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Category: Backpacking in South America

I fell in love with South America.  So different from Europe, intoxicating and exciting, I found backpacking in South America to be easier and safer than I had anticipated.  Of course, keep your wits about you, but be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime!

Ziplining in Mindo, Ecuador

Ziplining in Mindo, Ecuador

Mindo is a beautiful little town, a couple of hours’ bus ride from Quito.  If you are looking to escape from the city and get back to nature, Mindo is definitely the place for that.  However, don’t expect Mindo to be boring.  There is plenty to do here, not least a ziplining adventure!   I’m not really into extreme sports, but every now and again I feel the urge to do something crazy!  Perfect for adrenaline junkies or those simply…

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Otavalo Market & More: It’s Not Just the Market in Otavalo

Otavalo Market & More: It’s Not Just the Market in Otavalo

The market in Otavalo is what draws tourists here, but this little town has much more to explore, not just a market.  Otavalo market is, of course, wonderful, and is open every day, from around 9am to 5pm during the week.  The real fun is on Saturday when the market spills over onto nearby streets, and locals from across the region come to make their purchases, but even on a Tuesday there is still plenty to see, and buy! Find accommodation…

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Sao Paulo Street Art

Sao Paulo Street Art

One of the (many) things I love about South America is the abundance of awesome street art.  Beautiful murals brighten up the dullest of days, as street artists express themselves on blank surfaces all over the cities.  This isn’t graffiti, far from it, this is art.  More skilled with a spray can than I could ever be with a brush, I am continuously awed by street artists and their creations.  Sao Paulo street art is an example of the best….

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WIN A FREE PASS ON PERU HOP WORTH $199 USD

WIN A FREE PASS ON PERU HOP WORTH $199 USD

COMPETITION TIME!   I am very excited to announce that Tales of a Backpacker has teamed up with Peru Hop to give one of you lucky people a free pass to travel through Peru, worth up to $199 USD!  About the Prize The lucky winner will receive a free pass on Peru Hop worth up to $199 USD.  They can choose their route from the options available from Lima to Cusco, or Cusco to Lima, or a Short Tour (subject…

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You Know You’re a Seasoned Backpacker When….

You Know You’re a Seasoned Backpacker When….

Backpacking or travelling for a long period of time is an incredible experience – rewarding, exhilarating and life-changing.  However, when travelling for a long time, there are some things that start to affect your daily life, and that people recognise in you even if you don’t see it for yourself! Here are just a few things I realised I have started doing after spending a long time on the road! Planning a trip?  These Travel Planning Resources can help! You…

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A Practical Guide to Tayrona National Park

A Practical Guide to Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park, or Parque Nacional Tayrona as it’s called in Spanish, is on the northern coast of Colombia, enjoying the heavenly warm seas of the Caribbean.  In this practical guide to Tayrona National Park you’ll see how to get there, what to take & where to camp in Parque Tayrona.  One of the most beautiful places I have ever been, don’t miss it! How to Get to Tayrona National Park Santa Marta or Palomino make great bases to stay before and…

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Tayrona National Park: Much More Than Beautiful Beaches

Tayrona National Park: Much More Than Beautiful Beaches

Tayrona National Park, or Parque Nacional Tayrona as its called in Spanish, should be on any Colombian itinerary.  The protected area on Colombia’s northern coast spans 150 km2 of land, and 30km2 of ocean, providing lush forest, glorious coastline and pre-Hispanic history to explore.  Obviously, the beaches are stunning, but there is more to Tayrona than just the beaches, and I’d recommend at least a two-night stay to make the most of your time here.  And definitely stay overnight, to see…

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Crossing Borders in South America – Your Guide

Crossing Borders in South America – Your Guide

Crossing an international border in South America is, on the whole, very easy.  A little too easy in fact.  I have crossed 14 international borders in South America since I arrived last August, and once you know how it works the first time, the rest of the crossings should be a doddle.  There are still a few things to bear in mind when you are crossing borders in South America. During my 10 month journey I have crossed the following…

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Bus Travel in South America: Everything You Need to Know

Bus Travel in South America: Everything You Need to Know

Travelling by bus in South America can be a great way to get around cheaply and easily.  Long distance buses are usually (not always!) fairly comfortable with reclining seats and air con, and some even include drinks, snacks and films to watch.  Others of course are more basic, but all are incredible good value compared with European bus travel.  However, there are some things you need to know before embarking on your journey, to help you navigate the sometimes very…

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