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Chile

San Pedro de Atacama is one of those places where you can find yourself staying a lot longer than planned. Located in the middle of the Atacama desert, it is not the town itself that makes the stay memorable. It is the many attractions in the surrounding area that can easily keep you occupied for a week, if not longer. Here are some of the highlights that you should not miss:…

Argentina

Located north of Salta, almost in Bolivia, the Quebrada de Humahuaca is a place unlike anything else in Argentina. A gorge in between two mountain ranges offers multi-coloured hills, forests of cacti, a unique culture and many historical sights. It is not a surprise that this valley was declared a world heritage site by Unesco.…

South America

One of Paraguay’s biggest tourist attractions are the Jesuit missions located in the south of the country. When researching Paraguay, I could not find much practical information about them, so I decided to put together a guide on how to visit those ruins and also the ones located on the other side of the river, near Posadas in Argentina.

If you’ve never heard of the Jesuit missions, they are settlements founded by the Jesuits in colonial times. They were inhabited by natives, who were westernised and educated in Christianity, but in return were protected from enslavement.

The Jesuits’ power grew so much that the Spanish crown got afraid of them and eventually expelled them from South America. Their missions fell into disrepair and their ruins, located in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, can now be visited.…

Paraguay

I did not know much about Paraguay before going there. In the guidebook, I had vaguely read up on Jesuit missions in the country’s south. I knew that Ciudad del Este was a shopping town located next to Iguazu Falls. And I knew that Asuncion was Paraguay’s capital.

So when it came to crossing the border, my friend and I made a rough plan. Go to Asuncion, see the Jesuit missions and figure out everything else along the way. Up until we arrived in the capital, I did not have a clue on what to see there either. It wasn’t until half an hour before our bus arrived that I finally opened my guidebook and looked into it.

Now, if you’re planning on visiting Asuncion, let me give you one piece of advice.…

Brazil

The cayman did not blink. I looked down on it and wondered how much closer I could get before it would jump and bite off one of my legs. I seemed to be the only one with such concerns. A white bird landed next to the reptile and in the distance, a capybara sniffed the ground, also getting dangerously close to one of the many caymans. I smiled and raised my camera. Click.…

Brazil

My Lonely Planet guidebook described São Paulo as a monster and our plan was to stay here for two nights and leave as soon as possible. I hadn’t heard great things about the city. What I mostly associated with it were high crime rates and dirty streets and I wasn’t too keen on staying any longer than necessary. But then we unexpectedly had to stay three nights instead of two and discovered that there is much more to São Paulo. Great museums, beautiful parks and friendly people – it would have been a shame to miss out on all of it.

Here are some of the city’s highlights:…

Bolivia

When talk comes to food in South America, people mention steaks and ceviche. Argentina is praised for its excellent beef and Peru for its huge variety of dishes. You might even know a few Brazilian or Columbian dishes. But have you ever heard of Bolivian food?

As I found out while visiting this Andean nation, Bolivia has a lot of delicious food to offer. From market stalls to fancy restaurants, you will never run out of possibilities to try yet another dish. I’ve put together my favourite ones below, so you know what to ask for.

Also, if you want to learn more about Bolivian food, I recommend joining a foodie tour. We went with Red Cap Tours in La Paz, which was lots of fun and also very tasty.…

Brazil

The coast in between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is made up of hills, bays, jungle, beaches and thousands of islands. Going from one city to another, travellers find many places worth visiting along their way. We spent two weeks on this stretch of coast and in the giant cities. Since it is such an easy and rewarding itinerary for travellers, I have decided to put together its highlights. There are, of course, many more things to do along the way, but those were my personal favourites. They are put together in geographical order, starting in Rio and going along the coastline all the way to São Paulo.…

Brazil

For me, Porto Alegre was a necessary stopover on the way to Rio de Janeiro. We arrived on an overnight bus from Montevideo and left the next morning on a plane. I did not have any plans for this city. The guidebook had mentioned two museums and that was all I knew about Porto Alegre when I arrived.

Fortunately, we came across a very helpful woman at the tourist information who helped us make the best of the day we spent in Porto Alegre. And the best about it? All attractions mentioned below are free and perfect for budget-conscious travellers.…

Uruguay

Uruguay looks tiny when compared to its giant neighbours Argentina and Brazil. Many travellers arrive on day trips from Buenos Aires or just plan a quick stop in this country. But Uruguay has enough tourist attractions to keep you busy for at least a week or two. We had seven days in this amazing country and barely managed to see its highlights. In fact, I think we could easily have spent another one or two weeks here.

Here is an overview to give you a taste of Uruguay and so you know what not to miss:…

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