampas Jungle. During the first few days, we checked into the notoriously (and potentially dangerous) Wild Rover hostel, remarked as such herein due to its self-proclaimed party-every-night-vibe...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

The Island of the Sun and Lake Titikaka

We popped over to Isla del Sol (the Island of the Sun) to try and discover why this tourist attraction is acclaimedly one of the top 10 landmarks to visit in South America, according to various credable SA guides. Our excursion began with the nominal 2 hr boat trip across to the island, passing the...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Copacabana

Copacabana, not to be confused with The Copacabana beach in Rio, was our next port of call, literally! We stayed here one night before visiting the famously mysterious Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) on Lake Titikaka. During our brief stay, we managed to have desayuno, almuerzo y cena (breakfast...

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Posted in: Bolivia

 
 

Climbing Mount Chachani - Daz's Account!

Mount Chachani is the highest of the mountains near Arequipa (about 2hr30m away) standing at 6,095m. As a result of the very low precipitation in the Arequipa area, Chachani does not have a permanent ice cap or glaciers, which means you can "simply walk up it"! There is more than 1 way to scale the...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Climbing Mount Chachani - Matt's Account!

Photos by Matt D.

Matt had the luxury of making it to the top for the extra ~200m ascent which took the group a further 2 hour round trip. Even though I didn't make it to the summit (bloody will do next time!) these photos are outstanding and deserve a show on the site. They give an excellent idea...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Colca Canyon 3-day Trek - Part 3

Part 3 of the Colca Canyon 3-Day Trek, Arequipa, Peru.

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Colca Canyon 3-day Trek - Part 2

Part 2 of the Colca Canyon 3-Day Trek.

The second day consisted of a 6am-ish start, which actually proved to be a good investment of 'anti-sleep' due to the subsequent, relentless, beating-down sun from about 7.30am onwards into the canyon floor. 'Peruvian' Pancakes (as pictured), yogurt drink...

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Posted in: Peru

Colca Canyon 3-day Trek - Part 1

Having met an Aussie guy at The Secret Garden, Cotopaxi, Ecuador and being keen to live up to a physical challenge, we booked ourselves a 3-day trek around Colca Canyon. The tour operator (Pablo Tour - www.pablotour.com) had been tried and tested by said Aussie chap and proved to be somewhat reliable so we followed in his footsteps and handed over $150 apiece. The trek entailed a predicted:

  • 3 hours downhill walking on day 1 to decend into the canyon
  • 7 hours walking on day 2 up a bit, then 'Peruvian Flat'
  • 3 hours climbing back to the top on day 3

Day 1

The tour began with a 3am start in which we were collected from our hostel in a minibus full of other Canyon-goers! The early start was to allow us to see the Condors in the canyon and we arrived at the Cruz del Condor vantage point about 8am, which overlooks the canyon.

After taking pictures from the...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Arequipa - Part 2

More Arequipa photos.

View part 1 here..

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Arequipa

Arequipa (The White City) was our base for a week of relatively intense outdoor excursions, including a 3-day intensive trek around Colca Canyon and a pop at Mount Chachani (alt. 6,095m). The town of Arequipa itself is picturesque and there's plenty to do and see. We ended up staying a week here in...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Cusco - Cristo Blanco and the Streets

We took a day hike up to the 'Crist the Redeemer style' Cristo Blanco statue on the hillside that overlooks Cusco. Sun tans all round were dealt, but we did manage to come away with some good snaps of Cusco and walked around the streets, which was pretty cool because we got to see the varied...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Cusco

We spent a few days in Cusco either side of our Machu Picchu excersion. There's plenty to do and you get an idea of some of the less-developed communities in Peru which seem to lie on the hills further out of the city and also people wih a more hands-on way of life. Whilst there we walked the...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Machu Picchu - Part 4 - Aguas Calientes

When arriving back in Aguas Calientes, we took the liberty of utilising the hot springs (after all the place is called hot springs!) For about S/.12 -- that's 12 Peruvian Soles (about £4) we entered the hot springs, not forgetting the S/.3 swimming shorts hire! We relaxed in the naturally hot...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Machu Picchu - Part 3

Following the descent from Wayna Picchu, we finished our exploration of the Incan ruins that are Machu Picchu. By the time we got back down, the place was crawling with tourists. Nonetheless, we endeavoured to uncover the mysterious qualities that Machu Picchu had to offer and, of course, took a...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Huayna (Wayna) Picchu - Part 2

Wayna Picchu - more staggering photos of one of the most enigmatic places along the trip.

Read Machu Picchu - Part 3...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Huayna (Wayna) Picchu - Part 1

The first set of photos from Machu Picchu where we also climbed Wayna Picchu. You can view Part 2 of Wayna Picchu.

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Machu Picchu - Part 2

Following a 4:30am start, we headed out on the horrendous ascent up the millions of steps from Aguas Calientes (alt. 2,040m) to Machu Picchu (alt. 2,430m). We got in the park at about 6.45am when it would have been excellent for a tourist free photo, although was foggy until about 10:00am. We had a...

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Posted in: Peru

Machu Picchu - Part 1

Being classically at the top of the list of places to visit, we set out on an 'organised' tour which would take us from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (literally "Hot Waters") where we would spend the night, before hiking up to Machu Picchu (as opposed to taking the bus up (~$16US). We were unable to do the full Inka Trail because the park's permit's were all taken for the next 3 weeks so we settled for Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu entrance passes, Wayna Picchu being the mountain in the background of all the classic photos. The Peruvian Government only allow so many people in the National Park at once. The minibus agency had overbooked the bus by 1 and so I had to sit on a crate with a cushion on it for a gruelling 8 hours, whilst the bus winded its way through some of the otherwise most spectacular countryside that I have ever seen. Most parts of the journey were winding...

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Posted in: Peru

October 2011

 
 

Miraflores

Miraflores is a popular destination for backpackers and people visiting Lima. Miraflores is a nicer, newer and more modern area of Lima with all the facilities of a major capital city. We stayed here for a few days to recover from the epic 28 hour bus journey from Ecuador, as well as explore the...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 
 

Guayaquil to Lima

Having experienced Ecuador for a few weeks, we decided to go direct to Lima, Peru from Guayaquil, Ecuador. Generally speaking, flying between borders in South America is costly but you can normally get a reasonably priced domestic flight. This left us with the clear option of a supposed 28-hour...

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Posted in: Peru

 
 

Guayaquil

Quayaquil was only a 1-day stop over for us as were travelling from here to Lima, Peru. Like with all streets ("calles") in South America up to this point, there seemed to be no rules. 7 lanes of traffic with no pedestrian crossings on some of the roads in the centre of town. We ventured out late...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

La Posada del Sueco Resort, Playas

We stayed in this excellent beach-side resort for a few days during our trip to the Ecuadorian coast. The owner was very friendly and had created the cool, tropical looking grounds over the space of 3 years. Complete with pool, private beach access, tropical fruit plants (bananas, grapes, peppers...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Playas

A trip to the beach was the next stop on the list. Ecuador's finest (maybe!) -- Playas, which is one of the Southern most beaches that Ecuador has to offer. The book said that it was absolutely packed during high season and practically deserted the rest of the year. Surely not we thought?! The...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Baños

Baños is a small town deep in the mountains which seems to be a holiday destination for Ecuadorians, tourists and backpackers. As a result, the place has a feel not too different to Matlock Bath (UK, Derbyshire) or an 18-30 British holiday destination! During our stay, we 'hostelled' in Hostel...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Midas del Mundo

Midas del Mundo is a landmark in Quito, which represents the Middle of the Earth (Latitude 0° 0' 0"). The statue was built to represent a central line of latitude zero, but it was later discovered (due to GPS readings) that the statue was a few hundred metres off. They don't tell you that...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Chicago Hostel, Quito

Chicago Hostel in Quito was our base for exploring Quito. From here we visited the New Town, the streets, park etc...and "Midas del Mundo" (The Middle of the Earth).

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Quito

Here's some snaps of and around Quito.

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Cotopaxi and the Secret Garden

Here's some general pictures of our time at The Secret Garden, Cotopaxi.

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Climbing Pasochoa

Pasochoa (4,200 metres in altitude) is an extinct volcano located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorean Andes. After a very heavy night drinking (until 4am!) we set off at 8.30am after breakfast with our impeding hangovers! The whole trek from start to finish took just under 6 hours and...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Trekking up Cotopaxi

From the hostel in Cotopaxi NP, we (me and Justin - an Aussie guy) headed off with a 4x4 and guide to hike up the Cotopaxi Volcano (or Vulcan Cotopaxi) to the refugio located at a staggering 4,800m altitude. We began at the car park which was located at about 4,600m. From the refugio, we wandered a...

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Horse Riding @ Cotopaxi

I had the pregnant mare, who turned out to be the fastest, but it was OK because I'm a pro!

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is a huge symmetrical snow-capped stratovolcano located in Cotopaxi National Park, Latacunga, Ecuador. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and it is possible to climb to its summit at 5,897m in altitude. Read my post about trekking up Cotopaxi.

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

The Secret Garden Hostel, Quito

The Secret Garden Hostel, Quito is a cool hangout place, which seems to be very popular with backpackers from all countries. We stayed here for a few nights after leaving Bogota, so we could see Quito and visit Cotopaxi in Cotopaxi National Park.

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Posted in: Ecuador

 
 

Chingaza National Park

Since the wind direction made it impossible to paraglide over lake San Rafael, we took the car on out to Chingaza National Park to see Colombian Condors and the colourful flora unique to Colombia. The journey took about an hour and took us up some of the most trecherous gravel roads that I've ever...

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Posted in: Colombia

 
 

Horse Riding at La Calera

La Calera is a municipality and town of Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. From La Candalaria (@ Las Aguas) I took 2 of the metropolitan buses to get there, the second driving up offering an amazing view across Bogota City. The Plan was to do parapente (paragliding), although the wind...

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Posted in: Colombia

 
 

La Candelaria

We stayed in La Candelaria during our stay in Bogota, Colombia. We checked into Hostel Martinik (Addr. Carrera 4 Numero 11-88, La Candelaria, Bogotá).

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Posted in: Colombia