Exploring Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

Stained-glass windows, ornate wooden effigies, intricately painted ceilings and gilded cornices: these are the images that spring to mind when the word ‘cathedral’ is uttered. What lies fifty kilometres north of Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, is an altogether different manifestation of the word… Reaching down 200 metres below the earth’s surface is an enormous, subterranean structure … Continue reading Exploring Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

Medellín: a city reborn

I don’t have many pictures of Medellín. As I click through my Colombia photo album I’m surprised and disappointed at how few photos there are of this city – this city which, at the time, made such an impression on me. Thinking back I remember that during my stay in Medellín it rained almost non-stop; perhaps … Continue reading Medellín: a city reborn

Going to market: the sights, sounds, and smells of an Andean marketplace

I don't usually post creative writing pieces on this blog but I thought I'd put one up and see how I feel about mixing different types of travel-related content. The following piece is a fictional passage that evokes the experience of passing through a South American market: The smell repulsed her. The acrid odour of freshly butchered … Continue reading Going to market: the sights, sounds, and smells of an Andean marketplace

Photo Essay: “From dawn till dusk, a fisherman’s tale” in Puerto López, Ecuador

Puerto López is a small fishing village on Ecuador's Pacific coast that generally serves as a launching pad for trips into the Machalilla National Park. And while this is a very good reason to visit Puerto López and we were able to visit places like Agua Blanca and the Isla de la Plata very easily, it's also … Continue reading Photo Essay: “From dawn till dusk, a fisherman’s tale” in Puerto López, Ecuador

Going home is never easy, I know, but I have to go…

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. I knew all along that I would have to leave South America for the colder climes of my homeland sooner or later but it’s all too easy to put that thought to the back of your mind when you’re exploring Machu Picchu or … Continue reading Going home is never easy, I know, but I have to go…

Isla de la Plata: The (Not So) Poor Man’s Galápagos

One of the first things people tend to ask you when you say you’re going to Ecuador is if you’re planning a trip to the Galápagos Islands. Unfortunately, my budget wouldn’t stretch to a jaunt over to the land of Darwin’s finches, but I had heard about an alternative for getting my wildlife fix, and … Continue reading Isla de la Plata: The (Not So) Poor Man’s Galápagos

Fast-paced tourism: 2 sites, 2 countries, 1 day

I would definitely classify myself as a slow traveller; partly because I like to really get to know a place before leaving it, and partly because I’m lazy and need as much time between lugging my backpack around as possible. But things have had to change over the last couple of days. Ever since I … Continue reading Fast-paced tourism: 2 sites, 2 countries, 1 day

Feeling lost in Quito, Ecuador’s confusing capital

Arriving in a new city can be very overwhelming, especially ones on a South American scale. The sprawling mass of high-rises, the unfamiliar street names, and the maze of public transportation can all make navigating a new city a daunting prospect. In spite of all of this, I like to think that I’m pretty adept … Continue reading Feeling lost in Quito, Ecuador’s confusing capital

A little hike in Huaraz

After hearing some disappointing news and wanting to get away from the groans and grinds of the city I went along with my new friend, Jan, on his trip to the mountains north of Lima. The town of Huaraz was a lot bigger than I expected and, although the weather wasn’t great when we arrived, … Continue reading A little hike in Huaraz

Discovering Machu Picchu: The Holy Grail of the Gringo Trail

“Well, that was nice”, said Brittany as the train pulled out of the station. I laughed at how simple, yet true, the summary sounded. We had just visited Machu Picchu, one of the modern wonders of the world, and it really was ‘nice’. So many adjectives are used to describe Machu Picchu: mystical, awe-inspiring, incredible. … Continue reading Discovering Machu Picchu: The Holy Grail of the Gringo Trail