South America 2017-05-11T09:27:04+00:00

Bienvenido Aventura.

Rich in Culture. Food. Beauty. Adventure. Welcome to South America.



Study Abroad in Argentina – 25 Questions (Part 2)

To read PART 1 of 25 Questions about my Study Abroad in Argentina - Click Here!   13. What was your favorite thing to do on a Friday night? Buenos Aires is HUGE. Early on I learned I enjoyed my evenings more by seeking out eclectic bars and funky scenes than going to classic boliche (dance club) every weekend. (Boliches are also exhausting; you don’t go until about 3 am and you dance till sun up). So I spent my week researching fun, new places and tried to see as much as I could on the weekends. However I did play soccer with the team at Universidad de Belgrano and our games were quite

September 16th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Studying Abroad in Argentina – 25 Questions (Part 1)

Upon arrival to the United States, API (the program I did my study abroad with) sent a bunch of 'getting adjusted to being home' documents. One of them was 25 questions about your study abroad experience. I have thought a lot about doing posts about my time Buenos Aires (and eventually I will do my favorite week of activities in BA), but the thought of trying to accurately document my time in that crazy city is overwhelming to say the least. I thought this was a nice way to preserve some great memories as well as be a resource to others considering a study abroad or trip to South America. 1. What was the strangest

September 15th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Salar de Uyuni Tour – the Final Day 3

We all woke up warm and cozy (to our surprise), not quite believing it was the final day of our Salt Flat Tour. If you haven't already - start with Day 1 and Day 2 of our trip! Unfortunately Jordan had started to feel achy and sick during the middle of the night so didn’t get too much sleep and wasn’t feeling too great that morning. Quickly we packed up our things and meandered out to the main room for a yummy pancake breakfast. Hot Springs + Flamingo Salt Flat Sunrise While the cars were being loaded mom and I wandered down to the hot springs to check out what they looked like

September 4th, 2015|Bolivia, South America, Travel|4 Comments

Bolivia Salt Flats Tour in Salar de Uyuni – Day 2

It was DAY 2 of our Bolivian Salt Flat expedition with Red Planet Tours. Missed Day 1? Click here to read about the start to our trip with the infamous funky pictures on the salt flats and our stay in a hotel, made out of salt! Salar de Uyuni: Day 2 Up at the crack of dawn we packed up our things and all meandered into the main hall, half-asleep, for some breakfast. Not to long later we were loaded up and headed out for the next big touring day of spectacular and bizarre Southern Bolivia. Driving along the flats we saw lots of vicuña, the high-altitude, wild (and prettier) llamas, and could see the

September 1st, 2015|Bolivia, South America, Travel|3 Comments

Salar de Uyuni Pictures – Salt Flats Tour Day 1

Salar de Uyuni Tour with Red Planet Expeditions We got up bright and early on Friday in the town of Uyuni. Quickly we packed our bags (1 bag per 2 of us), ate breakfast, and headed over to the Red Planet Tour office. Our tour had 14 people heading out in Toyota 4x4's, 4 cars total. Oscar was the main tour guide, explaining to the entire group the rules, what to except and car assignments. We immediately crossed our fingers hoping he would join us in our car. We had five passengers in our car and while loading up we met the new addition to the family; Brandon. Brandon was a mid-twenties basketball coach living

August 28th, 2015|Bolivia, South America, Travel|3 Comments

Best Things to Do in La Paz Bolivia

With one day in the city we needed a plan of attack in order to feel as though we really got to experience it! Via an awesome walking tour, the teleforico, tasty food we ended up finding the best things to do in La Paz Bolivia! Red Cap City Walking Tour of La Paz We determined the best way to see and appreciate La Paz would be to do a walking tour of the city. After a nice slow morning we made our way down to Plaza San Pedro at 11 am to meet and do the Red Cap walking tour (only 3$/person!). San Pedro Prison It was a great tour! We started off by

August 27th, 2015|Bolivia, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Bike Camino de Muerte – Death Road, Bolivia Bike Tours

 After a fitful night sleep and interrupted dreams of possibly biking death road (I really am not joking) I awoke to pounding on the door at 7:15 am. Jumping out of bed, extremely excited because pounding on the door this morning could only mean one thing, I ran to open the door eating it because my socks were way to slippery for the wood floors. Getting back up I opened the door to dad, "Get ready!! The tour lady was there," "WE ARE BIKING CAMINO DE MUERTE!!!" I was so excited, I couldn't believe our luck!! As fast as we could we got dressed, packed our bags, and ran down to breakfast to shove some food

August 25th, 2015|Bolivia, South America, Travel|4 Comments

Copacabana + Puno – Lake Titicaca via Bolivia Hop

Puno, Peru and crossing the border to Copacabana, Bolivia Unloading off the bus from Cuzco, groggy and exhausted, we funneled into a massive lime green concrete room to sit down for breakfast at plastic chairs and tables. Surprisingly they served eggs! However I stuck to half a piece of bread since it was the first time I was eating anything in the past 18 hours.  The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca Not too long later the bus dropped us off at the docks of Puno on Lake Titicaca where we headed off to see the Floating Islands. Having not done much research prior, I assumed the floating islands were masses of land that happened to

August 23rd, 2015|Bolivia, Peru, South America, Travel|3 Comments

Pisac Market Peru – Machu Picchu to Cuzco Travel Day

Exploring Aguascalientes, Peru We enjoyed a nice, somewhat lazy morning since we didn't have to board the train to Ollantaytambo from Aguascalientes until 11 am. We had breakfast at our hostel, Varoyac, and then set off to wander around Aguascalientes. We enjoyed walking up and down the main road, wandering in and out of shops, ending in the main square were we went inside the church. Holy cow, there was so much decoration and ornamentation I had to blink a couple times when I walked inside. After the main square we wandered the big market of artisanal goods you have to walk through upon leaving the train station (where mom bought herself a keychain

August 20th, 2015|Peru, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Machu Picchu Day Trip – The Day You’ll Never Forget

Getting to Machu Picchu Train from Ollantaytambo At 5 am we were up, packing and getting ready to catch the 6 am train from Ollantaytambo to Aguascalientes. After scarfing down some breakfast, we walked to the train making it with only minutes to spare (classic Paulsen family arrival). On the train I introduced everyone to yerba mate and we snaked through the valleys watching the vegetation become more jungly with every turn. Bus from Aguascalientes A short hour and a half later we made it to Aguascalientes. The plan was to quickly check into our hostal, Varoyak Bed & Breakfast, get bus tickets to Machu Picchu and get into the park. Everything was going smoothly, checking in, getting

August 20th, 2015|Peru, South America, Travel|9 Comments

Ollantaytambo – Things to Do in an Overlooked Incan Town

Arrival in Cuzco, Peru!  There isn't a much better feeling than living in a foreign country for five months, and after traveling for 18 hours to step off a plane Peru and getting to see your family. Jordan was waiting for me in the customs line in Cuzco, after a huge hug and lots of excitement the reality that I was actually getting to see my family was setting in. Travelling from Buenos Aires to Cuzco, Peru Getting from BA to Cuzco was quite the process. I left BA at 4 in the afternoon, took a bus to the airport, flew to Santa Cruz, Bolivia (after standing in line forever with my super heavy bag),

August 19th, 2015|Peru, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Jujuy to Humahuaca Road Trip + Everything In Between

We woke up after yet another long, uncomfortable night at Coloria hostel. Dalton got up early and ran to the top of Cerro San Bernardo again, while I chose the extra hour of sleep since I had gotten so little. By 9 am we were showered, packed, and waiting by the front door for our rental car to show up. By 9:30 am there was still no car, and the older woman working the front desk was anything but helpful. Thankfully our stress was relieved when the rental car showed up, but only for a second. Renting a Car in Argentina The enormous teddybear looking body builder walked inside with our keys and my first question was since he

August 13th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Cafayate Backpacker Guide – Lodging, Wine & Activities

In Argentina for domestic flights there are two different prices for airline tickets, the price for residents and the price for foreigners (I'll let you guess which one costs double the other). Technically I can legally get the local price with my resident visa needed for studying abroad but Dalton, my boyfriend and northern Argentina travel partner, definitely did not qualify. At the LAN office in the city I was able to pay in pesos (score!) and gave a guilty "yes" when asked if we both had visas... Luckily they never asked to see them. The next key part of this plan is getting through the airport, we checked in online and carried on all

August 12th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|2 Comments

A Buenos Aires Night – Teatro + Asado + Ritzy Bars

Grab your heels and lipstick, this was a true night out on the town! A front-runner on my Buenos Aires bucket list was attending a show at the historic and beautiful Teatro Colon. Located on Viamonte and 9 de Julio, it is surrounded by other stunning buildings and a  beautiful plaza (worth checking out even if you don't go inside). As most the shows range from 80 - 800 AR$ (about 6 - 75 US$) it is completely practical to attend. The Buenos Aires Philharmonic orchestra is in the midst of a series of classical performances that Bennett, Antonia (other people in my program), and I decided to attend. The easiest way to get tickets

July 12th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Geyser Tatio Tour with Vive Atacama – Day 4

The final full day in San Pedro de Atacama! Did you catch the beginning of the trip? Check out the adventures of Valle de la Luna, the Secret Salt lakes & an unforgettable flamingo sunrise before skipping to the end! Much much to early my alarm went off. To my surprise all but one person in my room was doing the geyser tour, but with different companies. I put on 7 shirts (I swear I'm not exaggerating), leggings, jeans, wool socks, hat, and scarf trying to be prepared for the cold morning ahead. Vive Atacama was the tour company again with Freddy as the driver, however our guide this morning was Macarena. I easily fell

July 12th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Secret Salt Lakes of Chile – San Pedro Day 3

I started off the third day by trying to figure out a good morning activity. Since I hadn't heard from my Chilean family, I was starting to get a little nervous I had done something to upset them... But I also know I overthink and read into text messages (or lack of text messages) so I just decided to go by their hostel and see what was going on. I had decided I wanted to rent bikes and ride past the ruins I had been to the day before up to the Tunnel and Quebrada del Diablo. I found Marcelito cooking in the kitchen who was excited about my biking plan. In the slower Latin

July 11th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Flamingo Sunrise in the Atacama Salt Flats – Day 2

The day started off in the dark, getting picked up at 6:30 am for our tour to Lagunas Altiplanicas. After a sleepy "buenos dias" to my family our van was racing through the desert, the first stop in the tiny town of Socaire. Quick Stop in Socaire Here we looked at church and an old building and continued on to the Salar de Atacama. As we were getting close Cyna, our guide with Vive Atacama, informed us that we were going to Lagunas Chaxas, a small salt lake, where we would watch the sunrise, see wild flamingos, and eat breakfast. I had no idea we were going to see wild flamingos.... I was very excited. Desert Sunrise with

July 10th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|3 Comments

Sunset Tour Valle de la Luna – San Pedro Day 1

Arrival to Calama, Chile I got into the Calama airport bright and early. The transfers from the airport to San Pedro de Atacama were all 12.000CLP ($24US) one way and 20.000CLP ($40US) round trip and after all the money I had spent on cabs to and from the airport in Santiago I was bound and determined to find a cheaper way to get to the tiny desert town. I knew from Calama there were buses to San Pedro for 3.000CLP, so my goal was to make it there. Unfortunately taxis to Calama almost made up the difference between the one way trip price and I was about to give in when I spotted 3 Chilean

June 16th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|4 Comments

One Day in Santiago – Markets + Free Walking Tour

Valpo to Santiago I really had wanted to do the "alternative" tours4tips walking tour in Santiago, however the 10 am start time was a bit problematic as I was waking up in Valpo. Thanks to the fact I had gone to bed at 7 pm the night before after my day of wine tasting in Casablanca (oops), I woke up at 7 am feeling well rested. Even still, getting packed, taking a bus to the bus terminal, busing to Santiago, and taking the metro to Devin's apartment got me in around 11. There was another "classic highlight" tour4tips walking tour at 3, so I settled for that. Santiago Markets - Mercado Central In the mean time I decided to check out

June 16th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|2 Comments

A Visit to Casablanca Wine Region, Solo

Wine tasting in the Casablanca valley! After getting a little bit of a late start (thanks to the terremotos from the night before) I walked across the city to the bus stop to take a colectivo to Casablanca. I was pretty unsure what I was doing and because it was Sunday literally nothing was open, I settled for a pino (Chilean style of carne) empanada for breakfast. Valpo to Casablanca by Colectivo Quickly I then learned what a colectivo actually is in Chile, a shared taxi! In Argentina colectivos are the main bus system to get around the city, definitely not the case in Chile. I crammed in a taxi with 3 other people and

June 13th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Valparaíso Blog – How to Have the BEST Day Ever

Viña del Mar to Valparaíso I got up pretty early, packed up my things, then headed downstairs for breakfast. Best South America breakfast award goes to Resedencial Jaguar Hostal!!! There was juice, yogurt with fruit and coffee, AND THEN I was served scrambled eggs with toast, YUM! I still am having a hard time believing I actually had that for breakfast in South America... My goal was to make a 10 am free walking tour (tours4tips), but of course made it to my hostal, Casa Verde Limon, by 10 am. Wandering the Streets of Valparaíso I settled to do the one at 3 pm. I was able to drop off my things, armed with a map and some advice

June 6th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|4 Comments

One Day in Viña del Mar – Dunas Concón + Reñaca

Santiago to Viña del Mar I woke up decently early to try and get a good start on the day; I knew getting from Santiago to Viña del Mar was going to be a bit of a challenge (navigating the city etc). Surprisingly with the help and advice of Devin, I got there and on the bus without any hiccups. I picked up a couple medialunas on the way, ready to relax and enjoy the ride with my maté. An older woman settled down in the seat next to me and immediately we started chatting. She was a Chilean from Viña del Mar who had moved to the states when she was 18 (which is totally

June 4th, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Solo Trip to Chile – Kicking off in Santiago

Vamos a Chile!! I was so so excited for my 9 day trip. Thanks to the long weekend and my pathetic school schedule (only have classes Monday through Wednesday) I was able to take a longer trip. 9-Day Chile Itinerary (solo!) What started as 5 days, turned to 6, 7... You know how it goes. Anyways the itinerary looked was Santiago -> Viña del Mar -> Valparaíso -> Casablanca -> Santiago -> San Pedro de Atacama. One of the reasons this trip was so special to me was I wanted to experience traveling alone. Never before had I done that and thought it would be a great way to grow and experience South America in

June 1st, 2015|Chile, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Attending a Football Match in Buenos Aires

IF you are in Buenos Aires DURING fútbol season, it would be an absolute shame to not go to a game. For me, this was the most authentic, exciting, and cultural experience I have had in Argentina. Getting Tickets to the Match Getting tickets to a fútbol match seems like this mysterious and slightly impossible feat when you first arrive to the city. It isn't until talking to someone who has done it and have them walk you through the process does it start to seem less daunting and in reality quite simple. Here are the steps (Thanks to Mitchell in my API program!): figure out who you are going to see play and where

May 21st, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|2 Comments

Weekend Trip from Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata

I feel so blessed to somehow have came into this foreign country with built-in friends who have had their arms open wide. Last summer one of my good friends from the states went to Spain and ended up meeting an Argentine girl, upon coming to Argentine she insisted we connect. The first time we hung out Vale took me to Floreria Atlantico, one of the 'must see' bars in BA; you knock to enter a flower shop, walk through a refrigerator down stairs, and ta-da you are in a bar!! Definitely one of the cooler places I have been in the city... Mar del Plata - The B.A. Getaway Anyways, after attending Vale's birthday in

May 18th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|4 Comments

Things to Do in Bariloche, Argentina

The more I travel Argentina, the more I realize how difficult it is to plan out specific details and itineraries for trips in advance. This drives me crazy. I love to be able to spend time on the internet researching, planning, and knowing exactly what I want to do before I get there. Hence why apps such as Yelp (which of course barely exists down here) in my eyes are pure gold: restaurants organized by rating, type of cuisine, price, and location... yes please! Because of this issue of lack of information I continue to encounter, I have decided to make a quick (very quick!) review of the restaurants, cafes, and activities I did while

April 30th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Iguazu Falls – Study Abroad Excursion with API

Iguazu falls is one of those places where only photos can describe it and they don't even come close to doing it justice. The most incredible place I have ever been. Wow. Wow. Wow. Study Abroad Program Travel Style Because this was an API excursion our entire program (26 of us) came along with our program advisor, Carmen and her husband, Gabriel. Immediately it was an apparent that this trip would be a little different than my others; flight instead of bus, 4 star hotel instead of hostel, and no dealing with public transportation or personal research. Guira Oga Animal Reserve & Rehab Park The first evening we went to Guira Oga, an animal reserve

April 21st, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|4 Comments

Self Guided Tour of Mendoza Wineries, Hiking & Horses

Our bus was only a couple hours late getting into Mendoza, which was actually quite the feat considering there was a city wide transportation strike on Tuesday and Wednesday is the day everyone starts leaving for the long weekend for Semana Santa. The trip started off right with the best seats on the bus! Hiking Cerro Arco in Mendoza Not wanting to waste any time we quickly checked into Hostel Empredrado and found a half-day hike we could adventure to that afternoon. After some hair-pulling (which always accompanies an internet search in Argentina) we decided on Cerro Arco and found a bunch of jumbled directions on how to get there (when you see the white

April 11th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Bariloche – Bike, Hike, Eat & Drink

Buenos Aires to Bariloche Kayli and I made it on the bus to Bariloche! I don't think I can describe my excitement about this, as the 2 weeks leading up to this have been a mountain of stress of planning, paying money, figuring out classes at the university, and facing a never-ending stream of problems (every day there was at least one) on details regarding our trip. Even the day we left, we still didn't have our tickets printed and the university's travel agent (the notorious Agustin) wasn't able to give them to me until less than 2 hours before our bus was departing (when I still had to take the colectivo to my house

April 3rd, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Canoe the Tigre River Delta – Buenos Aires Day Trip

What a wonderful day out of the city, so great to leave the buildings and constant motion to spend a relaxing day on the river. Tigre is only a 30 minute train ride from the city, but feels like a whole different world. The city is on a large island created by the Prana Delta where a bunch of rivers meet and form canals that people use as a way to get from place to place. The houses are cute and quaint surrounded by trees, right on the water. Everyone owns a boat or kayak, even the "colectivos" (the public transportation buses) are boats going from dock to dock. The river is completely brown, however

March 26th, 2015|Argentina, South America, Travel|0 Comments

Life in Buenos Aires – Wait, What is a Comfort Zone?

I am here! Living. In. Buenos. Aires. My life in Buenos Aires. I don't think I have ever in my life been more outside my comfort-zone. Moving from tiny Ashland and small Loveland, to Buenos Aires (the 10th largest city in the world with 13 million inhabitants) is quite the change. I ride colectivos (buses) and subtes (subways) everyday and in order to find anything but skyscrapers you have to go to a park. But yes, that is like any large city in the US. However here (as you may have guessed) everyone speaks Castellano, with a very distinct Argentine accent. The "ll" and "y" in words are pronounced like "sh". So calle becomes cashe

March 6th, 2015|Argentina, Life, South America, Thoughts, Travel|0 Comments

Bienvenido Aventura!

It all has started. I am no longer in the United States and my huge adventure has officially started.        I flew from Denver to Houston to San Jose to Tambor. Very long day of traveling, but getting to be here makes every second of it worth it. Besides I feel very fortunate to be able to take the 35 minute flight from San Jose to Tambor, versus an 8 hour shuttle ride that was almost the same price. Getting through the San Jose airport and to the Sansa terminal was a brand new experience. Filled out the forms and went through customs for the first time all by myself (haha) and it

February 17th, 2015|Costa Rica, Life, South America, Thoughts, Travel|0 Comments