The most visited city in the southern hemisphere. Incredible beaches, landscapes, and monuments. Perhaps the sexiest women in the world with golden brown skin, rythm in the blood, a sexy smile and off course – the booties:)
I had the luck to stay with some friends in an apartment just a block away from Ipanema beach. I also stayed a couple of nights in one of the favelas, where a swede had started a small hostel where just Swedish people stayed (yay..).
Among all the other tourists spots I visited one of the most famous landmarks in the world – Cristo Redentor. The Jesus statue looking over Rio de Janeiro, standing 40 metres tall on a 700 meter hill with a crazy beautiful view over Rio.
You can’t miss this place, trust me!
Click the image to view 4 panoramas form Rio, including 3 views from Cristo Redentor and a beautiful sunset on Ipanema Beach!
Rio, I’ll be back!!!
On the border between Argentina and Brazil lays one of the new Seven Natural Wonders of The World – Iguazu Falls.
With 2,7 km of waterfalls and almost 300 drops you can understand the humongousness of these waterfalls.
If you’re ever around the area you will thank yourself for the rest of your life by visiting this place.
Many people are having problems choosing what side of the border to visit. I say, take two days for the waterfalls and visit both sides. They’re showing different views and it never felt boring walking another day watching this fantastic creation of earth and water.
Click the picture to see the full 360-panoramas (actually 4 of them:)).
The morning coffee just went down. After sitting up till 5 am last night, stitching panoramas my eyes, body and mind are tired like a hard working man should be. My current location is Oslo, Norway where I bought a spontaneous bus ticket to last week, hoping to find a job and experience a new exciting city and its people. Job – Check! People – Check!
But let’s get to it. My South America trip is over, for this time. Could I have asked for a more action packed place to go to? The answer is no indeed. With all the wonderful places and people in South America, you know I’m rather happy to snap some photos of some of most of them. Therefore am I now presenting a bunch of kickass panoramas from Peru and Bolivia (don’t worry, have dozens from Argentina and Brazil waiting for you;)).
Posting the newest ones first.
A must-do in Tupiza, Bolivia is the well known horse riding tours in the amazing landscapes with red sand, crazy rock formations and off course – horses:)
Here standing by the Devil’s Door.
After a wonderful three hours of horse riding we drove to some other sick scenery around Tupiza. Moon Valley looks like another planet with its naturally carved rocks.
Deep down in the mines of Potosi, Bolivia. Potosi is one of the highest cities in the world with an altitude of 4090 metres above sea level. Another super touristy but exciting thing on your list of things to experience in Bolivia.
The biggest salt flats in the world with 10,582 square kilometres of salt – Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia. Can you imagine that there were several prehistoric lakes that created this huge salt desert at almost 4000 m.a.s.l.
Just outside the Salt Hotel.
On the three day Salt Flat tour (which I highly recommend) you go to, among many other places, to these boiling geysers outside of Uyuni. I have never felt like being mars-like planet more than when walking around here. Superduperextra-cool!
Lo and behold, the giant yellow wall that lies in the background is actually filled with real, dinosaur footprints! Welcome to El Parque Cretácico (Dinosaur Park) in Sucre, Bolivia.
On what seemed to be a normal day we woke up in La Paz, Bolivia not knowing that the day we survived the famous Death Road was actually on Friday 13th! It is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”. One estimate is that 200 to 300 travellers are killed yearly along the road (from Wikipedia).
Our camp on the Pampas tour in the Bolivian Amazonas Jungle. Swimming with pink dolphins, and boating around the rivers all day was truly incredible and something one must not miss! PS. Can you spot the alligator in the panorama?
Probably the coolest airport I’ve ever been to. Rurrenabaque Airport in the Amazonas Jungle.
And this plane, taking us to the airport above, wasn’t what you would say “spacey”:) Fun thing is that the pilots didn’t even notice me putting up a big tripod and taking “weird” photos in the cabin:)
After missing out on a superb sunset we took off to a view point in La Paz the next evening. And I shit you not when I say that this night, presented in front of our eyes, was the most dramatic sunset / storm clouds I’ve ever witnessed! La Paz, Bolivia.
Lake Titicaca on the border between Peru and Bolivia is known as the highest lake in the world.
Here we’re walking inside the Temple of the Sun.
A three day trek in Peru’s Colco Canyon took us to this place where we luckily saw a handful of Condors. Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world and twice as deep as Grand Canyon in the US. Colca Caynon is Peru’s third most-visited tourist attraction.
Walking the street markets of Cusco, Peru.
This is on a sunny day a beautiful view over Cusco. Unfortunately not on this day:P
Taking a winery tour in Huacachina, Peru. These wines are not the normal wine you would to your dinner but almost all of them were super sweet. But cheap as chips and it’ll get you goin;) If you’re going to Huacachina (which is an absolute MUST) I would highly recommend staying at Bananas Hotel. From there you can book all trips you want, the staff are great and don’t forget to try the Veggie Sandwich in the bar – delicato! (However, don’t order if you’re in a hurry. The Peruvian service is not the fastest… really)
Outside the surfer town of Huanchaco is the big city Trujillo where you can find many temples and ruins. A nice day tour if you’re in the area.
Huanchaco does not only offers great surf, but on the beach you can see plenty of the typical and ancient Peruvian fishing boats Caballitos de Totora.
Sunset view from the lighthouse in Mancora.
Mancora is the often the first or last place your visit in Peru (depending on what direction you’re going). One can describe the little town with two words. Surfing and partying:) Mancora has also one of the coolest hostels I’ve ever been to, Loki Mancora which I’ve written about here on blog before. Go there!
Never have I ever (o yeah) been to a proper desert beofore a week ago. The wonderful place Huacachina is a tiny town surrounding a lagoon in the Peruvian desert. Its extraordinary beauty and location has earned it a place on the Peruvian 50-soles notes. The town is known for it’s sandboarding trips in the desert, and let me tell you folks. Laying on a wooden board going down huge sand dunes in extreme speeds is off the chain! To get out to the big sand dunes your going in a big sand buggy (our’s had room for 12 people), and with our great hostel owner Antonio as the driver, we couldn’t have asked for a better ride. I had the luck to get the front seat in the buggy and trust me, it was a thrilling experience going over the top of sand dunes – especially when Antonio drove like crazy and showed off with “no-hands”!
After sandboarding down a couple of sand dunes we finished the trip by watching an astonishing vibrant red-yellow-purple sunset in the desert:)
Everyone who’s been to Mancora, Peru, will recognize this awesome place. Loki Hostel is most backpackers dream hostel, with the looks of a luxurious resort hotel but the atmosphere and party vibe of a chilled youth club!
I just came back from what was supposed to be a week in the Galapagos Islands, but after not one but two changes of my return ticket, a whole 12 days was spent in this wild life paradise. All of a sudden mainland Ecuador seems a bit boring and dull, after spending 12 days in of the most remarkable places on this planet.
The history of this extraordinary archipelago was one of the main inspirations to a young Charles Darwin, that would 20 years after he visited the islands, result in one of the most important scientific breakthroughs known to man kind – The Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection. The abundance of wild life and species not present anywhere else on this planet makes Galapagos a truly unique place to visit. One day I visited the Center of Interpretation (the history of Galapagos) on island San Cristobal, where I (not for the first time:P) read the fascinating story of the young Charles Darwin sailing around the world on the ship HMS Beagle, studying and collecting detailed notes about the wild life he came across. He did not process his notes until many years later, when he finally started so see too many similarities between species, for the chance to originate.
Because the animals that found their way to this relatively new volcanic archipelago did not have any natural enemies such as predators, they simply didn’t need to be afraid of other species. Every day I walked around among Sea Lions, thousands of big Marine Iguanas, giant Galapagos Tortoises (land turtles that can weigh up to 250 kg and live for more than 150 years), Blue Footed Boobies, Flamingos and a crowd of other animals. As a male mildly interesting in photography, you can solve the Sudoku and get that this was a paradise for me! Coming this close to wild animals is extremely rare and the feeling of breathing beside our fellow animals is not to be taken for granted, but to gratefully embrace the special moment given to you.
Island Isabella is the biggest of the islands and also a favorite spot among many people. Other than great snorkeling with turtles, white tipped reef sharks, sting rays, sea lions etc. the half-day trip to the very small and nearby island Tintoreras is well worth its $20!
Isabella also offers great surfing for people like myself, who loves the life on a surf board. One day two Germans and me took a boat with some locals out to a great reef break 20 minutes boat ride from the port. The waves were incredible and never have I surfed a reef break with walls of water like this:)
On the main island Santa Cruz there’s a national park area called El Chato, where I had one of my life’s most spectacular wild life experiences. This high land national park is the Mexico City for the incredible Galapagos Tortoises. These huge land turtles walks around eating grass, chilling out and mating. And to watch them from their own backyard is unreal. Definitely a place everyone going to Galapagos must pay a visit to.
Last but maybe the most amazing experience of my paradise trip to Galapagos is the dive trip on my next last day. With the great dive company Macarron Diving, I went up before the rooster crows, had my morning drug (coffee) and off we flew with the dive boat. On the way out it seemed to be happy hour, seeing two pairs of turtles mating in the ocean, made us in the boat slightly jealous but happy to see that even turtles need their morning glory:)
Diving at the well known dive site Mosquera, they told us that we might see Hammerhead sharks. Knowing that diving is a lottery we kind of counted on not seeing any. But boy, how wrong a man can be. The first thing that showed up when we descended was nothing else but a big Hammerhead shark:) The first dive was insane, with probably 10 Hammerheads, a school of 15 Manta Rays, Galapagos Sharks, sea lions, Eagle Rays and shit loads of fish in all flavours. The second dive offered approximately 5 Hammerheads, but this time, we saw a school of probably 30 Eagle Rays! It feels magical to see so many of these graceful animals swim butter smooth from under the surface. To see Hammerheads is something extremely special, but to not only see Hammerheads, but also schools of Manta Rays, Eagly Rays, Stone Scorpion Fish and being completely surrounded by humongous schools of silvery fish during the same dive – That is a dive that will be hard-beaten:)
As usual I will provide some scenes from Galapagos, and more will come when the time comes.
On the beautiful island of Isabella the great Hostel Caleta Iguana shows why it got its name. Julia and Mauritz just came back from a nice morning surf:)
From island San Cristobal I went for a dive trip to the dive site Kickers Rock, Johnson and Dave are relaxing on the boat between our two dives. We saw approximately 30 Galapagos Sharks swimming above us, heaps of turtles, a big Eagle Ray and much more.
When the fishermen unloads the day’s catch our hungry and extremely not-shy friends, the pelicans, make sure they’re in for a bite.
The central beach on San Cristobal is a favorite spot for the lazy sea lions. Watch out for the males as they can become a bit grouchy when coming to close to them or their family..
Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. I was walking around in Puerto Ayora on island Santa Cruz when I saw this beautiful hotel just by the little port. The weather was smiling at me, and I felt the good spirits where with me. So in I walked, asked the reception if it was fine if I took some photos. They could say nothing but yes to the friendly man standing in front of them. Next day I went back and asked to speak to the owner, another request they reluctantly obeyed. The owner was very pleased with my visit and simply could not resist the sweet taste of photographic awesomeness presented before his gasping eye balls.
Enjoy some more panoramas from the beautiful country of Colombia.
Will add stories about them later:)
View from the Hills of Medellin.
In the middle of The Old Town in Cartagena.
Taken from the roof top at the excellent hostel La Brisa Loca, in Santa Marta.
The main floor of La Brisa Loca.
This is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to in my entire life! Costeno Beach about an hour outside of Santa Marta.
The astonishing Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park. I was lucky to get a hammock in this round house up on the rock:)
From the beach at Cabo San Juan, sweet!
When I get a little more time on a computer I will write some stories about these wonderful places.
And thee shalt not be worried. I have arrived in one piece to my first destination, Bogota, Colombia. And what a great place be welcomed to.
The flight here was a bit exciting and I met some really nice people. The first thing meeting me at to Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg was a big screen saying my flight was canceled..
After a couple of hours delay I came to Frankfurt were I had already missed my flight to Bogota. They managed to book me in on a flight via one of my favourite vacation countries, Dominican Republic, however with a nice present of 9 hours waiting. A train to Frankfurt center for a couple of hours, a big coffee at Starbucks and a few small chats to Germans later I was on a flight to Dominican Republic for a short transit, then another stop at Panama City (seems to be a sweet country!). It’s funny what a missed flight and sudden changes of plans can bring. On the plane to Dominican Republic I heard two girls speaking Swedish. With my friendliest voice and a couple of minutes later, I managed to get both of the girls in the airplane bathroom with me, all naked!
OK, that might not be all true, not even close to the truth, but at least we had a nice conversation and exchanged some good stories:) On the transit stop in Panama City a guy behind me asked if I was Swedish. He was from Peru and had been studying in Umea for a year but was going back to Lima, Peru. Awesome dude who also happened to be surfing. He told me when I get to Lima, he’ll show me around and take me out for some surf and we exhanged contact informacione.
This is the brightest side of missed flights, delays and to the common man – misery. And reminds me that every situation, however shit it might seem, can bring some good things. In this case, some wonderful people that I hope to meet again on my travels.
I’m sitting here writing this in a hostel in the area Candelaria in Colombias capital Bogota. Since I hadn’t done any research, booked anywhere to stay or even looked at places to stay I was kind of in a very.. free situation, to put it positively. I got my bag and made it out of the security controls and walked towards the little tourist information desk. When the woman showed me on a map where the best area to find hostels were, two brittish girls were standing blowing me in my ear to get a look at the map.
We shared a taxi to the hostel area in town and I thought I might as well check out what their hostel was like. I hadn’t even reached the check-in desk before a spanish speaking woman lead me to an empty bed in a six bed dorm:) Neither did I have to check in, say how long I was staying or pay before hand. No, no, no, apparently you pay when you leave and the friendly and laid back staff was incredible!
In my dorm (hostel room) stood a dark curly haired and bearded guy saying “Welcome to Colombia! My name is Daniel”.
He turned out to be super cool, and one of the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve ever met. That after noon he showed me around Bogota City for a couple of hours, before happily showing my appreciation by buying him a late lunch.
The first night at the Hostel Sue offered a Party Bus Tour which I wasn’t late to jump on with the rest of the hostel people.
And let me tell you dear friends, the Colombian night life is something above the ordinary. First night was great, and the second night, a saturday off course, was even more spectacular. I can without hesitation say this was the craziest night in my life!! (no mum, I didn’t do drugs).
Yesterday was raining so we just walked around town for a bit, but the good weather today made me go up super early and take the cable car up the mountain looking over Bogota. Got some amazing photos and also had a really nice day. Now, we’re sitting drinking a couple of expensive beer at the hostel. 2000 Colombian Pesos, approximately 1 US dollar or 6,9 Swedish kronor do we have to spend on this poisonous drink.. Ruthless!
Well, here is the garden section of the excellent hostel Sue.
From today’s trip up the mountain looking over Bogota.
To be continued.
Here’s a panorama from the salt cathedral in Zipaquira. Biggest underground cross on the planet measuring 16 metres high and 10 metre wide.