Despite having travelled extensively, South America was one part of the globe we had yet to visit. As South America has such a range of travel options - stunning coastlines, vibrant cities, historic colonial towns, mountainous treks, and the vast and bio-diverse Amazonian rainforest, it was difficult to focus our travelling to key areas only.
Our adventure started in Cartagena, Colombia. Cartagena is a sizable city where you find the Walled City (Old Town) and the new section of the city, called Boca Grande. It’s a peninsula where high rise hotels, restaurants, clubs, and shops can be found. We preferred to stay in the Walled City since that is where we could find the local markets and local entertainment in the parks. We were not disappointed and loved walking the streets and being captivated by the unique doorways and balconies. I just couldn’t get over the vibrant colors everywhere. Colors for days!
At one time, Cartagena was the largest port in America, so to protect it, a wall was built during the Colonial period. Today, you can walk the entire 4-kilometre wall around town and snag views of the sea and the streets from above. Being there at the right time of day, we could also capture beautiful sunsets right from the wall. There are also beautiful beaches to spend time relaxing. Cartagena is a beautiful city and well worth the visit.
From Colombia, we decided to travel to Peru. So, what is so amazing about Peru? Why did we love Peru so much? Travel is all about creating memories and unforgettable experiences; a holiday to Peru guarantees both of these. It definitely did for us. After you take in the mind-blowing mountains and beautiful wilderness, a trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without taking in the breathtaking sights of Machu Picchu. Located high in the mountain, it is just so spectacular and mystical. Just loved it!!!
We followed this adventure by taking a bus to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. The centre of this village in Peru is a small oasis, nestled in a valley of mountainous sand dunes (over 300 feet high). It is the place where a tourist comes to sand board or ride a dune buggy, which we just did, and it was so much fun! What an experience to ride a dune buggy in Peru!
We completed our trip to Peru in Lima, the capital and largest city in Peru, renowned for its world-class gastronomy. Lima satisfied our appetite for the finest traditional Peruvian cuisine, and then offered romantic evenings, as we strolled the cliff top boardwalk.
Then, off we went to board the Emerald Princess cruise ship. Following stops in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, next was the Falklands Islands. I truly believe that if more people knew about the Falkland Islands, I think it would rank higher on the list of the most popular world destinations. Given its location in the South Atlantic, the Falkland Islands are a wind-swept land with no trees to be seen anywhere. The geography is flat in the inland areas with dramatic sea cliffs on the shores. Just so beautiful. The Falkland Islands are the largest penguin and seal breeding areas in the world. It is home to numerous species of penguin, and we saw hundreds of gentoos, magellanic and king penguins. They were protected from tourists but only a few feet away from us. Just amazing, and the highlight of our trip!!!!
After sailing through the beautiful fjords of Chile, we arrived in picturesque Ushuaia. Ushuaia is considered to be the southernmost city in the world! It is remotely located on the coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina. Such a beautiful backdrop to a great city. Another highlight of our trip.
We completed our vacation in Valparaiso, Chile. Bohemian and colorful, the World Heritage City, of Valparaiso is a maze of hills, and has long inspired artists. We strolled along its narrow streets, climbed its endless staircases, rode its historic funicular elevators and enjoyed panoramic views from its many lofty lookout points.
Our trip was so different from one country to the next and we were constantly looking forward to our next adventure. It might have been my first time visiting South America but will definitely not be my last!!!!
As one who has a passion for travel, I love to share my experiences with others. If you want to visit South America, but don’t know where to begin, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with you, and plan for you a memorable trip to South America.