30 days in South America
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
For both of us, the most exciting part of getting married was - planning for an elaborate honeymoon! A wonderful excuse for a long holiday, and setting out on an adventure of a life time. We narrowed down on South america. Him, because he was totally enchanted by what he experienced in Brazil and wanted to explore other parts of SA. And me, because it was an absolutely unexplored terrain for me, I knew almost nothing about the continent and had no idea about what to expect from the trip.
Day 1 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Landed in Buenos Aires early at night. We found out that ola and uber are banned in this city. We had our stay with a host we found through couchsurfing, so headed straight away to their place in Anibal Troilo. Find out more about our experience of couchsurfing in our later posts.
We spent the day exploring the city of Buenos Aires. After a wonderful breakfast at a nearby cafeteria, we walked around the entire day exploring the neighborhood of Recoleta. Visited the cemetary, BAFICI at the cultural centre and floralis generica. Also visited the bridge by calatrava, called puente de la mujer.
Spent the day in Buenos Aires, took a walking tour and got to know a lot about the city and its history, eva peron and what not. We visited the Costanera ecological reserve and walked around the Puerto Madero waterfront, a revamped dockyard area flanked by eateries, skyscrappers, plush offices and swanky apartments. In the evening, we walked around the florida street, where we also got to witness the tango dancing. Left for Iguazu at night by bus from Retiro.
Reached Iguazu in the afternoon, the Argentina side. Checked in at the butterfly hostel, a wonderful place to stay at, nice pool facing room, friendly staff, kitchenette and dining area. Spent the evening strolling around the town. Visited the Las Tres Fronteras, the viewpoint from where you can see the three countries, brazil, argentina and paraguay.
Visited the magnificent Iguazu waterfalls, took a boat ride to go under parts of the falls and left for Buenos Aires the same evening.
Day 6- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Travelled in Bus, reached Buenos Aires in the after noon. Stayed at Art factory, Soho. Went for Palermo night life tour with Strawberry tours.
Day 7, Ushuaia, Argentina
Ushuaia, reached in the morning. Stayed at hostel El Arroyito. Wonderful property, spacious rooms, with beautiful view and good breakfast. We walked around the small town of Ushuaia and sailed across the beagel channel. The trip also includes a visit to an island that has rare vegetation. We got to see sea lions and a humpback whale.
We trekked up the Martial glacier early in the morning. Beautiful trek on snow-covered paths and we also experienced snowfall during the trek. After the trek, we visited the Tierra del Fuego national park.
Day 9 - El Calafate, Argentina
Flew to El Calafate. Stayed in a hostel right opposite the bus stop, Glacier Perito Moreno. Spent the day relaxing, walking around the town, doing laundry, finding out more info about in and around El Calafate.
Day 10 - Puerto Natales, Chile
Early morning bus to Puerto Natales, our gateway to Torres Del Paine National park.
Its a very ghostly town. we struggled to find a decent stay. Spent the entire day preparing for the trek, making bookings at various campsites, attending the 2 pm talk about useful tips for nailing the W offered by some adventure store + hostel.
Day 11- Torres Del Paine, Chile
This is the day when we started our most awaited W trek in Torres Del Paine. Stay was at Paine Grande. kept our luggage here and started the trek to Grey Glacier. Couldn't reach the glacier as it started getting dark and we had to return
Started the trek to the next campsite, Frances. On the way, we kept our luggage at italiano and trekked up to the second viewpoint on the way to britannico. Reached the campsite at night.
Trekked to hotel las torres from where we got the bus back to Puerto Natales. Stayed for the night at a hotel just opposite the bus stop.
Day 14 - El Calafate, Argentina
Took a bus ride to El Calafate. It snowed the night before, so the whole landscape had turned white. Spent time loitering around the town and going from one tour operator to another, each repeating the same script in the same tone. Finally, booked the tour with one of them for the next day.
Got picked up from the hotel to visit the parque Nacional Los Glaciers cruising on Maria Turquessa and visited the heavenly beauties, Upsala, Spegazzini and Perito Moreno. We also visited an island on the way with an unusual story.
Rested well the whole day and then took a bus to Punta Arenas
Roamed around a little in Punta Arenas, visited the municipal cemetary, which was a miniature version of Recoleta and then took a flight to Santiago.
Day 18 - Santiago, Chile
Stayed at a very centrally located studio apartment, altura suites in Santiago. We took a 10 am walking tour where in we walked around plaza de armas, visited the Santiago metropolitan cathedral, walking around la Moneda palace and the colourful painted streets of paseo Bandera. We walked around the artsy neighborhood barrio bellavista, with beautiful murals on the walls of the buildings, also visited Pablo Neruda's house in Santiago, La Chascona in the same area and ended the day at GAM cultural centre.
Day 19 - San Pedro de Atacama
We visited the Bahai temple in the morning hours, it is such an architectural marvel. Later in the day we flew to Calama an dfrom there hopped on to a taxi for San Pedro de Atacama. A small town with a single market street with a lot of hustle bustle. Atacama is the driest place of Earth. We stayed in domos los abuelos, spent the evening walking around the town and booking our tours for the next couple of days
Our first day in Atacama, we booked a tour for puritama hot springs and laguna cejar.
On this day, very early in the morning, we left for Geyser El Tatio to reach there before sunrise to be able to witness the exquisite show by nature. On the way back, stopped at Machuca, a small village of only 20 houses. Once back, we roamed around in the beautiful village san pedro, visited the bus station, booked our tickets for the next day and left for the Valle de Luna (moon valley) and the valle de la muerte (mars valley) where we spent some time enjoying sunset amidst the mesmerizing landscape.
We booked a tour for salar de tara, wherein we stopped at monjes de la pachana, quepiaco bofedal, and few other viewpoints en-route salar de tara and the flamenco reserve. We reached back at San Pedro in the early evening, leaving us just enough time to rent a bicycle and cycle to the Pukara Quitor. At night, we went for the astronomical tour with the french couple. I think they are called the space star tours.
Day 23 - Salar de Uyuni
Early morning 3 am, we boarded the bus from San Pedro to Uyuni. Once we reached Uyuni, we booked a tour for Salar de Uyuni including a night stay. The taxi driver stopped at the Salar for us to enjoy the sunset and to take photographs. We also stopped at the train Cemetary. We stayed at a hotel very close to the tunupa volcano.
Early morning, after enjoyed surise near the salt flats, we climbed up the Tunupa Volcano. Then we head out to venture into the salt flats. We visited the dakar monument, las banderas, hotel de sal, Isla Incahuasi (cactus island), and then our driver took us to a place with amazing reflections to enjoy the sunset at. Once we were back in Uyuni, we immediately too a bus to La Paz.
Day 25 - La Paz
We reached La Paz early in the morning. Visited the witches market, Plaza murillo, calle jaen, and took a ride on the cable car, which by the way, is a legitimate mode of public transport. We took the yellow line which goes towards El Alto.
Day 26 - Copacabana
After a hearty lunch at a friend's place, his dad drove us to Copacabana, which is a town located at the edge of Lake Titicaca. We reached there by late evening, had dinner and then retired for the day,
We took a ferry ride in the lake Titicaca to visit the moon island, Isla de la luna. Also visited the moorish Cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Took a bus for Cusco.
Day 28 - Cusco
We reached early in the morning. Found a hotel close to Plaza de armas. Spent a relaxed day, exploring the cusco town. We saw the major cathedrals at plaza de armas, some of the museums at Cusco, Choco Museo, San Pedro Market, had lunch at Anka Restaurant, visited Qorikancha and the museum inside Qoricancha.
We took the sacred valley tour for the distant inca sites. The first stop was at Chinchero and then we moved to Moray, salt ponds in maras, Ollayantambo and then Pisac.
Day 30 - Aguas Calientes
We begun our journey for the most awaited Peruvian destination on our itinerary, the archaeological marvel, Machu pichu. We booked a shared car that dropped us at hydroelectrica. From here we trekked along the railway line to Aguas Calientes, which is the base for Machu Pichu. It is a small town that exists solely to cater to the tourists visiting Machu Pichu.
Early morning, we queued up for the buses going to Machu Pichu. This Incan site is nestled between two mountains, Montana Machu Pichu and Montana Huyana Pichu. We trekked up the Huyana Pichu mountain to be able to see the incredible bird's eye views of Machu Pichu.
We hired a guide to tell us the wonderful stories of the Incas. Once back in Aguas Calientes (which means Aguas Calientes BTW), we were actually quite tired, so decided to go to the hot water baths and treat our sore limbs to the magic of hot water.
After treating ourselves to a hearty breakfast at a restaurant by the railway line, we began our journey back to Cusco, trekking up to hydroelectrica and taking a shared car from there to Cusco.
Day 33 - Return
The last day of the trip, from Cusco, we had an early morning flight to Lima, and from there to Addis Abiba and then to Mumbai.