South America – Travel Stories from Around the World

Below you will find stories written by travellers on their experiences in South America. If you would like to submit your own stories for this region, click here.

Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | French Guiana | Guyana | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela | X-country

Argentina
Argentina: Yours Truly
Ema Kant’s whirwind tour of Argentina still leaves her breathless, long after she’s returned home.

Candy From a Baby
The last place Erik Trinidad wanted to be during the Argentine recession was in a bank in Buenos Aires. But that is where he found himself, and where he left in some haste.

An Unabashed Gluttony Tour
Food is Joe Ehrlich’s ‘thing’. Good food at good prices, but you’ll find out a few more things about Argentina along the way.

Argentina, with a Kiss on the Cheek
Of all the international countries Edward M. Uli had traveled to, his business trip to South America was the most interesting experience of all.

The Church of Tango
Cherie Magnus was a pilgrim drawn to the altar of Tango and she was thankful to have prayed at La Catedral.

Buenos Aires: the calm before the riot
Sylvia Seschel could not have timed her visit any better, just two days before the economic riots. However, that won’t stop her from coming back to beautiful Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires: A Foodie’s Paradise, but Hold the Crisis!
Despite the impending financial crisis, Gerry Schwartz found Buenos Aires a city with great architecture, wide boulevards, and a love of food at all hours.

Springtime in Patagonia: "Muy Bonita"
Bariloche was a relaxing break from the stress of Buenos Aires and it remided Gerry Schwartz of a Swiss alpine town.

Mendoza: Vino and the High Andes Do Mix
Gerry Schwartz found a little slice of Italy in northwestern Argentina.

On the Buses
Long distance buses ar a great way to cover the vast distances of Argentina. It also gave Gerry Schwartz a great opportunity to chat with the locals.

Blood on the Rocks
Aconcagua is advertised as the highest trekking peak, but Robert Geier warns that it deserves much more respect than that.

In Patagonia: Rio Gallagos
Deep in Patagonia, it is possible to believe that time is diluted down to its raw form and the passing of the years occurs at a different pace.

Solo Tango in Buenos Aires
Cherie Magnus made a pilgrimage to BA to to experience the legendary dancers’ dance.

Glaciers Nat’l Park
Crossing the continental ice at the end of April is a travesty in winter.

Patagonia, Argentina
Whale watching, sandboarding, penguins and porpoises. Patagonia has it all.

Tilcara, Argentina
It’s not just the altitude that takes your breath away in this small village.


Bolivia
Bolivia’s Day of the Sea NEW!
A war with Chile claimed Bolivia’s coastline 125 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the people have forgotten their love of the sea – or hatred of Chile.

Rediscovering a Lost World
Rob Hawke makes the ultimate pilgrimage of nature, a journey to the heart of isolation, in Noel Kempff National Park, Bolivia.

Bolivian Oblivion on the Mapiri Trail
The part-trek, part-commando run of the Mapiri Trail is certain to amaze, enrage and exhaust even the most hardy of would-be Rambos, according to Ben Garside.

The Witches’ Market
Walk the Witches’ Market with Thomas Carroll in La Paz, Bolivia as he and his wife shop for some strange items.

El Choro: Trekking in Bolivia
The lush vegetation, ancient undisturbed architecture, countless waterfalls and extreme physical challenge made El Choro stick in Chris Douglas’s mind as the most rewarding hiking experience he has ever had.

Los Pistoleros
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are Justin Pushman’s favorite Bolivia guides, now if only they had told him to bring a jacket.

Where’s My Dealer?
Probably on the same boat as the other gringos, but Justin Pushman would be just as happy to find a fish restaurant.

On the Bolivian Trail of "Che"
Juan Larranaga visited two small Bolivian towns that were significant in the life and death of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

DEA & Macaws
Jack Simpson Jr. traveled to Bolivia to see the Llanos de Mojos – the unfenced grasslands of cattle and cattlemen and vaqueros, and, sometimes, drug lords.

Into the Lungs of Hell
The silver mines of Potosi, central Bolivia are a place where men die weekly. Be sure to pay homage to the lord of the mine.

Snapshots of Mamore, Bolivia
Travelers resistant to mosquitoes and wasps, preferably non-vegetarian, are given a better chance of survival when when travelling on this river.

Five Stars, Stolen Cars and Rainbows in the Mist
After a night spent dancing and partying, what better way to see a La Paz sunrise than drive to the top of a mountain in a stolen car.

The Faint of Heart Need Not Apply
The La Paz-Coroico road, reportedly the most dangerous in Bolivia if not in South America.


Brazil
Bacchanalia NEW!
There is no such thing as inhibition at Carnival in Bahias. In every direction, there are couples embracing, so that the smell of human and animal craving hangs in the air like a sweet gas. But it doesn’t really matter. There is no reason to speak, nothing really to say.

Favella Folly
Martin Holloway believes he has his guardian angel to thank for getting him out of the Rio favella he naively wandered into.

Easter Break in Brazil
BL and his wife took a spur-of-the-moment trip to the interior of Brazil for a ridiculously low price.

The Heart of the Amazon
Kim Tally and her father had an adventure of a lifetime, abandoning themselves to the magic and wonder of the Amazon.

Specks of Sweetness in the Jungle
When it comes to fruit, Wes Sander found the Amazon region of Brazil to be unmatched in quantity and variety.

The Pantanal and the Transpantaneira
The sounds of hundreds of birds, taking flight and landing, made the trip to the Pantanal worthwhile. Maybe this was the hint that Richard Remsberg should have quit while he was ahead.

Off Season in a Beach Town
Richard Remsberg discovers why renting a dune buggy to drive himself is not recommended on the hills and beaches of Canoa Quebrada.

The Girls from Ipanema
Rio during Carnaval is crammed with tourists from all over the world. Even so, Sheila Lamb and friends found some locals and had a wonderful experience.

Shopping Like a Hoochie-Mama
In the middle of a snow filled winter, Sheila Lamb found shopping for clothes for her impulse trip to Brazil very liberating.

It Happened One Night
A first glance and a few days on the Amazon have Philip Blazdell making hard choices of life and love.

The Call of the Amazon
Meghan Lambert finds herself in the untainted heart of the Amazon and receives a healing gift from the river.

Galloping through the Mountains of Bahia
On a horseride in Brazil, Meghan Lambert finds she could easily be a cowgirl, if only the theme music wasn’t so depressing.

Gemstones Galore
Allan Taylor found Rio to be the gemstone capital of the world for the sheer quantity, variety and quality of the stones.

Ilha Grande: low tech, low stress
Cheryl Morris prefers Robinson Crusoe rather than Princess Cruises type of holidays. Brazil’s Ilha Grande suited her perfectly.

The Magic of Bahia
Cheryl Morris found the African heart of Brazil with its own distinct spirit and rhythm.

Women and Waterfalls
In a land rife with poverty, violence and growing discontent, Stephanie Lemieux danced in the middle of a stream with a stranger who did not speak her language.

Carnaval in Bahia
Dan Newman experiences Carnaval away from the tourist crowds of Rio. Salvador’s Carnaval is said to be the most authentic celebration in Brazil.

Surely you must be joking, Mr Niemeyer
Despite its wide deserted streets, its science fiction inspired architecture and its strange compartmentalised layout, Philip Blazdell couldn’t help but bond with Brasilia – Brazil’s capital.

Non Stop Erotic Bingo
Philip Blazdell visited Sao Paulo and was visually overcome by the sheer size of the locally named ‘third greatest city in the world’.

Rio de Janeiro
After a year in Brazil and constant advice from his colleagues in the North East not to go to Rio, Philip Blazdell decided it was time.

Axé Rio! (Party Rio!)
Allen Rainey’s head has cleared up enough for him to write about Rio’s Carnaval – and to wonder when he’s going back.

Aboard the Floating Asylum
Dreams of a relaxing cruise down the Amazon, from Manaus to Belem, turned out to be more of a nightmare.

Tough Place; Tough Men
Jack Simpson’s journey to Brazil to look at property was made memorable more for the people he met than the countryside he saw.

Brass Conflict at the Beach
A brass band whipping up a hip-grinding samba? Well in Rio, yes. For as the local dictum goes, everything ends in samba.

Suffer the Children
If torture and murder be games, then the only people who play with Rio’s street kids are the death squads, observes Craig Guillot.

The Ghosts of Rio
Rio’s ‘ghosts’ aren’t actually people who are dead. But they are invisible, even when they do die.

Gringa in Sampa
As Brazil’s commercial capital, Sao Paulo can’t compare to Rio for sights. However, there are plenty of alternative sightseeing opportunities if you know where to look.

Manaus, a Jungle Within a Jungle
Although surrounded by the Amazon jungle, Manaus is a bustling city, not some sleepy tropical village.

Prohibition Town Blues
On a trip to Natal, Brazil’s northeast beach capital, election day means no drinking.

The Secret Policeman’s Whorehouse
A boat up the Amazon is an excellent way of travelling and meeting people. Merely being there implies an adventurous spirit.

Talkin’ About a Revolution
A trip to Belem, capital of the Brazilian state of Para to investigate the recent civil unrest.

Rumble in the Jungle
A shoddy bar the Brazilian jungle is no place for an Englishman as his team takes on the world champs of football.

500 Years of Brazil
The irresistable pull of Brazil to those who have lived there, especially around the country’s 500th anniversary.

The Spirit of Carnaval
A fail-proof technique for doing the samba and then applying it at Carnaval.

So This is Carnaval
Carnaval is many things to different people, but it has to be experienced.

Thinking About the Past
Slavery is very much a part of Brazil’s history, even if it is a fading memory.

What Is It About Brazil?
Some things that make Brazil unique, both good and bad (but mostly good).

The Blanket Express to Salvador
Salvador has been described as "a Greek salad of cultures, a place of great spirituality". However, it also has a dark past that should never be forgotten.

 


Chile
On Andean Trout
Allan Taylor found trout fishing in Chile tended to be a no-frills activity. Use of a rod is considered an idiosyncrasy of foreigners and an unnecessary luxury.

El Teniente
While wandering around Chile, Allan Taylor took advantage of the opportunity to visit the world’s largest underground mine.

Volcanoes Are My Friends
Haydn Barlow climbed a mountain on a mission for snow. Perhaps he should have chosen one that was not an active volcano.

Fiordland Cruise
Allan Taylor explored Chile’s wild west fiordland coast, a fascinating region of unique natural beauty, from the comfort of the Terra Australis.

Angler’s Kitchen
Allan Taylor suggests ways you can always be sure of a hot meal while on the road, without worrying about voltage converters or replacement gas cylinders.

Puerto Natales – Puerto Montt
Nicky McLean describes the three days aboard the ferry running from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt in southern Chile.

A Miracle in Viña
After a great encounter with a local in Chile, Gerry Schwartz took a chance for the price of a stamp and experienced a miracle in return.

Me & Pinochet
Circumstance can make for subtle revenge – even for Brad Newsham, an honest San Francisco cab driver who unwittingly gets back a little at Chile’s Gen. Pinochet.

Fishing Guide for Travellers
Guide for backpackers who like the idea of catching a fish now and then whilst roaming the world, with emphasis on South America.

Midwinter in Argentina and Chile
There is much debate over who has the southernmost train station in the world.


Colombia
Romancing the Boy
When she’s spent more time at the mall than in the garden, what’s Mica Campbell supposed to do when her boyfriend takes her to Colombia for a vacation?

Transporte Publico
Traveling by bus through Colombia, Mike Heavers is entertained by his surroundings – and the toilet.

Time Off in Taganga
Chris Vezey found Taganga, Colombia to be a strange place with odd people.

Costa Loca
Ivan Rothko ponders his risks being in idyllic, yet illusory, Santa Marta, Colombia.

La Tres Equinas
In the old walled city of the land of Escobar, Justin Pushman finds that ordering coke is as easy as ordering beer.

Parque Tayrona
The jungle might be closed for cleaning, but that won’t stop Justin Pushman, if he can ignore the dealer in the hotel corner.

Shed a Tear for Cartagena
This Colombian city used to be a wonderful travel destination – not so now. Fred Perry compares and contrasts past and present.

Colombia, Underwater
Close encounters with a stingray, barracuda sightings and breathing from an air pocket in an underwater cave.

Medellin, Colombia
Considered by many to be the most dangerous city in the world, with drug lords and assassinations, but also home to a famous artist and a festival of flowers.

Sleepless Sojourn
On a small tropical isle, sleep doesn’t come easy. But it’s when the water runs out that the fun really starts!

Manou
A story about an intense love affair between two people in the Colombian town of Cartagena.

More Than a Walk in Cartagena
This Colombian town could be a compression of nearly everything you might have ever fancied about Latin America.


Ecuador
An Evolutionary Experience
The islands that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution inspries different thoughts and feelings for Aidan Doyle.

South American Bus Veteran
Justin Rydberg considered himself a veteran South American bus passenger and considered an 8 hour journey in Ecuador to be a piece of cake. He quickly learned each ride is unique for surprises.

Slow Train to Market
It’s not often Richard Remsberg is up before the sun, but he found two very good reasons during his time in Ecuador.

Ecuador by Bus
If you need to get somewhere, anywhere, in Ecuador chances are it will be by bus. Fiona Maharg caught a glimpse of Ecuadorian life on these journeys.

Quito: Blood, Guts and Pigeon-Shit-Splattered Peaks
Quito, like other colonial cities in Latin America, was founded on blood. Dominic Hamilton found this reflected in the colonial art collections.

Cactus of San Pedro ? Don’t Try This at Home!
In the village of Vilcabamba, Ecuador an impulse to stay an extra day turns into an unusual experience.

New Year’s in Ecuador
All of the misfortunes and unhappiness of the "Año Viejo" go up in flames in the city of Cuenca.

Not So Perfect in Paradise
A trip to the Galapagos Islands leads to some interesting experiences.


French Guiana
Chasing Rainbows – French Guiana
Once home to exiled French prisoners, visitors might now find Guiana the right side of safe and just the wrong side of decadent.


Guyana
By Smuggler’s Boat From Guyana to Venezuela
Adventure travel of a different kind on a smuggler’s boat to Venezuela.


Peru
A Dying World
Living on man-made islands that must be reproduced every day, those on the Islas Flotantes stuggle to combine their old way of life with the demands of the tourists.

On The Inca Trail
Follow Thomas Gayton as he strolls the Inca Trail – observing, partaking, thinking.

A Walk in the Park
Much to Phil Ganz’s surprise, the Inca Trail proves to be the magical, mystical place everyone says it is.

A Place Above The Clouds
Nearing thirty years of age and having traveled extensively, Eric D. Lehman decided he wanted to go somewhere legendary, see a world wonder. What he saw brought him to tears.

Devils That Do Good
Thomas Carroll’s goal was to see the ‘inner vision’ of his mind by attending a shamanic San Pedro ceremony.

From Protest To Full-Scale Riot
The Nazca people could feel Samantha Colburn’s boredom and thought they would help out her and her friends.

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Samantha Colburn and her friends arrived into Cusco filthy, flea-bitten, starving, thirsty and exhausted. But they were alive.

Four-Day Trek on the Inca Trail
Robyn Dwyer quailed in her squeaky new hiking boots and wondered if she was going to make it all the way to Machu Picchu.

Traveler, Protect Your Money
Learn how to spot counterfeit bills in Peru with Thomas Carroll and save yourself the hassle of funny money.

When Wish You Wish Upon A Star, Altitude Sickness Will Flee Far
The first shooting star Erik Trinidad ever saw happened to be while he was on the Inca Trail, and it granted his wish.

Dollars or Sols?
Changing money in Peru is a long, drawn out process. Justin Pushman used it as an opportunity to practice his Spanish, but he soon wished he’d kept his mouth shut.

Nazca to Cusco
The most direct route was fraught with kidnappings and robberies, but Justin Pushman was in the perfect condition for a two day Andean pass bus journey. He’d already drunk most of a bottle of dark rum.

Finding the "Lost Treasure" of Tranquillity in Huanchaco
Randell Lee appreciated and understood the true value of ‘wasting time’ and doing absolutely ‘Nothing!’ in the beach town of Huanchaco.

Blow-outs, Buses and Booze
Andrew Bruton reckons if you travel in South America you’ll probably have an accident or two, but what’s certain is that if it’s not a fatal one, you’ll absolutely love it.

Amazon Boat Ride
Ride a yo-yo with Justin Pushman from Iquitos, but be sure to bring out-of-date crackers and a hammock.

Cock-a-Doodle Cusqueña
Derek Carlisle’s Peruvian host family shows him how to mark the end of the work week with a few beers and some cockfighting.

Destination: Machu Picchu
Derek Carlisle attempts to reach Machu Picchu the hard way after falling victim to a case of traveler’s diarrhea.

Butts, Blood and a Bloated Cow on a Peruvian Trek
In a place of death Kari Frizzle had never felt so alive. Until, that is, she starting puking up neon green liquids.

Walking the Fine Line
Craig Guillot seems to run into protests everywhere he goes in Latin America, but this time one wrong move could cause all hell to break loose.

Jungle Fever for Beginners
Pondering the new wave of travellers who seek out extreme experiences, while living in the jungle with Peruvian Indians.

The Inca Trail
A four day climb to the Inca city of Machu Picchu, without the aid of a porter.

Machu Picchu
Making a childhood dream of visiting the ancient city in Peru come true.

Unexpected Encounters on a High Altitude Tandem Tour
Slow motion travel leads to many wonderful meetings in Peru and Bolivia.

A Stylish French Restaurant in a tiny Peruvian village – Who would have thunk it?
Fine French cuisine in the unlikeliest of places.

A ‘Shaman’ Named Jesus
An hour conversation about life and living with one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.

Rafting the Apurimac River
The challenges of a 3 day white water rafting trip.


Suriname
Jungle Joy
For Kate Comiskey, the jungle not only brings her some of the greatest joy she’s ever experienced, it also brings her home.


Uruguay
Montevideo Devil
Adam Carter dances with the devil after being taken under the wing of a mysterious Australian.

Cops In Uruguay
Discover how Erik R. Trinidad and his buddy avoided a hefty bribe for three on-the-road violations.


Venezuela
A Day on the River
While canoeing a piranha-invested river in Venezuela, Denni Schnapp came face-to-face with the barrel of a gun.

A Golden Christmas
Spend Christmas in the small village of El Pauji in southeastern Venezuela.

Chasing the Rainbow
The Gran Sabana in Venezuela is in the grip of a latter day gold rush.

Los Roques, Venezuela
This lesser known archipelago is a natural paradise.


X-Country
Cruising Cape Horn and the Magellan Strait
Sylvia Seschel enjoyed several days in ports of call around Cape Horn, including Montevideo, Ushuaia, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.

Kite Tails from A Broad
While sailing on a square rigged brigantine Tall Ship, Elain Genser managed to stage the first International TransPacific Kitemaking Competition.

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