We spent a month backpacking through Ecuador, and we LOVED exploring this small but incredibly diverse, insanely beautiful country. From the high altitude metropolitan city of Quito, to the animal refuge of the Galapagos Islands, to the adventure town of Banos, to the high mountain regions of the Andes, to the Amazon Rainforest – and that’s just like, a really short summary highlight reel – there are so many incredible places to go in Ecuador! Plus, Ecuador is home to all of our favorite things: really good chocolate, llamas, stunning mountains, alpacas, volcanoes, llamas & alpacas, and sea lions. What more could you want?!! From swimming with sea lions to hiking in the Andes to sleeping in a hobbit hole at the foot of a volcano to white water rafting to swimming in giant natural thermal baths at the foot of a waterfall, this itinerary is chock full of amazing things to do in Ecuador that we really, really, really want to go back and do again.
Packing for a trip to Colombia can be really challenging. After all, Colombia is home to about every diverse landscape you can think of: the tropical Caribbean northern coast; the hot, humid Amazon; Medellin’s “eternal spring;” the cool, mountainous region around Minca and Santa Marta, and the cold, high-altitude city of Bogota. After spending a month in Colombia, we’ve got all the tips you need to pack your bags and go in our ultimate guide to what to pack for Colombia. Plus, get a free downloadable checklist to help you pack!
Planning a trip to Colombia? We spent 1 month backpacking in Colombia and fell in LOVE with this amazing country. It was our favorite South America travel destination! Here’s a super detailed 1 month itinerary for backpacking in Colombia, including Cartagena, Minca, Santa Marta, Parque Tayrona, San Gil, Medellin, Salento, and Bogota.
We spent 4 months backpacking in South America. Although each of the countries we visited was as unique and different from one another as can be, we did notice a few universal truths about backpacking in South America… things nobody told us about before we left. In no particular order and in various degrees of usefulness, we’ve compiled our observations into this list of 30 things no one tells you about backpacking in South America!
During our month of backpacking, we slept in a LOT of beds in Colombia, and stayed at at a LOT of different hostels. From cramped party hostels to isolated hilltop retreats, it seemed like no two hostels in Colombia were the same. To make things easier for you, dear reader, we’ve come up with the best list of hostels in Colombia: where to stay, and where NOT to stay!
Valparaiso, Chile sits next to the Casablanca Wine Region. Although most people assume you need a tour to enjoy wine tasting in Valparaiso, you don’t! It’s totally budget-friendly and easy to craft your very own day of wine tasting in Valparaiso (complete with alpacas). Read our how-to guide for details!
We spent several months researching what to pack for South America before our trip. Well, after 4 months of backpacking through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, we can safely say that we’ve fully field tested all of our travel gear for South America! This list compiles all of the best travel gear we packed for South America.
When we first began planning this amazing year-long honeymoon, we planned to spend 7 months backpacking through South America. After only 4 months, we’ve decided to cut our trip short. Here’s why.
On our first day in Mendoza, while tasting 21 wines, paired with 9 carefully matched courses of food, and touring 4 gorgeous wineries, we may have accidentally fallen (or drunkenly tripped) head over heels for wine! But surprisingly, it wasn’t the copious wine or the amazing food that made this tour one-of-a-kind. It was a sort of quirky, twisted historical edge that we’ve never encountered before in a wine tour.
From the creepy clown trash cans (seriously, Ecuador, WTF?) to Cheese Soup to friendly llamas to the Galapagos Islands, we had a fantastic time during our month backpacking in Ecuador! Here are 30 things no one told us about before we visited Ecuador….
Lima, Peru is the top foodie destination in the world , and it’s fortunately located in a continent – and a country – known for growing high quality coffee. Our list of the best third wave coffee shops in Lima, Peru is a labor of love (and many very jittery afternoons).
Ceviche and Pisco Sours: we have Peru to thank for these two iconic South American creations. So during our visit to Lima, we were thrilled to discover Lima Gourmet’s classic Ceviche and Pisco Sour cooking class. In one short hour, we went from boring average Americans to masters of Peruvian cooking! Lima Gourmet’s class is fun, easy, and affordable: we think it’s an absolute must-do when visiting Lima.
We’re sitting in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes. Around us are five couples, two solo travelers, and two tour guides. All fourteen of them are tired, dirty, and covered in dried sweat. They just finished the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and experienced a life changing experience, one that brought them together as a family to experience a once in a lifetime physical and mental challenge. As we watch them drinking celebratory beer, retelling stories, and soaking it all in, I’m reminded: this was supposed to be us. But instead of having a spiritual pilgrimage to Machu Picchu, we had an expensive failure on the Inca Trail.
Baños, Ecuador was one of our favorite places on our entire 4-month trip to South America and we would go back again in a heartbeat. The town is situated in a valley at the base of an active volcano. It’s unique location is in the perfect spot to take advantage of the varied environment, complete with mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs. The town is known for two things: naturally heated thermal baths – the namesake of Baños, Ecuador – and its many adventure opportunities! Here’s our complete guide to what to do in Baños.