Tag Archives: Chile

The journey south – Patagonia and the Lake District

I’ve spent the last three weeks on an overland tour through the Argentinian and Chilean Lake District and Patagonia, taking me from Santiago all the way south to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego.

It’s been one of the most breathtaking trips in South America in terms of natural beauty and landscape. Even after being surrounded by mountains for the last 3 months, I’m still not sick of them! The views became more and more spectacular the further south we went.

I had a great time for the most part of the trip with an inspiring, fun and really diverse group of people… we hiked, camped, rafted and spent long days on our truck (Rosita) together. It wasn’t all fun and games… camping was pretty tough mainly because of the harsh cold weather and biting Patagonian winds, especially during the night. I was really grateful to have a warm bed and shower after that was over!

Rosita (the overland truck) on the open road – Ruta 40


We started our travel to Pucón and Bariloche in the Lake District of Chile and Argentina. Pucón was particularly fun because I managed to go white water rafting (in the freezing cold!) and also because of the majestic and still active volcano Villarrica in the background. I was lucky enough to be in both Chile and Argentina on my birthday and spent the evening in Bariloche, the Switzerland of Argentina.

Volcano Villarrica


White water rafting on the Trancura river in Pucón


As we went further south into Patagonia, we entered El Chaltén for some great hiking in Los Glaciares National park with amazing (and windy!) views, followed by El Calafate to see the spectacle that is the Perito Moreno glacier. It’s difficult to find the words to adequately describe the sight of this huge body of ice and the sounds of icebergs calving off the glacier and splashing into Lake Argentino below… it was definitely one of my highlights!

Hiking in Los Glaciares National Park


Piedras Blancas glacier – Los Glaciares National Park


Mount Fitz Roy amongst the clouds – Los Glaciares National Park


El Chaltén town


Perito Moreno glacier and icebergs – Los Glaciares National Park




Leaving behind El Calafate, we began our three days camping in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile… I thought I had already seen amazing sights but those were nothing compared to the views on the hikes/walks we saw there. To top that off I got to see the Grey Glacier with the spectacular blue/purple hues of the ice and with an elephant head emerging from one of the ice caves… … see if you can spot it in the pics!

Torres del Paine National Park







Grey Glacier – Torres del Paine National Park




Guanacos getting friendly


The icing on the cake was being able to see Magellanic penguins after leaving the National Park and arriving at the Seno Otway penguin colony near Punta Arenas. Although I didn’t get up close to them, they are such adorable creatures, waddling around and flapping their wings. It was a lot of fun just watching them go about their every day business, in particular listening to the sound of them braying and watching them splash about in the water.

Magellanic Penguins at Seno Otway



Shipwreck on route from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia



Where Heaven Meets Earth

After leaving Peru, the last couple of weeks have taken me through Bolivia and into the Atacama desert in Chile… and I’ve had the time of my life with an amazing group of people!

We started off in La Paz, a very unique city with hustle and bustle, people everywhere, car horns constantly beeping and dead llama foetuses hanging outside stores in the Witches’ Market. I haven’t seen another place like it… a few days there were enough for me but it was definitely a place I had to experience (together with all its roast chicken)! We then moved on to Sucre for dinosaur footprints, salsa dancing and partying Bolivian style!

La Paz


Llama foetus hanging in Witches’ Market


The highlight of my trip was the three day  journey in 4 wheel drives starting from Uyuni and ending up at the Chilean border. Visiting the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) was an incredible experience… with the clouds so low it sometimes felt like they were touching the ground… an absolutely breathtaking place! Taking funny photos in the Salar was quite entertaining!

Salar de Uyuni


Funny photos in the Salar de UyuniSaltFlatsElephants


It’s difficult to describe the sheer amount of natural beauty I’ve seen over the past few weeks. Natural wonders such as volcanoes, lagunas and geysers were mesmerizing as was the wildlife along the way. Some of the memories I’ll take away with me forever are watching the sunset in the freezing cold with volcanoes, lakes and flamingoes in the foreground, walking through Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) in the Atacama desert, and above all, sitting in a natural hot springs looking out at the horizon with volcanoes and natural geysers in the distance.

Sunset on Salar de Uyuni tripSaltFlatsSunset

Valle de la Luna, San Pedro de AtacamaMoonValleyAtacama

Laguna Colarada


Hot Springs in the Bolivian AltiplanoHotSprings

It wasn’t always fun and games… it was painfully cold during the night, no light in the ‘hotels’ in the Salar… no hot showers in some places… stale bread at times for breakfast… and altitude sickness… but all that was worth it for the amazing places I got to see!

Having arrived in Santiago and saying goodbye to my tour group, my next stop is Argentina and the vineyards of Mendoza! This is the one country in South America I most wanted to visit… I can’t wait!