South American Adventure – Timeline and Index

Me on Cerro Montserrate

Since it’s easy to lose track of my relatively sporadic travel update posts, I thought I’d create one single post on my homepage listing our adventures day by day. I’ll link to any posts I eventually put up as well – so it’ll hopefully become an index for posts about my trip!

Part One – Colombia

12th Feb – Landed in Bogotá and checked into the gorgeous Casa Gaitan Cortes

13th Feb – Went to the top of Cerro Montserrate in Bogotá (cable cars up, walked down).

14th Feb – Moved to Lima Limon hostel and explored La Candelaria district in Bogotá. Plaza de Bolivar and Gold Museum. Tried Canelazo.

15th Feb – Museo de Botero and Museo del Policia.

16th Feb – Catedral de Sal in Zipaquira.

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

17th Feb – Bus from Bogotá to Bucaramanga. Checked into Kasa Guane hostel.

18th Feb – Paragliding in Bucaramanga.

19th Feb – Bus from Bucaramanga to Santa Marta. Checked into La Brisa Loca hostel.

20th Feb –Beach at Taganga, dinner on the beach (red snapper with mango sauce and coconut rice – best dinner so far).

21st Feb – Headed to Tayrona National Park – camping and hiking.

22nd Feb – Spent the day on La Piscina beach, snorkelling (saw sea turtles).

23rd Feb – Walked to Cabo beach, spent the morning there before walking back through the woods. Bus back to Santa Marta – checked into Drop Bear Hostel, and ex-cartel house. Took the Sunday night tour of the house.

La Piscina, Parque Tayrona, Colombia

24th Feb – Spent the day in the hostel, letting our sunburn heal and generally recovering.

25th Feb – Headed to Minca (in the Sierra Nevada mountains) in a colectivo (shared taxi). Checked into Casa Loma (amazing views) and walked up to Cascades Marinkas to swim in the waterfalls.

26th Feb – Seven (seven!!) hour hike to the top of the mountain behind Minca for incredible views across the valley.

27th Feb – Massages in the morning, swimming in natural pools near waterfalls at Pozos Azules in the afternoon.

28th Feb – Back to the Drop Bear hostel in Santa Marta ready to get to Barranquilla tomorrow.

1st Mar – Barranquilla Carnival! Bus from Santa Marta and back, seven hours at the carnival.


2nd Mar – Bahia Concha beach on the edge of Tayrona.

3rd Mar – Santa Marta to Cartagena by bus. Checked into The Roof Hostel on the edge of the old town.

4th Mar – Explored Cartagena – old town, Getsmani neighbourhood, Bovedas, old city walls, ice cream, Castillo San Felipe, Bocagrande Beach.

5th Mar – Boat to Playa Blanca on Baru. Cabana on the beach at Hostel Any.

6th Mar – Another day on Playa Blanca, then boat back to Cartagena.

7th Mar – Mud volcano near Cartagena.

8th Mar – One last trip to Bocagrande Beach in Cartagena, then night bus (thirteen hours) to Medellin.


9th Mar – Exploring Medellin – Botanical Gardens.

10th Mar – Another day in Medellin – Santa Fe Zoo.

11th Mar –Medellin to Salento – checked into gorgeous eco lodge Yambolombia!

12th Mar – Five hour hike in Valle de Cocora in Salento. Lots of hummingbirds.

13th Mar – Horse riding in Salento, high up in the Colombian Andes. Visited a waterfall and spent the afternoon in town. It rained a lot!

14th Mar – Salento to Cali by bus. Walked around Cali for the evening.

15th Mar – Cali to Leticia by air (because there are no roads). Short riverboat tour in the Amazon.

Part Two – Peru

16th Mar – Sailed down the Amazon River to Iquitos in Peru!

17th Mar – Catch-up day in Iquitos. Three hours in an internet cafe blogging, laundry, booked Amazon tour and flights out of the jungle, sorting out a lost bank card. All the fun realities of travelling!

18th Mar – Jungle tour in the Amazon. Animal rescue centre, Yagua tribe, canoeing on the Amazon and piranha fishing.

Amazon - Animal Rescue Centre

19th Mar – Quistococha zoo and lagoon just outside of Iquitos. Evening flight out of the jungle to Tarapoto.

20th Mar – Cataratas de Ahuashiyacu at Tarapoto – swam in the waterfalls.

21st Mar – Tarapoto to Moyobamba, swimming in the thermal baths. Night bus to Chiclayo.

22nd Mar – Mercado Modelo and Pimentel beach in Chiclayo.

23rd Mar – Tour of Sipan tombs and pyramids at Tucume near Chiclayo.

24th Mar – Bus to Trujillo, stayed next to Huanchaco beach.

25th Mar – Exploring the ruins at Chan Chan in Trujillo.

Huaca del Dragon, Chan Chan

26th Mar – Exploring Huacos del Sol y del Luna in Trujillo. Night bus to Lima.

27th Mar – Walk along the cliffs at Miraflores in Lima. Evening at the Magic Fountains park.

28th Mar – ‘Day off’ in Lima – spent lounging on the roof terrace at Pariwana Hostel.

29th Mar – Exploring Lima’s old town centre and the catacombs at San Francisco church.

30th Mar – Another ‘day off’ in Lima!

31st Mar – Started travelling with the Peru Hop bus – Lima to Cusco via Paracas, Huacachino and Nasca. Full tour en route to Paracas with stops around Lima, at Pachacamac ruins, a lovely beach and an old hacienda.

1st Apr – Morning boat tour of the Ballestas Islands in Paracas to see a huge colony of sea lions.

2nd April – Enjoying the beach and Kokopelli Hostel’s pool in Paracas.

3rd April – Day trip into the desert near Paracas, then drove to Huacachina – oasis in the desert.

4th April – Dune buggies and sandboarding in the desert around Huacachina.


5th April – Fun overload in Huacachina! Sandboarding, pool, pisco and wine tasting tour, more sandboarding, followed by a huge dinner.

6th April – Day trip to Nazca for a flight over the lines. Terrifying but awesome and seriously worth it!

7th April – Chill out day in Huacachina. Started the 26 hour journey to Cusco, with a stop in Nasca for viewing tower and dinner.

8th April – Bus to Cusco.

9th April – Shopping, walking, and acclimatising in Cusco.

10th April – Sightseeing and massages in Cusco.

11th April – Climbed the mountain beside Cusco to visit Cristo Blanco (and have a sneak peak of Saqsayhuaman).

12th April – Chocolate making workshop at the Museo de Cacao in Cusco.

13th April – First day of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu – mountain bikes and white water rafting.

14th April – Second day of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu – six hour hike followed by hot springs at Santa Teresa.

15th April – Third day of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu – Zip lining, followed by a three hour hike to Aguas Calientes.

Machu Picchu

16th April – Fourth day of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu – climbed to Machu Picchu!

17th April – Chill out/catch up day in Cusco.

18th April – Free Walking Tour and massages in Cusco. Live band in San Blas neighbourhood.

19th April – Haircuts and massages in Cusco!

20th April – Easter Sunday in Cusco. Night bus to Arequipa.

21st April – Walking around Arequipa.

22nd April – First day of the Colca Canyon Trek – lamas, alpacas and vicuñas in national reserve, stone forest, and colca valley.

23rd April – Second day of the Colca Canyon Trek – condor spotting, mountain biking, downhill hike into the canyon.

24th April – Third day of the Colca Canyon Trek – uphill hike out of the canyon, hot springs, return to Arequipa.

Colca Day Two

25th April – Free walking tour in Arequipa.

26th April – Arequipa to Puno by bus.

27th April – Floating islands tour in Lake Titicaca. Puno to Copacabana by bus (crossing the border in Bolivia).

Part Three – Bolivia

28th April – Boat to Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca.

29th April – Long walk around Isla del Sol. Evening bus from Copacabana to La Paz.

30th April – Catch up day in La Paz. Evening football match – Bolivar vs Blooming!

1st May – Labour Day in La Paz.

2nd May – Free walking tour with Red Caps. Abseiled face first down a 17 storey building with Urban Rush.

3rd May – Valle de la Luna, followed by the zoo just outside of La Paz.

Death Road

4th May – Cycled Death Road with Adrenaline!

5th May – Extended city tour with Red Caps – had our luck read by a Witch Doctor in El Alto market! Night bus to Cochabamba.

6th May – Cable cars to Christo Blanco in Cochabamba. Evening bus to Torotoro National Park.

7th May – Trekking to Cuidad de Inti, caving in Umajalanta.

8th May – Trek to the canyon in Torotoro – dinosaur footprints, fossils, and jumping into the river!

9th May – Bus back to Cochabamba, night bus to Sucre.

10th May – Chill out day in Sucre.

11th May – Premier League Final

12th May – Walked to Parque Bolivar and the Cemetery in Sucre. Started Spanish lessons.

13th May – Siete Cascades, Sucre (seven waterfalls). Second Spanish lesson.

Siete Cascadas #4, Sucre

14th May – Third Spanish lesson. Evening football match – Sucre vs San Jose.

15th May – Fourth Spanish lesson. Evening fashion show (with Mr South Americas and Miss Bolivias!)

16th May – Final Spanish lesson, now fluent. Cooking class and drinks at Bolivia Spanish School.

17th May – FA Cup Final. Night out with a few friends.

18th May – Chill out day in Sucre.

19th May -Bus to Potosi.

20th May -Tour of a working mine in Potosi.

21st May – Bus to Tupiza.

22nd May – Hiking El Canyon in Tupiza.

Tupiza - El Canyon

23rd May – Hike to Valle de los Machos, El Canyon Inca and Puerta del Diablo.

24th May – Salar de Uyuni Tour, Day One. Wind, snow and a mini Machu-Picchu in the mountains!

25th May – Salar de Uyuni Tour, Day Two. Lakes, geysers, hot springs and snow.

26th May – Salar de Uyuni Tour, Day Three. Rock formations, black lake, and mummy cemetery.

27th May – Salar de Uyuni Tour, Day Four. The salt flats, followed by the train cemetery.

Salar 4

28th May – Uyuni – Chile by bus. Very long border crossing.

Part Four – Chile and Argentina 

29th May – Calama – San Pedro by bus. Walked along the river in San Pedro.

30th May – Hiked around San Pedro.

31st May – Chile – Argentina by bus. Four hour border crossing.

1st June – Chill out day in Salta. Watched free street entertainment in the park (clown, mariachi band, and a singer).

2nd June – Cable cars up to Cerro San Bernado.

3rd June – Hiked Quebrada de San Lorenzo in Salta, overnight bus to Mendoza.

4th June – Arrived in Mendoza at 4pm, all you can eat meat buffet for dinner!

5th June – Aquarium and Serpentarium in Mendoza.

Mendoza Wine Tour

6th June – Biking around Maipu, tasting wines at different vineyards.

7th June – Chill out day in Mendoza.

8th June – Sam’s birthday! Trek at Cerro Alto followed by cake. All you can eat buffet again for dinner.

9th June – Parque San Martin in Mendoza.

10th June – Do-nothing day. Night bus to Buenos Aires.

11th June – Arrived in Buenos Aires. Chill out evening.

12th June – Thunderstorm in BA! Fine Arts Museum, followed by Afternoon Tea at Alvear Palace Hotel.

13th June – Biking Buenos Aires Heart of the City bike tour. Dinner at closed-door restaurant Io Sono Shokuhin.

14th June – Shopping in the afternoon, dinner and dancing at We Are Tango show in the evening.

15th June – San Telmo antiques market, followed by the awesome show Fuerza Bruta.

Fuerza Bruta, Buenos Aires

16th June – Chill out day in BA.

17th June – Overnight bus to Puerto Iguassu.

18th June – Arrived late in Puerto Iguassu, walked to the viewpoint of the Three Borders (Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil).

19th June – Iguassu Falls – Argentina Side.

Part Five – Brazil

20th June – Crossed to Brazil and went to Iguassu Falls Brazil Side!

21st June – Chill out day in Foz de Iguaçu, night bus to Belo Horizonte (29 hours!)

22nd June – Arrived in Belo Horizonte after 9pm.

23rd June – Walk around Belo Horizonte.

Mundai, Porto Seguro

24th June – Sam watched World Cup match England v Costa Rica. Overnight bus to Porto Seguro.

25th June – Arrived in Porto Seguro midday. Chill out afternoon.

26th June – Porto Seguro historic centre, walk along the beach.

27th June – Ferry to the beach at Arraial D’Ajuda.

28th June – Walked to the beach at Taperapuan. Cocktails on Paseo Do Alcool (alcohol alley) that evening.

29th June – Rainy – day off!

30th June – Ferry to the beach at Arraial D’Ajuda (again).

1st July – Bus to Taperapuan beach – watched Argentina match on the big screen.

2nd July – Bus about 30 minutes away from Porto Seguro to the beach at Mutarí – had miles of beach to ourselves!

3rd July – Chill out day, overnight bus to Rio.

4th July – Connection in Rio to Paraty.

5th July – Paraty historic centre and beach.

Trindade Beach near Paraty

6th July – Bus to the beach at Trindade.

7th July – Bus to Penha to visit waterfalls in the Atlantic Forest.

8th July – Watched the World Cup semi-final, Brazil  vs Germany, in the town square surrounded by locals.

9th July – Very full day – zip lines and tree top challenges at Paraty sport and adventure, cachaça tasting at Alambique Paratiana, swimming hole Poço Ingles, late lunch at Shambhala Lounge, and a massage and jacuzzi bath at Shambhala Spa.

10th July – Bus to Rio! Very long winded journey across the city to Hostel Rocinha in the Rocinha favela.

11th July – Bus to Copabana beach for a walk and to explore the FIFA World Cup fan area.

12th July – Exploring Santa Teresa.

13th July – Watched the World Cup final on the big screen on Copacabana Beach!

14th July –  Moved across the city to Lapa district. Walked around Lapa and checked out the Selaron Steps.

15th July – Cooking in Rio cooking class, followed by visiting Christ the Redeemer by night.

16th July – Spent the day on Ipanema beach.

17th July – Flight home to the UK!

Christ the Redeemer

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!


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  9. Oh wow. I need to do some of these!!!

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