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!
How do you get from dreaming about a vacation to relaxing on the beach somewhere? Travel planning can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve written a comprehensive how to guide that will show you how to plan a trip, with plenty of travel planning resources to help you travel stress-free!
Barcelona, Spain is home to many wonderful, amazing things. Balmy beaches. Catalan food. Fantastical buildings created by the famous architect, Gaudi. Spanish wine. Ancient, winding, narrow streets. Tapas. Towering Gothic churches. Catalan food, tapas, …. and Spanish wine. Ok, maybe we were a tiny bit biased. But we were mostly looking forward to the food and wine in Barcelona. Can you blame us?
Bruges, Belgium is the most ridiculously romantic little medieval town in Europe ever. You can barely take a step without being swept off your feet by swans, horse-drawn carriages, chocolate shops, little lace shops, and other insanely cutesy things worthy of a bad romance novel. It’s enough to make even the most unromantic couples feel a little bit frilly. Here’s our list of the most adorable things to do in Bruges in winter for couples!
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!
Did you know sweet chocolate was invented by a Belgian pharmacist? Beer and chocolate are the most delicious Belgian inventions. The Brussels beer and chocolate tour will teach you all about these yummy Belgian icons. Explore great food and learn all about Brussels, Belgium!
Bremen, Germany is a fairytale town we’d actually never heard of before we began planning our trip to Europe. We absolutely fell in love with Bremen. Winter in Bremen is a magical holiday wonderland, filled with good cheer, delicious food and historic beauty.
Searching for Copenhagen castles, we found many group tours that were way out of our budget! But where there is an expensive group tour, there is usually a cheaper, self-guided DIY way. Here’s how to see Frederiksborg Castle and Kronberg Castle (the setting of Shakepseare’s Hamlet) in one day! Visiting the Copenhagen castles is one of the best and cheapest day trips from Copenhagen.
Winter in Copenhagen, Denmark is a Christmas dream: hearty stews, warm spiced wine, crackling roasts, and festive Christmas Markets cover the city. Danish food is at its best during Jul (Danish Christmas). From sweet pickled herring to apple pancake puffs, the holiday food in Copenagen is unique and absolutely delicious.
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.