Under the charm of Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia (Chile)

If you are following our trip “live”, you may have noticed we have been silent for more than a week. No posts, no tweets, no Instagram pictures. So what did we do the last 8 days? We walked. 151kms to be precise, for more than 47 hours of hiking, over 8 days and 8 nights of camping to explore one of the jewels of Patagonia: National Park Torres del Paine (Chile). I am now sharing the magic of this place in 14 pictures captioned with extract from my travel diary. Enjoy the trip!


1. Kilometer 0, day 1: the starting point of the “Circuit” trek

Fresh and excited. Note that we are doing the trek in autonomy and carrying around 30kg of equipment between us 2: tent, mattress, sleeping bags, food for 8 days.

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Rio Azul loop, 3 day trek around El Bolson

Is it the fresh air of the mountains and the tasty water from the glaciers that makes people from El Bolson so happy? Guidebooks have described El Bolson as a hippie community, and if not all wear dreadlocks, you have to admit that these people seems to know how to live! The good news is that the mountains around El Bolson offer infinite possibilities for hiking, a good chance to check it by yourself, for example with this beautiful 3 days trek.

Why go hiking around El Bolson?


Is it the Shire? No, it’s Argentina!


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Into the wild: our first 2 day trek in autonomy

Walking kilometers, we have done. Trekking for several days too. Climbing submits, as well. But so far, all our hikes always ended up with a nice meal not cooked by us, and a night in a tent nor carried nor pitched by us. In prevision of our upcoming 9 days of trek in south Patagonia, we decided it was time to take the pluge and do our first trek in autonomy. A recommendation from an outdoor shop sales guy and here we were: on active volcano Villarica close to Pucon, Chile ; ready to conquer the first part of the Villarica traverse with a bit less than 20kg of equipment between us two. What could possibly go wrong?

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5 reasons why Ilha Grande (Brazil) feels like a little paradise

“If you want to relax, come to Ilha Grande. If you want to be active, come to Ilha Grande”. Just a few hours from Rio de Janerio, the brazilian island Ilha Grande has seduced locals for decades. Many international travelers now also head off to the lovely island to relax after a few days in bursting Rio de Janeiro. Hikers or beach lovers, all meet at the end of the afternoon by the beach to sip a few caipirinhas.

No cars

Just listen. Did you hear the silence? Maintenance trucks aside, there are no motorized vehicule on the island. Locals like tourists go around by foot, by bike or by boat, highly contributing to the laid back atmosphere of the island.

Chances are you will fall in love with the island even before you leave the boat

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The salineras of Maras, an other inca heritage site you should visit

There is more than Machu Picchu as Inca ruins you can visit in Peru! Just 40km north of Cusco, in the middle of the Sacred Valley, lies the Salineras de Maras, another demonstration of the Incas’ agricultural and engineering skills. For thousands of years, locals have harvested the salt of a mountain stream via traditionnal evaporation method on 3000 salt pools.


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Tip to get a stunning view from Machu Picchu

For almost every traveller to Peru, a visit to the mythic Inca city of Machu Picchu is a must. Are you planning to visit the ruins? Make sure your ticket includes the entrance to Machu Picchu mountain, the little hidden gem of the most popular archeological site of the continent. It´s from there you will get the most spectacular views.


View from Machu Picchu montana: the ruins and on the left Huayna Picchu!

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Hiking the Quilotoa Loop, one of Ecuador´s best self guided trek

This is a trek that should be on any hiker´s bucket list!

Just 3 hours from Quito, the splendid “Quilotoa Loop” has gained the heart of many travellers. During your time over there (from a day to 2 weeks), you will get close to rural indigenious life and enjoy a variety of landscapes with majestic canyons, lagunas and volcanoes. And, ice on the cake for independant travellers, you can do it 100% self-guided! Get inspired by the pictures and start planning your trek with this article.


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Buying a Tigua painting, a memory from the Quilotoa Loop in vibrant colors

Our hostel room was of course decorated with a beautiful Tigua painting

There is not much to do in Tigua. Many deserted the village over the last decades and the ones remaining are living of agriculture. But Tigua, pitoresque village of the Quilotoa Loop, made it to the international scene thanks to its art.

Today the main attraction of the village is its 3 galleries selling traditionnal “Tigua paintings”.
Indigenous artists express on sheep skin canvas traditionnal stories and daily life of the Quilotoa area. Indigenous cultivating the edges of the volcano, llamas pasturing, condor flying over snow-capped summits, they capture in vibrant colors the atmosphere of Andean rural life.


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Climbing Cotopaxi volcano under the moonlight (5000m)

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” W Clement Stone

You don´t have any alpinism experience nor did You ever walk on a glacier before. Still, many agencies in Quito and Latacunga offer to take you to climb Cotopaxi, the second highest peak of Ecuador (5897m/19347feet). Tempting…? Go ahead! Even if you don´t make it to the top, you will experience during a night what it is to be an alpinist, and embrace stunning views of the volcanoes.

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