Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a very dangerous city. We were told by multiple people to be very careful. You should never walk around with your cell phone out because someone could run up to you, grab it, and run off. You should have a lock on your purse or a clip to prevent it from being unzipped. You shouldn't walk around at night. Etc.
Iguazu Falls is amazing, and if you're visiting another area close-ish to it, then I say go. To me though, it wasn't enough of a destination to be its own trip. It's not cheap, and it's not as cool as going to Victoria Falls.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities. This was the 4th or 5th time I've been there, and I'd go back again and again. It's very European, and it's easy to get around using buses and metros. The people are nice, and they are passionate about their opinions which makes things fun.
Southern Patagonia, while majestic and beautiful, was a letdown for me. Maybe I built it up too much in my head; maybe it was from hearing so many wonderful [possibly exaggerated] stories from other travelers; maybe it was how hard we tried to do it on a budget. Whatever the reason, I was disappointed.
Colin and I rented a campervan and road tripped around the Southern Patagonia, from El Chaltén to Ushuaia, for 16 days, September 1 – 16, 2017. We had trouble finding information about how exactly to road trip around Patagonia, so we wrote about the details of our trip in our how-to blog, McPatton Manual. See that post here.
At the bottom of this post, there are photos of each of the major parts of our trip. To see even more photos from the trip (which I highly recommend), check them out here, and for an EVEN BETTER visualization of the trip, see our YouTube videos on the playlist here.
Chile: San Pedro de Atacama
This city is small, but cute. There are cute restaurants and cafes, but mostly the streets are full of tour companies. There are several tours that you can do from this town, but we only did one – Valle de la Luna.
Bolivian Salt Flats: 3 Day Tour
If you travel through South America and skip this area, you are missing out! I’m in love with Bolivia – see my previous blog post here about how interesting La Paz is, but in addition to all of that, the country is gorgeous. You seriously need to look at our photos here to see for yourself because I can’t describe it in words.
Bolivia: La Paz
Ever wondered where you can find mummified llamas, witch doctors, and skulls that protect you from evil? Yeah, me either. But, Bolivia is now one of my favorite countries. It’s so interesting and so beautiful, and you absolutely must make the trip!
Everyone tells you that you need to book WAY in advance to do Machu Picchu (MP). You also never really hear about doing anything except the typical 4 day trek. We didn’t make the time for that, so we did it in 1 day using trains and buses. There’s also an option to do it in 2 days using a car (the road the car uses is longer than the train tracks). We also didn’t book until a few days in advance.
Rainbow Mountain is very beautiful (see some photos below), and it only takes 1 day to see. I suggest going for the scenery even though there will be a lot of tourists and the hike is difficult because of the altitude. What I don’t know about is Red Valley. Keep reading for what I do know about it, but if you’re thinking about doing Rainbow Mountain, Google Red Valley first and see if it’s something you’d prefer to do.
Manu National Park is part of the Amazon located in Peru. It includes diverse ecosystems such as lowland rainforests, cloud forests and Andean grasslands. There is a cultural region where you see some wildlife but not a ton, and there’s a reserve area where you supposedly see a little more wildlife. There aren’t a lot of tourists in Manu, so while you’ll see a few other groups, it isn’t swarming with gringos. I didn't exactly love it though... to put it nicely.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.