South American Adventure – Timeline and Index

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

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

Award-winning writer and solo female travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper travel. Lover of fun, adventure, food, Harry Potter, hiking, beaches, and chatting about the weather. Can be bought with cake.


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

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