Moving between Chile and Argentina means passing over real mountains. It means it’s a stunning bus ride. The coldest passport stamping. Have your cameras charged and don’t sleep through it!     As the days get colder, Paso de los Libertadores at the border between Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina is often closed because it’s in the middle of the Andes… Read More

Okay, fine, the city grew on me. At the beginning of the trip, I met one single backpacker who had anything positive to say about Santiago. Three weeks later, I had yet to meet another. One group of backpackers was yelled at by con artists until they got confused and their bag with two passports and… Read More

For backpackers, a desert means sandboarding, and sandboarding means obnoxious tour companies that try to turn it into a party with tank tops and pop music. Las Dunas de Concón is a precious exception nobody knows about. Loved it. It’s cheap, the slopes are on the beach, and it’s cheap.       Getting There From… Read More

Francisco. Born and raised in Santiago, in the land of hot dogs and empanadas and mountains of mayo, he was everything I don’t associate Chileans with—very tall and slim, eat’s so healthy, and cooks with a wok. And coconut milk. And curry paste. He puts on American blues while carrying out said cooking. Makes juice from fresh apples with… Read More

The entire plane was buzzing with curiosity as we landed, craning our necks to look out the windows. Every morning I woke to one screaming rooster, followed by all the other roosters across the island. The only reasonably priced food was bananas. My departing flight was full of friends I’d made.     I’ve had… Read More

I love a city that can stand out from the rest. Instead of the classic central plaza with a cathedral, Valpo was 42 hills of never-ending colors, chaos, and crap (on the streets from the copious amounts of stray dogs). Once a crucial shipping port, this UNESCO site has been largely ignored government funds since the construction of… Read More

The Elqui Valley is strange to me. The mountains are so barren and deforested, like mounds of stone and dirt. Below is tons and tons of fruit trees like figs, and of course endless vineyards. Fields of yellows and reds greet the cars on the highway and visitors often stop to watch the dam, which… Read More

The Atacama desert is another world. Stark valleys and high-altitude  geological wonders are mesmerizing. The popular town of San Pedro is isolated and overgrown with tourism, yet it remains the optimal base for excursions, especially when connecting to Bolivia by booking a tour of the Uyuni salt flats.     However, I felt stranded and didn’t do all… Read More

  Day 8 Fresh of the bus from Cotahuasi, I bought a ticket for Tacna, the southernmost city of Peru, which never showed up. I looked through all the bus ramps, went back to the office where the staff whipped out my refund out of no where and shoved it in my hands, and switched… Read More