Best things to do in Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre What to di in Sucre

WHAT TO DO IN SUCRE + TRAVEL TIPS

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This guide was written by CJ Haughey, author of The Digital Crusader, a blog for slow-travelling introverts and digital nomad wannabes.

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Supreme Court Of Bolivia In Sucre is located in Sucre, capital of Bolivia

 

Often left in the shadow of her popular neighbours, Bolivia has much more than the famous Salt Flats and the terrifying Death Road. If you visit Sucre, you’re sure to uncover quite a few gems in the most beautiful city in Bolivia. The capital certainly has its charms and many people stay much longer than intended.

Are you ready to discover Sucre and to find out about the best things to do in Sucre?

Find out about:

  • Best Places to visit in Sucre
  • Best things to do in Sucre 
  • How to get to Sucre
  • How to get around in Sucre
  • Best places to stay in Sucre
  • Best places to at and drink in Sucre
  • Best time to visit Sucre
  • Things to pack for Sucre
  • Security tips for female travelers in Sucre

Best places to visit in Sucre

Lest start with the best places to visit in Sucre!

Plaza 25 de Mayo

Sucre’s colonial architecture has earned it the nickname of ‘The White City’.

Things to do in Sucre Bolivia

Its ever-vibrant park is the perfect centrepiece, nestled between fantastic buildings such as the Cathedral and Casa de la Libertad. Boasting beautiful shrubbery and a large statue of Antonio José de Sucre, the Plaza is always full of life.

While the child beggars can tug on your heartstrings, this is a nice place to chill with a coffee and people-watch, particularly if you arrive in time for one of the sporadic musical performances.

Parque Bolivar

Simon Bolivar led Bolivia to independence from Spain in 1825.

Where to go in Sucre
Pic: saiko3p / Shutterstock.com

You can check out a portrait of him in the Casa de Libertad and even see the declaration of independence preserved in a glass case. To really have a good time in Simon’s honour, head north a few blocks from the Plaza and you’ll find the biggest public park in the city.

It’s usually busy with young families, amorous couples and cute puppies as well as plenty of decent fast-food options adjacent to the park grounds. The park many benches and open green space for picnics or simply chilling under a tree with a good book. Not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon!

La Recoleta

Perched high on the south side of the city is the picturesque area of La Recoleta.

La Recoleta in Sucre - things to do in sucre bolivia

The name itself belongs to the 17th century Franciscan monastery that attracts tourists and locals every day. Local kids play football in the plaza and tourists enjoy great views of the city from the arched tunnel or nearby Café Mirador. The sight of the terracotta rooftops at sunset is definitely worth tackling the steep hills.

Museo de Arte Indigena

Just a little stroll down the cobbled streets from La Recoleta you’ll see a sign for this museum.

Museo de Arte Indigena in Sucre - what to do in Sucre

Greeted by a pretty garden full of cacti, visitors can explore the wealth of artefacts, tools, textiles and costumes. This provides a fascinating insight into the indigenous culture and many tribes of Bolivia. There are also some spooky cavemen skulls complete with intact hair braids.

Entrance is 22 Bs. It’s another 10 Bs to take photos.

Parque Cretácico

Sucre is home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur footprints ever discovered.

Cretácico
@shutterstock

Found in 1985 in the grounds of the surrounding cement factory, the prints are set into a cliff-face. You can explore it all in an hour and get pretty close to the prints, but don’t touch them!

Cretácico

A taxi from the city centre is 30 Bs. Entrance plus a guided tour costs 30 Bs. It’s another 10 Bs to take photos.

La Glorieta Castle

The only prince and princess in the history of Bolivia had no children but they did leave behind a fascinating pink, fairytale castle, El Castillo de la Glorieta.

Sucre Bolivia things to do

While the building is largely empty, a look around it and up the spiral staircase of the gothic tower is certainly worth doing during your visit to Sucre.

A taxi from the city centre is 30 Bs. Entrance costs 20 Bs. It’s another 10 Bs to take photos.

El Cementerio

This may seem a little grim but I promise you it’s worth a look.

Best places to visit in Sucre
Matias Rehak / Shutterstock.com

All I can say is that Sucre’s cemetery is by far the prettiest graveyard I have ever visited. Impressive pathways and well-tended gardens blend in with incredible stone tombs and glass shrines. There is a serene calm about the place and it is definitely an interesting walk should you find yourself at the end of Calle Loa, about 7 blocks from the central Plaza.

Best Things to Do in Sucre

Here are a few great tips on fun things to do in Sucre.

Explore Tarabuco Market

Mercado Central has basically most of your grocery needs but if you have a little more time on hand, a trip to Tarabuco is a great way to spend a Sunday.

Peruse the many stalls, practice your Spanish with fruit vendors and try the local fare. Soak up the Yampara culture and buy some trinkets before catching the bus back to Sucre after lunch.

The market is only on Sundays and is best in the morning. Get up early and catch the #14 bus outside Mercado Central. It’ll cost 1.50Bs and take you to the crossroads of Avenida de las Americas and Avenida German Mendoza. You can get a minibus to Tarabuco from here. It’ll take another 10Bs and close to two hours but once you get there you’ll be glad you made it.

Hike Maragua Crater

If you seek outdoor adventure then this is the ultimate hiking trip in Sucre.

Crater of volcano Maragua in Bolivia
@shutterstock

The trek requires a little effort but the views of the mountains and valleys are worth the walk. Visit Condor Café to check out trip options from 1 day to 4 days. Most include visits to ancient cave paintings, dinosaur footprints and home-stays in mountain villages.

Enjoy a Night at Espacio Cultural Origenes

For a truly cultural experience, don’t miss this! While the food is not mind-blowing, the show itself is a spectacle not to be missed as a team of enthusiastic dancers don fabulous traditional costumes and put on an elaborate performance of folk dances for the better part of two hours.

Shows are on every night except Sunday. The restaurant opens at 7.30pm and the show begins just after 8pm. The location is on Azurday, a few blocks from the Plaza. Entrance plus the meal costs 160 Bs. Photography is free but it’s another 10 Bs to take videos (Unless you’re sneaky!)

Learn Spanish

Bolivia is reputed to have the most neutral accent on the continent, plus it is one of the cheapest countries in South America. As a result, you’ll struggle to find a better place to take some Spanish lessons. The city has a bunch of good schools around. Personally, I recommend Sucre Spanish School on Calle Calvo. They offer group lessons as well as one-to-one classes with a focus on total language immersion. The school can also help you find accommodation and offer weekly events including salsa and cooking nights.

Address: Calle Calvo, Cost: From 35 Bs per hour. 

Important travel information for Sucre

Here are some important travel tips for Sucre.

Best places to stay in Sucre

Now, it is about the important aspect of where to stay in Sucre.

Best places to stay in Sucre Bolivia

It’s not hard to find great accommodation for a bargain price in Bolivia. The best places in Sucre are generally close to the city centre, with many just a block or two away from the Plaza. You can’t go wrong with any of these.

Villa Oropeza: Located on Calle Loa, this large hostel has a mix of private rooms and dorm options. All rooms are equipped with large lockers and WiFi is decent throughout. There is a nice back garden area and roof patio as well as two kitchens and a cheap laundry service. This is a nice hostel to stay and meet some fellow backpackers.

Dorm beds start around 50 Bs per night and a double room with ensuite is about 160 Bs.

Casa Verde: This tranquil B&B is a short walk from the Plaza. Guests here can enjoy a peaceful stay in comfortable rooms, equipped with WiFi, hot showers and a TV. There’s also a great breakfast and nice courtyard. Single rooms start at 150 Bs per night.

La Recoleta Apartments: If you’re planning on a longer stay in Sucre, it is great value to get an apartment. We got a fabulous place in a gated community, with large living areas, a beautiful back garden and easily the best view in the entire city. As a digital nomad, I can think of no better place to stay in Sucre.

Contact: Marcelo through Airbnb (if you are an Airbnb first-time use you can save money with my link by clicking here).

Rent starts about 140 Bs per night, negotiable depending on the length of stay. 

Travel Tips for Using Airbnb Safely as a Female Traveler

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Sucre

Joy Ride

Billing itself as not just for gringos, Joy Ride is the most popular spot in town for tourists. Great food, good vibe, lively salsa nights make it worth checking out.

Address: Calle Nicolas Ortiz 14 

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 2.30am; Sun 7am-12am; closed Sat.

Bienmesabe

This little Venezuelan gem is a personal favourite. The menu offers tasty veggie or meat fillings for either cachpas or arepas, served up fast with a smile and a delicious fruit smoothy. This place is an absolute bargain for lunch or dinner.

Address: Calle Grau 

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-1.30pm; Mon, Wed, Fri 4.30pm-8pm; closed weekends

El Germen

If you want a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan grub that caters for breakfast and lunch, you’ll be spoilt for choice here! The service can be a little slow but you’ll struggle to find a better purely veggie restaurant in Sucre.

Address: Calle Audencia 92 

Opening Hours: Everyday, 8am-11pm

La Quimba

If you want real local dining experience, come here. The food menu may be limited but throw in some live music from a Latin jazz band and a few craft beers and you’re guaranteed a good night.

Address: Calle Grau 238

Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 7pm-1am; closed Sun, Mon.

Café Florin

Florin is one for the football fans. But even if you’re not into soccer, the busy game day atmosphere is a fun place to be while enjoying some of the best Pique a lo Macho in Sucre.

Address: Calle Bolivar 567

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-2am; Sat 8.30am-3am; Sun 8.30am-12am

How to get to Sucre

By bus

Located in the south-central part of Bolivia, Sucre is accessible by a number of major bus routes from around the country. However, as many roads in Bolivia are in a poor state, bus journeys can be long. It’s best to pay a few extra bucks to get a cama or at least semi-cama ticket so you can recline your seat and travel in comfort. Another tip is to buy your ticket a day or two in advance as popular routes often sell out.

Sucre bus terminal is on the rural outskirts of the city. A short taxi ride into the city centre will take 15 minutes and cost 10 Bs.

By train

If you’re in no rush, the slow train between Potosi and Sucre is a cheap option at 25 Bs. This eight-hour journey departs at 8am, alternating directions each day. The journey to Sucre can be done Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. While it may be slow, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Chuiquisaca countryside along the way.

The El Tejar train station in Sucre is about 10 minutes and 10 Bs away in a taxi.

By plane

For those coming from afar, it’s possible to fly into Alcantari International, which is about 25km outside of the city. BoA operates direct flights from Madrid, Buenos Aires, Salta and Sau Paulo as well as domestic routes to and from La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

A taxi into the city centre will take about 45 minutes and cost around 50 Bs.

How to get around in Sucre

Sucre may be the capital city but it is relatively small and thus easy to get around on foot. Its grid-like pattern is a throwback to Spanish rule and easy to navigate. If you want to explore the many sites and buildings, just grab yourself a good map and go! I recommend the one from Joy Ride.

One drawback is the many steep hills, particularly on the way to La Recoleta. Luckily, taxis are cheap with 10 Bs usually enough to get you anywhere within the city centre and surrounding 4-5 blocks.

Best time to visit Sucre

Sucre enjoys a temperate climate year-round, with cool, dry winters and occasional rainy spells in the summer. Recent years have seen prolonged droughts in the city during November-February, which can make things a little difficult.

Some zones even have their water restricted for days at a time and so this is something to keep an eye out for when planning your trip. April and May are great times to visit as the summer heat dies down and the colors of autumn arrive. This is a great time to explore hiking trails such as Las Siete Cascadas or Maragua.

Things to pack for Sucre

Generally speaking, the backpacking rule of thumb is to look at what you’re about to take with you before deciding to bring twice as much cash and half as much possessions. It’s always good to travel light, particularly in hotter weather. An extensive list is not required here but there are some important considerations you should be aware of.

Sucre is not quite as high as La Paz; however the altitude should not be underestimated. The sun’s glare is strong, even through the clouds. Plus the altitude can trouble some people, particularly if you eat late in the evenings. As such, the following are essentials for your visit to Sucre, especially if you are there in hot weather or going hiking:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • A hat or bandana
  • Headache tablets like Panadol or Advil
  • T-shirts and shorts for the daytime
  • Light sweater or jacket for the evenings
  • One pair of jeans for colder nights
  • Hiking boots

Security Tips (for Females)

Generally speaking, Sucre is a very safe city. Locals here may not speak a lot of English but they are welcome and genuine. That being said, petty theft does occur and so it’s always wise to keep your belongings close and valuables concealed.

Things to do in Sucre
SL-Photography / Shutterstock.com

Traveling with hidden purses such as a bra-wallet or only carrying small cash instead of a wallet full of cards is wise, particularly when visiting crowded places like Tarabuco Market.

When walking with male friends, women don’t seem to get any trouble. However, my girlfriend received some cat-calls and stares from local men when exploring the city without me.

When traveling at night, women should avoid the darker outskirts of the city, especially if they are alone. Taxis are generally trustworthy but should you have any concerns, get a hostel or restaurant staff member to call a reputable service.

Sucre has a lot of street dogs, many of which have been through the wars. As a result, some can be a little skittish or defensive so take care if you decide to pet or feed any of them.

Are you ready to discover Sucre?

With its great climate and cheap cost of living, Sucre is undoubtedly one of the best places to start your trip of the continent by staying a while to learn Spanish. It is small-town feel and safe atmosphere makes it very easy to get comfortable and stay for a while.

With improving WiFi and a range of great little cafés and restaurants, Sucre is a great spot for both backpacker visits and long-term digital nomads to stop by on a trip through South America.

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Author Bio

CJ Haughey is whispering tips and tales on how to create a digital nomad life on his blog The Digital Crusader. Follow him and The Travelling Tortoise on their adventures around South America on Facebook

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Safe Travels, Arzo
Safe Travels, Arzo

10 Top Things to Do in Peru – Arzo Travels

What to Do in Peru + Important Travel Information for Peru

Fnd out about the 10 best things to do in Peru – best places to see and best activities in Peru- and find some important travel information for Peru in this post!

This post was written by Cassandra

Peru is an amazing country filled with variety. Desert, cities, mountains, and rainforest.

A mixture of ancient Incan history and modern cities await- you will see ruins in the mountains that date back thousands of years, pink river dolphins in the Amazon that exist nowhere else in the world and oases in the desert that seem to pop up out of nowhere.

There is so much to see in Peru that Peru is a must see country for any traveler!

Important Travel Information for Peru

Find a quick pre-travel guide with the most important travel information for Peru.

Tips and Tricks for Peru

Do not drink the tap water- drink bottled water only!

Although coca tea and leaves are common here (and do help with altitude sickness) remember you cannot bring any home with you and if drug tested shortly after you will show positive for cocaine.

There is a 50/50 chance of you getting altitude sickness and you should be prepared. I personally developed very severe altitude sickness which escalated to altitude poisoning and was violently ill for about 24 hours.

My suggestions are to take altitude sickness pills ahead of time if you have access to them. If not be sure to take a few days in Cuzco to adjust, take it easy with resting and early nights.

Avoid drinking alcohol for the first 24 hours in high altitude and aim for large lunch and small dinner since digestion can be affected. Bringing over the counter meds like Pepto and Dramamine can help a bit as can local remedies of coca tea if needed.

Be sure to get any necessary travel vaccinations especially if you plan to visit the Amazon jungle which would also require anti-malarial pills.

Carry a hidden money belt and be aware of pick pocketing, especially in urban areas.

When shopping always barter and haggle! Like most places in the USA tipping is expecting (I generally go with a 10% rule).

Security as a Female in Peru 

Most importantly be aware of your surroundings– always.

Don’t walk around alone late at night, be careful not to expose your money/valuables, trust your gut if a person or situation doesn‘t feel right- leave.

Don’t go out drinking alone and don’t share your hotel information with people you don’t trust.

If you don’t feel comfortable walking grab a taxi and establish the price before getting in.

Be conscious of the fact that every city has good and bad areas- research before you go so you know your good areas and stay in them.

Knowing some Spanish (even just the basics) is also very helpful. I do not speak Spanish fluently but over the years have gained enough to ask directions, have basic conversations and understanding which can be incredibly helpful, pick up a phrasebook and practice before going. If you are staying mainly in coastal areas where tourism is more common English will be more widely spoken.

Aim to blend in- don’t wear/ flash designer items and expensive jewelry for example and don’t dress too revealing, the Incan culture is more conservative.

Be sure to wear a bra (this will help in avoiding unwanted sexual attention in Latin America), catcalling is common but always ignore and just continue walking, it’s best to avoid confrontation. 

How to Get Around in Peru

In the cities, you would mainly walk or can use taxi services.

Making your way between regions depends, getting from Lima to Iquitos to see the Amazon requires a flight.

If you are making your way to Machu Picchu you will want to fly from Lima to Cuzco, then make your way to Ollantaytambo – the easiest way to do so is to take a collectivo taxi service and then from Ollantaytambo take the train to Aguas Calientes and then the bus goes daily up to Machu Picchu (round trip).

As for the smaller side trips like Ballestas islands or Maras salt flats – these are best done with a small tour group via Peru Hop or Viator.

Things to Pack for Peru 

Be sure to pack a variety of clothing I found layering to be best to adjust to temperature as needed.

In Cuzco I found myself wearing a sweater and scarf but wearing a summer dress in Agua Calientes for example. Of course, comfortable walking shoes and hiking shoes for Machu Picchu.

Bug spray, sun block, sun glasses and a basic first aid kit with over the counter meds. Cities here can be loud so be sure to grab some ear plugs for sleeping.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Where to Stay in Peru

Lima: (Miraflores is the best area of Lima to stay in) I would recommend the Hotel Antigua Miraflores, it’s a classic South American style hotel, cozy and in a good location.

Cuzco: Taypikala Hotel Cusco, this hotel is a nice spot to be in only about a 10-minute walk from Plaza de Armas so you get some quiet at night but can easily explore and access restaurants and town center by foot.

Agua Calientes: This is “Machu Picchu Town” this is a cute town with no cars – although very hilly so be prepared to do a lot of walking on steep slopes. A great option here is Taypikala Boutique Machu Picchu

Puno: This is the town you’ll stay in to access Lake Titicaca. I would recommend Casona Plaza Hotel Puno 

Check out the Best Rates for Accommodation in Peru

Best Time to Visit Peru

Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere and they have a wet and dry season.

Dry season ranges June-August with wet season ranging December-February I recommend avoiding wet season. Dry season brings much less rain but also brings big crowds, so I found the best time to go is during in March-May or September-November.

 
 
 

Top Things to Do in Peru

Okay, let´s get started with the best activities in Peru and fun things to do.

Machu Picchu

The best thing to do in Peru is to visit Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu best places to see in Peru
@shutterstock

Machu Picchu was always a major bucket list trip for me and seeing it in person was absolutely awe-inspiring! It is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen amongst all my travels.

You can either hike the Inca trail (which takes 4 days) or you can take the bus from Agua Calientes (Machu Picchu town) which is what I did.

Being fairly fit myself I personally found the amount of hiking during my trip as well as my altitude sickness quite exhausting and couldn’t imagine doing the 4-day trail, but if you are fit and want to do it, I have heard it is amazing!

Regardless of which way you plan to get to Machu Picchu just make sure you get there and see it! It will be the highlight of any trip to Peru.

Lima

One of the best places to visit in Peru is actually Lima.

Lima is one of the best places to see in Peru
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In most cases, you fly in and out of Lima. The city is right on the coast and most people tend to skip over it to get to the more “exciting” parts of their trip but Lima actually has a lot to offer! I only spent 2 days here and wish I had had more time. 

 Miraflores is the best district of Lima to stay in but for exploring I recommend visiting the historic downtown to see some amazing architecture as well as the Saint Francisco monastery and catacombs.

I also recommend visiting Barranco (one of my favorite areas) to try some great cuisine, experience the arts and see some amazing street art murals.

While in Lima I got as much as I could into those 2 days by going with Haku Tours a local tour company.

It was a great experience being guided by locals to the best spots. In addition to seeing the historic downtown and Barranco, I also recommend doing a food and or wine tour- there are some delicious things to try here! Ceviche, Pisco Sour, South American wine and some amazing traditional dishes.  You can also use Lima as a base to visit the Pachcamac pyramids.

Check out Best Rates for Accommodation in Lima 

Cucco

One of the best places to visit in Peru is Cusco.

Cusco is one of the most beautiful places in Peru
@shutterstock

Cuzco was one of my favorite spots!

Although it is most people’s first spot in the country with quite a high altitude, so be prepared. The scenery is beautiful: cobblestone streets, the Andes mountains, Incan women walking llamas and the Plaza de Armas featuring the gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption.

It’s important to stay here a few days- not just to explore the markets and soak everything in but to adjust to the altitude as well.

Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands are also a beautiful place to see in Peru.

Peru places to visit - Ballestas Islands, Peru
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Also known as the “poor man Galapagos” visiting the Ballestas Island are an amazing day trip from Lima.

The islands are full of wildlife including pelicans, the Peruvian booby, and several other bird species.

In addition, colonies of sea lions inhabit the islands and if you are lucky you may see some whale, dolphins and even penguins! You can do this with Peru Hop and even combine it with other to-do spots along the way.

 

Huacachina Desert Oasis

A must-see place in Peru is the Huacachina Desert Oasis – this can be paired with the Ballestas Islands day trip and is a really unique spot.

Peru attractions - Hucachina oasis and sand dunes near Ica, Peru
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In the middle of the desert is a magical lagoon and small town forming Huacachina.

You can go sandboarding, dune buggying or just relax and explore this amazing spot. You can do the 1-day excursion from Lima that combines Ballestas Islands and Huacachina oasis, or you can add in 1-2 overnight stays to catch more sights like a Pisco vineyard, Paracas National reserve and more.  

 

Floating Villages of Lake Titicaca

One of the most fun things to do in Peru is to visit the floating islands.

Peru points of interest - Uros Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru
@shutterstock

The floating islands here are actually entirely made of woven totora reeds.

The Uros people created these floating villages to escape aggressive tribes on the mainland. When visiting you can see the people continuously weaving to maintain the villages and reed islands it’s a fascinating sight and a must see in Peru!

Wondering, what else to do in Peru? Well, here are more tips for Peru activities.

The Nazca Lines

When in Peru… the Nazca Lines are a must see!

Peru vacation - see the Nazca Lines
@shutterstock

The Nazca lines are giant geoglyphs. How they were created is a mystery!

Some people even believe they were created by aliens. These fascinating designs are so large they can only be seen by air.

Booking a flight over the lines is an amazing experience and 100% worth it, just be sure to take motion sickness pills just in case the turns of the plane circling over the lines can upset some travelers’ stomachs.

Check out Prices for Helicopter Flights Over the Nazca Lines

The Sacred Valley (Between Lima and Cuzco)

Another great place to visit in Peru is the Sacred Valley.

Ollantaytambo Peru where to go
@shutterstock

The Sacred Valley is an “in between” spot filled with treasures of its own.

You can spot small villages, ancient ruins like Pisac, Moray and Ollantaytambo and weaving co-ops where you can visit local Incan communities weaving and selling their goods (which was one of my favorite stops).

Here we learned the traditional techniques still used by the women today and watched as white wools were turned bright yellow by their dyes made from seeped flower petals it was lovely.

 

More Fun Things to Do in Peru – here are more great things to do.

Cruise Down the Amazon River (From Iquitos)

Although most of the treasures lay in the mountains you won’t want to miss the Amazon jungle teeming with wildlife.

Peru what to do? See Iquitos Amazon River in Peru
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Flying into Iquitos and taking a short cruise down parts of the river is the best and easiest way to see this region.

You also have the option of staying in jungle lodges in Iquitos and doing daily excursions but there’s nothing more magical than floating down the river itself.

You’ll get to witness the pink river dolphins found nowhere else in the world.

In addition, you take land trips from the boat to explore the wildlife of the jungle and local villages. Just be sure to properly prepare yourself for the Amazon with necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial pills.

You can find some great options for both Iquitos lodges and Amazon river cruises on Viator.

Read more: 10 best things to do in Chile

Read more: 11 best things to do in Sucre, Bolivia

Maras Salt Flats

Another great thing to do in Peru is to visit the Maras Salt Flats.  

Attractions in Peru Maras salt ponds located at the Urubamba, Peru
@shutterstock

The salt mines here were terraced on the mountain slopes and create an amazing effect and surreal scenery.

You can do this, as a day trip from Cuzco most easily via Viator and can be combined with a visit to the Moray Incan site.

Depending on the time of year sometimes the terraces catch water and create a mirror effect as well which is quite beautiful.

It’s a nice “off the beaten path” stop during any Peru itinerary.

 

PERU – don´t you think it is an amazing country with so many beautiful spots to visit?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“I hope to inspire you to see the world and not wait any longer.” Cassandra Londono  

Cassandra is a US-female travel addict that loves traveling the world. She has made traveling her priority and so she has traveled for the last few years.  Check out her site where she sells her travel photography.

 

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Jamaica

Beautiful Places in Jamaica to Visit

Heading to Jamaica soon and wondering about the best places to visit in Jamaica and the best things to do? Then read on and find out about where to go in Jamaica+ important travel tips.

This post was written by Cassandra

Jamaica was only my 2nd Caribbean island I had visited and I had no idea what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity and beauty the island had to offer. When I first arrived I was greeted by a warm “Welcome Home” a greeting almost all Jamaicans give when they hear you are visiting for the first time- I found this lovely.

The laid-back relaxed happiness exuded by the locals was contagious, the food was spicy, fresh and unique and the nature was stunning. Mountains, rivers, beaches, cliffs, rain forest, coral reef systems, coffee plantations, historic forts and much more were all contained in this island.

With something to satiate all travel cravings whether you love adventure, nature, relaxation or history you will definitely find it here!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Pre-Travel Guide for Jamaica

Here are some quick tips for your Jamaica trip before we discuss the best places to visit in Jamaica.

Tips and tricks and do´s and don´ts for Jamaica

Don’t drink tap water, only bottled water!

Bartering is part of shopping locally – be sure to haggle with pricing.

Don’t wander around after dark – it’s best to stay on property, or stay with a group tour, if out at night.

If you venture into the city of Kingston, be particularly aware, as there are high rates of crime here.

I myself prefer staying along the coastal areas of the island, which are more laid back and accustomed to travelers.

Smoking weed is very common here and it will most likely be offered to you at some point. Keep in mind that although most authorities don’t care, it is technically still illegal on the island, so be smart.

Security tips for female travelers

Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings – always.

Most of the coastal areas are very accustomed to travelers, and I have found most people in Jamaica to be very friendly. In addition, the main language spoken is English, which makes communication easy.

A lot of Jamaica is rural, so you wouldn’t want to be wandering around at night. Be careful not to expose your money/valuables. Trust your gut if a person or situation doesn‘t feel right – leave.

Don’t go out drinking alone, and don’t share your hotel information with people you don’t trust. Be conscious of the fact that every city has good and bad areas – research before you go, so you know your good areas and stay in them.

Aim to blend in – don’t wear/ flash designer items and expensive jewelry. For example, although it’s a Caribbean island, Jamaica is also a traditional island, and things like thong swimsuits are frowned upon.

In addition, they are still close-minded about same-sex relationships, so it’s recommended to avoid public displays of affection in these situations, so you can avoid any hassle when outside the hotel or resort areas.

Lastly, as I always like to recommend, ignore catcalls. It’s better to avoid confrontation when in foreign countries.

How to get around

Although an island, it is a large one! It would take over six hours to cross from one side to the other.

In addition, the majority of the island is rural and impoverished. The roads are poorly maintained and usually not lit at night – a car rental is not recommended.

The best thing to do is use transfer services – I have used Jamaica Tours Limited for airport pickups and such, and I have used both Island Routes and Viator before for day trips and excursions.

If you want to get out for the day, the hotel can always assist with arranging local drivers.

Things to pack for Jamaica

The island is hot, year-round! Pack summer and beach clothes, both sandals and sneakers (depending on activities), bug spray, a raincoat (always a good idea if doing rainforest trekking), sunscreen, and sunglasses, as well as a basic first aid kit with over-the-counter meds.

Where to stay in Jamaica

Below are my favored areas and hotel options. I choose the hotels based off of location, mainly, as well as NOT being all-inclusive, so you can have a more authentic experience. They are all varied in style and level of accommodation, though (some in town, some beachfront, some very basic and simple, and others a bit more high-end) and this is why I think, it is the best place to vacation in Jamaica.

Of course, if you want all-inclusive resorts, there are plenty on the island. If you plan for longer periods of time or needless expensive options, you can always use Airbnb to rent a local home or apartment.

Just check the location on a map in relation to these hotels, and you can stay in a similar location. I did not include Montego Bay, as that is the current tourist hub and it’s best to get outside of this area to experience more of Jamaica. You will, however, for both Negril and Ocho Rios, most likely fly into Montego Bay and take a transfer from there.

If you prefer a mega-resort or an all-inclusive stay though, Montego Bay may be for you.

Click here for accommodation in Montego Bay

Negril – Located right on 7-mile beach, one hour south of Montego Bay, this is the spot to be in if you want to snorkel, relax, or play in the Caribbean Sea. Try the Boardwalk Village as a budget-friendly hotel option in the area, only a 15-minute ride from Rick’s Café.

Port Antonio – Although Port Antonio was the original tourist destination back in the 1940s, it has been abandoned as the tourist hub for Montego Bay since then. Port Antonio is currently a hidden gem worth exploring, where you can get more of a feel for “real Jamaica.”

Pimento Lodge is tucked in the cliff-side, and you can take a walk down the hill to the local beach. For the more famed beaches, like Frenchman’s Cove, you can grab a 15-minute taxi ride. If you want a more interesting accommodation, try the Great Huts near Boston Bay. Here, you can stay in a wide range of traditional-style accommodations, from basic huts to small villas.

Ocho Rios – Located on the northern coast, this area is about two hours from the Montego Bay airport and is tucked into a lush, tropical rainforest. The Blue House Jamaica is a bed and breakfast, quaint with great hosts. In addition, a portion of their proceeds go to help impoverished communities on the island!

Find the best accommodation in Jamaica

Best Places to Visit in Jamaica and Things to Do in Jamaica
Montego Bay @shutterstock

Best time to visit Jamaica

Almost any time! Note that November and December bring high price points and September is the heart of hurricane season (although this doesn’t mean a guarantee of bad weather! I travel to the Caribbean during these months regularly, and luckily, have never been caught in such a storm).

May usually has good pricing and is before the heavy heat of the summer months in this region, so it is a great option.

After all the important general info about a trip to Jamaica, here are my favorite things to do in Jamaica

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BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN JAMAICA

Here are some great places to visit in Jamaica and tips for what to see.

Visit the many waterfalls

One of the things to do in Jamaica is to chase waterfalls – but which ones?

Jamaica points of interest
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Jamaica is a unique island, boasting over 120 rivers that run through rainforests and mountains, creating the perfect environment for gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, on the northern coast of the island, is the most popular, but due to the nearby cruise port, it tends to get overly crowded.

If you want to get away and see some lesser-known falls, visit YS Falls on the south coast, or Reach Falls outside Port Antonio on the east coast – definitely some of the best places to visit in Jamaica.

Go to 7 Mile Beach

One of the best places to go in Jamaica is the 7 Mile Beach.

Most beautiful places in Jamaica
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Located on the island’s west coast, this 7-mile beach is the nicest stretch of beach on the island, and being on the western end is perfect for sunsets as well, and it does not come as a surprise that it is one of he most beautiful places to Jamaica. The best bet is to stay in Negril and have this beach right in your backyard to enjoy!

Appleton Rum Estate

If in Jamaica, visit the Appleton Rum Estate.

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Pic by: KKulikov Shutterstock.com

Rum is one of Jamaica’s largest exports and Appleton Estate farms the sugarcane and distills the rum. A tour through the grounds is fun and informative. The scenery is very pretty with peacocks strutting about, tastings and Jamaican rum punch to enjoy, and you can even see a demonstration of the techniques used before modern technology. This is a different place to visit in Jamaica and not like the other places on this list.

Cliff Jump at Rick’s Café

Another great Jamaica vacation spot is Rick´s Cafe.

Jamaica vacation spots - Ricks Cafe
Rick’s Cafe @shutterstock

Another thing you must do in Jamaica is to cliff jump at Rick’s Café. It was one of the best times I had in Jamaica! Dining while listening to live reggae music and dancing was a blast, but it’s the cliff jumping you come here for!

They have several levels to jump from; I opted for the baby 10-footer, while the more daring jumped from the 20 or even the 35-footer! If you’re lucky, you may even catch professionals doing daring tricks as they leap in. It is located in the Negril area on the west coast of the island.

Click here to find tours – Day trip to Negril and Rick´s Cafe from Montego Bay

Pirate Town of Port Royal

Here is another one of the best place to go in Jamaica.

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One of the main attractions in Jamaica is the Pirate Town of Port Royal. Once known as the “Wickedest City on Earth” and overrun by pirates, you can now visit and see some amazing history!

Visit the treasures in the Maritime museum, check out the forts lined with cannons and the Giddy House artillery shop, and if you scuba dive, you can also visit the parts of the town that sunk in the 1692 earthquake!

Black River Safari

Here is another of the best places to visit in Jamaica: seeing the Black River.

The Black River (along the southern coast) is a collection of stunning mangroves and taking a black river safari is one of the most fun things to do in Jamaica. Taking a river cruise here, you will see tons of wildlife, including crocodiles! It’s a really cool experience and you get to see another side of Jamaica, away from the beach scene.

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Are you still wondering wha to do in Jamaica?

Snorkel the Reef Systems

Another fun thing to do in Jamaica is to snorkel the reef system.

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Montego Bay itself has a great, colorful reef for snorkeling, but due to it being a tourist hotspot, it can be crowded. I, personally, enjoyed snorkeling in the Negril area, where you can see tons of colorful fish and coral right in Bloody Bay, as well as Rock-house.

Take a ride on a traditional Bamboo River Raft

Another to thing to do in Jamaica is a ride on a traditional bamboo river raft.

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With all of the rivers that Jamaica has to offer, you can’t miss taking a relaxing float down one on a traditional bamboo raft. Martha Brae, on the northern coast near Montego Bay, and the Rio Grande, on the western coast near Port Antonio, are the best spots to enjoy this. A local guide will pole the raft through the river waters and you can also give it a try yourself.

Bioluminescent Lagoon

One of the best places to visit in Jamaica is the Luminous Lagoon.

There are very few places in the world where you can witness this magic of Mother Nature, and Jamaica is one of them! Located in the Trelawny area of Jamaica along the northern coast, you can visit the Luminous Lagoon at night to see the glowing phenomena and even take a dip.

Try to go during the new moon, if possible, to see the glow as brightly as possible – during a full moon, you may not get to experience the full effect. This is easily accessible from the Runaway Bay or Ocho Rios areas.

Visit the Blue Mountains Coffee Plantations

Looking for more places to go in Jamaica?

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The Blue Mountains are another unique aspect of Jamaica – and very beautiful! A hike in the mountains is always enjoyable; starting in the tropical rainforest at the base, you can see the vegetation changing as you get to higher altitudes. In addition, this is where Jamaica’s coffee plantations are! You can take tours of a plantation and try out different brews – delicious.

 

Hope, you have enjoyed the post and this post has inspired you and you have a better idea about the best places to visit in Jamaica.  It surely is a unique country and has so much to offer that not all beautiful places are mentioned here but I am pretty sure, the above mentioned places are great places to visit in Jamaica.

 

About the Author:

Cassandra is a US-female travel addict that loves traveling the world. She has made traveling her priority and so she has traveled for the last few years.  Check out her site where she sells her travel photography.

Follow Cassandra on Instagram

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Chile

10 Best Places to Go in Chile + Most Important Travel Tips for Chile

This post was written by Alya & Campbell from Stingy Nomads

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Traveling through Chile is like visiting a dozen of different countries and it’s not an exaggeration and since there is so much to do and see in Chile you are going to find out about the best places to visit in Chile.

The diversity of Chile comes from its geographical location. The country stretches from famous mountains of Torres del Paine park in the South to Atacama the driest desert in the world in the North,  so Chile has so much to explore and discover for any kind of traveler.

After 3 months of traveling through this amazing country, we fell in love with it and even named our dog Chile.

Before naming the best places to see in Chile here are some reasons why to visit Chile and other important travel information for Chile.

If you like hiking, Chile is a real paradise there are many trails and walk especially in the South of Chile and for most of them you don’t need a special permit, booking or guide just pack your backpack and go.

Chile has an amazing and diverse nature; Atacama – the driest desert in the world, more than 100 volcanoes some of them are active, massive glaciers, hundreds of waterfalls and mountain rivers.

For culture experience get to know locals their way of living, traditional food, music and history of the country. Chileans are very talkative after a couple of weeks in the country you’ll get a complete idea about it.

Adventure lovers will find plenty of activities here from cycling along the Carretera Austral to paragliding in the desert and surfing in the Pacific Ocean.

If you search for peace there are some great in-nature place in Chile for you; be it a cozy guesthouse in the Andes with a stunning mountain view or a fancy apartment by the beach.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Important Travel Information for Chile

Local currency CLP (Chilean peso) 1USD=653CLP (December 2017)

Tourists from most countries can get 90 days visa free on arrival

Driving is on the right side of the road (like USA and Europe)

Power outlets – majority Type C (European standard), 220V.

Public transport – easy to get around in the cities as well as long distances, the average price for a 6-hour bus ride 20USD.

Accommodation – hostels are very common all through the country, prices start at 11USD per bed. In the Southern part, camping is the most budget option, from 6USD per person, you can find campsites almost everywhere.

For traveling and hiking in Patagonia, you’ll need warm clothes, sleeping bag for 5C-0C, good water, and windproof tent (if planning hiking and camping), proper hiking boots, rain jacket. There are gear rental places in bigger towns, but the prices are quite high.

Best Time to Visit Chile

If you are wondering about when to go to Chile the answer is: As Chile is in the Northern hemisphere the best time to travel it between October and April, local summer.

If you consider going south to Patagonia and do some hiking there, the best time for that specific area is November – beginning of December and end of February – March. Not because of the weather but due to holiday season from the end of December to mid. February university students have holiday and many of them head to Patagonia.

If you’re a budget traveler it can be a problem too many people to compete for a hitch-hike ride or budget accommodation. For the Northern areas like San Pedro de Atacama, December is the peak season as well but most tourists here are foreigners you still face the same problem lack or budget accommodation and higher prices.

Valparaiso is the most popular New Year´s Eve destination in the country if you don’t book a place beforehand you risk paying four times more or not to find a place at all.

Security Tips for Chile – Especially for Female Solo Travelers in Chile

Chile is one of the safest and wealthiest countries in South America and one of the few I’d venture to hitchhike on my own as a girl (though we did it together with my husband).

The only one place you need to take precautions is the capital Santiago de Chile, like in any other big city don’t walk late night in dodgy areas and don’t leave your belongings unattended.

Chilean People

People in Chile was a highlight of our trip they are great, hospitable, generous and extremely helpful. You’re not a foreigner in this country you’re a guest even if you get into trouble you won’t be left without help. Hitch-hiking and couch surfing in Chile are amazing we never spend more than an hour waiting for a ride and always got a place even on New Year Eve when we started looking just two days before.

Book Tours in Chile

Book Tours in Chile – if you like to book tours in advance you can use GYG – I (Arzo, the owner of the blog), use them regularly and totally love the booking system.

Click here to find Chile tours.

If you are from the US you are probably more familiar with Viator and they have also some tours in Chile available.

Click here to see different tours that can be booked via Viator.

Top 10 Places to Visit in Chile

Here are the best places to visit in Chile.

Torres del Paine in Patagonia

Torres del Paine is probably one of the most famous hikes in the world many tourists come to Chile just to do this hike.

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It can be overcrowded and too busy in season but It’s an amazing place with stunning nature and fantastic landscape – Patagonia is a place you must visit.

The best way to see it is to do a O circuit route, a week hike, the trail goes around the park the way you see all its sights. The highlights of Torres del Paine; Las Torres (The Towers) three sharp peaks at Mirador Las Torres, a famous sunrise spot with “towers” turning orange-red when the sun goes up.

Grey glacier a huge glacier, 270km2, starts on the top of the Patagonian Andes and “slides” down to Grey lake, the best view of it you get from John Gardner pass. Pehoe lake – a stunning turquoise lake surrounded by ice-peak mountains.

If you’re a lucky one and like to start your day very early, you even have a chance to spot a puma here. The nearest town Puerto Natales from where you can take a shuttle but to the park.

Find the best accommodation in Torres del Paine

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Atacama Desert on the Pacific Coast

The Atacama Desert is known as the driest place on Earth with a landscape of a different planet.

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Atacama is more than just a lot of sand here you can find lagoons with hundreds of flamingos, geysers, salt flats, wired rock formations, natural labyrinth and incredible night sky… by the way, Atacama is one of the best places in the world for stargazing.

A small town San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to the desert, buses from different cities, including Bolivia and Peru, go there.

Click here to read about more amazing deserts in the world.

Carretera Austral

Carretera Austral is a road that goes through Chilean Patagonia starting at Puerto Montt and finishing at Villa O’Higgins.

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Carretera Austral has a total length of 1240km. There are different ways of traveling it from renting a car (the most expensive though the easiest way) or moving by buses to hitch-hiking or for the most adventurous cycling it.

Whichever way you choose take your time stop on the way and explore some of the parks, Chilean Patagonia will surprise you with its incredible beauty and wilderness. One of the few places in the world where you can see so many turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers, waterfalls and mountain rivers.

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Easter Island

A trip to Easter Island is the most expensive trip you can do in Chile.

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the island located 3500km away from the mainland, the nearest inhabitant place is Pitcairn island more than 2000km away.

Just to get here is an expensive mission especially in season between December and February. The island got its world fame because of the stone statues moai that were built by Rapa Nui people back in 700 – 1100AD.

First Europeans arrived here on 5th April 1722 on Easter Sunday that’s why Easter Island got this name. The only way to get here is to fly there are daily flights from Santiago, prices start from $400 return.

Click here to find the best rates for accommodation on Easter Island

Valparaiso

Valparaiso is the art capital of Chile.

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Valparaiso is an art capital of Chile and the best place in the country to spend New Year´s Eve though it’s a very popular destination for the end of the year and you must book accommodation far in advance.

The city sits between on the hills by the ocean to get to some barrios (neighborhoods) you need to take a cable car. Colorful and vibrant with endless stairs and houses climbing uphill Valparaiso is an amazing place to explore on foot.

Best art areas of the city; Cerro Santo Domingo, Cerro Concepcion, Cerro Bellavista, Cerro Baron.

Not to miss in Valparaiso Museo a Cielo Abierto (Open Air Museum) with 20 murals by famous Chilean artists. There are several daily buses to Valparaiso from Santiago and other cities.

Of course you have to eat your weigh in yummy food – and here you can find out about the best places to eat in Valparaiso.

Click here to find the best rates for accommodation in Valparaiso

Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile is the capital of Chile.

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Santiago de Chile maybe loses to Buenos Aires (so-called Paris of South America) in its architectural beauty but definitely wins in the landscape, surrounded by the snow-peak mountains with several viewpoints from where you can observe the entire city.

Must see sights in Santiago; La Moneda Palace, San Cristobal hill, Plaza de Armas, Pre-Columbian art museum, Metropolitan park, La Chascona (Pablo Neruda museum).

Do not miss the Central market there is always fresh stuff for good prices. Santiago has a good public transport system and is easy to navigate. From here you can take a flight or bus to any other place in Chile.

Click here to compare rates for accommodation in Santiago de Chile

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Pucon

Pucon is a town in central Chile’s Lake District.

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Pucon is a beautiful town with a stunning location at Villarrica lake with the volcano in the background, a popular weekend/holiday place for Chileans. In summer you can enjoy swimming in the lake, kayaking or water skiing.

If you like hiking there are many day hikes to the impressive waterfalls. More adventurous can do a climb to the top of Villarrica volcano but you’ll need proper gear for walking in snow and ice. In winter it’s a popular place for skiing/snowboarding.

Easy to get by bus from Santiago, takes between 9-10 hours.

Click here to find accommodation in Pucon

Visit Some Hidden Gems in Chile

Siete Tazas

Siete Tazas is a national park located in Curicó Province.

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Siete Tazas an amazing surprise for foreign tourists, locals know about it and often go there for weekends from Santiago.

Its name Siete Tazas (Seven Cups) comes from seven natural pools connected between each other with the ice-cold turquoise river passing through.

Not to miss Salto de Leona (Lioness’s waterfall) with a beautiful small sandy beach. There are several short hikes in the park that take you through the indigenous forest of to stunning lookouts.

The best way to explore Siete Tazas is to stay here for a couple of days there are campsite and cabins, if you stay there you don’t pay an entrance fee.

To get here first take a bus from Santiago to Molina (a small town) from there take another bus to Parque Ingels.

Chiloe Island

Chiloe Island is located in Southern Chile.

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Chiloe island is another hidden gem of Chile, though the island is quite big.

Chiloe has a unique culture, cuisine and UNESCO churches. There are two main towns Castro and Ancud, we liked the second more.

The best things on the island are nature related; go to see penguin colony, hike in Chiloe National park where you can spot dolphins in the water, seals chilling on the beach or even pygmy glue whales.

One of the things not to miss on Chiloe is to try Curanto a local dish cooked in a dirt-pit covered with leaves works the same way as a pressure-cooker, portions are quite big and enough for two people.

There is a ferry connecting the island with the mainland, they leave from Pargua, every day from 6.30 am to 11 pm.

O’Higgins Glacier

O’Higgins Glacier is located in Southern Patagonia.

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O’Higgins Glacier is hidden at the far end of Carretera Austral the only options to see it are to take a boat cruise from Villa O’Higgins or to do a 4-day hike.

Either way gives you an opportunity to be one of the very few people who see O’Higgins glacier. If you decide to do a hike you won’t regret though sometimes it can be a bit tough due to unpredictable Patagonian weather, but as a reward, you get stunning views from the trail over turquoise O’Higgins lake and the blue-grey glacier.

Unlike famous Torres del Paine very few people do this hike every year, though the trail is marked quite well and there are no dangerous animals in the area.

Due to its remote location, you can get here by cruise boat or by ferry both leave from Villa O’Higgins.

What to do you think? Which are the best places to visit in Chile in your opinion? Have we missed some beautiful places in Chile on the list? Let us know!

About the Authors

We’re Campbell and Alya, an adventurous travel couple that met surfing in the Philippines. Four years later married and still traveling. We’re based somewhere between Cape Town, South Africa and St.Petersburg, Russia, chasing summer and nice weather on both continents. We’re camping addicts and road trippers and like exploring the world’s best hiking and diving destinations and of course doing all the above on a tight budget.

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Safe Travels, Arzo

 

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