With blanket white mist and clouds sitting just atop well kept European styled buildings and streets La Serena is a great city to arrive in early morning.
Try not to do it on a Sunday like we did but if you enjoy the peace that comes with walking through empty, safe and pretty streets then you’ll like La Serena. Don’t worry the clouds don’t stick around all day.
From about 10 am onwards you can take your jumpers off and soak in what feels like spring sunshine. If you get a good day with minimal wind go spend a day by the ocean. Having not been near a coast since Cartagena in Colombia breathing in ocean winds and drinking sangria was all we wanted to spend our day doing.
Find a hostel with a rooftop if you feel like taking it easy for an afternoon with cheese, biscuits and wine. We stayed at Cosmo Hostel Elqui which seemed like it was a bit of a party hostel other than us pretty much being the only guests (it Is winter after all) which didn’t stop the party vibe. A bunch of cool staff work here and keep the fun going. Aji Verde Hostel also has a rooftop and cool interior design.
You can do tours to the Elqui valley and have a bunch of fun on a pisco tour or skygaze in the desert. If you have time we recommend a stop in La Serena just to enjoy a day or night hanging out.
Having a Chilean best friend had us excited enough to come to this beautiful country but what we didn’t expect was for it to go above our expectations. Maybe it’s the 27 degree heat, the cold beer, the amazing food or the beautiful people that live here?
San Pedro is a small place with lots of things on offer. Picture sandy streets and buildings that straddle the line between old western and modern. The town is relaxed and it has a waterhole on every corner. Don’t miss out on the small hut looking restaurants that will serve you fresh empanadas, completos, ceviche or a huge churrasco for next to nothing!
A few of the things you shouldn’t miss while you are here is the Moon valley & the sunset that comes with it (You can book a tour or rent a bike and make your own way there), or go to the hot spring Puritama. On offer you also have star gazing with a beverage, (we didn’t do this here as we will do it in La Serena, but I’ve only heard good things). There is also plenty of lagoons & flamingos to see if you haven’t already!
And don’t forget to drink lots of Pisco!!
You can get to San Pedro from both Bolivia and Peru, the easiest way is to hop over after the salt flats. If you get the chance, you have to come here, I loved this relaxed, laid back & cool place 🙂
We made it. 3 days & 2 nights in -10 degrees. It was SO cold but SO worth it. We actually had the best time. The tour was very well planned and organised and well worth the price. We paid 700 Bolivianos each (you need about 200 Bolivianos extra for entry fees along the way) which is about $140 AUD. We booked through Ripley tours and the company we went with was Thiago tours. Can defiantly recommend them!
We were in a group with 3 Chileans & 1 Brazilian. No English = Spanish practice for us, a few bottles of wine each night definitely helped the talking 😉
We have so many photos, so less writing and we will let the photos talk for themselves.
We started at the old train graveyard outside of Uyuni:
Then it was time for the famous salt flats! ( we had fun to say the least)
We then headed to the weird cactus island in the middle of the flats:
Day 2 was Flamingo day!! Im obsessed…..We visited a bunch of lagoons, unfortunately I can’t remember the names of most of them….
We also visited Laguna Colorado, so beautiful with more Flamingos!
On day 3 we visited the Geysers…Pretty but very stinky. Think in the lines of an old boiled egg fart.
This was our amazing group!!
This post took me 2 days to get together. Bad idea to upload so many photos with bad internet. Hope you enjoyed it & let us know if you have any questions!
We’ve forgotten to tell you about the death road in La Paz!
When you travel for a while you start to feel like you don’t actually encounter any real danger. Places that could be scary (The Amazon) are safeguarded enough to make it a clean in and out operation. Death Road in La Paz Bolivia is not one of those places.
Starting at 4,700 m and finishing 1000 metres, a change of clothes and two blisters on our palms later, the road is no joke. The scenery is incredible (If you’re brave enough to look) as you go from high winter in the andes to high summer in the amazon rainforest. Cliff walls loom directly overhead and drop fresh Andean water onto you as you ride under. Taking one hand off your bike for even a second can result in a loss of balance brought on by one of the many billion offsetting rocks on the road.
The road is still used by cars, not many & mainly the people that live in the area. If you’re driving a car here you almost have a death wish, actually riding a bike here is just as stupid but so worth it! Since 1994 the deaths have gone down from 200-300 people a year to about 2 people a year. A few of these deaths are tourist biking over the edge so be careful!!
We booked with xtreme downhill and paid 300 Bolivianos per person which was a lot cheaper then at other places. I would recommend the company & our tour guide was amazing!
So. Here’s the reasons we haven’t been very active on this fantastic blog.
We’ve spent the last 3 weeks in Sucre trying to perfect (at least improve) our Spanish. I can now proudly say that I can pronounce how old I am without saying that I have 28 anuses. Go us!
Staying in Sucre for 3 weeks doesn’t give you that to much to blog about.
Anyway, Sucre is this beautiful little city in the middle of Bolivia where the weather is warm and the Spanish schools are many. We chose to study with Fenix and we have no regrets. We did a 3 week “pair” package where we got accomodation included AND we also had included 3 cooking classes (cook the Bolivian food right and you’re in for a treat) and 3 sessions of Wally. Wally is the Bolivian version of volleyball and squash and it’s the most fun sport I’ve ever played. The only bad thing about it is that you can’t play it anywhere else in the world as you need the walls to be the actual court and sometimes people break a foot or 2… If you’re ever in Bolivia, make sure you play this wonderful game.
What else have happened…..we’ve wined, dined, partied (as much as you can in Sucre), we’ve cooked, shopped, been to the movies, relaxed, bing watched Netflix (it’s not everyday you have a room, bathroom and kitchen to yourself) and we’ve had a few tanning sessions.
Sucre is the city of festivals which means you will almost always hear a trumpet and symbol band somewhere in the distance. If people here aren’t parading with instruments and traditional dance on the street then you might get the chance to see a fashion parade instead.
We have now made it to Uyuni and it’s easy to say we were pretty happy to get moving again. Although we almost missed our bus. That’s what happens when you go out and come home at 5am and are meant to be picked up at 8 am. We woke up at 8.30 in panic and somehow made our bus even though we missed our ride.
In 90 minutes we are off on our 3 day adventure around the salt flats with the ending destination Chile. More about that then!
Sun and an island in the midst of the worlds highest traversable lake (What does that even mean)? The lakes high and you can traverse it, ok. It’s also humungous and about 53 shades of blue. It’s beautiful and full of little treasures. One of those being Isla Del Sol, the island of sun.
An easy to organise 2 hour boat from Copacabana that leaves at 8:30 Am or 1:30 Pm for 25 Boliviano’s per person will land you on the shores of the sun Island. If you enjoy walking up hills at high altitude then get ready for the time of your life. The main village sits a hundred or so metres up from the docking point on the islands south side.
The north side was previously closed off for tourists. Lots of different speculations exist about why, the most reasonable of which being that north siders are trying to block plans to develop fancy hotels across the island. Our hostel Hostel Joshua does organise boats and accomodation to this side of the island, so it is opening up a bit.
We recommend an overnight stay so that you can manage to catch the sunset at any of the islands restaurants, most of which have balconies facing the sunset. We went to Pachamama’s restaurant as the menu had the most options. Do not miss the chance to try the lakes trout, the pizza was also gigantic. Another option is to try Las Velas the candle light restaurant. Or just pick any other place that suits you, it’s your holiday.
Other than sightseeing, a little bit of walking and eating the island doesn’t offer much more than an opportunity to sit back, stare at the stars and think about all the things that come into your mind when you remember just how infinite the universe is.
Accomodation: 100 Boliviano’s per person
Dinner: 129 Boliviano’s for a grande pizza, milanese trout, papas fritas, glass of wine and cola.
This post explains how NOT to spend your first day in Bolivia.
Well we made it to Copacabana & Lake Titicaca. Which of course called for a celebratory walk\climb (seriously, be prepared to use all your limbs to climb to the top) up a mountain to get the best views of the town. The views were a hit, all the rubbish not so much. The mountain ascent and descent then called for some victory drinks, which turned into 10 cocktails. Like 2 drunk tourist we then ran back to our hostel to escape the cold. Only to fall asleep for 3 hours which was just enough time to make sure every restaurant and shop in Copacabana was closed. Be smart, don’t do this.
We couldn’t sleep the entire night due to hunger and hangover. But here are some photos of the view from the mountain top and our hobbit house we’ve spent the last 2 nights in!
I also would like to shout out to hostel Joshua that we stayed in. A cosy place with AMAZING vegetarian & vegan food. Great service, clean and well priced ( $15 AUS pp, in a private room and with breakfast included!)